Stunning Vintage Photos of Hollywood Stars of the Golden Age at Their Homes

During Hollywood’s Golden Age, the film industry produced some of the most iconic stars the world has ever known. This era, spanning from the 1920s to the early 1960s, was marked by glamour, drama, and the mystique of movie stars. While fans adored these stars on the silver screen, LIFE magazine offered a rare glimpse into their private lives. The magazine’s photographers enjoyed unprecedented access, capturing intimate moments with these celebrities in the comfort of their own homes.

They were icons, and their lives were the subject of fascination for millions. LIFE magazine capitalized on this curiosity, providing readers with a peek behind the curtain.

At home, these stars were often different from their on-screen personas. Marilyn Monroe, for example, was known for her glamorous and often provocative roles. However, at home, she could be seen lounging casually, reading a book, or playing with her pets. These images revealed a softer, more relatable side of the bombshell, endearing her even more to the public.

Photographers like Alfred Eisenstaedt and Nina Leen built relationships with their subjects, earning their trust and capturing genuine moments. This rapport allowed them to document the stars’ lives in a way that felt natural and unposed.

Elizabeth Taylor, one of the most famous actresses of the time, was also featured extensively in LIFE magazine. Known for her beauty and her tumultuous personal life, Taylor was often photographed at home, sometimes with her children or her pets. These photos provided a glimpse into her life beyond the tabloids and the gossip columns, showing her as a loving mother and a devoted pet owner.

#2 Bette Davis relaxing in a lounge chair with her Pekingese, Popeye the Magnificent, at her Beverly Hills home, 1939.

#3 Claudette Colbert posing in a two-piece evening dress at her home in Los Angeles, 1939.

#4 Vivien Leigh with her Oscar for Gone With the Wind, 1940.

#5 Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland looking over Beverly Hills from Fontaine’s home, 1942.

#6 Greer Garson at home in Bel Air, Los Angeles, 1943.

#8 Liberace playing the piano at his California home, 1954.

#9 Ricky Nelson playing guitar at his family’s Hollywood home, 1958.

#10 Paul Newman cooking eggs for Anthony Perkins at his Hollywood home, 1958.

#11 Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman at their Hollywood home, 1950s.

#12 Jayne Mansfield combing her hair while bathing at her home in Los Angeles, 1960.

#13 Steve McQueen and Neile Adams at their Hollywood home, 1963.

#15 Maureen O’Hara relaxing at home in Los Angeles, 1946.

#16 The Jackson family at their backyard in Encino, California, 1970.

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Written by Heather Brown

Heather Brown is a writer and historian with a passion for all things vintage. She shares her knowledge of the past through her blog, with a particular focus on historical photos and the stories they tell.

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