Rare Nostalgic Photos Reveal The Beauties Of Vintage Hollywood
There are certain people in history who deserve a closer look and we've gathered them all here for your viewing pleasure. This hand picked collection of the most beautiful women from times gone by will inspire nostalgia while raising your blood pressure... and we mean that in a good way.
These gorgeous photos may not be suitable for all audiences... but that's what makes them so fun. You'll want to pour over everyone of these pictures to make sure you don't miss a detail.
Take your time going over these photos, each and every one of them is a must see. You really won't believe what you're looking at, or how lucky you are to get to sneak a peak.
Proceed with caution... these photos are for mature audiences only.
Doris Day wows on Johnny Carson
Doris Day was the queen of the box office in the 196s, starring in massive films like Pillow Talk and The Man Who Knew Too Much, but she says that when she was first put on contract by Warner Bros. the company didn't really know what to do with her unique talent so they just put her in whatever they had that wasn't "dramatic."
Day says that her earliest roles were pretty milquetoast and that she doesn't even know what she was doing in the movies, she just needed to work. She told Parade:
At Warner Bros. they had serious films. All the dramatic actresses were there. When they hired me, they didn’t know what to do with me. The first thing they put me in was Romance on the High Seas, a little comedy. The next one was My Dream Was Yours—I don’t even know what that was about.
Lynda Carter prepping for a swim on Battle for the Network Stars
Throughout the 1970s and '80s there was only one way to know what star of the small screen was the best and brightest, and it wasn't through the Emmy Awards - it was through the Battle of the Network Stars. The show pit the stars of the Big 3 - NBC, ABC, and CBS - in a small scale battle that resembled the Olympics if they were held at a summer camp full of super attractive people.
In 1976, Carter's team featured stars like Farrah Fawcett, Penny Marshall, and Ron Howard, an amazing group that won the inaugural games. Carter ended up destroying the rest of the talent in her swimming relay lap.
It's clear that even though she played a superhero on TV she's just as physically powerful in her real life.
Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield. Is there any question why this photo captures one of the most iconic candid moments in history? Look closer 🙄
If there's one photo that shows us what the stars really think of each other it's this shot of Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield, but look closer... there's more to the story than meets the eye.
Taken in 1957, the photo was snapped at Loren's welcome to Hollywood party thrown by Paramount Pictures at Romanoff’s restaurant in Beverly Hills. When Mansfield arrived she was super late, and rushed to her spot at Loren's table in her low cut dress.
Mansfield was spilling out of her dress, and Loren couldn't help but take a look. The shots make Loren look like she's upset, but in 2015 she explained that she was just checking out the goods:
She came right for my table. She knew everyone was watching. She sat down. And now, she was barely… Listen. Look at the picture. Where are my eyes? I’m staring at her... because I am afraid they are about to come onto my plate. In my face you can see the fear. I’m so frightened that everything in her dress is going to blow—BOOM!—and spill all over the table.
Ann-Margret showing off for the cameras
Born in Sweden, blonde bombshell Ann-Margret came to the States in 1946 with her father and by the time she was 19 she was appearing in George Burns' Christmas show at the Sahara in Las Vegas. Although she looked similar to a lot of the actresses of her day, she was much more open to just going with the flow.
While some actresses from the '50s and '60s were clearly not trying to do the hard work, Ann-Margret is open about how much she loved digging into a role even if it means that she's going to end up hurting herself. She explained how she ended up cut up on the set of Tommy and kept on going. She explained:
For the scenes with all of the baked beans and the bubbles, there were actually three cameras on me, and Ken would be on the middle camera. He kept shouting, 'Closer! Closer!' In the scene, I’m just going crazy and whacking my way through these bubbles, and then suddenly I hit something. They had taken away all of the glass and the props, but they had forgotten about the glass in the TV set. So I hit that with a thud, and then I start to see pink appearing in the soap bubbles, which resulted in 27 stitches. Then the Lycra catsuit that I was wearing started shrinking, and I had all this blood on me. My hair is wet, my mascara is running … They threw a blanket over me and took me to the hospital.
A young Madonna hanging out on the lawn
Long before she was the Queen of Pop, Madonna was just a regular girl living in Michigan. She went to Rochester Adams High School where she scored mostly straight As and performed as a party of the cheerleading squad before scoring a scholarship to the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
There's a world where Madonna just goes to college for dance before going on to be a teacher or a back up dancer, but that's not the way things worked out. In 1978, she dropped out of college and moved to New York City where she worked at Dunkin' Donuts while performing with various modern dance troupes around the city. She later said of her decision to go to New York:
It was the first time I’d ever taken a plane, the first time I’d ever gotten a taxi cab. I came here with $35 in my pocket. It was the bravest thing I’d ever done.
Barbara Roufs imparting good luck before a race
For many drag racing fiends it's not the cars or the burning rubber that gets them going, it's the babes who stalk the track. One of the greatest trophy girls of the early '70s was Barbara Roufs, a woman who's a bit of mystery to everyone, regardless of whether or not they're keyed into the racing scene of Southern California.
Roufs is the embodiment of drag racing culture. She's got the flat ironed hair, the knee high go-go boots, and a tan that's earned through years under the west coast sun. No one really knows what happened to Roufs, but she'll live on in racing history forever through her photographs.
Arguably, the most alluring woman of the 60s... Marilyn Monroe at Santa Monica Beach, 1962
In 1962, Marilyn Monroe walked the beach in Santa Monica with George Barris, a photographer who snapped the final photographs of one of the most beautiful women of the 20th century. Monroe wasn't prepping to take her final photos, but she loved working with Barris from the moment they met in 1954 on the set for The Seven Year Itch.
This photo, along with the rest of the set, show Monroe on her final hang with Barris, fittingly on Friday the 13th. In some photos she sits in the sand, curled up in an oatmeal sweater, and in others she's wrapped in a green towel. Barris said later that this was the last time he saw her, and he always regrets not flying out to see her when she asked. He said:
She called me on Friday, and I was in New York, and she wanted to know if I could come to see her that weekend and that it was urgent.
Heather Thomas on Battle for the Network Stars
Anyone tuning into Battle of the Network Stars knew that they were in for some wild, unscripted prime-time pseudo athleticism on top of plenty of the hottest stars on television in barely there swimsuits.
The series, which ran from 1976 to 1988 was serious guilty pleasure viewing. Heather Thomas was the perfect actress to appear on this series. Not only was she known from her role on The Fall Guy, but she was a total babe - which you need to balance out the cast of Welcome Back Kotter.
Thomas was game for anything on this series, which is why her most well known appearance on Battle of the Network Stars features a very tight swimsuit and a dunk tank.
Robyn Hilton shocks Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show
Robyn Hilton is the perfect guest for the Tonight Show. You might think that you want to see Johnny Carson talk with someone like Don Rickles, but it's really Hilton that takes the cake. She funny enough on her own, but whenever she worked her mojo on the Tonight Show host it was incredibly fun to watch him get flustered.
Hilton only appeared in a few films with Blazing Saddles and Video Vixens being the standouts, but her real skill was working the talk show circuit. She could be daffy and air-headed or toss around jokes with the boys when she had to, but she always left the audience wanting more.
Honestly, how could you not want to see more of her?
Remember the beautiful Alexandra Bastedo and her soul piercing eyes?
Whether you remember this '60s glamour girl for her soul piercing eyes or for her work on The Champions (or Ab Fab if that's more your lane), Bastedo once explained that she wanted to be a vet all of her life, but that she ended up in Hollywood when she was 16 and her path was altered forever.
However, she found a happy medium later in life. Her love of animals led her out of the acting world and into a life of taking care of animals full time on her own 10 acre ranch. She discussed her new life, saying:
I'm up with the alarm every morning, but it's immensely rewarding. When I have a pony that comes to me with its ribs sticking out and in a state of collapse it's a wonderful feeling to be able to restore it to health and happiness... My philosophy is try and do your little bit.
Jamie Lee Curtis stuns in a short sleeve sweater
In the 1970s Jamie Lee Curtis was just a fresh faced actress hitting the scene with one big movie under her belt - Halloween. Most actors who get their big break in a horror movie tend to be embarrassed about the whole deal, but seeing as how Halloween is one of the most important films of the 20th century Curtis embraced the bloody good film.
Curtis has been working hard since the '70s, but according to the star it's not because she has a rise and grind mentality, it's just because she's lucky. She told The Daily Beast:
Every job I get is because it comes my way. I have zero ambition. Zero. I don’t want anything. Because I do not want what I have not got, everything is a ******* blessing. I have a family, I have some money in the bank, I have a sense of humor. And, I’m sober.
The always stunning Ann-Margret
Ever since she arrived on the big screen Ann-Margret has been a source of obsession for audiences. Most people came to her when she starred alongside Elvis in Viva Las Vegas, a time she remembers as being absolutely wild - mostly because of her relationship with The King.
At the time the two were seeing each other secretly - he was engaged to Priscila at the time, but she and Elvis spent every waking moment during the filming together. However, things came to an end in 1964 when Elvis felt that she let information about the relationship slip to the press.
In spite of the arduous affair, Ann-Margret continued on with her amazing life, and still acts in films today. Who knew she would still be tantalizing audiences into the 21st century?
The very groovy Sharon Tate, 1960s
Sharon Tate has come to embody a certain energy from the '60s. Struck down before she ever got her major break, all we really have of her are her few film appearances and the story of her horrific death.
But before all of that horrible business, Tate was just a regular gal from Texas who happened to be one of the most beautiful women on the planet. She was initially hired as an extra in films that were shooting in London, but when she moved to Los Angeles in 1962 she was pretty given representation the moment she got off the plane.
In just a few short years she was hired to play small parts on Mister Ed and The Beverly Hillbillies, watching her appearances on those shows today is absolutely surreal.
Suzanne Somers in 1977
In the 1970s Suzanne Somers made every guy in America wish that they were her roommate with her role in Three's Company. However, things fell apart after a few years when she told executives at the network that she deserved to make the same amount of money as co-star John Ritter.
Somers was fired from the show and replaced, and if that wasn't bad enough she was blacklisted for years. While discussing the frustrating turn of events Somers says that the worst part of the experience was how she was thought of as a puppet to her then husband, who was acting as her manager at the time. She explained:
That was part of their PR campaign. He was this Svengali. He had this reputation. He ruined her career. And I was the greedy… 'Who does she think she is?' I never would have left Three’s Company. Ever. I loved the character. But, in year six, you have to renegotiate because it’s the last year of the contract. But, before the negotiations, (Alan) and I were talking about it. I felt it was about who sells the most tickets. ‘I’m selling more tickets than anybody on the network now. Why are the men getting 10 to 15 times more?’
Faye Dunaway in The Happening 1967
In 1967 Faye Dunaway performed a cinematic hat trick, she starred in three movies in one year: The Happening, Hurry Sundown, and Bonnie and Clyde. This fascinating turn of events turned her into the face of New Hollywood, but what's wild is that it all happened in one year. There's really no one who's had a career like Faye Dunaway.
While speaking with ET Online, Dunaway admitted that she's still flummoxed that she was able to gain such notoriety in 12 months time:
When I was discovered, everything happened like Dominoes. I don't know how to talk about it now because it’s mind blowing. It's so unreal yet it's real. I'm grateful for it but I guess part of that is missing it — when one grows older.
Pam Grier and Juanita Brown on the set of Foxy Brown
When Pam Grier hit the screen in Foxy Brown she turned the world of Blaxploitation cinema - and just the film business in general - upside down. Her turn as a funky babe who exacts revenge on a drug cartel after they kill her boyfriend rises above genre filmmaking into something altogether new and dare we say artistic.
Much of that is thanks to Brown's incredible charm and acting ability, something that she says she honed while growing up in North Carolina. She explained how the heartland formed her skills to Vice:
The thing about it is, in real life, being active with cars, animals, tractors, boats, guns, and hunting and my family, I just brought what I do to work. That was normal for me. I was already that before I went to film, and living outside of Los Angeles, living in the heartland, you can really develop your character. You can see the world from other eyes, other lenses when you don’t live in Hollywood or New York. You can see the beats, rebel flags, rednecks, and guns all over the place. See different things or different people. That forms your gift that you have.
Emily Banks was 'Yeoman Tonia Barrows' on Star Trek in 1966 showing the cameraman a lot more than he expected to see 👀
It's rare that a one and done actor on a TV show works their way into the consciousness of a random as well as Emily Banks has in the character of Yeoman Tonia Barrows. Her appearance in the much beloved episode "Shore Leave" is one that's played with the imagination of Trekkies across the universe.
This obsession with this episode of Star Trek is clearly because Yeoman Barrows is a babe, something that Emily Banks is fine with. However, the thing that bothered her about filming the episode was all of the running. She explains:
I didn't realize that I was going to be running around with legs hanging out [from the uniform] and shoulders hanging out [from the torn tunic]. But I do remember I did a lot of running. And I remember thinking on the first couple of days, 'They don't want an actress, they want an athlete.' I was exhausted, and we kept running and running.
Diana Rigg, 1977
One of the most low key stars of England in the 1970s, Diana Rigg managed to stay on television for decades, first in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and then on The Avengers, one of the coolest spy shows of the era.
While many stars of today have a plan to get famous, buy the perfect house, and make sure they stay in the papers, Diana Rigg contends that the reason she was so successful is because she got into the industry with no plan at all. When it came time to film The Avengers Ring says that she had to fight for every penny she made, even though it made her into a pariah. She told Variety:
That was my first battle with male authority. I discovered after a while in The Avengers that I was earning less than the cameraman. I made a bit of a song and dance about it and demanded more. I was ahead of the game, in that respect, because nobody backed me up. There was no sisterhood. In those days, you were on your own.
Model-actress Cybill Shepherd, 1969
From the moment her face first appeared on magazine covers in the 1960s it was clear that Cybil Shepherd was a star. She received her big break from Peter Bogdonavich who saw her on the cover of a magazine and put her in The Last Picture Show.
While Shepherd dated Bogdonavich for years, she says that it was her relationship with Elvis that was the most exciting to her even when she was on the big screen, mostly because he just knew how to be a man. She wrote for The Guardian:
Elvis Presley, as a lover, was ... indescribable. It was 1972, and all the guys wore cheap cologne, apart from him. He smelled soapy, and sweet, like sugar and sweat. I felt a lot for him. I knew about his drug addiction. I knew his tragic side, and I wish I could have been a better friend to him. But there was a sort of alchemy going on. At the time I thought he was too old for me - the Beatles were my music - but there was this chemistry between us.
The late great Janis Joplin. Photographed by Elliott Landy at Rhode Island, 1968
The brief and brilliant life of Janis Joplin saw the singer escape from small town Texas before becoming one of the most important voices in the psychedelic rock scene of the '60s. Joplin didn't see herself as a psychedelic performer, simply as a blues singer who was performing in the tradition that began in the early 20th century.
While she was alive, Joplin refused to be placed in any box, she never wanted to be anything that people pegged her for. While speaking with the Village Voice, Joplin explained that she just wanted to be successful on her own terms - no one else's:
It seems to bother a lot of women’s lib people that you’re kind of so upfront sexually. I’m representing everything they said they want.… It’s sort of like: you are what you settle for.… You’re only as much as you settle for. If you don’t settle for that and you keep fighting it, you know, you’ll end up anything you want to be… I’m just doing what I wanted to and what feels right and not settling for bullsh*t and it worked. How can they be mad at that?
Sally Field in the late 1960s
Sally Field first came to the public consciousness as Gidget, the little surfer girl from Southern California. Looking back on the series now it seems quaint, but in the '60s there weren't characters like the smart, independent, and sarcastic character embodied by Field.
At the time audiences were used to housewives like June Cleaver, women who doted on their families without thinking anything of themselves. It took Sally Field and Didget to blow the whole thing up.
After the success of Gidget a series of a Gidgets followed across television from That Girl, to Get Smart, and The Avengers. She may have just been a surfer girl, but Gidget was the catalyst for some amazing television.
Another shot of Brigitte Bardot in Saint-Tropez in the early 1960s
Brigitte Bardot did more than bring a beautiful blonde visage to movie screens across the world, she introduced the world to Saint Tropez, a one time fishing village that was changed forever after the filming of And God Created Woman.
Thanks to Bardot and the gravity that she created around her, the small fishing village became a must visit place for the rich and famous of the 1960s. It wasn't just that this was a great place to swim and play, there was the possibility of seeing Bardot.
It was a magical time to be alive, with a young Bardot driving around in a speedboat as fishermen cast their nets and playboys had the time of their lives.
The beautiful Lynda Carter after her Battle of the Network Stars win
Is there anything cooler than an Olympic-esque team made up of Wonder Woman and a Charlie's Angel? No way! When Battle of the Network Stars premiered in 1976 viewers were given the chance to watch some of their favorite stars compete in everything from volleyball, to tug-of-war, and even various swimming events.
It's honestly insane that this show existed, placing stars in some of the wildest events that were possible at the time. It's genuinely crazy that this kind of thing would be on network television but it was the '70s so it must have made sense at the time.
The best part about this series was viewers were able to see their favorite celebrities acting like real people, essentially making it the predecessor to the reality television of today.
Barbara Roufs strikes a pose before a race
Who was Barbara Roufs? That's the question that's been dogging race fans since she disappeared from the two-lane black top in the 1970s, but one one's been able to answer that question - or if they have they've been keeping their lips zipped.
What we do know about Roufs is that she was a titillating presence on the race track. She cut a striking figure and did what trophy girls were meant to do - she made people want to watch races. With her go-go boots and short shorts she brought the eyes of the nation to a sport previously only attracted gear heads.
Jungle Pam, one of the original asphalt babes
There's no one who captured the imagination of the two lane black top more than Jungle Pam, the short short wearing legend who is intrinsically linked to Jungle Jim Liberman. It's likely that Pam is the main reason that most people remember funny car drag racing.
Pam wasn't a gear head from a young age, but after a chance meeting with Liberman she joined up with him and became his calling card. Jim was a wild man on the track, but with the addition of Pam he became the guy that everyone wanted to see.
Initially, Pam was just an awesome sidekick and cheerleader, but the longer she was with Liberman the more she learned about cars and took to changing oil and helping Jim's car get in place before the race.
Sexy mod fashion of the swinging '60s
London in the swinging '60s was the epicenter of fashion. Young people were throwing out the stodgy old clothing of the post war era and slipping into skin tight outfits and growing their hair out long. There was a freedom in this new style that parents and authority figures just couldn't handle.
Mod style in the '60s wasn't as dandyish as we think, sure there were velvet coats and the occasional cape, but women often went the easy route when it came to getting dressed. Baby doll dresses came to fruition in this era, as did miniskirts combined with turtlenecks.
These outfits could be as relaxed as possible, but if they wanted to be super psychedelic they could be combined with wild designs.
Dorothy Mays looking indescribably delicious
Born in Nuremberg, Germany, Dorothy Mays became the obsession of many a teenage boy when she appeared in Playboy in 1979. She was discovered when she was only 19 years old and working as a hairdresser in Maryland. Supposedly she started her journey towards modeling when she was left at the altar by who must be the dumbest guy on the planet.
Unlike a lot of Playmates at the time, Mays didn't want to be a model for the rest of her life, she just wanted to open a killer salon. She told Playboy:
I hope to have enough money saved to open [a salon] by the time I'm 25 years old. I already know how the shop will be laid out. It'll have those old style comfortable barber chairs, but there'll be a lot of mirrors. You know, a touch of the old, a touch of the new.
We hope she was able to open that salon.
Before being stranded on Gilligan's Island, Tina Louise was in The Warrior Empress 1960
When Tina Louise came onto the scene in the late 1950s she was something to marvel at, an actress who was gorgeous, intelligent, and who worked out. The media couldn't figure it out. While speaking with the Journal-American she discussed lifting weights, saying:
I'm a new woman since I discovered exercise... I concentrate on exercises from the waist down, since that is the laziest part of a woman's body.
Aside from being fawned over because of her workout routine, Louise won plenty of good remarks in her early reviews, especially as Griselda Walden in God's Little Acre, a role that she felt affinity for because of the way people focused on the character's looks. She explained:
Griselda only seems sexy because she looks sexy and maybe feels that way but...hers is a tragic story and one I know too well. Men just can't keep their hands off Griselda, because that's the way she affects them every time a man sees her he tries to kiss her and rough her up... Sex is a part of her, but is really not her. I understand this so well, because I don't like men to treat me as I look either... you don't understand, do you? I'm not one dimensional at all. If anybody spends any time with no, they learn that. Man, it's rough trying to convince people that I'm really a serious actress.
Cindy Morgan was every boy's crush in Caddyshack (1980)
Chances are if you came of age in the late '70s and early '80s you had a thing for Cindy Morgan, the knockout blonde Lacey Underall from Caddyshack. Morgan says that filming this film as much fun as it looked, not only because some of the funniest people on the planet were hanging out together for the duration of the shooting, but because the whole set was like one big party.
While speaking with Tulsa World, Morgan explained that one of the biggest thrills of her life was hot-wiring golf carts with guys like Bill Murray to go joy riding:
They took away our keys to the golf carts. Do you think that stopped us? No. Do you know how easy it is to hot-wire one of those old golf carts? It’s really easy. I found out later you are really not supposed to drive golf carts around the green and have golf cart races because that tears up the grass... Four of the funniest men on the planet were locked up on a golf course with a bunch of new actors and we had complete license to (have fun).
A Scandinavian Stewardess examines a new uniform proposal for Scandinavian Airlines in 1964, strangely enough it wasn't approved
In the 1960s air travel was becoming more prevalent among the public, but especially in the business class. Men with jobs at ad firms and the like were flying across the country and the world on a regular basis. One of the ways that airlines tried to keep their business was with skimpy outfits.
It's clear to see why this stewardess uniform was sent back... it reveals a bit too much. But it's not that far off base from what some airlines were dressing their flight attendants in. While the outfits that made it to the air weren't as low cut or revealing, they were tight, and designed to make fliers return again and again.
British stunner Fiona Lewis
Few British starlets are as striking as Fiona Lewis, the woman who made audiences purr in The Fearless Vampire Killers and Brian de Palma's Fury, but Lewis never really thought she'd be on the big screen. While living with roommate Jacqueline Bisset (yes that Jacqueline Bisset) the two of them just fell into the acting game.
After working in England for a while she moved to the States where she ended up posing for Playboy, something that Lewis says she's proud of. She told Women Fitness:
When I came to America I posed for Playboy because I needed the money. I was never embarrassed about this. I was liberated enough (thought I didn’t realize it) to think it was okay to be naked. I knew I had a brain, I was already writing pieces for the Los Angeles Times. In a way, of course, I was also naïve. I was astounded when other people (men, mostly) were shocked to see me in Playboy. A nice girl like me! But I’m glad I did it now––that young body has gone!
Pretty as a picture; Goldie Hawn in the 1960s
The first time most of us saw Goldie Hawn was on Laugh-In. She may have played a short haired, bikini wearing waif but she was clearly in on the joke. And not only that, she was obviously having an amazing time.
As funny and cool as Hawn was on Laugh-In, not everyone got what she was trying to do. In an interview with Harpers Bazaar she explained how she was constantly bothered by journalists who thought she was setting women back to the Stone Age with her bikini body:
An editor from a women’s magazine came up to me and said, ‘Don’t you feel terrible that you’re playing a dumb blonde?’ I said, ‘I don’t understand that question because I’m already liberated. Liberation comes from the inside.’
Lynda Carter was a Wonder Woman in or out of costume
Best known for her role as Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter wasn't so sure about taking on the iconic role when she was offered the job after years of struggling to find success. It wasn't imposter syndrome holding her back, but the worry that the outfit was too revealing.
Carter's hourglass figure is obvious whenever you see her no matter what she's wearing, but she still couldn't shake the worry that she would look too delicate in the tiny outfit. She explained:
I wore less on the beach! It was more than a bikini–it was the American flag in a one-piece suit...
Lynda Carter's red carpet look was a eye catching
After the massive success of Wonder Woman Lynda Carter could basically write her own checks. She moved on from the superhero show to take on well paid advertising campaigns and even host her own CBS special where she was able to show off her amazing singing voice.
After leaving the role and moving on to different roles, Carter made sure it was clear that she wasn't ashamed of playing the Amazonian hero, only that she wanted to do something new. She explained:
Wonder Woman was soft and feminine in her own way. I tried to give her a sense of humor and vulnerability. I’m a lot more vulnerable than she ever was, that’s for sure. But I don’t want anyone to think I’m trying to get away from the Wonder Woman image completely.
Groovy actress Jocelyn Lane in the 1960s
Often mistaken for Brigitte Bardot, Jocelyn Lane was no stranger to the peering eyes of the press. Born in Austria in 1937, Lane was raised in the U.S., but studied dance in Britain in her teens.
It's likely that had she stayed in the U.S. she never would have been discovered, but her life in England led her to modeling in her teens before she made her big screen debut in April in Portugal in 1955. After returning to the states she made her biggest splash while co-starring with Elvis in Tickle Me.
As great as that must have been, she retired from acting in 1971 when she married a real life prince and moved to Spain. Not a bad reason to retire.
Brigitte Bardot is a beautiful lady in red
We don't have all the figures, but it's likely that Brigitte Bardot is one of the most photographed women of all time. When she came onto the scene in And God Created Woman she sent shockwaves through the cinema, but that adoration came at a price.
While speaking with The Guardian, Bardot explained that she gave up acting not because of the lack of parts, but because she couldn't escape from people who all wanted something from her:
I know what it feels like to be hunted. The majority of great actresses met tragic ends. When I said goodbye to this job, to this life of opulence and glitter, images and adoration, the quest to be desired, I was saving my life. This worship of celebrity… suffocated me.
A young Ann-Margret on the set of the 1962 film, State Fair
It's almost as if Ann-Margret appeared out of the ether as a fully formed star, ready to woo the audience with her Laplandian charm, but she worked hard to become one of Hollywood's most endearing and enduring stars.
Initially signed to a recording deal with RCA by George Burns, she received a seven year contract with Fox in 1962, the same year that she appeared in State Fair. As with many things in Ann-Margret's life, luck played a large factor in this casting.
While at the San Luis Obispo Film Festival she explained that she initially went into the audition for the role of a goody two shoes, and walked out of the audition being cut as the bad girl.
Actress - dancer Julie Newmar, 1960s
It's rare that an actress of Julie Newmar's stature becomes such a big hit in Hollywood, but standing over six feet tall her presence was one that audiences welcomed whether she was playing Catwoman or dancing with Fred Astaire.
However, her height also made it hard for her to bust any truly amazing moves. While speaking with the Observer she explained that when it came to dancing with some of Hollywood's shorter, famous men she had to think outside the box:
I did a dance with Fred Astaire in the movie Bandwagon. I got to waltz just from left of camera to right of camera, and I’m taller than Fred Astaire. Fortunately, I was wearing a long skirt, so I waltzed with bended knees.
Actress Jocelyn Jackie Lane, 1964. (Photo by Ross Carmichael)
As Elvis' co-star in Tickle Me, Jocelyn Lee was able to say that she was in one of the biggest movies of the 1960s, but the thing about appearing in a film with Elvis is that if you're not the King then you don't get a ton of screen time.
In the '60s there was something known as the Presley Jinx. Basically anyone who co-starred with the King was kissing their career goodbye by appearing in the film. Lee didn't think the same thing would happen to her, and while on a press tour for the film she explained that she understood why Presley didn't like to work with famous women. She said:
They say Elvis rarely appears with an established star as a leading lady. It makes sense. Elvis' girls have to be young and it's difficult to find established stars in their teens or early 20s.
Lee left Hollywood shortly after co-starring with Elvis, so maybe the jinx was real.
Actress Leigh Taylor-Young modeling for Vogue magazine in the late 1960s
Leigh Taylor-Young was only just into her 20s and two days into movie to California when she landed a role on Peyton Place, that's the kind of casting that dreams are made of. Although, she quickly found that starring in hours and hours of a prime time soap wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
It's not that she didn't like acting, it's what she wanted to do for her entire life. She was just exhausted with feeling like she was always under the gun. She said:
When I got my first check for [3 Bags Full], I thought to myself, 'isn't this wonderful — being paid to have fun.' But after working in 70 chapters of Peyton Place out here in Hollywood, I'm glad to get my paycheck. I can now understand why good actors and actress complain about going stale in television. It's difficult to give a character depth when there's a man with a stop watch standing beside you complaining that the company is spending $3,000 a minute. Yes, I've learned that when you act in a TV series it becomes your whole life.
Cool shot of Sharon Tate on the set of Don’t Make Waves, 1967
It's as if Sharon Tate had no choice but to become famous. Throughout her teen years she won beauty pageants and attracted the attention of men from across the world (she was an army brat after all), and when she came to Hollywood it was all but agreed that she had what it took to be a star - everything but the acting chops.
But that was okay. After signing to producer Martin Ransohoff's agency when she came to California, he gave her two and half years of TV work so she could find her sea legs. While speaking about Ransohoff's plan for her, Tate said that she was being kept like a secret. She noted:
I was being taught speaking, walking, dancing, fencing, calisthenics and, of course, acting… People are calling me an instant star. But it really isn’t true. Mr Ransohoff discovered me three years ago. He’s been grooming me for stardom. You know, the Cinderella bit, like in the old Hollywood days.
Cybill Shepherd looking good, 1968
Cybill Shepherd has done it all. She started out as a teenage beauty queen before transitioning into life as a model all before she was out of high school. She famously took a lead role in The Last Picture Show after director Peter Bogdanovich saw her on the cover of a magazine while he was standing in line at the supermarket.
Shepherd chalks her good fortune up to look, but she doesn't consider herself to be adrift on the tides of kismet, but rather a rebellious woman who's had to work hard to not be a jerk. She told the Today Show:
Beauty is as beauty does. I just lucked out... It had nothing to do with talent... I had to repeat gym because I was so — I was rebellious. I was a rebel girl. I was a bad girl for a long time.
Danish actress Annette Stroyberg, 1960s
An actress defined more by her relationship with director and ex-husband Roger Vadim than anything else, Annette Strøyberg only appeared in four films but she clearly left as much of a mark on Vadim as she did on the fans of her work.
Following Vadim's divorce from Brigitte Bardot he met Strøyberg on the set of Les Liaisons dangereuses and the two hit it off immediately. They worked on one more film together before their relationship fell apart and they moved on from one another, or so it would seem.
In 1986, Vaduz published Bardot, Deneuve, Fonda -- My Life With the Three Most Beautiful Women in the World. Even though she didn't make the title, Strøyberg makes consistent appearances. As her final film was released in 1963, her presence in the book was her last blip on the pop culture radar for many fans of her work.
You can't help but look at Lynda Carter
It's hard to imagine anyone being as ultra famous as Lynda Carter was at the tail end of her run on Wonder Woman. Sure, there have been big stars since the '80s, but she was the first female super hero on TV and you can't put that toothpaste back in the tube. However, she didn't act like she was a member of Hollywood royalty, she preferred a down-home life.
When she was at the height of her success Carter was asked about the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, but she insisted that she didn't really care about rubbing elbows with the stars:
We don’t go out much. We haven’t got a big social life. I try to keep isolated to keep my feet on the ground — to separate Lynda Carter the performer from Lynda Carter the person. So far it’s worked out very well for us, personally and professionally.
Barbara Roufs helps a driver start his engines
Taken by photographer Tom West, this shot of Barbara Roufs shows two of the things that he most liked to shoot in the world - a great car and a beautiful woman. One of his West's greatest models was Barbara Roufs, the 1973 PDA Queen.
West and Roufs worked together quite a bit, he was a race car photographer and she was a trophy girl, and they became friends. Unfortunately after he moved east the two lost touch. It wasn't until the '90s that he found out the startling news about his former muse - Roufs took her own life in 1985.
While we lost this gorgeous model too soon, we'll always have her glorious shots to remember her by.
Elizabeth Montgomery doing the twist, 1960s
There's no actress from the '60s that quite as iconic as Elizabeth Montgomery, better known as Samantha Stephens on Bewitched. The series was huge, and it appealed to everyone which is a hard thing to do for a show about a witch and her weird family.
Born in Los Angeles to star Robert Montgomery, Elizabeth was prepping for stardom from an early age and performing for anyone within her line of sight. She recalled:
Dad tells me I often climbed on his lap after dinner and remarked, ‘I’m going to be an actress when I grow up.’ I don’t know whether he encouraged me or not, but he told me he would humor me and would tell me to wait and see what happened when I grew up. I’ll be real honest and say that Daddy did help me get a break in TV and I’m really grateful for his assistance and guidance. He’s my most severe critic, but also a true friend as well as loving father.
Fashion model, Verushka wearing a very Space Age outfit, 1960s
Long before the supermodels of the 1990s, decades even, there was Veruschka, a German with a mononym who stood six feet tall and who was rumored to be a countess in eastern Prussia. She was as much of a freaked out space alien as she was a model, all David Bowie chic and Twiggy thin.
Verushchka created the look of the '60s. She was skinny and tall and pale, with a penchant for clothing that accentuated her long and lean structure she was a transformative presence on runways and in magazines.
At the height of her success Veruschka was making ten grand a day before leaving the world of modeling after a disagreement with the editor-in-chief of Vogue over her personal style. Ah, the life of a model.
Italian actress and body double for Sophia Loren, Scilla Gabel, 1961
To be the body double of one of the most famous women on the planet was a double edged sword. Scilla Gabel found early success when she worked as Sophia Loren's body double in a series of films shot in Italy, but by 1955 she was tired of the life of a doppelgänger and set out on her own.
In '55 Gabel began a lengthy career as one of Italy's most recognizable leading ladies, but she's always been thought of as Loren's clone. It's not a bad life, but it can't be great for your self esteem. It's not clear if Gabel and Loren ever had a friendship outside of their working relationship, but what we do know is that these two women are forever connected.
Italian Tunisian actress Claudia Cardinale in 1968
Anyone who's ever seen the mind blowing Italian masterpiece 8 1/2 knows the entrancing beauty of Claudia Cardinale. Born in Tunisia, this Italian actress grew up speaking French, something that gave directors pause when they worked with her. It's not that she spoke a different language. It's the way that she sounded when she spoke.
Cardinale initially wanted to be a teacher, but when she won the “Most Beautiful Italian Girl in Tunisia” contest in 1957 her life's trajectory was changed forever.
She found instant success in both Europe and America, although she says that the wives and girlfriends of her co-stars were always a little weird around her, especially while filming a love scene with Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West. She told the LA Times:
You know when I did the scene with him in [the bed]? His wife was looking. It was [the] first love scene we did together, and his wife was furious.
The lovely Sharon Tate, 1960s
Sharon Tate wasn't just the most well known victim of the Manson murders or the wife of director Roman Polanski, she was a person trying to free herself from a self conscious neurosis that she suffered from childhood. Her father was a military man who put her through a strict upbringing. Combine that with her looks and a devastating shyness and you've got someone who wasn't ready for Hollywood even though that's the only place she wanted to be.
It wasn't until her 15 episode run on The Beverly Hillbillies as the bespectacled and dark-wigged secretary Janet Trego that really gave her the confidence she needed to see that she was a good actor with excellent comedic timing.
After appearing on television for two years she finally got her big break in Eye of the Devil playing a witchy temptress. She showed that she had range, it's just a shame that she was never able to show the world what she could really do.
Jacqueline Bisset who played Miss Goodthighs in the James Bond movie, Casino Royale, 1967
Jacqueline Bisset has always been a striking on screen presence, but it was her role as Mrs. Goodthighs in 1967's Casino Royale that proved that she had the comedic wit to match her bodacious bod. As much as we love this parody Bond film, it almost brought Bisset's career to a startling end.
In the middle of filming, Bisset's co-star Peter Sellers fired a prop gun directly into her face. The discharge from the prop weapon caused temporary blindness, and she received minor injuries from dropping a bottle of wine on her foot. Even when you're in a parody it's dangerous to be around a super spy.
Japanese actress Mie Hama played 'Kissy Suzuki' in the Bond film You Only Live Twice
To be a Bond girl is to not only carry the weight of a film on your shoulders (whether they admit it or not, everyone is looking at you), but it's also a bet of a gamble with your career. You may be appearing in a massive film but it's the one thing anyone will ever say about you.
Hama knew the pitfalls of the Bond life, and while she enjoyed the process she found that filmmaking really wasn't for her. After You Only Live Twice she said goodbye to the film industry and cut her contract with with the Japanese studio Toho to do things her own way. She told the New York Times:
It was an honor to be a Bond girl, but once was enough. didn’t want that image to stick with me. I am actually a subdued and steady person, but I felt that somewhere beyond my control, others were creating a character named ‘Mie Hama.’
Jayne Mansfield and Lana Turner, 1960s
The late 1950s and early '60s were ruled by blonde bombshells, those gorgeous and buxom actress who were given peroxide hairdos in order to mimic to success of Marilyn Monroe. Two of the most beloved bombshells of the era were Jayne Mansfield and Lana Turner, even though Turner proceeded Mansfield in the industry by decades.
Turner was somewhat of a blueprint for Mansfield even if she had a much longer career. Both women had to constantly bleach their hair to get it that nearly white shade of peroxide blonde, and they both witnessed the decline of the studio system. Unfortunately, Mansfield passed away before she could reap the benefits of working outside the system, but Turner managed to keep her career afloat and find success throughout the '60s and '70s.
Marisa Mell was an Austrian actress who became a cult figure of 1960s Italian B- films
Some actors are able to establish themselves in only a few films. They use their extraordinary talents and extreme luck to keep their filmography short and sweet, but Marisa Mel wasn't one of those actors. She appeared in dozens of Italian b-movies, most notably Secret Agent Super Dragon and Danger: Diabolik, directed by horror maestro Mario Bava.
While Secret Agent Super Dragon is pretty much just an Italian James Bond rip off (that's super fun), Diabolik is genuinely astounding. At the time of its release it received fairly negative reviews, but today it's seen as one of the more influential caper movies of the 1960s.
Mel is stunning in the film, and if she'd never made another movie Danger: Diabolik would be an excellent jewel in her crown.
Natalie Wood monkeying around, 1960s
There's never been a star quite like Natalie Wood. She was one of the few child stars who was able to transition effortlessly to adult roles, allowing the audience to watch her grow into an adult as she acted in some of the most important films of the 1950s and '60s.
The daughter of Russian immigrants, Woods landed her first role at four years old when she was spotted by a production company and placed in 1943's Happy Land. Soon afterwards she appeared in the 1946 Orson Welles film Tomorrow Is Forever. But even as a child actress she said that she was like a little adult. She explained:
I spent practically all my time in the company of adults. I was very withdrawn, very shy, I did what I was told and I tried not to disappoint anybody. I knew I had a duty to perform, and I was trained to follow orders.
Natalie Wood, 1964
After her breakout role in 1955's Rebel Without A Cause Wood began taking on more serious roles, but it was the release of West Side Story that turned her into a household name. By the early '60s she wasn't just famous, but she was a part of a famous couple.
Wood married Robert Wagner in 1957 and the two immediately turned heads. They were such a power couple that their presence became a thing of note for the press on slow news days. She explained:
We drove a Corvette across the country. Radio stations would announce we had just passed through, and people would wait for us in every little town.
One of Cher's many groovy outfits, 1960s
Cher is known for many things: her unbeatable discography, an amazing stage show, a weird Twitter presence, and her outfits. Since the 1960s she's been wearing some of the most garish and glamorous costumes that the world has ever seen, but she doesn't put those things together on her own.
The secret weapon for Cher's clothing arsenal is Bob Mackie, a clothing designer that she met in an early appearance on the Carol Burnett Show. The two formed such a bond that he became her designer for the initial iteration of the Sonny and Cher Show and he's been working with her ever since. Mackie explained the joy of costuming Cher to Harpers Bazaar:
She would have up to 20 costumes for an hour-long show. It might be on camera for 30 seconds or 10 minutes, but she wore lots and lots of clothes so she became this amazing clothes horse. I could get a piece of beautiful matte jersey and we could make her a dress in 10 minutes because her body was incredible to work with. She looked good in so many things, the more interesting and exotic, the better. She said one time, 'I’m like your ******* Barbie!!'
Priscilla Presley looking pretty groovy, 1960
The 1960s were a strange time for Priscilla Presley. After years of being courted by Elvis when she was only a teenager, she moved to Memphis where she lived with the King while finishing high school. At the same time he was making sure she dressed the way he liked and wore makeup the way he wanted.
Presley later described herself as "Elvis’ living doll, to fashion as he pleased," and she meant it. He dyed her hair the color he wanted and had her correct her posture, it was only then that the two were married.
On May 1, 1967, Priscilla and the King married in Las Vegas and pretty much immediately sired Lisa Marie.
Raquel Welch looking gorgeous in front of the cool corvette, 1960s
As one of the most beautiful actresses of the 1960s, Raquel Welch turned teenage boys and men alike into cartoon wolves with their tongues hanging out whenever she appeared onscreen. However, according to Hollywood gossip she was impossible to deal with on set.
When asked why she was hard to deal with while she was filming, Welch noted that she had to protect herself in Hollywood. She told Barbara Walters:
You can’t please everybody all the time. I think there are quite a number of people I do please. And I’m very much a perfectionist and quite demanding, but I’m worth it.
Raquel Welch on the set of The Magic Christian (1969)
The Magic Christian is an absolutely wild movie. Starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr (yes, that Ringo Starr) as a millionaire and a tramp who go one a series of wild set of adventures that take them from a grouse hunt to a train ride, it's super weird.
For her part, Welch shows up as the Priestess of the Whip, as a slave driver who flogs an entire gallery of topless oarswomen in about 30 seconds of film. It's seriously very weird. It's definitely worth checking out if for not other reason than to check out Welch's scene, but we wish the whole movie was about her.
Raquel Welch rocking a leotard in the 1960s
Even today, Raquel Welch is a sex symbol for the ages. She's gorgeous and sultry with a pout that invites the audience to ask what she's thinking about. She's just absolutely drop dead sexy. However, Welch says that she doesn't feel that way, and that more often than not she feels like a fraud. She told Cigar Aficionado:
I think I was always more intimidated by my image than anyone else. I mean, there's a tremendous loss of self, because you really are in a job where this image has been created. You get tired, you wake up ugly, you don't have anything new to say to people and you feel like a lemon that's had all the juice squeezed out of it.
Raquel Welch, 1967
Raquel Welch first blew our minds when she appeared in a fur bikini in One Million Years B.C. Audiences were bowled over not only by her beauty, but by the confidence she exhibits in every move.
To hear Welch say it, she doesn't feel confident. Instead, she explains that early in her career she worried that she was going to be kicked out of Hollywood for not being good enough:
Especially in the beginning you feel like you are going to be discovered as a fake. Like everyone is going to think, 'Well, why did we think she was so great?' It's human nature to pick people apart, and you just can't stand that you're under all this scrutiny. And yet at the same time, you're saying, 'I'm the luckiest person in the world because I've got this chance that everybody dreams of having.' It's really bittersweet.
Senta Berger in the Matt Helm film The Ambushers (1967)
It's rare that a German actress is hired to play a Mexican member of super secret evil spy group, but that's just the kind of of the box thinking you can rely on in a Matt Helm film. If you don't remember, the Matt Helm series was a spoof on the James Bond movies starring Dean Martin as a photographer by day, spy by night.
Berger appears in the third film in the series, The Ambushers, but that was one of her few entrees into American film. Most of her work occurred in Germany with some stabs into the rest of Europe. It's a shame that she didn't do more American work because she's an interesting actor and absolutely gorgeous.
Sophia Loren in fishnet stockings, 1962
It feels like Sophia Loren has been with us forever. She first came to prominence at the age of 15 when she was selected as one of the last three finalists of the Miss Italia 1950 beauty pageant, and won the title of “Miss Elegance 1950."
Loren went to international acclaim in 1958 with Desire Under Elms and Heller in Pink Tights, and from there she started wowing us and didn't stop. When asked if there was anything she would do differently in her multi-decade career she gave a surprising answer, not really:
In a long, long career like I had — and by the way, I have — it’s very difficult to be able to criticize some of the moments that you do by yourself that you never tell to other people. It’s a very normal thing to do because you cannot every time have a big victory – no, there have been moments, maybe weak moments, where you did something that you are not really very happy about. If you asked me what it is, I don’t know...
The gorgeous Lori Saunders of Petticoat Junction, 1960s
Petticoat Junction was one of the three shows on television in the 1960s that brought audiences into the lives of a rural family who's a bit kooky but incredibly loving. The show was a huge hit, but Lori says that in order to get people to watch the first season all of the actresses had to do a huge public press blitz complete with thigh high boots and dancing, not exactly what you'd expect form Petticoat Junction. She told Closer Weekly:
We did a matinee and two evening shows with singing and a little dancing — basically a big blitz for Petticoat. We were wearing these white, thigh-high boots and we were so tired of them. After the show, we took them off and dumped them in the ocean!
The groovy and pretty Sharon Marie Tate, 1960s
It's hard to know just what Sharon Tate could have done if she survived the '60s. As an actress she was often pigeonholed into the role of a dumb blonde, but she was so much more than that. She was funny and smart, a student of cinema there was likely nothing she couldn't have accomplished.
However, Tate thought poorly of her abilities, once claiming, "I’m a trick done with wigs, aliases, teachers and, I guess, a lot of money." Even so, in the films which she does appear she's truly fascinating to watch. It's Valley of the Dolls where she shows her most range as a character who uses her beauty as a means to get what she wants. Tate later explained that she felt close to her character, Jennifer, which is likely why she earned a Golden Globe nomination for the film.
The lovely Barbara Eden posing for a photo shoot outdoors in the 1960s 👙
I Dream of Jeanine is pure comfort viewing. Not only is it one of the most fun shows of the '60s with amazing set design and the perfect amount of camp, but you can tell everyone is having fun on set.
While speaking about her glory days on set, Eden said that from the moment the director called action it was pure magic. Although, she admits that she could get carried away every once in a while. She told Closer Weekly:
When that camera started rolling, It was just heaven. Larry [Hagman] said I scared him to death! I threw my arms around his neck and said, ‘Oh, Master!’ And he was like, ‘What is this woman doing?'
Ursula Andress as 'Honey Ryder' in the 1962 James Bond film, Dr. No
With one short scene and one very white bikini, Ursula Andress worked her way into the public consciousness forever. Dr. No did quite a bit for cinema, and whole establishing James Bond's big screen legacy is important, it also gave rise to the "Bond Girl," a sexy actress who shows up in a 007 to, well, be a sexy actress.
For many Bond Girls this kind of thing can be the kiss of death, but for Andress it was the beginning of an all new way of life. She explained:
It was a big moment for me. I think that simple bikini made a complete difference to my career. It made me into a success... It’s a mystery. All I did was wear this bikini in Dr. No – not even a small one – and whoosh! Overnight, I made it. It gave me financial independence and changed my life completely.
What could be more beautiful than a dear old lady growing wise with age. Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it. -- Bridget Bardot
Fame never sat well with Brigitte Bardot. Even when she left the film industry there was no hope of ever making the public forget that she was one of the most gorgeous women on the planet, and the face that brought the world to St. Tropez.
While speaking with The Guardian, Bardot explained that there's no peace for her, even today, and that while she's happy to give her fans a photo or a brief conversation, she'll never have the privacy she so rightly deserves:
I don’t know what it means to sit quietly in a bistro, on a terrace, or in the theatre without being approached by someone... People will come up to me. They’ll be watching what Brigitte Bardot is eating, how she holds her fork. They will ask for yet another photo. I have never refused. But I still can’t stand being watched. Certain people … want to embrace me, to touch me.
Barbara Roufs, a groovy gear girl
It's rare that a pinup captures the pubic's imagination the way that Barbara Roufs has. You'll see her in a ton of photos from the early '70s, but that's it. It's strange that such a small amount of time in front of the camera can make someone such a cult figure, but I guess that's exactly how one becomes beloved by the underground.
With such a fleeting amount of time in the spotlight, it's sad that she never transitioned into a more expansive modeling career. Although, if she left the race track for the world of fashion then it's likely that we wouldn't have all the amazing drag racing photos that we have of her.
Barbara Roufs smiling in the winner's circle
It's likely that drag racing wouldn't have gotten as big as it did in the '70s without pin ups like Barbara Roufs and Jungle Pam. There beauty didn't just bring men to the sport, but it kept them buying tickets to each and every competition. Even if they weren't huge gear heads, everyone likes to see a babe parading around the two-lane blacktop.
Roufs dropped out of the racing world almost as quickly as she joined in, but we'll always have her groovy pictures to remind us of the amazing times that were to be had on the race track, even if you didn't care about engines, exhaust, or who crossed the finish line.