Classic Covers: Leading Ladies of the ’60s

This 1966 cover is one of several I’ve unearthed to answer the burning question: “Which celebrities appeared on the covers of The Saturday Evening Post?” Next week, great celebrity MEN like Newman, Redford, Connery… But this week it’s sizzling sixties sirens!

Elizabeth Taylor – December 3, 1966

Elizabeth Taylor on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post
Elizabeth Taylor. Photo: Paul RonaldDecember 3, 1966

Elizabeth Taylor may have been a shrew on the December 3, 1966 cover, but she was also a stunner. She and Richard Burton were starring in The Taming of the Shrew. The Paul Ronald photo gives credence to those who argue she was the most beautiful screen actress of all. To my surprise and delight, the cover folded out to show the man attempting to tame her (Burton as Petruchio). Well, it certainly never happened in real life.

Sophia Loren – October 21, 1967

Sophia Loren on the Saturday Evening Post
Sophia Loren. Photo: M-G-M PhotoOctober 21, 1967

Just when you stick your foot in it and assert that Liz was the greatest screen beauty ever, you run across a gorgeous cover of Sophia Loren from 1967. The battle rages on. The movie star had a rough beginning, “even for a poor Neapolitan,” wrote John Cheever in the accompanying article. “She was seven years old when the three-year of bombardment of Naples began during World War II, and she and her mother suffered the hazards of poverty and war.” Forty-three years later, she’s still gorgeous.

Ann-Margret – May 4, 1963

Ann-Margret posing for the Saturday Evening Post
Ann-Margret. Photo: Lawence J. SchillerMay 4, 1963

Looking sassy, sexy and joyful all at once is Ann-Margret, an “explosive new star.” Her rise to Hollywood fame was considered lightning fast. “At 22, having emerged from nowhere by way of Sweden and Illinois, Ann-Margret has worked the film town’s official chroniclers into a froth of admiration,” wrote Dean Jennings. As ingenuous as the young star was, she planned “to be the girl who sustains, year after year.” We’re delighted she succeeded.

Faye Dunaway – September 7, 1968

Faye Dunaway on the Saturday Evening Post
Faye Dunaway. Photo: Jerry SchatzbergSeptember 7, 1968

I have been known to rue the day photography replaced art and illustration on the covers of The Saturday Evening Post, but a photo like this reminds even a curmudgeon like myself that photography is an art form, too. The beautiful star was nominated for Best Actress for Bonnie and Clyde from the year before.

Julie Andrews – January 29, 1966

Julie Andrews on a Saturday Evening Post cover.
Julie Andrews. Photo: Philippe HelsmanJanuary 29, 1966

I love the fresh-faced Julie Andrews of this 1966 cover. She was a long way from the Mary Poppins of only a couple of years before, starring in a cold-war themed Hitchcock movie. With her in “Torn Curtain” was Paul Newman (who’ll be one of our “leading men” next week). She was the first to make fun of her squeaky clean image. When Hitchcock complained during a scene, “That light is making a hell of a line over her head,” she responded with hands primly on hips, “That’s my halo.” Okay, no halo, but she certainly had a radiance.

Brigitte Bardot – May 8, 1965

Bridget Bardot on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.
Bridget Bardot. Photo: Dan Ornitz and OrlandoMay 8, 1965

“For people like me,” Bardot was quoted as saying, “there is no place left to hide.” The sex kitten was still a hot property at the ripe old age of thirty. According to the article, “police almost lost control of the mob when she got off the plane in Mexico City to assume her part in Viva Maria! Being hounded by the paparazzi isn’t a new thing—the alluring actress was brutally pursued by photographers. She retired less than ten years later and became an outspoken advocate for animal rights.

Next week: The masculine celebrities of the sixties and seventies