As US makes the move from monthly to weekly, let us remember the stars who delighted, moved and shocked us over the years, as captured forever by our incomparable photographers.
Think back, if you can, to those bygone days of, oh, 1975: that innocent era when movie stars still got married for life and wouldn’t dream of doing a scene in a torn T-shirt and bikini bottoms unless it was really, really important to the plot. The days when rock musicians worried more about setting a good example for their fans than having unprotected sex with underage groupies on the floor of the tour bus. It was back in that era that US first appeared on newsstands, with its unique mix of candid photographs and incisive reporting on the lives of those underappreciated and misunderstood symbols of America’s moral leadership: Hollywood celebrities. At a time when even many longtime fans had never seen a picture of Bing Crosby without a hat and gossip columnists resorted to euphemisms like “a couple of Doritos over the line” in writing about Elizabeth Taylor, US fearlessly went behind the scenes to show readers their favorite stars as they really were… Well, OK, Tom Hanks doesn’t really have chimpanzee fur all over his hands and arms like that, and, frankly, nobody even thought of how much Gillian Anderson looks like Lucille Ball until our photographer put her in a polka-dot dress and handed her the wand of an old vacuum cleaner. But you get the idea.
As we prepare to transform US in US Weekly, we thought it would be fun –and instructive- to take a look back. The next 16 pages represent some of the coolest pictures we’ve run in recent years. But they also capture, in miniature, the ever-evolving image of celebrities in our culture –from Jean-Claude Van Damme jumping rope in his skivvies to a haunting portrait of a sad and seedy Chris Farley; from a serene and nubile Jennifer Aniston that explains, in case you were wondering, what men see in her, to a manic Kirstie Alley about to burst her… well, you’ll just have to turn the page and see.
Lisa Marie and Tim Burton
The then-recent box-office failure of Mars Attack! Might have dampened the spirits of director Tim Burton and his girlfriend, actress Lisa Marie (who played Martian Girl in the movie), when they posed for photographer Mary Ellen Mark, but the pair, pictured in our August 1997 issue, were eager to frolic. “They were so in love,” said Mark. “The photo just kind of happened and looked right.” Burton, who made his reputation with Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Edward Scissorhands and the first two Batman movies, would score another success with Sleepy Hollow in 1999.