Hollywood and the entertainment world at large has seen a staggering level of growth in the last 100 years, so much so that you can pretty much travel to the far end of the world and still find a local villager who knows of Justin Beiber. But without discrediting the faces of 21st-century pop culture, show business seems to have lost a certain level of cool that was so prevalent in yesteryear show business.
Just take the rugged handsomeness and extraordinary talent of Marlon Brando, or the effortlessly cool shots of the French heartthrob, Alain Delon. These were the stars that put Hollywood on the map and cemented it as the global business we now know today. The California area at large was also a place bursting with creative zeal and attracted people all over the world, from artists and surfers to skaters, and spiritual gurus.
So sit back and enjoy a series of cool photos that encapsulated a period of time you probably wish you were apart of.
1. California cruising, 1972
Los Angeles is known for its famous driving spots, be it Mullholland drive, Sunset Strip and the famed Pacific Coast Highway, but Van Nuys Boulevard in Los Angeles California remains a favorite pastime for many.
This photo sees a group of trendy youths decorating a beautiful Mustang GT on Van Nuys Boulevard late in the evening. Taken in 1972, the 1970's was a golden period for automotive brilliance, and the most legendary cars of that decade, such as the stylish Mustang GT, remain iconic. The popular Ford model, which became known as the pony car, proved so popular in its design that it inspired a host of other vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.
2. Alice Cooper as you've never seen him before
The Godfather of Shock Rock is most familiar to peoples' eyes when he's dressed in his typically garish and gothic outfits, but in a career spanning some five decades, Cooper's unique brand of macabre punk rock/ metal hadn't always seen him drenched in eyeliner and make-up.
In the 70's, Cooper would often go make-up free, and if we're honest, we think he looks rather dashing compared to when he's on stage belting out music amidst a backdrop of electric chairs, fake blood, deadly snakes, baby dolls, and dueling swords.
3. Keith Richards, James Brown and John Belushi enjoy a night out at Studio 54, 1980
Studio 54 was the place to be in the 70's and 80's. From actors and writers to musicians and models, the biggest names in the business would have been there at least once in their lives. The iconic club was, in many ways, the Soho House of its generation, with guests such as the famous actor John Belushi, rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry and legendary guitarist of the "Rolling Stones" Keith Richards, common sightings.
This great photo of the legendary trio together was taken on Feb. 28, 1980. Keith Richards was a regular at Studio 54, a club he also frequented with his then-girlfriend Patti Hanson, the Swedish model who he ended up marrying.
4. Terri Nunn, who would go onto become the lead singer of 'Berlin', is pictured alongside Harrison Ford auditioning for the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars, 1976
Remember Terri Nunn? She was the lead singer of the new wave/synthpop band Berlin but like many singers, also had an acting career under her belt before she got her big break in music. Here, she is pictured auditioning for the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars with a young and glowing Harrison Ford in 1976. As well all know, the role went to the late Carrie Fisher, but Harrison Ford may have also played a role in that as he "did not like" Nunn.
Months later, Nunn modelled nude for the erotic men's' magazine Penthouse and by 1981, she was touring the world with her band, Berlin. The band's success peaked in 1986 when the chart-topping 1986 single "Take My Breath Away" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
5. A man proudly rides his decorated chopper bike through town
Bikes don't get much cooler than this! Captured sometime in the 1970's, this man was no doubt one of the coolest cats in town. A craze in California that started in the late 1950's, custom choppers are noted or their unique steering angles and elongated forks and experienced a renewed popularity in the 1970's.
Some of the standout choppers you've probably seen in the movies would include the customized Harley-Davidsons, the "Captain America" chopper and the "Billy Bike" from the 1969 classic, Easy Rider.
6. A contestant smiles during an episode of the popular 70's show, The Dating Game
Before Tinder and its ilk made it easier than ever to find a potential partner, singletons- if they couldn't find love in bars and cafes- would look for love on TV shows! Just take the wildly popular series The Dating Game, which first aired on December 20, 1965, on ABC. Running for 8 years, Jim Lange hosted it for its entire 8-year run before it was revived in 1986 and hosted by Elaine Joyce and then Jeff MacGregor for a further two seasons.
The Dating Game usually ran before or after another popular dating series called The Newlywed Game, which advertising execs labelled "The Dating-Newlywed Hour" in 1996.
7. In 1961, tire manufacturer Goodyear developed a tire using mounted light bulbs
How cool is this photo? In the early 1960's, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. wanted to create a more stylistic, fresh and original advertising campaign, so developed what they described as ”the tire of tomorrow.” Goodyear scientists tested a translucent model with small light bulbs installed inside the wheel rim.
They emitted dyed compounds of Neothane synthetic rubber which turned into special molds. With synthetic rubber, they could change boring black tires into any color. Engineers came up with a total of 18 tiny bulbs in each rim to ensure the wheels would emit light in the dark while special wiring devices supplied electricity to create a snazzy glow.
Better yet, this could all be controlled and altered by a single switch inside the car, which could also make the tires blink individually or in unison.
8. Anything you can do I can do bigger
This isn't something you see every day! Andre the Giant's bulky fists are on full display as he holds a 2-oz can of beer, but who's the other dude? That's Terry Todd, who is 6 ft 2 and 335 pounds, but when you're hands are next to Andre's you're going to look tiny no matter what.
Taken in December 1981 for an issue of Sports Illustrated, André the Giant was an explosive personality who garnered a massive following. A man of unthinkable stature, Andre measure around 6ft 11 and weighed an incredible 500 pounds before his death in 1993.
9. The French actress Bridgette Bardot walks past a crowd of ogling men, 1960
An icon of the 50s and 60s, the original blonde bombshell possessed a beauty that was in keeping with the often overused term 'other-worldly.' Taking away her clear-to-see beauty, Brigitte Bardot oozed class as well as confidence, and her status as a sex symbol in the early 1950s gave her a superstardom unheard of for non-English artists at the time.
One journalist, writing an article for Life Magazine in 1958 entitled, "The Charged Charms of Brigette," even gushed, "Not since the Statue of Liberty has a French girl lit such fires in America." However, fame often comes at a cost, and for all Bridgitte Bardot’s lithe grace and incredible talents as an actress, a loss of privacy was something she never truly got used to, as shown from the uncomfortable photo above.
10. James Dean and his beloved Porsche 550 Spyder, 1955
Hollywood heartthrob James Dean was just 24-years of age when he died in a car collision, robbing the world of an up-and-coming star. With a background in racing sports cars, James Dean and his mechanic were trying out his new purchase at high speeds when a car turning blocked the road. Trying to pull a racing maneuver to avoid a collision, there was not enough space or time and so the vehicles collided, and the one Dean was in cartwheeled three or four times before coming to a halt.
This photo of James Dean and the Porsche 550 Spyder he died in was taken hours before the crash as he filled up on gas.
11. Three's Company cast poses for a photo, 1976
Thanks to its relatable characters and comic themes, the American sitcom Three's Company was a hit the moment ABC aired the first series in 1977, and its surging popularity eventually spawned one of the biggest ever audiences for a television show.
In fact, after its initial six-season run, Three’s Company went onto become the highest-rated midseason show ever broadcast on American television, with Janet, Chrissy, and Jack's escapades proving a constant source of amusement with viewers, and it wasn't until 1984 that the show drew to a conclusion.
12. Martin Scorcese and Robert DeNiro hang out on the set of Taxi Driver, 1976
Taxi Driver has long been considered Martin Scorsese's best work, and the same is often said of DeNiro's visceral portrayal of its lead character. Despite the hard subject matter, the famous cinematic duo had a lot of time for each other away from filming, and it's probably for these reasons that their partnership in cinema has remained so strong.
13. George Harrison in India, 1966
George Harrison may never have been the most famous Beatle, but he will still be immortalized in rock n' roll history, and be the intrigue of many photos. In this one, he posed outside India's famous Taj Mahal temple on a holiday with his wife Pattie in 1966.
Recalling his time there, he said: “In September, after touring and while John was making how I won the war, I went to India for about six weeks. First, I flew to Bombay and hung out there. again, because of the mania, people soon found out I was there. I stayed in a Victorian hotel, the Taj Mahal, and was starting to learn the Sitar. Ravi would give me lessons, and he’d also have one of his students sit with me. My hips were killing me from sitting on the floor, and so Ravi brought a yoga teacher to start showing me the physical yoga exercises.”
14. Motorcycle champion Don Hawley shows off his Triumph motorcycle to actress and model Arlene Hunter, 1957
3-time National Motorcycle Champion Don Hawley was a cool dude. Here, we see him posed next to the actress and model Arlene Hunter on his much-loved Triumph, believed to be taken in 1957. Hunter was Playboy's Playmate of the Month in 1954 and enjoyed a successful career in glamour modelling, mostly because she bore a canny resemblance to the iconic actress, Marylin Monroe.
However, Don Hawley's career was perhaps more noted. Famously starting out as a Harley-Davidson factory rider, he would go onto win the first motorcycle TT race held at Ascot Park in Los Angeles on December 20, 1960. The Triumph has, however, enjoyed a career that has outlasted both Hawley and Hunter combined, with famous owners including Bruce Springsteen and country icon, Elvis Presley.