6 unbelievable celebrity throwbacks, from Dolly Parton to George Takei
It can be sometimes easy to forget that fan-favourite elders haven’t always looked the same. But, much like a fine wine, they really have only gotten better with age.
From queen Dolly Parton to the amazing Jodie Foster and even president Joe Biden, take a trip down memory lane and see just how these six LGBT+ celebs and allies looks have evolved over the years.
Topping the list is, of course, the queen herself, Dolly Parton. She isn’t just a hugely popular country singer – she is an institution and icon within the LGBT+ community.
While she’s best known for her music and staunch allyship, Parton has been very private about her personal life. But photos of the young icon do exist, and it’s heartwarming to see that she’s always had a thing for big hair.
This portrait is from 1965 which was the same year she signed onto her first label, Monument Records, as a pop singer. She wouldn’t transition back into country music until years later.
Sir Ian McKellen wasn’t always the wise Gandalf figure that we know and love today. In fact, in his younger years, McKellen would have made a stunning elf to rival Legolas or even a dashing ranger like Aragorn.
Before he was a Hollywood legend, McKellen launched his career in the theatre – which he routinely returns to for fantastic performances that the public can still enjoy today.
This gorgeous picture captures a young McKellen staring soulfully into the camera while he lounged in his West London flat in 1969.
Foster began her storied career as a very young child in TV, appearing in shows like Gunsmoke, My Three Sons and Paper Moon. She later broke into the silver screen as Iris in the 1976 film Taxi Driver, which won her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
The Silence of the Lambs star came out as gay in an open, honest speech at the Golden Globes in 2013. Just a year later, Foster married her now-wife Alexandra Hedison, a photographer and former actress.
Honestly, these pictures of Foster show that she is a truly ageless queer beauty, and I desperately need to learn her skincare routine.
President Joe Biden
Biden built his presidential campaign in part on LGBT+ inclusion, and since he came into office in January, his administration has continuously come out swinging for LGBT+ rights.
While there wasn’t much to get thirsty about on the campaign trail, pictures of young Biden in a snug red shirt and with gently tousled hair have occasionally broken the internet. The now-president originally shared the photo of himself at age 26 on his personal Instagram a few years ago, and he brought it back again this year to encourage young people to get their COVID-19 vaccines.
Obviously, someone on his social media team is aware of the power of thirst to do good.
The legendary actor and LGBT+ activist is world-renowned for his role as Hikaru Sulu, the helmsman of the fictional starship the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek franchise. There is one groundbreaking episode that showed off not only Takei’s acting prowess but also his physical capabilities.
In the sixth episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, titled “Naked Time”, the Enterprise crew are infected with a virus that removes people’s inhibitions and causes them to behave irrationally. Sulu rips off his shirt, revealing his impressive abs, and begins to run about with a sword – like he’s one of the Three Musketeers.
Even Takei enjoyed being able to show off his abs as well as his “swashbuckling prowess” in the episode. He added in an interview with the RadioTimes that “Naked Time” has “always been my favourite” episode as he “got liberated” from being “chained” behind the console of the ship.
The openly gay actor made his name and won a Tony Award for his role as Song Liling in M. Butterfly before going down in pop culture history as the voice of Li Shang in Disney’s Mulan and Dr Henry Wu in the Jurassic Park franchise.
Wong’s effortless style and glamorous looks have stood the test of time. And honestly, the circle glasses and turtleneck combo that he wore at this performance of “M. Butterfly” in 1988 could be seen worn on any queer person casually walking around a trendy LGBT+ spot today.
Earlier this year, the out actor revealed he believed that Li Shang, who has long been revered as a queer Disney icon, was ‘sexually fluid’ as many of his actions and emotions could be seen “through the lends of fluidity”.