17 Most Iconic Bikini Photos of the Last 75 Years
July 5 marks the 73rd birthday of the bikini. We’re honoring that with a retrospective of the most iconic bikini pics over the years.
Phoebe Cates in Fast Times
In 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Phoebe Cates emerged from a swimming pool in this red bikini, launching her film career.
Jaclyn Smith being angelic
In one of the very first publicity photos for the television show Charlie’s Angels, which began its run in 1976, Jaclyn Smith poses in a bikini as Kelly Garrett (the glamorous one), along with Farrah Fawcett as Jill Munroe (the athletic one), and Kate Jackson as Sabrina Duncan (the brainy one). And just like that, we have the urge to check in with these brilliant first-wave feminist quotes.
Britt Ekland in The Man With The Golden Gun
She wasn’t the first Bond Girl, but in 1974, Swedish model and actress Britt Ekland made a splash in the James Bond film, The Man With The Golden Gun, playing Mary Goodnight, a newbie field operative who manages to make some truly brilliant and remarkably high-tech decisions while wearing a bikini. You’ll want to avoid these common mistakes the next time you’re on the hunt for a flattering swimsuit.
Bo Derek in 10
Playing Dudley Moore’s character’s fantasy girl in the 1976 movie, 10, Bo Derek brought cornrow braids into the beachside mainstream and may have invented the “running on the beach” trope that launched the careers of many a Baywatch girl.
Gloria Stratten as the pinup with the tragic epilogue
Twenty-year old Dorothy Stratten was on her way to stardom when her estranged husband murdered her on August 14, 1980. The one-time Playmate of the Year may be best-remembered in this image of her in a bikini.
The Blue Lagoon
Brooke Shields (with Christopher Atkins, playing, shipwrecked teens) wore bikinis throughout 1980’s The Blue Lagoon, although she did stop bothering to wear the top pretty early on.
Goldie Hawn as the Laugh-In Go-Go Dancer
Wearing nothing more than a bikini and body paint in 1969, Goldie Hawn giggled and go-go danced her way into an impressive career as an actress that’s lasted more than 50 years so far.
Carrie Fisher’s famous bikini moment
In 1983’s Star Wars Episode VI – Return Of The Jedi, Carrie Fisher wore this gold bikini as the slave of Jabba The Hut and created a fantasy for teenaged boys that continues to this day. Fisher wrote in her biography The Princess Diarist of the bikini, “When [director George Lucas] showed me the outfit, I thought he was kidding and it made me very nervous. I had to sit very straight because I couldn’t have lines on my sides, like little creases. No creases were allowed, so I had to sit very, very rigid straight.” If Fisher were still alive, she would likely agree that we should banish the phrase “bikini body” from our vocabulary.
It’s hard to pick the most iconic Princess Diana bikini pic…
…but these three, from 1988, 1990, and 1993, respectively are at the top of our list. Don’t miss these 12 facts about Princess Diana that simply are not true.
The days of “heroin chic”
Kyle Ericksen/Penske Media/Shutterstock
In this 1993 photograph, Kate Moss cemented her role as designer Calvin Klein’s muse while showing off a teeny tiny body in a teeny tiny bikini that launched a decade of extreme dieting. But here’s why fad diets don’t work.