When people think of PEOPLE, they often think of celebrity. And when they think celebrity, they often think of the characteristic photographs that, week in and week out, capture celebrated personalities on a printed page. Creating a classic picture requires an imaginative photographer and a cooperative subject; luckily for PEOPLE, Richard Simmons didn't mind dressing up as a carrot and Tracey Ullman was delighted to do the splits in the middle of the street while holding two dogs on leashes. As the following best-of-the-best photos demonstrate, what finally develops is worth the effort.
Those teeth, that hair, that era: For a too-brief golden moment in the mid-'70s, Charlie's most celebrated angel was the Farrah-est of them all (PEOPLE, 1976).
Only 19, Mike Tyson was a tower of power after signing his first million-dollar deal (1986).
Come portrait time, former fattie—turned—diet guru Richard Simmons opted for the carrot-and-shtick approach (1981).
As the Clown Prince of his brother Jimmy's sobersided Administration, the late tippling First Sibling Billy Carter gave his name to a brand of beer and pulled in $500,000 in personal appearance fees and endorsements in 1977. "I'll make more money than Jimmy makes," said Billy, "but I work harder."
After blue-blooded jeans entrepreneur Gloria Vanderbilt designed a means to shape our ends, her name appeared on 6 million very hip pockets (1979).
Incredible hulk Arnold Schwarzenegger, a/k/a Conan the Aquarian, rinsed his impeccable pecs in his pool (1985).
Hamburger hawker Clara "Where's the Beef?" Peller took to fame with relish and posed aboard a bogus bun (1984).
She played a possessed child in The Exorcist and its sequel, with a trio of grotesque roles in between. By the time she turned 18, Linda Blair could get spooky on cue (1977).
"I'm doing exactly what I want to do, and I'm having fun doing it," puffed hot, hot, hot Buster Poindexter, whose real name is David Johansen (1988). Sultry Isabella Rossellini was named one of PEOPLE's Unforgettable Faces (1984).
Just as she began to dance all night and flex her royal power in the palace personnel department Diana, Princess of Wales, posed for Lord Snowdon as Her Royal Highness serenissima (1985).
Urban life with creatures: Brit comedienne Tracey Ullman learned one of the dangers of owning small, nervous dogs (1987); Saturday Night Live comedy writer Michael O'Donoghue got the drop on a typical Manhattan cockroach (1979).
Baseball enthusiast and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, AK-47 at his side, wore a Mets T-shirt even though he's actually a Baltimore Orioles fan (1986). No couch potato, hyperkinetic Robin Williams was, if anything, a couch jalapeño (1988).
Gleefully crass artist Mark Kostabi—who hires others to paint the works he signs—wore his true art on his sleeve (1988).
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