Patricia McBride was born in Teaneck, NJ, in 1942. She studied with Ruth Vernon and at the School of American Ballet. Joined New York City Ballet in 1959. Promoted to principal in 1961. She was one of George Balanchine's favourite ballerinas. A glamorous dancer who could be everything from lyrically romantic to dazzingly vivacious. Balanchine staged, with Alexandra Danilova, Coppélia for her in 1974 in which she danced Swanilda. She created many roles roles for Balanchine during her 30 years with NYCB. Her partnership with Edward Villella in the 60's was particularly successful.
In 1996 she was appointed associate director of the North Carolina Dance Theater, with her husband Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux as artistic director.