Rare Vintage Photos That Have Been Left Out Of History Books
By Sarah Norman | May 5, 2023
Raquel Welch in the movie "Bluebeard" (1972)Step back in time and relive the glamour and scandal of yesteryear with our nostalgic photo gallery. From young and carefree Hollywood stars, to royalty caught in candid moments, these photos offer a glimpse into the private lives of the famous and infamous.
Bluebeard, the immortal story of a pilot who has a penchant for doing away with his wives. Raquel Welch plays Magdalena, a promiscuous nun who loves to talk about what she’s been getting up to while she’s in the habit. At the time of the film Welch was freshly divorced from her second husband, Patrick Curtis, and was in a career peak.
On top of her appearance in Bluebeard, Welch also starred in Kansas City Bomber and Fuzz in 1972. One year later she’d get a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy for her role in The Three Musketeers.
Here's a far-out 1958 Ford X-2000 space-age concept car.
Holy smokes, what a space age looking car. Can you imagine taking this bad boy down the street and trying to find a parking space? As cool as the X-2000 looks, it’s definitely not made for to be taken out in public. This concept car was designed to look like what people might be driving in the year 2000, which is the definition of retro-futurism.
Even though the Ford’s X2000 was essentially a scale model, one fan actually decided to build one and he started taking it around to different motor shows. Do you think it comes with phasers, or just photon torpedoes?
Tina Louise as Ginger Grant in the television sitcom "Gilligan's Island"
The age old question, who would you rather be stuck on Gilligan’s Island with, Ginger or Mary Ann? At the moment we’re leaning more towards Ginger. Ginger was a far out character who was the life of the party on the island, especially when the professor got his coconut radio going. She was the actress of the group, which was easy for Louise to do because she’d been spending her time on Broadway before she was hired for the show.
In fact, her Broadway credentials garnered her special placement in the credits. She was listed last in the season one credits of the series, which was apparently a big deal for Louise.
Even Angelina Jolie felt out of place in high school
It’s nice to know that even Angelina Jolie, easily one of the sexiest women alive, made strange clothing choices when she was in high school. Initially she went to school at Beverly Hills High School where she felt uncomfortable around the children of vast wealth that surrounded her. Jolie says that it’s not until she transferred to Moreno High School, an alternative school, that she could finally be herself. She told Parade:
[Moreno High School is] where the bad kids go. I chose it. I was the punk outsider who nobody messed with. I was fearless. At 16, I graduated and moved out.
Dolly Parton lighting up the day with her smile, 1977.
Has there ever been anyone sweeter than Dolly Parton? Throughout her six decade career Parton has always been the best, and in 1977 she was just making her way into the world of pop stardom. Even though she’d been tearing up the country charts since 1959, Parton’s work in ’77 cemented her as a true pop sensation.
In 1977 Parton released her 20th solo album, Here You Come Again, which featured a single of the same name along with “It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right.” The album hit number 1 on the Billboard country charts and it peaked at number 20 on the Billboard 200.
Olivia Newton-John looking groovy in the 1970s.
In the 1970s, Olivia Newton John was the poster girl for being good. With her classically attractive looks and blonde hair, she was a target for critics who wanted to find something to dislike about her specific brand of ear candy. When Rolling Stone interviewed her in 1978 they read her a quote from Randy Newman where he said, “For the life of me, I can’t understand the vast appeal of a song like ‘I Honestly Love You.’ I mean, it’s boring, even.”
After hearing the quote Newton-John didn’t bat an eye before responding:
Well, obviously if I thought there was some truth in that, it would upset me,” she said. “I actually believe ‘I Honestly Love You’ is a great song. Whether he likes the way I sing it or not, that’s his personal taste.
It annoys me when people think [that] because it’s commercial, it’s bad. It’s completely opposite: if it’s commercial, people like it, and that’s what it’s all supposed to be about.” At the same time, she is not a pop puppet or a showroom dummy. “I wouldn’t sing anything I hated. I have to like it, or I wouldn’t sing it.
Tanya Tucker standing in the dugout during a Kenny Rogers celebrity softball game in 1977.
Maybe Tanya Tucker doesn’t immediately come to mind when you think of outlaw country, but when someone was slingin’ country hits before they could drive they’re more than qualified to be counted among folks like Willie and Waylon. Taken before she was 20 years old, this photo definitely shows Tucker leaning into the outlaw lifestyle.
Not only is she rocking a cold beer and throwing some serious shade, but she looks so cool with her Farrah Fawcett hair and the knee-high socks. Who cares how she was on the field as long as she looked cool while she was out there?
Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan smiling (out of the wrestling ring) in the 1980s.
These vintage images will transport you to a time of bold fashion choices and daring lifestyles. Take a look behind the curtain and see the celebrities of the past in a whole new light. From a young Tom Cruise on the cusp of stardom, to Princess Diana dancing at the White House, these photographs will surprise and fascinate you.
With a focus on entertainment, we delve into the in ring rivalry between André the Giant and Hulk Hogan, which captivated audiences throughout the ‘80s. From 1980 to 1983 the two wrestled more than 20 times for the WWF and NJPW (New Japan Pro Wrestling), their feud reignited for Wrestlemania III in 1987. The entire time the two guys were palling around and making a ton of money along the way. Join us as we explore the fads of the past, and see how they shaped the present. Keep reading, the most exciting and fascinating stories are yet to come.
Jack Nicholson was terrified of running into Michelle Phillips' ex-boyfriend
Before Jack Nicholson was the most recognizable Lakers fan in the world, he was just a character actor doing his best to stay afloat in Los Angeles. Prior to 1969 he mostly appeared in B-movies by Roger Corman, but that year he took a supporting role in Easy Rider that quickly earned him the role that defined his career in Five Easy Pieces.
At the time he was seeing Michelle Phillips of the Mama’s and the Papas, and even though the two got on like gangbusters he was so afraid of her ex, Dennis Hopper, that he slept with a hammer under his pillow. It seems that even though the two men worked together on Easy Rider they weren’t good enough friends to date the same person.
The one and only Elvis Aaron Presley.
Everyone has a favorite Elvis song, but do you have a favorite Elvis karate move? The King started studying karate in 1958 and even though he took his studies very seriously he was always Elvis when he was in the dojo. Master Kang Rhee of Memphis, who trained the King, said that Elvis often wore boots while he practiced, and that he insisted on using practicing with live weapons. He wrote:
When Elvis...practice[d] self-defense demonstrations, he insisted on using real firearms. Most everyone used wooden guns, but not Elvis.
In his book, Elvis’ Karate Legacy, he wrote that Elvis had a crisp technical ability and that the practitioners in Memphis were impressed with the amount of time he put into the art.
People waiting in line for the premiere of "Star Wars" in 1977.
Today it seems like a forgone conclusion that a new Star Wars movie will make the GDP of a small country over the course of its opening weekend, but in 1977 20th Century Fox had trouble getting the movie in theaters let alone worrying about how much money the movie would make. Before its release the studio behind Star Wars (Fox) had to strong arm theaters into running the picture. Essentially, if a theater wanted to show Other Side of Midnight they had to show Star Wars.
Even though theaters weren’t stoked about showing a kiddie movie like Star Wars, they were rewarded for their bravery when the movie took off like the Millennium Falcon into light speed. Chuck Viane, the former head of distribution at Disney, was working in Chicago at the time and he says that the theater’s decision to show Star Wars turned their business around:
Back then, movies played in exclusive runs in select cities. I bid for Star Wars and won it exclusively for the St. Park, a struggling theater we had just bought in Minneapolis. I don't recall whether it was the first week or weekend, but the St. Park grossed $250,000, more than it had made in the prior three months.
"Whoever controls the media, controls the mind." -Jim Morrison, 1967
Jim Morrison was only 23-years-old when The Doors played “Light My Fire” on the Ed Sullivan show. Even though they offended Sullivan and made sure they never played his show again by refusing to change the lyrics of their song, the band catapulted themselves to super stardom. Morrison was troubled by the song’s success, but the track afforded him an excuse to stay out and carouse every night.
Morrison didn’t handle stardom well. He tripped on LSD and and drank until he blacked out. Supposedly he was such a bad drinker that Janis Joplin got annoyed with him at a party and smashed a bottle of Southern Comfort over his head. As often as he misbehaved, Morrison loved to perform. He felt it was duty to take the audience on a trip with him. He told Albert Goldman from Life Magazine:
We’re really politicians. You could call us erotic politicians… a Doors concert is really a public meeting called by us for a special kind of dramatic discussion and entertainment. [The audience] go home and interact with their reality, then I get it all back by interacting with that reality.
Did someone say pink? This very groovy 1973 Volvo ad must have
For some strange reason, maybe a dare, the folks at Volvo decided to follow up the the P1800 coupe, a two-door coup made famous in Cold War era spy show The Saint, with a squat, weird little station-wagon type car. There’s nothing wrong with the 1800ES. If you had a small family that needed to be driven around in the early ‘70s this was the most stylish car you could do it in.
However, you probably only saw these bad boys in these ads because Volvo didn’t make very many of them. There were less than 8,100 manufactured and put on sale in Europe and North America. The car was phased out in 1973 and it was rarely seen on the road after that.
A young Don Rickles in his Navy whites. He enlisted in the United States Navy after graduating from high school and served during World War II.
While we tend to think of Don Rickles as one of the greatest entertainers of his life time, and a comedian who always had a zing at the ready, Rickles also served in the Navy during World War II. He enlisted as a Seaman First Class and served from 1944 - 1946 on the USS Cyrene in the Philippines.
During that time Mr. Warmth definitely kept his fellow troops entertained, but he notes that he wasn’t exactly excited to go away to the service. Rickles said:
I was in World War II; I cried when they took me in the Navy. That's the last time I cried.
Jimi Hendrix enlisted in the Army in 1961 and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division where he was stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.
Before he was drenched in purple haze, Jimi Hendrix was wearing all green while briefly serving in the Army. After running afoul of the law for bopping around in stolen cars Hendrix was given the option of going to jail or enrolling in the Army, he chose the latter. After spending a year with the 101st Airborne Division Hendrix was caught pleasuring himself by his superiors and was discharged.
It’s not clear if Hendrix was trying to get caught so he’d be kicked out, or if his superiors were strictly against self pleasure, but whatever the case on May 31 he was set free to unleash his raw guitar power on the world.
Leon Russell and a beardless Willie Nelson, 1979.
After restarting his career in Texas, Willie Nelson started touring non-stop with his band the Rolling Smoke Revue. According to Rolling Stone, Nelson and his crew all traveled under pseudonyms - Nelson was known as “Fast Eddie,” and his manager was “Poodie,” and his bodyguard was “Snake.” Even though Willie is most often thought of as a bearded, long hair stoner, he admitted in the late ‘70s that he shaved in the summers because the weather was too darn hot.
Russell and Nelson toured together and ended up recording the album “One for the Road” in 1979 that featured classics like “I Saw The Light” and “Don’t Fence Me In.” It's a snapshot of life on tour with these two country dynamos.
Clint Eastwood reading to Manis the orangutan on the set of "Every Which Way But Loose" (1978)
What a strange career Clint Eastwood has had. After playing a cowboy for decades he reinvented himself as a tough guy who took out bad guys and tossed off one-liners, and then he filmed a movie with an orangutang - but that almost didn’t happen. Burt Reynolds was set to star in the film, which totally makes sense, but when he changed his mind about the role Eastwood took it on and added new depth to his career. He discussed how no one expected him to make his bare knuckle boxing monkey movie:
It was not quite the thing people were expecting. No one was particularly excited about it. It had nothing to do with Dirty Harry. I saw it as some camp deal. There was something about the screenplay that was unusual. I mean, it was about this fringe society where there was bare-knuckle fighting… It turned out to be this PG kind of movie one that could reach down to an audience I hadn't been appealing to with the tougher pictures.
'Aunt Esther' purse ad from the 1970s
Have you ever needed to just smack someone upside the head? Are you constantly confronted with suckers and turkeys who won’t get out of your way? Or are you getting mugged all the time? If so you need to pick up an Aunt Esther purse that has enough space to hold your personal belongings and enough extra leather to knock out anyone who gets in your face.
Aunt Esther was most well known for telling it like it is on Sanford and Son and for having a contentious relationship with Fred. It’s not clear how many of these purses were sold or how many concussions came from these purses, but there hopefully the actress LaWanda Page got some kind of kickback.
Heather Locklear and Tom Cruise dated each other for six months in 1982.
In 1982 Tom Cruise wasn’t yet the biggest star in the world, he’d only appeared in a couple of movies at the time, but he was still a major babe. After meeting Locklear at an audition the two went out for a few months, but according to the Melrose Place actress Cruise was super embarrassing to hang out with. She said:
You know in 'Risky Business' where he does that dance in his underwear and does the splits? We were dancing at a club and he went into that! He starting doing the splits… You just kind of stand there and don't know what to do. Do you dance around him? So, I was like, 'I'll just sit down…’
Joan Jett, Deborah Harry, David Johansen and Joey Ramone in a PUNK Magazine photograph from 1977.
New York in 1977 was the place to be. Bands like The Ramones, Blondie, and the New York Dolls were blowing up the scene and changing rock and pop forever. So much has been said of that era, but Anthony Bourdain - who was 21 at the time - put it best:
The music and the musicians who started playing and hanging out with each other at CBGB were an appropriate reaction to the general feelings of hopelessness, absurdity, futility, and disgust of living in New York at the time… When the as-New York-as-it-gets Ramones took the stage, they immediately banished all music that preceded it, dooming it to irrelevance.
John Ritter in a groovy shirt and flashing his pearly whites, 1970s.
It was always nice to watch John Ritter on television; no matter what he was doing there was always a mischievous smile on his face that let the audience know that he was having fun in front of the camera. Even though he was just on Three’s Company he didn’t act like he was unhappy to be on a sitcom. Instead, he actually knew how good he had it. Ritter once joked:
Most people don't know that I am an accomplished dramatic actor... But I've performed in several Shakespeare productions including Hamlet, except in this version, Hamlet lives in an apartment with two women, and has to pretend he's gay so that the landlord won't evict him.
Kim Basinger in the Bond film "Never Say Never Again," 1983. Basinger suggested other girls for the role in the casting session
Before she took on the role of Domino Petachi in Never Say Never Again, Kim Basinger had only performed in two films, and before that she was a model. Even though she’s naturally stunning, Basinger said that she didn’t think the producers would want her for the film so she crammed all the Bond she could before going into the meeting, but she still didn't think she was right for the part. She told Interview magazine:
I did a lot of research. I remember going to that meeting with the producer. It was Micheline, Sean’s wife, who had suggested me for this role. I had a meeting with these people, and I sat there and suggested a lot of other girls in the business for the part because I said, ‘I do not look like that, okay?’ But the producer said, ‘No, Sean wants to meet you in London.’
Once she made it to London she was still unsure of herself, but before she knew it she was in the Caribbean with Sean Connery in his final Bond film.
Marilyn Monroe sitting in the shade on the set of the film "Some Like It Hot" (1959)
Some Like It Hot is one of those movies that couldn’t be made today. Two jazz musicians on the run from the mob posing as women - and one of the musicians uses his misbegotten friendship with blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe to sleep with her. Yeah have fun trying to get that into the theaters in the 21st century. Despite its less than PC themes the movie is one of the funniest comedies of all time.
Jack Lemmon is on fire in the movie, and Marilyn Monroe has never been more fascinating to watch on screen. According to co-star Tony Curtis, he and Monroe had a fling while on set. Although he doesn’t think she was all that into him. He wrote:
When I was in bed with Marilyn, I was never sure, before, during or after, where her mind was. She was an actress. She could play a part. She could give the part what she thought a man wanted. I never asked for more. What I experienced with her was unforgettable.
Lee Van Cleef and Clint Eastwood on the set of "For a Few Dollars More, " Van Cleef's character was almost played by Charles Bronson
While we think of Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti western trilogy as the pinnacle of the western genre, it was almost just a one and done thing. Eastwood filmed A Fistful of Dollars in Italy in order to get out of TV, but the whole thing was a gamble, he didn’t know what was going to happen. Initially the producers wanted Charles Bronson (and about 20 other actors) for the part, but Eastwood took it on.
Producers asked him to film a sequel almost immediately after they wrapped production but he balked because he didn’t know how the film would be received. When he saw a rough cut of the Italian language version of the film he called director Sergio Leone and said he was in. Once again, Leone reached out to Bronson to appear in the sequel but the actor turned it down. The director called up Lee Van Cleef and the history was made.
Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) and Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon) with their shoe phones on "Get Smart"
There was a glut of super spy content in the 1960s, and while you could go to a myriad of places for taut action and suspense, Get Smart was the spy show that you could throw on with your family and crack up for 30 minutes. According to executive producer Leonard B. Stern, star Don Adams loved to shoot action sequences, it’s just that they were always edited out of the final product. He explained:
I personally tried to avoid any display of violence especially where it concerned Don [Adams]. He loved to be in action sequences and very often we filmed it, but edited out, so he was gratified he did it and by the time it was put together and on the air he had forgotten about it. I didn’t want him to be exploiting an aggressive attitude and I think it does a disservice to comedy if you sense the reality. You gotta believe the heavies are real and can be dangerous but you don’t have to constantly display it.
If you've seen one 40 foot tall purple gorilla you've seen them all. Grape Ape appeared on the Saturday morning cartoon "The Great Grape Ape Show " in 1975.
When it comes to weird cartoon characters Hanna-Barbera really runs the game. Not only do they have a team of groovy teens that solve mysteries with a dog, but they threw a 40 foot purple ape on screen on Saturday mornings and made it work. The series followed Grape Ape while he hung out with his normal sized dog buddy Beegle Beagle.
Beegle drove a small yellow van around while Grape Ape sat on top and somehow didn’t crush his little buddy. The series only ran for one season, but Grape Ape continued to appear on shows like the Tom and Jerry/Grape Ape Show and Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics / Scooby's All-Stars. No matter where you saw Grape Ape you have to admit that he did a grape job.
The Monkees with their award for outstanding comedy at the 1967 Emmys.
Even if they were regarded as a passing fad at the time, The Monkees have proved that they’re the real deal and that they staying power. They started their reign at the 1967 Emmys when they took home a couple of those gold boys, not for acting or music, but for direction and one for “outstanding comedy.” Critics may not have understood what The Monkees were doing at the time, but the series had some of the most surreal comedy this side of the pond. Creator Bob Rafelson explained his idea to the Hollywood Reporter:
I wanted the show to be radical for the time with super-fast editing, cuts and balloons with dialogue coming out of people's mouths. From my point of view, we were taking what Truffaut and Godard were doing and applying that to TV. But it had to be madcap like my original inspiration, the Marx Brothers.
Natalie Wood poses for the camera at an amusement park during her brief retirement in the 1970s
After her career highs as a young woman in the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s Natalie Wood took a much deserved break in the ‘70s. She rekindled her relationship with Robert Wagner and the two had a child in 1974. Her sister, Lana, says that this period of Natalie’s life was the most relaxed she’d ever seen her. She wrote about this period in her memoir about Natalie:
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.
Princess Diana dances with an uncomfortable Clint Eastwood at the White House in 1985.
What could these two be talking about? The don’t have much in common aside from the fact that they’re both in the White House. According to People Magazine, Nancy Reagan specially invited Tom Selleck, Neil Diamond, Clint Eastwood and John Travolta specifically so they would dance with the princess. John Travolta said that he was told to ask Diana to dance when the band kicked into the Saturday Night Fever hit “You Should Be Dancing.”
When it came to Eastwood, the two mostly made conversation while they danced. According to Tom Selleck, Clint Eastwood was uncomfortable dancing with the princess and he told her that at 24 she was too old for him. However, Eastwood later said of the dance, “She made my day.”
Who remembers this ad from the 1970s? Columbia Records introduced The Columbia House brand in the early 1970s. Did you buy them too?
Ah, Columbia House Records, that great scheme that kept young people in 8-tracks, cassettes, and even CDs well into the 2000s. In the ‘70s Columbia house offered more than a dozen albums for dollar, which seems like a crazy deal, and while they didn’t make any money off the single dollar, they made bank from something called “negative billing.”
The whole thing with negative billing is that once you sign up for Columbia House (or another service that uses this option) they keep sending you stuff and charging you for it until you cancel your membership. Smart subscribers knew how to cancel their subscription the moment they had that sweet, sweet Boston LP in their hands. Or, they knew how to subscribe under a different name. Not that we’d know anything about that.
Ozzy, Sharon, Aimee, Jack and Kelly Osbourne in a sweet family photo, 1986.
By 1986, Ozzy had fully cemented his legacy as the finest madman of rock n’ roll. He bit the head off a dove and a bat, he might have had rabies, and he was four years removed from peeing on the Alamo. Life was good. At the time he was doing his best to live a semi-clean life. He was working out, taking vitamins, and even visiting a chiropractor. However, while speaking with Spin in ’86 he admitted that the overhaul in his life affected the kind of songs he sang:
I suddenly realized that when I was a drug addict, I used to write things like ‘flying high again,’ ‘snowblind,’ all this ****. And the other night, I thought, ‘F*ckin’ ‘ell, I sing one song for it and then straight after I sing one song against it.’ But the thing is, that’s OK. Because that was where I was when I wrote that, so why shouldn’t I do it? It’s part of my life. It’s part of what I am and what I will be. I might start singing ******* religious songs. I don’t think so, but if I choose to, why not?
Punk Rock blondie Debbie Harry back in the '70s.
New York City in the 1970s was full of characters. Glammed out guitar players and weirdo poets and painters all walked the streets looking for inspiration, but Debby Harry was the one performer who was always a rock star. As the singer for Blondie she captivated audiences with her stark good lucks and siren call of a voice, but the songwriting was there too. When the band broke big in 1978 with “Parallel Lines” it’s as if the group was just waiting for it to happen, like it was an inevitability. Even though they’re known for tracks like “Dreaming” and “Heart of Glass,” Harry describes Blondie’s early shows as chaotic at best. She told Interview Magazine:
We had a date at CB’s before we left, as our kick-off before we went on this amazing tour. The fire department came and then the bomb squad came. [Moody laughs] It was real chaotic. It was wonderful. I mean, the place was overcrowded, so they shut us down twice but we managed to keep on playing.
Robert Fuller, Julie London and Bobby Troup in "Emergency!"
Before there was Cops, and definitely before Rescue 911 there was Emergency! One of the first TV shows that took a realistic look at what it takes for paramedics, police, and firefighters to save lives on an every day basis. This tense series jumpstarted the “municipal services” genre of television that we still have today, and after six seasons the show went on to make six made for TV movies.
Weirdly enough, the series had a Saturday morning cartoon spin off called Emergency +4, which was about a group of kids who drove around in an ambulance with their pet to assist the paramedics Gage and DeSoto from the main show. Surprisingly this series ran for two seasons. As rough as that cartoon sounds, at least the show it was spun off from is still an exciting watch.
Sharon Stone in 1983.
Believe it or not, but there was brief period in time when Sharon Stone wasn’t one of the most sought after actresses on the planet. In the early ‘80s she mostly worked in television with appearances on Remington Steele, The New Mike Hammer and Magnum, P.I. She played a lot of damsels in distress and femme fatales. How did she go from being a bit player to starring in huge movies? She used her brain. Stone told the Independent:
I decided because I was a very bookworm person that I had to use my intelligence of how to be sexy. So I was very good friends with the woman who was photo-editor of Hefner's magazine and she was always saying that Hugh Hefner wanted me to be in [it]. I thought, ‘you know what, this would be an intelligent step for me because if I tell people that I’m sexy, they’ll think I’m sexy’. So I showed her some black and white pictures that Man Ray had taken of his wife and said, ‘something like this’. And I got Basic Instinct, like five minutes later.
Soundgarden's singer/rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, 1989.
When Chris Cornell passed away in 2017 it was like a punch in the gut to music fans everywhere. His soulful voice and twisting lyrics were such a respite to fans it’s terrible that he’s gone. In 1989 Soundgarden was just exploding onto the music scene, and Spin believed they were about to hit the big time if they could get over being compared to Led Zeppelin. As annoying as it can be to hear the same comparison over and over again, Cornell had a sense of humor about it. He told Spin:
When we first got stuck with that Led Zep tag three years ago, I thought it was O.K. Back then, everyone in Seattle was into the Smiths and the Cure and Led Zeppelin was very ‘70s, very uncool. We were outcasts from the goofy art rock scene, which was fine by me. I just figured, it could be worse, they could’ve compared me to Jim Morrison.
A young Steven Seagal a 7th-dan black belt in aikido.
Wow, who knew Steven Seagal had such great hair? Before he was an action star or a lawman, Seagal was a sought after martial artist who studied and taught akido in North Hollywood and West Hollywood, California. He grew up in Lansing, Michigan, but after his family moved to Fullerton, California when he was five-years-old he blossomed. His mother told People that as soon as Seagal was old enough all he did was listen to ear splitting rock music and train at a local dojo.
When Seagal was old enough he traveled to Japan to further his studies, although the year this actually happened is murky. He went back and forth from Los Angeles to Japan a few times and even opened a dojo in Osaka with his then wife and her family. Seagal says that at this time he was recruited by the CIA for special training. In 1988 he told the Los Angeles Times:
These guys were my students. They saw my abilities both with martial arts and with the language. You can say that I became an adviser to several CIA agents in the field, and. through my friends in the CIA, met many powerful people and did special works and special favors.
Who knows if the story is true? Even if it’s not it’s a lot of fun.
Burt Reynolds wasn't confident with his acting abilities when he filmed "The Longest Yard" (1974)
To a lot of cinephiles from the groovy era, Burt Reynolds is one of the finest and most fun actors of the day. He had an ease and a charisma around him that let the audience know that everything was going to be alright, and that they were in for a fun ride. Reynolds knew that he was good at setting people at ease, but he didn’t think he was a very good actor.
When it came time to film the more dialog heavy scenes in the film, Reynolds says that he was nervous, so director Robert Aldrich allowed him to do one take as written, and another “schtick take” just in case he came up with some magic. Reynolds says that more than half of his scenes are “schtick takes.”
Clint Eastwood and 'Clyde' (Manis) the orangutan staying busy on the set of “Every Which Way But Loose” (1978)
To paraphrase a wise man, don’t work with children or animals. Clint Eastwood didn’t really have a choice when he signed on to star in the comedy Every Which Way But Loose where he shared to screen with Manis the beer drinking orangutan. The pair make a great comedy duo on screen and it’s likely because their takes are so immediate. This is because if the takes went on too long Manis got bored.
We’ve never been around a bored orangutan, but it doesn’t sound pretty. Whatever he did, it couldn’t have been that bad because Eastwood agreed to come back for the sequel.
There was no script for "Viva Las Vegas" when Ann-Margret and Elvis got started (1964)
Even though Viva Las Vegas is regarded as one of Elvis’ classic films, it could have gone completely the other way. According to the film’s director, George Sidney, there wasn’t even a story when Elvis and Ann-Margret agreed to appear in the film. Initially the film was meant to take place in the Middle East, but after some brainstorming they decided to move the action to Sin City. He said:
That was one of those cases where we had no script and we had a commitment. 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.
Stevie Ray Vaughan was still figuring things out in 1979
1979 was a tumultuous year for Stevie Ray Vaughn. He was still putting together the trio that would back him up for the rest of his life, playing around Austin to critical acclaim, and he was arrested for drug possession at the end of the year. That night Vaughn and his band were opening for Muddy Waters, who said that the arrest disheartened him. In a biography of Vaughn, Waters said:
Stevie could perhaps be the greatest guitar player that ever lived, but he won't live to get 40 years old if he doesn't leave that white powder alone.
The arrest followed Vaughn for the rest of his life, and for a while it kept the band from touring overseas.
Tim Conway, Flip Wilson and Burt Reynolds doing a skit on "The Flip Wilson Show" in 1971.
The Flip Wilson Show was one of the most groundbreaking television shows of the groovy era. Not only was it one of the first shows featuring a black person in the title role, but it was a seriously weird and funny show, something that Wilson doesn’t get enough credit for. Wilson had a ton of sketches on the show, but he also had the clout to get a ton of stars to join him on screen, and he never made bones about having to flex his popularity to get what he wanted.
During its first two seasons The Flip Wilson Show was the highest rated show in America according to Nielsen, and it won a series of awards during its four seasons on the air including two Emmy awards.
Elisabeth Shue as Ali Mills in the flick "The Karate Kid," 1984.
Ah, the Karate Kid, the immortal story of a young man overcoming obstacles to become a karate master who beats up a bunch of jocks. Oh, and Elisabeth Shue shows up as the love interest. There’s no way that you didn’t have a crush on Shue in this movie, especially in her role as the super cool Ali Mills, a high school cheerleader who’s dealing with her arrogant ex-boyfriend.
It’s hard to believe that this was only Shue’s second film because she’s absolutely fantastic in the movie. After Karate Kid Shue went onto star in Adventures in Baby Sitting and a couple of little movies called Back to the Future 2 & 3. She’s gone on to appear in movies both big and small, and we never get tired of seeing her onscreen.
Bruce, Linda, Brandon and Shannon Lee doing a photo shoot in Los Angeles, 1970.
Shorty after their marriage in 1964, Bruce Lee and Linda Emery had two children, Brandon and Shannon. Linda met Bruce when she was studying Wing Chun under him shortly after he moved to America in the 1960s. They lived in Seattle while Lee traveled across the world working on films like The Wrecking Crew and Marlowe.
This photo would have been taken in a “lull” for Lee prior to his work on The Big Boss and Fist of Fury. This photo is also notable for being one of the few times that Lee was actually seen with a goatee rather than his usual clean shaven face.
Cheech & Chong in "Up in Smoke," 1978.
Up In Smoke is easily one of the most important comedy films of the 1970s. Not only did it bring comedians of color to the big screen, but it was also a film that put the burgeoning Los Angeles counter culture in the face of the mainstream. The movie introduced fans across the country to cholo life, and even punk rock. It’s likely that the face of music and comedy wouldn’t be the same without Cheech and Chong.
Following Up In Smoke, Cheech and Chong went onto film a slew of movies that took their characters to different heights, and as fun as some of those movies are Up In Smoke is definitely the best.
Chicago in 1969 was a trying time for the city. The Chicago Seven were on trial for conspiring to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Even though the city was in turmoil, nothing gets this town on the Gold Coast down. At the time things were changing in a big way, and the steel industry was still going strong.
That being said, in the late ‘60s the makeup of entire neighborhoods were changing. White families were moving out of the city and a more diverse group of people were coming in. Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s Chicago would change in a big way.
Don Johnson with Eagles Founder Glenn Frey who appeared in an episode of the TV series, Miami Vice “Smuggler’s Blues” (1985)
Everyone remembers Glenn Frey as one of the leaders of The Eagles, the seminal country rock band from the ‘70s. When the band took a hiatus in the ‘80s Frey did everything but take it easy. He released a solo album in 1982, No Fun Aloud, which spawned the hits “Sexy Girl,” and “The Heat Is On.”
He also got into acting with a major appearance in the Miami Vice episode “Smuggler’s Blues” where he played a rake named Jimmy. While he was acting on the show, Frey also performed the track “Smuggler’s Blues” and he had the song “You Belong The City” on the Miami Vice soundtrack along with some cool guitar twangs and runs to the score. Who knew this Eagle would go over so well on the east coast?
The Traveling Wilburys (1988)
Has there ever been a cooler band than the Traveling Wilbury’s? Even though everyone in this band was massively popular before getting together in the Wilbury’s there’s just a certain freedom to starting over with a new group of guys. These Gretsch-slingin’ rockers got together when George Harrison needed to record a b-side for his European single “This Is Love”
George Harrison asked producer Jeff Lynne to work with him on a song, and he asked Roy Orbison to hang out at the session. The recording took place at Dylan's garage studio in Malibu, and Tom Petty got in on the match when Harrison wanted to borrow one of the singer-songwriter’s guitar. With the five guys together they recorded “Handle With Care.” And from there the Traveling Wilbury’s were born.
Cheryl Ladd looking cool and summery in her white ensemble, 1979.
Who didn’t have a crush on Cheryl Ladd? This blonde beauty is definitely going to be remembered for her nearly 90 episodes spent as Kris Monroe, the replacement for Farah Fawcett on Charlie’s Angels. But Ladd wasn’t simply a member of the Angels, she also appeared in shows like Police Woman, and the film Poison Ivy.
In 1979 Ladd was on top of the world. She was in the middle of her time with the Angels, and she was out promoting the album “Dance Forever” which featured the single "Where Is Someone To Love Me.” The song even soundtracked a Japanese whisky commercial.
Jayne Mansfield, 1957.
Jayne Mansfield has always been one of America’s greatest blonde bombshells, and no matter where she appeared she always popped onscreen. In 1957 Mansfield was in the middle of her contract with 20th Century Fox. While she appeared in a couple of dramas before ’57, her breakout role came in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? where she played Rita Marlowe, a famous actress who’s got “oh-so-kissable lips.”
After starring in Rock Hunter, Mansfield went onto star alongside of Cary Grant in Kiss Them for Me. Also during this time Mansfield found herself engaged to Mickey Hargitay after meeting while he was performing as a member of the chorus line in Mae West's show.
Natalie Wood back in the 1950s.
Natalie Woods was one of those actresses who was famous for far more time than she was a regular person. She got her start in a couple of uncredited roles in 1943, but her first credited role was in Tomorrow is Forever at just eight years old. By the 1950s she blossomed into a full time movie star in films like Rebel Without a Cause and The Searchers, for which she received a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the Academy Awards.
Woods continued to star in films like Splendor in the Grass and West Side Story, but in 1983 she met her unfortunate and mysterious end off of Catalina Island.
Katharine Ross and Paul Newman in a scene from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" in 1969.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of those movies that we can watch over and over again, and the trio of Butch, Sundance, and Etta Place, played by Katharine Ross, are some of the best in the film. At the time Ross was hot off the success of The Graduate, and while acting in this film she met her third husband, Conrad Hall. It was a western love story.
Hall was the cinematographer on the film and a three-time Oscar-winner. The two stuck together until 1973. She met her next husband on the set of her next big movie, The Stepford Wives.
Ronald Lee Ermey as the memorable 'Gunnery Sergeant Hartman' in the film "Full Metal Jacket" (1987)
Even if you haven’t seen Full Metal Jacket, Stanley Kubrick’s gonzo film about the Vietnam War you know the sound of Ronald Lee Ermey by heart. His voice, his cadence, everything. Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is a character who’s managed to infiltrate the zeitgeist in ways that the movie that birthed him couldn’t. That’s not to say that Full Metal Jacket isn’t worth a watch.
It’s likely that Army is so good at being a foul mouthed gunnery sergeant because he spent 11 years in the United States Marine Corps, earning the role of Staff Sergeant before he retied to go to college on the GI Bill. While studying at the University of Manila in the Philippines he was cast in Apocalypse Now and he never stopped acting.
The steely power cast of "The Magnificent Seven"movie 1960, Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn.
It’s hard to think of a cooler group of cowboys than the cast of The Magnificent Seven. Not only do you have Yul Brynner and Steve Mcqueen sharing the screen, but a young Charles Bronson even stars in this movie. Even if you don’t love westerns there’s something in this movie for everyone.
During the filming of The Magnificent Seven there was supposedly tension between Brynner and McQueen, with the latter supposedly getting annoyed at only having a few lines of dialogue. While on set McQueen was said to upstage Brynner by rattling shotgun shells and even flipping a coin during one of Brynner’s speeches. Be that as it may, the film is stone one for the ages.
Yvonne de Carlo in the movie "The Ten Commandments," 1956.
Who could forget Yvonne De Carlo, the star of films like Salome, Where She Danced and, of course, Lily on The Munsters. However her most well known role was that of Sephora, the wife of Moses. Supposedly, in order to get into character as Sephora, De Carlo took classes on weaving and even had shepherding lessons in the San Fernando Valley - now that’s attention to detail.
While filming The Ten Commandments De Carlo met Bob Morgan, a stuntman. The two would marry and have two children. She continued to act until the late ‘90s and passed away in 2007.
Glamour shot of Lucille Désirée Ball, 1950.
Even though we mostly remember Lucille Ball as a daffy red head who shoved chocolate in her mouth as it sped down a conveyor belt, we tend to forget that she was a real beauty on and offstage. By 1950 Lucy had already starred in a bevy of radio programs and a myriad of film and television roles, but she was still a year away from finding her greatest success with I Love Lucy.
In 1950 Lucy was still appearing on The Lux Radio Theater, and in slapstick comedies like The Fuller Brush Girl and Fancy Pants. It’s wild to think that she’d been working for decades before becoming a household name with her very own show.
Paul Newman enjoying the sand, sea and sun in Venice, 1963.
Paul Newman wasn’t the bee’s knees, he was the whole leg. By 1963 this big screen hunk had already appeared in big time movies like The Hustler and Sweet Bird of Youth. If he never made another movie after ’63 he would have already cemented his status as one of the greatest movie stars of all time, but the guy just kept on acting.
This pic shows Newman getting some much needed downtime in between his numerous film roles, and what better way to do it than to cut loose in Venice, where the water’s warm and the wine flows. Okay, admittedly the water isn’t that warm, but it’s a great place to relax.
Gregg Allman and Cher on their wedding day in 1975.
Gregg Allman was a master of both the guitar and the Hammond organ, and he brought the heat every time he jammed with the Allman Brothers Band. But there was something else he was pretty good at...getting married! This guy was married a whopping seven times, and in 1975 he tied the knot with none other than pop superstar Cher.
Their relationship was a whirlwind from the start, and it put Allman on the map even more than his music did. By June of that year, they were walking down the aisle, and just one year later they welcomed their son Elijah Blue Allman into the world. No matter what you think about their relationship, you have to admit that Allman’s scarf game was on point!
Lonnie G. Johnson is a former Air Force and NASA engineer who invented the best-selling "Super Soaker" water gun in 1983, he also holds more than 120 patents.
Let's talk about Lonnie George Johnson, the ultimate cool dude. This guy didn't just create a power source for the Galileo mission to Jupiter or work on an eco-friendly way to turn heat into electricity. No, his greatest invention, in our opinion, was something that brought joy to millions of kids around the world: the Super Soaker.
I mean, what's not to love about a giant plastic water gun that you can pump up and drench your friends with on a hot summer day? Johnson dreamed up this genius creation back in 1983 and by 1990, it hit the shelves under the name "Power Drencher." But let's be real, we all know it as the Super Soaker. It wasn't long before every kid in the country (and probably some adults too) had one of these bad boys in their hands, ready to take on any water fight challenge. So yeah, Lonnie George Johnson might just be the coolest guy to ever exist.
Classic actresses Joan Crawford and Bette Davis in 1962.
These two beaming ladies, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, are two legendary actresses who completely revolutionized the film industry during the Golden Age of cinema. From film noirs to romantic comedies, these two leading ladies did it all. But let's be real, we can't help but be fascinated by their personal lives, too! Despite their groundbreaking careers, Crawford and Davis are often remembered for their off-screen antics. But let's not forget the hard work and dedication that made them household names. And let's not pretend that these two iconic women didn't know how to have a good time! After all, who doesn't love a good laugh?