From The Golden Age To The Modern Age, These Stars Lived Long Enough To See It All!

The Golden Age of Hollywood was a time of innovation and wonder in storytelling. Movies brought new narratives to the world. An audience could suddenly be transported to anywhere around the globe without leaving their seat and movie stars became the heroes we grew up with. Of course, as we got older, so did they. Here are all of our Golden Age favorites who lived to see the modern era!

Not Even The Birds Can Stop Tippi Hedren

Like Clint Eastwood, Tippi Hedren just won’t stop making movies. She’s most famous for her role in The Birds, the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock thriller about homicidal birds. After that movie made her famous, she refused to quit. Working in everything from movies to television shows, not a year has gone by that we haven’t seen Tippi Hedren on our screens.

In 2017, she starred in The Ghost and the Whale, a movie set in Bodega Bay about a man trying to convince the world that a whale killed his wife.

Angela Lansbury Still Makes Magic On The Stage

Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images
Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images

When her beloved television show Murder She Wrote ended, Angela Lansbury returned to the theatre, where she was cast in The Visit. After dropping out to take care of her ailing husband, the legendary actress decided to take on less work and only accept supporting roles.

In 2017, Lansbury joined the cast of Mary Poppins Returns, a sequel to the 1964 Disney classic. Perhaps the role will earn her the first Oscar of her career. She has been nominated three times before but has never won.

Julie Gibson Lived To Be 106 Years Old

Two views of Julie gibson
Twitter/NetterM8
Twitter/NetterM8

When she turned 106 years old, Julie Gibson reigned the title as Hollywood’s oldest known living performer from the Golden Age. While she may no longer be a household name, Gibson had a prolific film career in the 1940s. She started her career singing with the Jimmie Grier Orchestra before joining the cast of Joe Penner’s radio program. She then transitioned to film, making small appearances in Nice Girl? and The Feminine Touch.

Her career took off after she landed starring roles in films like Bowery Buckaroos, Are You With It?, and various films by the Three Stooges. In her later years, Gibson largely stayed out of the spotlight. She celebrated her 106th birthday in September 2019 but sadly passed away a few weeks later. Her legacy as the longest-living performer is admired by her fans far and wide.

Bob Newhart Was Introduced To A New Generation On The Big Bang Theory

George Pimentel/WireImage
George Pimentel/WireImage

In the ’70s, Bob Newhart was known for his hilarious show The Bob Newhart Show. The show ran for six seasons and was rebooted in 1982 as Newhart. In 1994, he made a guest appearance as the same character on Murphy Brown.

By 2013, Newhart was able to introduce himself to an entirely new audience thanks to The Big Bang Theory. On the show, he plays Professor Proton, the science show host who Sheldon Cooper grew up idolizing. The character proved so popular he also appeared in the pilot for Young Sheldon.

Mel Brooks Is Still Splitting Sides At 94

Phillip Faraone/FilmMagic
Phillip Faraone/FilmMagic

Mel Brooks never met a story he couldn’t parody. In 1974 he gave the world the gifts of Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles. Both films earned him an Academy Award nomination, but neither won him the trophy. It’s okay, though, he had previously won in 1967 for writing The Producers.

The last film Brooks directed was Dracula: Dead and Loving It. The movie bombed when it hit theaters, but has found a loyal fanbase since. Brooks has continued to act, lending his voice talents to several projects, including the upcoming Blazing Samurai.

Eva Marie Saint’s Career Spanned 70 Years

Born in 1924, Eva Marie Saint has a career that has spanned 70 years. She won one Academy Award in 1955 for On The Waterfront. From 2012 to 2014 she lent her voice to The Legend of Korra, playing Katara. She also starred in Winter’s Tale as Willa.

Saint officially retired after her 2014 roles, and we hope she’s enjoying every second of it. We don’t know what her secret to staying healthy is, but you can see from the picture above she’s still stunning.

Jacqueline White Hasn’t Acted since 1952

Michael Buckner/WireImage
Michael Buckner/WireImage

Jacqueline White’s career in Hollywood was brief but magical. She starred in her first film, Dr. Gillespie’s New Assistant, in 1942. He final film appearance was The Narrow Margin, which came out in 1952. After that, she moved to Wyoming with her husband.

She didn’t set foot in Hollywood again until she gave birth to her first child. These days, she’s happily retired, although she still makes appearances at events. Most recently, she was spotted at the TCM Film Festival in 2013.

Sidney Poitier Is Still Breaking Barriers Today

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Brigitte and Bobby Sherman Children’s Foundation
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Brigitte and Bobby Sherman Children’s Foundation

In 1963, Sidney Poitier starred in Lilies of the Field, and his performance led to him becoming the first black male actor to win an Academy Award. Fifteen years earlier, Hattie McDaniel became the first black actress to ever win an Oscar. By the end of the ’60s, Poitier was the biggest draw at the box office.

He stepped into the directing arena with Buck and Preacher, which he also starred in along with Harry Belafonte. He was later given the great honor to direct Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder in Stir Crazy.

After Acting, Honor Blackman Had A Career In Politics

Honor-Blackman
David M. Benett/Dave Benett / Getty Images for Everyman Cinema
David M. Benett/Dave Benett / Getty Images for Everyman Cinema

English actress Honor Blackman is best known for her work in the James Bond franchise and in The Avengers. Born August 22, 1925, Blackman made her film debut in 1947 in Fame is the Spur. She also had roles in 1963’s Jason and the Argonauts, 1968’s Shalako, and the television series The Upper Hand from 1990 to 1996.

Blackman was also a singer and had a hit with the single “Kinky Boots,” which she recorded with her Avengers co-star Patrick Macnee. She was politically active and declined a CBE in 2002. Here, she stands in front of a photo of herself and Sean Connery. Sadly, the world lost Honor Blackman in April 2020, when she died of natural causes at the age of 94.

Jerry Lee Lewis Is Still Dancing At 85

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Skyville
Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Skyville

Jerry Lee Lewis released the song Great Balls of Fire in 1957. Today, it’s remembered as one of the greatest pop songs ever written. It was originally featured in the movie Jamboree and was written by Otis Blackwell and Jack Hammer.

Surprisingly, the song never reached the number one spot on the United States singles chart, peaking at number two. It did top the Hot Country Singles chart, however. Lewis still performs in 2018 and opened a club in Memphis on Beale Street in 2013.

Olivia De Havilland Lived To Be 104 Years Old

exitthelemming / tylerwslawson / Twitter
exitthelemming / tylerwslawson / Twitter

Winner of two Academy Awards, Olivia de Havilland was one of the biggest stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. From 1940 to 1950, no actress was as decorated. She was first nominated for an Academy Award for Gone With The Wind. She didn’t win, but it wouldn’t be long before she would.

In 1947, she took home the award for her role in, To Each His Own. It was her third nomination. Three years later she would win again for The Heiress. After retiring in 1988, she still remained active in Hollywood. Sadly, de Havilland passed away on July 26, 2020. She was an amazing 104 years old and will be missed.

Clint Eastwood Won’t Quit

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Clint Eastwood directed and starred in The Mule in 2018. The surefire Oscar contender is about a 90-year-old war veteran who becomes a drug runner for a Mexican cartel. It was Eastwood’s first film in four years and his 72nd credited role.

In 1955, Eastwood made his debut in Revenge of the Creature. He played a man named Jennings in the science fiction film about men who capture the creature from the Black Lagoon. Over the next 60 years, Eastwood was nominated for 11 Oscars, winning four.

Jane Withers Is Famous For Being Josephine The Plumber

Vincent Sandoval/WireImage
Vincent Sandoval/WireImage

Jane Withers rose to prominence playing Josephine the Plumber in commercials for Comet Cleanser. The cleaning products used Withers through the ’60s and ’70s. While earning a living as Josephine, Jane got into voice acting and made several cameo appearances on television shows.

Amazingly, Progressive spokes-character Flo bears an uncanny similarity to Josephine. The actress has even said Flo, “is a weirdly sincere, post-modern Josephine the Plumber who just really wants to help. She has: The brand is flourishing.”

Jackie Mason Is More Than Just His TV Shows

Bobby Bank/WireImage
Bobby Bank/WireImage

When you hear the name Jackie Mason, you instantly recall memories of his television roles. With a simple inflection of his voice, he could make you laugh like you’ve never laughed before. The truth is, Mason is more than just those television roles, he’s one of greatest living comedians alive today.

Comedy Central even went as far as listing Mason as the 63rd greatest comedian ever. Whether you were first introduced to him on The World According to Me or The Simpsons, it’s impossible to deny the impact Mason has had on your life in some way.

Shirley MacLaine Is Still A Big Deal Today

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

In 2016, it was announced that Shirley MacLaine was cast in Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. Obviously, she’s not playing Ariel. Still, she’s reportedly taking on a sizable role, a feat she still relishes doing at 84-years-old.

Over the course of her career, MacLaine has been nominated for six Academy Awards. Her first nomination came in 1959 for her role in Some Came Running. Her final nomination- and only win- came in 1984 for Terms of Endearment, one of the great tearjerkers of the 1980s.

Dick Van Dyke Still Has That Goofy Smile

2017 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards Presented by Jaguar Land Rover And American Airlines - Arrivals
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Dick Van Dyke started his career in radio and on the stage in the ’40s. At the start of the next decade, he began making small television appearances. In 1961, Van Dyke won a Tony Award for his performance in The Girls Against the Boys.

The funnyman debuted The Dick Van Dyke Show on CBS in 1961, which ended five years later. By the end of his career. Van Dyke kept his workflow light, only making guest appearances, like on Scrubs in 2003.

Norman Lloyd’s Career Spans Nine Decades

norman-lloyd-golden-age-actor
Valerie Macon/Getty Images
Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Actor Norman Lloyd first started his career in 1923 and has appeared in over 60 films and television shows since. He’s also worked as a director and producer, including Alfred Hitchcock’s TV show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which he produced and directed in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s.

His experience during the Depression motivated Lloyd to work from a young age to help the family. Instead of “paying tuition to get a degree to be a lawyer, when I could see lawyers that had become taxi drivers.” After getting his start in New York City, Lloyd was offered a role and headed to Hollywood in 1939. He played Bodalink in Limelight, Mr. Nolan in Dead Poets Society, and Dr. Daniel Auschlander in St. Elsewhere, for six seasons. Now 104 years old, Lloyd continues to act.

Dusty Anderson Was An Actress And A Pin-Up Model

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Getty Images
Getty Images

Dusty Anderson was an actress from the Golden Age of Hollywood that could make men’s jaws drop to the floor. She began her career as a model and made her way into film with a role as one of the cover girls in Cover Girl starring Rita Hayworth in 1944.

Anderson was well-suited for the role, as she became famous for posing as a World War II pin-up model in YANK magazine, which was published by the United States Military. She went on to marry a U.S. Marine Corps Captain. After their divorce, she found love again with Director Jean Negulesco and moved to the most romantic city in the world, Paris. She passed away in 2007.

The Less Remembered Hickman

hickman
Film Favorites/Getty Images
Film Favorites/Getty Images

Darryl Hickman had a younger brother by the name of Dwayne Hickman. Between the two, Dwayne is the one who many would remember better but Darryl was the more popular sibling. When they were both children, Darryl was thought of to be more talented.

Some of the grade “A” films that Darryl was in include Men of Boys Town, The Human Comedy, and The Grapes of Wrath. In his later years, Darryl would go on to become a respected acting coach in Los Angeles. His birthday is on July 28, 1931.

William Smith Has Done It All

william smith
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

William Smith’s first documented film came in 1942 with an uncredited role as the “village boy in courtroom.” Since then, he went on to do it all essentially. He’s been a vampire hunter, cowboy, Bee-Girl fighter, and bare-knuckle brawler.

Smith was quite the scholar, graduating cum laude at UCLA. Before that, he went on to the Air Force once he finished high school. Smith’s best-known role is as Falconetti in Rich Man, Poor Man (1976).

Collins Was In High Demand

cora cue collins
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for TCM
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for TCM

Cora Sue Collins got her start back in 1932 as a beautiful child actress. Once she got her shoe in the door, Collins was in high demand during the ’30s. All it took was her first film in 1932, The Strange Case of Clara Deane.

One of Collins’ stand out roles was The Scarlet Letter from 1934 when she played the illegitimate daughter of Colleen Moore. After starting when she was just five, Collins ended up retiring from acting at the age of 18.

Hal Holbrook Won Five Primetime Emmy Awards

Actor Hal Holbrook attends the premiere of Disney's "Planes: Fire & Rescue"
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Beginning his career as a Mark Twain impersonator, Hal Holbrook went on to experience much success in film and on television (although Mark Twain is his most well-known role).

Holbrook made his film debut in The Group in 1966. He also starred as the informant named “Deep Throat” in All the President’s Men and has made appearances in such varied works as Into the Wild, Bones, Grey’s Anatomy, Hawaii Five-0, Wall Street, The Firm, Hercules, and Men of Honor. Sadly, on January 23, 2021, Holbrook passed away. The cause of death was not revealed by his family.

Huge Stardom Eludes Marsha Hunt

hunt
Margaret Chute/Getty Images
Margaret Chute/Getty Images

Actress Marsha Hunt was blacklisted in the early ’50s. Mix that with that the low-level profile and that can explain why this highly gifted actress never reached a higher level of stardom.

Hunt played the role of Mary Lee Calvert in her 1935 screen appearance for The Virginia Judge. When the ’60s strolled around, Hunt was pretty much retired as her focus shifted to stage and TV. She had also become devoted to civil rights.

She Made It To Be The Oldest Golden Age Performer

julie gibson
Doug Griffin/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Doug Griffin/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The great Julie Gibson, whose birthday is on September 6, 1913, made it to be one of the oldest Hollywood stars still alive. Sadly, she passed away in 2019. Gibson started her career in 1942 and wouldn’t retire until 1984.

Gibson’s appeal came when she sang with the Jimmie Grier orchestra. It wouldn’t be until 1944 when Gibson would make her first featured role appearance in the movie Lucky Cowboy. She would also go on to appear in the Three Stooges.

Norman Lloyd Wasn’t Boxed In

Lloyd
John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

For someone who’s been in the industry for over nine decades, Norman Lloyd was sure he touched bases with every aspect that he could. Lloyd has done radio, TV, theater, and film during his career that started way back in 1923.

His last film to date was Trainwreck back in 2015. His earliest documented role came in 1932 from Liliom as the uncredited stretcher bearer. He sure did accomplish a lot and still has his hands in projects.

Dancing Talent Marge Champion

Marge
contributor/Getty Images
contributor/Getty Images

It’s one thing to be great at acting. It’s a completely different ball game when you’re fantastic at dancing and choreographing in movies and on stage. That was the life for Marge Champion, best known as the former wife of Gower Champion.

Born in 1919, Champion saw her first role back in 1939. She worked together with Gower and the two were highly successful on the screen while dancing in the MGM musical years. After retiring, Champion became a dance teacher in New York. Champion lived to be 101, passing away on October 21, 2020.

The Film And Stage Star

June Lockhart
Contributor/Getty Images
Contributor/Getty Images

June Lockhart is the daughter of Kathleen Lockhart and Gene Lockhart, who were both actors. June would make her appearance in acting when she was only eight-years-old in a Metropolitan Opera version of Peter Ibbetson.

If none of that rings a bell, Lockhart also appeared in some big television shows. She co-starred in series like Lost in Space and Lassie as well. She is a Tony winner and two-time Emmy nominee. She was primarily active in the ’50s and ’60s.

Starting In His Teenage Years

Jimmy
Warner Brothers/Getty Images
Warner Brothers/Getty Images

Born on May 30, 1923, Jimmy Lydon’s debut on screen came in 1939. The fifth of nine children, Lydon was born in New York City where he would overcome a birth defect and his alcoholic father to start a career in Broadway in 1937.

During the early ’50s, Lydon worked extensively in television and went on to help produce some of the biggest shows. These shows included 77 Sunset Strip, and M*A*S*H. He’s still active in writing and producing.

The Renowned Fleming

fleming
John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Making her big debut in 1943, Rhonda Fleming would go on to become one of the most popular actresses of her time. Appearing in more than 40 films, mainly during the ’40s and ’50s, Fleming earned the nickname of the Queen of Technicolor (mainly because of her red hair).

Back in 1991, Fleming and her husband at the time made the Rhonda Fleming Mann Clinic at UCLA Medical Center for Women’s Comprehensive Care. Fleming has had six spouses in her lifetime. She passed away in October of 2020, at the age of 97.

Making A Child Star

jane withers
Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Back during the Depression, life was tough for a lot of people which helped make the child stars the icons during that time. After the success of Shirley Temple in the early ’30s, studios were trying their best to bring in a child commodity.

That’s where Jane Withers comes in. Withers remained on the side while Temple was the main course. As time went on her roles grew and she wasn’t just trying to steal attention by being the kid star.

From London To Hollywood

terry Kilburn
contributor/Getty Images
contributor/Getty Images

Terry Kilburn was born in London and would move to Hollywood when he was only ten. We bet he wasn’t aware that his childhood life would change forever once he landed in Los Angeles.

Kilburn is most known for his roles as a child actor in movies like Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and A Christmas Carol (1938). His rise through Hollywood wouldn’t stop there as he would go on to have two leading roles in Freddie Bartholomew: Lord Jeff and Swiss Family Robinson (1940).

The Multi-Talented Carpenter

carleton
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images

Carleton Carpenter was more than just your average actor. In his prime, he was a novelist, songwriter, magician, and stage actor. His debut on screen came in 1949 when he played in Lost Boundaries as Andy.

As far as his other paths go, Carpenter made many records during his time. He made material for Kaye Ballard, Marlene Dietrich, and Debbie Reynolds! In 2012, the Hollywood film organization Cinecon acknowledged his work and honored him with a lifetime achievement award.

Renée-Jeanne Simonot Is The Matriarch Of A Prestigious Acting Family

Simonot
Jacques Haillot/Apis/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images
Jacques Haillot/Apis/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

The now-retired Jeanne Renée Deneuve, who worked under the name Renée-Jeanne Simonot, is part of a prestigious line of actors. She is the mother of Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac and is also the grandmother of Christian Vadim and Chiara Mastroianni.

Deneuve began working in the theater when she was just seven years old, and later worked as a voice actress who dubbed American films into French. Some of the famous names she voiced were Olivia de Havilland, Judy Garland, Sylvia Sidney, Donna Reed, and Esther Williams. She resides in Paris.

Carl Reiner Tweeted Up Until The End

John Wolfsohn/Getty Images
John Wolfsohn/Getty Images

At 98-years-old, Carl Reiner was one of the oldest celebrities to be active on Twitter. The funnyman got his start in the military, performing French plays while serving during World War II. When he returned to the United States he began performing on Broadway, getting his big break with the lead role in Call Me Mister.

Reiner was never afraid to let the world know how he feels. Years before campaigning for Bernie Sanders in 2016, Reiner came out as a Jewish Atheist. Defending his conflicting beliefs, he said, “I have a very different take on who God is. Man invented God because he needed him. God is us.” Reiner passed away on June 29, 2020. He was at home with his family by his side when he died.

This Sign Symbolizes The Entertainment Industry

hollywoodland-96630561-63280
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The sign plastered on the hills of Los Angeles has gone through some big changes over the years. It was originally written as Hollywoodland and used as a billboard to advertise for a housing development in the Hollywood Hills.

In 1923 the sign was lit in bright bulbs and stood at 30-feet wide and 43-feet tall. The sign changed to just Hollywood in 1949. Over the years it has become a cultural icon for the entertainment industry and has been featured in the backdrop of several movies and TV shows.

The Big Five Dominated The Box Office

The Big Five Dominated The Box Office
Gene Lester/Getty Images
Gene Lester/Getty Images

At the beginning of the Golden Age of Hollywood major movie studios moved to the area to avoid being sued for infringing on the motion picture film patents placed by Thomas Edison. Most were from the east coast, but after World War I, studios from France and Italy soon followed.

There were five studios that made the majority of the profit in Hollywood; Warner Brothers, RKO, Fox, MGM, and Paramount. Actors who wanted to see themselves on the big screen tried to earn a contract with one of them.

How He Became The Face Of Silent Films

How He Became The Face Of Silent Films
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Charlie Chaplin was best known for his persona called “The Tramp,” which was seen in several silent films of the 1920s and 1930s. He is considered one of the most influential actors and filmmakers in history with a career that spanned over 75 years.

Films such as The Kid, The Great Dictator, and Modern Times paved the way for the industry. Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, edited, and starred in over 30 movies and made sure that they were not finished until they were perfect. He also originated the genre of slapstick comedy, which is still seen today.

The Oscars Have Drastically Changed Over The Years

The Oscars Has Drastically Changed Over The Years
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

The very first Academy Awards ceremony took place on May 16, 1929, and honored films made in 1927 and 1928. It was held at the iconic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and featured the era’s biggest stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Janet Gaynor, Emil Jannings, and Gloria Swanson.

Unlike the Oscars ceremonies of today, the first show only lasted 15 minutes and charged guests only five dollars to enter. Since it was brand new it would be the only Academy Awards show not to be played on the radio or television. Also, winners were announced three months before the ceremony, so there weren’t any surprises.

The History Behind A Beloved Child Star

Shirle
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

Before Shirley Temple reached elementary school she was already America’s sweetheart. She got her start in show business at the tender age of three by performing in short films. Later, Temple went on to star in almost 30 movies before she was 10-years-old, making her Fox’s biggest asset.

Her popularity in the entertainment industry led her to win the very first Juvenile Academy Award. When referring to Temple during the Great Depression Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “It is a splendid thing that for just fifteen cents, an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles.”

Millions Of Americans Did This During The Great Depression

Millions Of Americans Did This During The Great Depression
John Springer Collection/ Getty Images
John Springer Collection/ Getty Images

The Great Depression took a huge toll on the economy and people needed a way to escape from their everyday lives. Around 80 million Americans would fill the seats of movie theaters all over the country to watch movies with fictional, escapist storylines to make them temporarily forget about their troubles.

People took whatever spare change they had to see some of cinema’s best such as Gone With the Wind, 42nd Street, The Wizard of Oz, and the early films of Walt Disney and Charlie Chaplin. Movie studios were also a top place to find a job during this time because they could afford to hire lots of workers.

Almost Everyone Has Seen This Movie

Almost Everyone Has Seen This Movie
Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

It’s very likely that almost everyone around the world has seen or at least heard of 1939’s The Wizard of Oz. Newcomer Judy Garland starred as Dorothy, a farm girl who traveled to a magical land in hopes of meeting the Wizard with the help of her unique friends.

The Wizard of Oz was one of the first movies to use Technicolor and is remembered for its catchy musical numbers, concrete storytelling, and state of the art special effects. Although it didn’t receive worldwide recognition until a couple of decades after its initial release, it will always remain a staple in film history.

Here’s Looking At You, Kid

kid
Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images
Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman starred in the quintessential ’40s movie Casablanca. Set during World War II, it tells the story of a nightclub owner who must choose between true love and doing the right thing. Those who worked on the production didn’t expect for it to be anything out of the ordinary but were proven wrong after it won several Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Almost eight decades later it has become one of the most-watched movies in history with memorable lines such as “Here’s looking at you, kid.” Many of the films that soon followed used the World War II setting to speak on current events.

Famous Faces Joined The Armed Forces

service
PhotoQuest/Getty Images
PhotoQuest/Getty Images

During World War II many famous stars wanted to do their part in serving their country. Actors such as Clark Gable, Mickey Rooney, Jimmy Stewart, and Henry Fonda enlisted in the armed forces. Actresses Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable, and Lana Turner became popular pinup girls.

World War II also affected movie production. Major studios had to make severe budget cuts and blackout hours prevented filming at night. This was also the first time people could see what was going on overseas by viewing short film reels at the movie theater before the actual movie started.

What Made Bette Davis A Standout Star

What Made Bette Davis A Standout Star
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Bettmann/Getty Images

One of the most prolific actresses of the Golden Age of Hollywood was Bette Davis. By the end of her career, she had starred in over 100 movies that spanned several genres. She performed a wide range of acting roles with memorable credits including All About Eve, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, and Dangerous.

In 1942 she was the highest-paid actress in the world and her movies would almost always do well at the box office. She also did what she could to contribute to the war efforts such as opening up a canteen for soldiers passing through Hollywood and toured with other actresses to perform for African Americans in the army.

Hollywood Turned To The Teenagers

Hollywood Turned To The Teenagers
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

As the world shifted into the 1950s Hollywood started to predominantly focus on the teen market. They were considered to be the rock and roll generation who were turned off by the nostalgia of their parents’ era. Films, television shows, and music reflected this switch.

Elvis Presley became a music icon in the 50s mainly due to his appeal to teenagers. Songs such as “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Hound Dog,” and “Tutti Frutti” were blasted on jukeboxes and record players everywhere. At the time he was considered to be quite risque. His energetic performances were censored and had to be shot from above the waist.

James Dean: The All-American Teenager

James Dean
Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

In the ’50s, American teenagers were looking for characters that resonated with them. One actor who did just that was James Dean. He played a teenager who felt that no one understood him in Rebel Without a Cause, which is a type of character commonly seen in teen-centered content.

His overall image of a good-looking all-American teen with slick-backed hair and a cool car has been imprinted into the minds of millions. Unfortunately, his life ended shortly after the filming of Rebel Without a Cause, but he remains one of the most talented actors of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

How Marilyn Monroe Shook Up Hollywood

How Marilyn Monroe Shook Up Hollywood
Baron/Getty Images
Baron/Getty Images

Norma Jean Mortenson was born on June 1, 1926, and grew up in a childhood full of foster homes and orphanages. She was married by age 16 and went to work in a factory during the war efforts of World War II. A few years later she met a photographer who helped her become a pinup model, which led to a film contract.

She changed her name to Marilyn Monroe and worked hard to become one of Hollywood’s most successful actresses of the 1950s and early 1960s. Although she didn’t live past 36, she will always be remembered as a major pop culture icon.

Marlon Brando Popularized Method Acting

Marlon Brando Popularized Method Acting
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

In 1947 Elia Kazan, Robert Lewis, and Cheryl Crawford formed an organization for professional actors, theatre directors, and playwrights called The Actors Studio. Lee Strasberg was one of their best teachers who educated some of Hollywood’s greats including Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Paul Newman, Jane Fonda, and Al Pacino.

Strasberg taught them a new way of acting called method. This requires actors to go beyond using emotional memories and believe they are the characters they are portraying. Once other actors saw Brando doing this in movies such as The Wild One, they started to incorporate method acting into their performances.

Elizabeth Taylor’s Life Of Hollywood Luxury

Elizabeth Taylor's Life Of Hollywood Luxury
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

One of Elizabeth Taylor’s most striking physical traits was her piercing eyes and dark eyelashes. She was born with a genetic mutation that gave her purple irises and a double set of eyelashes. Audiences were introduced to Taylor after her performance in a film called One Born Every Minute when she was only 10-years-old.

In 1963 she became the first actress in history to make over a million dollars for a single movie for Cleopatra. Also, Taylor was known for wearing some of the most expensive and rare jewelry pieces that were worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Audrey Hepburn Was A Style Icon

Audrey Hepburn Was A Style Icon
Mondadori via Getty Images
Mondadori via Getty Images

Breakfast at Tiffany’s wouldn’t have been complete without Audrey Hepburn’s classic costumes. Hepburn was a style icon who wore some of Hollywood’s best looks including sleeveless silhouette dresses, bold patterns, bright florals, high-waisted shorts, and elegant up-dos. Her acting was also something to see as she was ranked as one of the top three actresses of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

After her role in Roman Holiday, she became the first actress to ever win an Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA Award for a single performance. Also, she held the prestigious honor of being an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) Award winner.

Westerns Thrived During The Golden Age Of Hollywood

Westerns Thrived During The Golden Age Of Hollywood
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Westerns were one of the most popular film genres during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Movies such as Stagecoach, Fort Apache, True Grit, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid became instant hits at the box office.

The genre started to dry up at the end of the 60s because fans were getting older and audiences were gravitating towards other genres such as science fiction. Westerns earned a place in cinematic history because they represent Americana and intricate cinematography. The performances by John Wayne, Roy Rogers, John Ford, Clint Eastwood, and more were also quite powerful.