The ’60s and ’70s were some of the best decades in history for fashion, music, and individuality. True, it was a turbulent time, but it was also a time of love and far-out styles. For that reason, it’s known as the Groovy Era and it was a time chock full of wonderfully unique characters that just couldn’t stop putting smiles on our faces. From film, television, music and theater, the whole lot of them were in on the groove that just drove people wild (sometimes a little too wild…. looking at you, Woodstock). We’ve gathered loads of nostalgic Groovy Era photos that will make you miss the good ol’ days.
1. Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda found her rise to fame during the 1960s with movies such as Cat Ballou and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Newsday called her “the loveliest and most gifted” of the actresses on the scene at the time. She quickly became an internationally-recognized sex symbol. In this picture, Fonda is seen shopping at a local grocery store in the late ’60s.
The talented actress grew to even more success in the ’80s with her first exercise video, which amazingly became the highest-selling VHS ever. She went on to star in 22 more workout videos and a multitude of successful movies. Fonda is currently starring in the Netflix original series Grace and Frankie, opposite Lily Tomlin.
2. Robin Williams
Hilarious comedy icon Robin Williams started his stand up career all the way back in the mid-1970s in the San Francisco Bay Area. His stand-up routines quickly became legendary and his career soared due to his unique humor and general wackiness.
Here, Williams is pictured in front of the Comedy Store in 1978, a place where he fine-tuned his craft for years before moving on to bigger and better things like movies. He got his first big break into TV with Mork & Mindy and will forever be remembered for starring in hit movies such as Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji and Night at the Museum.
3. Raquel Welch – 1967
Singer and actress Raquel Welch is pictured here performing in South Vietnam during the 1967 USO Christmas Tour. Her knit mini dress quickly became iconic. She performed along with Bob Hope on the tour entertaining US troops fighting in the Vietnam War.
Welch is widely known for her appearance in the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage but is best known for her appearance in the film One Million Years B.C. She only had three lines in the entire film but became an instant sex-symbol for the fur bikini she wore in the film.
4. David Bowie and Cher – 1975
In what some people have called one of David Bowie’s most memorable TV appearances, he appeared on Cher’s variety show to perform a medley of different songs. Some people criticized the song choice, calling it “all over the place” but it went over well with viewers.
“On paper it looks a little cheesy, but if you’ve not seen it we think you’ll agree that both singers’ performances are sincere and heartfelt. It shouldn’t have worked, what with Cher’s house band performing the backing and the choice of snippets performed, but it did,” Bowie’s website stated.
5. Virna Lisi
Italian actress and bombshell Virna Lisi dominated the silver screen during the Groovy Era with films such as How to Murder Your Wife, Not with My Wife, You Don’t! and Beyond Good and Evil. Lisi even starred in Assault on a Queen alongside Frank Sinatra.
Lisi was deemed the new Marilyn Monroe and conquered both Italian and American cinema. She started her film career when she was in her teens after being discovered by two Italian producers. She appeared in numerous Italian films throughout the 1950s before breaking into American films.
6. Natalie Wood
Actress Natalie Wood, born Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko, began acting at a very young age. By the age of four she was acting in films and by the age of eight, co-starred in the hit Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street.
Natalie Wood went on to appear in a number of other hit films such as West Side Story, Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without a Cause, and The Searchers. She also won a Golden Globe Award for her role in the 1979 TV miniseries remake of From Here to Eternity.
7. Sharon Tate
Sharon Tate was named one of Hollywood’s most promising newcomers and was widely known for her performance as Jennifer North in the cult classic film Valley of the Dolls. She debuted in 1966 with the movie Eye of the Devil.
Tate’s performance in Valley of the Dolls earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She married director and producer Roman Polanski in January of 1968. Less than a year later she was murdered by Manson Family cultists. She was eight and a half months pregnant at the time of her death.
8. The Beatles – 1967
The Beatles weren’t just a band; they were a revolution and one of the biggest music acts of not only the Groovy Era but all time. They formed in 1960 and consisted of band members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
The Beatles single-handedly created a new culture in the 1960s and swept everyone away with Beatlemania. The band is the best-selling group in the history of music, having sold over 800 million albums. All four members have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
9. John Lennon & Yoko Ono – 1969
There is nothing more groovy than peace and love, something that John Lennon and Yoko Ono knew all too much about. This is a picture of them on their honeymoon in Amsterdam during which they famously staged an in-bed protest against the Vietnam War.
The couple also planned another “Bed-In” protest in the United States but were denied entry. Instead, they held the protest in Montreal, Canada instead. John Lennon went on to lead a very successful career as a solo artist after The Beatles broke up.
10. Nico & Lou Reed – 1966
Pictured here is Lou Reed, lead guitarist and singer for the rock band The Velvet Underground and German musician Nico. The Velvet Underground is considered by many to be one of the most influential rock bands in history and leaders of the dawning of the Groovy Era.
The band’s debut album was entitled The Velvet Underground & Nico. Nico, who was also a model and actress, became a famous Warhol superstar during the 1960s. The band helped her form her successful solo career. The band has been rated as one of the 100 most influential bands of all time by Rolling Stone.
11. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger is widely considered one of the most important figures in the history of body building and it wouldn’t have been the Groovy Era without this muscle man. He was at the height of his body building career during the late ’60s and ’70s.
Schwarzenegger won the title of Mr. Olympia a total of seven times and won the title of Mr. Universe three times. From there he moved on to become a famous actor and then later governor of the state of California.
12. Jacques Dutronc and Françoise Hardy – 1960s
Pictured here is hit French singer-songwriter Françoise Hardy and fellow singer-songwriter Jacques Dutronc. Dutronc wrote a number of highly successful songs for Hardy and has been described as “one of the most popular performers in the French-speaking world.” This couple took the Groovy Era by storm.
Hardy led a successful solo career and was eventually labeled “France’s most exportable female singing star.” She even gained the admiration of stars such as Bob Dylan, Miles Davis and Mick Jagger. She later moved into modeling and remains a fashion icon.
13. On the Way to Woodstock – 1969
The legendary Woodstock Festival was the epitome of the Groovy Era. Over 400,000 people attended the festival to celebrate love, peace and good music. This picture shows people on their way to the festival as others camp out on the side of the road.
Joni Mitchell said that “Woodstock was a spark of beauty where half-a-million kids saw that they were part of a greater organism.” It’s estimated that around one million additional people tried to make it to Woodstock but the traffic was so bad they turned back.
14. Martin Luther King meets Malcolm X – 1964
This picture shows the one and only meeting between African-American activists Martin Luther King and Malcolm X on March 26, 1964. The two were heavily involved in promoting equality and battling racism but the two had very conflicting ideas on how to get there.
The two leaders were reportedly supposed to meet the week after Malcolm X was assassinated to collaborate and resolve their differences on how to resolve the race issue in the United States. Martin Luther King was assassinated just three years later.
15. The Mickey Mouse Club
This is a photo of the first meeting of the Mickey Mouse Club all the way back in 1955. Today it might look like a picture of a terrifying cult meeting, but back in the day, the Mickey Mouse Club was all the rage among youngsters.
It was a variety show but frequently featured specials with kids and teens facing challenges that they would need to overcome — not to mention that the show launched the careers of many popular stars. The Mickey Mouse Club continued throughout the Groovy Era and helped shape the entire generation.
16. Ali MacGraw
Actress, model, author and animal rights activist Ali MacGraw shook up the Groovy Era with her role in Goodbye, Columbus, which won her a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer. But it wasn’t until the film Love Story that she reached international fame.
The film Love Story won her a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture and a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress. MacGraw was voted the top female box office star in the world in 1972.
17. Elizabeth Taylor
Actress, businesswoman and humanitarian Elizabeth Taylor was the face of classic Hollywood through the 1960s. She was even named the seventh-greatest female screen legend of all time. Surprisingly, she started her film career with a short-term contract with Universal Pictures.
From there Taylor moved on to MGM where she caught her breakthrough role in 1944’s National Velvet and became one of the most popular teen actresses. She then made history for being paid a record-breaking $1 million for her role in the epic 1963 film Cleopatra.
18. Brigitte Bardot – 1964
Fashion icon and sex symbol Brigitte Bardot was one of the biggest stars of the ’50s and ’60s. The French star embodied everything the Groovy Era stood for. Bardot starred in 47 films during her career and recorded more than 60 songs. She retired in 1973.
In this photo, Brigitte Bardot is seen on the set of the 1965 movie Viva Maria! cooling her feet while on a break from filming. The photo was taken in 1964 and her role in the movie won Bardot a nomination for a BAFTA for Best Foreign Actress.
19. Farrah Fawcett on ‘The Sonny & Cher Show’ – 1977
It wouldn’t have been the ’70s without the iconic Farrah Fawcett. This is a picture of her appearance on The Sonny and Cher Show in 1977. Fawcett stormed onto TV sets all across the world in the ’70s and eventually landed her most memorable role.
Fawcett’s most memorable role was on Charlie’s Angles. Apart from acting, Fawcett was also a successful model. Her iconic red swimsuit poster became the best-selling pin-up poster in history. Her hair style also became an international trend, being dubbed the “Farrah-do” or “Farrah-flip”.
20. Elizabeth Montgomery – Circa 1965
Elizabeth Montgomery was on TV screens all around the world during the Groovy Era enchanting viewers on the hit series Bewitched. Montgomery is best known for her role as Samantha Stephens on the series, as well as playing her hippie cousin Serena.
Bewitched ran from 1964 to 1972 and was easily one of America’s favorite TV shows. The show even ranks as one of the greatest TV shows of all time. This rare vintage photo was taken just one year after Montgomery debuted as Samantha on Bewitched.
21. Angie Dickinson – 1962
Angie Dickinson had an amazing six-decade career on the big screen. She managed to capture our hearts in the over 50 films she acted in, and that’s not counting all of Dickinson’s TV show appearances. She appeared in over 60 TV series during her career.
In this photo from 1962, Dickinson is seen sitting on a Vespa. Angie Dickinson rejected the Marilyn Monroe-style of platinum blonde sex-symbolism, as she felt it would limit her options in the acting world. Yet still, she ended up becoming a sex-symbol in her own right.
22. Britt Ekland – 1966
Swedish actress and singer Britt Ekland is a staple of the 1960s and 1970s. She appeared in several critically-acclaimed roles and established herself as a sex-symbol with the 1971 film Get Carter, in which she was cast as the leading female role.
But apparently, Ekland wasn’t always a beauty, apparently. According to her, she was an unattractive child. “I was very heavy. God, I was brutal-looking. I always tried to be funny to make up for the fact that I was fat and ugly,” she said.
23. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger in Saint Tropez – 1971
This is a picture of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, both founding members of The Rolling Stones, at Jagger’s wedding to Bianca Moreno. There was reportedly confusion as to who the best man was and four people claimed the title.
The wedding was also rife with last-minute obstacles, seeing as the couple was unaware of French law and what was needed to be done in order to officially marry in the country. The wedding was later described as, “the shabbiest free-for-all in the history of both rock and marriage and skin-crawlingly embarrassing for all the key participants.”
24. Paul Newman in Venice – 1963
This is a picture of superstar Paul Newman boating down the canals of Venice, Italy back in 1963. Newman is best-known for his roles in the classic movies The Hustler, Hud, Harper, Cool Hand Luke and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Paul Newman ruled the silver screen during the ’60s and ’70s and was responsible for founding multiple charity organizations as well as businesses. He founded Newman’s Own food company, as well as the Safe Water Network, which helps to provide drinking water solutions to those in need. Away from the screen, he was also a race car driver!
25. Meryl Streep
You might not think of Meryl Streep as an actress from the Groovy Era, but she has been snatching awards for her amazing skills ever since the early 1970s and she is still wowing fans to this day. She has even been named the “best actress of her generation.”
Out of 21 Academy Award nominations (a record!), she has won three and has also been awarded eight Golden Globes out of 31 nominations. This groovy actress is still going strong today and we will surely see some more awards coming to her in the future.
26. Audrey Hepburn
Film and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn was at the height of her game during the Groovy Era. She is ranked as the third greatest female screen legend by the American Film Institute. Hepburn rose to stardom with her role in the film Roman Holiday.
Hepburn went on to star in the classic movies Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Charade, My Fair Lady and Wait Until Dark. This far-out star was also known for her vast amount of humanitarian work with UNICEF in some of the poorest areas of Africa, South America and Asia.
27. Alfred Hitchcock & Kim Novack
This is a picture of director Alfred Hitchcock and actress Kim Novak on the 1958 film Vertigo. The film is based on the novel “From Among the Dead” by Boileau Narcejac. Kim Novak wasn’t actually the first choice for the part though.
Hitchcock’s first pick for the lead role was Vera Miles, but she had to drop out of the running after she became pregnant. The film has been recognized as a “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress.
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