So George Clooney had an awkward stage?
September 3, 2013 6:00 PM   Subscribe

25 Celebrities When They Were Young. You'll be surprised by how much this surprises you.
posted by orange swan (119 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
While Clooney was a real humdinger, I don't even recognize Larry David.
posted by tunewell at 6:06 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


That is not Ryan Seacrest!! You're right. I'm surprised.
posted by heyho at 6:06 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


A listicle? With retro photos? Of celebrities? On the internet? I AM SURPRISED
posted by oulipian at 6:07 PM on September 3, 2013 [30 favorites]


Steven Tyler used to look funny.
posted by mazola at 6:07 PM on September 3, 2013


HUBBA HUBBA BETTY WHITE
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 6:09 PM on September 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


You say that all the time!
posted by mazola at 6:10 PM on September 3, 2013


Helen Mirren - Life long SEXAY!
posted by Samizdata at 6:12 PM on September 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Not surprising at all. Other than Clooney, all the ones who are/were really good looking in their prime were pretty damn good looking back then when you control for haircuts, fashions, etc. the only thing that might surprise some who just don't know their early work is that people like Christopher Walken and Betty White were once young and good looking too.
posted by slkinsey at 6:14 PM on September 3, 2013


MAn the 70s where not a pleasant time for hair was it?

Why hello there Captain Kirk.

Also please don't post pictures of the younger Sir Ian, it makes the desire to build that time machine that much stronger.
posted by The Whelk at 6:14 PM on September 3, 2013 [17 favorites]


I was genuinely surprised at how ripped Christopher Walken was.

And, I was NOT expecting the Betty White cupcake shot. Yowza.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 6:15 PM on September 3, 2013


Helen Mirren looks like a healthier Gwyneth Paltrow.
posted by arcticseal at 6:15 PM on September 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


Martha Stewart, ice queen. You could cut glass with that scowl.
posted by The Whelk at 6:16 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Those are mostly still very good-looking people.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:17 PM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Charlize Theron's doofy glasses would be the height of fashion right now.
posted by The Whelk at 6:17 PM on September 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


I love that picture of Michael Stipe. He looks like some sort of Baroque angel.
posted by Elly Vortex at 6:19 PM on September 3, 2013 [9 favorites]


Is Dr. Dre wearing knit scrubs?
posted by boo_radley at 6:19 PM on September 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


I guess now we know why Walken talks like that: he's sucking it in.
posted by DU at 6:20 PM on September 3, 2013


Michael Stipe looks like a white version of one of my cousins at that age, but, you know, white. And with lots more hair.

I would've beaten up Marshall Mathers every day, like Francesca Fiore walloping on Mr. Tisane. And when I was 16, I was 4'2".

Young Christopher Walken = YES, HI THERE.

And poor Bruce Willis is crooking his neck in that ridiculous "yearbook" way. Who started this? It looks stupid as well as painful.
posted by droplet at 6:24 PM on September 3, 2013


Colbert looks like he's really high.
posted by bondcliff at 6:25 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine has a 14-year-old daughter who's really into Smashing Pumpkins for some reason... 14-year-old Billy Corgan was.. shall we say... a big deal.
posted by Huck500 at 6:26 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ian McKellen / Benedict Cumberbatch time-travel script is GGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOO
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:27 PM on September 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


Colbert looks like he's really high

I think that's safe to assume.

It also kinda looks like the picture they flash on the news as a last known photo.
posted by The Whelk at 6:28 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Betty White, super sassy and uncensored [NSFW].
posted by unliteral at 6:28 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks to this i just now Googled "Betty White Nude."

You're welcome.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:29 PM on September 3, 2013


That wasn't even the weirdest thing I Googled today.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:30 PM on September 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


I read the comments first, so for me the list merely had the expected amount of surprise.
posted by ceribus peribus at 6:30 PM on September 3, 2013


Michael Stipe modeled for Dante Gabriel Rosetti.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:31 PM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: "MAn the 70s where not a pleasant time for hair was it?

Why hello there Captain Kirk.

Also please don't post pictures of the younger Sir Ian, it makes the desire to build that time machine that much stronger.
"

Infuckingdeed.
posted by Samizdata at 6:32 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Related, The Avengers in High School.
posted by The Whelk at 6:33 PM on September 3, 2013


louche mustachio: "Michael Stipe modeled for Dante Gabriel Rosetti."

He also was a big Rocky Horror fan. (skip to 1:30)
posted by notsnot at 6:34 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, Hilary Duff in The Helen Mirren Story?
posted by saul wright at 6:36 PM on September 3, 2013


This explains Larry David...
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 6:39 PM on September 3, 2013


So, Hilary Duff in The Helen Mirren Story?


Not unless Hillary Duff works topless.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:41 PM on September 3, 2013


You'll be surprised by how much this surprises you.

You're right, I'm surprised by how surprised I am that all 25 photos are on a single page.
posted by straight at 6:42 PM on September 3, 2013 [55 favorites]


Stephen Colbert says you're invited to come hang out with the Young Life group after the football game tonight. There's gonna be free pizza and soda.
posted by straight at 6:49 PM on September 3, 2013 [10 favorites]




Ryan Seacrest looks like he'll grow up to be Drew Carey.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:52 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


That photo of Eminem really doesn't look 16.
posted by dgaicun at 6:54 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


BRUCE WILLIS WITH HAIR.
posted by lineofsight at 6:58 PM on September 3, 2013


Young Helen Mirren does nothing for me. I think she became more attractive with age.
posted by cazoo at 6:58 PM on September 3, 2013


A friend of mine has a 14-year-old daughter who's really into Smashing Pumpkins for some reason... 14-year-old Billy Corgan was.. shall we say... a big deal.

Being 14 and being into Smashing Pumpkins is like swimming and being wet.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:58 PM on September 3, 2013 [14 favorites]


Wow, everyone looks hot. Except for the few who don't...

Fame must be the fountain of youth; a lot of people look exactly the same. Or older--Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell looked older in their pics than they do now. I think that has a lot to do with hair being grown to the extreme in the 70s. When I grow out my beard my wife says it adds 10 years and 10 pounds.
posted by zardoz at 7:01 PM on September 3, 2013


Though I agree that Charlize Theron's glasses are hip for today, I also love that her picture screams pre-makeover teen movie nerd who is just a hairbrush and set of contact lenses from being... well, obviously Charlize Theron.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:03 PM on September 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


Someone on Reddit linked this photo of a young Betty White which does not look like the woman in the gallery.

Also, what blows my mind is that Martha Stewart is currently 72.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:05 PM on September 3, 2013


Artw: "Patrick Stewart with hair always weirds me out."

What? No. That doesn't exist.

posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:05 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Needs more Adam Sandler.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:08 PM on September 3, 2013


So apparently Steve Carrell doesn't age.
posted by gaspode at 7:08 PM on September 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


Billy Corgan looks like a nice girl who helped her pa milk cows after school.
posted by davebush at 7:10 PM on September 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Now I'm picturing Michael Cera escorting two supermodels to his high school prom and getting crowned homecoming king.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:18 PM on September 3, 2013


For my money, you can't beat this picture of a young Ryan Gosling.
posted by 4ster at 7:18 PM on September 3, 2013 [23 favorites]


Steven Tyler looks like he could play the Joker... without makeup.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:21 PM on September 3, 2013


Young Helen Mirren does nothing for me. I think she became more attractive with age.

Watch Age of Consent and you'll change your tune real fast. Young Helen spends a great deal of that movie diving for clams, or sponges, or treasure or something - in the buff. The glorious buff. She didn't shave her legs or wear makeup for the role (not much makeup, anyways), and yet she just radiated foxy Earth Mother treasure-diver sex appeal.

That said, though - yeah, she definitely has improved with age.
posted by Alonzo T. Calm at 7:21 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Artw: "Patrick Stewart with hair always weirds me out."

What about with hair, abs, and wearing a loincloth?

Google "Patrick Stewart Oberon" for more of the same. He was in a production of Midsummer Night's Dream in the 70s.
posted by emjaybee at 7:24 PM on September 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


George Clooney turned 15 in 1976. When I take the time machine for a spin back to the bicentennial, I am going to bring this picture to the offices of the fledgling People Magazine and tell them (a) in a few more years they are going to begin a more-or-less annual Sexiest Man Alive award and (b) this kid is going to win it several times.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:26 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah the Charlize Theron one is my favorite. It's like Superman/Clark Kent with nerdy giant glasses.
posted by Justinian at 7:38 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also Ian McKellan looks like he belonged in an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue.
posted by Justinian at 7:40 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Steve Carrell either owns a time machine or is an android.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:41 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've seen a few of these before, so I wasn't toooo surprised...but Marshall? Marshall Mathers?!& That can't be him!

Recently I watched a few videos from a YouTube conspiracy theorist who postulates that Eminem died in 2000 and has been replaced by an android, so seeing how drastically his physical appearance has changed over the years is sort of funny in light of that.

Maybe the conspiracy enthusiast got it right. I mean, if they can do it to Paul McCartney...
posted by Alonzo T. Calm at 7:42 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


What about with hair, abs, and wearing a loincloth?

It's too late - we've seen it all!
posted by Artw at 7:58 PM on September 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


I've seen a few of these before, so I wasn't toooo surprised...but Marshall? Marshall Mathers?!& That can't be him!

It's definitely him, but I don't think he's 16 in that picture. He looks more like 11. (Not because he's small, but because he's missing his eye teeth. Ask a dentist!)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:00 PM on September 3, 2013


Here's some more Sean Connery.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:02 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Steven Tyler looks like Andy Samberg with an even bigger smirk, which I didn't know was physically possible. Take Andy and Photoshop his mouth to twice its size and you've got Steven.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:04 PM on September 3, 2013


Justinian: "Also Ian McKellan looks like he belonged in an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue."

Shut up. We KNOW he's not a giant ass with a plastic face.
posted by Samizdata at 8:13 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


The picture of Stephen Carrel is kind of perfect. It's almost like the kind of thing they'd make up for a movie.
posted by empath at 8:17 PM on September 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Young Helen Mirren looks like post-plastic surgery Heidi Montag. So Heidi has aging well to look forward to, if nothing else.
posted by pandalicious at 8:21 PM on September 3, 2013


A friend of mine has a 14-year-old daughter who's really into Smashing Pumpkins for some reason...

I can't imagine a more perfect band for a teenage girl to be into than the Smashing Pumpkins. (By the way, I'm 32 and I still love the band as much as I did when I was 14.)
posted by John Cohen at 8:38 PM on September 3, 2013


Steven Tyler looks like Andy Samberg with an even bigger smirk, which I didn't know was physically possible. Take Andy and Photoshop his mouth to twice its size and you've got Steven.

Did you know that Steven Tyler was supposed to be James Bond in Goldeneye but turned down the job? It's true...and his legacy lives on.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:45 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here are some more. Almost all musicians. Only a few duplicates of the FPP. Don't miss Madonna and Kurt Cobain!
posted by John Cohen at 8:46 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'll be damned if Johnny Cash doesn't look just like Johnny Cash.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:51 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you want to do this in reverse, go look up what the kid from Stuart Little looks like today.
posted by schmod at 8:56 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I missed something. Billy Corgan's a celebrity?
posted by miette at 8:58 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Woah. Young Flea looks like he relishes the shit out of some tranya.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:01 PM on September 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


If you want to do this in reverse, go look up what the kid from Stuart Little looks like today.

*googles*

dude

what
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:01 PM on September 3, 2013


I asked my 14 year old if listening to bands like Smashing Pumpkins was old fashioned, or if it was something he could imagine being created now, and he said no and yes. This made me dizzy, because Queen sure sounded old fashioned to me when I was listening to Smashing Pumpkins at his age.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:04 PM on September 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


That picture of young Kurt Cobain in John Cohen's link honestly made me choke up.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:04 PM on September 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Helen Mirren has always been a flawless queen and always will be and I shall hear no dissent on the subject, good day sir.
posted by elizardbits at 9:11 PM on September 3, 2013 [13 favorites]


Christopher Mintz-Plasse apparently went through all of puberty in a year. Yikes.
posted by The Whelk at 9:25 PM on September 3, 2013


the world is a vampire, set to drain.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:37 PM on September 3, 2013


Helen Mirren continues to own me, regardless of age.
posted by kjs3 at 9:41 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I asked my 14 year old if listening to bands like Smashing Pumpkins was old fashioned, or if it was something he could imagine being created now, and he said no and yes. This made me dizzy, because Queen sure sounded old fashioned to me when I was listening to Smashing Pumpkins at his age.

This fascinates me, and I've found that this phenomenon isn't limited to the Smashing Pumpkins. Iam not sure if this is something our generation should be thanked for or blamed for however.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:44 PM on September 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Look you created perfect 14 year old girl music, just own it and let it happen.
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 PM on September 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, thanks guys - there's no way I can't listen to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness tomorrow.
posted by davebush at 9:53 PM on September 3, 2013


Perhaps he's more sophisticated than I was. I certainly recognize the timeless nature of Queen now, however his access to music is nearly limitless, so that must be a major factor.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:11 PM on September 3, 2013


Maybe it's just that I'm a heterosexual male, but many of the women look pretty darned cute in their yearbook pictures, whereas the guys (with a few exceptions) look like stoned and badly shaved neanderthals.

I'm torn between young Helen Mirren (or, for that matter, older Helen Mirren) and young Beyonce. This is, of course, purely academic, but I believe that in some parallel universe there is a version of me who actually dated both and I'm wonder which one he preferred.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:12 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Isn't Young Beyonce the 6 year old in that pic? Good on ya!
posted by helmutdog at 10:20 PM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Your majesties.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:42 PM on September 3, 2013


Related, The Avengers in High School.

That's some bad mullet, Jeremy.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:55 PM on September 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


That Michael Stipe picture was featured in the centerfold of the R.E.M. album Eponymous, with the caption "They Airbrushed My Face".

So these may not all be accurate depictions.
posted by MrVisible at 12:08 AM on September 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


With that face, Steven Tyler had to become a rock star. He would've looked ridiculous, working in a bank.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:28 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh wow prince's hair is glorious
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:04 AM on September 4, 2013


4ster: "For my money, you can't beat this picture of a young Ryan Gosling."

sure that's not an older Russell Brand?
posted by Red Loop at 3:20 AM on September 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Older Jonathan Lipnicki (kid in Stuart Little, Jerry Maguire) is weird because it looks like his eight-year-old head has been pasted onto a muscle model's body.
posted by crossoverman at 3:35 AM on September 4, 2013


Patrick Stewart Oberon

Thanks for that. /stunned>

Steve Carrell, Stephen Tyler and Ian McKellan still recognisably living in the same face after all these years...Stephen Tyler in that select group of odd-looking men with beautiful daughters who strangely look just like them...

Clooney, with the handicap of that hair and those glasses, still somehow looking self-possessed and cool with it, extraordinary. Unlike young Jamie Foxx, whose unfortunate 80s hair did nothing for his 17-year-old awkwardness. But Clooney's still just about a kid in that picture, while Foxx is a fully-fledged teenager, poor lamb. I guess that explains it.
posted by glasseyes at 3:45 AM on September 4, 2013


I've always been baffled at the idea of young people thinking the previous generation's music is uncool. I heard my parents talk about having this reaction to their parents, but I never observed it in my peers. I was born in 1981; I've never heard anyone I know express the idea that the music of the '60s is lame. On the contrary, it would be taboo to say "I hate '60s music."
posted by John Cohen at 4:25 AM on September 4, 2013


"Helen Mirren - Life long SEXAY!"

I'd anal her nathrac anyday!

The surprising one for me was Sir Ian McKellen! Sexysexysexy... and it's kind of rewarding seeing Clint as a '50s gay callboy.
posted by markkraft at 4:26 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Patrick Stewart with hair always weirds me out.

Patrick Stewart + hair = Rand Paul.

Commence gnashing, Internet.
posted by psoas at 4:27 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Patrick Stewart + hair = Rand Paul.

WRONG
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:42 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Read the whole thing thinking the wrong caption applied
posted by chapps at 4:58 AM on September 4, 2013


From the comments- "George Clooney looks like velma from Scooby Doo."
posted by kenaldo at 5:40 AM on September 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


If you want to do this in reverse, go look up what the kid from Stuart Little looks like today.
posted by schmod at 8:56 PM on September 3 [+] [!]


Or Miley Cyrus!
posted by chavenet at 6:33 AM on September 4, 2013


Miley Cyrus still looks like a child to me, that's what makes the whole pretending-to-be-sexy dance so embarrassing and awful. It's like someones tween has been watching Madonna videos all day and decided to put on a dance show for visiting relatives, who then die of cringing embarrassment.
posted by Artw at 6:38 AM on September 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


Keep in mind Patrick Stewart wore a wig in I, Claudius.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:10 AM on September 4, 2013


Patrick Stewart + hair = Rand Paul.

No. However, Hugh Hefner − hair = Ron Paul.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:11 AM on September 4, 2013


If you want to do this in reverse, go look up what the kid from Stuart Little looks like today.

Urkel.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:29 AM on September 4, 2013


You stop that.
posted by elizardbits at 8:47 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


More Stefan Urquelle than Steve Urkel at this point.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:18 AM on September 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


From the comments- "George Clooney looks like velma from Scooby Doo."

Or a young Tina Fey.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:19 AM on September 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


never observed it in my peers. I was born in 1981; I've never heard anyone I know express the idea that the music of the '60s is lame. On the contrary, it would be taboo to say "I hate '60s music."

That may be because The Big Chill movie (1983) repopularized a lot of music from the 60's.

How did your friends feel about disco?
posted by vitabellosi at 9:45 AM on September 4, 2013


That may be because The Big Chill movie (1983) repopularized a lot of music from the 60's.

You might be surprised how little influence The Big Chill (1983) has had on people born in 1981.

(Besides, Quadrophenia.)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:57 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]



How did your friends feel about disco?

I dunno, what are Daft Punk's sales like?
posted by The Whelk at 9:58 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why 5 women and 20 men? That's quite a sausage party...
posted by plinth at 10:48 AM on September 4, 2013


60's music isn't the right analogue to a kid born in '81 - late '70s/early '80s music is. 14-year-olds today were born in '99, when Smashing Pumpkins were still near the height of their popularity.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:59 AM on September 4, 2013


My mum saw McKellen play Macbeth at around this age. She said he was so good that when he did the "Is this a knife I see before me. Come let me clutch thee.." bit, you really could see the knife.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 12:58 PM on September 4, 2013


Wow, Charlize looks like Dax as the scientist in DS9's "Our Man Bashir".
posted by Z. Aurelius Fraught at 3:29 PM on September 4, 2013


"Miley Cyrus still looks like a child to me"

Teenage girl blossoming into beautiful object.
posted by markkraft at 4:19 PM on September 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Isn't Young Beyonce the 6 year old in that pic? Good on ya!

Gah! No, I meant the yearbook picture from the other link that John Cohen posted.

(How embarassing).
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 6:01 PM on September 4, 2013


Ahh back when Dre was known as Andre Young and before he had 'invented' gnagsta rap.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 6:34 PM on September 4, 2013


I've always been baffled at the idea of young people thinking the previous generation's music is uncool. I heard my parents talk about having this reaction to their parents, but I never observed it in my peers. I was born in 1981; I've never heard anyone I know express the idea that the music of the '60s is lame. On the contrary, it would be taboo to say "I hate '60s music."

That's because the 1960s were when it all changed. In the 80's there were still kids listening to hits from 1965 like "Satisfaction" from the Rolling Stones, "Ticket to Ride" from the Beatles, and "California Girls" by the Beach Boys.

Nothing on the charts in 1955 had anything like that kind of staying power into the 70's. "Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley and His Comets is about the closest I can see, and that was really more of a novelty song by the 70's. Everything else on the charts in 1955 would have been pretty firmly and mockably "parents music" in the 1970s.
posted by straight at 6:49 PM on September 4, 2013


You might be surprised how little influence The Big Chill (1983) has had on people born in 1981.

You might be surprised to hear how saturated toddlers lives became with music from the 1960's in the 1980's, because of The Big Chill.

It spurred a trend in advertising that is still with us (in the form of using rock music instead of jingles), called "Big Chill Advertising" --


“…[T]he movie probably gave far too many ad agencies the notion to buy up the rights to 60s’ songs for use in pushing the nostalgia buttons of key-demographic consumers"

posted by vitabellosi at 5:47 AM on September 6, 2013


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