The Grooviest Movies and TV Shows of the Groovy Era
By | July 12, 2022
A Young John Wayne in His First Leading Role, "The Big Trail", in 1930.
Do you go through the TV Guide magazine and circle the programs you wanted to watch? Did you block out your schedule for Thursday nights so you could watch your favorite sitcoms? Did you look in the daily newspaper to see what movies were playing at your local cinema? Did you stand on the sidewalk for hours to get your ticket to the premiere of the newest blockbuster? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this collection of photos is for you. Stroll through these pics and reminisce about the films and shows you loved the most in the groovy era.
This article originally appeared on our sister site: groovyhistory.com
John Wayne didn’t intend to become a Hollywood actor. He was more interested in sports. He earned a football scholarship to the University of Southern California and enrolled as a pre-law student. He was a standout member of the team, coached by Howard Jones, until he suffered a broken collarbone while bodysurfing. The injury ended his football career, and he lost his scholarship. He was forced to quit college. In 1930, when this photo was taken, the 23-year-old Wayne appeared in his first leading role, a Hollywood western called The Big Trail. Although the film was a flop at the box office, Wayne’s performance was good enough to catch the attention of others in the industry. He landed more and more roles, mostly in westerns, and became the personification of the western frontier for many movie-goers.
Betty White and Rue McClanahan Looking Frisky on the Set of "The Golden Girls."
Betty White and Rue McClanahan proved to America that things get better with age. These two, with Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty, starred in the iconic television sitcom The Golden Girls from 1985 to 1992. The Golden Girls was a bona fide television phenomenon. It showed that women in their golden years still have a lot of life to live and a lot of adventures to have. The award-winning show was witty, clever, timely, and sexy. A few notable changes to the show happened after the pilot episode was shown to test audiences. The pilot included a butler/cook character, but the writers realized that many of the best scenes took place when the women were in the kitchen preparing their own food. Originally, Estelle Getty’s character was supposed to be a guest character, but the test audience loved her so much that she was added to the regular cast.
Naomi, Wynonna, and Ashley Judd Chilling at Home in the 1980s.
In the early 1980s, when this family photo was taken, no one had heard of the Judds. Although the family matriarch, Naomi, was an accomplished singer, songwriter, and guitarist, she didn’t hit the big time until she formed a mother-daughter singing duo with her oldest daughter, Wynonna, and signed a contract with RCA Nashville in 1983. For the next eight years, The Judds were a force to be reckoned with in country music, churning out hit after hit and collecting five Grammy Awards and nine Country Music Awards. Younger sister, Ashley, tagged along on their tours, and many fans assumed she was the untalented daughter. In truth, Ashley Judd was just bidding her time. She later became an award-winning Hollywood actress.
This is an eclectic group of guys in the early 1970s. Freddie Prinze was a stand-up comedian who parlayed his talents into his own television sitcom, Chico and the Man, which aired from 1974 until Prinze’s death by suicide in 1977. Evel Knievel was the 1970s biggest stunt performer and all-around badass. Andy Williams was a chart-topping singer with a slew of easy-listening pop tunes from his 43 albums. Glen Campbell was a country and folk artist with some cross-over success in the 1970s. Although each one of these guys was unique, they all left their imprint on the groovy era.
Miles O'Keeffe, CJ the Orangutan, and Bo Derek Starred in "Tarzan, the Ape Man" in 1981.
When director John Derek brought a new rendition of the classic Tarzan story to the big screen in 1981, he naturally cast his smoking hot wife, actress Bo Derek, as Jane. Hunky Miles O’Keeffe took the title role in Tarzan, the Ape Man, which was based on the 1912 novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs. In this film, however, the story is told from Jane’s point of view, rather than Tarzan’s. Fans flocked to see the film, primarily for the near-naked stars, but critics gave the film a big thumbs down. One critic quipped that even the animal actors gave subpar performances.
So Many Mid-1970s Artists in One Photo! How Many Do You Recognize?
This looks like a fun group to hang out with. Taken in 1976, it shows some of the mid-seventies power couples, Linda and Paul McCartney, Sara and Bob Dylan, and Cher and Gregg Allman. The former Beatle, Paul McCartney and his wife, Linda, formed the band Wings which was one of the biggest groups of the decade. Bob Dylan had just released two albums, The Basement Tapes and Blood on the Track, both in 1975. Cher, fresh off her divorce from Sonny Bono and newly married to Gregg Allman, was beginning to dabble in the disco genre at this time. Gregg Allman, now in his solo career, had made waves with his album, Laid Back.
A 1954 Snapshot of Clint Eastwood Frolicking on the Beach with Two Pretty Young Actresses.
Here is Clint Eastwood enjoying a day at the beach with actresses Olive Sturgess and Dani Crayne, in San Francisco in 1954. If these two actresses don’t sound familiar to you, it is because they were among the many up-and-coming actresses of the 1950s whose careers fizzled out before they reached stardom. The Canadian-born Olive Sturgess was cast as Ma Kettle’s daughter in the comedy, The Kettles in the Ozarks. She also appeared in The Raven in 1963 and Requiem for a Gunfighter in 1965. Minnesota-native Dani Crayne appeared in the 1956 films Written on the Wind and The Unguarded Moment, as well as the 1957 movie, The Story of Mankind.
Carefree teenaged Jamie Lee Curtis was having a fun time at a Hollywood roller-skating party in 1977 when this candid photo was taken by photographer Paul Harris. Curtis, the daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, had just graduated from the prestigious Choate Rosemary Hall, a private prep school in Connecticut, the year before in 1976 and had yet to appear in her first movie role, the 1978 horror film Halloween. During this in-between time, Curtis spent one semester at the University of the Pacific. She planned to study law, but she ended up quitting school after that first semester to pursue acting roles.
Before Grey’s Anatomy, there was Marcus Welby, M.D., America’s favorite medical drama television series, starring James Brolin, Elena Verdugo, and Robert Young. Even though Marcus Welby, M.D. ran from 1969 to 1976, many of the storylines centered on topics that were considered controversial at the time. They included depression, breast cancer, childhood obesity, impotence, learning disabilities, and sexually transmitted diseases. Three particular episodes caused an uproar. In one, Dr. Welby advised a homosexual man to deny his urges. In another, abortion is the central topic. In the third, a teen is assaulted by a pedophile teacher. All these were taboo topics of the day.
In the Seventies, Roy Rogers and Don Adams Bowled against Bob Newhart and George Foreman on "Celebrity Bowling."
During the 1970s, TV networks liked to make their stars do extra duty by competing in televised competitions, like athletic games, Olympic-type challenges, and more. In 1971, Joe Siegman and Don Gregory launched Celebrity Bowling, a television series that pitted two teams of two celebrities who bowl against each other. The show ran for a remarkable 144 episodes from 1971 to 1978. This photo, which was taken in the early 1970s, Roy Rogers and Don Adams competed against Bob Newhart and George Foreman.
An Egyptian Superhero Goddess Flexed Her Girl Power for Saturday Morning TV Watchers.
Before Wonder Woman and The Bionic Woman, there was The Secrets of Isis, a live-action Saturday morning television, the first weekly TV series in the U.S. with a female superhero. The show, which starred Joanna Cameron as an average history teacher who can transform herself into a crime-fighting Egyptian goddess thanks to a magical amulet, ran from 1975 to 1977 on CBS. As a superhero, Isis could do it all. She had extraordinary strength, control the weather, pass through solid walls, fly, stop times, and command the elements. She could communicate with her pet raven, Tut.
Smiling for the Cameras, Raquel Welch, Cloris Leachman, and Gene Hackman Looked Happy at the 1972 Academy Awards.
Sexy actress Raquel Welch was invited to be a presenter at several Academy Awards Presentations throughout the 1970s, including the one held in 1972. Here she is with two of the evening’s big winners, Cloris Leachman, who won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Last Picture Show, and Gene Hackman, who won the Best Actor Oscar for The French Connection. The French Connection was also named Best Picture at the 1972 Academy Awards.
Like Father Like Son, Kirk Douglas and Son Michael Sharing a Moment in 1949.
An adorable family scene … Kirk Douglas, one of Hollywood’s hottest leading men, spent a quiet moment with his son, Michael, in 1949. Kirk Douglass was already a heartthrob when he married his first wife, Diana Dill, in 1943. The couple had two sons, Michael and Joel before their 1951 divorce. A few years later, in 1954, Douglas remarried, this time to German-born Anne Buvdens. They also had two sons, Peter and Eric. Michael and Eric both became actors like their father. Their brothers, Joel and Peter, both became producers.
Holy swim trunks, Batman! Michael Landon looks hot in his bathing suit. So does his pal, Doug McClure … the one in the super-skimpy trunks. These two actors had a lot in common, beyond those abs. They were about the same age – just a year apart. They both got their starts performing in TV westerns. And they both appeared on Bonanza and The Virginian. They had another thing in common too. They both died way too early after battles with cancer. Michael Landon died in 1991 and Doug McClure passed away in 1995.
The cast of Room 222, which starred Lloyd Haynes, brought many of the hot-button issues of the later 1960s and early 1970s to the television screen, opening up avenues for discussions and communication. Haynes character was an insightful high school history teacher in a racially diverse school in Los Angeles. He addresses issues such as the Vietnam War, women’s rights, Watergate, and racial tensions, as well as timeless issues like bullying, obesity, sexual harassment, drug abuse, and homosexuality. In a calm, wise, and open-minded manner, the teacher instills a tone of tolerance and understanding in his lessons. Rounding out the cast are Denise Nicholas, Michael Constantine, and Karen Valentine.
Before she was Krystle Carrington on Dynasty battling it out with Joan Collins’s character, Alexis, pretty Linda Evans appeared in a number of films and TV shows, including Beach Blanket Bingo with Frankie Avalon in 1965. She earned a name for herself in The Big Valley, but also appeared in The Untouchables, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, The Love Boat, McMillan and Wife, and The Rockford Files. She has been romantically linked to several Hollywood notables, including press agent Patrick Curtis, who later married Raquel Welch, actor Lee Majors, musician Yanni, and Dennis Stein, who had been engaged to Elizabeth Taylor. She was married to director John Derek.
Sexy Catherine Bach began her acting career in a stage performance of The Sound of Music (she played one of the Von Trapp kids). In the early 1970s, she appeared in The Midnight Man with Burt Lancaster and in the 1974 move, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. Landing the role of Daisy Duke on TV’s Dukes of Hazzard was the big break she was looking for. The role propelled her to stardom. She was naturally quite excited about this so she had to take a pic next to the TV credits for the show.
That Time Ronnie Spector, Cassius Clay, Stevie Wonder, and a Bunch of Other Super-Talented People Hung Out at a Jumpin' Party.
Photographer Michael Ochs captured this photo in 1963 of some of the coolest cats of the groovy era, all just hanging out together. Yes, that Ronnie Spector of the Ronnettes and Dee Dee Sharp, the one who sang “Mashed Potato Time”. The guy who looks like he’s yawning is boxing great Cassius Clay who would later change his name to Muhammad Ali. Stevie Wonder looks like he’s enjoying his chat with Mikki Harris of the Shirelles and R&B singer Betty Harris (no relation) who sang “Cry To Me”. Whatever party this was must have been fabulous.
In the mid-1960s, television audiences seemed to really like the hillbilly genre, perhaps because it was so easy to poke fun at simple-minded, small-town, farm folks. Fans loved The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction so the climate was ripe for a third such television sitcom. Green Acres, which ran from 1965 to 1971 was the opposite of The Beverly Hillbillies in that the rich, pampered couple moved to a backwoods hick-town rather than having a country family move to the posh Beverly Hills. The set of Green Acres included all the stereotyped features one would expect to see in a rundown farm – a wagon wheel, a crocked split-rail fence, and an askew shutter.
Beach Antics with Ava Gardner and Burt Lancaster in 1946.
Petite Ave Gardner and hunky Burt Lancaster frolicked on the beach in 1946 during the filming of The Killers. The Killers was Lancaster’s debut film. Gardner had only appeared in minor roles in the past. Producer Mark Hellinger purposely sought out unknown actors for the main characters in his 1946 film. He felt that most of the leading men and women of the day were so typecast that it spoiled the element of surprise in the storyline. The Killers helped thrust both Gardner and Lancaster into the spotlight and launched both their careers.
Olympia Dukakis, Darryl Hannah, and Dolly Parton Are All Smiles for the Premiere of "Steel Magnolias".
A bevy of blondes, actresses Olympia Dukakis, Darryl, and Dolly Parton strutted their stuff at the 1989 premiere of the girl-power film, Steel Magnolias. The trio appeared in the film, alongside Julia Roberts, Sally Field, and Shirley MacLaine in the tear-jerker movie about the strong bonds of friendship in a small Southern town. As the title of the film suggests, the beautiful Southern bells might seem as fragile as magnolia blossoms on the outside, but they prove that they are made of steel on the inside.
Cheryl Ladd Giving Teammate Kristy McNichol a Hand During the 1977 "Battle of the Network Stars."
The long-running 1970s specials, Battle of the Network Stars, pitted everyone’s favorite actors and actresses from all three of the major television networks roster of shows. The more popular the show, the more likely it was to see one or more of the actors on Battle of the Network Stars. That was the case in 1977, when this photo was taken. Cheryl Ladd, the beautiful Kris Munroe on Charlie’s Angels, replaced Farrah Fawcett on the show. She joined teen actress Kristy McNichol, who played Buddy on the award-winning TV drama series, Family.
The talented folks in this photo from 1969 are collectively known as Monty Python, a British comedy troupe with a wacky sense of humor. Icons of comedy throughout the 1970s, Monty Python built its reputation on the comedy sketch television show Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which ran on BBC. From there, Monty Python branched out into other venues, such as stage shows, books, albums, musicals, and, of course, movies. They were the creative geniuses behind the 1975 film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the 1979 film, Life of Brian, and the 1983 film, The Meaning of Life.
Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin with Pal Lucille Ball in 1987.
This photo of funny ladies Better Midler, Lucille Ball, and Lily Tomlin was taken of the three friends in 1987, two years before Lucille Ball’s death. After a highly successful 1960s, Ball spent much of the 1980s trying to resurrect her TV career. But the times, they were a-changing. Ball’s brand of comedy and her penchants for variety shows didn’t carry over into the late 1970s and 1980s. Fortunately, she had some friends by her side, comediennes Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin.
Brooke Shields, Tony Randall, and Morgan Fairchild Enjoying an Evening Out in 1988.
Here we see Brooke Shields, Tony Randall, and Morgan Fairchild together at an event in 1988. This was a unique time for these three performers. Brooke Shields was in the process of restarting her career. After appearing in Pretty Baby, Blue Lagoon, and Endless Love as a teenager, she took time off to attend Princeton University. She graduated with her degree in Romance languages and literature in 1987. Tony Randall, who had enjoyed a long career in television sitcoms and variety shows, added made-for-TV movies at this time, including Sunday Drive and Save the Dog!. Like Randal, Morgan Fairchild appeared in several television series throughout the 1980s and made guest appearances on many more, including Magnum, P.I., Simon & Simon, and The Love Boat.
Phoebe Cates and Jennifer Jason Leigh in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
Fast Times at Ridgemont High co-stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Phoebe Cates both had R-rated scenes in the 1982 teen flick. Cates famously went topless in a smoking hot pool scene in the film, but this wasn’t the first time the sultry teen went nude on film. Her first movie role, Paradise, required her to shed her clothing even though she was underage at the time. So, she was quite comfortable shooting her topless Fast Times scene. Her co-star, Leigh, however, was nervous ahead of her own scene. Cates calmed her down by telling her it was “no big deal”. Cates later explained, “If a girl wants a career, she has to be willing to strip. If you’ve got a good bod, then why not show it?”
Musical Talent and Winning Smiles Helped Launch the Osmonds to Teen Idol Status in the 1970s.
When you see this many teeth in one photograph, you know it has to be the Osmonds. The musical family with an overabundance of smiling boys was quite the sensation in the mid-1970s. Brothers Alan, Merrill, Jay, Jimmy, and Donny hit it big with tunes like “One Bad Apple”, “Puppy Love”, and “Go Away Little Girl.” Sister Marie didn’t really perform with her handsome, teen idol brothers, but that didn’t mean she wanted to shy away from the limelight. She launched her own successful singing and acting career with her brother, Donny, which culminated with a hit variety show on TV.
Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, and Betty Jo, The Lovely Ladies of "Petticoat Junction."
TV producer Paul Henning got the idea for Petticoat Junction after listening to his wife, Ruth, tell stories about growing up in a rural hotel run by her grandmother. He developed the premise for the show and he knew just who he wanted to play the role of Kate, the mother. He wrote the show as a star vehicle for Bea Benederet. He believed that she played second fiddle to stars like Lucille Ball, George Burns, and Gracie Allen too long and deserved a show of her own. Paul Henning cast his daughter, Linda Kaye Henning, as Betty Jo, Jeanine Riley as Billie Jo, and Pat Woodell as Bobbie Jo.
Who Remembers Rocking Out to "The Banana Splits"?
Costumed characters of the past were simply creepy and the characters in Hanna-Barbera’s The Banana Splits Adventure Hour were no exception. The show followed the fictional antics of a band of animal characters, a drummer named Bingo, a keyboardist named Snorky, a guitarist named Fleegle, and a singer named Drooper. The format of the show was loosely based on the popular Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and Sid and Marty Krofft were in charge of the set designs and costumes. The Banana Splits ran for two years, from 1968 to 1970. The Krofft brothers credit the success of that show with enabling them to have their own TV series, H.R. Pufnstuf.
Sexy Italian Actress Sophia Loren Played a Russian in the 1967 film "A Countess from Hong Kong."
Italian actress Sophia Loren earned sex symbol status in the 1950s after appearing in a series of provocative film roles. She carried that status into the 1960s as well. When this photograph was taken, in 1967, Loren was working on the romantic comedy, A Countess from Hong Kong. The film was directed, scored, and written by Charlie Chaplin and was his final movie project. In the film, Loren plays a Russian singer and dancer who is stranded in France without a passport. Starring with Loren in the movie were Marlon Brando, Tippi Hedren, Margaret Rutherford, and Sydney Chapin, Charlie Chaplin’s son.
Critics Hated the 1970 film, "C.C. and Company", Starring Ann-Margret and Joe Namath.
If you think Ann-Margret and Joe Namath make an off couple, you are not alone. When the sultry Swedish actress and the beefy former football player teamed up for the 1970 biker flick, C.C. and Company, audiences and critics agreed that it was a subpar effort. Namath, who was trying to launch is acting career after a successful career as a professional football player, was cast as the lead character, C.C. Ryder, a biker with a heart. Ann-Margret plays Ann, a fashion journalist who is the classic damsel in distress. She has to be rescued multiple times by the same rival biker gang. There’s the expected biker race and a desert fashion shoot and music by Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders, but none of it is enough to boost the movie.
Rodney Dangerfield and Redd Foxx, Two of the Funniest Guys of the Groovy Era.
You are looking at two of the hottest comedians of the late 1970s. Rodney Dangerfield was best known as a stand-up comic, but he appeared on TV shows and in movies. He was even a producer, screenwriter, author, and musician. With his popular catchphrase, “I don’t get no respect,” Dangerfield was the king of self-deprecation. Funnyman Redd Foxx was a sought-after standup comedian in the 1960s and early 1970s. His routine was known for being raw and raunchy. His hit TV sitcom, Sanford and Son, ran from 1972 to 1977. Throughout much of the groovy era, these two men had us all laughing.
Lynda Carter Went Blonde for the Pilot of "Wonder Woman."
A blonde Wonder Woman? Not quite. In the pilot of the 1970s TV series, Wonder Woman, the Queen of the Amazons holds a sporting competition to find the best Amazon woman to accompany the wounded pilot, Steve Trevor, back to the United States. Since the queen bans her daughter, Diana, from joining the competition, Diana, played by the very brunette Lynda Carter, dons a blonde wig and mask to enter the contest. Of course, she wins. After Diana’s true identity is revealed, the queen realizes her daughter can handle herself in the outside world, setting the stage for Diana to become Wonder Woman.
A Trio of Costumed Crime Fighters in 1966.
Crime fighting’s ‘Terrific Trio,’ Batman, Batgirl, and Robin, played by Adam West, Burt Ward, and Yvonne Craig, are shown here in a scene from the 1966 season of TV’s Batman. According to Hollywood legends, William Dozier, the producer of Batman, tapped Adam West for the role about seeing him play Captain Q in a TV commercial for Neste Quik. After landing the role of Robin, the Boy Wonder, Burt Ward learned that he would be required to do most of his own stunts because, unlike Batman’s costume, most of his face was visible in his mask. He later noted that he ended up in the emergency room dozens of times as a result. Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl character was not introduced until the third season of the show.
Were The Nelsons America's First Reality TV Family?
Long before Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Osbornes, and Duck Dynasty, there were the Nelsons. After a successful stint on the radio, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson took their family reality show to television with The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. The viewing audience quite literally watched Ricky and David Nelson grow up on TV. Today, many people have voiced criticism for the show, believing that Ozzie Nelson exploited his own children for ratings. They added that Ricky and David had their childhoods taken from them by their fame-thirsty dad. In this publicity photo from 1955, the Nelsons looked like a close-knit family.
Wolfman Jack: You Many Not Recognize His Face, But You'd Recognize His Voice.
Gravely voiced radio DJ Robert Weston Smith was the nation’s most popular DJ in the 1960s and 1970s but didn’t use his given name. Early in his career, Smith went by Moon Dog, but his raspy voice was more wolf-like than dog-like. He added “Jack” to his name because it was common slang during that time. He became Wolfman Jack. His popularity spiked in 1974 when the Guess Who released a song, written by Burton Cummings, Bill Wallace, and Kurt Winter, called “Clap for the Wolfman.” Wolfman Jack, with his easily recognized voice, is featured in the song.
Kevin's Pal on "The Wonder Years" Became a Real-Life High-Powered Attorney.
Do you remember Kevin’s (Fred Savage) nerdy friend, Paul, on the late 1980s TV sitcom, The Wonder Years? The role of the goofy bespeckled Paul was child actor Josh Saviano’s biggest claim to fame, although he appeared in other things, such as The Ray Bradbury Theatre, The Wrong Guys, Reading Rainbow, and Fun House. Saviano retired from acting while still in his teens. He attended Yale University as a political science major and served as the president of the Sigma Nu fraternity. After he earned his degree in 1998, he took a job as a paralegal but returned to college to earn his law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. He joined the New York bar and worked his way up to a senior consultant and partner in a prestigious New York City law firm.
Vera Miles Went From Pageant Queen to Hollywood Starlet.
Actress Vera Miles was Miss Kansas 1948 and the third runner-up in the Miss America contest, before setting her sights on Hollywood. Ironically, her first movie role was that of a pageant queen in the 1952 film The Rose Bowl Story. For a time, Miles was touted as the next Grace Kelly and was a favorite of director Alfred Hitchcock. She starred in a number of his films. She appeared alongside Henry Fonda, John Wayne, Gordon Scott, James Stewart, and Van Johnson. Miles secured contracts with various Hollywood studios but seemed to hop from one studio to the next. She later quipped, “I was dropped by the best studios in town!”
The film version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, based on Ken Kesey’s novel of the same name, was a sensation when it was released in 1975. Jack Nicholson starred as a headstrong inmate in a psychological hospital whose personal mission is to thwart the controlling and authoritative Nurse Ratched. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest did what no film had done in more than four decades … it won all five major Academy Awards categories – Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Director. The first film to accomplish this was It Happened One Night in 1934. It has been selected for preservation by the National Film Registry.
A Very Brady Easter, Circa 1972.
Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of The Brady Bunch, everyone’s favorite television series about a large, blended family, wanted the six child actors who he cast to play the Brady children to act like real siblings. To accomplish this, he had the young actors spend time together off-set and engage in typical family activities. That included spending holidays together. In this photograph from 1972, the Brady children are celebrating Easter together. The show debuted in September of 1969 and ran until March of 1974.
Goofy Don Knotts Bumbled His Way to Stardom.
Funnyman Don Knotts won five Emmy Awards for playing the bumbling deputy, Barney Fife on the 1960s television sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, but he went on to prove he wasn’t a one-trick pony. He landed leading roles in comedy movies, such as The Incredible Mr. Limpet in 1964 and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken in 1966. A staple on television variety shows throughout the 1960s and 1979s, Knotts returned to sitcom life when he was cast to play the outlandish playboy wannabe, Ralph Furley on the popular TV series Three’s Company. For this role and for his appearance on The Andy Griffith Show, Knotts has been ranked in the 27th position in TV Guide’s list of the 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.
Several years before Bea Arthur and Betty White were co-stars on the television sitcom Golden Girls, Arthur was guest-starred on Jean Stapleton’s popular and controversial sitcom, All in the Family. Arthur played Maude Findlay, Edith Bunker’s outspoken, liberal cousin who butted heads with Archie Bunker, the quintessential narrow-minded bigot. Fans of All in the Family were so taken with Arthur and her Maude character that the executives at CBS created a spin-off show for her, simply titled, Maude. Maude ended in 1978, about the same time that this photo was taken of Stapleton, Arthur, and White. A few years later, Arthur was back on TV, co-starring in Golden Girls, alongside her pal Betty White.
The Grooviest Baby Shower For the Radiant Barbara Eden.
Beautiful Barbara Eden, star of I Dream of Jeannie which debuted in 1965, was a married actress during her time on the hit TV series. She was wed to Michael Ansara from 1958 to 1974. In 1965, just before shooting I Dream of Jeannie, Eden gave birth to a son, Matthew Ansara. Some of her fellow TV sitcom stars, including Dawn Wells, Shelley Fabares, and Lori Nelson, attended her baby shower. Eden and Ansara divorced in 1974 and she went on to marry first Charles Fegert, from 1977 to 1982, and Jon Eicholtz, from 1991 until present. Sadly, Eden’s son, with whom she was pregnant in this photograph, died in 2001 from a drug overdose.
Goldie Hawn was just 19 years old in 1964 when this photo was taken. It was a few years before she found stardom on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. As she later explained on the Megyn Kelly Show, she experienced sexual harassment in 1964 while auditioning for a part. She recalled that she went to the New York address of the audition and found herself in a producer’s apartment. Before the audition began, the man excused himself and came back wearing nothing but a robe. While Hawn was reading for the part, he kept trying to raise her skirt. Finally, he opened his robe to reveal himself to her. She explained that she did not want to get parts “that” way and he replied that she would never get any roles and never have a career. She fled the apartment and her harasser and proved him wrong by achieving stardom in TV and movies.
Like many actors of the 1950s, George Reeves looked down on television as an unimportant form of entertainment that was better suited for actors with less experience and talent. He was an established film star, so when he was approached to play the iconic Superman in a new television series in the summer of 1951, he declined the offer. He later agreed to film a movie, Superman and the Mole Men, that would also serve as a pilot for the television series. When filming wrapped up, Reeves agreed to stay on for the series. To Reeves’s complete surprise, his star power shot up. Within the first year, Reeves was one of the hottest Hollywood celebrities.
This photo was taken on the set of the 1984 action-comedy, Cannonball Run II, a star vehicle for Burt Reynolds that featured an all-star cast. Did you know that Cannonball Run II was the final movie roles for both Frank Sinatra, on the far left in this photo, and Dean Martin, next to Burt Reynolds on the right? It was also the last movie that actor Jim Nabors was in. The movie was packed with talent. The cast list included Dom DeLuise, Telly Savalas, Marilu Henner, Jamie Farr, Jackie Chan, Susan Anton, Ricardo Montalban, Catherine Bach, Abe Vigoda, Tony Danza, Don Knotts, and many more.
The King of Rock ‘n Roll and the ‘finest middle-of-the-road balladeer around’, Elvis Presley and Englebert Humperdink posed for this pic in the early 1970s. Elvis rightfully earned his status as the king of rock music, but Humperdink’s title was a bit of a joke. In truth, he made quite a name for himself in the 1960s and 1970s with a series of ballads, including “Release Me”, “The Last Waltz”, “A Man Without Love”, and “There Goes My Everything.” In fact, three of Humperdink’s singles were ranked among the best-selling songs of the 1960s in the UK. He was popular. He just wasn’t Elvis-level popular.
That Time Liz Taylor Visited Richard Burton on the Set of "Becket" in 1964.
In the days leading up to their March 15, 1964 wedding, actress Elizabeth Taylor visited her soon-to-be hubby Richard Burton on the set of Becket. If you recall, Taylor and Burton met while filming Cleopatra, a period epic. Becket was also a period piece about the friendship and frenemyship between King Henry II of England and Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Burton played the title role opposite Peter O’Toole as the king. Like Cleopatra, Becket was an extravagant film with elaborate costumes and soaring sets. No wonder it won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for eleven other categories.
Dean Martin and Angie Dickinson in "Rio Bravo", a John Wayne Western That Was Made in Response to Another Film.
Dean Martin and Angie Dickinson starred in the John Wayne classic, Rio Bravo. The film written by director Howard Hawks, with assistance from John Wayne, as a response to another film, High Noon. Many film critics believed that High Noon is an allegory for Hollywood blacklisting in the late 1950s. Both Hawks and Wayne were so critical of the film that they made Rio Bravo in response. The storyline and characters are similar in the two films, but in Rio Bravo, the characters are much stronger and more confident. They don’t show fear in the face of adversity. Sounds a bit like The Duke and Director Hawks was sending a message.
Tommy Chong Being Neighborly with Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.
It seems as though nearly every Hollywood actor and actress made an appearance in the 1980 film, The Blues Brothers, starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. You will see appearances by Mr. T, Chaka Khan, Twiggy, John Candy, Frank Oz, and even Steven Spielberg. But you know who was not in the movie? Tommy Chong. The famously stoned actor wasn’t upset about this oversight. He and his comedy partner Cheech Marin were hard at work on their own film, Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie, which was being filmed right next to The Blues Brothers set. This photo was taken when Tommy Chong wandered over to see what Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi were up to.
It's True ... Cher's Costumes Were Designed to Show Off Her Rockin' Bod and Sexy Bellybutton.
That’s Cher as Cleopatra getting frisky with funnyman Don Knotts playing Marc Antony in a comic skit on The Sonny and Cher Show in 1976. The show began in 1971 as The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, a musical variety show. But Cher and hubby Sonny Bono divorced in 1974 and cancelled the show. Fans clamored for their return. In 1976, the same year this photo was taken, Cher and Bono reunited and relaunched their popular variety show, this time calling it The Sonny and Cher Show. It ran for two years until they called it quits again.
Come On, Get Happy with the Cast of "The Partridge Family".
The creators of The Partridge Family based the concept for the show after the Cowsills, a real-life family of singers that were popular in the late 1960s. In fact, the original plan was to cast the Cowsill children to play in the TV series. However, they reconsidered this idea because the Cowsill children were too old for the characters and because none of them had any acting experience. Instead, they signed singer/actress Shirley Jones, who had recently turned down the role of Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch, to play the family matriarch. Unbeknownst to Jones, her stepson, David Cassidy, was auditioning for the role of the oldest Partridge kid, Keith. Casting them together in the series added some realism.
Morticia's Carolyn Jones Wasn't Always Ghoulish.
Before she was the creepy goth girl Morticia Addams on TV’s The Addams Family. Carolyn Jones had an impressive resume of non-ghoulish roles to her credit. In her first two films, The Turning Point (1952) and The Big Heat (1953), Jones had only minor rules but she soon tackled larger roles, including appearances in Shield for Murder, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Bachelor Party. She played alongside some of Hollywood’s hottest leading men, such as Frank Sinatra in A Hole in the Head, Dean Martin in Career, Elvis Presley in King Creole, and Kirk Douglas in Last Train From Gun Hill.
Name this TV show!
Smile! Loren Green as Ben Cartwright was the patriarch of the male-dominated Cartwright family on a sprawling Nevada ranch. We are willing to bet that horse is even a male. The Cartwright sons, Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker), and Little Joe (Michael Landon) represented a non-traditional family. Although they shared the same father, Ben Cartwright, they each had different mothers, all of whom died before the storyline starts. A three-time widow, Cartwright raises his sons to have a high moral compass, but we wouldn’t expect anything less from a show starring Michael Landon.
Rockin' Sisters, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart in 1977.
In the mid-1970s, talented sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson took their rock band, Heart, to the top of the charts with hit after hit, from “Magic Man”, “Crazy on You”, “Barracuda”, “These Dreams”, and “Alone”, to name just a few. Did you know that the sisters had a falling out while on tour in 2016 when Ann Wilson’s husband, Dean Welter, was arrested for assaulting Nancy Wilson’s then 16-year-old twin sons? Welter was upset with the boys for failing to close his RV door. Welter avoided jail time by pleading guilty to lesser charges, but the sisters refused to speak to each other for three years. In 2019, they announced they would be reuniting and going on tour once again.
Marlon Brando with his sister, Jocelyn, in 1953.
No, this isn’t a pic of tough-guy actor Marlon Brando with one of his beautiful leading ladies. It is a photo of him with his older sister, actress and writer Jocelyn Brando. Like her talented little bro, Jocelyn attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and was a member of the Actors Studio in New York. She made her stage debut in the 1942 Broadway play, The First Crocus. Her first movie role was in the 1953 war drama China Venture. She was perhaps best known for her part in The Big Heat. She also appeared in two of her brother’s movies, The Ugly American and The Chase. She was, unfortunately, largely blacklisted in Hollywood for signing a peace petition.
Good Food and Fun Times at the MGM Commissary.
The studio commissary was the place to be at lunchtime in the 1950s. Just ask this groovy group of Hollywood performers – Janet Leigh, Grace Kelly, Ann Blyth, Stewart Granger, Elizabeth Taylor, John Ericson, Marge Champion, and Louis Calhern. The MGM Commissary offered a wide variety of menu items. We wonder if Elizabeth Taylor ordered the Elizabeth Taylor Salad, made with chilled mixed greens and watercress with julienne turkey, salami, and Swiss cheese and topped with a vinegar and oil dressing. It only cost $1.25. She could have also ordered a smoked tongue on rye sandwich with Monterrey cheddar for 80-cents or a dish of canned peaches for 30-cents or a cup of coffee for 10-cents.
James Garner and Audrey Hepburn attended a dinner party hosted by director William Wyler that was held at Romanoff’s Restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1961. The party capped off the filming of The Children’s Hour, a drama starring Garner, Hepburn, and Shirley MacLaine. The Children’s Hour was based on a play, These Three, which was based on a real-life incident involving two Scottish school teachers. The plot focuses on a fib told by one of the schoolchildren that Hepburn’s character and MacLaine’s characters were secret lovers. The lie ended both women’s employment at the school and ruins Hepburn’s character’s engagement to Garner’s character.
With Members Like Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and George Harrison, The Traveling Wilburys Oozed with Talent.
Okay, so this one isn’t a TV show or a movie, but it will still bring back memories. Who could forget The Traveling Wilburys? Comprised of George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Jeff Lynne, this group was so packed with talent, it was no wonder that their biggest hit was titled “Handle With Care”. The group formed in 1988, the same year this photo was taken, and they released Their first album Traveling Wilburys, Vol 1 in December of that year. Their second album was strangely titled Traveling Wilburys, Vol 3. George Harrison hoped the supergroup would release many more albums, along with a featured film, but it was too difficult to get the group together.
A Super-Groovy McDonald's Restaurant in 1968.
The McDonald brothers started their hamburger chain well before Ray Kroc got involved. In 1955, Kroc opened a McDonald’s franchise and he eventually grew to have hundreds of stores around the country. The 1960s were a pivotal time for the fast-food restaurant. In addition to establishing the brand and building customer loyalty, McDonald’s introduced its two most recognizable symbols, the classic golden arches, and the Ronald McDonald mascot character. In 1965, McDonald’s became a publicly traded company. In 1967, the year before this photo was taken, McDonald’s became an international company when it opened its first Canadian location.