The 1960s, one could argue, began an obsession with celebrity that has continued into the modern age. Hit movies meant that many an actor became a beloved superstar among fans. A multitude of high-profile relationships changed the face of celebrity journalism: one in particular, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who began a decades-long relationship after meeting and falling in love—while married to other people—on the set of Cleopatra. The red carpet was still seen as a very formal affair, instead of the casual spectacle it would become in the 1990s through the shock-inducing, highly curated event it can be today. But these photos offer a glimpse into the drama of celebrity life that still existed all those decades ago—their lives were a little more private, but celebrities were as wild as ever.
Below, 32 of the best, most iconic, most scandalous, and even funniest images of the 1960s red carpet.
Raquel Welch and Patrick Curtis at the Oscars, 1969
Raquel Welch and publicist Patrick Curtis were married between 1967 and 1972 (it was the shortest of her four marriages). Reports of the relationship were volatile, with claims of infidelity, and Welch would go on to have several high-profile relationships.
Dustin Hoffman and Ann Byrne at the Premiere of 'Jimmy Shine,' 1968
Dustin Hoffman and Ann Byrne met in the early 60s and would marry after this photo was taken in 1969 (they divorced in 1980). Hoffman had already starred in The Graduate (1967) and his career was on the rise, appearing here in a Broadway play.
Andy Warhol, Candy Darling, and Gerard Malanga at the Premiere of 'Midnight Cowboy,' 1969
Andy Warhol wasn't just an out gay man during a time when it was taboo to be so, but he also worked with superstars including trans actress Candy Darling. On the far left is one of his longest collaborators, photographer Gerard Malanga.
James Earl Jones, Julie Harris, Angela Lansbury, and Jerry Orbach at the Tony Awards, 1969
Talk about a throwback! Here we catch a glimpse of several greats early in their careers: James Earl Jones (Star Wars), Julie Harris (I Am a Camera), Angela Lansbury (The Manchurian Candidate, Murder She Wrote), and Jerry Orbach (Law & Order).
Mia Farrow and Laurence Harvey at the Premiere of 'Casino Royale,' 1967
This photo was taken not too long before Mia Farrow's breakout role in Rosemary's Baby. Laurence Harvey costarred in A Dandy in Aspic and directed the film after Anthony Mann died during production. Harvey would also die, in 1973, of stomach cancer.
Leonard and Felicia Bernstein at 'Cleopatra' Premiere, 1963
Musician, composer, conductor, author, and multi-hyphenate Leonard Bernstein appears at the Cleopatra premiere with wife Felicia (the two were married in the '50s, had three children, and remained together until her death—despite his various relationships with men).
Warren Beatty and Joan Collins at the Premiere of 'Can-Can,' 1960
These two began dating in 1959 and would split in 1960 (attributed to Beatty's infidelity). Collins would later detail in her memoir that she became pregnant around this time and Beatty told her to terminate it; She admitted it was the right decision.
Catherine Deneuve and David Bailey at the Premiere of 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,' 1965
Catherine Deneuve and David Bailey were married from 1965 until 1972 and, according to Bailey, simply drifted apart. Umbrellas was Deneuve's breakout performance and, despite how nervous she looks here, was met with critical acclaim.
Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty at the Premiere of 'Splendor in the Grass,' 1961
In an essay published after her tragic death, Wood wrote of her relationship with Warren Beatty, “After my divorce, I was looking for the Rock of Gibraltar. Instead, I discovered Mount Vesuvius, a live volcano with eruptions each day...And I contributed my share of fireworks too. In fact, we were both so confused that we thought fighting and hostility meant real emotional honesty.”
Barbra Streisand and Louis Armstrong at Premiere of 'Hello, Dolly!' 1969
Barbra Streisand and Louis Armstrong, both of whom starred in Hello, Dolly! (Streisand in the title role and Armstrong as the orchestra leader, and who also recorded the title song), smile while attending the premiere. Their duet remains iconic.
Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull at the Premiere of '2001: A Space Odyssey,' 1968
Mick Jagger started secretly dating Marianne Faithfull while still with his previous partner, Chrissie Shrimpton. The two singers had a tumultuous relationship (that included an infamous drug raid and a tragic miscarriage) that ended in 1970.
Steve McQueen and Neile Adams Attending the 1967 Academy Awards
Here, Steve McQueen is with his first wife, Filipino actor Neile Adams, at the Academy Awards (the two would get divorced in 1972 and he would marry Ali MacGraw the following year), after having been nominated for The Sand Pebbles.
Sonny and Cher at the Premiere of 'Dr Dolittle,' 1967
If you're wondering about the chronology, Sonny and Cher would meet in 1962, marry in 1964, and become Sonny and Cher in 1965. So the couple, at this point, would be on the rise (and Cher starting to experiment with her style) at this premiere.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton at the Benefit Premiere of 'Lawrence of Arabia,' 1963
One of the most scandalous love affairs of all time, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton appear here after meeting and falling in love on the set of Cleopatra (never mind that both were married to other people at that point). The public went wild for them.
Rock Hudson and Doris Day With Golden Globes, 1962
Until Rock Hudson's death in the 1980s from complications from AIDS, he and Doris Day had a strong bond (they starred together in rom-coms and were known for their chemistry). There was speculation they dated, but Hudson was closeted for the majority of his life.
Yoko Ono, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney at the Premiere of 'Yellow Submarine,' 1968
While John Lennon's divorce to Cynthia Lennon wouldn't be finalized until November 1968, he appears here with Yoko Ono at the premiere of Yellow Submarine earlier that year. I have no clarity on why they're picking apples in this photo, though.
Henry and Jane Fonda at the Premiere of 'Goodbye, Columbus,' 1969
Jane Fonda would have a difficult, tumultuous relationship with her father Henry (and didn't feel like he was terribly supportive of her career) but the actor family members would be photographed together from time to time, including at this premiere.
Marlon Brando and Tippi Hedren Meet Princess Alexandra of Britain at 'The Countess from Hong Kong' Premiere, 1967
Even though A Countess from Hong Kong was a flop and one of Marlon Brando's biggest disappointments (as well as Charlie Chaplin's final film role), Brando and Tippi Hedren look delighted to be meeting the Queen's cousin at the premiere.
Andy Williams and Eartha Kitt at the Golden Globes, 1967
Appearing here at the 1967 Golden Globes (Andy Williams was nominated), Eartha Kitt was having a spectacular year—including playing Catwoman in the series Batman (groundbreaking at the time—and quite thematic to her animal print coat!).
Brigitte Bardot at the Premiere of 'Viva Maria!' in 1965
Bombshell Brigitte Bardot was nominated for a BAFTA for this role in Viva Maria!, playing revolutionary leaders with Jeanne Moreau. Her status as a sex symbol was well-established, but she would retire from the industry in the '70s.
Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin at the Premiere of 'Hello, Dolly!' in 1969
Jane Birkin had only recently met her longterm life partner, Serge Gainsbourg, in 1968, and earlier in 1969 had released their controversial single "Je t'aime… moi non plus." So their presence here would have been delightful and a bit titillating to fans.
Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh at the Cocoanut Grove, 1960
Tony Curtis (Some Like It Hot) and Janet Leigh (Psycho) were wed in 1951 and married for 12 years—meaning they would be married for only a couple more years after this photo was taken. (Fun fact: These are Jamie Lee Curtis's parents!)
Jackie Kennedy in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, 1967
As a move to ease tensions between the United States and Cambodia, former First Lady Jackie Kennedy visits as one of her duties as (described by LIFE magazine) so-called "America's unofficial roving ambassador." As stylish as ever, she's brightly visible in lime green.
Sean Connery and Queen Elizabeth II at the Premiere of 'You Only Live Twice,' 1967
While this was not the first time Sean Connery would star in a James Bond film, it was apparently the first time he met Queen Elizabeth II. (The queen would go on to meet several more James Bonds after Connery left the role.) Both look delighted to be in each other's presence.
Audrey Hepburn at the Premiere of 'Breakfast At Tiffany's,' 1961
Audrey Hepburn's most identifiable movie was immediately met with critical and commercial success (for context, her breakout role Roman Holiday was in 1953); Her style in the movie dovetailed with her personal style, and she was hailed as a style maven.
Cicely Tyson and Miles Davis at the Premiere of 'The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter,' 1968
Iconic actor Cicely Tyson and legendary musician Miles Davis would have a long, on-again off-again relationship throughout the course of their lives. Here, at the premiere of her movie, they're together, but they would split again soon after.
Marilyn Monroe With José Bolaños at the Golden Globes, 1962
Not long before her death, Marilyn Monroe was photographed with José Bolaños (with whom she was reportedly having an affair) at the Golden Globes. It's obviously impossible to see in this photo, but the dress was apparently a striking emerald green.
Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison at the Premiere of 'My Fair Lady,' c.1964
Rex Harrison, according to some, was quite a difficult person to work with (and wasn't a fan of Audrey Hepburn's casting, reportedly), but the pair is all smiles here at their hit movie premiere. Much was made at the time of Hepburn's style—look at her gorgeous updo!
Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty at the Premiere of 'Bonnie and Clyde,' 1968
Even though Bonnie and Clyde would go on to commercial success and acclaim, it was not promoted to a wide audience initially—there was concern that the film was too graphic and seemed to glorify two criminals. In hindsight, it was groundbreaking.
Julie Andrews at the Premiere of 'The Sound of Music,' 1965
No big deal, just Julie Andrews at the premiere of the movie that would be her most well-known and beloved role of all time. (Can you believe it—the reviews of the movie at the time were deeply mixed? And yet it was one of the most commercially successful films at the time.)
Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon Meeting the Beatles, 1965
According to the Liverpool Echo, the Beatles (specifically George Harrison) had a cheeky exchange with Princess Margaret at an event in 1964: They couldn't eat until after she'd left, so he marched up to her and asked her to go (lol). This is a subsequent meeting, so apparently no hard feelings.
Keith Richards and Brian Jones With Paul McCartney at 'A Hard Day's Night' Premiere, 1964
It's the Rolling Stones meeting the Beatles (and having a very animated conversation, looks like)! The two bands were contemporaries, and depending on whom you ask, there might have been some rivalry. But the two titans of music ended up being friends and collaborators.
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Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.
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