Nostalgic Photos That Capture The Art Of Cool
By | August 18, 2022
Johnny Bench enjoying his victory after the Reds won the 1975 World Series, defeating the Boston Red Sox in a memorable 7-game World Series.
There aren't many things cooler than vintage muscle cars, action heroes, or the birth of the video gaming industry. Perhaps some old-school science fiction is more your style or maybe the pioneers of rock should be considered the kings of cool. What about the stars who brought some of the most iconic film and television shows to life? Collected here are images that depict the very essence of cool.
Pictured here is former professional Baseball catcher, Johnny Lee Bench. He played in the Major Leagues for the Cincinnati Reds from 1967 to 1983. On this particular day in 1975, the Reds won the World Series. Bench, who is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, is a 14-time All-Star selection and a two-time National League Most Valuable Player.
He was a key member of the Big Red Machine and ESPN has bestowed upon him the title of “the greatest catcher in baseball history." After winning six division titles, four National League pennants, and two World Series championships, it’s no wonder why. Cheers Bench! That was a cold one well deserved!
Jerry Hall, Debbie Harry, and Paloma Picasso sharing secrets at Studio 54, 1978.
Pictured here hanging out at Studio 54 is Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry, model Jerry Hall (known for her former relationship with Mick Jagger), and Paloma Picasso (yes, that Picasso).
Paloma Picasso, daughter of Pablo Picasso, is now a famous artist in her own right. She grew up to be quite the fashion designer and businesswoman. She’s best known for her signature perfumes and exquisite jewelry designs for Tiffany & Co.
Following the loss of her father in 1973, she briefly lost interest in designing and took a hiatus. During which she experimented with acting. She received praise from critics, no one could stop talking about her beauty but she hasn’t acted since.
Cher is the epitome of grooviness!
Pictured here is the Goddess of Pop back in 1974. Cherilyn Sarkisian has had one of the longest and most successful careers in the music industry; a career which has spanned more than fifty-four years and is still going. She is also an actress, author, producer, and philanthropist.
Cher has sold over 100 million records around the world and has also won an Academy Award, Billboard Music Awards, an Emmy, numerous Golden Globe awards, a Grammy and she’s BAFTA and AMA nominated. Cher has been honored on numerous occasions for her humanitarian, charity, and philanthropic work. This year, she will be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
California Dreamin - cruising around in a cool Mustang GT on Van Nuys Boulevard back in 1972.
Cruising Van Nuys Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, is a favorite pastime for many. This slice of automotive history depicts some cool cats of 1972 with this hot Mustang GT. The 1970s really was a golden era for the automotive industry. The cars to come out of this decade are iconic.
The Mustang created a new class of automobiles known as the pony car. Its overall styling not only proved to be popular with consumers but also inspired a host of competition.
Farrah Fawcett as Holly in the 1976 film, Logan's Run.
Pictured here is Farrah Fawcett-Majors as Holly in the 1976 film, Logan’s Run. The film depicts an idyllic sci-fi future that unfortunately has one major drawback: life must end at the age of 30. While she was playing a supporting role, the talented and naturally athletic beauty had her first real taste of major success because of this film. She gave such an impressive performance in Logan’s Run, that she caught the eye of major television producer Aaron Spelling. He was smitten by her and knew she’d be perfect in the TV series Charlie's Angels (1976). The show became the most popular series on television almost immediately. These two back-to-back iconic projects really launched Fawcett’s career.
And Your Bird Can Sing! John Lennon and Paul McCartney hanging out with a parrot on Mad Day Out in 1968.
The Jackson 5 and parents striking a Brady Bunch-like pose at home in 1971 for LIFE Magazine.
This photo, which was shot for LIFE magazine in 1971, features The Jackson 5 and their parents striking a Brady Bunch-like pose at home. There was also another photo taken that day of the Brady kids and the Jackson kids shaking hands. In the Brady Bunch, they formed their own family musical group, much like the Jacksons.
After the Jackson Five parted ways, all nine siblings pursued solo careers but Janet and Michael were the ones who saw real continued success as solo artists. Their icon status is what led the Jacksons to become known as the "Royal Family of Pop".
The Jackson 5 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Michael was inducted as a solo artist as well in 2001. The Jacksons, along with Michael and Janet (as solo artists), all received stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Angie and David Bowie pushing their baby, Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones in a stroller. Can you tell who is who? (1971)
Here we have music legend David Bowie and his wife, the model Angie Bowie taking a leisurely stroll with their baby, Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones snug in his pram.
Little Duncan Zowie has grown up to be a film director, producer, and screenwriter. Currently, he’s best known for his work as the director of the film Moon (2009), for which he earned the BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer. Since then he has also added Source Code (2011) and Warcraft (2016) to his resume.
Anne Bancroft presented Sidney Poitier the Oscar for Best Actor in Lilies of the Field, 1964
On April 13, 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first African American to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his performance in Lilies of the Field (1963). The trailblazer consistently refused to take on the stereotypical roles offered to him based on his ethnicity. He wanted serious, prominent, and even challenging roles. He wanted roles he could bring to life because of his immense talent, not simply because of his skin color. He soon became America’s first prominent black film star.
In 1974, Poitier was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. From 1997 to 2007, he served as the Bahamian ambassador to Japan. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 and in 2016, he was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship for outstanding lifetime achievement in film.
Backstage fun with Joan Jett and members of Cheap Trick. (1978)
Pictured here is rocker Joan Jett hanging out backstage with members of Cheap Trick back in 1978. Cheap Trick had just released their debut album in 1977 and their second album In Color, which was released later that year, found much success in Japan. It wasn’t until 1979 when the band finally achieved mainstream popularity in the United States with their breakthrough album Cheap Trick at Budokan. Over the course of their career, Cheap Trick has toured consistently, playing over 5,000 shows. In 2016, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.
Eddie Van Halen doing this thing onstage back in 1979.
In addition to being the co-founder of Van Halen, which is one of the most popular American hard rock bands, Edward Van Halen is considered one of the greatest and most influential guitarists in the entire history of rock music. In 2011, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Van Halen number eight on the list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists back in 2011. Then, he was voted number one in a Guitar World magazine reader's poll for "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time," in 2012.
Goodyear developed a tire in 1961 using mounted light bulbs in the wheel rim to make them glow in the dark, but it never went into production.
It was in the early 1960s when Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. decided to get their ‘cool’ on. They began developing what they referred to as ”the tire of tomorrow.” Goodyear scientists experimented by developing a translucent model with tiny light bulbs mounted inside the wheel rim.
They poured dyed compounds of Neothane synthetic rubber into special molds and heated molasses-like batches to 250 degrees. With synthetic rubber, they could dye the tires any color. Engineers ended up installing 18 tiny bulbs on each rim so the wheels would shine in the dark and wiring devices supplied electricity to create a glow.
It was all controlled by the driver with a switch inside the car. The control could make the tires blink individually or together.
Here's Elvis when he was stationed in Germany with the US Army. He served in Company C, a scout platoon, from 1958-1960.
It was on March 24, 1958, when the King, Elvis Aron Presley entered the United States Army. He then spent three days at the Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, Reception Station. He left active duty at Fort Dix, New Jersey, on March 5, 1960, and received his discharge from the Army Reserve on March 23, 1964.
He then went through basic and advanced training and ended up serving as a member of two different armor battalions during his active military career. Presley was sent overseas to serve as a member of the 1st Medium Tank Battalion, 32nd Armor in Germany from October 1, 1958, until March 2, 1960.
Jeepers creepers! A frowning Brigitte Bardot surrounded by a group of leering men in Rome. (1960)
The French model, actress, and singer was the original blonde bombshell who began her days in the arts as a dancer. From a very young age, Brigitte was an aspiring ballerina and very dedicated to her craft. At the age of seven she was enrolled at the Cours Hattemer private school and only attended three days a week; the other three days she spent in dance lessons at Madame Bourget’s dance studio. Perhaps this is where all her seemingly effortless grace comes from. Brigitte Bardot’s style, grace, immense talent, and passion for animal rights, have heavily influenced culture as a whole.
Jimi Hendrix behind the camera as he films Janis Joplin backstage. (1968)
Here we have two of rock and roll’s greats, both of whom performed at Woodstock, and both of whom died of accidental drug overdoses within a week of each other at just 27 years old.
This particular moment in time was captured backstage at Winterland in 1968. Both artists released live albums that were shot in the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.
Live at Winterland is exactly what it sounds like, an album that was recorded live by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It consists of three performances held at the Winterland.
Live at Winterland '68 is an album by Janis Joplin, recorded at the Winterland Ballroom on April 12th and 13th, 1968, and April 13, 1968. Hers includes live renditions of songs from their studio albums.
Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon on The Tonight Show in 1962 - the year Johnny made his debut as host.
It was in 1962 that Johnny Carson took over for Jack Paar as host of the late-night talk program The Tonight Show. Each episode would kick off with Carson’s sidekick Ed McMahon announcing “Heeere’s Johnny!”
The dapper Carson would then perform an opening monologue of jokes, followed by some witty banter with McMahon and the show’s bandleader Doc Severinsen. There were skits performed such as Carnac the Magnificent, an “all-knowing seer,” and the elderly Aunt Blabby.
Carson would then conduct celebrity interviews with the biggest stars, politicians, comedians, singers, and even animal acts. Carson went on to host The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson for three decades, becoming one of the biggest figures in entertainment in the 20th century.
Kurt Russell and his stunt double together while filming "Escape From New York" in 1980.
Pictured here are Kurt Russell and his lookalike stunt double while working on Escape From New York back in 1980. Richard Warlock didn’t just double for Russell in this film, he was actually Kurt Russell's personal stunt double for over 25 years, collaborating with iconic directors such as Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter. Stuntman Richard Warlock is also best known for donning that pale, rubber William Shatner mask as horror icon Michael Myers in Halloween II.
Warlock was very active in the industry from 1964 until his retirement in 2002. He settled down in Kingsport, Tennessee with his family. He has two sons, Billy Warlock and Lance Warlock, and one daughter, Rhonda.
Lee Majors with Farrah Fawcett and ladies on The Six Million Dollar Man. (1974)
Here we have Lee Majors as Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man alongside some lovely ladies… one of which was his wife at the time, the iconic Farrah Fawcett. Billed as Farrah Fawcett Majors, she played Major Kelly Wood in the 1974 episode called "Rescue of Athena One."
The plot summary is as follows, “Steve Austin has been assigned to train America's first female astronaut Major Kelly Wood. On her maiden flight, a sudden explosion damages the Athena 1 and injures Kelly's co-pilot, Osterman. Austin heads the rescue team and follows her up to Skylab, only to find his bionic replacements malfunctioning in outer space.”
May the 'farce' be with you! Eric Idle, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford clowning around, 1978.
Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford were both experienced actors at the time, being featured in the Star Wars movie series. Their friend, Eric Idle, was still newly established as a comedian but would become an icon for Monty Python.
Hamill is still best known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy and he reprised the role in 2015 with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He’s also voiced characters in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Regular Show, Uncle Grandpa, and Justice League Action. He's worked on The Flash television series and a bunch of video games including Lego Dimensions, Batman Arkham Knight, and Lego Marvel's Avengers.
As for Harrison Ford, the man is a legend on many levels. He's landed so many amazing roles in iconic films; Star Wars, Witness, Patriot Games, Indiana Jones, Blade Runner, American Graffiti…. and he’s still going.
Mike Nesmith and Frank Zappa switched roles as each other on a Monkees episode, The Monkees Blow Their Minds. (1967)
In the episode titled, "The Monkees Blow Their Minds," Frank Zappa and Mike Nesmith switch roles on each other. The plot: “Peter walks into The Great Oracullo's House of Mysteries for inspiration and is turned into a psychic slave by way of a cup of tea. Oracullo wants to headline at The Cassandra instead of the Monkees and use Peter in his act, simultaneously ruining the Monkees' chances of getting the gig.”
The Monkees aired from 1966 to 1968. The group consisted of Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Davy Jones. For the first few months of their initial five-year career as "The Monkees", they were given limited roles in the recording studio. But they fought and eventually earned the right to collectively supervise all musical output under the band's name. Even after the sitcom was canceled in 1968, the band continued to record music through 1971.
Odd Couple! Gene Simmons posing with a 13-year-old Brooke Shields at a Blondie party in 1979.
Here we have a photo of Gene Simmons of KISS and Brooke Shields, then 13, posing together at a party in Beverly Hills, back in 1979. Shields was a model and child actress at the time, famous for taking on some pretty controversial roles in films like Pretty Baby, Blue Lagoon, and the cult classic Alice, Sweet Alice.
Gene Simmons, on the other hand, was known as “The Demon” of the rock band KISS. He also became a record producer, entrepreneur, actor, and television personality. But at this party in Beverly Hills, their two very different worlds collided and as you can see, it was a good time!
One of the first supermodels in the 60's and 70's, Countess Vera von Lehndorff-Steinort, also known as Veruschka.
Countess Vera von Lehndorff-Steinort, also known as Veruschka, was an actress, model, and artist, who was very popular during the 1960s. While in Florence, she was discovered by photographer Ugo Mulas and became a full-time model.
Veruschka reigned supreme as the girl with the most covers. She appeared on the cover of Life Magazine's August 1967 issue and on the cover of all four major Vogue magazines' in American, Italian, French, and British versions (multiple times) throughout the 1960s. She worked with Salvador Dalí and photographer Peter Beard. At her peak, she was making as much as $10,000 a day.
Pictures of You - U.S. soldier with pictures of his lady back home on his helmet in 1968.
This photograph was taken on May 1, 1968, during the Vietnam War. Stationed in Cu Chi, South Vietnam, this American soldier misses his girlfriend so much that his helmet band is filled with her photograph. No doubt her photograph served as a touchstone for him, providing comfort in those terrifying times.
All of the soldiers sent to war would have benefited from some source that provided a constant reminder of home and all they had to stay strong and alive for. Meanwhile, back home in the states, an entire generation was protesting the conflict and demanding the safe return of the young Americans sent over.
Sophia Costanza Brigida Villani Scicolone, aka Sophia Loren, began her film career in 1950 at age 15. She credits her beauty to spaghetti...
"Everything you see I owe to spaghetti," the curvaceous Italian beauty once said. While it’s true she got her start as a teen back in the 1950s, she only had small, unmemorable bit parts. It wasn’t until her performance as Cesira in Vittorio De Sica's Two Women that Loren's talents were fully recognized.
The role ended up earning her the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1962. This made her the first artist to win an Oscar for a foreign-language performance. She has worked hard to maintain her unique beauty over six decades in the entertainment industry, appearing in almost 100 film and TV roles.
The Green Hornet & Kato chewing Super Bubble Bubble Gum. (1966)
Here we have a slice of late-1960s television goodness. The Green Hornet was a single-season television series that aired from 1966–1967. It starred Van Williams as the Green Hornet/Britt Reid and Bruce Lee as his buddy Kato who handled all the tough stuff. The show only lasted 26 episodes before ABC canceled it.
Originally the star of a radio series back in the 1930s until the 1950s, The Green Hornet was also adapted into movie serials and comic books, in addition to being included in crossover specials. Van Williams and Bruce Lee have both made cameo appearances as the Green Hornet and Kato in the Batman TV series.
This 1968 photo of Jim Morrison was taken by Paul Ferrara at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
Pictured here is Jim Morrison, chilling out at the Griffith Observatory. Morrison’s fame skyrocketed after his mysterious death at the age of 27 – the curse of the 27-Club claiming yet another rock star. On record, an overdose is to blame, however, no autopsy was ever performed.
This shot of the moody, often stoned frontman of The Doors, was taken by Paul Ferrara, the photographer credited with the most iconic images of Morrison. Ferrara is also credited with the cover photograph of The Doors album Waiting for the Sun. He also directed Jim Morrison's 1969 film HWY: An American Pastoral.
Tom Petty sporting rock star sunglasses in 1976.
Pictured here is a young Thomas Earl Petty rocking some seriously cool 70s sunglasses. Petty was the lead singer and songwriter of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in addition to being a co-founder of the late 1980s supergroup The Traveling Wilburys.
The multi-instrumentalist has recorded numerous number 1 hit singles both as a solo artist and with The Heartbreakers. Throughout his long and wildly successful career, Tom Petty sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2001. Tragically, Petty passed away recently, in October of 2017 after having suffered from cardiac arrest.
Who had one of these bad boys back in 1977
Nothing invokes a sense of nostalgia like retro toys. Check out this beauty from Mattel. It’s their 1977 handheld electronic football. The Mattel Electronics handhelds or “pocket” games were a series of computer-controlled games that you could take on the go.
Milton Bradley’s Simon had just proven to be a huge success, so not too long after, Mattel decided to make their electronic game launch debut with devices that would fit in the palm of your hands. They initially only made 100,000 units and released them through Sears. By 1978, they were selling an astounding 500,000 units a week. The word success is an understatement.