59 Photos Capture The Art Of Cool
Johnny Bench enjoying his victory after the Reds won the 1975 World Series, defeating the Boston Red Sox in a memorable 7-game World Series.
What is it about the groovy era that's so, well... cool? It's impossible to pinpoint one thing. It's the stars, the clothes, and the cars for sure, but there's just a nostalgic feeling that comes with the vintage looks and the timeless style that you find in photos from our past.
These photos from the groovy era all tell a story, so look closer at them and time travel back to the days when muscle cars were king and if you wanted to hear a new pop song you had to tune into your local AM station.
These rarely seen photos of the groovy era capture just how cool it was to live during the golden age of the 20th century, but look closer... each photo has an important story to tell.
From 1967 to 1983, Johnny Lee Bench was one of the most exiting catchers to watch in all of baseball. Hailing from a small town in Oklahoma, he grew up to be the lynchpin of the Cincinnati Reds in the 1970s, leading them to two World Series titles.
Bench really cold do it all. He could throw out a runner, catch like e was born to do it, and he led the National League in catching runners who were trying to steal a base three times throughout his career. He was a statistician's dream.
This hall of fame had such a storied career that he's become the benchmark (no pun intended) for how catchers are looked at, even today.
Jerry Hall, Debbie Harry and Paloma Picasso sharing secrets at Studio 54, 1978.
Studio 54 was once in a lifetime place, the kind of all night party where people from all walks of life could rub shoulders and meet on the dance floor. This photo shows just how all encompassing the scene really was. Not only was Debbie Harry from Blondie to be found on the dance floor, but if you found her you could find model Jerry Hall and Paloma Picasso, the daughter of Pablo.
Even though Harry was one of the most photographed stars of the New York scene in the 1970s, she says that she wasn't really at Studio 54 all that often. Usually, she says, it was for a very special occasions:
I don’t think I went there a lot – it wasn’t my scene. We were more downtown rockers. The time that I do remember [most] specifically was when Andy [Warhol] threw the party for Interview magazine. I was on the cover and I met Truman Capote – I was so starstruck I could barely talk.
Young and beautiful Victoria Principal, from the early 80's.
Thanks to her role as Pamela Barnes Ewing on Dallas, Victoria Principal will forever remain in our hearts. She was on the series for nine years, which is a lifetime for most performers. And while most actors would feel the need to move on and stretch their muscles, she loved working with the cast and crew, and by the end of the series she says that they were all more like family.
Principal says that she knew the series was going to be a hit from the moment that she read the first script, but she wasn't sure how she was going to be on set until she met her co-star Patrick Duffy. It was his kindness that made her realize Dallas was the place she wanted to be for the long run:
I remember looking up at [executive producer] Lenny Katzman as he leaned outside the car door giving us direction and thinking that I trusted him and would do my best to please him. I remember looking at Patrick when he did not know it and thinking, 'this is a nice person.' And that made falling into his arms and [our scenes] that day so much easier and natural.
Cher is the epitome of grooviness!
Who knew that Cher would still be here, making us sing at the top of our lungs so long after scoring her first hit with Sonny Bono, "I Got You Babe?" At the time Sonny and Cher seemed like a passing fad, but Cher's faith in herself and her abilities helped her attain icon status.
However, when she first started singing with Sonny Bono she had a secret stage fright that nearly crippled her career before it ever started. She admits that when they were first on stage together that she always sang to Sonny and ignored the audience. She says:
If you look at any of the footage of our early gigs, you’ll see me looking at Son—almost never the audience. I would sing to the people through him.
Lynda Carter used her skills as Wonder Woman to her advantage at NBC's Battle Of The Network Stars, 1978.
The golden age of network TV was booming in the 1970s. We had Wonder Woman, Welcome Back Kotter, and Three's Company as well as a glut of amazing shows playing in primetime every night, but there was only one show that brought all of the stars together: Battle of the Network Stars.
Where could you see Jack Tripper facing off at tug of war with an Amazon Queen? Or what about Telly Savalas going head to head with Gabe Kaplan in a footrace with Howard Cosell, Bruce Jenner, and O.J. Simpson acting as commentators? It was all on Battle of the Network Stars.
This long running series was a lot of fun to watch, and probably evermore fun to work on. If only we could go back and take part in a kayak relay with LeVar Burton... that would be the day.
An early photo of Joe Perry and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.
The early days of Aerosmith gave music fans some of the greatest rock anthems of the '70s: "Dream On," "Sweet Emotion," and "Same Old Song and Dance," are just a few of the mighty singles that this Boston based band cranked out in their early years.
Aerosmith has had ups and downs, many that would end another artist's career, but they've used it all as fuel to power their multi-platinum success machine, something that the guys didn't think would happen when they were just a little blues rock and in the northeast. In fact, Tyler didn't even think he wanted to be in a band with Joe Perry because he was such a nerd in the '60s. He told Haute Living:
I’m mowing the lawn [and] in my driveway pulls in, in an MG sports car, Joe Perry—hair down to here, glasses broken with white tape. he nerd that you saw in all those nerd movies in the ’80s? Joe Perry. And he goes, ‘Hey man, what are you doing up here?’ And I don’t remember if I knew him. ‘My band is playing at The Barn. I’ve seen your band playing there many times...' I had no more band, and then I saw him, and I thought, ‘If I can take my ear that my father gave me and add it to his jam band, then I can have what magic I know the Stones had, The Who had, The Kinks had, The Beatles had.' They all had some magic.
Nancy Sinatra in a strange outfit from her You Go-Go Girl! album.
Nancy Sinatra is one of the most recognizable icons of the 1960s. Even if you don't know her by her face (or very interesting jumpsuit) you know her from songs like "These Boots Were Made For Walking," and "My Baby Shot Me Down."
With "Boots," Sinatra became a household name in the 1960s. Everything about that song is made to be a hit, from the music performed by the one and only Wrecking Crew, to the kiss off lyrics that people still sing today, and the final call of "Ready boots? Let's start walking." Everyone, including Sinatra, knew the song was a hit from the opening notes. She told LA Mag:
When I heard the track in the studio, I knew then and there it would be a number-one record. I even told Lee [Hazelwood, producer] to release the track without the vocal! The fact that it has been embraced by generation after generation of little girls is proof of its staying power. I was the lucky one to record it and I think the fashion helped it along. Girls always want a pair of boots.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Alyssa Milano rehearsing on set of the film Commando. 1985
First of all, Commando absolutely rips. What other movie can you see Arnold Schwarzenegger throw a phone booth in the middle of a busy mall (while it's being used)? With a young Alyssa Milano in the middle of the action? That's Commando, baby.
This 1985 action film could have just been another 80's shoot 'em up, but there's a spark of life within the film that you don't get in similar films from the era. According to everyone who worked on the film it was a great time, but Alyssa Milano remembers the experience as a formative one in her early career... even if the film left her with some bumps and bruises. She said:
We had a great time. I was 11, with pink high tops and a really bad perm, and Arnold was super-fun. He was always trying to help me with my algebra homework. There was one bad moment, though, during the scene where bad guys gun down our house. Arnold was supposed to come through the door holding me, then lay me down on the floor. But he tripped over, fell on top of me and I cracked a rib.
California Dreamin - cruising around in a cool Mustang GT on Van Nuys Boulevard back in 1972.
The 1960s were the greatest era for cruising. There was no GPS, no cell phones, and no one to bother you on a hot night in the city. If you wanted to see someone you had to find them, but more than likely the only people you wanted to see were other folks out there cruising.
This shot captures the freedom of the era, and the way in which you could just take off and hang out until the sun came up if you wanted to. There were no expectations, there was nowhere to be, and no war for anyone to bother you. Don't you wish we could go back to those days just for a little while?
Jamie Lee Curtis as an aerobics instructor in the film, Perfect 1985.
In 1985, Perfect attempted to answer the question: Is the gym the new singles bar? Or at least that was the question at the heart of the article that inspired the movie.
Perfect saw Jamie Lee Curtis and John Travolta get into shape while falling in love at a Los Angeles gym. Curtis pays an aerobics instructor in the movie, which means that she had to get into serious shape to take on the role. She spent weeks getting pumped for the role with a daily routine full of aerobics, weight lifting and swimming - she even started teaching lessons at the Beverly Hills Sports Connection.
Why would someone like Curtis, years into her film career at this point, want to teach classes as research? She thought it was important for the role. That's dedication.
Farrah Fawcett as Holly in the 1976 film Logan's Run.
We don't really think of Farrah Fawcett when we think of Logan's Run, the science fiction film that said if you're too old then it's time to go. Most of the film follows a former Sandman played by Michael York who goes on the run after deciding that he wants to see old age, but Fawcett is in there and she looks absolutely amazing.
Fawcett has a kind of blink and you'll miss her performance, it was the last time she'd have one of those. She plays an assistant to a plastic surgeon and she's oh so out of this world with her perfectly feathered hair. Under the studio lights she's practically glimmering with star power.
It's strange to think that in the same year as Logan's Run was released, Fawcett would shoot to superstardom as one of the leads on Charlie's Angels.
Alice Cooper with facial hair and without his trademark black eyeliner. (1975)
We know Alice Cooper as the black eyeliner wearing, snake charming shock rocker who with hits like "School's Out For Summer" and "Welcome to My Nightmare," but when he takes off the makeup he's no longer Alice Cooper, he's Vincent Damon Furnier.
However, in the 1970s nobody knew that under the makeup and all the theatrics that he was just a normal guy, especially when he was touring the south. Cooper says whenever he traveled through the south the shows were always chaotic, and usually quite frightening. He said:
It was in some ways dangerous. Because it was at a time when I was certainly the poster boy of everything the religious right was against... And there were people, especially at that time, that were militant. They would tear my records up on TV and they would burn it... [They had no] understanding the Alice Cooper thing was much more about a black humor vaudeville.
And Your Bird Can Sing! John Lennon and Paul McCartney hanging out with a parrot on Mad Day Out in 1968.
If you're not keyed into Beatles lore, the "Mad Day Out" might sound like one the band's wildly experimental romps like their Magical Mystery Tour, but in reality it was just a really exhausting day for a band who was keen on getting out of the studio.
The band was in the middle of recording on July 28, 1968, and they wanted to take a break from working so McCartney called up war photographer Don McCullin and asked him to lend his keen eye to some new promo shots for the band. They decided to hit up seven locations around London in one, mad day.
The photo in question is from the second location, the Mercury Theatre in Notting Hill. The band wanted a parrot in the shot and took a number of photos with McCartney and Lennon trading off the bird while George had a snack at the pub and Ringo milled about.
The Jackson 5 and parents striking a Brady Bunch-like pose at home in 1971 for LIFE Magazine.
Everyone is all smiles in this shot from Life magazine in 1971, but this was the year that Michael Jackson finally went solo. After three years as a Motown act, and nearly ten years playing with his family band, the young Jackson stepped out on his own with singles like "Rockin' Robin," and "Ben."
Of course, Jackson was still a part of the Motown family, he was just on his way to superstardom. Released weeks after the Jackson 5's "Greatest Hits" album, Jackson's debut, "Got to Be There" became a huge hit for Motown, and paved the way for Michael's long running career as the King of Pop.
Angie and David Bowie pushing their baby, Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones in a stroller. Can you tell who is who! (1971)
Even though David Bowie was definitely not like any other dad, he made sure that he took care of his son, Zowie (now Duncan), and gave him the best childhood he could have. Rather than leaving his son at home for months at a time while he went out on the road, Duncan Jones reveals that his father brought him on tour whenever it was possible.
He recalled spending time with Bowie on the road, saying that it was just like "take your son to work day" but his dad's job just happened to be "rockstar." He explained:
I could hear the noise up front but I’d spend most of my time hanging out with the roadies and playing with them. You know those big crash cases that they put the equipment in? Big, thick metal boxes with foam padding – well, I’d stand inside one of them and get the roadies to push me around like I was in a go-kart... In many ways it was an incredible childhood. We traveled all over the world, we got to do some amazing things.
Best friends Waylon Jennings and Buddy Holly in 1959, Jennings played bass for Holly at the time.
Long before he was a country music superstar, Waylon Jennings played bass in his friend Buddy Holly's band. It's not a shock to learn that Jennings was on Holly's final tour when he took a flight with Richie Valens and the Big Bopper that put a stop to all three of their musical careers.
Jennings has long said that he was meant to have a seat on the plane, but that Holly won a coin toss and took the seat from him. It's something that haunted Jennings for his entire life. His sadness didn't just come from the fact that his friend was gone, but the fact that the person who believed i him the most had left his life for ever. In 1999, Jennings said:
If anything I’ve ever done is remembered part of it is because of Buddy Holly... Buddy was the first guy who had confidence in me. I had as much star quality as an old shoe. But he really liked me and believed in me.
Anne Bancroft presented Sidney Poitier the Oscar for Best Actor in Lilies of the Field. 1964
In 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first African American actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. His role in Lilies in the Field was dramatic, timely, and most of all it was moving.
When Poitier made his way to the stand to accept the award he did so to the sound of a thunderous applause from the audience. He noted that there had been a "long journey" to the moment at hand and was noticeably emotional, it's still one of the most breathtaking moments of the Academy Awards. Backstage he added:
I am delighted and pleased to have been selected for this award. I should hope it will mean added opportunities for people of my race in future Hollywood pictures.
Around 8,500 of the Huffy Radio Bicycles were produced in 1955-57.
Huffy bikes were already a must have for every kid in the suburbs, but the real money was on a Huge Radio Bike. Made between 1955 and 1957, the company only made 8,500 of these bad boys which even at the time made them a collector's edition.
The obvious thing that sets this bike apart from the competition is the radio that's powered by a battery pack on the rear of the bike. With an ability to tune into AM radio, you could spend all day riding around your neighborhood and enjoying some tasty tunes as long as you packed extra batteries.
It's not entirely clear why Huffy stopped manufacturing these bikes (they're just so cool), maybe it had something to do with the expense of a radio? Or maybe they just got too many complaints from parents.
Olivia Newton-John is Magic in the film, Xanadu (1980)
Xana-do you remember Xanadu? You know, the movie about a painter who works for a record label who then transitions into club ownership after he meets an space age muse in the guise of Olivia Newton-John? If you haven't seen the movie you should throw it on right now, aside from the absolutely bonkers plot it's soundtracked by ELO, making it one of the most fun loving and enjoyable films of the 20th century.
According to director Robert Greenwald, the movie was a mess from the start but he still tried to make it into something watchable, even if he couldn't make it coherent. He said:
When I got the 40 pages, I thought, well, this is strange. Maybe there’s a plan here that I’m not aware of. Maybe there’s another version of the script someplace; for sure the script will be improved. Unfortunately that never happened.
Even though the film was a bomb when it was initially released, Xanadu has taken on a second life as a cult classic.
Backstage fun with Joan Jett and members of Cheap Trick. (1978)
On December 27, 1978, Cheap Trick rocked UC Irvine in Los Angeles with The Runaways in what had to be one of the most fun shows of the '70s. At the time, Cheap Trick were some of the biggest stars of the day, but they didn't act like it.
Runaways Jackie Fox says that Cheap Trick wasn't just cool, they were one of the most fun bands to play with:
I met Cheap Trick in 1976 when they played at a bowling alley in Waukegan, Illinois. They might just be the nicest guys in rock. And I saw them a couple of years ago doing their live version of Sgt. Pepper in Vegas. They’re still great!
Carrie Fisher hugging on Warwick Davis, who played 'Wicket the Ewok', on the set of Return of the Jedi, 1983.
With Return of the Jedi came an end to the first Star Wars trilogy, a series of films that changed the groovy era, and effectively altered the film industry forever. The final film in the trilogy is famous for, among other things, the Ewoks that live on the forest moon Endor.
One of those Ewoks, a race of tiny bear warriors, was played by a 12 year old Warwick Davis. He's now gone on to appear in everything from the Leprechaun franchise to Willow and a BBC series with Ricky Gervais, but he'll always hold a place in his heart for the Star Wars series. After the release of Return of the Jedi, he wrote a letter to George Lucas to thank him for letting him be a part of the film, and to ask for some of that sweet Jedi merchandise. His letter read in part:
I hope this is not too rude of me to ask you, but would it be possible for you to send me the very latest figures and walkers - I was hoping very much there may be an 'Ewok' or 'Jabba the Hutt.' I did enjoy myself with you and the members of the film unit and keep remembering what a terrific fun experience it was.
Eddie Van Halen doing this thing onstage back in 1979.
There's no way to calculate just how important Eddie Van Halen was to music. When Van Halen appeared on the scene in the 1970s they gave rock music a shot in the arm with their wild antics and party aesthetic, but it was Van Halen's guitar prowess that made the band important.
With his signature double finger tapping style, Van Halen influenced a legion of players to try and match his speed and his ability. Imitators saw Van Halen double tapping, but he brought classical training to his instrument in a way that it had never been applied. something that turned his instrument into something completely new.
English rock band Uriah Heep in 1973.
In the early '70s Uriah Heep took influences from across the spectrum of rock and blues and turned what could have been standard sword and sorcery, mystical music into some of the most heavy anthems of the era. With songs like "The Wizard" and "Easy Livin'" the band became a live tour de force, and filled stadiums across Europe.
As beloved as their albums are, in the '70s they were a must-see live band. Fans expected to hear the favorite songs twisted and stretched into something new, a feat that the band had no problem with. Uriah Heep toured constantly throughout the '70s, and a version of the band is still on playing shows today, but nothing can beat seeing them in their heyday.
Did you know Linda Christian was the first Bond girl to appear on screen, playing Valerie Mathis in the 1954 TV adaptation of Casino Royale?
Now this is Bond like you've never seen him. In 1954, CBS produced their own version of Casino Royale and it feels like something from bizarro world. James Bond goes by Jimmy at one point, he doesn't drink martinis, and as an American he works for “Combined Intelligence," not Mi6.
Featuring Linda Christian as Valerie Mathis, this early Bond girl was born in Mexico and despite her 007 pedigree she's most well known for playing Mara in the final Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan film in 1948.
This version of Casino Royale was considered lost for a few years, but it was discovered in a canister reserved for the 1967 version of the film. It's always the last place you look.
Lovely Loni Anderson was a breakout hit in her Emmy-nominated role as Jennifer Marlowe in WKRP in Cincinnati back in 1978.
Thanks to WKRP in Cincinnati, Loni Anderson became a household name. As the cool and sassy secretary Jennifer Marlowe, Anderson went from the show's secret weapon to the person everyone turned on their TVs to see.
For Anderson, the role was more than just a stepping stone to fame. She says that it was one of the first time when a woman was really allowed to be funny on TV, something that she thinks helped the longevity of the series. In fact, she says she's still hearing about it to this day. She said:
I was just at a Bed, Bath & Beyond. A woman stopped me and said, 'I love you.' She looked like she was 30 years old.
Goodyear developed a tire in 1961 using mounted light bulbs in the wheel rim to make them glow in the dark, but never went into production.
Now this is some serious groovy era ingenuity. In the '50s and '60, car companies were going out of their way to design something futuristic that was also made sense for people in the current era. They unwittingly created a kind of retro futuristic design that may not have survived the test of time, but it sure looks cool.
In 1962, Goodyear rolled out the "tire of tomorrow," a light up tire made of neothane, a material that allowed the company to make tubeless, cordless tires that could be dyed to match the color of a car. Even more fascinating was the tire's ability to glow when light passed through.
The tires were fitted with 18 light bulbs which were wired to the steering wheel. As cool as they looked they never went on sale.
A 1977 Cobra II was in the 1984 movie Starman starring Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen.
Star Man really is a feel good movie. There's something about it that gives us the warm and fuzzies. Maybe it's the story of kind alien life, or maybe it's just seeing Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen play off one another like old friends.
While discussing all the work that went into making Star Man more than just a little space movie, Jeff Bridges said what most people are responding to in the film is the way that the actors put one another at ease. He says you can feel that sort of thing. He told the Hollywood Reporter:
I want to really engage with the people I work with and get to know them. I think that really informs the work because you create a relaxation with each other, and out of that relaxation, this thing that you’re talking about, the kind of effortlessness comes out, I think. And Karen, I believe, works that same way. Very gregarious, nice, friendly, open, kind. She generates that sort of energy. And when you get two people doing that to each other on purpose, you relax with each other.
Here's Elvis when he was stationed in Germany with the US Army. He served in Company C, a scout platoon, through 1958-1960.
When Elvis joined the military he broke hearts across the world. His young fans wondered what would happen to the Presley when he joined the service. Would he ever return to the silver screen, would he even try his hand at singing again?
He spent two years in the US Army and pretty much every moment was documented, from his hair cut to his basic training. Even when he was stationed in Germany he was the source of much media fervor. It's safe to say that no one was going to let Elvis get hurt while he was in the car of the US military.
When he returned from the service in 1960, Elvis went back to Memphis and said that he spent most of his time just "looking around" at things. It must have been hard to get back into the groove of real life.
Jeepers creepers! A frowning Brigitte Bardot surrounded by a group of leering men in Rome. (1960)
From the moment Brigitte Bardot came on the scene with the success of films like And God Created Woman, she was a sensation in Europe and America, but by 1973 she was exhausted with the attention that came her way whether she wanted it to or not.
Throughout the '60s she was hounded by the press, photographers, and strangers, so in 1973 she finally just quit the business to focus on life outside of the spotlight. She later explained:
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.
Jimi Hendrix behind the camera as he films Janis Joplin backstage. (1968)
When you think about it, rock icons like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison were only performing for a few years before their playing their final notes. And while we put them all together in our heads, were they ever actually in the same place as one another.
It turns out, yes. In 1968, Jimi, Janis, and Jim were all at a new York Club called The Scene, and an epic jam took place. Supposedly, Hendrix loved going to this little club and setting up a reel to reel recorder so he could capture all of his jams. Afterwards? Everyone got coffee at the owner's place. Danny Fields from Elektra Records explains:
After The Scene closed at four am, people would move on to Steve’s funny little house in Chelsea. People would sit around and listen to albums and then, eventually, everybody would disperse, and there was an all-night coffee house across the street where you’d often find Jimi sitting with a peaceful cup of coffee at five or six am.
Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon on The Tonight Show in 1962- the year Johnny made his debut as host.
Johnny Carson is easily the most important person of the groovy era. Not only did he helm the greatest version of The Tonight Show, but he provided a hilarious space for stars of the era to strut their stuff, regardless of what their deal was. You never knew what was going to happen on The Tonight Show, which is why it was so great.
Whether he was interviewing Tiny Tim or Charlton Heston, Carson allowed them to do whatever they wanted, from playing ukulele or talking about tennis. Carson clearly loved to host the show, and even though he stayed on the series for decades, the groovy era of The Tonight Show was easily the best.
Kent McCord and Martin Milner starred in the police drama Adam 12 from 1968 to 1975.
Adam-12 was one of those shows that everyone loved to set around the TV and watch. Out of all the police procedurals that were on the air at the time, Adam-12 made audiences feel like they were hanging out with real members of the LAPD.
The series had a very modern feel, with each episode following the officers during their day to day with less of a focus on a storyline and more of a slice of a life type series that looked at the real lives of police officers in the city.
It wasn't just the style of the show that was cool, it was the way that it crossed over with Dragnet and Emergency from time to time.
Kurt Russell and his stunt double Dick Warlock together while filming Escape From New York in 1980.
Escape From New York rules. It's not just one of the best movies of the 1980s, but it's one of the coolest sci-fi, western, rescue movies that's ever been filmed. While some of that is clearly John Carpenter's writing and direction, but a lot of it comes from Kurt Russell's portrayal as Snake Plisken.
According to Russell, he took on the eyepatch because he wanted to work with John Carpenter again after the two tackled the Elvis story in a made for TV movie. He said:
We learned a language very quickly with each other. I went away to Australia and came back, and we did say, ‘Let’s do this again, but with something that’s completely ours.’ I came back from Australia and I said, ‘I know what I’d like to do with you.’ And he said, ‘I got that. It’s really cool. It’s slightly futuristic.’ So I read it, and I said, ‘This is exactly what I want to do. It’s something that I know I can do that I know nobody is going to think of me for except for you, John.’ They wanted Charlie Bronson to do it, and John fought for me. A couple of times in my life, I’ve gotten to read something—Tombstone was like that—and I just said, ‘I’d love to do this.'
Lee Majors with Farrah Fawcett and ladies on The Six Million Dollar Man. (1974)
Just the words "six million dollar man" make us think of Lee Majors leaping through the air accompanied by a futuristic sound effect. You can hear it to can't you? The series was a classic, but at the time Majors didn't think that it connected with anyone.
Majors says that he didn't even know how popular the Six Million Dollar Man was until the show ended and he took a much needed vacation. He told Closer:
I took 10 years off and went to Florida. I just had to take a break and while I was there, I only did some small independent films. When I came back, I started doing a lot of independents and a lot of comedies... it was during those 10 years off that I realized how big The Six Million Dollar Man was, because I was free to travel around the world to different places, and it was amazing how many people would come up to you — total strangers in totally different cultures — just to say hello. It was very touching and amazing to me.
Lost In Space photo of Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, June Lockhart and Guy Williams.
In 1965, Americans were glued to their TVs to watch the adventures of the Robinson family as they tried to find their way back on course after being lost in space. The show was one of many science fictions shows of the era, but there was something about the family Robinson and the scheming Dr. Smith that made it impossible not to watch.
One of the reasons that Lost In Space is still a beloved show is its production design. With its human sized test tubes, cool spaceship design, and working robot, audiences then and now have a lot to love about this series.
Aside from the overall look of the show, its campiness makes it such a fun watch that you can binge it over and over again - it's especially fun to watch someone like Dr. Smith onscreen with his wild line readings and arch sensibilities.
May the 'farce' be with you! Eric Idle, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford clowning around, 1978.
We absolutely love that the cast of Star Wars and Monty Python were apparently in the same social circle. Just the knowledge that Han Solo might have tried out a "funny walk" lights up the world a little bit, but how did these people know each other?
It turns out that the stars of Star Wars (Hamill, Ford, and Carrie Fisher) rented Idle's house while they were filming Empire Strikes Back and when he came home one night they all ended up clowning around. Hamill recalls:
Carrie rented Eric's house while we were filming [Empire Strikes Back] when he briefly returned from Europe to see a football match. I vaguely remember mocking awards shows by presenting him with his own gold Monty Python record. What I REALLY can't remember is Harrison ever laughing this hard.
Ursula Andress and Sean Connery sunbathing in the Bahamas while filming Dr. No (1961)
In 1961, Dr. No was released in theaters and it completely changed the game. Not only did it make James Bond a household name, but it turned Ursula Andress into a star, all she had to do was wear a very famous white bikini.
Andress has said that she doesn't really understand why the scene connected with so many people, but she appreciates the freedom that it's given her. She said of the scene that caused such a stir:
I had made a few movies before then but nothing had the impact of that scene in Dr No. After being the first Bond girl, I had offer after offer and could take my pick of the roles that were around. 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.
Mike Nesmith and Frank Zappa switching roles as each other on a Monkees episode, The Monkees Blow Their Minds. (1967)
You might think that The Monkees, a fake pop band pretending to play real pop music, and Frank Zappa, a super weirdo and classically influenced musician, would never cross paths. But in the '60s anything was possible.
It helps that The Monkees were really into absurdist humor. Much of their series is aimed at people with sardonic and outlandish senses of humor like theirs, so it's not a shock that they were drawn to Zappa, a sardonic and absurdist musician.
This photo comes from the filming of the episode "The Monkees Blow Their Minds," which sees Zappa and Michael Nesmith change places in the cold open of the show before destroying a car in the name of art.
Nice tights! Space Tokusatsu Series. Captain Ultra- with his sidekick Huck the Robot (1967)
If you were watching Captain Ultra in the 1960s then you were one cool kid. Produced by the Toei Company in the 1960s, the series was based on Captain Future, a pulp science fiction saga.
This series was one of the wild pieces of entertainment that allowed kids to lose themselves in some seriously strange programming, and it's very likely that we wouldn't have shows like Pee Wee's Playhouse or the Beastie Boys video for "Intergalactic" without Captain Ultra.
From the art design to the odd special effects, Captain Ultra was one of those shows that took its small budget and made something fascinating and truly weird to watch.
A sublime Michelle Pfeiffer modeling designer diamond jewelry in an ad. (1981)
In 1981, Michelle Pfeiffer was nowhere near the superstar actress that we've come to know and love. She was doing what any young actress did at the beginning of their career: she was modeling and making small appearances on shows like Fantasy Island and CHiPs.
Pfeiffer could have remained a model, she definitely has the look, but it's clear that she wanted something more out of the entertainment industry. Just two years after this photo was taken she appeared in Scarface, the movie that changed her entire career.
Weirdly enough, even though Pfeiffer was in movies throughout the '80s, she didn't become mega famous until the '90s when she starred in Batman Returns and Dangerous Minds.
Odd couple! Gene Simmons posing with a 13 year-old Brooke Shields at a Blondie party in 1979.
In the 1970s KISS was one of the biggest bands in the world, and Brooke Shields was one of the most popular models of the decade, her Calvin Klein commercials were absolutely legendary (and almost as shocking as anything that Gene Simmons did on stage).
Even though these are two megastars, it's wild to see them in a photo together. Sure, famous people pal around with one another all the time but you don't expect to see the "God of Thunder" hanging out with a teenage model known for being fairly chaste. What do you think they talked about? Our money's on makeup. Or maybe they talked bass guitar techniques.
One of the first supermodels in the 60's and 70's, Countess Vera von Lehndorff-Steinort, also known as Veruschka.
Known for her amazing cheekbones and sometimes space-age outfits, Veruschka (or Veruschka von Lehndorff if you prefer) is one of the first supermodels. Known as "The Girl Everybody Stares At," Veruschka captured the imaginations of people across the world from the time she was hired as a model at the young age of 20.
As strange as it sounds, Veruschka was an outlier in the world of modeling when she came on the scene. At the time, tiny models like Twiggy were all the rage, and the Amazonian Veruschka had to fight to make appearances on the covers of magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair.
It didn't take long for Veruschka to become one of the most sought after models of the '60s. At the height of her career she was pulling down $10,000 a day for her work.
Pee Wee's Big Adventure! David Lee Roth, Joan Rivers, Paul Reubens and Elton John together on The Joan Rivers Show in 1986.
Name a more iconic quartet, we'll wait. It may seem strange to see this foursome together in one photo, but in actuality they're all pretty similar. Each performer, be it David Lee Roth, Joan Rivers, Pee Wee Herman, or Elton John, was firmly entrenched in show business in the 1980s.
More so than just being members of the fame club, they all had some percentage of camp in their performances. Even Roth, a dyed in the wool rocker, loved to work in old showbiz bits into his stage show with Van Halen, so it makes sense that he'd love to hang out with a group of famous weirdoes like the rest of the folks here.
Pictures of You - U.S. soldier with pictures of his lady back home on his helmet in 1968.
It makes sense that anyone who's away from home - be it because they're in the military or just on a long road trip - would want to remember their sweetheart while they were away. This soldier was just taking part in the tradition of decorating his helmet, although he may have gone a little overboard with the multiple photos.
We can't hold it against this guy for wanting to show off his gal. Honestly whatever makes someone comfortable while they're in a wartime situation is acceptable, hopefully he was able to hold onto his snapshots while he was overseas. What do you think his best gal thought of this photo?
Putting the heavy metal to the pedal, Judas Priest onstage in Oakland during their Sin After Sin Tour in 1977.
This isn't really the way we're used to seeing Judas Priest. The band is really known for their '80s heyday that was drenched in leather and calls for "breakin' the law," but before they found their look they played around with the mystic rocker style.
Singer Rob Halford says even though Priest's style changed over time they never really worried about whether or not they would be accepted. He told Rolling Stone that Judas Priest's greatest strength was just being themselves:
I think that one of the great attributes of Priest is that we can be a 'Painkiller' heavy-metal band or we can be a 'Turbo Lover' heavy-metal band. I think that really, there is no other band that comes close to Priest in that respect. That’s what’s made our life journey in metal be so comprehensive and full of twists and turns. We said from day one that we wouldn’t limit ourselves by what heavy metal is supposed to be. By definition, big slabs of riffs and all the other accoutrements which of course, we cover. It’s just a way of expressing yourself. We needed to believe it.
Ralph Henry Baer ( The Father of Video Games ) and Bill Harrison (Video Game Hardware Guru) playing the first Ping Pong video game in 1969.
One of the coolest things about Pong is its simplicity, the way in which it offers hours of fun for one or two people with nothing more than a couple of joysticks and a rudimentary onscreen design. It's not tennis, it's not ping pong, it's Pong.
When Pong was first created it came with no instructions, not how to guide, nothing, but people instinctively picked up on how to play the game. That makes sense, it's fairly simple, but it's amazing that people were just so into the game that they could quickly pick it up.
Pong was such a popular game that it regularly attracted crowds, people were just straight up excited to see the game in action. Even decades after its creation Pong is still a ton of fun.
Sophia Costanza Brigida Villani Scicolone, aka Sophia Loren began her film career in 1950 at age 15. She credits her beauty to spaghetti...
As one of the most beloved actresses of the golden era, Sophia Loren has been in films of all kinds, but it's her early work that won her the most acclaim with critics and audiences alike. When she was asked what about her beauty secrets, Loren explained that she owes her looks to "spaghetti."
Loren was obviously joking around, but her statement relates to her love of Italy. She may have cracked America in the late '50s, but she never wanted to leave Italy for long. Would she have liked to stick around and be super famous in America? Of course, but that's not all she wanted out of life. Loren said:
I would have liked to learn English and know people in America. But at that time I was – how you say? – fiancee-ing with Carlo. And marriage and children: that was my dream as well.
A 1968 Chevy ad for a Camaro Coupe SS with Rally Sport equipment, a Chevelle Coupe SS and a Corvette Sting Ray Convertible.
Is there anything cooler than classic American muscle? Camaros, Chevelles, and Corvettes were surefire signifiers that you were one of the coolest guys on the drag - especially if it was a souped up version of what everyone else had.
This era of automobiles was a clear break from everything that came before. Cars of the 1950s were big. They were practically boats with wheels. Aside from taking up a ton of space on the road, the aesthetic pleasures of these cars weren't the same as the sleek muscle cars that appeared on the road in the '60s.
These Chevy cars didn't just change driving forever, they created a whole vibe that made people want to get out on the road and put the pedal to the metal.
Squad 51 paramedics Johnny Gage (Randolph Mantooth) and Roy DeSoto (Kevin Tighe) on Emergency! 1972-79
When it comes to TV shows about the day to day lives of firemen and paramedics, Emergency! was the program that let viewers live out their fantasies of saving lives on a day to day basis. The series wasn't just an audience favorite, it actually helped save lives as well, something that TV shows aren't really known for.
Thanks to Emergency! men and women across the country joined the paramedic and fire fighting professions. Aside from being inspirational, every one of the 124 episodes of the series were produced with the full cooperation of the Los Angeles Country Fire Department as well as the Los Angeles County Department of Hospitals, and the Department of Health Services. How many shows can say that?
Swedish actress Ewa Aulin and an unrecognizable Marlon Brando starred in a farce film called Candy. (1968)
Adapted from a novel by Terry Southern, Candy is a farcical, psychedelic film that plays with the concept of saucy storytelling throughout time, and it's easily one of the weirdest movies of Marlon Brando's career.
In the film, Brando plays Grindl, a false guru who leads people through multiple stages of enlightenment out of a semi-trailer truck. Roger Ebert wrote in his review that Brando doesn't have much to do in the movie, and that the real fun of the film comes with star Ewa Aulin. He writes:
She is fetchingly healthy, unaffected, charming. Her task is essentially to stand around wide-eyed and naive, but she does that with composure enough to suggest she might make a [goofy actress] combination on the order of Stella Stevens or even Marilyn Monroe.
The cast of The Big Valley, this western series was on TV from 1965-69.
With more than 100 episodes to its name, The Big Valley was one of those shows that the whole family got into. The western motif brought in the boys, and the dramatic plot lines had moms and daughters glued to the set. Couple that with ace performances by Lee Majors, Barbara Stanwyck, and Linda Evans and you've got one of the best shows of the '60s.
Loosely based on the Hill Ranch, an area on the western edge of Calaveras County, near Stockton. The series took pains to be historically accurate while offering audiences the genre tropes that they knew and loved. As historically accurate as the show attempted to be, they didn't film in Northern California but rather in Thousand Oaks - just outside of Los Angeles.
The Golddiggers from The Dean Martin Show (1973)
Variety shows were all over the place in the 1970s, and it seemed liked every Tom, Dick, Harry, and Dean had one. While Dean Martin didn't break any new ground with his show he did bring along a fun group of backup dancers that drove audiences wild.
The Golddiggers began their life as extras on the Dean Martin Show, and while they may not have been what Martin's older fans were expecting to see, his musical director felt like modern audiences needed a little something extra to look at on screen. He said:
The modern recording stars forget audiences have eyes as well as ears. We look for talent, wholesomeness... vivaciousness, and we prefer amateurs or near-amateurs whose styles we can personally guide.
The Green Hornet & Kato chewing Super Bubble Bubble Gum. (1966)
The Green Hornet was a one series wonder, produced by the same team that brought Adam West's Batman to life, it followed a wealthy, masked crime fighter who had help from a young ward, only his helper was one of the greatest martial arts masters of all time: Bruce Lee.
The thing that the producers of The Green Hornet didn't expect was that Bruce Lee would become more famous than the series' star Van Williams. It seems ridiculous that they didn't realize how charming Lee is, that they didn't see how well he popped on screen, but they actually had to ask him to do his best to tone down his personality when they were filming. Film critic Ric Meyers explained:
The makers of The Green Hornet had to actively restrain Bruce Lee from being himself because they realized every time they saw the rushes that everything else was wiped off-screen.
The Harlettes were Bette Midler's backup singers in the late 70's - early 80's, here they are in all their glory
When Bette Midler started her stage show in the 1970s, she was performing at Continental Baths in Manhattan with just a piano player. Her performances were over the top, campy, and hilarious. It was in this era that she created the stage persona known as "The Diving Miss M."
As Midler's show grew more popular, she felt that her stage show needed to grow with it. She brought in a trio of backup singers who were initially called "The Red Light District" before working out the name "The Harlettes."
By 1973, Midler and her singing group, with the help of none other than Toni Basil on choreography, the show became one of the must-see performances of the era.
The lovely Linda Ronstadt performing onstage in 1975. She has earned 11 Grammys during her singing career.
As one of the most long running singer-songwriters, Linda Rondstadt has pretty much done it all. From performing in the late '60s and early '70s pop country world of Southern California to scoring mega hits in the '80s and '90s, she's low key one of the most important songwriters of the 20th century.
Throughout her early career, Rondstadt worked with some of the most beloved artists of the early '70s. She wrote songs with J.D. Souther, and members of the Eagles were her backing band, but she says that she didn't even really think about the importance of her social circle. She said:
The very first time I met Jackson [Browne], I was 18 and he was 17 and I couldn’t believe what a good songwriter he was. There were some pretty good songwriters in California but I just figured that was California. We really weren’t thinking about that. We were thinking about the emotion and how someone describes it... The minute that Glenn Frey and Don Henley were rooming together they started playing songs. I said, 'Hey, those are good songs. Keep writing!' We didn’t think these guys were going to be stars but I knew they were going to have a hit when I heard 'Witchy Woman.'
This 1968 photo of Jim Morrison was taken by Paul Ferrara at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
This shot of Jim Morrison shows him as he was throughout the '60s: spaced out, looking rock star cool, and without a care in the world. At the time he was one of the biggest rock stars in the world, but while speaking with Rolling Stone he admitted that he longed to go back to the days of being a bar band who played multiple sets a night just got to try things out on stage:
I just enjoy working. There’s nothing more fun than to play music to an audience. You can improvise at rehearsals, but it’s kind of a dead atmosphere. There’s no audience feedback. There’s no tension, really, because in a club with a small audience you’re free to do anything. You still feel an obligation to be good, so you can’t get completely loose; there are people watching. So there is this beautiful tension. There’s freedom and at the same time an obligation to play well. I can put in a full day’s work, go home and take a shower, change clothes, then play two or three sets at the Whisky, man, and I love it. The way an athlete loves to run, to keep in shape.
Tom Petty sporting a mustache in 1976.
There have been more "rock star" type rock stars than Tom Petty, but out of all the guitar slingers of the 20th century he was easily the coolest. In the '70s Petty was careening back and forth between writing some of the most beloved pop songs of the era and fighting with his label.
Petty was of the mind that he wasn't going to lose, and even if he didn't come out on top he wasn't going to let people know that they'd beaten him. He told Rolling Stone:
You know, I don’t think about these things that much. The guy in those songs isn’t a loser. I’ve been through things where I thought it just couldn’t get no bleaker. It was a bad stretch, but I had to bring myself out of it. If you can’t take the attitude that even losers get lucky, I don’t see how you can face life. I figure you either lose your girl or your job — sometimes both. But why let anyone know they’ve beat you?
Who had one of these bad-boys back in 1977
Forget about the Nintendo DS, what's a Gameboy? The Mattel handheld electronic sports games are always going to be where it's at. Way before MMORPGs and big box gaming systems, these babies were a must have for anyone who wanted to get in some quality time with their personal sports team.
Mattel's handheld games offered players a chance to rock the football field or hit home runs all day, and all you needed were two LR44 batteries and a little bit of imagination. Initially sold through Sears, Mattel only produced 100,000 units of the first version, but by 1978 they were selling around 500,000 units a week. Never underestimate the power of personal gaming.
Young rockers Def Leppard, with their original member Pete Willis, in 1979.
This shot of Def Leppard, all young and rosy before they became world weary rock stars shows the original line up of the band, complete with original guitarist Pete Willis.
Willis was with the band throughout their first two albums and all the tours in between, but he couldn't control his extra curricular activities and the band didn't think that he would be able to help them get to the next level while recording their third album "Pyromania."
Singer Joe Elliot had to let Willis know that he was no longer in the band, something that pained him to do, but the former guitar player says that the singer was nice about the split. He explained:
He was nice about it. I said I wanted to come down and talk about it. I didn’t want to change their minds as much as ask why – although deep down, I knew why.