Sometimes, we don’t appreciate a moment in time until much later. It can be hard to appreciate the present when our mind is set on obtaining a goal. This happens even to the biggest stars on the planet as they’re struggling to make it in Tinseltown. What was Sean Penn like, before his big break? What was John Travolta thinking in the years leading up to Saturday Night Fever and Grease?
These portraits capture stars in a moment in time before they became recognized as legends. Some have passed away, while others are still continuing their craft. Do you remember what these stars looked like during their rise to fame?
Comedian John Candy in 1980
Canadian comedian John Candy is a talent that was gone too soon. He starred in comedies like Splash, Cool Runnings, Home Alone, Summer Rental, and Spaceballs. His career began in the mid ’80s and he continued to act regularly, while also doing voice work, and produced an animated series called Camp Candy.
Sadly, Candy passed away of a heart attack while filming Wagons East in Durango City, Mexico. He had a family history of heart attacks at a young age, and Candy was just 43 years old at the time of his death.
Tom Hanks on the Backlot of 20 Century Fox Studio
Tom Hanks starred in Splash along with John Candy. He went on to become one of the most famous and recognizable film stars of all time. Hanks it the fifth-highest-grossing actor in in North America and has own a Golden Globe Award, Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and People’s Choice Award. In 2016 he even received a Presidential Medal of of Freedom from President Barack Obama.
This photo was taken before he appeared in Big and married Rita Wilson, and nearly a decade before his role as Forrest Gump — there were big things in store for young Hanks!
Harrison Ford Has A Passion For Woodworking
This portrait was taken of actor Harrison Ford in 1984, the same year he first played Indiana Jones, in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. After marrying his second wife, Melissa Mathison, the couple bought a home in Mandeville Canyon in Beverly Hills. Ford had a passion for woodworking and he enjoyed making tables and chairs in his woodworking shop for the house.
Most famous for his role as Han Solo in Star Wars, Ford continued to have a successful acting career for decades and starred in five films that are within the top 30 highest-grossing movies of all time.
Tom Cruise, Sean Penn and Timothy Hutton On The Set of Taps
Back in 1981, budding actors Tom Cruise, Sean Penn and Timothy Hutton all appeared in Taps, directed by Harold Becker. It was Penn’s film debut and Cruise’s second film role, who were ages 21 and 19 respectively. The film followed a group of students who attempt to save their military school from being closed.
Soon after the film, Penn and Cruise picked up roles that would further boost their acting careers, but who knows where they’d be without Taps!
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sally Field in 1976
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sally Field met on the set of Stay Hungry which was Schwarzenegger’s acting debut. Together, they worked out in the gym and where he showed Field his body building routines. After the film ended, the two continued to work out together.
Schwarzenegger won Mr. Olympia in 1970, the youngest to ever accomplish the feat, at just 23-years-old. He officially retired from bodybuilding in 1975 after winning 19 out of 22 competitions he entered.
Travolta Becoming a Star
This photo was taken backstage in 1976. John Travolta’s career was taking off, as he had a hit single “Let Her In” peaking at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with his roles in Saturday Night Fever and Grease right around the corner.
It was also a few years before Urban Cowboy caused a resurgence of country music across the country, starring Travolta and actress Debra Winger. He would become the youngest performer to ever be nominated for the Best Actor Oscar.
Bruce Springsteen Before His First UK Show in 1975
1975 was a big year for Bruce Springsteen. It was the year he would release Born to Run, catapulting his career into super-stardom. His lyrics about the struggles of working-class Americans resonated with many, and his career would go on to span over five decades.
Springsteen is the winner of 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, an Academy Award, and a Tony Award. He’s also been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now 69-years-old, Springsteen is planning on going on the road with the E Street Band once again in 2020.
Stevie Nicks, Starting Out
This photo was taken in 1975, the year that Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac. The band’s next album would become the best-selling album of the year, selling more than 40 million copies worldwide and holding the number one spot on the American albums chart for an incredible 31 weeks.
Nicks has been named one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time and one of the Greatest Singers by Rolling Stone, proving that she’s an incredible solo artist in addition to her success with Fleetwood Mac.
Lynda Carter Arrives at the Miss World 1972 Pageant
Before she was Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter was a beauty pageant queen. She won a local Arizona beauty contest in 1972 and went on to win Miss World USA. As an ambitious young woman, she went on to compete in the international beauty pageant, making it all the way into the semifinals.
Two years later she started taking acting classes in New York and launched her career as an actress. Today Carter is an American cultural icon and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Farrah Fawcett at 23-Years-Old in 1970
Farrah Fawcett’s career started picking up steam in the 1970’s, when she landed recurring roles on Harry O and The Six Million Dollar Man. This photo was taken in 1970, before landing her role on Charlie’s Angels. She was 23-years-old, and had just moved to Los Angeles two years before to pursue acting, living at the Hollywood Studio Club.
Fawcett sadly passed away at the age of 62. The poster of her in a one-piece red bathing suit is still the best-selling poster in history.
Clint Eastwood at Home in 1960
This photo of Clint Eastwood at his Hollywood Hills home was taken in 1960, two years after he was cast as Rowdy Yates in Rawhide which launched his acting career. The TV show was filmed in Arizona, and Eastwood worked twelve hours a day, six days a week.
Although he was married to Maggie Johnson, Eastwood was known for having love affairs with other women. Some of his affairs produced children, including a daughter with stunt woman Roxanne Tunis, and two more kids with a flight attendant named Jacelyn Reeves. Eastwood is now 89-years-old and has at least eight children.
Rick Derringer and Steven Tyler, 1976
Aerosmith formed in 1970 with the nickname “the Bad Boys from Boston.” This photo of Rick Derringer and Steven Tyler was taken on the road in 1976. They were signed with Columbia Records at the time and had just broken into mainstream music with their album Toys in the Attic.
The band experienced great success in the ’70s before they ran into problems between bandmates, mostly caused by drugs. By 1984 they got back on track and signed with Geffen Records. Today Aerosmith is the best-selling American hard rock band of all time, with more than 150 million records sold worldwide. They have 25 gold albums, 18 platinum albums, and 12 multi-platinum albums.
Michael J. Fox’s Hard Work Was About To Pay Off in 1985
This photo of Michael J. Fox was taken in 1985, the year that Fox signed on to Back to the Future while still filming Family Ties. His schedule had him rehearsing for Family Ties from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., then over to the Back to the Future set to film until 2:30 a.m.
Somehow, Fox was able to maintain the demanding work schedule for two months. That’s when his career took off, with Back to the Future grossing $381.11 million worldwide, and winning three Emmy Awards for Family Ties in 1986, 1987, and 1988. It was six years before Fox started showing symptoms of early-onset Parkinson’s disease.
Michael and Janet Jackson, 1972
This portrait taken in 1972 shows Michael Jackson with his younger sister Janet outside of their home in the Hollywood Hills. It was one year after Michael began his solo career with Motown Records and ten years before Thriller would be released.
The Jackson family had just moved to Los Angeles from Gary, Indiana, but already Michael was recognized as a prodigy. Janet began performing at age seven and landed the role of Penny Gordon Woods in Good Times in 1977.
Barbra Streisand Releases Her Debut LP
A legend in the making, this portrait of Barbra Streisand was taken in 1963, at the time of the release of her debut LP, The Barbra Streisand Album. Johnny Carson was a huge fan of the rising star, and described her as an “exciting new singer,” inviting her on the show half a dozen times.
When her album was released in ’63 it quickly made the top 10 on the Billboard chart and won three Grammy Awards. At 21-years-old, Streisand became the best-selling female vocalist in the country.
Brooke Shields at 15-Years-Old
Brooke Shields started her acting career at the young age of 12 as the leading role in Pretty Baby. This photo was taken in 1980, two years after her film debut and three years before she would take a break from modeling to attend Princeton University.
Born and raised in Manhattan, Shields was no stranger to the Big City and when she was just five days old her mother Teri proclaimed that she wanted her daughter to be in show business, saying: “She’s the most beautiful child and I’m going to help her with her career.”
Jack Nicholson Before The Shining
Although Jack Nicholson didn’t win an award for his role in Stanley Kubrick’s adaption of Stephen King’s The Shining, it’s one of the actor’s most memorable roles. This photo was taken five years prior, in 1975. It was the year that he played Randle P. McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest which earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor.
Nicholson had a reputation for taking on unusual roles and was heavily inspired by Marlon Brando. He’s maintained an impressive acting career with 12 Academy Award nominations and three Oscar wins.
Elizabeth Montgomery Poses for Headshots in 1960
Elizabeth Montgomery, pictured here in 1960, was born into the entertainment industry. Her mother was a Broadway actress and her father was a star with a television series called Robert Montgomery Presents. Elizabeth first appeared on her father’s TV series when she was in her twenties and made her Broadway debut in 1953.
It wasn’t until 1964 that she was cast as Samantha Stephens on Bewitched, which sent her acting career skyrocketing. Her love affair with director Richard Michaels ended up ruining her marriage, as well as the TV series, which stopped shooting in 1972. The two then moved in together but the relationship didn’t last.
Tina Turner in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
“The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, Tina Turner is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. Her vibrant energy and presence on stage wowed audiences since the late ’50s when she first began playing live shows in St. Louis.
Born Anna Mae Bullock, Tina and Ike Turner’s song “A Fool In Love” reached number two on the Hot R&B Sides chart in 1960 followed by “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”. Soon, Phil Spector offered Tina a $20,000 advance to produce her music under Philles Records.
Jerry Garcia, Fully Clothed in the Tub
Jerry Garcia led the Grateful Dead in becoming one of the most famous bands of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. His eclectic guitar playing skills were like nothing people had seen, as he describes “descended from barroom rock and roll, country guitar… It’s like that blues instrumental stuff that was happening in the late Fifties and early Sixties, like Freddie King.”
However, his drug habits led to a decline in health for Garcia, and the band took breaks while he recovered. At 53-years-old, Garcia died of a heart attack in his room at the rehabilitation clinic.