Time Travel Through Photos: The Past Revealed in Stunning Detail
By Sarah Norman | October 3, 2023
Gabriele Susanne Kerner, singer of German band Nena in 1982
Do you remember when Superman saved the day on I Love Lucy? Did you know that Mary Tyler Moore was a dancing elf in commercials for Hotpoint appliances? Or that Brigitte Bardot was an aspiring ballerina before she started acting? How much do you know about the woman who was considered the British Marilyn Monroe? Do you remember when Shirley Eaton appeared on screen covered in gold paint? Join us as we revisit some of these groovy moments from the past, and see pictures of Julia Louis-Dreyfuss when she was young, and Melanie Griffith with a pet lion.
"99 Luftballons" is a legendary song by the German group Nena, released in 1983. This iconic track is not only a musical masterpiece but also a poignant commentary on the tensions of the Cold War era. Sung in both German and English versions, the song tells the story of 99 red balloons floating in the sky, mistaken for an impending nuclear threat, which leads to a catastrophic chain reaction. With its catchy melody and thought-provoking lyrics, "99 Luftballons" captured the anxieties and fears of the time, and it became an instant hit around the world. Nena's powerful vocals and the song's infectious rhythm make it a timeless classic that continues to resonate with audiences, reminding us of the enduring impact of political tensions and the universal desire for peace.
British TV personality and food author Nigella Lawson in 1983
Nigella Lawson, who was born in 1960, graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in medieval and modern language. She got her start as a book reviewer and literary critic. She became the deputy literary editor of The Sunday Times in 1986, before becoming a freelance journalist and publishing her first book, How to Eat in 1998. She published her second book, How to Be a Domestic Goddess in 2000. She started hosting her own cooking show series, Nigella Bites in 1999, and since then, has hosted other shows and started her own cookware, Living Kitchen.
A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a horse, of course. Mr. Ed and Wilbur (Alan Young) 1961-66
Got your ears on? Cool kid with his bike-mounted CB radio,1976
Grizzly Adams TV series starring Dan Haggerty as Grizzly Adams and co-star Denver Pyle as Mad Jack. 1977-78
The television show was based on the 1974 film of the same name. That, in turn, was based on the life of James Adams, who in the 1850s, fled into the mountains after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. In the show, when Adams adopts an abandoned grizzly bear cub, he raises it to become an adult companion he calls Ben. In terms of human companions, he has an old trader named Mad Jack and a Native American named Nakoma. Grizzly Adams, with his uncanny link to the wilderness, has to watch for bounty hunters because there's a price on his head.
I Love Lucy episode when Lucy dressed up as Superman and the real Superman (George Reeves) are on the ledge of her apartment in the rain. 1957
Pretenders debut album came out in 1980, produced by Nick Lowe.
The Great American Beauty Contest TV movie included Barbi Benton and Farrah Fawcett in an all-star cast.
The Untouchables was a crime-drama that ran from 1959 to 1963, produced by Desilu Productions, with Special Agent Eliot Ness (Robert Stack)
A young Julia Louis-Dreyfus with her mother Judith Bowles and her half-sister Lauren Bowles in the early 70s
This photo was taken long before Julia Louis-Dreyfus started her career. Her parents divorced in 1962, one year after she was born. Her mother moved to Washington D.C. and married L. Thompson Bowles, the dean of the George Washington University Medical School, and the couple then had her half-sister, Lauren Bowles, who also became an actress. Since her stepfather worked with Project HOPE, they spent time in various states and countries; in 1979, she graduated from the all-girls Holton-Arms School in Bethesda Maryland.
Actress Diane Lane in 1980.
This picture was taken when Diane Lane was only 15 years old. She got her start acting at the age of six, and by the time she was 12, she was cast in Joseph Papp’s production of The Cherry Orchard, alongside Meryl Streep and Irene Worth. By the time she was 13, she was acting with Laurence Olivier in A Little Romance, her first feature film. She also appeared on the cover of Time as one of the “Whiz Kids” of Hollywood.
Audrey Hepburn posing with a Saint Bernard dog in a snowy forest. (1962)
This picture was taken by Howell Conant in Lucerne, Switzerland for Life magazine. The British actress, who had studied ballet and had worked as a performing chorus girl in West End theater, had already starred in Sabrina (1954) with Humphrey Bogart, Funny Face (1957), and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) by the time that this photo was taken. The American Film Institute would rank her as the third-greatest female screen legend from the Classical Hollywood cinema, and she was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.
Brian Jones, founder and the original leader of the Rolling Stones, at home in London, 1965
The multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter who founded the Rolling Stones provided backing vocals and played a number of instruments for the band. He founded it in 1962 as a British blues band and gave the band its name, but Keith Richards and Mick Jagger started to change the band’s direction. Jones and Richards developed their style of guitar weaving which became a notable part of their music. In June 1969, the bad dismissed Jones because his alcohol and drug use led to problems. Less than a month later, Jones drowned in his swimming pool.
Clint Eastwood with country duo David Frizzell Shelly West, who sang You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma on his film soundtrack for Any Which Way You Can. 1981
David Frizzell and Shelly West had seven hits on the country chart, and this was their second, and biggest one, probably aided by the popularity of Eastwood’s film. The song was written by Larry Collins and Sandy Pinkard, but since the tune was similar to the song “Rocky Top” by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, the Bryants sued them for copyright infringement. For its part, the film performed really well at the box office, becoming the fifth-highest grossing film of 1980.
Diana Ross looking glamorous. Her solo career peaked in the 70s
Diana Ross first found fame as the lead singer of the Supremes and left the group in 1970 to pursue a solo career that would produce 25 albums. She released her eponymous debut album, which was followed by Everything is Everything in 1970. Her solo career success continued as she released additional albums, embarked on record-setting international tours, and starred in several prime-time specials. She also found recognition as an actress in several films in the 1970s. Billboard named her the “Female Entertainer of the Century” in 1976.
Eagles linebacker Chuck “Concrete Charlie” Bednarik celebrating big time after Philadelphia’s win in The NFL Championship Game in 1960.
Chuck Bednarik attended University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was the first player selected in the 1949 draft by the Eagles, and he started on both offense (as a center) and defense (as a linebacker). He played on the Eagles’ NFL Championship teams in 1949 and 1960. In one of the most famous tackles in football history, he tackled Frank Gifford and knocked him out of play for more than 18 months. As for his nickname, that came not from football, but from his off-season career as a concrete salesman.
Elegant singer dancer actress Diahann Carroll.
Endearing character actress Marion Lorne had a 50-year career on stage before becoming known for her character Aunt Clara on Bewitched from 1964-68
Marion Lorne, who was born in 1883, appeared in her first film in 1951: Strangers on a Train, but she had been acting since her Broadway debut in 1905. Her stage career flourished both on Broadway and in London; she actually had her own theater in London, the Whitehall. There, she had top billing in Walter C. Hackett, her husband’s, plays. The plays at Whitehall were all successful, and none ran less than 125 nights. Starting in 1952, she regularly appeared on Mister Peepers, but she found her greatest fame on Bewitched.
Eugene Levy, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Rosemary Radcliffe and John Candy during their early Second City days, 1974.
Second City named itself after a series of articles published by A.J. Liebling in the New Yorker in 1952. The group itself began with two University of Chicago students, who started a “commedia dell’arte” based on Viola Spolin’s professional theater games. The theater was founded in 1959 and had a tendency towards satire and social commentary. They had already sent a cast to Broadway by 1961 and have a reputation for being a proving ground for comedians who made their way to television and film.
First Daughter Luci Baines Johnson dances the Watusi with Steve McQueen at a fundraiser in 1964
Gene Simmons of KISS, June 22, 1974 - Electric Ballroom, Atlanta, Georgia
In the 1970s, the band KISS burst onto the music scene like a rock 'n' roll hurricane, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry and pop culture as a whole. Known for their distinctive and flamboyant personas, including Starchild, Demon, Spaceman, and Catman, KISS transcended mere music; they were a spectacle, an experience. With their iconic makeup and elaborate stage performances, they brought a theatrical element to rock music that had rarely been seen before. Songs like "Rock and Roll All Nite" and "Detroit Rock City" became anthems for a generation of rock enthusiasts. KISS's larger-than-life presence, fueled by their relentless touring and electrifying live shows, turned them into global superstars. The 1970s were KISS's golden era, a time when they cemented their status as one of the greatest and most influential rock bands in history, leaving an indomitable legacy that continues to captivate fans even decades later.
Neil Diamond Found Sweet Success In 1969
Here's Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher on their way to promote their film The Empire Strikes Back in 1980.
Jackie and JFK getting their pictures taken in a photobooth when they were first dating in the early 1950's
Jacqueline Bisset -1960s bombshell and one of Hollywood's golden actresses
James Caan, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and John Cazale on the set of The Godfather, 1971
When it came to casting for the film, Mario Puzo, the author of the book which the movie is based on, was the first to express an interest in casting Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone. The executives at Paramount were against the selection, wanting to cast Laurence Olivier, but he declined. There was also debate over casting Ernest Borgnine for the role. They still hadn’t cast Michael Corleone as filming drew closer. Coppola wanted Pacino for the role, and was able to cast him even though the executives thought he was too short. He was given the role with a caveat: Caan had to play Sonny.
Jefferson Airplane drummer Spencer Dryden and Grace Slick in a photo taken by Linda McCartney in 1968.
Jimi Hendrix performing a free concert in San Francisco, Panhandle Golden Gate Park, 1967.
Jimi Hendrix playing guitar for a small group that included Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith of The Monkees in a motel room, 1967
John Candy getting made up for his character Barfolomew on the set of Spaceballs
Kurt Russell in the 1976 TV show The Quest
This short-lived show was about two brothers, Morgan and Quentin Bodine who are trying to find their sister, who they think is held by the Cheyenne. They were separated during an “Indian massacre,” and after the brothers are reunited, they set out on their “quest.” The pilot had good ratings, but once the series got underway in the fall, it didn’t do so well. It was cancelled on December 29, 1976 because of its low ratings and the fact that Westerns were no longer popular with audiences. They had already produced 15 episodes, but four of them never aired in the U.S.
Lucille Ball, not only funny but elegant too, 1960s.
Maggie Smith has had a 60+ year career in film, here she is back in 1960
Maggie Smith, who was born in 1934, got her start acting on the stage in 1952 when she was a student. Her first role was as Viola in Twelfth Night at the Oxford Playhouse, where she continued to act throughout the early 1950s. Her professional debut on Broadway came with New Faces of ’56 from June to December 1956 at the Ethel Barrymore Theater. Her stage career continued, and in 1962, she won her first Best Actress Evening Standard Award. Laurence Olivier invited her to become part of his new National Theater Company.
Melanie Griffith with her pet lion Neil, relaxing at the pool. (1971)
Nylons and garter belts were replaced with tights before the mini skirt rage of the 60s
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff and quarterback Ken Stabler celebrate their victory over the Minnesota Vikings
Odd Couple - David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor (1975)
Pattie Boyd and George Harrison sporting matching perms back in 1973.
Patti Boyd was a model when, in 1964, she was cast as a schoolgirl in the Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night. At this point, she met George Harrison, and they soon became romantically involved. They became one of the leading couples of the Swinging London era. They got married on January 21, 1966, and headed to India, where they began to follow a lifestyle of vegetarianism and yoga. By 1973, the year this photo was taken, their marriage was falling apart as Boyd had an affair with guitarist Ronnie Wood and Harrison started to pursue Wood’s wife.