The wild and wonderful 1960s produced many cultural icons, with The Beatles, Marilyn and Elvis being giants of the decade. Here are six other notable living and late legends of the tumultuous decade, although there are many more.
The French troubadour, poet, drunkard and womaniser was, along with his partner Jane Birkin, considered the ‘It Couple’ of ’60s Europe. Who could forget their steamy duet ‘Je t’aime… Moi Non Plus’, which was condemned by the Pope? He burned money on live TV as well as propositioning a young Whitney Houston on a talk show. Still, there is something very repugnantly sexy about this controversial man and he has left behind a remarkable musical legacy and is still regarded as the most missed man in France..
The blonde bombshell, sex symbol, singer, muse, actress, model blended Parisian and bohemian chic and even popularized the bikini. She is best known for her high blonde hair, gaped front teeth and edgy style, which often bared her body. The Beatles were infatuated by her, as were legions of men including Serge Gainsbourg. She is one of the first European actresses to gain a worldwide following and that is possibly because of her unique look, which has now been emulated in countless of fashion campaigns, including Dior’s Addict perfume ads. Although Bardot regarded Marilyn Monroe as the most beautiful woman ever, Bardot cemented her own style and look in pop culture. Bardot even modeled the bust of Marianne, the French national emblem. Now in her 70s, Bardot is known for her animal activism, and for being a living legend.
The late Sharon Tate is too often remembered for her gruesome death rather than her legacy and is seen as a life cut senselessly short. The wife of Roman Polanski and star of Valley of the Dolls was a vivacious and stylish symbol of the 1960s, best known for her piercing eyes and laid-back California style. According to Polanski, Tate was embarrassed by her beauty, although she was often found modelling and being a cover girl.
Known as the male Brigitte Bardot and French James Dean, the French actor is perhaps better known for his style and good looks than his films. Delon’s blue eyes and sharp cheekbones made him an enigmatic figure and now, aged 78, Delon has retained his classic looks. Delon’s style was stark and classic, albeit with an avant garde edge and a signature look that included a Riviera style unbuttoned shirt. His nonchalant style, a mixture of subversive and classic, is what has made Delon a cult figure despite retiring from acting long ago.
The quintessential James Bond… if only you could subtract the sexism in the Bond films. Connery was suave, dapper and still very manly in his suits as he sipped on his martinis and strolled on beaches with lots of chest hair. Representing how bold and male the decade still was, Connery was somewhat of a Don Draper before Don Draper was invented. Before Scarface, Sean Connery proved that the world could be yours – you could save the world, look dashing and get the girl.
The unpretentious, earthy folk singer and social crusader dated and sang with Bob Dylan. Baez’s relaxed style, demand for justice and trademark hair made her an inspiration for a generation and represented what the ’60s were all about: change. Over half a century later, her music has endured for a new generation and this proves how quintessential Baez was to changing the social tide in the 60s, through being outspoken on ending wars and migration problems in the US.