Behind The Scenes With Hollywood's Grooviest Stars
By | December 15, 2020
Katharine Ross and the handsome Sam Elliott were married back in 1984 and are still married.
The glitz and glamor of Hollywood shone so much brighter in the groovy era. During the 1960s and 1970s there was a bright and shining aura around Hollywood, and these nostalgia inducing photos will take you right into the center of the action.
You may think you know the stories of Hollywood's grooviest stars, but look closer and you'll see a side of La La Land that you've never seen before. These photos will amaze you and keep you enraptured until the credits roll with stories from a bygone era that you've never heard.
Each rare photo of the glory days of the Hollywood tells a secret story, many of which are being told for the first time. These snapshots of Hollywood's yesteryear are for everyone, whether you know the stars in every photo or if this is your first time seeing them. Just remember to look deeper...
Sam Elliott perennially plays the mustachioed good guy, the fella who doles out advice with a drawl and a twinkle in his eye. He's someone who the audience can rely on and who seems to know a little more than everyone else in the movie. Well, it turns out that he's like that in real life... at least when it comes to love.
Elliot and Ross married in 1984, making them one of the strongest love stories in Hollywood. No matter who Elliott plays or who he's smooching on screen, he always comes back to Ross at the end of the day.
The couple actually met on the set of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, a movie in which Ross was the star and Elliott was a day player. And by "met" we mean that Elliott was too nervous to speak to her. They didn't actually start dating until 1978 when they appeared in The Legacy together. The couple bonded during the film and they've been with one another ever since.
Willie Nelson, Lionel Richie, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen during the recording of "We Are The World" in 1985.
"We Are The World" is one of the most significant songs of the 1980s, not just because it helped send aid to Africa, but it brought together some of the biggest names in music all in support of doing something good with their star power.
Featuring Diana Ross, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen (among dozens of other huge names), the recording of the song got off to a rocky start, but thankfully Diana Ross knew how to get everyone in the mood to sing together. A producer of the track remembers:
When I passed out the music, we put a dummy track on. We were listening to it, getting the feel of it, and while they were rewinding the tape, Diana went over to Darryl Hall and said, ‘Can you sign my music? I’m your biggest fan.’ And as soon as she said that, we all looked at each other and said, ‘Oh my God. Look at who is here.’ We all went around to each other for the next hour-and-a half, signing each other’s music. By the time that was over, we were a family. There was a feeling of love. It was beautiful.
Janis Joplin and her dog pose by her psychedelic 1965 356c Cabriolet Porsche in 1968.
Rock stars and their cars, there's no separating them. Most rockers spend their money on a garish purchase, buying the biggest and flashiest car they can find. While this Cabriolet is definitely flashy, it wasn't that way when Joplin first bought it.
When she bought the car in 1960s, it was only $3,500 and covered in flat, gray paint; that's not exactly what you expect out of a rock n roller's car. Joplin handed the car off to her buddy Dave Richards with $500 and told him to go nuts painting the car.
Richards did as he was told and covered the car in strange symbols and colors, turning it into the psychedelic ride that you see today.
Michael J. Fox and Huey Lewis on the set of "Back to the Future," 1985.
Today, it's impossible to think about the '80s without picturing a DeLorean ramping up to 88 mph and going back in time - all set to Huey Lewis and the News, but before Back to the Future was one of the most beloved films of the 20th century, it was just words on paper, and Huey Lewis wasn't sure if he wanted to be a part of the film. He explained to People:
[Director Bob Zemeckis] said ‘We’ve just written this movie, and the lead character Marty McFly’s favorite band would be Huey Lewis & the News. How would you like to write a song for the film?' And I said 'Wow!' Flattered, but I didn’t know how to write for film, necessarily – and furthermore didn’t really fancy writing a song called ‘Back to the Future.'
Luckily, Zemeckis didn't want a song called "Back to the Future" either, and he told Lewis that he could write whatever he wanted. Lewis said that the band would send over the very next song that they wrote, and that happened to be "The Power of Love."
'Emma Peel' (Diana Rigg) of "The Avengers" in 1967.
Diana Rigg, she of The Avengers (no, not those Avengers) was easily the coolest spy of the 1960s. Forget about James Bond, and don't even think about mentioning the Mission: Impossible team. It was The Avengers who really changed the spy game on television.
But Rigg didn't just make spies cool, she made them fashionable. Her outfits were Mod chic with elements of the fantastic plugged in for good measure. Rigg says that she had to fight to keep her miniskirts short and her hair the way she liked it. She explained:
The designer and the other men were horrified. They pulled their hair, said, ‘You can’t do that, it’s impossible.’ I argued that one must look forward and not back, and by wearing these brief skirts, one was looking forward. In fact, one was creating fashion [that was] very avant garde, rather than remaining at the tail end of last year’s styles. And it turned out that I couldn’t have been more right.
"Party All the Time" Eddie Murphy and Rick James, 1985.
For a brief moment, Eddie Murphy wasn't just on top of the world of acting, but the world of music as well. The single he recorded with Rick James, "Party All The Time" was a massive hit in the '80s, and it's still being played today.
Recently, Murphy said that working with James taught him everything he needed to know about writing and recording music, and that he still uses the lessons that James taught him to this day. He told Billboard:
I just picked up everything inadvertently, from hanging around in the studio all the time. He was a friend of mine and when you were around him, that meant you were always in the studio... with [James], it was a matter of being in the studio and interested in it. I'd watch how he put the records together and even today, I'll take the same steps, chart my progress the same way.
Freddie Mercury and Elton John chatting backstage at Live Aid in 1985. (Photo by Richard Young)
We often hear stories of warring frontmen attempting to one up each other on and off stage, but that's not how Elton John and Freddie Mercury lived their lives. The two singers were friends who not only shared a laugh, but shared a kinship that not many in their level of the industry did.
John has said that when the world lost Freddie Mercury in 1991, he was unable to move on for quite some time, but then a gift from his friend made him realize how special their bond really was. He explained:
By all rights, Freddie should have spent those final days concerned only with his own comfort. But that wasn't who he was. He truly lived for others... Weeks after the funeral, I was still grieving. On Christas Day, I learned that Freddie had left me one final testament to his selflessness. I was moping about when a friend showed up at my door and handed me something wrapped in a pillowcase. I opened it up, and inside was a painting by one of my favorite artists, the British painter Henry Scott Tuke. And there was a note from Freddie... 'I thought you'd like this... Happy Christmas.'
Actors James Coburn, John Sturges, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson on the set of the film "The Great Escape" 1963.
Steve McQueen liked to go fast. While filming The Great Escape, the beloved star was one of many members of the cast who found himself on the wrong side of the German police force for tearing through the countryside on a motorcycle.
Many of the cast members ran afoul of the local police force, but it was McQueen who really got their goats One day, McQueen blew through a speed trap that the German police had set up, and before he was jailed the police told him:
Herr McQueen, we have caught several of your comrades today, but you have won the prize [for the highest speeding].
Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta leave the New York premiere of Grease.
Grease isn't just one of the biggest films of the groovy era, it's a legitimate phenomenon of the stage and screen. People of all ages love the movie, they sing along, and they dress up like their favorite characters. However, while speaking with Forbes, Olivia Newton-John admitted that she nearly didn't star in the film because she was afraid that it would ruin her music career:
I was the only one who was very nervous about making the movie. My musical career was doing well at the time and I had made a movie a few years before, a science-fiction musical called Toomorrow. It had all the bells and whistles, it was produced by Don Kirshner, the guy who put The Monkees together, and Harry Saltzman, who co-produced the James Bond movies, and we were going to be a group doing all these musical movies. A lot of money was spent on it and it was a total flop. So, understandably, I was a little skeptical and nervous about doing another musical movie. I was the one that insisted on a screen test and told them I couldn't do it if they made me American so they agreed to me being Australian and they had me do a screen test. It's really kind of funny when I look back at it. I almost talked my way out of one of the best things to happen to me.
Always surrounded by beautiful women was Benny Hill and Hill's Angels.
Ask anyone about British comedy and the first thing that they'll mention is Benny Hill. Who could forget his silly outfits, the hyped up saxophone, and the way he chased gals around the screen? Hill's series, The Benny Hill Show ran for 20 years from 1969 to 1989, making it one of the longest broadcast comedy series ever.
The series had no connective tissue from episode to episode aside from Hill chasing after his troupe of ladies named "Hill's Angels" and getting slapped when he became too fresh.
Each episode featured a massive amount of visual gags, one after another in such a way that you have to watch the show again and again to get them all. Benny Hill really knew how to put as much comedy as he could into a small amount of time.
What teenage crushes were made of...Susan Dey, 1972.
In the 1960s, there was no one who was as stunning as Susan Dey on The Partridge Family. She was the girl next door who also happened to be in one of the coolest bands of the decade. What's better than that?
However, according to Partridge co-star David Cassidy, Susan Dey would rather leave her time in the family band back in the '60s. He said:
I really feel badly that Susan Dey, for whatever her own personal reasons, can't embrace the fact that she was 16, 17 years old, and millions of people loved her for that. You don't have to prove that you're so serious. We know you're serious. In life, be thankful. I don't know, just be gracious enough to acknowledge it to the rest of the world. Not to me or Shirley or Dave Madden or Danny, but to all of the fans and people who loved her and loved the show.
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix in 1958.
Before he was Jimi Hendrix, he was James Marshall Hendrix, a kid from Seattle who just wanted to play guitar. He spent his early years in and out of trouble, and really only found solace when he was with his six string, something that people thought was crazy at the time, but that became a way for Hendrix to put his soul on display.
While speaking about the records that really turned him onto rock n roll, Hendrix was always adamant that he enjoyed the blues but never wanted to be like them because he didn't feel like he had the chops. He insists that it wasn't until he was out of the Army that he really understood what was happening in the south. He explained:
When I first started playing guitar is was way up in the Northwest, in Seattle, Washington. They don’t have too many of the real blues singers up there. When I really learned to play was down South. Then I went into the Army for about nine months, but I found a way to get out of that. When I came out I went down South and all the cats down there were playing blues, and this is when I really began to get interested in the scene.
Bill Murray in "Stripes" (1981)
Stripes is a quintessential slacker movie, and aside from making the military seem pretty fun it also provided one of the biggest platforms ever for Bill Murray. Sure, before Stripes he had Saturday Night Live and Meatballs, but this was something else altogether.
Even though Stripes is Bill Murray's movie (it stars plenty of comedy luminaries, but it's Murray that runs with this baby), it was pitched as a vehicle for Cheech and Chong. That might have been cool, but it didn't come to fruition, so Harold Ramis and Columbia Pictures reached out to Murray about starring in the film. He agreed (obviously), but he said that he'd only do it if Ramis was his co-star.
A cool photo of Debbie Harry sporting jeans and tank top for the camera.
After moving the New York in the late '60s, Debbie Harry spent some time singing in a folk group called The Wind in the Willows, but her raucous punk rock life didn't start until she joined an all girl singing group called The Stilettos.
While that band didn't last long, her partnership with the group's backing guitarist, Chris Stein, did. The two formed Blondie in 1974, and they were off to the races with their songs that spoke to the soul of the American teen. She told the NME:
I don’t know if I made myself as clear as I possibly could with that because I always felt that lyrically with these songs, I was trying to represent the guys in the band as well as myself. I was trying to speak for all of us.
Peter Tork and Jimi Hendrix, 1967.
While you wouldn't expect someone like Peter Tork of The Monkees to pal around with psychedelic guitar virtuoso Jimi Hendrix, these two were as thick as thieves. Tork's band actually had Hendrix open for them on a disastrous tour, but before that Hendrix was a mystery to The Monkees.
Tork says that it was Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills, and Nash of all people who introduced him to Hendrix. He told Rolling Stone:
I didn’t see much of Jimi until after the Monkees tour that Jimi played with us... Stephen came to me full of praise for Jimi, saying this guy made him swing the hardest and jam the hardest he’d ever jammed, and was totally enthused about Jimi. So I was interested.
Burt Reynolds in "Deliverance," a 1972 American thriller film. Great movie!
Deliverance is easily one of the greatest and most memorable thrillers of the 1970s. Not only does it star Burt Reynolds in one of his most human roles, but it ratchets up the tension until your hear beats out of your chest.
For Reynolds, the film wasn't just a chance to show off his acting chops (he's amazing in the movie), it was a way to connect with his biggest audience ever. In 2018, he explained that Deliverance is the one film that fans quote to him over and over again. He said:
I'll be driving sometimes in the car, and some guy will pull up beside me and say, 'You got a mighty pretty mouth.'
Dale Earnhardt feelin' good in 1979.
When you're good, you're good. And Dale Earnhardt was one of the best. Known as "The Intimidator" for good reason, during his life Earnhardt was one of the most frightening men to go up against on the track. He did whatever he could to win, and he won a lot.
Earnhardt didn't give a lot of interviews, but when asked about what it is that makes him drive the way he does and win as much as he does, he noted that there's just a fire inside of him that he can't douse. He said:
The aggressiveness, the fire in me to win, and the will to go out there and drive a car today is still there. You can watch it in practice, or you can watch it in the races. It’s still there.
Ann-Margret posing with a nice chopper, 1960s.
Casual film fans often lump Ann-Margret in with the rest of the blonde bombshells of the 1950s and early '60s, but she was a performer completely unto her own. She sang, she danced, she acted, and she rode a mean motorcycle.
No, she's not just posing with a chopper to look cool, Ann-Margret has been in love with riding the steel horse since her Uncle Carl introduced her to the two wheeled steed when she was a child in Sweden.
She actually had a chance to show off her chops on a chopper in films like Viva Las Vegas and The Swinger.
Houston rockers Dusty Hill, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard of ZZ Top, 1970.
ZZ Top are easily the coolest bar band to come out of the 1970s. The group that recorded hits like "La Grange," and "Tube Snake Boogie," have continued on into the 21st century as a massive stadium group. The whole thing boggles the mind, but none other than guitarist and singer Billy Gibbons.
After playing their first show at the Beaumont Knights of Columbus Hall in 1970, the band hasn't stopped rocking fans. They're constantly on tour, but they always make time to return to the lone star state. Gibbons said that they love to return over and over again because there's something about the view, the sounds, and the food. He told Texas Highways:
Wherever we may be in the Great State, we always say, 'When in Texas, it’s the bestest!' Not to mention that each and every stop presents the allure of Tex-Mex cuisine to enhance the sonic experience from border to border. Always a treat.
Jackie Earle Haley as the baddest bear 'Kelly Leak' from the movie "The Bad News Bears" (1976)
There was seriously no one as cool as Kelly Leak in The Bad News Bears, the film about a group of underdog little league players who find success in forging their own path and doing their own thing on the baseball diamond.
For Haley, the film was more than just some movie he made when he was a kid, it was a chance to show his acting chops and a chance to be cool. Haley told the AV Club:
I don’t know if the character was to everybody else what he was for me, but he was just one of those guys who could do no wrong, always seemed to make the right decision about stuff, and was just laid-back and seriously cool... Especially as a kid, that was a really cool character to be associated with, because I mean, it’s nothing like me. I was a bit more goofy, a class-clown guy.
Christopher Walken on the set of the 1978 film "The Deer Hunter."
The Deer Hunter is one of the most eerie, dark films of the 20th century. Its rumination on the effects of war on a group of small town friends will stick with you years after seeing it, especially the arc of Christopher Walken's character, Nick.
As solid as the film is, Walken says that making the film was like playing music. Everyone knew their parts and improvised when the time was right, but he notes that would have been impossible without a solid script:
The Deer Hunter had a very solid script, but making that movie was a little like making jazz, playing off each other. That’s particularly because of the actors involved. Accidents happen while the camera’s rolling, so it was spontaneous within a structure... I’m not sure I knew how to handle it, but I did get past that. It was a shock to the system.
Fleetwood Mac, photograph by Sam Emerson. (1976)
Long before the tumultuous love affairs that coursed through Rumours, Fleetwood Mac's grand opus of radio hits, the band went through enough ups and downs to send lesser musicians back to business school.
Initially formed as a blues band with guitarist Peter Green, when he left the band Mick Fleetwood insisted that they keep going even if it meant restructuring the group and reconfiguring what it was that they were doing. He told People that he just didn't want the group to end:
Part of the reason was always wanting to continue having a partnership with John and two or three other band members. So it was, 'Let’s not throw this away. Let’s give this a go and see if we can keep going.' When you’re in a rhythm section and you don’t have someone to play with, what do you do? Play in your living room? And I’m not making light of it, but I’m giving a reason that I think was probably more important: 'Let’s see if there’s a way to keep your job.' And that became a model that we never gave up.
Jane Fonda in the movie "Barbarella," 1968.
Barbarella is one of the most jaw-droopingly wild science fiction movies of the 1960s. Starring Jane Fonda as the eponymous Barbarella, and directed by her then-husband Roger Vadim, the film is a dip into the most psychedelic parts of the groovy era.
As fun as the movie is to watch (try checking it out with a midnight audience some time), it was a lot of hard work to make. While making the film Fonda was shot out of a tube, plugged into machines, and covered in goo, but she was good sport about it. While on set she told Roger Ebert:
I feel absolutely flayed alive. First they put the plaster on without anything on underneath and took off about seven yards of skin. And my tummy was sore to begin with. See, in the planet I land on, people travel by being shot through plastic tubes by compressed air. So we did this scene where I get shot through the tube, and my stomach got skinned on the plastic. Ouch! So Roger decided to try it again, only this time they sprinkled the tube with talcum powder. And then it worked so well that I hurtled out the other end of the tube.
Jayne Mansfield with her family...and husband #2, Mr. Universe.
People win Mr. and Ms. Universe all the time, but it's strange to think that those people actually go on to marry someone. It's almost like royalty stepping down to marry a commoner. Well, Hungarian-born Mickey Hargitay didn't exactly marry just anyone.
In 1958 Hargitay married none other than Jayne Mansfield, one of the preeminent blonde bombshells of the groovy era. The couple went on to star together in films like Promises! Promises! and The Loves of Hercules, but their meeting was crazier than the plot of any Hollywood movie.
When Mansfield was visiting Las Vegas she was watching Mae West's nightclub act that featured a group of bodybuilders as a chorus, she noticed Hargitay and when asked what she wanted for dinner she said, "I'll have a steak and the man on the left." Ah, romance.
Joan Jett of the 'The Runaways' performing on stage, 1977.
When Joan Jett and The Runaways first hit the scene in the 1970s, no one was ready for just how hard the band rocked. Jett and the rest of the members of the all-female band knew that there would be backlash to their very existence, but they didn't let it stop them, they let it fuel them. Jett told Interview Magazine:
I walked in and said, 'Teach me how to play rock ‘n’ roll.' And the guy brought out sheet music and tried to teach me 'On Top of Old Smoky.' That was the last lesson I ever took. Being told that girls can’t play rock ‘n’ roll-I mean, even as a kid, it was so illogical to me-it’s like, what do you mean? That girls can’t master the instruments? I’m in school with girls playing cello and violin and Beethoven and Bach. You don’t mean they can’t master the instrument. What you mean is they’re not allowed, socially-it’s a societal thing... And that kind of stuff is very threatening.
June Carter and Johnny Cash in 1968
The first couple of country music, Johnny Cash and June Carter had a rocky relationship, but they never stopped loving one another. Carter says that even before she met Cash she was aware of him, mostly because her friend Elvis (yep) made her listen to Johnny Cash whenever they were in the south.
Carter didn't really know what to think about Cash's music initially, but when they met at the Grand Ole Opry she fell in love. Carter wrote:
I can’t remember anything else we talked about, except his eyes. Those black eyes that shone like agates… He had a command of his performances that I had never before. Just a guitar and a bass and a gentle kind of presence that made not only me, but whole audiences become his followers.
KISS wearing their manager Bill Aucoin's suits for a photo in New York, 1974.
With their larger than life looks and songs that seemed to beam in from outer space, Kiss has always been one of the most far out bands from the '70s. Their heavy rocking tunes, combined with their kabuki inspired look makes them impossible to ignore.
So why, on 1974's Dressed To Kill did the band opt to wear suits? Aside from taking their manager's advice, they figured that they just looked cool regardless of what they were wearing. Paul Stanley explained:
Good music and good style is synonymous. I remember listening to the first Led Zeppelin album but also looking at the shirt Robert was wearing and his hair. It wasn’t just about the music. The tunes and the embodiment of the music became inseparable. The best looks doesn’t come from a designer but from the person putting them together.
Michelle Pfeiffer in "Grease 2" 1982.
Let's not fool ourselves. Grease 2 tries to capture the cultural cool of the first Grease, but it never reaches the heights of the original film. However, over time the ridiculously campy film has attained cult status thanks to the fact that everyone in the film is going for it without winking at the audience, especially Michelle Pfeiffer.
Released to resounding yawns in 1982, Grease 2 has taken on a life of its own since then, something that the stars of the film are shocked by. Ivy Austin, who plays the bespectacled Francine in the film told the BBC:
We knew it was a little cult thing but it well exceeded our expectations. When the lights went down and the overture started it was like being at Wembley or something. I really cannot define why it’s taken off. All I know is, I love that it has, and I adore being a part of it.
Pam Grier was the epitome of Groovy, 1970s.
It's impossible to state just how cool Pam Grier is. Throughout her career she's played an unlimited amount of tough customers, each of them underestimated in one way or another, but when the credits role on a film like Foxy Brown or Coffey, you know who the star is.
Even though she hasn't had the career as many of her contemporaries, Grier has never stopped working. She even told the New York Times that she doesn't really care that she never had her "big break" until Jackie Brown. She explained:
There wasn’t any frustration, because my work spoke for itself. There’s no such thing as a small role. When I was doing the Sam Shepard play Fool for Love, it sold out for nine months. I loved doing it...
Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand in the film "The Way We Were" 1973.
The Way We Were takes the audience through the ups and downs of Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand's on again, off again relationship. The textbook definition of a teak jerker, if you've never seen it just make sure that you have every piece of tissue in the house ready or you're never going to wipe away all your tears.
The film has endured for decades. Aside from being a huge box office success, it was almost turned into a Broadway play, and Streisand even floated the idea of filming a sequel for the 25 year anniversary, but her co-star Robert Redford said no way to the follow up so we'll just have to play out the rest of their love story in our heads.
Rocker Suzi Quatro posing in all leather and boots, 1975.
The wild, Suzi Quatro, truly changed the face of rock music in the 1970s. Not only was she one of the few ladies on the scene (alongside The Runaways), but she wrote huge anthems that you can't help but pump your fist to.
It took a while for Quatro to actually gain steam in the United States, but with her amazing live show, a bucket full of hits, and the help of Happy Days she took the world by storm. While speaking with the AV Club, Quatro says that she knows exactly how important Happy Days was to her success:
Happy Days came along, and of course I played Leather Tuscadero, and then it was nationwide television. Number one show—I’m on there doing some of my hits, playing the bass guitar, being me. So I kicked down the door as Suzi Quatro, then I kicked it down again as Leather Tuscadero, who is Suzi Quatro. So however it happened, it happened. It doesn’t make any difference to me. I mean, I sold 55 million records, so I’m not kickin’.
Susan Sarandon, her first movie appearance was in the movie "Joe," 1970.
Today, Susan Sarandon is one of the most lauded actresses of her time, but in the 1970s she was still trying to figure out what she was doing. She knew that she wanted to be an actress, but she wasn't sure how to get in the game so to speak.
While speaking with her pal George Saunders, Sarandon explained that she was still very green and learning on her feet while making Joe, her first film, and that she didn't really understand how to act for a few years after. She explained:
I went up for this movie that John Avildsen was directing. It was his first real movie; he wasn’t even in the Directors Guild, so he wasn’t officially directing it... They called me in and asked me to do an improvisation. I asked them what that was, and they explained it. People who teach acting hate this story, but this is actually what happened. I did the improv and they said, 'Okay, wait here.' And they came back and said, 'We’d like you to do this film.' Then I just kept getting things. I did Joe and then I got a few other things and got on a soap opera, again, not knowing what I was doing. But that was a fantastic way to learn, because it was kind of live and with cameras. It was in the moment.
The original MTV VJs in 1981/ J.J. Jackson, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn and Alan Hunter.
"I want my MTV..." That primal call for salvation from the gods of music video strange up from young people everywhere in 1981, the year that everything changed. With the video for "Video Killed the Radio Star" as its first emphatic volley into the void, MTV became THE channel to watch if you were young, or just young at heart.
With five VJs to its name, the channel got off to a rocky start, and often people working for MTV weren't sure if their homemade rocket ship would even fly, but by the end of the '80s they were absolutely ruling everything that was cool, both in music and TV.
Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters who used to be on our televisions every Saturday morning! Who was your favorite?
Sure, there are other cartoon producers out there, but Hanna-Barbera brought the groovy era some of its coolest, most fun, and memorable characters. Whether you're a fan of Scooby Doo, or the futuristic world of The Jetsons, Hanna-Barbera created something for everyone.
Even though Hanna-Barbera kept things on the cheap (ever notice that they only had about three laugh tracks?), their shows never really suffered in quality, at least not a way that affected their rewatchability. Many of these characters have found new life throughout the years, but their heyday in the '60s and '70s really was the greatest time for cartoons.
A young Victoria Principal in the movie, "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean," 1972.
Whether you were a fan of her work on Dallas or from her extensive TV movie work, you know that Victoria Principal always delivers. She spent nearly a decade as a member of the Ewing family on Dallas, and then went on to start her own extremely successful beauty line.
Principal's beauty products and books have sold so well that when she decided that the series took a turn towards something she wasn't interested in she decided not to return. She explained:
I was busy creating my production company and looking for scripts, when my rep was approached about my negotiating to stay longer. Since this had all been done two years prior, it was quite a surprise. They felt that because others had left and returned, perhaps I would have a fear factor, and if they waited until the last minute, that would influence me to stay for less money... A few days before my final scene in the car accident, I’m offered a per-episode salary that would have made me the highest-paid woman on TV. There are moments in life when you discover your true character. That night I slept like a baby, because I wasn’t for sale.
More than the cars, and more than the Duke boys, Catherine Bach wowed audiences with her leggy portrayal of Daisy Duke, the tough as nails and cool as ice Duke sister. Even though Bach made the role her own, she says that when she was initially offered the part she didn't think she would get it so she didn't even want to go to the audition. She told Fox:
I was at some little Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills with my girlfriend, who directed my one-act play… I tell her, 'I do have this interview that I’m supposed to go, but I’m not. … You know part Daisy Duke for Warner Bros.? They want me to come in, but I know I’m not going to get it.' … She goes, 'It’s Warner Bros. You never know who you’re going to meet on the way in and on the way out. Just go!' So I went... After I did my reading during the audition, there was total silence. I thought, 'Oh no, they didn’t like what I did.' Then everyone, we’re talking about 30 people, got up and started clapping. They just connected with my vision of how this part should be played. Two weeks later I was on a plane to Georgia.
Joe Pesci, an Italian American actor, comedian, and musician. The first film he starred in was the low-budget crime film "The Death Collector," 1976.
Joe Pesci has always been Hollywood's go to tough guy, even though he was smaller than the average heavy. Pesci got his start in The Death Collector, a mob film that didn't get a lot of eyes on it, but one pair of those eyes was none other than Robert DeNiro.
After seeing Pesci in the film, DeNiro suggested that the actor play his brother in Raging Bull. Initially, Pesci said no. He said that he gave up the entertainment business because it was a dead end road, but he finally relented and agreed to play Joey LaMotta. He earned an Oscar nomination for his role in the film.
John Schneider, Catherine Bach and Tom Wopat in a promotional portrait.
The Dukes of Hazzard may look like it took place in the middle of a field, and that the whole thing was shot on a shoestring budget, but according to star John Schneider the network spent major bucks to make the show look like it was a down home experience. He told Fox:
We were in a three-network world [back then], so The Dukes of Hazzard, as fun and as backwoods as it seemed, we were still a [$1.3 million] an episode in 1978. So we were a very expensive television show. So it’s cost-prohibitive, actually, to do a show like that anymore.
How much of that budget went to fixing cars? Most of it, right?
Johnny Cash proposed to June Carter back in 1968.
When couples get up to the altar and say that they're getting married "for better or for worse," they don't expect to go through half of the trials and tribulations that Johnny Cash and June Carter went through.
In the early days of their marriage, Carter and Cash went through it. Cash had a major drug and alcohol problem, and according to their son they never shied away from getting into huge arguments. The young Cash says that while Johnny Cash was regularly out of it, he says that his mother developed an addiction to narcotics in the 1990s and stopped speaking in full sentences.
Even though they had their own personal issues, the couple loved one another unconditionally. Their love, although it was tough, was long-lasting.
Just your typical K Mart store parking lot back in the '70s. Chances are you used to shop there too!
There's something incredibly soothing about seeing a photo of K-Mart from the 1970s. Can't you smell the aisles? Don't you see the blue light special powering on through the building? In the groovy era, K-Mart was the perfect place to go for someone who was shopping on a budget.
You could get anything you wanted at a fair price, be it toys for the kids or a new work shirt. It was the beginning of a new type of store, the kind of in between store that wasn't in a mall, that wasn't a huge department store, and wasn't a mom and pop. It was something else. It was K-Mart.
Prince was the opening act for The Rolling Stones in 1981.
Before he was one of the most beloved songwriters and performers on the planet, Prince had to work his way up through the ranks like every other artist that's made it to the top. As much of an icon as Prince came to be, he was an unwelcome presence to many audience members on the tour.
From the moment he took the stage in his confrontational outfit the audience started throwing things at him and hurling insults his way. It was bad enough that Prince didn't want to open for the band again. Jagger recalls his conversation with Prince about not leaving the tour. He said:
I talked to Prince on the phone once after he got two cans thrown at him in L.A. He said he didn’t want to do any more shows. God, I got thousands of bottles and cans thrown at me! Every kind of debris. I told him, if you get to be a really big headliner, you have to be prepared for people to throw bottles at you in the night.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1988.
As fresh faced as the Red Hot Chili Peppers might look in this photo, they were seriously going through it in 1988. That year, the band lost their founding guitarist Hillel Slovak, something that greatly affected the band, especially Flea.
While speaking with Rolling Stone before the band was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, Flea said that if it weren't for Slovak he never would have picked up the bass:
I never would’ve played bass if not for Hillel. I was a jazz trumpet player, and he said, 'Dude! You should learn how to play bass and be in my band.' Two weeks later, we were onstage at the Troubadour. Anthony, Hillel and I raised each other, and they schooled me on Zeppelin and Hendrix. Hillel really loved rock & roll. He lived for it, so going into the Hall would have been a dream. To share this moment with him in the spirit world is sad and tragic, but also beautiful.
The cool and groovy Mr. Telly Savalas back in the 1970s.
Has there ever been a cooler detective than Kojak? Played by Telly Savalas, Kojak was one super tough and cool looking officer. The man loved his Tootsie Roll Pops and solving crimes, the stranger the better. As played by Savalas, Kojak was someone who understood criminals because he grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, but he just went towards law enforcement where they stayed on the street.
The series ran for five seasons and had eight spin off made for TV movies, Kojak was seriously one of the most beloved TV detectives who's ever been on TV. Was it because of his catchphrase, "Who loves you baby?" Or was it because it was such a cool, hip show? Maybe a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B.
The Irish-American actress and singer, Maureen O'Hara. O'Hara was a famous redhead who starred in the movie "Lady Godiva of Coventry," a 1955 American Technicolor historical drama film.
Maureen O'Hara is easily the most excitable and brassy Irish actresses of the golden age of Hollywood. Even though she came about in an era when actresses weren't given super meaty parts, she was clearly awesome to work with. She played opposite John Wayne five times throughout her career, and starred in both The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Miracle on 34th Street.
When O'Hara was asked why she so often played opposite Wayne, she stated that it was because they were so much alike:
I was tough. I was tall. I was strong. I didn’t take any nonsense from anybody. He was tough, he was tall, he was strong and he didn’t take any nonsense from anybody. As a man and a human being, I adored him.
Christopher Walken, 1970s.
In the 1970s, Christopher Walken wasn't yet the incredibly recognizable actor that he is today. At the beginning of the decade, Walken was treading the boards in New York City, first in Lemon Sky, then in Cleopatra, and in 1971 he starred in the Anderson Tapes.
In 1975, he actually won an Obie (the Off-Broadway theater award) for his work in Kid Champion. At the same time he was making small appearances in films like Annie Hall and The Deer Hunter. It wasn't until the 1980s that Walken really started cooking in films like The Dead Zone and the amazing b-movie McBain.
Funny 1970s ad for Sony Higher-Fi components.
The groovy era really was the greatest time for advertisements (honestly it was the greatest time for everything). Not only were the products on sale just awesome, but the ads could be funny and they made sense in the context of every day life.
This ad is perfect. It tells you exactly what you're buying - a super loud stereo with a reel to reel and a record player - while telling the real music heads in the audience just how loud it is. This ad doesn't just say "It's loud like the drummer for The Who," it says, "If you know who John Bonham is then you need to buy this stereo."
Model/actress Kelly LeBrock, 1980s...remember "Weird Science".
Weird Science is the movie that every teenage boy wanted to emulate. If there was a way to zap a woman out of the computer, you better believe that every 13 year old with a laptop would be giving it a shot.
Kelly LeBrock, who plays the computer programmed babe at the heart of Weird Science has always spoken of her of love of the film, but especially of its writer and director John Hughes. She believes that not only did he write funny movies, but that he gave young people who were a little left of the dial hope. She said:
John was a genius at comic relief, family situations, and geeks getting the girl. And it allows all of us humans who are insecure -and most of us are- to feel like a hero. That’s the beauty of the fantasy of the film, it’s that these boys who didn’t stand a chance with the girls, actually get to be heroes and everyone loves to see the fallen person land on their feet.
Wilt Chamberlain, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Andre the Giant on the set of "Conan the Destroyer."
There's no denying that Arnold Schwarzenegger is big guy. He's a muscled up, super athletic Austrian actor with charisma to spare, but in this picture he looks like a tiny little guy while standing next to Wilt Chamberlain and Andre the Giant.
Schwarzenegger took the role of Conan very seriously. This was the character that he played that connected with audiences and he knew how important it was to make the audience feel like he was the real deal. In order to get in shape for the movie he underwent an 18 month training regime that included three months of working out for two hours a day with an 11 pound broadsword to get the "athletic look" that director John Millius was looking for.
A young and groovy Helen Mirren, 1960s.
Helen Mirren has always been an arresting performer, and she was already drawing heavy acclaim in the 1960s when she started treading the boards with the Royal Shakespeare Company. However, Mirren was frustrated at the way that male reviewers always talked about her looks.
Mirren didn't let this kind of attention push her off the stage. Instead, she made a play to appear in bigger and better roles. And she made sure to clap back whenever someone commented on her beauty. She told the Guardian:
I hate that word. Kate Moss is beautiful, so is David Beckham, and I can appreciate a beautiful girl walking down the street. Young is beautiful. But the majority of us are something else, and I wish there was another word for it.
Sally Field back in 1977, the same time she met Burt Reynolds while filming “Smokey and the Bandit”
Sally Field is easily one of our most malleable actresses. She's played cute surfer girls and a woman with a multiple personalty disorder. As Sybil, Field showed that she had true range, but to hear her tell it she didn't think that anyone wanted to watch her in anything but as a creepy old lady.
As bad as she felt about herself after taking the role, Field told Oprah that it was her role in Sybil that earned her the spot in Smokey and the Bandit. She explained:
Burt Reynolds called me up personally. I pretended it wasn't shocking and scary that he would call me. He said he had this movie and the script wasn't very good but that he trusted me and would make it work. Actually, there was no script; in the end, we made up half the movie. The challenge for me was that people saw Sybil and said, 'Boy, she can act—but man, is she ugly!' So I thought if I did a movie with Burt and he thought I was cute, then somebody else might think I was cute and I could continue acting.
The Sophia Loren on the set of a film in the 1960s.
What is it about Sophia Loren that makes her such a spectacular onscreen presence? Is it her stark beauty? Her European sensibility? Or is it something else? Maybe it's hear confidence.
Throughout her career, from the '60s to today, she exudes a sense of confidence that can't be denied. Even as she ages she notes that she's happy to be herself and doesn't care if she doesn't look the same as she did when she was in her 20s. She told ABC:
You have to follow the laws of life. I like myself. I like my skin. I don’t want anybody to take it away from me. So I couldn’t do anything, really. But if it becomes a problem, it’s up to you.
Tom Petty rockin' out on stage.
The music of Tom Petty isn't just rock, it's not pop, it's real American music meant for listening with the windows down and the wind blowing through your hair. His songs are the kinds that make you want to sing along, they make you want to fall in love.
While speaking with NPR in 2014, Petty said that he didn't know how he channeled the music he wrote, and he admitted that he was still wrapping his head around how much people connected with him:
Music is a real magic: It affects human beings, it can heal, it can do wonderful things. I've had two people contact me in my life about coming out of comas to their family playing a song to them of mine, that they had liked before they were injured. They credited the song having something to do with that. I find that fascinating. A lot of people have told me, 'This music got me through a really hard time,' and I can relate to that.
Michelle Pfeiffer, 1988.
Throughout the 1980s Michelle Pfeiffer's star was on the rise as she appeared in Scarface, The Witches of Eastwick, and The Fabulous Baker Boys. It was with these roles that she showed her range and the depth of her abilities, although she now says that she has no desire to look back at the those movies with anything other than fond memories. She told In Style:
I’m not tempted at all. I don’t like watching myself ever, whether it’s 30 years later or the rushes from the day before. I’m just so critical. I’m a perfectionist, and there’s nothing perfect in what I do. So I’m happier when I don’t watch.
Phil Collins, 1965
Has anyone ever looked as young as Phil Collins looks in this photo? Ol' baby face was always trying to figure out how to get into the world of music. While speaking with Interview Magazine he said that early in his young career as a drummer he found that he had raw talent, even if he couldn't really read sheet music. He explained:
When I started playing seriously, the English beat thing was just happening, the Shadows and bands like that. It was the very early ’60s. I remember buying Please Please Me. I used to put the record player on very loud and set up my drums so I was facing the mirror, that way you don’t look at what you’re doing. Then when I was fourteen I went to a teacher to learn to read drum music. I figured when this rock-and-roll thing finished I would have to make a living playing in a dance band or in an orchestra pit. So I learned to read drum music, but I found that my capacity for reading was not anywhere near as good as actually playing by instinct.
Collins continued to play drums around his house and with local bands until he was about 19 when he finally joined Genesis.