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Sixty years ago one of the grooviest and most turbulent decades ever was just getting started. Everything was changing. Music, politics, culture and art were all undergoing a major transformation.
For people that lived through it, it may seem like it was just yesterday. For those that didn’t, it may seem like ancient history.
But just like today, the ‘60s were filled with famous actors, artists, bands, directors and sports figures that captured our attention and left their mark on our culture.
Let’s take a look back at a few of the IT celebrities from the ‘60s.
The Bubbly Blonde - Goldie Hawn
Every generation seems to have its bubbly blonde, but few with this much-staying power. Goldie Hawn started out as a giggly go-go dancer on the sketch comedy show Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In but went on to make a string of hit comedies (Shampoo, Private Benjamin, The First Wives’ Club, etc.)
Her other legacy: daughter Kate Hudson!
The Boy Band - The Beach Boys
They may have been a garage band from California, but the Beach Boys unique sound resonated with more than just teenagers.
Their innovative album “Pet Sounds” and the single “Good Vibrations” established them as cutting edge innovators and was said to have influenced many other famous rock musicians.
Like another boy band you might have heard of called The Beatles.
The Style Icon - Audrey Hepburn
Her ‘60s films Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Charade and My Fair Lady are still considered classics.
Equally influential was her sense of style. Classic and elegant, her fashion sense has carried right over to the present generation.
Need a go-to look? You’ll never go wrong by emulating Audrey!
The Thrills Director - Alfred Hitchcock
Film director Alfred Hitchcock got his start in the ‘40s but was still going strong when the ‘60s rolled around.
The master of suspense released Psycho in 1960 and The Birds in 1963. Today, his films still rank as some of the most studied of all time.
The Creepy Actor Guy - Anthony Perkins
Anthony Perkins starred on Broadway and even released three pop albums, but he’ll always be best remembered for playing Norman Bates in one of the most suspenseful movies of all time, Psycho.
After that, it was kind of hard to shake the creep factor.
The Guitarist - Jimi Hendrix
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame depicts him as “the greatest instrumentalist of all time.” Hey Joe and Purple haze were two of his most iconic hits. But his meteoric career ended in 1970 when he passed away from an overdose.
However brief his presence on the world stage, his legacy as a musician has never died.
The Supermodel - Twiggy
Before they started mass producing supermodels, there was Twiggy. Her big eyes, big eyelashes, short hair and boyish frame, were simply iconic.
She modeled all over the world. And, like any good supermodel, landed on the cover of Vogue.
In 1970 she retired from modeling with the statement, “You can’t be a clothes hanger for your entire life!”
The Groundbreaker - Sidney Poitier
Bahamian-American actor Sidney Poitier was the first black actor to win Best Actor for his role in Lilies of the Field. He was also a part of the famous March on Washington in 1963.
In 1967, he continued to break ground with three films about race relations: To Sir With Love, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night.
The Sex Symbol - Ann-Margret
Singer and actress Ann-Margret was so red hot that they billed her as the female Elvis Presley.
And in fact, she starred with the “King” in 1964s Viva Las Vegas. That’s a whole lot of sex appeal in one musical.
The It Couple - Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
This pair of British actors were known for their chemistry onscreen and off. They married in 1964 amidst a scandal (Taylor was married to actor Eddie Fisher when their affair started), but that didn’t keep them from being one of the most talked-about couples for over a decade.
In 1975 they filed for divorce. But their legend as one of Hollywood’s most famous It Couples lives on.
The Singing Duo - Sonny and Cher
There are some people that would claim their vocal talents were somewhat lacking. But that didn’t keep Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” from climbing the charts in 1965. They went on to make more hit music and a ‘70s TV show, The Sonny and Cher Show.
By 1975 they were divorced, and Cher went on to have a major solo career. Yeah, she’s a survivor.
The Sports Icon - Mohammad Ali
Part boxer, part political activist, Mohammad Ali was no stranger to controversy.
But that didn’t prevent him from becoming one of the leading heavyweights of all time. He kept his audience captivated with his verbal and physical sparring.
His nickname “The Greatest” aptly sums him up.
The Hero - Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong touched down on the moon in 1969 with the words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
What more needs to be said?
The Artist - Andy Warhol
Controversial pop artist Andy Warhol was famous for a lot more than his pictures of Campbell Soup cans. He was also an author, a rock producer (The Velvet Underground), magazine founder (Interview) and all-round promoter of the bohemian and intellectual set.
And yet somehow it’s his famous blonde mop we always remember best. Go figure.
The Tough Guy Actor - Steve McQueen
His first major hit was The Magnificent Seven. After that, he went on to play a host of tough-guy roles including The Great Escape, Bullit, and The Getaway.
No matter what he starred in, he always seemed like the guy who could beat you up and steal your girlfriend.
The Power House Singer - Aretha Franklin
There’s only one of her and she is the undisputed Queen of Soul. “Chain of Fools”, “Natural Woman” and “Think” (just to name a few) all hit the charts in the 1960s.
Respect, baby. Respect.
You might also be interested in: 21 Images From The ‘80s That Will Instantly Take You Back