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George’s Journal’s fourth birthday party: forty years of terrific talent (1950-89)

March 15, 2014

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Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? the angelic Audrey Hepburn and the glorious Grace Kelly greet each other backstage at the 1955 Academy Awards ceremony

Yes, believe it or not, but this very nook of the Internet has been around for (almost exactly) four years. Tell me, have you been checking it out since the very beginning? Well, if not don’t worry, peeps, because although that means you’ll have missed out some, er, quality posts celebrating many a cultural touchstone from decades past, you’re more than invited to share in with George’s Journal‘s fourth birthday celebrations. Oh yes you are.

But following on the heels of the three posts published for the blog’s previous anniversaries (check out 2011’s here, 2012’s here and 2013’s here), just what’s coming your way this year? Well, it’s a two-legged affair, folks, the first half of which is a post of pictorial plenitude that itself celebrates some of the greatest (ahem) ‘Talent‘ to have graced the globe with their beauty and brilliance across the last 40 years (’40’ for a fourth birthday, geddit? Er, yes).

So, without further ado, let’s get the party started, shall we – but don’t all crowd round at once, chaps, there’s enough birthday cake for everyone; no really, there is, I promise…

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1950 ~ Katharine Hepburn

Making waves this year for: enjoying the critical and public acclaim garnered by her husband-and-wife ‘battle of the sexes’ comedy hit Adam’s Rib, released it late ’49, in which she stars opposite love of her real-life Spencer Tracy

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1951 ~ Rosemary Clooney

Making waves this year for: pre-White Christmas (1954) and becoming George’s aunt, recording the single Come On-A My House, which hits top spot in the US charts and stays there for eight weeks

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1952 ~ Vera Lynn

Making waves this year for: building on her role as Blighty’s ‘forces’ sweetheart’ during World War Two by scoring a trio of UK top 10 hits, Forget-Me Not, The Homing Waltz and Auf Weiderseh’n Sweetheart – the latter of which becomes the first song by a British artist to top the US charts

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1953 ~ Audrey Hepburn

Making waves this year for: making the world instantly fall in love with her angelic charms by starring in her Hollywood debut Roman Holiday – and going on to win an Oscar for it

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1954 ~ Grace Kelly

Making waves this year for: sparkling opposite James Stewart in Hitchcock’s classic thriller Rear Window and giving an Oscar-winning performance in The Country Girl

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1955 ~ Princess Margaret

Making waves this year for: for right or wrong, being denied the opportunity to marry the man she loves, Captain Peter Townshend – because he’s divorced and she’s royal. Still looks fantastic with a cigarette holder, though

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1956 ~ Deborah Kerr 

Making waves this year for: teaching the kids (and Yul Brynner) how to fall in love with her in The King And I

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1957 ~ Julie London

Making waves this year for: hitting her prime on the hit-parade and in Hollywood

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1958 ~ Brigitte Bardot

Making waves this year for: after becoming an icon for all-time in Roger Vadim’s Et Dieu… Créa La Femme (And God Created Woman) (1956), solidifying her ‘B.B.’ brand

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1959 ~ Elizabeth Taylor

Making waves this year for: receiving her second Oscar nomination for Tennessee Williams adaptation Suddenly, Last Summer and filming the hard-hitting drama for which she’ll win her first, Butterfield 8 (1960), while securing Hollywood’s (then) record paycheck – a cool $1 million for Cleopatra (1963)

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1960 ~ Jean Simmons

Making waves this year for: enjoying something of an annus mirabilis by starring in the triple-header that’s Spartacus, Elmer Gantry and The Grass Is Greener

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1961 ~ Sophia Loren

Making waves this year for: becoming the first Oscar-winner in a non-English language role for her lead performance in La Ciociara (Two Women)

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1962 ~ Marilyn Monroe

Making waves this year for: leaving a stunned world behind on August 5 – just weeks (maybe days) after the iconic images below were captured for eternity

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1963 ~ Christine Keeler

Making waves this year for: becoming utterly infamous for her central involvement in the ‘Profumo Affair’

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1964 ~ Shirley Bassey

Making waves this year for: delivering the Bond tune against which all that follow it’ll be judged, the John Barry-, Leslie Bricusse- and Anthony Newley-penned 24-carat classic Goldfinger

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1965 ~ Catherine Deneuve

Making waves this year for: announcing herself to filmgoers everywhere with a captivating performance in Roman Polanksi’s eerie thriller Repulsion

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1966 ~ Nancy Sinatra

Making waves this year for: challenging her dad’s chart-cool by taking her boots made for walking, er, for a walk

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1967 ~ Vanessa Redgrave

Making waves this year for: following up a chic turn in Swinging Sixties Brit curio Blowup (1966) with lead duties in the hugely underrated, funky Hollywood adaptation of Camelot

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1968 ~ Tammi Terrell

Making waves this year for: continuing her dominance of the charts with singing partner Marvin Gaye thanks to classic soul hits such as Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing and You’re All I Need To Get By

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1969 ~ Jane Fonda

Making waves this year for: becoming a counter-culture sex-bomb by turning on the dropped-out generation in sexy sci-fi comic book comedy Barbarella, released October the previous year – plus acting up a storm in Depression-era drama They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, for which she’ll receive her first Best Actress Oscar nomination next year

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1970 ~ Goldie Hawn

Making waves this year for: leaving behind bimbo pastiches on the small-screen and kicking-off an enduring career on the big one by winning herself a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Cactus Flower (1969)

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1971 ~ Lana Wood 

Making waves this year for: emerging from sister Natalie’s shadow by co-starring (and enjoying a clandestine affair) with Sean Connery in Bond caper Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

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1972 ~ Sheila White

Making waves for: following up a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance in Oliver! (1968) and a supporting turn in Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush (1967) by lending titters (rather than, erm, her titties) to the Confessions series (1974-77) and giving us an unforgettable Messalina in I, Claudius (1976)

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1973 ~ Jane Birkin

Making waves this year for: underlining her sexy on-screen persona by appearing opposite (if that’s the right word for it) Brigitte Bardot in Vadim’s Don Juan Ou Si Don Juan Était Une Femme… (Don Juan, Or If Don Juan Were A Woman)

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JANE BIRKIN PORTRAIT EXTERIEUR EN 1973 JANE BIRKIN PORTRAIT EXTERIEUR EN 1973

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1974 ~ Pam Grier

Making waves this year for: decades before becoming Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, turning heads thanks to her be-afroed head (and much more) in Blaxpoitation classic Foxy Brown

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pam_grier_1974_foxy_brown_2 Mid 1970s, Los Angeles, Pam Grier

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1975 ~ Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad

Making waves this year for: transforming ABBA into a global phenomenon with performances of hits such as Mamma Mia and SOS

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1976 ~ Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith

Making waves this year for: making Bosley’s day in the debut season of sunshiney semi-feminist detective show Charlie’s Angels (1976-81)

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1977 ~ Fiona Walker (née Butler)

Making waves this year for: going commando as a model on a tennis court and helping create the ’70s most memorable – and cheekiest – photo

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1978 ~ Olivia Newton-John

Making waves this year for: cutely dowdying-it-down and then deliciously vamping-it-up in pop culture touchstone monster hit Grease

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1979 ~ Debbie Harry

Making waves this year for: breaking many a young man’s heart of glass as her band Blondie conquers the world

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1980 ~ Ornella Muti

Making waves this year for: blowing the minds of adolescent geeks everywhere in so-camp-it’s-great cult classic Flash Gordon

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1981 ~ Nastassja Kinski

Making waves this year for: squeezing in between a Golden Globe Award-winning introduction in Polanski’s Tess (1979) and morphing into a panther with David Bowie in Cat People (1982), with a poster-gracing horizontal pose with a python. Er, yes.

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1982 ~ Michelle Pfeiffer

Making waves this year for: burning on to the big screen in Brian De Palma’s Scarface remake and, er, Grease 2

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1983 ~ Madonna

Making waves this year for: breaking through and changing chart pop forever with her debut album

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1984 ~ Sigourney Weaver

Making waves this year for: underlining her thinking-man’s-crumpet credentials amidst all the ghouls in Ghostbusters

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1985 ~ Rosanna Arquette

Making waves this year for: portraying Madonna’s adorable alter-ego in Desperately Seeking Susan

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1986 ~ Helena Bonham Carter

Making waves this year for: making a ravishing splash in the globally embraced, Oscar-nominated period piece A Room With A View

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1987 ~ Lisa Bonet

Making waves this year for: moving on from the Huxtables in The Cosby Show (1984-92) by dabbling with the devil in the frank and visceral thriller Angel Heart

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1988 ~ Jessica Rabbit

Making waves this year for: going positively three-dimensional in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (‘I’m not bad – I’m just drawn that way’)

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1989 ~ Kylie Minogue

Making waves this year for: consolidating her UK-wide 100%-recognition-factor by starring in feature-film debut The Delinquents

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