For most of us, going through the entire airport hubbub is simply draining. At least, if you’re at the departing airport, on your way to a planned vacation, it’s less sufferable. But going back home just makes it that much worse. Anyway, my point is that airports are pretty drab.
But back in the day – the 1970s, specifically – they weren’t all that drab. In fact, celebrities were a common sight as private jets were still not a given among the rich and the famous. In the ‘70s, celebrities made the airport look a lot more glamorous than it really is. In those days, the airport seemed like it was the hottest place in town. Just see for yourself…
John Lennon and Yoko Ono were seen on their way to the Cannes Film Festival in Nice, France. It’s photos like these that remind us that, yes, celebrities are just like us… in some ways. And it also reminds us that they are nothing like us and can afford methods of travel that we only wish we were privy to.
For many decades after the commercial airline’s invention, it was mostly businessmen and the ultra-wealthy that took part in flights. But as planes grew and flight became a more popular method of travel, businessmen sought ways to get back to the “good ol’ days” of no-fuss travel that came with smaller aircraft.
Irish singer Clodagh Rodgers pulled up her bootstraps at London’s Heathrow Airport as she was departing for New York. The reason for her travel? To appear on the David Frost Show.
(In continuation) Corporate jets started to come into existence in the 1930s, and they were outfitted with radiotelephones and comfortable, oversized seats.
This allowed executives to meet with clients, transport employees, and lots more. Basically, these kinds of planes were flying office spaces. By 1957, there were about 25,000 corporate planes in America. Soon enough, rich CEOs, celebrities, and socialites all wanted to find a private and luxurious way to take to the air. And so, private jets quickly emerged.
Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was seen with his wife Maureen as they were departing from Heathrow Airport for a Los Angeles screening of The Magic Christian.
In 1963, the very first purpose-built private jet took off from a small airport in Wichita, Kansas.
The Lear Jet, built by Bill Lear, was followed a few months later by other companies, who launched their own private aircraft. Before long, private jets were being seen in Hollywood films, and then, of course, their popularity exploded. In the decades that followed, businessmen and women, celebrities, heirs, heiresses, and the wealthy would be flying in their own private jets.
Mia Farrow, the Rosemary’s Baby star, was with André Previn at Heathrow Airport in April.
The quick increase in private jet travel wasn’t just for luxury. It became a way to avoid all the hassles of modern air travel for all the rich and the famous.
Just as commercial jets were for businessmen to travel quickly without shuffling through airports with other travelers, private jets did the same for celebrities. Seeing as there were fewer passengers, there were also quicker take-off times and no need to wait in line to board.
Zsa Zsa Gabor was flying back to Los Angeles on April 28 with her sixth husband, inventor Jack Ryan, after vacationing in Britain.
For celebrities who had the cash to spend on a private jet, ease and luxury couldn’t be beat.
Having the status symbol and a convenient way of traveling became the only way for stars to travel. And the more stars were seen at airports, the more people became obsessed with their airport style. So why everyone is obsessed with celebrity airport fashion?
Actor Christopher Lee, his wife Gitta, and daughter Christina arrived at Heathrow Airport after a Bermuda vacation.
Pop culture has been obsessed with airport fashion ever since celebs have been going to the airport.
Whenever we see the photos of models and actresses in high heels just breezing their way through security in wrinkle-free clothes, it amazes us. They might still, like us regular folk, have to wait for their luggage at arrivals or even drink their burnt cup of Starbucks coffee, but they still seem to be a world away.
The Who’s Roger Daltrey and Keith Moon were departing Heathrow for Los Angeles in order to promote the film, Tommy.
When it comes to celebs at the airport, it’s like a mix of “Stars – they’re just like us!” and “Wow, I could never stand in line at JFK in a pair of $10,000 boots.”
The trend of airport fashion goes back to the Golden Age of Hollywood when photographers congregated to get shots of Marilyn Monroe walking up the steps of a plane in Los Angeles or to catch a glimpse of Zsa Zsa Gabor holding her Louis Vuitton cases on her way to the French Riviera.
Actor Peter Sellers held his daughter Victoria’s hand alongside her mother, Britt Ekland. They were arriving at Heathrow Airport.
The fascination with what famous people wear in airports combines this generation’s love of social media and the age-old obsession with travel and celebrity’s glamorous side.
It’s essentially the perfect mix of achievable and aspirational. The curiosity about what celebs wore in airports is tied to the novelty and glamor of air travel itself. For example, a domestic flight in 1955 could cost about $1,000 today (after inflation).
Goldie Hawn and her then-husband Gus Trikonis were exiting Heathrow Airport as they headed to the U.K. for Marooned’s premiere.
According to Holt, “This was a time not only long before casual and athleisure, but also the very concept of taking regular flights.” Travel was a luxury in itself, and so for stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, and others, their default style emphasized the very act of being in the airport. Holt explained that it became “the daytime equivalent of dressing for a red carpet.”
Margaux Hemingway, the actress, model, and granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, was at the José Martí International Airport in Havana, Cuba.
Unlike today’s stars, back in this era, people like Gabor would wave at their fans and even strike up a photoshoot in the arrivals hall.
“These moments also provided her perfect opportunities to show off her jewels, furs, and leather goods,” Holt said about Zsa Zsa Gabor in particular. “It’s part of building that image of wealth and fabulousness which we have come to associate so closely with her.”
Dolly Parton arrives at London’s Heathrow Airport
These days, there are many celebrities who have their own way of making their frequent visits to the airport less stressful. But that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. And THAT doesn’t mean they can’t afford it.
The model and wife of John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, gave a little insight into the celebrity airport secret. Teigen responded to a fan on Twitter who asked her if celebrities have to deal with the same long lines and delays that everyone else has to deal with when they travel.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis at Boston Logan airport after attending John Kennedy Jr.’s prep school graduation.
The question proposed to Tiegan was: “How the frick do most celebrities travel on planes? Are you ever just hustling through the airport trying to make it to your gate on time?”
Teigen explained that there’s actually a way to avoid all of those hassles that we common folk have to face when catching a flight. “There is a terminal a mile from the airport that you pay membership for. They do the same security privately and take you to the plane in a car,” Tiegen wrote.
Burt Reynolds is returning from Miami at Los Angeles International Airport.
Tiegan added: “I know. I know,” predicting how people will react to such extravagance. Teigen didn’t call out the specific terminal by name, but it looked like she was referring to LAX’s The Private Suite, which is in the Los Angeles airport’s luxury and paparazzi-free terminal.
It opened in 2017, and it typically takes “2,200 footsteps from car seat to plane seat.” But for members of The Private Suite, it’s only 70 footsteps, according to a post from the terminal website.
Jane Birkin with Serge Gainsbourg at London’s Heathrow Airport, coming back from Paris.
Instead of waiting in long security lines or searching the airport for their gates, VIP members get to “spend their pre-flight time in totally private suites, each with its own bathroom, its own food-service pantry, a two-person daybed, and a runway view of aircraft landing and taking off.”
Not too shabby. Additionally, VIP members get their own private TSA screening, and there’s even a staff of eight employees to make the process seamless. How much does it cost, you ask?
Jamie Lee Curtis and songwriter Johnny Lee Schell were at Atlantic City International Airport.
Currently, the annual VIP membership fee is $4,500, and each domestic one-way flight costs members an extra $2,700, while each international one-way flight comes at a fee of $3,000. But, hey, they can afford it.
These LAX VIP members can bring three guests free of charge. Of course, LAX isn’t the only airport that offers such a service for the rich and the famous. London’s Heathrow has its own VIP service, which is available to any traveler who flies business or first class.
Bernadette Peters and Steve Martin were seen at the Aspen Airport Lounge.
London happens to be one of the most popular places that celebrities live in. Between celebs living there and/or working on projects there, the London Heathrow Airport is a real hotspot.
Actors Christian Bale, Kate Winslet, and Daniel Day-Lewis have not only been spotted at the airport, but they also have homes in the area. As mentioned, Heathrow has its own VIP service for the rich and the famous.
Sly and the Family Stone (Sylvester Stewart sitting front, right) were waiting outside Heathrow Airport in London.
For those who use Heathrow VIP, the luxury experience starts the minute they close their front door. They get access to a team of nearly 100 staff who ensure every journey goes according to plan.
Some of the VIP squad start work at 4 a.m. and the service starts while you’re still at home. First, a chauffeur picks passengers up in a 7 series BMW, complete with massage seats. Then, you’re driven to a private entrance at the airport, but exactly where is not public knowledge.
Christopher Reeve was at Heathrow with his girlfriend, Gae Exton.
Heathrow’s first-class treatment continues when a doorman in typical British style – a top hat and tails – greets you on arrival at the airport. He arranges for your luggage to be sent off, screened, and put on the plane.
You’re then taken to your own private lounge, shared only with the people you’re traveling with. A team member organizes your flight check-in while a personal butler – yes, a personal butler – makes sure you have anything you need, including food and drinks.
Basketball legend Phil Jackson was captured in a cab outside of New York’s LaGuardia Airport. He was a member of the Knicks and returned from a 94-78 win over the Celtics in Boston.
New York City is the second most popular city in which celebrities live in. There are two major airports in the metropolitan area. LaGuardia is the second busiest airport. But JFK is such a key airport for international flights that many domestic flights within the United States will only see LaGuardia as an option.
Sean Connery lands at Berlin’s Tempelhof airport.
1973 was the year Connery starred in the film The Offence. When Connery agreed to reprise his role as James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), part of his deal with United Artists was that they had to produce two movies of his choice that would cost no more than $2 million.
The Offence was the first of the two, and a version of Macbeth that he was supposed to direct was going to be the second. When The Offence failed at the box office, and Roman Polanski beat Connery to the punch with Macbeth (1971), Connery’s version was canceled.
John Wayne arrives at London’s Heathrow Airport.
1974 was the year John Wayne starred in the movie McQ, about a Seattle cop who gets caught up in a corrupt police force that he just wants to make right.
The VIP package at Heathrow includes a VIP Michelin star menu designed by chef Jason Atherton. And you can order as much as you like. You also get the opportunity to have a personal shopper as you explore all the airport stores.
Peter O’Toole at Heathrow Airport after arriving from New York.
In 1976, O’Toole did the movie Foxtrot, directed by Arturo Ripstein. The actor was critically praised for his performance in another movie of the same year: Rogue Male, which was made for British television.
It was reported that O’Toole only agreed to be cast in Rogue Male because the original novel was his wife Sian Phillips’ favorite book. He also performed in Dead Eyed Dicks on stage in Sydney in 1976.
Paul Newman arriving at Heathrow Airport.
That year, Newman (and Robert Redford) starred in the film The Sting, and each actor was paid $500,000 (which in 2020 would equal about $2.9 million) for their role. It was actually the top rate for an actor working at that time.
Fun fact: Newman was advised to avoid acting in comedy films because he didn’t “have the light touch” needed to do comedy. The reason Newman wanted to play Henry Gondorff was because he wanted to prove that he could do comedy as well as drama.
David Bowie at Heathrow Airport.
The Isolar II was Bowie’s 1978 World Tour, but it was more commonly known as The Low / Heroes World Tour or The Stage Tour. It began on March 29, 1978, in San Diego, continuing through North America, Europe, and Australia, ending in Japan.
A typical night’s show was split into two parts – the second part saw Bowie wearing a snakeskin drape coat and what was described as “huge, baggy, white pants.” But we know that David Bowie was never someone who feared bold fashion.
Barbra Streisand and producer Jon Peters at JFK Airport.
Peters and Streisand were married between 1973 and 1982. Their relationship was said to have been a volatile one – one that spawned Streisand’s A Star Is Born, which Peters produced. He also produced the remake with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in 2018.
Aside from LAX, the most popular “celebrity airport” was (and probably still is) John F. Kennedy International Airport. Between the high quality of life and countless filming projects, it’s easy to spot celebrities there.
The Jackson Five, including Jackie, Marlow, Michael, Tito, Randy, and Jermaine, at Heathrow Airport. It looks like their parents weren’t around this time.
The Jackson family hardly needs an introduction, with the music, dance moves, rumors, and feuds that surrounded them over the decades.
Michael obviously stole the family’s thunder, and the other Jacksons fell a bit under the radar. Originally from Gary, Indiana, the siblings made an impact on the entertainment industry. And it started with Joseph Walter Jackson, aka Joe Jackson, the family patriarch, and his wife Katherine, the Jackson matriarch.
Elvis Presley trying to enter a car in a mob of people at JFK Airport.
On January 29 that year, his girlfriend Linda Thompson woke up to find Elvis struggling to catch his breath.
He was then admitted to Memphis’ Baptist Hospital for a reported liver problem. But that incident was reported to be an attempt by Presley’s personal doctor, “Dr. Nick,” to curb his growing addiction to prescription medication. A week later, his father, Vernon, suffered a heart attack and was admitted to the room next to his son.
Elvis Presley arriving at JFK Airport.
On February 18 that year, four men climbed on stage during Presley’s show in Las Vegas, apparently to shake his hand. Worried that it was a threat to his life, Elvis and his bassist Jerry Scheff immobilized the men using karate moves.
Elvis told the audience: “I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen. I’m sorry I didn’t break his goddamned neck, is what I’m sorry about.” The next day, the increasingly paranoid singer became convinced that his former karate teacher Mike Stone (who was now with his ex, Priscilla) was trying to have him killed.
John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Lennon’s son Julian Lennon at Heathrow Airport.
This was the year, just one year after Lennon and Ono’s wedding in 1969, that the Beatles broke up. Since then, people have blamed Ono for playing a role in the group’s rupture.
Ono and Lennon collaborated on a bunch of music projects. The duo’s last album released before his death was Double Fantasy (1980), which was just three weeks before his assassination. It came after a five-year hiatus he took to care for the couple’s son, Sean.
Yoko Ono and John Lennon at Heathrow.
Lennon and Ono first met in November 1966 at a gallery in London as Ono was preparing for an exhibition of her artwork. They connected immediately and began a whirlwind romance. Once they were married, the couple embarked on what was called their “bagism” period.
The period included a series of lithographs that depicted their honeymoon. Famously, the couple staged a series of “bed-ins,” which was like the sit-in form of protest popular at the time. On the day of his assassination, Annie Leibovitz photographed them together, which was just one of the many iconic images of Lennon and Ono.
Paul and Linda McCartney with their baby Mary McCartney at London’s Gatwick Airport. They were on their way to Mick Jagger’s wedding.
Her marriage to Paul McCartney was one of pop’s great love stories for almost 30 years. Linda’s letters from the 1960s reveal her excitement about dating the Beatles star.
In 1967, after she began dating McCartney, she photocopied a gossip column that had a sentence about her. It read: “They say Beatle Paul McCartney’s latest, favorite femme is Linda Eastman, a Yankee Doodle fan-mag [photographer].”
Paul McCartney and Linda, with their daughters Heather, age 10, Mary, age three, and Stella, age one, at Heathrow Airport.
When Linda sent that photocopy to her friend, she wrote on the back: “Thought you’d get a big laugh over the enclosed clipping. Have no idea where they picked up that lie, but it just shows how truthful newspapers are.”
That friend was Miki Antony, who realized that gossip columnist Walter Winchell actually got his facts right. When she first came to London, Linda stayed with Antony, telling her friend: “Guess who I dated last night?”
Paul McCartney with Linda and their daughters, Heather, Stella, and Mary, leaving Copenhagen Airport.
Linda told Antony that her date was with “Paul McCartney, and we had this lovely evening.” She learned that “Paul really liked white rabbits,” and the next day, she even bought a white rabbit and sent it to him.
That night, Paul called Linda and said, “Thank you so much for the white rabbit. Would you like to come out for dinner again?” That’s how they started dating. And the rest is history.
Ringo Starr with his wife at Gatwick Airport, heading to Mick Jagger’s wedding.
Cox first met Starr at the Cavern Club, where she was a regular. She saw the Beatles perform several times and developed a crush on the drummer. Cox previously dated Johnny Guitar from Ringo’s former band, the Hurricanes.
Maureen asked Ringo for his autograph one day and wrote down his car license plate, but it took another three weeks before he noticed her. He finally asked her to dance in the Cavern, and they started dating. They married in 1965, staying together until 1975.
Gregg Allman at JFK Airport.
1977 wasn’t the best year for Allman, who was known for his drug addictions. By the winter of that year, his addiction got so bad that he isolated himself in the home of a Buffalo physician who, for $29,000, promised to step him down.
For a number of weeks, Allman used methadone, after which he quit cold turkey. For days, he was running on only a few hours’ sleep. It was also one of Buffalo’s worst winters, and he spent almost all of his time going up and down four flights of stairs in the old house.
Gregg Allman and Cher at JFK Airport.
After finally getting free from drugs and alcohol, he was ready to return to music. His brief marriage to Cher was helped along with the birth of their son, Elijah Blue Allman.
Cher left Sonny Bono a year before her marriage to Allman in 1975. Then, three days after her divorce from Bono became final, 29-year-old Cher hopped on a jet to Las Vegas to walk down the aisle with 27-year-old Gregg Allman. Only nine days after the wedding, Cher chose to dissolve the marriage.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono at Heathrow.
No one can deny Ono’s influence over Lennon’s life. “In a way, both John and I ruined our careers by getting together,” Ono explained. “Although we weren’t aware of it at the time.”
For one thing, Ono was an avant-garde artist and was responsible for encouraging Lennon to try his hand at some more experimental music instead of staying safe with mainstream music. Then there was the fact she claimed that Lennon was obsessed with spending every minute with her.
Sonny Bono and Cher at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Sonny and Cher Bono found fame singing I Got You Babe in 1965 and thus became one of the 20th century’s most iconic couples. But their rocky relationship was truly complicated.
Not only was Cher only 16 years old when they met and 12 years younger than Sonny, but there was also the problem of their family life becoming inextricably entwined with their careers. After their divorce, they still shared a powerful connection, up until Bono’s death in 1998.
Cher and her manager Sandy Gallin at LAX.
Gallin created the personal management company Katz Gallin that lasted for 14 years. He was also Dolly Parton’s manager for 25 years and Cher’s, Michael Jackson’s, Neil Diamond’s, Barbra Streisand’s, Mariah Carey’s, and Whoopi Goldberg’s.
Gallin was sued in 1997 by two former employees, who claimed sexual harassment. Gallin allegedly asked them to coordinate visits with men and offer their “services” to potential clients in order to secure professional relationships. Gallin counter-sued them, saying they breached their contractual obligations.
Jack Nicholson speaking with Warren Beatty at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C.
In 1977, three years after the film Chinatown came out, director Roman Polanski was arrested at Nicholson’s home for assaulting a 13-year-old, Samantha Geimer, who was modeling for him during a magazine photoshoot by Nicholson’s pool.
At the time, Nicholson was out of town, but his girlfriend, Anjelica Huston, dropped by unannounced to pick up some stuff. Polanski, who was in the other room, said, “We’ll be right out.” Huston saw them drive off in his car and told the police that she “had witnessed nothing untoward” and never saw them together in the other room.
Chuck Berry at Heathrow Airport.
Berry was traveling the “oldies” circuit during the 1970s (and was usually paid in cash by local promoters), which only added fuel to the IRS’s accusations that Berry evaded paying income taxes.
After he faced criminal sanction for the third time, he pleaded guilty to evading $110,000 in federal income tax from his 1973 earnings. 1979 newspaper reports put his 1973 joint income (with his wife) at $374,982. Berry was sentenced to four months in prison as well as 1,000 hours of community service.
Warren Beatty at Heathrow Airport headed to New York.
In 1979, film critic Pauline Kael of The New Yorker accepted an offer from Warren Beatty to help him produce the film Love & Money, a script his production company got and set up at Paramount.
It came after Kael’s passionate defense of Bonnie and Clyde. But their film experiment failed, and Kael left Hollywood discouraged. As it turns out, it was Kael who asked him to produce the movie. She said, “I’d really love to produce a movie,” to which Beatty said, “I think I can make that happen.”
Keith Richards arriving at an airport.
“I spent three weeks on the road in 1979 with the New Barbarians; Ronnie Wood’s solo album touring band, which was like the Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger. We traveled on a huge jet plane from city to city,” began Henry Ditz.
“Each time we landed, eight limos would appear on the runway around the plane, and the band members would descend the steps and look for their own private limo and driver. Here, Keith is getting off of the place in St, Louis, looking for his limo and driver and carrying the thing that mattered most… his bottle of Jack Daniels.”
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger on their way to Sweden.
In Richards’s autobiography Life, he said that he and the band used to refer to Jagger as “that b***h Brenda” when he was in the room. At other times, they referred to Jagger as “Her Majesty.”
These crude remarks came about when Jagger read the proofs of Keith’s book just before it was published. Richards went so far as to poke fun at Jagger’s “poker,” if you will, calling it the frontman’s “tiny todger.” This was his old pal, at the end of the day.
Keith Richards arriving back at the airport in London with his wife and son, Marion.
In his memoir, Richards remarks on the many years of living dangerously, like when he was zonked out on hard drugs. Richards recalled sleeping with a gun under his pillow and having turned his seven-year-old son, Marlon, into his minder while on the road.
He also forced all his bandmates to live on “Keith Time,” where at 2 p.m., recording sessions turned into 1 a.m. dates the following day. He wrote candidly about everything revolving around organizing his next “fix.”
Mick Jagger and his wife Bianca Jagger are at Heathrow Airport. She saw him off for a U.S. tour.
The couple enjoyed seven years of marriage. Shortly after their wedding, Bianca became the New York darling of the nightlife scene, where she was frequently seen hanging out at Studio 54.
In 1977, the notorious incident occurred where Bianca paraded around Studio 54 on a white horse for her 30th birthday party that was thrown for her. The horse was reportedly ridden into the premises by Jagger himself.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton at Heathrow Airport.
This was 10 years after Taylor married Burton and also the year they divorced. In 1975, they married again, but briefly. For over a decade, they were the most well-known and talked-about couple in the world.
Taylor and Burton met in 1963 on the set of Cleopatra. At the time, Taylor was married to Eddie Fisher, her fourth husband. Fisher had notoriously left Debbie Reynolds, the Singin’ in the Rain actress, with whom he had two children, to be with Taylor.
Michael Caine and his future wife at Heathrow Airport. Baksh and Caine were headed for Elizabeth Taylor’s 40th birthday party in Budapest. The couple married that year.
One of Caine’s life story’s most moving chapters is when he talks about his wife, Shakira Baksh, whom he gives credit for saving his life. He says she turned his life around when he was about 40. She helped him get sober and gave him a second go at being a father. Since then, the 85-year-old only drinks wine with dinner.
James Coburn and his wife Beverly Kelly at Heathrow Airport.
Coburn was married twice. The first time was to Beverly Kelly, in 1959, and the couple had two children together. They then divorced in 1979 after 20 years of marriage.
In 1973, Coburn was one of the featured celebrities in prison gear on the cover of the album Band on the Run by Paul McCartney and the Wings. That same year, Coburn was again among several stars appearing in The Last of Sheila. The next year, he starred in Harry in Your Pocket.
Rod Stewart with his actress girlfriend, Alana Hamilton, at Heathrow Airport.
Rod Stewart is one of the best-selling artists of all time, with over 100 million records sold since he rose to fame in the ‘60s. He’s also known for his love life, having married three times since he’s been in the spotlight.
His first marriage was at the age of 34 to Alana Hamilton Stewart. They married in 1979, a year after this photo, and had two children: Kimberly and Sean. They ended up splitting in 1984, and Hamilton spoke about her divorce.
Rod Stewart arrives at Heathrow Airport with Alana Hamilton. They flew in from New York.
Hamilton said of their split: “The last couple of years, our marriage had started to deteriorate from the madly in love couple who had everything we could possibly want.”
When she learned that Stewart was having an affair with a model 15 years younger than her, she was “devastated.” She said that when they broke up, she “thought my world was coming to an end. I was totally devastated, and I had no idea how to pick up the pieces of my broken heart.”
Telly Savalas at Heathrow Airport.
Savalas had supporting roles in The Man from the Diners’ Club, Love Is a Ball, and Johnny Cool – both in 1963. His first leading role in a film was in the British comedy Crooks and Coronets in 1969.
That year, he was in the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. He continued to play parts in films during the ‘70s, including Kelly’s Heroes, Clay Pigeon, A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die, and Redneck. Savalas was known for his baldness.
Elton John in California during his 1974 U.S. tour.
By the end of 1974, John was one of the most popular music stars in the world. He released his eighth studio album, Caribou, that year, and it shot straight to #1.
With the album came hit singles Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me and The Bitch is Back and his American tour. It then came time for John to compile his biggest songs into a collection. The result: the Elton John Greatest Hits album.
Twiggy steps out of a Rolls Royce at an airport.
Twiggy was the ‘60s “It girl.” She was known for her thin build (and her nickname) and her notorious androgynous appearance, her big eyes, long eyelashes, and short hair.
The Daily Express named her “The Face of 1966,” and she was voted British Woman of the Year. By 1967, she was modeling in France, Japan, and the U.S. and was seen on Vogue and The Tatler’s covers. After her modeling career, Twiggy excelled in her career on screen, on stage, and on television.
Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier at Heathrow.
Belafonte’s fifth and final calypso album was issued in 1971. His recording slowed down after that, and from the mid-‘70s to early ‘80s, he spent the greater part of his time on tour.
In 1978, he guest-starred in a memorable episode of The Muppet Show, performing his signature song Day-O and Turn the World Around. It became one of the show’s most famous performances and reportedly Jim Henson’s favorite. After Henson died in 1990, Belafonte was asked to perform his most famous song at the memorial service.
Kris Kristofferson with his wife Rita Coolidge and daughter Casey at Heathrow.
In 1977, Coolidge was 33 and among the most in-demand rock vocalists in Los Angeles. She had won two Grammys for her performances with Kristofferson. But their marriage was in tatters.
Coolidge’s memoir opened with that time in her life, and she describes a decade of “blue jeans and limousines” when musicians were true “counter-culturists.” She wrote: “I just cried and felt this great relief and release that it was done. And then, also, I’m very nervous because I am very frank, and I don’t hold back.”
Johnny Nash arriving at Heathrow Airport.
Nash’s 1972 single I Can See Clearly Now sold more than a million copies, and he received a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. for it. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year and remained at the top of the chart for four weeks.
Nash died recently on October 6, 2020, after a period of declining health. He passed peacefully of natural causes in his home and was surrounded by his family in Houston. He was 80 years old.
William Shatner with his wife Marcie at Heathrow.
Shatner married Marcy Lafferty in 1973, and they were together for more than 20 years, leading up to their divorce in 1996.
A year later, Shatner married for a third time to Nerine Kidd Shatner. The two spent two years together, but it ended in tragedy. In 1999, Shatner found her body in the backyard swimming pool. Her death was ruled as an accidental drowning. Shatner later opened up about the loss of his wife and revealed that she suffered from alcoholism.
Jimi Hendrix and his road manager Eric Barrett land at Heathrow on the way to the Isle of Wight Festival.
This was the year that Hendrix died, at the age of 27, landing himself in the notorious “27 Club.” He died on September 18, 1970.
Details are disputed about Hendrix’s last day alive. He spent most of September 17 with Monika Dannemann in London. When Dannemann woke up around 11 a.m., she found Hendrix breathing yet unconscious and unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Kenny Rogers at Heathrow airport with his wife, TV star Marianne Gordon (left), and Crystal Gayle.
Rogers went from teenage rock and roll to psychedelic rock to the country-pop crossover artist of the ‘70s and 80s.
When his band the First Edition disbanded in 1976, Rogers went solo. He developed a middle-of-the-road sound that resonated with both pop and country listeners. His music has been featured in top-selling film soundtracks, including Convoy, Urban Cowboy, and The Big Lebowski. Rogers has charted over 60 top-40 singles.
Steve McQueen leaving Heathrow Airport.
The ‘70s weren’t as much a successful year for McQueen’s acting career, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t busy making movies. In 1971, McQueen starred in a poorly received auto-racing movie called Le Mans.
A year later, he starred in Junior Bonner in 1972. He worked with director Sam Peckinpah in the lead role in The Getaway, where he met his future wife, Ali MacGraw. Following that, McQueen acted in the physically demanding role as a Devil’s Island prisoner in Papillon, alongside Dustin Hoffman.
Sammy Davis Jr. receiving the Victoria Sporting Club’s New Award for Talent from Georgina Warwick on his arrival at Heathrow.
A year before this photo was taken, Sammy Davis Jr. enjoyed some newfound popularity with his 1976 performance of Baretta’s Theme (Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow).
Around this time, he appeared on the shows The Rifleman, I Dream of Jeannie, All in the Family, and Charlie’s Angels (with his wife, Altovise Davis). Also, during the ‘70s, Sammy starred in Japanese commercials for Suntory whisky.
Tina Turner at Heathrow Airport.
In 1978, Turner released Rough, her third solo album. That album and its 1979 follow-up, Love Explosion, failed to chart. Turner and United Artists Records then parted ways.
In 1979, Roger Davies started managing her career. Later that year, Turner embarked on a controversial five-week tour of South Africa during the country’s apartheid regime. She later regretted the decision, saying she was “naive about the politics in South Africa” at the time. It’s okay Tina, after your relationship with Ike, we’ll forgive you.
Marcello Mastroianni at JFK Airport.
Mastroianni was in his 50s in the 1970s \ and had been acting since 1939 when he made his screen debut as an uncredited extra in Marionette when he was 14.
Mastroianni married Flora Carabella in 1950, but they separated due to his numerous affairs with younger women. After their separation, Mastroianni’s first serious relationship was with Faye Dunaway, who co-starred with him in A Place for Lovers in 1968. Dunaway wanted to marry and have kids, but Mastroianni was a devout Catholic and refused to divorce Carabella.
Frank Sinatra at Gatwick Airport.
In 1970, Frank Sinatra released Watertown, the critically acclaimed concept album, but it only sold 30,000 copies that year and peaked at 101 on the charts. 1970 was also when Sinatra left Caesars Palace after executive Sanford Waterman pulled a gun on him.
In November of 1970, Sinatra recorded the last songs for Reprise Records before he retired. In 1973, Sinatra came out of his brief retirement with a TV special and an album. Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back.
Frank Sinatra at Heathrow.
In 1974, Sinatra returned to Caesars Palace despite vowing to never perform there again. According to Barbara Sinatra, he embarked on a “massive comeback tour of the United States, Europe, the Far East, and Australia.”
In Australia that year, he described journalists as “bums, parasites, fags, and buck-and-a-half hookers” because they aggressively bombarded him and pushed for a press conference. He was then pressured to apologize, but he instead insisted that journalists apologize for “15 years of abuse I have taken from the world press.”
Sophia Loren at JFK.
Loren appeared in fewer movies after she became a mother. During the ‘70s, most of her roles were in Italian features. She was paired with Richard Burton in The Voyage and Brief Encounter, both in 1974.
She also co-starred with Marcello Mastroianni in 1977’s Ettore Scola’s A Special Day, which was nominated for 11 international awards, including two Oscars and a Golden Globe Award.
So, there you have it, folks! I hope you enjoyed traveling through the past!