A look back at six decades of fun, frivolity and fashion.
This story first appeared in the January 21, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Unlike most things in Hollywood, the Golden Globes get better with age. Marking its 60th anniversary this year, the award show, thrown by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, continues to reign as one of the best bashes in town. Why?
“It’s the alcohol,” Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein offered up at one of last year’s post-Globe fetes. Evidently Richard Burton agreed when, after the show began airing on television in 1962, the legend groused that the show should remain off the airwaves lest everyone have to be on best behavior.
“When the Golden Globes started,” recalled In Style’s Hal Rubenstein, “it was taped and ran on local syndicated channels, so few people were watching and none of the stars cared if they slurred their acceptance speeches. It was cocktail hour in Hollywood! Now, it gets an equal level of importance in magazines with any major awards show, including the Oscars.”
Since 1955, the Globes have honored a mix of film and television stars, which means double the fun for guests and viewers. A full-course dinner gives the evening an entirely different sensibility from the Academy Awards, where attendees have to hold out until after the show for sustenance. Something about the wedding-reception-style seating makes for more interesting candid-camera moments…an unabashedly bored look here, a whispered tête-à-tête there and more Nicholson-style mugging all around. And after all, how often does one get the chance to spot a waif-thin starlet actually eating?
The dress code has always been a little more lax than at the Oscars, allowing everything from cocktail to formalwear.
Perfect examples of the former have been Grace Kelly in chinoiserie in 1956, and Marilyn Monroe in black sequins in 1962 — looking radiant just months before her death — and Debra Messing at the 2001 installment in a black and white paillette Michael Kors shift.
And then there’s Cher. Always before her time, or, well, of another time altogether, she looked better suited for the MTV Music Awards — had they existed in 1984 — when she took the stage to accept her Golden Globe for “Silkwood” wearing a black leather jacket and a chopped-off mini.