Behind The Scenes With Hollywood's Grooviest Stars
Katharine Ross and the handsome Sam Elliott were married back in 1984 and are still married.
Whether you’re a super spy for the British government or a campy television star who spends all day dressed like a bat, at some point you’ve got to relax and have a little fun. These far out and goofy photos show that our favorite celebrities know how to have fun - especially when they’re on the job.
If you like stories and photos about guys like Paul Newman, Burt Reynolds, or even Cheech Marin then we’ve got a collection of pictures that will bring you right back to halcyon days. So crank up some groovy tunes, and put on your Tom Petty shirt because it’s time to check out what the stars of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and even the ‘80s were up to when the cameras weren’t rolling. Scroll on!
Sam Elliot may be one of the few stand up guys remaining in Hollywood. Elliot and Ross first met in 1978 while filming the horror movie The Legacy. The film, which is a classic English haunted house movie may not be memorable, but at the very least it brought us all the love of these two sweethearts. Both Elliot and Ross are Hollywood big leaguers - Ross was Elaine Robinson in The Graduate - and even though there was an instant spark between the two of them, they waited until 1984 to get married.
Elliot and Ross are still together and when they’re not in Los Angeles they’re living in Oregon, which is a pretty good place to get away from the hubub of the city.
Willie Nelson, Lionel Richie, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen during the recording of "We Are The World" in 1985.
“We are the World” helped bring $63.1 million to relief for Africa after it was released on March 7, 1985. And while the single produced by Quincy Jones did so much good for the forgotten continent its recording wasn’t necessarily the campfire sing along you might imagine. Jones anticipated trouble with the 45 mega stars in attendance, which is why he put a sign on the door to the recording studio that said “Leave your egos at the door.”
According to music manager Ken Kragen, one of the rock bands present - he wouldn’t say who - threatened to walk on the recording because they were worried about how it would make them look, but when Bruce Springsteen said he was sticking around for the recording it made all of the other rockers want to stay. You don’t want to look bad in front of The Boss.
Michael J. Fox and Huey Lewis on the set of "Back to the Future," 1985.
Who’s that nerd hanging out with Marty McFly? What’s that? It’s Huey Lewis!? That’s right, when it came time to shoot Back to the Future Huey Lewis didn’t just provide the songs “The Power of Love” and “Back in Time” to the film, but he also appears in an uncredited role as one of the judges for Marty McFly’s high school talent show audition.
In 2017 Lewis said that when he was approached to write songs for the movie he’d never done it before and was just winging the material. He explained:
They asked if I could write a song for the movie told them that I never wrote for film. They say that it didn’t matter and it worked out incredibly well. Who would have ever guessed that would have worked out? It was an amazing experience.
'Emma Peel' (Diana Rigg) of "The Avengers" in 1967.
Played by Diana Rigg on the ITV series The Avengers, Emma Peel is one of the first female action stars to appear on television. For two seasons, Peel worked her martial arts and fencing mojo all the while doing it in a leather cat suit. No matter what situation Peel found herself in she always seemed to make her way out of the sticky position.
When Rigg left the series after season six, she was doing so because she’d been offered a role in the 007 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service - which is a pretty big step up in the world of the spy game.
"Party All the Time" Eddie Murphy and Rick James, 1985.
By 1985 Eddie Murphy was already on top of the world. He was selling out stand up tours, he was the star of Saturday Night Live, and he had three huge movies under his belt - 48 Hrs, Trading Places, and Beverly Hills Cop. However in 1985 Murphy did what no one expected and recorded the song “Party All Time Time” with funk master Rick James.
Recorded at James’ home studio of Buffalo, New York of all places, the song eventually made its way to #2 on the Billboard charts. In 2014 the song re-entered the cultural consciousness thanks to the fans of Scottish soccer team St Johnstone F.C., who’ve taken on the tune as their unofficial song.
Freddie Mercury and Elton John chatting backstage at Live Aid in 1985. (Photo by Richard Young)
Live Aid wasn’t just one of the most important rock n roll charities to ever be created, it was also the largest confluence of rock stars since Woodstock in 1969. While Elton John gave a truly breathtaking performance during the concert - which included a duet with George Michael on “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” - it in no way matched the pure, raw energy of Queen’s short set.
In just 20 minutes Queen took the audience on a journey across their entire career, with singer Freddie Mercury doing everything he could to give the crowd something to remember. The show was so breathtaking that Elton John is said to have shouted, “You stole the show!” At the band when they got off stage.
Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta leave the New York premiere of Grease.
It’s safe to say that there’s no one on the planet who’s missed out on Grease, a saccharine (in the best way) look at the 1950s via the 1970s. The most popular movie on the planet was released on June 16, 1978 and the premiere was a sight to behold. John Travolta soaked the whole thing up, but this kind of thing was already old hat to Olivia Newton-Jonh who was already famous down under.
At the premiere both Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta showed up decked out in their best ‘50s duds and boy did they look stylin’! In an interview with the Telegraph, Olivia Newton-John said that she didn’t want to appear in the movie and that Travolta asked her to do it. She said:
I worried that at 29 I was too old to play a high-school girl. But John was charming and really wanted me to do it, and that was one of the deciding factors. He’s a lovely man – we became great friends and he was very helpful to me on set, as I was not an experienced actress.
Always surrounded by beautiful women was Benny Hill and Hill's Angels.
For many, the name Benny Hill brings to mind a sensational saxophone melody, but coming in at a close second is the memory of Hill’s Angels, an English dance troupe made up of some truly foxy ladies. The name is a take on the ferocious biker gang The Hell’s Angels, but these gals were anything but tough. They sang with Hill during his opening number and they danced in his longer comedy sketches.
It's clear from watching back episodes of Benny Hill's show that everyone involved was having an amazing time. It must have been such a joy to be on this set.
What teenage crushes were made of...Susan Dey, 1972.
If you grew up glued to your TV in the groovy ‘70s then you definitely had a crush on Susan Dey, otherwise known as Laurie Partridge. Before she joined America’s favorite pop-rock family, Dey was a model. However she quickly caught the eye of the producers for The Partridge Family and they hired her without so little as a screen test.
While something like that can spell disaster for lesser actors, Dey thrived on television and she went on to star on L.A. Law as well a series of feature and television films, but we’ll always remember her for her time in that far out family band.
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix in 1958.
Before he was Jimi Hendrix, this guitar virtuoso was playing gigs with anyone who would have him. After being discharged from the Army he played guitar with bands up and down the chitlin circuit, and he played with his own group - the King Kasuals. Hendrix started playing guitar at the age of fifteen, and he played for hours at a time until his fingers bled.
Even though he’s remembered as a master of the electric guitar, his first axe was an acoustic. He finally ended up getting a guitar after joining a band and deciding that he needed to crank up the volume - and the rest is history.
Bill Murray in "Stripes" (1981)
King of the mutts and the underdogs, John Winger from Stripes is truly the grown up class comedian that inspired every teenage cut up looking for a North Star in the early ‘80s. The film was originally intended to be Cheech and Chong join the army, but after the actual Cheech and Chong requested complete creative control director Ivan Reitman pivoted and reached out to Harold Ramis to get Bill Murray on board.
Supposedly once filming began much of the script was thrown out due to Murray’s improvising, with many of the wildest scenes in the film being completely made up on the spot. Now that’s the kind of filmmaking we can salute!
A cool photo of Debbie Harry sporting jeans and tank top for the camera.
As the lead singer of Blondie, and an out and out babe, it’s easy to forget that Debbie Harry is really just one of the guys. After all, you don’t survive the ‘70s punk scene in New York City without being cooler and tougher than every member of The Ramones.
While many of contemporaries of Blondie struggled with stardom, Harry and her band took to it like fish to water. By 1978 they were on the top of the charts with their album Parallel Lines, and they wouldn’t slow down for another four years. If you didn’t get to see them at their peak, you can still catch Blondie on stage today doing what they do best.
Peter Tork and Jimi Hendrix, 1967.
Even though it might seem Jimi Hendrix and The Monkees are the worst paired artists in the history of rock and roll, it actually made sense for these two acts to tour in 1967. The Monkees were one of the hottest acts in America, and Hendrix’s Are You Experienced wasn’t released until the summer of that year. Everyone in The Monkees - especially Peter Tork - were champions of far out artists like Hendrix and they just wanted to help the guy out.
According to a Rolling Stone interview with Tork, he and Hendrix hung out at his house in Studio City where they jammed out and hatched plans for a musical takeover. It's not what you expect from one of the guys that sings "Daydream Believer."
Burt Reynolds in "Deliverance," a 1972 American thriller film. Great movie!
Has Burt Reynolds ever looked cooler than he does in this photo from Deliverance? The film, which follows a group of friends as they attempt to canoe down a river in the Georgia wilderness. After stumbling upon a group of backwoods baddies, Reynolds and his friends are pushed to the edge to survive and it’s truly a spectacle.
Before filming Marlon Brando was initially attached to the role of Lewis, but we think that the only guy who could do justice to this role is The Bandit himself, Burt Reynolds. Check out this thrilling flick if you haven’t seen it in a while!
Dale Earnhardt feelin' good in 1979.
One of the coolest guys in NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt started racing in the big leagues in 1975 when he appeared at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Throughout the ‘70s Earnhardt made a name for himself as a driver who was both good behind the wheel and a man with a lot of flash.
Even if you don’t know a lot about NASCAR, you know who Dale Earnhardt is. That’s because he’s one of those guys who was able to make viewers care about a sport with charisma rather than his technical prowess. Remember to rev your engines extra hard today in memory of this racing legend.
Houston rockers Dusty Hill, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard of ZZ Top, 1970.
It turns out before the long beards, the Eliminator, and the hit songs the buys from ZZ Top were still sharp dressed men. While Billy Gibbons and the name ZZ Top was kicking around throughout 1969, the signature line up didn’t get together until 1970 when Gibbons replaced his earliest bass player and drummer with Dusty Hill and Frank Beard.
Even though they were signed to a contract from London Records, the band still had to eek out a living by playing whatever shows they could, and they wouldn’t hit it big until 1973’s Tres Hombres, an album that fully made use of their countrified blues sound.
Jackie Earle Haley as the baddest bear 'Kelly Leak' from the movie "The Bad News Bears" (1976)
After watching The Bad News Bears, everyone wanted to be Kelly Leak. He smoked, he rode a motor cycle, and he had that cool jacket with the fringe. Aside from just being straight up cool, Leak also happens to be the best athlete in the area which is why he plays both left and center field. When you saw this movie - either in theaters or maybe even on VHS - it definitely inspired you to be a little bit of a rebel.
Seriously, after watching this movie who didn’t want to go out and get a Harley Davidson and start riding around a baseball field?
Christopher Walken on the set of the 1978 film "The Deer Hunter."
The Deer Hunter is a tense Vietnam era film about a group of friends from the rustbelt who are drafted into the war and have their lives changed and ripped apart by PTSD. In his role as Nick Chevotarevich, Christopher Walken gives an articulate and nuanced performance that sees him go from the lynchpin of a friend group to a man suffering with amnesia.
Walken’s turn in the film was so spectacular that it garnered him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1979. His won was much deserved, and it’s hard to imagine this film without him.
Fleetwood Mac, photograph by Sam Emerson. (1976)
Has there ever been a group so capable of squeezing infinitely listenable hits out of personal pain and suffering than Fleetwood Mac? Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s this quintet changed partners more than some ballroom dancers. Throughout all the drama and drugs they somehow managed to create a series of album that defined a generation.
The lightning rod for much of the drama was front woman Stevie Nicks who joined the group with her then partner Lindsay Buckingham, but as the band continued on she found herself entangled with drummer Mick Fleetwood and a couple members of The Eagles. It must have taken a miracle to get this band out of the ‘70s.
Jane Fonda in the movie "Barbarella," 1968.
Based on the French science fiction comic book, Barbarella is a low budget space opera starring Jane Fonda as the titular character, a space adventurer who’s trying to protect the President of Earth. Throughout the film Fonda wrestles with creatures both intergalactic and humanoid, but none of them are normal.
While the film is remembered as kind of a lark, it’s actually a fairly influential movie. Big budget films like The Fifth Element wouldn’t be possible without the work of Fonda and her very saucy outfits. If you were lucky enough to catch this movie in the theater then consider yourself on the cutting edge of science fiction!
Jayne Mansfield with her family...and husband #2, Mr. Universe.
In her unfortunately too short of a life, Jayne Mansfield did it all. Not only was she a nightclub performer and singer, but she was a playmate and the star of movies like Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and The Girl Can’t Help It. Somehow in the midst of all this stardom she managed to have a family as well. It’s truly inspiring.
In 1962 Mansfield and her then husband Mickey Hartigay traveled to Italy where the two of them worked on her autobiography before they divorced. Following their divorce Mansfield discovered that she was pregnant with their daughter - TV’s Mariska Hartigay!
Joan Jett of the 'The Runaways' performing on stage, 1977.
By the time 1977 rolled around Joan Jett and the Runaways were a tight touring act that Brough rock and roll to clubs across America. After the release of their initial album the band opened for acts like Cheap Trick, Van Halen, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. By the time they released their second album, Queens of Noise, the band was ready to tour the world and they made a straight shot for Japan.
The band was so popular in Japan that they were inundated with fans in a tornado of teenage ecstasy not seen since Beatlemania. This crazy time in the band’s life can be seen in the tour film Edgeplay.
June Carter and Johnny Cash in 1968
1968 was a big year in the life of Johnny Cash. Not only was he finally able to be open about his relationship with June Carter following the dissolution of his marriage with his first wife, but Cash played his immortal concert at Folsom Prison. The Folsom Prison shows were groundbreaking not only because they were the first of their kind, but because they inspired the men Cash was playing for in a way that had never been done before.
According to Marshall Grant, one of the original members of Cash’s backing band, many of the men who watched the show turned their lives around after seeing them play. He told Rolling Stone:
John had a real feeling for the down and out, for the prisoners. For anybody like that. He came from very humble beginnings in Arkansas. So even though he acquired a lot of things in life, he still felt for these people and he made it very obvious, too. He was so real with it. And that’s what brought him to prisons. And a lot of them turned their lives around because of our willingness to go entertain them that told them that we cared.
KISS wearing their manager Bill Aucoin's suits for a photo in New York, 1974.
Is there any better juxtaposition than these four wild rockers in their Kabuki makeup and business suits? But according to KISS lore, this photo almost didn’t happen because even though the band owned every crazy get up imaginable, only drummer Peter Criss owned a suit. When it came type to take photos for the album the band asked managed Bill Aucoin for a little fashion help.
Aucoin explained in an interview:
All those suits…Peter had a suit but no one else did so I went to my closet and got the suits…I think the most expensive thing about that album was the initial album covers.
Good thing they were all the same size.
Michelle Pfeiffer in "Grease 2" 1982.
Before she was teaming up with the Penguin and wearing latex in Batman Returns, and even before she was trading barbs with Al Pacino in Scarface, Michelle Pfeiffer was starring in Grease 2 as Stephanie Zionne. In the film Stephanie is trying to navigate her time as a pink lady while she breaks up with her T-Bird boyfriend. Oh, and she’s got a crush on a mysterious motorcyclist.
While Grease 2 never achieved the cult status of its predecessor, it did act as a showcase for Pfeiffer, who appeared alongside a few other faces that have managed to stick around over the course of the next three decades.
Pam Grier was the epitome of Groovy, 1970s.
If you were alive in the 1970s then you know that there was no one cooler than Pam Grier. During that most groovy of decades she was in kickin’ movies like Foxy Brown and Black Mama White Mama while dating comedy legend Freddie Prinze, and after they broke up she dated Richard Pryor, was there ever a more ‘70s set of relationships?
Grier’s career was on fire throughout the ‘70s, and in spite of the fact that she wasn’t around much in the following decade, she made a big comeback in 1997 with her starring role in Jackie Brown. Viva la Pam Grier!
Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand in the film "The Way We Were" 1973.
The Way We Were is a timeless love and falling out of love story for the ages. It follows Katie Morosky and Hubbell Gardiner as they try to work through their differences in the first half of the 20th century. The first time they meet they two of them are on the opposite side of a political divide, and as the film moves through two more decades the characters are always finding themselves together in one way or another.
Even though the two actors were, like their characters, completely opposite of one another, they worked well together. Streisand said:
I just loved working with [Redford]. Every day was an exciting adventure. We played well together--in the moment, slightly different, slightly unknowing, always interesting. He's a man of depth who has what it takes to be a great movie star: mystery behind the eyes. You wonder, What is he really thinking?”
Rocker Suzi Quatro posing in all leather and boots, 1975.
There may have only been a few gals running with the rock and roll flag in the 1970s, but the ladies who were thrashing did it better any of the guys who they shared the stage with. Suzie Quatro got her start as a part of a jazz trio with her father, but by the 1970s she was leading her own band and scoring hits in the UK and Australia.
In 1975 Quatro scored a hit with the funk rock track “Your Mama Won’t Like Me” and continued to play throughout the decade and into the 2000s. She may not have the platinum records that some of the women who followed her have, but she definitely paved the way forever girl who wants to buy a guitar.
Susan Sarandon, her first movie appearance was in the movie "Joe," 1970.
There’s something to be said for people who just show up. Susan Sarandon didn’t have any designs on being a famous actress while growing up in New York City, but in 1969 she went to a casting call for the movie Joe starring Peter Boyle as a factory worker who hates hippies. She wasn’t auditioning - her then husband was - but the casting director saw something in her and hired her for a role.
It wasn’t the most auspicious start for an actress but after Joe Sarandon went on to appear in a series of television films before 1975’s Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The original MTV VJs in 1981/ J.J. Jackson, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn and Alan Hunter.
If you wanted your MTV then these were the VJs who were going to give it to you. When the burgeoning music video channel started in 1981 this fabulous fivesome were on the air around the clock playing hits by bands like The Buggles (obviously), Pat Benatar, and even Iron Maiden. On MTV’s launch day - August 1, 1981 - the channel played 208 videos with 11 of them by Rod Stewart.
Out the five initial VJs everyone had a favorite, personally I’m a Nina Blackwood kind of guy, but if you prefer Mark Goodman that’s cool too, just as long as you aren’t into Alan Hunter we can be friends.
Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters who used to be on our televisions every Saturday morning! Who was your favorite?
Was there anything better than waking up on a Saturday morning, pouring yourself a big bowl of cereal and plunking down in front of the TV to watch cartoons? No! Hanna-Barbera created some of the most timeless and wacky characters that have ever appeared on television, and no matter what genre you were in the mood for they had something for you.
So which was your favorite Hanna-Barbera cartoon? Are you a futurist who prefers The Jetsons? Or how about the modern stone age family squabbling of The Flinstones? Personally, I’ve always preferred solving mysteries with the Scooby gang. Whatever you prefer Hanna-Barbera is bound to give you a good time.
A young Victoria Principal in the movie, "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean," 1972.
In her film debut as Maria Elena, Victoria Principal showed that she could do it all in the Wild West. Born in Fukuoka, Japan, Principal was an Air Force brat who traveled the world before studying at the Royal Ballet School before putting in time at prestigious acting schools in New York City and London before finally moving to Los Angeles to pursue acting in 1970. Two years later she appeared in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean and was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Even though Principal has only appeared in a handful of movies, she spent nearly 10 years starring on Dallas as Pamela Ewing, and she has her own skincare line, Principal Secret. She’s come a long way since working with John Huston.
Dukes Of Hazzard's Catherine Bach wearing her Daisy duke short shorts. 👀 Loved her in this show!
One of the hottest shows of the 1980s was The Dukes of Hazzard. It had everything you could want - a cool car, cool dudes, and oh yeah, a smokin’ hot babe. Daisy Duke was every guy’s dream, a cool chick who can drive a car better than any of your friends.
Even though she was on the show for its 145 episode run, Catherine Bach wasn’t just Daisy Duke, she also starred in the series African Skies, and you can see her now on The Young and the Restless if you’re playing hooky from work. Do you think she still drives around in “Dixie,” her Jeep CJ-7? Let’s hope so.
Joe Pesci, an Italian American actor, comedian, and musician. The first film he starred in was the low-budget crime film "The Death Collector," 1976.
You may not remember The Death Collector, the 1976 film mafia film, but in many ways it’s the flashpoint for some of the most important gangster movies and TV shows of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s. Not only is this the first appearance of Joe Pesci, who’d been working as a barber and a live stage act throughout the later ‘60s and early ‘70s, but it’s also one of the earliest appearances of character actor Frank Vincent.
While the movie didn’t go anywhere, it was seen by Robert DeNiro who suggested to his pal Martin Scorsese that he use the duo in Raging Bull. The two would go on to appear in films like Goodfellas and Casino, forever altering the landscape of modern gangster cinema.
John Schneider, Catherine Bach and Tom Wopat in a promotional portrait.
Aha! Is there anyone cooler than the original cast of The Dukes of Hazzard? Schneider, Bach, and Wopat spent seven seasons together (with the exception of season five when some distant relatives showed up in Hazzard County) foiling the schemes of Boss Hogg and tearing around country back roads in the General Lee and Dixie, Daisy Duke's radical Jeep.
These three made it cool to wear denim and put your pedal to the metal, and even if you didn’t watch the show religiously, you know you tried to slide across the hood of your parent’s car at least once or twice.
Johnny Cash proposed to June Carter this month back in 1968.
Johnny Cash and June Carter first met in 1955 backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. At the time Cash was married to his first wife, Vivien, but that didn’t stop the Man in Black from falling head over heels with the young June Carter. Cash and his first wife divorced in 1966, and while on stage in London, Ontario Cash proposed to June.
On March 1, 1968 the two wed in Franklin, Kentucky. Even though Cash continued to live hard June stuck by her man and the two became true #relationship goals for every fan of outlaw country. The two stayed together until their respective deaths in 2003.
Just your typical K Mart store parking lot back in the '70s. Chances are you used to shop there too!
We’ve got a blue light special on aisle Groovy! Is there any department store that’s more embedded in the 1970s than K-Mart? It was truly the one place where you could get everything, from heavy flannel to snacks, and even a six pack of Tab. And if there’s one thing that we wish we could bring back from the greatest era of shopping it’s the in store music from this far out department store chain.
There was just something soothing about walking through the aisles of a K-Mart. Maybe it’s because you were bound to run into someone you knew from around town, or maybe it was just all the deals. Whatever the case, viva la K-Mart!
Prince was the opening act for The Rolling Stones in 1981.
Prince may be regarded as one of the defining rock acts of the 20th century, but in the early ‘80s he was still cutting his teeth and having to prove himself every night while opening for The Rolling Stones, then on the “American Tour 1981” to support their album “Tattoo You.” Stones fans were not in the mood to see Prince play and they actually booed the band off stage. Bassist Mark Brown remembers:
Next thing I noticed was food starting to fly through the air like a dark thunder cloud. Imagine 94,000 people throwing food at each other; it was the craziest thing I had ever seen in my life. I got hit in the shoulder with a bag of fried chicken; then my guitar got knocked out of tune by a large grapefruit that hit the tuning keys…
Thankfully things turned around for Prince and The Revolution.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1988.
Look at these funky, fresh faced, Southern California rockers. Before they were the kings of modern rock radio the Red Hot Chili Peppers were blending the aggressive sounds of punk rock with the virtuosity of funk and jazz to create their own blend of party rock music. The 1988 lineup of the group - Anthony Kiedes, Flea, Hill Slovak, and Jack Irons only recorded one album together - The Uplift Mofo Party Plan - but that record set the template for the rest of their career.
By the end of ’88 the Chili Peppers would no longer be the fresh faced youngsters that you see in this photo, with Irons leaving because of personal problems with the members and Slovak passing away due to drug abuse. That being said, it seems like nothing can slow down this band.
The cool and groovy Mr. Telly Savalas back in the 1970s.
Who loves Kojack, baby? Everybody. But did you know that Telly Savalas wasn’t just the coolest detective on the streets? Even though he spent 10 years as the bald, lollipop loving detective (first from 1973 - 1978 and again from 1985 - 1990) Savalas also appeared in the original Cape Fear and Birdman of Alcatraz for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.
If you were watching TV throughout the groovy decades of the ‘60s and ‘70s then you definitely saw Savalas on one of your favorite shows. Heck, he even had a number 1 single in the UK with a cover of Bread’s “If.”
The Irish-American actress and singer, Maureen O'Hara. O'Hara was a famous redhead who starred in the movie "Lady Godiva of Coventry," a 1955 American Technicolor historical drama film.
This fiery redhead may be from Ireland, but her roles in films like Rio Grande and The Quiet Man permanently ensconced her in the American West. It’s likely that many audience members didn’t even know O’Hara was actually from Ireland. While she played all kinds of characters, she was best when she was being a brassy broad, probably because that’s the kind of person she actually was.
In O’Hara’s autobiography Tis Herself, she discusses her many roles, but her most indicative quote comes from her thoughts on Comanche Territory. On page 131 she writes:
The film in which I mastered the American bullwhip. By the time the picture was over, I could snap a cigarette out of someone's mouth.
Christopher Walken, 1970s.
Even in the 1970s Christopher Walken had the intense stare of a man beyond his years. After working on the stage throughout the 1960s, Walken made a move to the silver screen in the early’70s where he continually worked as a supporting actor. Even though he wasn’t front and center in many of the films in which he appeared, Walken always made sure audiences remembered him.
Was it his unnatural good looks or the way in which he delivered his lines that turned him into a star? A combination of both? Maybe in the case of Christopher Walken it’s just best not to know and to go along for the ride.
Funny 1970s ad for Sony Higher-Fi components.
If you truly wanted to listen to tunes of the most hi-fi order in the 1970s this was the way to do it, with a killer reel to reel, a turntable, and a gnarly set of speakers. When it was time to play your music so loud that it made your neighbors headbang your only choice was to pick up some equipment from Sony.
Not only was Sony one of the few brands that you could trust back in the day, but their ads were funny, sharp, and they spoke to people who really liked to rock? Was this your set up? Or did you have something even better?
Model/actress Kelly LeBrock, 1980s...remember "Weird Science".
Thanks to movies like The Woman in Red and Weird Science, filmgoers across the world knew about Kelly LeBrock. However, by the time she appeared opposite Dudley Moore in 1984 she was already and international superstar thanks to her time modeling for Christian Dior and Eileen Ford. Even if you didn’t catch her film career, you definitely saw her on TV and in Pantene commercials doling out her catchphrase, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”
Do you have a favorite Kelly LeBrock role? Or are you more a fan of her modeling? Remember you little maniacs, there’s no wrong answer.
Wilt Chamberlain, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Andre the Giant on the set of "Conan the Destroyer."
It takes some big guys to make Arnold Schwarzenegger look like a shrimp, and they both happened to be on the set of Conan the Destroyer. During the filming of this movie Wilt the Stilt co-starred with Arnold as a royal bodyguard, while Andre made an uncredited appearance as the creature Dagoth.
Keep in mind that Schwarzenegger is 6’2 and this was when he was arguably at the peak of his physical prowess. It’s absolutely crazy that he looks so small in this photo, and it makes you wonder just what was in the water when Wilt and Andre were growing up.
A young and groovy Helen Mirren, 1960s.
Helen Mirren has always been cool. While most of us stateside first saw her perform in 1981’s Excalibur, this British actress has been popping up on the big screen since 1966 when she appeared in an uncredited performance as Penelope Squires in the comedy Press for Time. As her star began to rise throughout the late ‘60s and ‘70s she appeared on the stage in a variety of roles and even went on to appear in the absolutely bonkers movie Caligula in 1979.
She’s one of those actresses that’s always been around, so you definitely have a favorite film in which she appears. Now that you’re thinking about her, which one of her roles jumps out at you?
Sally Field back in 1977, the same time she met Burt Reynolds while filming “Smokey and the Bandit”
Even though Sally Field had been performing on television since 1965 when she starred as Gidget and the Flying Nun a year later, it wasn’t until her turn as Carrie in Smokey and the Bandit that she became America’s Sweetheart. Who else do you think could be so sweet on film while helping Burt Reynolds bring a truck load full of beer across state lines?
Supposedly the studio behind the film, Universal Pictures, wasn’t hot on Sally Fields because they didn't believe she was attractive enough for the role. However Burt Reynolds insisted that they cast her and the rest is movie history.
The Sophia Loren on the set of a film in the 1960s.
Sophia Loren has always been one of the most stylish women in film history. This Italian beauty has a timeless air about her that makes her feel as if she could exist in era. Whether she’s appearing alongside Gregory Peck or modeling at Heathrow airport, Loren always looks camera ready. When one thinks of classic Hollywood Loren inevitably comes to mind, even though she got her start in foreign film classics like Two Nights With Cleopatra.
It’s a testament to her beauty - and likely her skin care regimen - that Loren still looks gorgeous well into her 80s.
Tom Petty rockin' out on stage.
There has never been and never will be anyone as cool as Tom Petty. Even when Petty and his band, The Heartbreakers, were struggling to make ends meet throughout the late ‘70s they never stopped rocking. In 1976 the band released their first album and while it didn’t take off in America, the band was hailed as the second coming of The Beatles in England.
When discussing the band’s early tours of the UK, Petty said:
The audience just jumped up and charged the stage and were boogieing their brains out. It was such a rush. Wow, we had never seen anything like that, man.
Michelle Pfeiffer, 1988.
While it was tough for Pfeiffer to get roles at the onset of her career, by the time the late 1980s came around she was an actress who was in high demand. In 1988 alone Pfeiffer starred in the hilarious Married to the Mob, the thrilling Tequila Sunrise, and the BAFTA nominated Dangerous Liaisons. Producers may have been blah on Pfeiffer at the beginning of her career, but she definitely turned things around with her fiery performances.
Pfeiffer went on to wow audiences in the early ‘90s and even though she fell off a little as time went on, you can’t deny the amazing run she had throughout the ‘80s.
Phil Collins, 1965
Long before he could feel it coming in the air tonight (whatever “it” was), and even before he was drumming with prop-pop powerhouse Genesis, Phil Collins was actually a child actor all throughout the 1960s. He appeared as the Artful Dodger in Oliver!, the musical version of Oliver Twist, and he’s even in A Hard Day’s Night.
You have to look closely to find Collins in the film, but you can find him during the performance sections. Despite the fact that he was being cast regularly, Collins felt the call of Lady Rock and he started playing drums in various bands across London. In 1970 Collins joined Genesis and a rocket was strapped to his career.