Nostalgic Portraits Almost Lost In History
Sally Field in the late 1960s.
Life was different in the Groovy Era. In the middle of the 20th century there was a change in the way that people were thinking. Some people went back to nature, some hit the open road, and others expressed themselves through breathtaking artistic ventures. Through these nostalgic photos we can relive the greatest moments of the ‘50s ’60s and ‘70s with stars like Marilyn Monroe, Ozzy Osbourne, and Paul Newman, just to name a few.
You’ll see celebrities like Sofia Loren trying out new hairstyles next to witchy television stars, and bearded drummers working on solo albums. We hope you’re ready to spend the day in our little time machine, remembering what it was like when everything was a little more Groovy. Let’s go!
Sally Field is one of those actresses who’s taken the audience though the best decades. While the nature of her work has changed, and she’s flitted between television and film, she’s always got a confidence and grace that lets her fans know that she’s in charge. Whether she’s a flying nun, or a Southern California goofball, her work is always effortless and fun.
In the ‘60s Field starred in shows like Gidget and The Flying Nun, however she felt that she was being typecast with these kinds of roles. Rather than moan about it, she studied at the Actor’s Studio and chased interesting roles throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s. Because of this, we really, really like her.
Leonard Nimoy posing in front of his '64 Buick Riviera.
When you look back at the cast of the original Star Trek it’s clear that in spite of Kirk’s bravado or the irascibility of Bones, that Spock was the coolest member of the crew. The same goes for Leonard Nimoy, a guy who managed to turn a couple of pointy ears and strange eyebrows into more than an odd fashion choice.
Nimoy was the backbone of Star Trek throughout the show’s criminally underwatched three seasons, and according to his autobiography he was always working on something new even when he was stuck on set. Even though Leonard Nimoy beamed away from Earth for the last time, his memory will always live long and prosper.
Janis Joplin in the studio, 1967.
In the late ‘60s Janis Joplin was a hit of the San Francisco psychedelic rock scene. Her bluesy vocals made her one of the most exciting singers of the era, and she could most usually be seen jamming with Big Brother and the Holding Company. Even though Joplin was shot in the arm for the band, their first album wasn’t an instant success and the band became road dogs for much of ’68.
However prior to that, Joplin’s time in the studio with the group amounted to her arrangement of standards that the band would perform, and creating intense vocals that would go on to inspire a generation of blues-rock singers.
The late, great comedian John Candy in 1972.
Before he was one of the most prominent comedic performers of the ‘80s and ‘90s, John Candy was just a young man studying at McMaster University in Ontario Canada. At the young age of 22 Candy was already appearing in small roles on film and television in Canada, although it would another four years before he received his big break in 1976 with SCTV.
Candy’s early roles were as a weatherman on a Canadian children’s show called Cucumber, and as “Richie” in Dr. Simon Locke. Its in these roles that Candy learned how to become a part of team, strengthening the production from the inside out
This photo pretty much sums up what was rad if you were a teenage boy in 1985
Everything about this photo, from the rad pink bike to the ‘80s era converse, and the short shorts let you know that this kid was the coolest around. How many of you remember tooling around on your BMX during summer break, the wind blowing through your mullet as you slurped down soda on your way to the arcade? The only thing this kid is missing is a Walkman with some seriously rockin’ tunes.
Bikes like these were a must have in the ‘80s, and the more garish the color the cooler they were. What color was your bike? Did you and your friends mix and match? Or was there one that everyone in your crew adhered to?
Who remembers the super strong redheaded little girl and her adventures, Pippi Longstocking? A Swedish TV series
In 1969 one of the strangest, yet somehow endearing television shows premiered on Swedish television. Pippi Longstocking is very Scandinavian, but somehow the wild and weird world of this red headed girl with super strength translated to worldwide audiences. A lot of that had to do with the portrayal of the character by Inger Nilsson
Nilsson was able to translate the character’s madcap sensibilities to an audience that didn’t speak Swedish, and even when she was dubbed her body language really did most of the work. If you haven’t seen the show in a while, it’s a real weird trip.
Debbie Harry in 1968.
Born in Miami, Florida in 1945, Debbie Harry was adopted at three months old and moved to Hawthorne, New Jersey. In the mid-60s she studied art at Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey before moving to New York to begin her career as a singer. Her first singing gig was as a back up singer for The Wind in the Willows, a folk group who released an album on Capital Records.
This photo is definitely from Harry’s time in The Wind in the Willows, and she’d yet to adopt her signature bleached blonde look. It’s interesting to imagine what a folkie Blondie would have been like.
14 year-old David Jones (Bowie) in 1961.
David Bowie has always looked like David Bowie, even before he was blowing out minds as an outer space rockstar or a thin white duke. The young space oddity was born in Brixton, but he moved with his family to Bromley at a young age and began performing in music and movement classes at the Burnt Ash Junior School.
However his only love wasn’t dance, and he qucikly began learning to play piano, bass, and baritone saxophone. He’d use all of these talents in his following career, although the saxophone would play the most prominent role on many of his albums.
Marilyn Monroe Gets Ready To Go On The Air, 1952
To go from working in a factory to being one of the biggest stars on the planet has to take some getting used to. In 1952 Monroe was still figuring out how to be a star, and she hadn’t even reached the peak of her career yet. At the time she was appearing in films for RKO and MGM, with her most prominent role being that of Angela in The Asphalt Jungle.
At the same time, Monroe was also keen to appear on the radio. She regularly appeared on a show hosted by Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis where she played a ditzy version of herself while hamming it up with members of the Rat Pack.
Ann-Margret consults with costume designer Don Feld about her wardrobe in the movie, "Viva Las Vegas" 1963.
Can we get a round of applause for the style of the early ‘60s? Black jeans and sweaters are truly always so cool. According to director George Sidney, Viva Las Vegas had to be rushed into production, and because of that there wasn’t a script. However, he knew that he had Elvis and he had Ann-Margret, so he and writer Sally Benson took 11 days to write the movie. Sidney claimed:
Originally it was something about an Arabian or something... But we turned it around and we wrote the script in about eleven days... We changed the whole thing and decided to do it in Las Vegas.
Tommy Lee and Heather Locklear in 1985, Prior To Their Marriage
When these two bright young stars met they were both at the top of their game and in their early 20s. Tommy Lee was at the height of his career with Mötley Crüe. The band had just released “Theatre of Pain,” an album that cemented the band as the flag-bearers of hair metal, and Locklear was starring in Dynasty, one of the premiere prime time sitcoms of the day.
According to the rock star it was love at first sight between these two. Lee and Locklear tied the knot on May 10, 1986, a year after they first met. At the time Lee said, “I think we'll be the coolest grandma and grandpa in the world.” The couple divorced in 1993.
Tom Cruise and Sean Penn on the set of “Taps” (1981)
Taps, the military drama set at the Bunker Hill Military Academy isn’t just a timeless coming of age film, but it’s an introduction to some of the most famous actors of the late 20th century. Not only does the film feature Tom Cruise and Sean Penn - each of them on their way to becoming some of the biggest stars on the planet - but it also features one Mr. Giancarlo Esposito, although you most likely know him as Gus from Breaking Bad.
Initially, Cruise was only meant to play a background actor, however his role was beefed up during rehearsals by the director who enjoyed the way the actor handled himself around the rest of the cast.
A very 'kool' KISS costume at the Halloween parade in West Village, New York. (1978)
Whoa, this is one cool kid. By 1977 the band that rock and rolled all night and partied every day managed to rock so hard that they were suddenly a four quadrant band - they appealed to everyone. While long haired heavy metalers were into the band’s riffs, kids glommed onto the theatrical aspects of the band. They loved the makeup, the fire breathing, and crazy characters.
Halloween 1978 was full of looks like this, with kids doing their best Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley impressions while they went on the hunt for candy through their neighborhoods. Hopefully this kid had a few friends so he could fill out the rest of the band!
Eddie Van Halen And Michael Jackson Chill In The Studio While Recording "Beat It"
Michael Jackson knew he had a hit on his hands with “Beat It.” How could he not? At that point everything he touched turned to gold (or platinum), but he needed something to take the song to the next level. He wanted a solo by the greatest living guitar player, Eddie Van Halen. The guitarist was riding high at the time with a string of hit albums, and he performed the solo for free but he had a few terms.
Van Halen insisted that he would never be credited for the solo because he didn’t want other members of Van Halen to find out, he didn’t need to be paid because it was a favor (all he wanted was a case of beer), he asked for Michael to “teach him how to dance.” What a rad dude.
Lovely Lea Thompson as 'Lorraine Baines' in "Back to the Future" -1985.
Lea Thompson is truly one of the only actresses who can pull off the classic ‘50s teeny bopper look as well as the harried style of a mother in the ‘80s, and a casino queen in an alternate future (not to mention her Wild West counterpart). She was initially hired for Back to the Future because she had chemistry with Eric Stoltz (the original Marty McFly), but after he was removed from the cast they kept her on.
Thompson had her fair share of trials while working on the film, however they were mostly makeup based. It took her three and a half hours every day to apply her old age makeup for the beginning of the film.
ZZ Top hanging out by the ice machine, 1970.
Before they were cruising through MTV in the Eliminator, ZZ Top were just a trio of Texas boys who were trying to find their sound. The band was formed in 1969 by Billy Gibbons, but the final line up wasn’t solidified until early 1970 when drummer Frank Beard and bassist Dusty Hill joined him in Houston. That year they immediately threw themselves into performing and signed with London Records. They played everywhere they could in order to tighten up, and since they’re still together you can say it paid off. Guitarist Billy Gibbons explained how that informed the recording of their first record:
We had been together for about six months and were knocking around the bar scene, playing all the usual funky joints. We took the studio on as an extension of the stage show. The basics were all of us playing together in one room, but we didn't want to turn our backs on contemporary recording techniques. To give our sound as much presence and support as possible, we became a little more than a three piece with the advantages of overdubbing. It was the natural kind of support – some rhythm guitar parts, a little bit of texture. That was about it.
A young daredevil performing a stunt on his bike in 1972
Now this is a seriously cool kid. In the ‘70s everyone wanted to be a dare devil, and that meant getting all your friends together to build ramps, act as props, and participate as at the audience. There’s something special about this picture in particular. Not only does the little Evel Knievel have his very own fan club, but it looks like his dad - or someone’s dad - is watching from the stoop.
This is one of those photos that shows the best part of growing up in the 1970s, an era when you had to go outside and make your own fun, even if that fun was a little dangerous.
A brunette Elizabeth Montgomery, 1961
Before she was twiddling her nose on Bewitched and making trouble for her husband, Elizabeth Montgomery was doing everything she could to be a successful actress. She worked on the stage throughout the ‘50s, and in the ‘60s she transitioned to taking guest spots on television shows. She appeared on everything from The Twilight Zone, to Burke’s Law, and even Boris Karloff’s Thriller.
However the work that garnered her the most praise was her performance as Rusty Heller, the nightclub performer on an episode of The Untouchables. This role nabbed her an Emmy nomination and showed producers that she had something special.
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford take a break while filming, 1977.
Filmed on location in Tunisia and at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, the young cast of A New Hope bonded over jet setting around the world while portraying space pirates and intergalactic queens. At the time they had no idea that they were filming one of the most game changing films ever committed to celluloid, and you can see the youthful nativity on their faces.
Speaking with The Guardian, Mark Hamill says that during the filming of A New Hope he had a crush on Fisher but only acted it on his feelings once:
Carrie and I were attracted to one another, but I knew from previous jobs that it would have been a bad idea [to get involved with someone on set]. But Carrie and I found pretexts. I remember one time – I’m sure alcohol was involved – we were talking about kissing techniques. I said: ‘Well, I think I’m a fairly good kisser. I like to let the women come to me rather than be aggressive.’ And she said: ‘What do you mean?’ Well, next thing you know we’re making out like teenagers!
John Belushi at the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink for a skit on "Saturday Night Live" in 1975.
The first recurring gag on Saturday Night Live dates back to the show’s inaugural season when the Not Ready For Primetime Players donned killer bee costumes and made a lot of puns about honey, queens, and stinging. Somehow John Belushi managed to make this ridiculous costume look cool. Anyone else wearing a bee costume and a weird spring thing would look silly, but not Belushi.
Maybe it’s just the fact that he’s cool, or maybe he has the face of a guy who’d just as rather wear a bee costume than anyone else. It’s hard to tell, but either way this picture definitely makes us think we can pull off a bee costume.
Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange in the remake of the movie "King Kong" -1976.
Before he was The Dude and before she was on American Horror Story, they were both on the run from the biggest ape in cinema history in the 1976 remake of King Kong. At the time of her casting, Lange had never been in a film or done any acting at all. She was actually a fashion model in New York but producer Dino De Laurentiis saw something in her and went with his gut.
Even though people were concerned about the way Kong’s suit looked, and the constant bickering between the film’s director and the producers, the film went onto be a huge hit. King Kong tripled its budget and went on to tie with Logan’s Run for Best Visual Effects at the Academy Awards in 1977.
Clint Eastwood taking a break on the set of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" 1966.
The trilogy of films that ends with The Good, The Bad, The Ugly is arguably one of the greatest series of westerns to ever grace the big screen, and a lot of that is thanks to Clint Eastwood. In his role as the Man with No Name, Eastwood embodies a kind of cynicism that was omnipresent in the late ‘60s.
Even though this is one of the break out films of Eastwood’s early career, he still had to be convinced to appear in the movie. Before filming the movie, director Sergio Leone traveled to California to offer the actor the role, but Eastwood would only film for $250,000 and a 10 percent stake in the film’s North American earnings. Considering that the movie made $25 million at the box office, that’s a lot of bread.
Bombshell Marilyn Monroe Draped In A Sweater
Even though her time in the spotlight was brief - she was only super famous for about nine or ten years - Monroe made an indelible mark on Hollywood. Not only did she bring in a wave of beautiful blondes who all had a breathy voice and a bubbly onscreen personality, but she also became one of the first mega stars who was splashed across newspapers.
There had been tabloid stars before Monroe, but her popularity was an entirely new breed. For Monroe this was a nightmare. She simply wanted to be taken seriously as an actress. She trained at the Strasberg institute and found truth in her work, but by 1963 she passed away due to an overdose.
1970 wrought iron VW Beetle.
Now this is the grooviest thing we’ve seen in a long time. The wrought iron VW bug is one of those pieces of history that could really only exist in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when folks were able to use their imaginations to playfully change the way their favorite products looked and functioned. While you wouldn’t want to drive this car in the rain, it’s perfect for a spring day.
The wrought iron VW Bug was initially designed as a sign for a car shop and it was built by a blacksmith who modeled the design from an actual VW Beetle. After the bones were built, the blacksmith then filled in the skeleton with an array of metal swirls. It’s truly a groovy sight.
Grace Slick and Janis Joplin, 1967.
Even though they were the queen bees of the San Francisco psychedelic rock scene, Grace Slick and Janis Joplin were rare photographed together. And it’s believed that the few photos of them hanging out were actually taken by Jim Marshall. According to the photographer:
That morning I went over to Grace's house and then had to pick up Janis. Janis wasn't in the mood to do any pictures that day, but I begged her and she came along. Everyone always thought there was a huge rivalry between Janis and Grace, but they were dear friends. This is the only time they were photographed together, and by the end of the session, we were all getting pretty silly and clowning around.
Vincent Price and Alice Cooper up to no good in 1978.
Even though it might seem weird for these two to be hanging out, with Price being a B-Movie star and Cooper being a shock rock menace, they’re actually very similar. Both were committed to putting on a show for their fans, and they were each obsessed with living a macabre life to match their dual creative output.
Price worked with Cooper on the 1975 track “The Black Widow” where the star added a monologue to the track. As different as these two stars were, it turns out that they were just a couple of spooky peas in a pod. And by pod we mean coffin.
Linda Ronstadt Preparing To Roar At The Wisconsin Music Festival, 1970s
Linda Ronstadt is one of those artists who’s done more, sang more, and achieved more than you’ve ever thought possible. And she’s done it all while so many other artists have fallen by the wayside. She’s been rocking since the late ‘60s when she and the Stone Poneys scored a big hit with “Different Drum,” a song that’s definitely stuck in your head right now.
In 1970 Ronstadt was just going solo. At the time she was being touted as a new kind of country singer, and her backing band included members of another band that was a “new kind of country,” The Eagles.
Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, DeForest Kelley and James Doohan at the first space shuttle showing in 1976.
When NASA rolled out their Enterprise shuttle in 1976 they did so with the blessing of some of the most famous crew members of the ship’s namesake. Nimoy, Takes, Kelley, and Doohan were joined by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry at the unveiling of this shuttle. This isn’t the only time that the Star Trek crew showed up for NASA.
According to the government outfit’s website, these fine fellows showed up to plenty of NASA special events and they even lent a hand when it came time to do a little promotion for the agency. They're boldly promoting where no one has promoted before.
Al Pacino on the set of "Scarface" -1983.
Even though 1983’s Scarface takes place in Miami, the film was mostly shot in Los Angeles as a way to avoid problems with wild Floridian locals who weren’t keen on a movie about the cocaine craze taking over their streets. One of the biggest landmarks in the film, Tony’s house, may look like its firmly ensconced in Miami, but it’s actually in Santa Barbara.
The crew only spent 12 days filming in Miami, and according to director Brian De Palma the production was run out of the city on a rail. While many of the exterior shots were definitely filmed in Miami, everything else is either on location in California or in a sound stage.
Sophia Loren even makes a green wig look amazing in 1969.
By 1969 Sofia Loren had already been a star on the international stage for close to two decades. She first made waves in 1951 as a minor character in the Italian film Era lui... sì! sì! Throughout the early ‘50s she continued turning heads in small roles, but her international breakout came in 1953’s Aida and the following year’s The Gold of Naples.
Over a decade later Loren was sitting on the top of the Hollywood A-list. She had an Academy Award for her role in Two Women and she was the recipient of a million dollar payday. Going into the ‘70s she was ready to make the decade hers.
An airline ad featuring a delicious meal from the 1960s.
What’s the deal with airplane food? Why don’t we have the luxury of munching on some fresh fruit and tasty cheese the way these travelers were in the 1960s? Many planes in the ‘60s had menus that you’d be hard pressed to find in some today’s best restaurants. Not only was making food for an airline seen as a huge success for chefs, but flying was a luxury, and people expected a meal for their trip.
Many of the best in flight meals made the plane feel like a party in they sky, and even though people weren’t cutting loose, the meals made it feel like a fancy dance was going to break out at any moment.
Jayne Mansfield standing beside "Miss Hollywood" in 1957
After the success of Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood wanted to capitalize on her popularity so the studios brought in every blonde bombshell that they could. Jayne Mansfield knew that her time in the spotlight was limited so she made the most of it. She starred in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw.
Mansfield went onto host a successful nightclub act after he star waned in the 1960s. However, her life was cut short by an auto accident in 1967 while she and her family were on their way to an engagement in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Who remembers wearing bodysuits in the 1970s?
In the ‘70s disco was on the airwaves, roller skates were on our feet and bodysuits were strapped to our bodies. While these leotards were initially a must have for working out, they quickly became an athleisure staple for women across America. There were bodysuits for every kind of person, whether you liked a classic black or a cool floral print.
Even though these one piece outfits seem simple, they were a major fashion statement, with women wearing them everywhere, especially on the dance floor. By the mid-‘70s clothing creators Danskin and Capezio started making one pieces specifically for going out and getting down in the club.
Cast of "The Witches of Eastwick" 1987.
When it came time to adapt The Witches of Eastwick from John Updike’s novel it seemed like everything was going to go smoothly, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Not only was Cher put through the wringer for her age, but director George Miller was constantly fighting with the producers over the budget. Miller eventually quit the production twice over issues with the studio. He told The Hollywood Reporter:
There was some of the producers were very chaotic in their thinking. And, if it wasn't for Jack Nicholson — it kind of got crazy. There was no purpose to [things]. The first mistake I made was, I sat down at a production meeting and they said, like we always do in these production meetings, ‘OK, where can we cut the budget?’ And I said, ‘Oh, I don't need a trailer,’ because I'm never in the trailer. I'm either with the actors or I'm on the set. Back in Australia, we'd done the Mad Max movies. I never had a trailer, because we're out there, just into something. Now that would make sense. I had always been one of the producers on the film. But that was code to them that, ‘Oh, this guy's negotiable on everything.’
Tom Hanks, 1980.
Before he was the world’s favorite dad, a Biblical detective, and the greatest host of Saturday Night Live to ever tread the boards, Tom Hanks was just a struggling actor trying to make it through the day. After studying theater throughout the ‘70s, Hanks got his first roles in at the end of the decade, but in 1980 things really started to take off for him in a big way.
In 1980 his feature He Know’s You’re Alone was released, and he starred in the television movie Mazes and Monsters, both have gone onto be cult classics and interesting starts in the career of a man who would become one of our most beloved performers.
Barbara Eden in the '70s.
Throughout the ‘60s Barbra Eden played Jeannie, the magical main character of the delightful sitcom I Dream of Jeannie. However at the end of the decade she was at a crossroads. The first few years of the ‘70s were spent filming unaired pilots and working on drama which weren’t her forty, but in 1974 she established her own production company and began creating shows and movies just for her.
In 1978 she starred in Harper Valley PTA, based on the song of the same name. In the movie Eden played Stella Johnson, a makeup saleswoman who takes on the snobbish members of her daughter’s PTA board. The film was so successful that it spawned a hit TV show, putting Eden back on top.
Black Sabbath backstage at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan. (1976)
The “Technical Ecstasy” Tour was the next to last tour that Black Sabbath would undertake with Ozzy Osbourne, and on November 26, 1976 the band absolutely rocked Detroit. With a set list that covered all of their albums to that point, the band was in tip top shape even if they were in the middle of an internal struggle with Osbourne.
While recording “Technical Ecstasy” Osbourne was already thinking about leaving the group. He wrote in his autobiography:
I'd even had a T-shirt made with 'Blizzard of Ozz' written on the front. Meanwhile, in the studio, Tony (Iommi) was always saying, 'We've gotta sound like Foreigner', or 'We've gotta sound like Queen.' But I thought it was strange that the bands we'd once influenced were now influencing us.
Buddy Holly recording at Bradley's Barn in Nashville, 1956.
After graduating from Lubbock High School in 1955 Holly decided to become a full time musician. After seeing Elvis Presley perform in Texas he managed to get himself booked by that show’s promoter as an opening act for Bill Haley & His Comets. Holly, then going by his original name “Holley,” shined onstage and wound up with a contract from Decca Records.
The label brought him out to Nashville where he recorded a session on January 26, 1956. Unfortunately the label picked the musicians and arrangements, something that Holly became frustrated with. After the failure of his initial single he left Nashville and Decca Records to form The Crickets, and in doing so changed the face of rock n roll.
Christopher Reeve as "Superman"
As Superman, Christopher Reeve made us believe that a man could fly. Looking back at his run in the blue tights throughout the ‘70s and ’80s it’s obvious that there was never anyone more suited to playing that character, however during pre-production of Richard Donner’s film there was quite the search for the actor to play the Man of Steel.
Initially the studio wanted an A-list actor to portray Superman. They went after Robert Redford, Sylvester Stallone, and Paul Newman, but nothing materialized with these actors. Their initial thought about Christopher Reeve was that he was too skinny, but after he bulked up considerably he finally wowed casting agents and producers who turned him into the last son of Krypton.
Cool photo of Phil Collins from 1980.
Well who’s this English ruffian right here? Why it’s none other than Phil Collins, the drummer/singer-songwriter who made us all air drum to the world’s greatest fill. This was taken right around the recording of “In The Air Tonight,” while he was working out of a townhouse in London on what many people consider to be his greatest album.
In 1980 he was in the middle working on the songs that would populate “Face Value,” his first solo album. Initially he recorded most of the songs to an 8-track before moving them over to a 24-track for overdubs.
Great photo of a very handsome Paul Newman in Venice, Italy. (1963
By 1963 Paul Newman already had a career that many actors would dream of. He’d received an Academy Award nomination for his roles in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Hustler, and he was married to the love of his life. But in many ways 1963 was the turning point in Newman’s career. He starred in three movies that year, with his role in Hud earning him a slew of best actor nominations.
In the next few years he would go on to star in Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and the criminally underrated Hombre. The ‘60s were a huge year for Newman, but he’d only grow more successful as the 20th century went on. In this photo he seems to be basking in the glory of his life so far.
Helen Mirren (1970)
Helen Mirren is one of those actresses who you sneaks up on you. It’s easy to discount her, but when you start looking at her filmography it’s clear that she’s been in an avalanche of films in the last half of the 20th century. There’s some hyperbole there but her filmography speaks for itself. By 1970 Mirren had only been in a few movies, but she was already the subject of the documentary Doing Her Own Thing.
Her onstage credentials were nearly as impressive as her film work, and shortly after appearing in the documentary she went onto star as Lady M in the Scottish Play. As the decades went it was impossible to miss her on screens both big and small.
Hitchhiker in California, 1968.
If you’ve ever been to LA then you know how hard it can be to get around without your own personal Batmobile at your disposal. It’s likely that this Batman hitchhiking still was a promotional photo for the Batman series that premiered in 1966 and ended in 1968. The show had a campy vibe that was ahead of its time.
However, if that’s not the case then this is either the real Batman or some joker has a truly fantastic costume. Hopefully he was able to get a ride back to Gotham, although we’re not sure if that’s off the 101.
Los Angeles blues rock band "Canned Heat" in 1968.
They may be underrepresented in the canon of rock and blues in the 21st century, but in the late ‘60s Canned Heat was a band that every music fan absolutely had to see to believe. While the group loved to jam on a tasty groove, they’re most popular for the song “Going Up the Country,” which has been heard in commercials and remains a staple on ‘60s playlists.
The song became the unofficial theme song of the original Woodstock festival, and catapulted to number 11 on the US Billboard charts. The band - although not in its original form - is still playing to this day.
Paul Newman and Robert Redford as "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" 1969.
Name a more iconic duo, we’ll wait. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of those decade defining films that couldn’t have been made in any other era. The film is poignant, funny, and it feels like it’s commenting directly on the attitudes of 1969 without being in your face about it. Is it any wonder that it was written by William Golding?
These two cool western cats are truly some of the most interesting cowboy heroes of the genre - mostly because they spend the entire film running away from a fight rather going in head first. It’s that kind of off the wall thinking that makes this movie so interesting.
Robert Plant with The Runaways in 1975.
Okay, now this is a seriously cool photo. Get out your Cool-O-Meters and hold it up to your monitor. See that? It’s off the charts. In 1975 plant was in his final years with Led Zeppelin, but that didn’t make him any more of a legendary rock figure. Even though The Runaways were punks before punk was a thing, there’s no way they were going to turn down a chance to hang with Plant.
What was a rock god doing hanging out with these young upstarts? He was supposedly looking for new bandmates. Lita Ford said:
[He] asked me if I could play bass. ‘For who?’ I asked. ‘Led Zep.’ He might have been drinking or pulling my leg, but he seemed to be dead serious in the moment.
Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little) and Jim (Gene Wilder) in a scene from the hilarious Mel Brooks film, "Blazing Saddles" -1974.
Regardless of decade, Blazing Saddles is still one of the funniest movies that’s ever been made. Mel Brooks, along with Richard Pryor and a few other writers, tapped into the sensibilities of the 1970s and created one of the most offensive, and jaw droppingly funny pieces of entertainment ever. Brooks and company skewered every race, gender, and preference in under two hours - and audiences loved it.
It’s safe to say that if you throw a 10 gallon hat you’ll hit a fan of Blazing Saddles. The movie continues to bring joy while making audiences think about their prejudices (but not too hard).
Singer/actress Chris Noel hosted her own radio show for the GIs in Vietnam. She did (4) tours of Vietnam and her helicopter was shot down twice. (Photo from 1966)
While she did some acting, Chris Noel is most well known for her Armed Forces radio show, “A Date With Chris Noel.” This series ran throughout the Vietnam war while she traveled from base to base meeting troupes. She played records for the GIs and met as many of them as possible, even when she was under threat of death. She said:
I felt really protected. And once I started getting into those helicopters, I just loved it. What’s weird is that now, when I get into helicopters, I freak. Back then, one time the hydraulic system went out in a helicopter and we went down… that was scary.
The Bangles, 1986.
Are you walking like an Egyptian yet? Formed in 1981 by Susanna Hoffs, and sisters Vicki and Debbi Peterson, The Bangles are one of those bands that would probably have hit it big in any era. Not only do they look cool, but their songs all have a timeless pop sensibility about them that makes you tap your toes regardless of whether you’ve heard the song before or not.
The band has rubbed elbows with major rock royalty in their time on stage. One of their biggest hits “Manic Monday” was written by Prince, and in 1988 Mike Campbell of The Heartbreakers called them to the studio to sing back up on the Tom Petty solo gem “Waiting For Tonight.”
The Beatles performing at Shea Stadium in 1965.
On August 15th, 1965 The Beatles made one of the greatest rock n roll triumphs when they played New York City’s Shea Stadium for 56,000 screaming fans. The lads from Liverpool played in the center of the stadium while standing on top of a barely functional platform. Regardless of the lack of on stage monitors, or the ability to hear anything but their fans, the band rocked anyway.
It wouldn’t be long for The Beatles to return from live performance forever, so if you were at this show then you really got to see something special. If you were, throw on your Chelsea boots and shout “Help!”
The Queen of Halloween herself, "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark" in a promo photo for Movie Macabre in 1982.
In the early ‘80s there was a glut of B-horror movies floating around, and the best way to watch them was by tuning into Elvira’s Movie Macabre. The series featured Cassandra Peters dressed in her now classic goth-punk barely there outfit with a beehive hairdo and and pancake makeup. There was nothing better than watching Elvira make fun of bad movies in her classic valley girl tone.
Elvira was so instantaneously popular that Knott’s Berry Farm asked her to take over hosting duties for its annual Halloween Haunt during October. Since then she’s been in movies, TV shows, and she can still be seen at horror conventions to this day. As if!
In 1978 John Carpenter changed cinema forever with the release of Halloween. It wasn’t the first slasher movie, but it’s still one of the best. Aside from introducing Michael Myers, he also showed the world exactly what a young Jamie Lee Curtis could do. In the film she’s smart, funny, and brave, all the while on the run from a knife wielding maniac.
Even though the film is set in Haddonfield, Illinois on October 31, it was actually filmed in Pasadena, California in April - a decidedly not so spooky time of the year. Halloween is still as terrifying today as it was in the grooviest of eras.
Barbara Eden in this "I Dream of Jeannie" Halloween photo is simply magical!
I Dream Of Jeannie never had a Halloween episode per se, but really when your show revolves around a genie who’s in love with an astronaut isn’t every episode technically a Halloween episode? Aren’t “genie” and “astronaut” two of the most popular Halloween costumes? Whatever the case, Barbara Eden has been down to goof off, a fact that’s never been more apparent than in promo photos for her show.
This Halloween based photo is likely in reference to the fact that I Dream Of Jeannie was a reaction to Betwitched, another series about a magical creature falling in love with a regular guy.
Bob Ross, 1980s.
Was there ever anyone as soothing as Bob Ross? Even if you weren’t painting along with this zen master it was nice to put him on the tube and watch this afro wearing Picasso paint an island in the wilderness or a set of placed trees planted on a hill side. When Ross was asked about being so laid back he responded:
I got a letter from somebody here a while back, and they said, ‘Bob, everything in your world seems to be happy.’ That's for sure. That's why I paint. It's because I can create the kind of world that I want, and I can make this world as happy as I want it. Shoot, if you want bad stuff, watch the news.
C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) getting some much needed shade in the desert while filming "Star Wars/ Episode IV- A New Hope" (1977)
A New Hope was filmed mostly on location in Tunisia, and while the sweltering African desert makes for a spectacular viewing experience, it was a nightmare for filming. Anthony Daniels, the actor behind C-3PO, injured himself almost immediately after getting in the suit. He took two steps and the left leg piece shattered and injured his foot.
So why does Daniels keep coming back to the role that continually injures him? He told PEOPLE, “It is only I who wears the suit. Nobody else is crazy enough.” Well for our sake and the rest of the fans, stay crazy.
Dennis Hopper in a scene from the movie, "Easy Rider" (1969)
If anyone was ever truly born to be wild it’s Dennis Hopper, the maestro behind Easy Rider, one of the most important artifacts of the groovy era. Even though Hopper is thought of as an actor who fried most of his brain cells in the early ‘60s, his contribution to cinema can’t be understated. It was his idea to follow to bikers on a trip through America, and to blend of the moment rock n roll with the film’s narrative.
While making the film Hopper got on everyone’s last nerve. He forced co-star Peter Fonda to relive painful memories, he ran up expensive bills, and he drank almost non-stop, fueling his paranoia. Somehow he managed to create one of the most endearing encapsulations of the ‘60s into just over 90 minutes of film.
Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and his son Jason, early 1970s.
Ask any fan of rock n roll and they’ll tell you that John Bonham is one of the greatest drummers of all time. In his short time on Earth he was able to bring down the thunder oh Valhalla to back up English wizards Led Zeppelin. When Jason was old enough to beat the skins along with his pop, he learned from the best and quickly became one of the most sought after summers of the ‘80s onward.
He’s filled in for his dad with Zep, and he’s backed up some of your favorite bands. Whether you like ripping shredders like UFO or pop rockers like Foreigner, Jason Bonham can handle it all.
The charming "Bewitched" witches in their Halloween photo.
For a specific brand of spooky kid growing up in the groovy era, the late ‘60s were a wonderful time for television. When Bewitched premiered in 1964 it was truly a groundbreaking show in terms of blending magical realism, horror, and off the wall comedy, and at the center of it all was Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stephens.
Montgomery was so popular in the role of Samantha that she received multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, while also appearing in a series of Japanese television commercials for Mother chocolate where she twitched her nose as a nod to one of the greatest shows of all time!
Victoria Principal in the 1970s.
Before she was taking our breath away as Pamela Ewing on Dallas, Victoria Principal was a young woman studying acting in New York City and in London. However, she almost didn’t make it that far. While studying medicine at Miami–Dade Community College she was struck by a drunk driver while heading home one evening.
Following the accident Principal spent months in recovery. She even thought she’d have to take all of her first year college courses again. However, this account inspired her to finally take up acting for real. Two years after this photo was taken she received a Golden Globe nomination for her role in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean.
Natalie Wood Hanging Out In The 1970s
After receiving a wild amount of success in the ‘50s and ‘60s Natalie Wood took somewhat of a break beginning in 1970. During her time away from the screen she had her first child, Natasha Gregson, and she got back together with actor Robert Wagner. Of this period, her sister Lana later said:
Her marriage was considered to be one of the best in Hollywood, and there is no question that she was a devoted, loving — even adoring — mother and stepmother. She and R. J. had begun with love and built from there. They had overcome each other's problems and had reached an accommodation with time and the changes time brings. As with anybody else who has settled into making a long marriage work, they were far more determined than most people to make it work...
Jacqueline Bisset Stands In A Frame Within A Frame, 1970s
Jacqueline Bisset was kicking around Hollywood for a while before she was finally crowned the mega-watt star that we all remember. She appeared in Two For The Road, and gave a memorable performance in the 007 spoof Casino Royale, but she really came into her own when she starred in Airport, the high grossing disaster flick from 1970.
From there the sky was the limit for this actress. She continued to star in big budget films while appearing in European classics like François Truffaut's Day for Night. While her career cooled in the '80s, she never really went away, and later she became the godmother to Angelina Jolie.
Beautiful British actress Julie Christie, 1965.
You know this award winning actress from films like McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Shampoo, and Nashville, but before she was taking on major roles in these films, Christie was appearing as a character actress and stealing scenes from huge actors all throughout the ‘60s. In 1965 alone she appeared in two breakthrough films - Darling and Doctor Zhivago.
Each of those films received a fair share of critical praise, however her role in Darling garnered her the most praise. As Diana Scott she received an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and she was nominated for a Golden Globe. This was just the beginning of her major awards run.