64 Unsettling Photographs From The Past
By | January 12, 2022
What we are shown in magazines, television shows, and on the news is often a sanitized version of reality. We see the end results, but we don’t often see the struggles to get there. This collection of intriguing photos of the past try to do just that…show you how celebrities looked before they were famous, what led up to major events in history, and who we have to thank for getting us where we are today. Behind the typical sanitized images we see, you will find the real, gritty, fascinating stories that show raw emotions, true integrity, and untold bravery of the human experience.
Photo showing Cousin It's face (Felix Silla) on the set of the Addams Family. 1965.
You have probably seen some of Felix Silla’s television and movie roles, but it is unlikely that you recognized him. Like his role as Cousin Itt in The Addams Family, many times, Silla acts in a costume that renders him unrecognizable. In addition to his role as Cousin Itt, Silla played an Ewok in Star War’s Return of the Jedi. At slightly over 3-feet tall, Silla was often cast as a child … he played a young boy in The Towering Inferno and Battlestar Galactica. Silla’s career was diverse and interesting. He began performing as a tumbler and trapeze artist with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and, later in life, had a harmonica band that played shows in Vegas. Did you know that Felix Silla was one of the voice artists on the video game, The Sims 2?
The Most Inappropriate Selfie.
Mike Piscitelli snapped this pic of Jason Dill on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. When the photo circulated on social media in the coming years, both men took some heat for the image. The young man has a look of total enue, like he is bored and disinterested in the horrific scene behind him. Some people called this “the most inappropriate selfie”. But the photo doesn’t tell the whole story. According to the two men, they were both extremely hungover and staggered out of their apartment on the morning of September 11 to see smoke in the sky. The photo was snapped rather hastily. A short time later, the gravity of the situation hit home for both men … a sobering event that forced them to sober up quickly.
Standing His Ground … In the Ground. A German Soldier Defends his Trench During WWI.
Within months of the outbreak of World War I, trenches had been dug in France, Switzerland, and Belgium. No mere hole in the ground, these trenches were thoughtfully designed to maximize their effectiveness. A trench line, for example, was dug in a zigzag pattern. That way, if an enemy soldier breeched one end of the trench line, he could not shoot down the entire length of the trench. His bullets would only reach about five feet before hitting an earthen wall. The trenches were complex, with rows of trenches running roughly parallel to each other extending a mile or more back from the front line. Supplies and ammunition could be more safely delivered to the back trench and carried to the other trenches.
Susan Sarandon Played Brooke Shields’s Mother in “Pretty Baby” But It Was Shields’s Rewal-Life Mother Who Took Heat For the Film.
Sultry Susan Sarandon played a New Orleans prostitute, Hattie, in the 1978 historical drama Pretty Baby. In the film, she is the mother of a 12-year-old girl, played by 11-year-old Brooke Shields, who lives with her at the brothel. In one scene, Sarandon’s Hattie auctions off daughter’s virginity to the highest bidder. In another, she secretly marries a customer and runs off with him, abandoning her daughter. Hardly mother of the year material. Brooke Shields’s real-life mother, Teri Shields, took heat for allowing her pre-teen daughter to appear in Pretty Baby. The role required young Brooke Shields to appear nude in a few scenes. Plus, the subject matter of the film was primarily about child prostitution.
Mr. Rogers teaching kids how to count on their fingers. When he realized the absurdity of the middle finger, he cracked up in laughter.
So much for being neighborly. The memes pop up every now and then of a smiling Mr. Rogers giving the finger to the camera. The meme seems to imply that even the happiest, most helpful people can lose it every now and again. In reality, Mr. Rogers was not showing his anger or making an editorial comment about something with his digital flag waving. In fact, he started to laugh when he realized the gesture he was making. It all happened as Mr. Rogers was singing his “Where is Thumbkin?” song, in which each finger gets a few moments of air time. When he got to Tall Man, the middle finger, he did what he did with the other digits. He waved them around proudly for the children in his audience to see. And then it hit him what he was doing, causing him to break character in a fit of laughter. So much for a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
The Legendary Kobe Bryant Gets a Celebratory Smooch From his Fiancé Vanessa after the Lakers’ 2000 NBA Championship.
Just one year after this photo was taken of Vanessa Laine congratulating her fiancé Kobe Bryant on his NBA Championship, the couple said “I do”. Over the next 19 years, the couple had four daughters together, Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, and Capri. Their fairytale romance came to a crashing and tragic end when Kobe, daughter Gianna, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter accident on January 26, 2020. Gianna Bryant, and the other Bryant girls, got their stunning good looks from their beautiful mother and their famous father’s extraordinary athletic ability.
Supermodel Anna Nicole Smith and her only son, Daniel, both died from accidental drug overdoses within six months of each other, a tragedy that underscores the power of addiction. Daniel was found dead in Nassau, Bahamas on September 10, 2006. In the ensuing months, his mother, Anna Nicole, was a hot topic in the gossip tabloid. News reports of Daniel’s death, her grieving process, and the custody battle involving her newborn baby, Dannielynn Birkhead, appeared on an almost daily basis. On February 8, 2007, Anna Nicole Smith was found dead in her hotel room in Hollywood, Florida. Like her son, her cause of death was a drug overdose.
The Perfect Archvillain, The Joker Has Gone Through Many Incarnations But Is Always a Horribly Disfigured Face of Evil.
As a comic book character, the Joker made his debut in the Spring of 1940 in Batman #1. The backstory of this character, which has been maintained throughout his movie appearances, was that he fell into a vat of chemicals that drastically altered his appearance to give him an evil, yet comic look, but alas, no superpowers. The incident made the Joker insane and led him into a world of crime. He used his vast expertise in chemical engineering to create a plethora of weapons. Early in the development of this character, the underlying commentary was on the dangers of chemicals. More recently, like the 2019 film starring Joaquin Phoenix, filmmakers delved into the mental health aspect of the Joker.
"Shy Di" sitting on the diving board of Mohamed Fayed's private yacht, Jonikal.
Princess Diana wasn’t as quiet and reserved as the British press made her out to be. Princess Diana was dubbed “Shy Di” by the ruthless British tabloids when she was still a teenager engaged to Prince Charles. That nickname stuck with her her whole life, even when this photograph was taken the day before her death in 1997. While it is true that Diana valued her privacy, she was far from shy. Many sources, including her own brother and the Queen’s former press secretary, declared that Diana was not at all timid. So how did the moniker start? One theory is that Diana, at a statuesque 5-foot, ten-inches, was the same height as Prince Charles. In heels, she towered over him. To remedy this, Diana often walked with her head down, making the paparazzi think she was an introvert.
Dolly Parton and Carl Thomas Dean have been married for 55 years. They got married in May 1966.
Country singer Dolly Parton and her husband, Carl Dean, have been happily married for more than half a century, but there was one incident, early in their marriage, that caused a bit of a rough patch. According to Dolly, she noticed that her husband was going to the bank an awful lot. She later recalled, “We didn’t have that kind of money.” One day, she followed him there and saw a pretty, redheaded teller flirting openly with her husband. The woman had a huge crush on Carl and Carl admitted that he liked the attention. The crush was crushed, but Dolly went on to write one of her biggest hits. “Jolene” is a song about a wife trying to stop another woman from taking her man. In case you are wondering, the teller’s name was not Jolene. Dolly took the name from a 7-year-old girl that was in the front row at one of her concerts. Dolly liked how the name sounded lyrically, especially when it was repeated over and over again.
Jessica Alba gets some rays in Miami ☀️
Jessica Alba has been working in show business since she landed her first television role when she was just 13 years old. Her appearance in the dance film, Honey, in 2003, however, was her big break into Hollywood. She appeared in the Fantastic Four series and the Sin City series, as well as number of other hit films. Alba is committed to living a chemical-free lifestyle. Did you know that she is the co-founder of The Honest Company? She started the company in 2100 to offer household cleaning products, baby items, and personal hygiene products that do not contain harmful chemicals, fragrances, or dyes. She was compelled to start the company after one of the popular baby laundry detergents caused her skin to break out in welts.
When families sold their children due to poverty, 1948.
After this photograph ran in a newspaper in Valparaiso, Indiana, on August 5, 1948, folks believed that the image was staged. Sadly, the photograph actually depicts a pregnant mother who is so poverty-stricken that she had no choice but to sell her own children, including her unborn child. The woman was Lucille Chalifoux. After her husband, Ray, lost his job and the family faced eviction, couple decided to sell their kids. It took several months, but eventually, all of the children were sold off. According to reports, most of them were no better off with their new families. In fact, two of the siblings were kept as slaves. They were chained in a barn and forced to work long hours in the fields. A sad life for these poor children.
Christina Aguilera out in West Hollywood, September 2004, look closer...
When this pic of Christina Aguilera was taken in the 2000s, the singer was said to be embroiled in a feud with rival pop star Britney Spears. The two entertainers had a long history together. Both women are cast members on The Mickey Mouse Club beginning in 1994. Starring with them were Justin Timberlake, Keri Russell, and Ryan Gosling, among others. It seemed like most kids to appear on The Mickey Mouse Club went on to stardom. As the pop music careers of both Britney Spears and Christiana Aguilera heated up, the gossip tabloids reported that the two singers and former friends were feuding. The tabloids cast Britney as the innocent good girl and Christiana as the bad girl/mean girl. In reality, there was no feud … but the free publicity helped both singers.
Goalkeeper Sam Bartram Didn’t Get the Memo that the Game Was Cancelled. He Kept on Guarding the Goal.
During a professional soccer game in 1937, which pitted Charlton Athletics against their old rival Chelsea, an unusually thick layer of fog rolled across the pitch. At first, the players tried to continue the match, but no one could see more than a few feet in front of them. When the officials called the game, no one told the Charlton’s goalkeeper, Sam Bartham. Oops. He stayed at his post, guarding the goal and wondering why it had gotten so eerily quiet. After a while, a police officer came walking through the fog, shocked to see Bartham. That was the first time the goalkeeper learned that play had been halted … a full 15 minutes earlier.
Respected tattoo artist Victor Whitmill talked boxer Mike Tyson out of a truly terrible face tat idea and, instead, gave him his iconic tribal design. In 2003, Tyson came to Whitmill and discussed his plan for tattooing his face. Tyson’s original plan called for his entire face to be covered in heart tattoos. The boxer explained that this would allow him to be instantly recognized as “The Man of Hearts”. Whitmill, however, thought this was a terrible idea and he didn’t hesitate to share his opinion with Tyson. He offered an alternative idea, a tribal design that would signify his warrior persona. Tyson loved the idea and the rest, as they say, is inky history.
Like Mother, Like Daughter: Actress Jamie Lee Curtis with her Equally Famous Mother, Actress Janet Leigh.
Actress Janet Leigh appeared in many films but gain acclaim for her two scary flicks, Orsen Well’s 1958 classic Touch of Evil, and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller, Psycho. It is not surprising that her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, whom she had with her former husband, actor Tony Curtis, would also find her way into show business via the horror movie genre. Jamie Lee Curtis’s big break came when she was cast in Halloween in 1978. The mother-daughter duo appeared together in two horror movies. The first was The Fog in 1980 and the next one was Halloween H20: 20 Years Later in 1998, just six years before Leigh’s death in 2004.
Kurt Russell and Adrienne Barbeau in the Cult Classic “Escape from New York”.
The 1981 science fiction action movie, Escape from New York, was directed by John Carpenter, who also co-wrote the screenplay and the musical score. Reportedly, Carpenter began writing the screenplay back in the mid-1970s. The Watergate Scandal served as the inspiration for the plot, which takes place in a futuristic world (it was set in 1997). In the film, the government response to skyrocketing crime rates is to turn all of Manhattan into a maximum-security prison. Kurt Russell’s character, Snake, has to rescue the president from Manhattan within 24 hours. If he can, he will be granted a full pardon.
Was Mata Hari a Spy, a Scapegoat, or a Victim of her Own Lies?
An ultra-sexy courtesan of Paris society in the 1910s, Mata Hari’s revealing costumes and overt sexuality ruffled more than a few feathers. After the outbreak of World War I, most Parisian women were making great sacrifices for the war effort, yet Mata Hari continued her extravagant lifestyle. She often told outlandish tales of her past, probably in an attempt to add to her mysterious allure. She was arrested in February of 1917 and accused of spying for the Germans. She maintained her innocent until her death by firing squad. Historians now believe that Mata Hari was more of a scapegoat than a spy. The people of Paris needed a morale boost, and the execution of the flamboyant Mata Hari seems to confirm to them not to trust exotic outsiders. Of course, the exaggerated tales she told only served to come back to bite her during her trial. And the more she tried to deny them, the less credible and trustworthy she sounded.
Actress Britt Ekland in a Publicity Still from the 1973 Horror Film, “The Wicker Man”.
The British folk horror film, The Wicker Man, starring Britt Ekland and Edward Woodward was adapted from David Pinner’s 1967 novel, Ritual. The story is a quasi-religious fable about the dangers of abandoning Christianity. The main character, a devout Christian, finds himself at odds with a group of pagans who follow their own bizarre versions of pagan Celtic rituals. The film received positive reviews and was even dubbed “The Citizen Kane of horror movies” by the noted film magazine Cinefantastique. It has been named as one of the Top Ten best British films of all time and the climactic scene – a scary version of Burning Man – ranks as one of the Top 50 scariest horror movie scenes in cinematic history.
In many ways, we have Ann-Margret to thank for paving the way for the powerful sex symbols of the 1960s and 1970s. The actress refused to be typecast as a femme fatale. Instead, she wanted to represent the current time, when women were embracing their sexuality and were no longer afraid of their personal power. Thankfully, the times were changing. Ann-Margret had the freedom to forge her own path and push the boundaries of societal norms to present herself as a liberated woman. Naturally, this put her at odds with many people, even within the film industry. For example, Ann-Margret auditioned for the role of Margy in State Fair, but the producers felt she was too sultry and worldly to play an innocent farm girl. She was given the role of Emily, a bit of a bad girl, instead.
Bob Hope, a One-Man Morale Booster for More Than 40 Years.
Bob Hope was at his best in front of a live audience. He got his start in vaudeville and learned to hone his craft doing short skits and interacting with audience members. Even as he transitioned to films and television, he kept involved in live performances by appearing in shows for the USO, entertaining American troops around the world. In fact, he dedicated more than 40 years to boost the morale of the men and women serving overseas. Through six wars – from WWII to the Persian Gulf War – Bob Hope was joined on the USO stage by some of the hottest – popularity-wise, as well as attractiveness – female entertainers of the day, from Ann-Margret, to Brooke Shields, to Joey Heatherton, shown in this pic with Bob Hope.
That Time Raquel Welsh Talked About Sex Changes on Television. 1970.
In 1970, sultry sex symbol Raquel Welsh appeared on The Dick Cavett Show to plug her new film, Myra Breckenridge. Ahead of its time, Myra Breckenridge told the story of a transgendered person who undergoes a sex change operation. This topic was still rather taboo in 1970, yet Raquel Welsh was trying her best to discuss it in a non-biased way when rocker Janis Joplin, who appeared on the same episode of the TV talk show, piped in to complain that she couldn’t follow the storyline of the movie because it “kept changing.” Without missing a beat, Welsh retorted, “That’s because the whole movie is about change.”
Welcome to the Jungle: Real Playboy Bunnies Were Cast in the War-Time Epic “Apocalypse Now”.
Francis Ford Coppola’s critically acclaimed 1979 film, Apocalypse Now is mainly packed with epic war scenes but there is one scene that was noticeably different, even though it is only five minutes long. In that scene, the troops are entertained by a trio of Playboy Bunnies. In his quest for authenticity, Coppala tapped actual Playboy Bunnies for the role. They were Colleen Camp, 1974 Playmate of the Year Cyndi Wood, and August 1976 centerfold model Linda Carpenter. The three young women were flown, several times, to the set location in the Philippines, where they endured hours of filming in the sweltering heat, torrential typhoons, and a series of other delays just so Coppola could get footage of them shimmying to “Suzie Q” for the film.
That Time Laverne and Shirley Dates Little People
The 1970s was not a time of great sensitivity to people with disabilities on TV shows. Case in point, in a 1979 episode of the hit sitcom, Laverne & Shirley, the roommates and besties agreed to be guinea pigs when their frenemies, Lenny and Squiggy, formed a dating service. The girls are matched with two buddies and agree to meet for a roller-skating date. When their blind dates turn out to be little people, Laverne and Shirley are subjected to ridicule. Although the girls stand up for their dates, there were still enough insensitive jokes at the expense of the little people actors to make this a cringe-worthy episode.
Hot Rod Hottie Jungle Pam Hardy Added Pizzazz to the Drag Racing Circuit of the 1970s.
It was a stroke of genius when legendary drag racer, Jungle Jim Liberman, added a hot teenage girl to his racing team. Pam Hardy was an 18-year-old bored recent high school graduate with nothing to do when Liberman spotted her walking down the street in suburban Pennsylvania. Soon after, Jungle Pam became a fixture at the racetracks, using her curvy figure, tight shirts, short shorts, and iconic go-go boots to draw all eyes to Jungle Jim Liberman’s dragster. Jungle Pam appeared on the cover of racing magazines, including Hot Rod magazine, and amassed a net worth of more than $1.85 million.
The Defining Event of a Generation, Woodstock Was a Rough Experience for the Audience
If Woodstock happened today, the audience would spend all their time complaining about the conditions. The more than 400,000 fans at the three-day concert in 1969 endured periodic rain, mud, heat, and cold. There were not enough bathrooms or food vendors or showers. Some people brought tents. Others slept on the ground or didn’t sleep at all. Many couples took their public displays of affection to extremes and didn’t care who was watching. It was overcrowded, dirty, loud, and the smell of marijuana hung in the air. Despite all of this, the attendees were witnessing the defining event of their generation … and hearing some awesome music as well.
Long before she built a media empire with her Top Model franchise, tall, pretty, spunky Tyra Banks was building her reputation as a runway model. She started her modeling career when she was only 15 years old and by the time she was 16, she had moved to Milan and established herself in the European fashion scene. At the 1991 Paris Fashion Week, the go-getter Banks booked 25 runway shows. She later signed a lucrative contract with Cover Girl cosmetics and appeared on the covers to major magazines, including Vogue, Seventeen, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Harper’s Bazaar. She was one of the first African American models to become a supermodel. She added acting credits to her resume and then started her own production company and became the executive producer of America’s Next Top Model.
Brigitte Bardot: The Most Liberated Woman of Post-War France?
Noted feminist of the 1950s, Simone de Beauvoir stated that the feminist movement was gaining traction thanks in part to the contributions of Hollywood sex symbols. She went so far as to call her fellow countrywoman, Brigitte Bardot “the most liberated woman in post-war France.” It was Beauvoir’s belief that Hollywood sex symbols showed women how they, too, could enjoy liberation and sexual freedoms. Bardot, who had once aspired to be a ballerina, played a series of film characters in the 1950s and 1960s that enjoyed hedonistic lifestyles and confident love lives. Many of her roles marked a start transition from the submissive female of the past to strong, independent characters.
Phoebe Cates: “If You’ve Got a Good Bod, Then Why Not Show It Off?”
“If You’ve Got a Good Bod, Then Why Not Show It Off?” That’s what actress Phoebe Cates said in a magazine interview shortly after the 1982 debut of Fast Times at Ridgemont High. She was already a veteran of a movie nude scene, having stripped down for her role in Paradise when she was only 17. By the time filming started on Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Cates, at 18, viewed nudity as just another part of the industry. She stated, “In this business, if a girl wants a career, she has to be willing to strip.” Cates’s relaxed attitude about on-screen nudity rubbed off on her Fast Times co-star, Jennifer Jason Leigh. When Leigh was apprehensive about doing her own R-rated scenes, Cates calmed her down, telling her it was “no big deal…nothing to worry about.”
As a High School Cheerleader, Cameron Diaz Once Bought Pot from Classmate Snoop Dogg.
Both Cameron Diaz and Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus, attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School in California. When Diaz appeared on George Lopez’s talk show in 2011, she talked about going to school with Snoop Dogg, who was a grade ahead of her. She noted that she was pretty sure she had bought drugs from him. A few years later, Lopez had Snoop Dogg on his show, so he asked him about Diaz’s claims. Snoop recalled, “She ram with my homegirls, all my little cheerleader homegirls.” He also called her “fly and hip” but said he never tried to “get with her”.
Beast Mistress? The Late Tanya Roberts Was More the Eye Candy in 1982’s “Beastmaster”.
Okay, she was total eye candy. As the ginger slave girl with piercing eyes and strategically ripped clothing, Tanya Roberts’s character Kiri, was the proverbial damsel in distress to Marc Singer’s Dar, the beast master who can communicate with animals. The former Charlie’s Angel and future Bond girl may have played a helpless female in Beastmaster, but her next fantasy film, Sheena: Queen of the Jungle, cast her in a more commanding role. Despite her obvious sex-appeal and skimpy costumes, Sheena was a dismal flop. Roberts was even nominated for a Razzie Award in the Worst Actress category for this performance.
American pin-up glamour model Bettie Page, while on a modelling assignment at Africa USA, a wildlife park in Boca Raton, Florida, in 1954.
Bettie Page rocked her trademark bangs in this wild pic from a 1954 modeling shoot. No, the Queen of the Pin-Up wasn’t on safari in Africa. She was at a Florida wildlife park. In the early 1950s. Page had her heart set on an acting career and moved to New York City to make it big. Instead, she found work as a pin-up model. Her curvy figure, striking black hair, and piercing blue eyes made her a pin-up favorite. In 1955, Bettie Page became one of the earliest Playboy Playmates of the Month when Hugh Hefner made her Miss January 1955.
Teenaged Madonna Chillin’ in Bay City, Michigan.
Singer Madonna recently released some snapshots from her teen years in Michigan in the mid-1970s. During this time, Madonna, who was called Little Nonnie by her immediate family, was taking classical piano lessons and studying ballet. At her high school, was a bit of a paradox. She took her schoolwork seriously and had a high GPA, but she had a rebellious streak. She would lift her skirt and flash the boys, did cartwheels in the hall, and refused to shave her armpits. All the while, she later recalled, Madonna believed she was destined for greater things.
Wonder Woman Was a Pageant Queen and Aspiring Singer
Arizona-native Lynda Carter loved being on center stage. Her original goal was to become a singer. After high school, she enrolled in Arizona State University but when her classmates voted her “Most Talented”, she decided to leave school to follow her dreams. She was not only talented, she was beautiful, too. Carter competed in beauty pageants and was crowned Miss World USA 1972. When she went on to compete in the Miss World pageant later that year, she finished in the Top 15. Carter seemed set on her path to singing stardom after securing a spot with The Garlin Gathering. She toured with the group across the west and southwest. After that one tour, however, Carter rethought her career goals and made a shift into acting.
When tough guy actor Charles Bronson first met Jill Ireland, she was married to someone else … his co-star in the 1963 film, The Great Escape, David McCallum. Despite this, Bronson knew Ireland was the one for him. He even told McCallum, “I’m going to marry your wife one day.” True to his word, Bronson and Ireland married in 1968, after she divorced McCallum. The couple enjoyed a loving relationship at home and a professional relationship on set. They appeared in a total of 15 movies together, including Breakout and Death Wish II. Bronson remained at Ireland’s side as she battled the breast cancer that claimed her life in 1990.
D-Day Was a 3-Nation, Multi-Location, Aerial and Amphibious Assault Codenames Operation Overlord
At the Trident Conference in Washington D.C. in May of 1943, the United States, Great Britain, and Canada all agreed that a massive assault against the German forces in France would be needed to bring about a swift end to World War II. The ambitious plan they drew up called for a coordinated aerial and amphibious assault with 1,200 planes, 160,000 troops, and 5,000 ships to cross the English Channel undetected to attack the Germans at five beaches along the Normandy coast. As you can imagine, this undertaking required much planning and coordination, all done under a veil of secrecy.
When the 1977 deep-sea diving film, The Deep, debuted, it gave audiences their first glimpse of the wonders of the undersea world in Panavision. But what many moviegoers really wanted to see was Jacqueline Bisset in a clingy, wet t-shirt. A photograph of her diving in a pair of black bikini bottoms and a thin white t-shirt was snapped by a photographer for National Geographic magazine, but the producers of The Deep wanted to use it as a publicity still to promote the movie. They used the image without securing Bisset’s consent … she didn’t even know the photo had been taken. Bisset was naturally upset about the pic, but the controversy it stirred up only wanted people to see the movie even more. The producer even bragged, “That t-shirt made me a rich man.”
British actress Jenny Agutter looking groovy in the 1970s.
British actress Jenny Agutter, shown here in a photo from the 1970s, was more than just pretty and talented. She proved she has staying power too. She appeared in films in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and even into the 2010s. From her film debut in the 1964 flick East of Sudan when she was only 12 years old to Child’s Play 2 in 1990, Agutter made the transition from child actress to more mature roles look effortless. Marvel fans may remember her in The Avengers in 2012 and the reprisal of her role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 2014. She was the councilwoman at the World Security Council.
Many of the hottest stars of the 1970s and 1980s took a break from their day jobs to appear in Battle of the Network Stars. A rare, joint project between the three major TV networks of the day – ABC, NBC, and CBS – Battle of the Network Stars was a shameless way to promote each other’s shows by having their stars compete against each other in athletic competitions, like swimming, 3-on-3 basketball, tug-o-war, and obstacle courses. The networks held 19 battles between 1976 and 1988. One of the more memorable moments in Battle of the Network Stars came when Lynda Carter, the star of Wonder Woman, competed in a swimming event and clearly showed that the pool water was rather cold.
Catherine Bach as Daisy Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard.
After Catherine Bach landed the role of Daisy Duke in Dukes of Hazzard, she met with the producers and the costume department to discuss their vision for the character. It was then that she learned that Daisy Duke was supposed to be based on country singer Dolly Parton’s fashion style. The costume department wanted her to wear a poodle skirt, tight white turtleneck, and high go-go boots. Seriously. Bach asked if she could present her own outfit, one from her closet at home. She brought in a t-shirt, cut-off jeans, and a pair of high heels. The producer loved the look. I mean, who wouldn’t? Catherine Bach as legs of miles and the short cut-off – which became known as Daisy Dukes – one accentuated them. In fact, when she starred in Dukes of Hazzard, Bach’s legs were insured for a million dollars.
Morgan Fairchild was known in the '70s for playing Jennifer Pace on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow.
You might think, like most people do, that actress Morgan Fairchild’s first major role was the soap opera Search for Tomorrow. After all, she played the role of Jennifer Pace from 1973 to 1977. But in reality, her first major project was the 1967 classic movie, Bonnie and Clyde. Fairchild was double for the movie’s star, Faye Dunaway. Why did Dunaway need a double? Because she couldn’t drive a stick shift and several scenes required it. Fairchild, however, could aptly drive a stick shift so she stood in for Dunaway in those scenes.
Fans of The Office probably know that the show was based off a British sitcom of the same name.In fact, the pilot of the series, which was filmed shortly after this pic was snapped, is directly adapted from the British version. During the first season, however, the American producers made several adaptations to make the show more appealing to its U.S. audience. For starters, they made the set more brightly it. They also gave the actors the freedom to improvise their lines to make them seem more natural and spontaneous. It also helped create some of the more memorable moments in the sitcom’s history.
Model Jerry Hall partying at Studio 54 in the 1970s. (Photo by Helmut Newton)
The epicenter of the disco movement, Studio 54 in Midtown Manhattan first opened its doors as a nightclub in 1977. Studio 54 did things a little differently. Guests were allowed in if they were celebrities or based on their fashion sense, dance moves, and sex appeal. Drug use was not forbidden and the management turned a blind eye to overt sexual activity in public and private areas of the club. They even turned a blind eye to organized crime activities within their walls. The hottest disco stars of the day performed at Studio 54 … it was the place to see and be seen. It was only natural for models, like Jerry Hall seen here, to frequent the club.
Caroline Munro is an English actress and model known for her many appearances in horror, science fiction and action films of the 1970s.
Caroline Munro’s own mother sent her photograph into a modeling contest hosted by a British newspaper that was looking for the next “Face of the Year.” To their surprise, she won. She turned this success into a modeling career and landed her first modeling job for Vogue Magazine. She relocated to London where she was a sought-after cover model. A foray into television commercials made Caroline consider a career move into acting. Alas, most of the film roles that came her way were for B-movies. She appeared in a slew of horror movies and fantasy films, such as The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and At the Earth’s Core. Perhaps her most noteworthy role was as a Bond girl in the 1977 flick, The Spy Who Loved Me.
The groovy Jacqueline Bisset back in the 1970s.
Sexy Jacqueline Bisset was a hot ticket in the 1970s, but she is showing no signs of slowing down. Now in her seventies, Bisset says she is still energized by acting and she feeds off the energy of the other performers. You can catch her in Birds of Paradise, an Amazon Prime drama series about students at a dance school. Did you know that she is Angelina Jolie’s godmother? Did you also know that she had a role in Jolie’s 2005 movie, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, but she ended up on the cutting room floor? Bisset took it in stride. “It happens,” she said.
Talk about being in the right place at the right time. In 1989, a then-unknown 21-year-old Pamela Anderson decided to go to the BC Lions Canadian football game. A photographer spotted the blonde beauty, snapped a pic of her, and put it on the stadium screen. When her image flashed on the big screen, the audience went wild. You know who noticed that reaction? The bigwigs at Labatts, a famous Canadian beer. Days later, Anderson had a modeling contract with Labatts and posed for this icon poster, turning Anderson into the Blue Zone Girl. Within a few months, she was posing for Playboy magazine.
Bo Derek back in 1979.
In a 1979 version of cultural appropriation, actress Bo Derek made cornrows, a traditionally African American hairstyle, popular in the caucasian community. Cornrows are nothing new. The unique braids originated in West Africa as far back as 3000 BC and was brought to the Americans during the slave trade. In the late 1970s, when Bo Derek famously wore her cornrows in the movie 10, she had no idea the backlash that would follow her to this day. She recently said, “I still get in trouble for it now. I get a lot of criticism for being a cultural vulture.” Yet there are other African American women who thank Bo Derek for making the hairstyle more mainstream and accepted in the business world.
American actress Cassandra Peterson in character as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, at the Cannes Film Festival, May 1987.
Cassandra Peterson was getting a lot of mileage off her sexy/spooky character, Elvira, in the late 1980s to the enterprising entertainer decided to capitalize on her growing stardom with a full-length feature film, Elvira: Mistress of the Night. Peterson herself had a hand in writing the screenplay, which is a comic twist on the horror movie genre. Peterson’s character, Elvira, needs money to launch her Vegas act so she returns to Massachusetts to sell an old house she inherited. Elvira’s unusual lifestyle puts her at odds with the stuffy townspeople and, after a series of events, they have her arrested for witchcraft (it is Massachusetts, after all) and sentenced to burn at the stake. But, yea, it’s a comedy.
Dolly Parton rocking the red carpet in the late 1980s.
Dolly Parton is an incredibly talented singer and songwriter, but let’s face it. There is one thing that comes to mind when you hear her name. Actually, two things. Dolly Parton has been quite open about her plastic surgeries, saying that she had several procedures done in order to achieve the appearance she wanted. She even admitted to spending $1 million on her breast enhancements. She has thoroughly enjoyed the attention she has gotten from them. She once said, “I’ve slapped a few people who didn’t stare at them. This kind of money, they’d better be looking at them!”
A breathtaking photo of Angelina Jolie taken in 1998.
Some people just win the genetic lottery. Actress and activist Angelina Jolie is certainly one of them. This pic from 1998 proves that she was always an incredibly beautiful woman. Taken a full eleven years before Jolie was named “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World” by Vanity Fair magazine, Jolie is a perfect example of a woman who gets more attractive with age. The year this photograph was taken, Jolie appeared in two films, Hell’s Kitchen and Playing by Heart. The following year was a breakout year for the actress. She starred in The Bone Collector and Girl, Interrupted.
Backstage at a Versace show with Emma Sjoberg, Tricia Helfer & Veronica Webb, 1994.
A little sparkle. A little bling. And a little side-boob. That’s probably the best way to describe a Versace fashion show. Add to that a splash of glamor and a pinch of chaos and you’ll have a good idea what backstage of a haute couture fashion show is like. Veronica Webb was the first African American model to have a major modeling contract with a cosmetic company. Joining her on the runway for this 1994 show were Swedish model and actress Emma Sjoberg and Canadian model and actress Veronica Webb.
Claudia Schiffer by Ellen von Unwerth Guess Campaign, 1991.
Seventeen-year-old Claudia Schiffer was a carefree teen dancing with friends in a German nightclub in 1987 when a modeling agent spotted her. Very quickly, her life changed as she became a top model, first in Paris and then in the U.S. In the early 1990s, Schiffer posed for a photo-shoot with her friend, Ellen von Unwerth, for Guess jeans. That ad campaign led to Schiffer’s international fame and a ten-year relationship with Guess jeans. Schiffer recalled, “I knew I reached a new level of fame when people recognized me as the Guess girl.”
The truth is out there... Gillian Anderson from 'The X-Files' shows some skin.
From 1993 to 2002, the science fiction TV series, The X-Files was the hottest show on television and was on its way to becoming a cult classic. Gillian Anderson co-starred in the show as the brainy, practica; Dana Scully. Although this photo of Anderson shows her sexy side, in The X-Files, her character showed folks that smart girls could be hot, too. When The X-Files ended after nine seasons, Gillian Anderson took a break from television and film work to tackle some stage roles in London, a return to her first love, the theater.
A-listers from every realm of celebrity came out to the Versace Spring Show in 2001, including actress Salma Hayek. During this time, Hayek was working on a project that was a departure from her typical film characters. She was filming the biopic Frida, in which she was portraying one of her childhood heroes, surrealist artist Frida Kahlo. Hayek explained that she was drawn to Kahlo’s personal strength and determination. She was so committed to the biopic that she also served as the film’s producer. Hayek’s efforts paid off. For her work in Frida, Hayek became the first Mexican American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. She also earned a Screen Actors Guild Award, Golden Globe, and A British Academy Film Award for Frida.
Paris Hilton showing off her collarbones on her 21st birthday.
In true Paris Hilton-style, the heiress who is famous for being famous, planned a five-day, six-city, five-time zone birthday party extravaganza to celebrate her 21st birthday in 2002. (Yes, that means she is turning 40 this year!) She had birthday parties in Las Vegas, New York, Paris (of course), Tokyo, London, and Los Angeles. At each party, Hilton wore a different, yet equally stunning, haute couture dress. At one of the parties, Hilton wore a gorgeous dress covered in Swarovski crystals. Hilton was surprised and flattered when Kendall Jenner wore the same dress – on purpose – to her own 21st birthday party. She said, “I think every girl should wear that dress on her 21st birthday.” You know, because every young girl can afford to dress like Kendall Jenner and Paris Hilton.
Phoebe Cates, Kathleen Wilhoite, Kari Lizer, and Betsy Russell in Private School (1983)
Hot off the heels of Fast Time at Ridgemont High, sexy teen actress Phoebe Cates tackled the role of a hot and horny student in the 1983 film Private School. Joining her on the film were equally hot Kathleen Wilhoite, Kari Lizer, and Betsy Russell. In general, the film received poor reviews and was chalked up as yet another cheap teen flick with a paper-thin plot, but it has two noteworthy footnotes, First, Paula Abdul, who was still the head choreographer for the Laker Girls, earned her first film choreography credentials in Private School. Send, take a look at the members of the band playing at the school dance scene to see if you notice any familiar faces. Several of there were Rick Springfield’s band members.
Is there anything that says "1990s" like the leaders of the free world jogging from MacDonald's in short shorts?
Who says politicians are out of touch with the average Americans? When Bill Clinton was the president of the United States, he at least ate like the average American. Several times during his presidential campaign and while in office, Clinton was seen zipping into a local McDonalds for his fast food fix. Sometimes, he even jogged to McDonalds, but let’s be honest. He still didn’t burn off all the calories in that Big Mac. Clinton’s fast food fetish was the subject of tabloid fodder and made for some hilarious Saturday Night Live skits. The fact that Clinton craved Mickey D’s when he had the country’s best chefs at his disposal also says a lot about the sophistication of his palete.
Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner lived a long and hedonistic life. He built a publishing empire that continues to thrive today, even after Hefner’s death at the age of 91. He created and built his empire on a men’s magazine – the most successful men’s magazine in history – that featured well-written articles (yes, it did have articles!) along with tasteful (that’s up for debate) nude photographs of attractive women, from models to celebrities. From there, Hefner expanded into the film, cable TV, and digital entertainment industries. The Playboy brand launched a clothing line and perfume. Hefner even opened a series of Playboy clubs, casinos, and resorts. Through it all, Hefner surrounded himself with a bevy of beauties.
Austin Powers Beauty Elizabeth Hurley Went Through a Punk Rock Phase as a Teen.
British actress Elizabeth Hurley was a mix of sexy and refinement as Vanessa Kensington in the 1997 hit Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, but in her teen years, she was into punk rock fashion. As this grainy pic from the early 1980s shows, Hurley, then a student at the Harriet Costello School in Basingstoke, fell in love with the punk rock scene. She pierced her nose and dyed her hair pink and wore outlandish, punk rock fashion. Still, she balanced with this her studies. She was an honor student studying psychology, sociology, and English and spent three years studying classic ballet. Groovy, baby.
Farrah Fawcett posing on her bike in 1977.
Ever wonder why there are so many vintage photos from the 1970s of actress Farrah Fawcett jogging, swimming, and riding her bike? Of course Farrah had a daily exercise routine that helped her maintain her slim figure, but for her, working out had many more benefits. She once explained that she thrived when she was outdoors and in the sun. She was happiest when she was sweaty from exercising outdoors. Farrah noted that exercise was a way for her to stay grounded. It was beneficial for her mental health and made her feel renewed and revitalized. It seems that Farrah was hooked on endorphins.
English actress Madeline Smith in the 1970s.
In the early 1970s, English actress Madeline Smith was a scream queen. She had a contract with the British film studio, Hammer Horror Films, and appeared in several of their horror movies, including The Vampire Lovers, Taste the Blood of Dracula, Theatre of Blood, and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. Smith may have earned her reputation as a horror movie maiden, but she also landed the role of a Bond girl, Miss Curuso, in the 1973 classic Live and Let Die. She continued to work throughout the 1970s, but in the early 1980s, she decided to take a step back from show business to raise her daughter, Emily.
This pic of singer/songwriter Carly Simon was taken just a year before she released her signature song, “You’re So Vain” in 1972. In fact, Simon was likely writing her most famous tune at about this time. The lyrics of this song, which was Billboard’s Song of the Year in 1972, describe a totally self-absorbed, narcissistic man. For years, folks have speculated who this man could be. Reportedly, Simon has revealed this information in confidence to a few people, including Howard Stern and Taylor Swift, of all people. In recent years, Simon has gone on record to say that the song is a compilation of several men who were in her life at the time. She acknowledged that the second verse is about actor Warren Beatty, but has not divulged the names of the other two men.
Sophia Loren on a motor boat in the mid-1960s.
In a way, Sophia Loren’s beauty was a detriment to her. Sure, she was a beauty pageant queen – Miss Italia, 1950, when she was just 15 – and a glamorous, exotic movie star, but she was also an extremely gifted actress. Many times, her movie roles garnered attention because of her appearance, rather than her performance, which was a shame. Loren was quite talented, in both serious and comic roles. During the 1960s, when this photo was taken, Loren was starring in several notable films, including Two Women, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Lady L., and Houseboat. Sophia Loren isn’t slowing down. In 2020, she starred as a holocaust survivor in The Life Ahead.
The priest and the dying soldier, 1962.
Photographer Hector Rondon Lovera won a Pulitzer Prize for this photo, taken in 1962 during a violent military conflict in Venezuela. The image shows Navy chaplain, Luis Padilla, braving the bullets whizzing by to administer last rites to a dying soldier. The wounded soldier clung to the priest’s robe even as Lovera saw snipers’ bullets pockmark the cement around them. Later, Lovera explained that the gunfire was thick and heavy for more than 45 minutes. He spent that time pressed against a wall to stay clear of the bullets and was fortunate to be able to snap this quick and poignant photo.
The time Muhammad Ali saved a suicidal man from jumping to his death, 1981.
Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali may have been a formidable force int he boxing ring, but outside it, he was a true humanitarian. A prime example is an incident that happened on January 19, 1981 in Los Angeles. A young, African American man – a Vietnam vet – climbed out onto a ninth-floor fire escape and threatened to jump. Photographer for the Los Angeles Times looked on, a crowd gathered. In the crowd was Howard Bingham, a good friend of Muhammad Ali. He called the boxer, who lived close by. Within minutes, Ali was on the scene. Ali told the suicidal man, “You’re my brother” I love you.” He then climbed out onto the fire escape, embraced the man, and guided him back in the window. Ali led the man to his Rolls Royce and drove him straight to the VA hospital.
Things heated up in Vietnam in 1965. In that year, President Lyndon Johnson approved Operation Flaming Dart to strike various targets in North Vietnam and Operation Rolling Thunder to bomb the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The first U.S. Marines arrived on the beaches of South Vietnam in March of 1965 to officially begin the United States’ full participation in the war. The year marked a drastic uptick in the number of deaths of American military troops in Vietnam. In 1964, only 216 soldiers died there. In 1965, that number jumped to 1,928. The American public was shocked and outraged by this figure, but the worst was yet to come. In 1966, more than 6,350 Americans were killed. In 1967, 1968, and 1969, those numbers peaked at more than 11,000 per year.
A man sitting on a pillar waving at the camera while constructing the Empire State Building in 1930-1931. They were called the "daredevil sky boys."
Building the Empire State Building took a lot of manpower and a lot of guts. At its peak, there were more than 3,000 laborers working on the building. Passersby paid little attention to the bricklayers, electricians, and drywallers working on the structure. They were much more interested in the “sky boys”. The New York Times dubbed the daredevil workers installing the huge steel beams at the very top of the structure the “sky boys” because they did their work in the sky. The newspaper even noted that they “put on the best open-air show in town.” They could be seen casually walking along the beams like tightrope walkers, riding to the top astride a beam that was being hoisted by a crane, and even taking a lunch break on a crossbeam. The mantra of the sky boys? “Don’t look down!”
Japanese-American college students during their relocation to an internment camp. Sacramento, 1942.