45 Private Moments Behind Closed Doors in Golden Age Hollywood
Considering we live in an era where we rarely if ever, don’t carry our trusted smart-phone. We justify to ourselves that it’s more a necessity than a luxury and maybe that’s true. But, let’s think about that for a moment. Before the invention of this item where we never snapped pictures of meals being served to us in a restaurant or filmed a couple arguing on the street. We never thought we had to document each second of our waking lives and post it for virtual strangers to like or comment on. Let’s go back to a time before anyone heard of Steve Jobs and phones named after fruit. This piece is going to focus on the bygone era of Hollywood when studios created voluptuous starlets and rugged manly actors. They decided what images we would see, they dictated what information we would receive. They controlled the livelihoods of the stars, they decided if they worked or not. It’s hard to imagine that kind of control happening in the 21st century, where every wrong move or comment is preserved on tape or film and stored on the cloud, ready to be used at a moment’s notice.
Bette and Tibby
Two-time Oscar-winner Bette Davis seemed to get along better with her pets than she did with the men she was involved with. The star loved West Highland Terriers and owned three. The dog in this image is Tibby, and he was a regular on the set when Bette was filming.
Tibby was so welcome that he even had a chair with his name on it. Talk about a dog’s life. Davis was so fond of dogs that in 1938 she hosted an event to raise funds to build an animal hospital and was a lifetime President of the Tailwaggers Society of Southern California.
Portrait of a Family
Bette Davis and Gary Merrill seemed to be the picture of wedded bliss. That’s what this image at home with their children seems to depict. The two were married for 10 years, from 1950 to 1960, and had three children. Merrill was also Davis’s 4th and last husband. Davis was quoted as saying, ‘Gary was macho, but none of my husbands was ever man enough to become Mr. Bette Davis.’
That statement alone can explain why the Oscar-winning actress never lucked out in the love department. Merrill had an impressive roster of acting jobs, but he never matched the acting chops of one of the greatest actresses in the world, his wife. The couple’s relationship has been depicted in Ryan Murphy’s 2017 mini-series ‘The Feud,’ which explains their rocky partnership.
Bogie and Bacall on The Santana
One of the greatest Hollywood couples of all time has to be Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The two met and fell in love on their first film, ‘To Have and Have Not,’ in 1944. The much older Bogart had a passion for sailing, and if Bacall wanted to spend time with him, she had to board his yacht ‘Santana,’ which she did happily.
There are numerous photos of the couple on the Santana, and the two enjoyed time away from the studio and media. Bogart purchased the 55-foot boat from fellow actor Richard Powell soon after marrying Bacall and treasured their private time on the open waters.
Family Came First for Bogie and Bacall
When actors and spouses Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall weren’t filming or sailing on their yacht, the Santana, they were enjoying time at home with their family The two wed in 1945 and had two children. While both were busy actors, working together in films such as ‘Key Largo’ or ‘The Big Sleep,’ they both cherished their time together at home with their children.
This image shows a happy family, complete with pets in front of the fireplace. Doesn’t get more wholesome than this. The two were happily married for 12 years and were only parted when Bogart died in 1957 at the age of 57.
A True Animal Lover
French-born, blonde bombshell Brigitte Bardot made a name for herself in films such as ‘A Very Private Affair,’ and ‘Viva Maria,’ but what matters to her most is animal rights. She has campaigned to stop the hunting of seals with the help of PETA. She is a passionate animal rights activist and had devoted much of her life to protecting innocent creatures.
This photo was taken sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s, and we love how natural Bardot appears. In 1992 Bardot launched the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, which raises money for stray dogs and cats. It has been reported that the former starlet auctioned off all her jewelry to raise funds for the foundation. Now that’s an animal lover.
The Duke at Home
This image portrays a softer side of John Wayne, who was known to the world as ‘The Duke.’ The actor is at home with his 3rd wife Pilar and their daughter in a simple family portrait that is a stark contrast to the rugged image we have when we think Wayne. The actor was known for his tall and imposing stature, as well as his distinctive walk and speech.
Believe it or not, Wayne’s birth name was Marion Robert Morrison. Needless to say, we doubt his career as a tough cowboy would’ve have been as successful with his original name. Honestly, it’s hard to imagine fans lining up to see ‘True Grit,’ or ‘The Alamo,’ starring Marion Morrison.
The Day Joan Called in Sick
Whether it was a genius publicity stunt or not, this image is legendary. Movie star Joan Crawford was sure she didn’t stand a chance at winning the Oscar against Ingrid Bergman. The actress decided to pass up attending the glamorous event and claimed she was sick.
Lucky for her, photographers were on standby outside her lavish Brentwood estate, just in case. The actress did win the award for her acting in ‘Mildred Pierce’ in 1945. The press was allowed in, and this ‘private’ moment was captured in the star’s bedroom for the world to see.
Books, movies, and documentaries have been released about the troubled mother-daughter relationship between screen goddess Joan Crawford and her adopted daughter Christina. Whether we believe Christina’s version or we side with Joan, the two made for good gossip. This image was captured outside the star’s home in Brentwood, CA., and it looks like any other mother and daughter posing for a family snapshot.
It’s believed that Crawford adopted her children during a period when her career was in a slump, and she needed some positive publicity. Sounds a little far-fetched, but anything’s possible. At a time when movie studio heads created their star’s image for the public, Joan was seen as the perfect mother, adopting unwanted children. It is public record that upon Crawford’s death, Christina and brother Christopher were left out of her will. So maybe there is some truth to Christina’s claims of abuse.
Rebel With a Pooch
This image shows that bad boy James Dean also had a sensitive side. The photo shows the actor with his border collie Tuck that was a regular on the star’s filming sets. The brooding actor, known for such films as ‘Rebel Without a Cause,’ and ‘Giant,’ had a gentle private side, that most weren’t aware of.
Fans of the actor couldn’t get enough of his troubled image, that may very well have been orchestrated by the studios to garner interest in the young man. But Dean did live life on the edge and had a passion for fast cars. The esteemed actor’s life ended much too soon. He died in a car accident at the age of 24, but his legend will likely live on forever.
Babs and Elliot
Barbra Streisand and Elliot Gould in happier days, enjoying breakfast at home. The two were married from 1963 to 1971 and share a son. The two got involved when they were just starting in the business. They both appeared in the Broadway production of ‘I Can Get it For You Wholesale,’ in 1962. Critics praised Barbra’s minor role, calling it a standout performance.
The actors both continue to have successful careers, Gould is known for ‘MASH.’ In contrast, Streisand has had an incredible musical career, not to mention she is an actress, director, and producer. The awards between the two are too many to count, but trust us, it’s a lot. The two are still friendly, and Gould is reportedly helping his ex-wife fill in the blanks about their years together, for her memoir.
A True Fashionista
This photo was taken in 1951, when Audrey Hepburn was residing in her flat in Mayfair, London. The actress became a bonafide success when at only 22, she wowed audiences on Broadway in ‘Gigi.’ It wasn’t long before she was bound for Hollywood. In 1953 she appeared in ‘Roman Holiday.’
But it wasn’t till 1961 when Hepburn’s performance in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ that the young woman became a huge movie star and fashion icon. The American Film Institute ranked the actress as the 3rd greatest screen legend in Golden Age Hollywood. She was naturally also inducted into the Int’l Best Dressed Hall of Fame. The actress died in 1993 at the age of 64.
This image of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor playing cards and enjoying some down-time is too good not to include in this article. This couple was known to the world as ‘Liz and Dick,’ and their love story is legendary. Taylor is as famous for her marriages as for her acting resume. The actress married eight times, but Burton made the list twice.
The two had an instant attraction when they met on the set of the 1963 film ‘Cleopatra.’ Although both were married to others at the time, there was no keeping these two apart. The two fought, loved, and acted with the same intensity, and it affected their relationship. They first married in 1964 but divorced in 1974, only to remarry in 1975. Sadly the two weren’t able to make a go of the marriage and divorced in 1976.
Three’s a Crowd
This photo of Elizabeth Taylor and 3rd husband Eddie Fisher was chosen because it was taken during the filming of ‘Cleopatra,’ in Rome, and includes Taylor’s co-star Richard Burton. Fisher had no idea that Taylor and Burton were having a passionate affair off camera and away from prying eyes.
Within a short time, the scandal of the century broke, and the world, as well as the injured spouses, became aware of Liz and Dick’s indiscretions. The affair was better than any movie storyline, and the two were quick to ditch their significant others to wed.
A Real-Life Princess
Oscar-winning actress Grace Kelly had a real-life fairy tale romance that was better than any movie plot. This image was taken right before she gave up her acting career to begin her next role as a real-life princess. The actress is seen with her mother and sister in their family home in Philadelphia, shortly before her marriage to Prince Ranier of Monaco.
The actress had a successful film career in hits such as “Rear Window,’ and ‘The Country Girl.’ She gave up her impressive career in Hollywood after meeting the Prince while filming ‘To Catch a Thief,’ in France. The two married in 1956, and Kelly became known as Princess Grace of Monaco. Sadly, the princess didn’t have her fairy tale ending; she was killed in a car accident at the age of 52.
The rivalry between actresses and sisters Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland was epic, and fans couldn’t get enough. Although this image shows the two during a time when they appeared to be just two sisters enjoying some girl talk over tea and cakes. It’s been reported that since childhood, the two didn’t get along. Not wanting to be compared to her successful sister in Hollywood, Joan changed her last name to Fontaine.
The two were always competitive, and if one had a successful film and the other didn’t, it made for juicy gossip. The feud reached a high point and played out for the world when the two sisters were both nominated for the Best Actress award in 1942. Olivia was the favorite to win, but Joan won for her role in ‘Suspicion.’ Joan was accused of snubbing Olivia upon hearing her name called. The two weren’t on speaking terms when Joan died in 2013.
The King of Rock and Roll
This image was taken in 1956 in Elvis’s home in Memphis, Tennessee. It was a pivotal year for the singer. Presley wasn’t yet the King of Rock and Roll, but he was riding high on his number one hit ‘Heartbreak Hotel.’ 1956 was the year he released his first album, and the world was taking notice of the man with the pouty lips, brooding eyes and, dark mane of hair.
Presley became a musical sensation, and fans couldn’t get enough. But the singer wasn’t equipped to handle the fame that came his way. Due to his massive success and indulgent lifestyle, the singer led a troubled life that included being surrounded by the wrong people. The King passed away in 1977 at the age of 42, from a heart attack, most likely brought on by his addiction to drugs.
Go On, Make Me An Offer I Can’t Refuse
This image is priceless. It was taken during the filming of the hit movie ‘The Godfather,’ which premiered in 1972 and made a star of the young and relatively unknown Al Pacino. The picture shows Marlon Brando in the makeup chair laughing at something the prolific director Francis Ford Coppola is saying. It has one wishing they were a fly on the wall.
Rumors plagued the troubled set, and concerns ranged from Pacino’s lack of experience to Brando’s attitude while filming. Producers feared the film would flop, and they’d lose their investment. Boy, were they wrong. The film went on to become one of the greatest films ever produced, garnering 11 Oscar nominations and three wins, including best film and best actor for Brando.
Jayne’s Pink Palace
Blonde Bombshell Jayne Mansfield was supposed to take Hollywood by storm, much like Marilyn Monroe. This moment shows the actress at home, in her tub. Mansfield dubbed her LA home ‘The Pink Palace.’ The actress cultivated her sexy image and was often compared to that other famous blonde, Monroe. Mansfield wed bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay, and the couple had three children, including actress Mariska Hargitay.
Throughout her career, Mansfield yearned to be taken seriously, but her public image prevented that. Mansfield and Hargitay divorced in 1964, while she tried to remain relevant in Hollywood. This story has a sad ending, though. In June 1967, the 34-year-old actress was involved in a car accident that killed her and two others, while her 3 children, who were sleeping in the back, remained unharmed.
The Funny Man and His Leading Lady
Ann Bancroft and Mel Brooks are sharing a moment by their piano at home. The two were married for over 40 years, and it ended when Ann passed away in 2005. Bancroft was a respected actress that most remember from the 1967 hit film ‘The Graduate.’
Brooks was an accomplished actor, writer, and producer and mostly known for films such as ‘Spaceballs’ and ‘History of the World, Part 1.’ The duo seemed an odd pairing as he was the zany comedian and she was the serious, yet elegant thespian. The actress died in 2005, and Mel is still residing in their South Hampton cottage and recently celebrated his 94th birthday.
Burt’s Quiet Moment
For much of the 70s and 80s, Burt Reynolds was the hottest star in Hollywood. The man was box office gold with hits like ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ and ‘The Longest Yard.’ He was considered a sex symbol and appeared nearly nude in Cosmopolitan. He dated Sally Field and married blond bombshell Loni Anderson, and for a while, the star could do no wrong. He was always making headlines for his choice in women.
It was rare to catch him in a private moment, as in this picture, taken at his home in Jupiter, Florida, where he was able to relax and unwind. The actor’s career slowed down in the 90s and early 2000s, but he did have a comeback in films such as ‘Boogie Nights’ for which he garnered an Oscar nomination. The actor craved the attention and spotlight of Hollywood till the end. He died at the age of 82 in 2005 in his hometown of Florida.
A True Trailblazer
Dorothy Dandridge is known for films such as ‘Porgy and Bess’ and ‘Islands in the Sun.’ Dandridge was also the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actress category for her performance in ‘Carmen Jones.’ The actress was struggling in Hollywood during a difficult time for actors of color. Still, she did manage to be successful and respected in what was typically a white-dominated industry.
The actress was quoted to have said, ‘If I were white, I could capture the world.’ This image was chosen because it shows the lovely actress relaxed and happy and away from the prying eyes of the media and reporters who weren’t always kind to the actress. It is believed that Dandridge suffered from bi-polar disorder, which affected her professional and personal life. Dandridge passed away at the young age of 42 due to an overdose, while in her bank account, she had a balance of $2.14.
Old Blue Eyes Taking a Break
Frank Sinatra, the legendary singer, ruled the Las Vegas Strip with his cronies in the ‘Rat Pack’ and was rumored to have ties to the mafia. This private moment was captured in 1951 at the singer’s Palm Springs getaway in the California desert. The singer was a notorious ladies’ man who wed A-listers like Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow.
He lived his life much like his hit song ‘My Way,’ and didn’t offer any excuses. Sinatra not only ruled on stage with his singing but had a respectable acting career in films such as ‘From Here to Eternity,’ and ‘Ocean’s 11.’ The singer was instrumental in campaigning for the young John F. Kennedy and was rumored to have introduced him to Marilyn Monroe.
Judy’s Quiet Time
Seeing the young Judy Garland not singing or performing is not something we’re used to. The actress seems totally at ease in this photo taken at home, simply relaxing and enjoying some time away from the camera. Sadly Judy’s life didn’t include many moments like this. The star of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ was a child star, and the studios did all they could to keep the money rolling in, even at the cost of destroying the young woman’s life.
Between the studios and her mother’s drive to see Judy succeed, she had no chance for a normal life. The accomplished singer and actress led a troubled and sad existence, which ended much too soon. The actress was found dead at the age of 47 from an overdose of prescription medications.
One of the Better Love Stories
Acclaimed actors Clark Gable and Carole Lombard were simply known as Gable and Lombard,’ and their love story rivals many movie storylines. The two were Hollywood royalty. The two met on the set in 1932, but were married to others and didn’t pursue the relationship. Fast forward to 1936, and the duo met again at an industry event, and this time they didn’t hold back, even though Gable was married.
The two had a passionate secret affair then ended in marriage. They were married from 1939 to 1942. This photo was taken at the stars’ home, and their apparent love of one another can’t be overlooked. The short marriage was a stable and loving partnership, but sadly it ended too soon. Lombard was killed in a plane crash in 1942; she was only 33.
This image of a young Sophia Loren cooking in the kitchen is more natural than most people think. The Italian born actress is a real foodie and has published an impressive collection of cookbooks. The woman is talented, beautiful, ageless, and can cook. Talk about the complete package.
Many of her books are no longer in print, and collectors are always on the lookout for copies. Loren was quoted to have said, “Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner.” Wise words from a wise woman.
One can’t help but smile at this image of a makeup-free Sophia Loren sleeping. It doesn’t get any more real than snapping a pic of someone sleeping, although most don’t look this good mid snooze. Before becoming Sophia Loren, she used to go by Sofia Lazzaro and Sofia Scicolone.
Many don’t know this, but in her first English speaking role, she had to recite her lines from cue cards that were written phonetically. That film was ‘The Pride and the Passion,’ and she starred opposite Cary Grant. The two fell hard for each other but never acted on their feelings as he was married, and she was in a relationship with Carlo Ponti.
The Rock at Home
We chose this image because it shows actor Rock Hudson away from the cameras, enjoying some alone time at home. Sadly the handsome actor will most likely be remembered as the star that had to hide his true identity. Until his death in 1985 before the world knew his secret, he was starring alongside Doris Day and Elizabeth Taylor and was a successful movie star in everyone’s eyes.
Women couldn’t get enough of the good looking and talented star. Close friends and studio insiders knew Rock was gay, but they hid his secret, knowing that his career would be over if it became public. Hudson died of AIDS at the age of 59.
Brando Relaxes Between Acting Gigs
We love this image of a young Marlon Brando at home, relaxing between acting gigs. But we can still see the intense and troubled look on the talented actor’s handsome face. Considered one of the greatest actors in history, Brando studied his craft at Lee Strassberg’s infamous Actor’s Studio with Stella Adler.
The studios weren’t able to mold the actor into the image they wanted, and Brando was quickly labeled difficult to work with. Considering he won two Oscars and garnered numerous nominations, he did pretty well without the backing of the studios. The actor wowed audiences in nearly every film he was in, including ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and ‘The Godfather.’
Acting Legends at Home
This image is special because although Viviene Leigh and Laurence Olivier were married, their relationship wasn’t always easy going. This photo shows a happy couple enjoying themselves on the telephone. This pair were and are still considered two of the most gifted actors in the history of Hollywood.
The two met on the set of the 1939 film ‘Fire Over England,’ and their chemistry was off the charts. The studios tried to separate the actors, but it didn’t work. After a scandalous affair, the two were married in 1940, but they were doomed for failure. Allegations of mental illnesses and miscarriages plagued the couple’s union. Only after their deaths were letters to and from the couple found, which proved their love for each other.
The President and His First Lady
This image shows two young actors in love at home and not making plans to take over the White House. Before Ronald Reagan was President of the United States and Nancy was First Lady, the two were actors in Hollywood. The two met in 1951 when she was a struggling actress, and he was head of the Screen Actors Guild.
The two wed in 1952 and were working in Hollywood till 1965. Ronald decided politics was more to his liking, and by 1967 he was Governor of California. In 1980 he became the 40th POTUS, and Nancy was FLOTUS.
Lost in Thought
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This image shows the young Montgomery Clift deep in thought, and we’re wondering what’s going on behind the dark, brooding eyes. Considered a real talent, he was a master at using the Method form of acting when appearing in front of the camera. The craft involves drawing from personal experiences. Considering the struggle this actor was facing daily, he was going through a lot in his life.
The actor was locked in the closet during an era that didn’t accept gay actors in Hollywood. The studios hid his secret, and the gossip reporters linked him with co-star Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor also kept his secret, but she couldn’t save the troubled actor from destroying his life. Clift was abusing alcohol and prescription meds and died at the young age of 46.
RJ and Natalie Take Two
For Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner, it took getting married twice to get it right. They two first got hitched in 1957, but had a rocky time from the get-go. They managed to get it together and completed the film ‘The Fine Young Cannibals.’ But the good times didn’t last, and they divorced 1962.
When the two hooked up again several years later, they were in different places, and this time they clicked. The duo remarried in 1972 and had their daughter Natasha. This photo shows a happy family soon after the birth of their little girl. Everyone knows the two didn’t have their fairy-tale ending. In 1981 Natalie fell off the couple’s boat and drowned in Catalina. She was only 43 years old.
Shirley’s All Grown Up
This image shows a grown Shirley Temple enjoying a private family moment with her husband and daughter. Many of us can relate to the happiness radiating on a mom’s face as she’s steadying her child. Most though, can’t relate to Temple’s early life as the leading child star in Hollywood who made her film debut at the age of six.
Temple starred in numerous films, including ‘Heidi’ and ‘Bright Eyes.’ Known to the world for acting, singing, and dancing, she was also a mother, wife and even became a U.S. diplomat for the UN. Temple proved that there is life after Hollywood. Here’s some interesting trivia Shirley was considered for the role of Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ She didn’t get the part because the studio wouldn’t release her to MGM for the film.
Hey, Look Over Here
Get this; the networks weren’t on board with the idea of ‘I Love Lucy.’ They couldn’t picture viewers tuning in weekly to see the marriage of a zany redhead and her Cuban band-leader husband. They felt his accent was too hard to understand and just didn’t think the couple would come off as believable. Fast-forward to 1951 and Lucille Ball and husband Desi Arnaz had a hit on their hands.
The couple’s private life was compared continuously to Lucy and Ricky, and sometimes they lived up to the hype, but mostly they didn’t. Both worked at making the marriage work and trying to create a stable home life for their twp kids. This photo shows the couple outside their home in the San Fernando Valley, in sunny southern California.
On the series, Lucy and Ricky had only one son, Little Ricky, but the real-life couple had two, Lucy and Desi Jr. This image was taken in the late 50s when the couple was riding high on the success of their hit comedy ‘I Love Lucy.’ The couple were married for 21 years and divorced in 1961. From the photo, they genuinely seemed like the perfect family, and for a while, they were.
Here’s some interesting trivia, Ball came up with the premise for the show to keep a close eye on Desi. Desi was an accomplished musician but was caught cheating on several occasions. While Lucy and Ricky will live on forever, sadly, the same couldn’t be said for Lucille and Desi.
Dean Martin Made Beautiful Music
This particular photo shows Martin relaxing at home in 1966. Music was without a doubt Martin’s first love, and few know that in 1964 his number 1 hit, ‘Everybody Loves Somebody,’ knocked the Beatles out of first place for one week. The song also was to become the theme to his hit tv show ‘The Dean Martin Show,’ which ran for eight years.
Tragedy struck in 1987 when Martin’s son, Dean Paul Martin Jr.. died in a plane crash at the age of 36. Martin retired from show biz in 1995 and died only months later at age 78. On the day of his passing, the Las Vegas Strip dimmed their lights in Martin’s honor.
That’s Too Funny
Sammy Davis Jr. was a member of the infamous Rat Pack in the 1960s, hanging out and performing with Frank Sinatra and James Dean. The talented singer married Swedish actress May Britt in 1960, and it was scandalous even though this image shows the couple in happier times, thoroughly enjoying an evening out.
The concept of a mixed-race couple still wasn’t accepted, especially during the political climate of the 1960s. Their marriage was considered a criminal offense in 31 states across the US. Their union came with death threats from the mafia, and protests against the performer were staged. Interracial marriages only became legal throughout America in 1967. The two sadly did not make it and divorced in 1968.
At Home With the Woodward-Newmans
The super talented and good looking couple are seen to be enjoying breakfast time at home. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward starred in 11 films together and had one of the strongest marriages in Hollywood history. They were married for more than 50 years.
The two met on set in 1958 during the filming of ‘The Long Hot Summer.’ Believe it or not, Woodward wasn’t attracted to the blue-eyed Newman, but he was to her. Newman claimed love at first sight. Their chemistry was electric on-screen and off. The couple eloped in Las Vegas in 1958, and the two had their happy Hollywood ending.
007 Enjoying Some Pasta
We couldn’t resist this photo of Sean Connery enjoying a bowl of pasta away from prying eyes. It’s one of the rare instances that the actor isn’t posing or looking suave and elegant; he just looks natural. For some, Connery will always be the ultimate James Bond. He went on to star in seven installments of the action spy series.
There was fear that Connery’s career would be hindered by his choice of playing the spy too many times, but that never happened. The actor who hails from Scotland has had an impressive career and starred in such hits as ‘The Hunt for Red October,’ and ‘The Rock.’
Call Him Mr. Poitier
This photo of Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier and first wife Juanita Hardy enjoying a quiet moment at home exudes a feeling of such calm and peace. The acclaimed actor has an impressive roster of work which was recognized early in his career. Poitier made history in 1963 when he was the first black actor to win the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in ‘Lillies of the Field.’
The actor’s humble beginning in Hollywood is a remarkable story of determination and perseverance. In 1976 he married 2nd wife Joanna Shimkus who pushed the actor to try his hand at directing. He’s embraced directing and producing and garnered success on the other side of the camera as well. This man can do no wrong.
Hollywood’s Original Power Couple
This couple was the epitome of the ‘Power Couple,’ comparable to say, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. The two were successful actors who were victorious on-screen and off. The two had the ideal marriage, and couples looked to Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh for inspiration. From this image, they genuinely seemed to enjoy spending time together and looked good together.
While the marriage seemed solid, there were rumors of Tony’s wandering eye, and claims of cheating were quick to follow. The two lasted 11 years, and unlike Tom and Rita, these two divorced in 1962. The couple had two children, including actress Jamie Lee Curtis.
Nothing Beats a Day at Home
This image of a young Marilyn Monroe enjoying some quiet time at home is a stark contrast the bombshell pinup starlet fans we’re accustomed to seeing. Her private life garnered as much interest as her films. Monroe became more popular after death than when she was alive. Born Norma Jean Baker in 1926, she changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, and it didn’t take long before she captured the hearts of millions.
In 1953 she posed for Playboy and was on the cover of the publication’s first issue. She was married three times, most notably to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller. She suffered several miscarriages and never fulfilled her dream of becoming a mother. After many professional and personal struggles, the actress died alone at age 36 due to an overdose of prescription drugs.
Before ‘Gilda’ There Was Rita
It’s hard to picture the sexy and sultry siren that appeared in the 1946 hit ‘Gilda’ when looking at this heartwarming photo of Rita Hayworth with her daughter. The actress’s personal life is as interesting as her acting career. Hayworth married five times. Husbands including the legendary Orson Welles and Prince Aly Khan.
Rita stepped away from acting in 1972 and struggled with alcohol for much of her life. Sadly the actress was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1980. Hayworth’s daughter used her mother’s illness to bring much-needed attention to the disease. Hayworth struggled with the disease up to 1987, when she was finally able to rest in peace.
Before George Clooney There was Cary Grant
Cary Grant was, without a doubt, one of the most charismatic and debonair movie stars that Hollywood ever created. He was born Archibald Leach in 1904 in England. He arrived in Hollywood, changed his name, wore tailored suits, and starred in such hits as ‘Charade’ and ‘North by Northwest.’ Grant was idolized by both women and men alike. Rumors were rampant that he wasn’t upfront about his sexuality, which he denied throughout his life.
Grant was married five times and passed away in 1986 at the age of 82. We chose this photo because we were so used to seeing Grant polished and looking model perfect, but here he’s relaxed and enjoying an afternoon at home with fellow actor Randolph Scott.
Lena Lounging at Home
Even lounging at home by the fireplace, Lena Horne looks like a super-star. The acclaimed actress and civil rights activist first caught the public’s attention with her singing while she performed in night clubs. MGM signed her soon enough, and the actress became known for her acting skills in films such as ‘Stormy Weather’ and ‘Ziegfeld Follies.’
Horne was ahead of her time, which wasn’t always to her advantage, especially in Hollywood at the time. She was a staunch believer in civil rights and refused to act in roles that stereotyped black women. In 1947 she married her 2nd husband, white bandleader Lenny Hayton, but the two kept the union hidden for several years. Lena Horne died at the age of 93 due to heart problems.