Faridi McFree was born Frieda Asmar on March 8, 1936 in Hillside, New Jersey. She married Michael Hanft in 1961 and the two purchased a home in Bearsville, New York, a rural suburb of Woodstock. The couple maintained an apartment in New York City as both worked for the William Morris Agency. As a hobby, Faridi refurbished old barns – including the now famous Midnight Ramble barn belonging to Levon Helm. In 1972, the Hanfts moved to Santa Barbara, California. Michael began work for Merv Griffin and the Mike Douglas Show while Faridi was swept up by the blossoming New Age and Transcendental movements. At the time, their next-door neighbor was Jonathan Taplan, producer of the film The Last Waltz. In 1975, at Taplin’s wedding, Faridi met Bob Dylan. Shortly thereafter, Faridi began working for the Dylans as nanny for their children. Among her duties was teaching art to the Dylan children. In 1977, after Bob Dylan divorced his wife, Sara, and Faridi and Michael separated, Faridi moved in with Bob on his farm in Minnesota. The love affair ended later that same year. Faridi spent the next few years in California, promoting her Healing Art while working for Herman Rush, CEO of Columbia Pictures Television. Faridi then moved to New York City where she worked for Deloitte, Haskins & Sells at One World Trade Center. In 1982, Doubleday published her book, Celebrate You, featuring Faridi’s artwork, affirmations, and healing techniques. In 1983, Faridi became an Interfaith Minister. She worked with the underprivileged, the terminally ill, and children from broken homes. In 1987, William Morrow published her book, Peace on Earth Begins With You. After a short illness, Faridi McFree passed away on August 25, 2009.
To view the artwork of Faridi McFree, including many portraits of Bob Dylan, go to www.ThePlaydium.com. The site features over 150 pages of material culled from Faridi McFree's personal files including: Resumes, letters of correspondence and journal entries.
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