Who are the REAL kings (and queens) of cool?
Years after they first made their mark Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra, Madonna and Blondie are all still hip enough to have earned a place in the top 100 coolest Americans.
Singer Frank Sinatra, one of the best-selling artists of all time, in a recording studio. The 'American Cool' exhibit is currently on show at the National Portrait Gallery, in Washington, D.C. America, until 7 September
Debbie Harry, lead singer of the punk rock and new wave band Blondie, left, and right musician, singer, and songwriter Jimi Hendrix who died in 1970
The 'King of Rock and Roll' Elvis Presley sings to his fans - years after his 1977 death he is still regarded as cool
WHAT DEFINES 'COOL?'
The curators of the exhibition had four defining factors of cool, of which people chosen had to fit at least three categories:
• originality of artistic vision and especially of a signature style
• cultural rebellion, or transgression in a given historical moment
• iconicity, or a certain level of high-profile recognition
• recognised cultural legacy (lasting more than a decade)
The term 'cool' originated in the United States in the early 1940s when legendary jazz saxophonist Lester Young brought the central African American concept into the modern vernacular. Given the large number of celebrities that this term has been used to describe, an alternative list was also created for those who did not make the Top 100.
This list included the likes of Samuel L Jackson, Gwen Stefani, and Tom Petty.
The portraits that feature in the gallery were contemporary images shot by famous photographers such as Richard Avedon and Annie Leibovitz.
Kurt Cobain, lead singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter of the grunge band Nirvana who died in 1994. Right, Frederick Douglass, born in 1818, who escaped from slavery and became a leader of the abolitionist movement
Jazz singer and songwriter Bilie Holiday who died aged 44 in 1959 made the cut - just under a quarter of the 100 are women
American former professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, nicknamed 'The Birdman' was also deemed cool enough to make the top 100
Miles Davis, left, the single most dominating figure in jazz for the second half of the 20th century and right, McKinley Morganfield, known as Muddy Waters, who was an American blues musician and is considered the 'father of modern Chicago blues'
James Dean famously portrayed troubled young man Jim Stark in 1955 Rebel Without A Cause becoming a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment. He died in a car accident in 1955
Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said: 'American Cool is about America's greatest cultural export-cool-and who embodies it.'
'What you might find surprising about this show is how far back this idea reaches.
'I especially like this how this exhibition shows photographs of icons by world-renowned photographers.
'And that the show offers an opportunity for a national conversation about who defines 'cool.'
Over 25 years after his untimely death in 1980, actor Steve McQueen is still considered hip and 'cool' across the world
Bessie Smith, left, was an American blues singer. Nicknamed The Empress of the Blues, Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. Right, Walt Whitman was an American poet whose work was considered controversial in the 20th century
Scottish-born musician permanently residing in the United States, David Byrne is a founding member of the American new wave band Talking Heads
Gentlemen prefer body-builders! Pictures reveal how Marilyn Monroe kept her iconic figure in shape with weights and a bizarre diet
Marilyn Monroe became world-famous for her curvy figure, but it may be surprising to know that keeping that alluring hourglass involved a lot of work.
Just before she hit it big in 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes', Philippe Halsman photographed her for LIFE magazine, taking a few candid shots of her daily workout routine.
One picture of Monroe in a hugging white dress made it onto the cover of the April 7, 1952 issue, while the shots of her lifting weights in a terry-cloth bikini were left on the cutting room floor - rarely seen.
Health conscious: In an early photoshoot, Marilyn Monroe is pictured working out with weights at home
Cover girl: The pictures were taken by photographer Philippe Halsman for LIFE magazine. She made the April 7, 1952 cover
Glimpse: The candid shots of Marilyn working out didn't make it to the magazine, and have rarely been seen
The black-and-white photographs show a very-serious Marilyn performing squats and military presses with a bar, and bench-pressing small weights.
She then cracks a smile mid-handstand and gives a come-hither look while relaxing on the floor.
At the time of the photoshoot, Marilyn was not yet a household name but even then she was beginning to use her wiles on men. Halsman later wrote about the shoot and talked about being quite enamored with his subject.
'She flirted with all three of us,' Halsman said. 'And such was her talent that each of us felt that if only the other two would leave, something incredible would happen. Her sex-appeal was not a put-on - it was her weapon and her defense.'
Come hither: Halsman later wrote about the shoot, saying Marilyn was extremely flirtatious with him and the other men in the room
Gymnast: Marilyn giggles as she tries out a handstand
re than just a sex symbol: Halsman noted seeing several intellectual books scattered across Marilyn's cheap apartment on the outskirts of LA. But her cheap apartment on the outskirts of LA also held clues that she was more than just sex appeal. 'The Talk of Hollywood': The pictures were taken for the April 7, 1952 cover story of LIFE magazine
'What impressed me in its shabby living room was the obvious striving for self-improvement,' Halsman wrote.
'I saw a photograph of Eleanora Duse and a multitude of books that I did not expect to find there, like the works of Dostoyevsky, of Freud, the History of Fabian Socialism, etc. On the floor were two dumbbells.'
Marilyn detailed her health regimen later that year in a September 1952 interview with now-defunct Pageant Magazine.
'Frankly, I’ve never considered my own figure so exceptional. Until quite recently, I seldom gave it any thought at all,' a humble Marilyn said.
'My biggest single concern used to be getting enough to eat. Now I have to worry about eating too much. I never used to bother with exercises.'
She went on to explain that she spent about 10 minutes every morning practicing 'bust-firming' exercises with small weights - but she maintains she's not a fitness-freak.
'I don’t count rhythmically like the exercise people on the radio; I couldn’t stand exercise if I had to feel regimented about it,' she said.
Monroe also talks about her diet, which others told her were 'absolutely bizarre'.
For breakfast, Monroe drank a glass of warm milk with an egg whipped as well as a multivitamin.
'I doubt if any doctor could recommend a more nourishing breakfast for a working girl in a hurry,' she said.
Bizarre breakfast: In an interview with Pageant Magazine in September 1952, Marilyn said she drank milk with an egg whipped in for breakfast each morning
Routine: Marilyn also revealed that she did 10 minutes of a bust-firming exercise each morning
Relaxed: But Marilyn also said she didn't like to make her exercises seem to regimented
Balanced: Marilyn often treated herself to a hot fudge Sunday after a long day of work
The actress completely skips talking about lunch, but says her dinner is almost always the same - some sort of protein with raw baby carrots.
'I must be part rabbit, I never get bored with raw carrots,' she wrote.
But she made sure to save room for dessert.
'In recent months I have developed the habit of stopping off at Wil Wright’s ice cream parlor for a hot fudge sundae on my way home from my evening drama classes. I’m sure that I couldn’t allow myself this indulgence were it not that my normal diet is composed almost totally of protein foods.'
Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist. By the time he died in 1988 he had risen from a graffiti artist in his hometown of New York to an international star
One of the most prominent cultural icons for over three decades, Madonna has achieved an unprecedented level of power and control for a woman in the entertainment world. Actor and film producer Benicio del Toro, right ,who won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a BAFTA Award for his role as Javier Rodríguez in Traffic (2000)
TOP FIFTY KINGS AND QUEENS OF COOL
The Roots of Cool
Zora Neale Hurston
Willie “The Lion” Smith
The Birth of Cool
William S Burroughs
Cool and the Counterculture
...THE NEXT FIFTY
Hunter S Thompson
The Legacy of Cool
Benicio del Toro
My fears for my darling Doris Day: Confidante who spent 40 years with the reclusive Hollywood star, now 91, worries about the hangers-on who now share her home - as he reveals unseen photos of their time together
The wide grin is the same, as are the big blue eyes that once captivated America.
These intimate pictures give a fascinating glimpse of reclusive film star Doris Day, now 91, and her life after Hollywood, as unveiled by the man who cared for her for nearly 40 years.
For the first time, Sydney Wood has opened up his treasured album of photographs from his time working for Doris – and revealed his fears for the woman once known as America’s Sweetheart.
Sydney, 71, was the star’s personal assistant, bodyguard and closest confidante, and breaking his silence, he told MailOnline: ‘Doris isn’t what she used to be and she’s now confined to her house for much of her days.
‘She used to have the right people taking care of her. But her house is full of different people now. They’re with her because she’s Doris Day. I worry they are not looking after her well enough.'
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Unseen: Doris Day is now 91 and a recluse at her home in Carmel in California. Her former caretaker Sydney Wood has opened up his photo album that includes never-before seen pictures of America's Sweetheart, seen here with one of her pet dogs
Confidantes: Doris Day and her former assistant Sydney Wood, who spent almost 40 years working for the star. Brit Sydney, now 71, left Doris's home in 2000 and said the pair were getting on each other's nerves
Fears: Sydney Wood, originally from Suffolk in the UK, said he worries that Doris Day, now 91, is not being looked after properly, adding: 'She used to have the right people taking care of her. But her house is full of different people now'
Born and raised in Suffolk, Sydney ran the Doris Day fan club in Britain and exchanged letters and phone calls with the actress and singer before she asked him to work for her in 1979.
Despite eschewing her fame and hiding herself away, the star’s life has still included surprise visits from Sir Paul McCartney and calls from her old flame President Ronald Reagan – alongside ham sandwiches for breakfast.
Making the decision to retire from movies in 1968, Doris moved to an 11-acre estate in Carmel, California - successfully steering clear of the spotlight with the help of a loyal inner circle. She even changed her name to Clara Kappelhoff - she was born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff - and on the rare occasions she ventured out she was seen strolling around the picturesque community with no make-up, a wide-brimmed hat, jogging pants and sneakers.
‘Doris used to have the right people taking care of her. But her house is full of different people now. They’re with her because she’s Doris Day. They’re not looking after her'
Indeed, Sydney said that Doris, whose greatest movie hits include Calamity Jane and Pillow Talk, had kept the same household staff with her for decades and treated them as close friends, up until recently.
He revealed: ‘A friend of mine went round for dinner recently and Doris served it on paper plates. That would never have happened in my day. She took great pride in running the house well. She’d always be making calls, receiving calls, going out to breakfast, going out to lunch, taking the dogs for walks.
‘I love Doris and she had such an active life. But now she has a nurse on the property and living there because she’s in her nineties now her health isn’t what it used to be.’
The biggest female box office star in Hollywood history, Doris managed to remove herself from public life apart from the odd fleeting sighting at the grocery store or village fete.
After she retired, she devoted herself to her beloved dogs and animal charities – and was last pictured in public in 2008.
Memories: Doris Day looks pensive in a photo taken by her former assistant Sydney Wood. He recalled his time with the star - and how despite being a recluse, she still had visits from Sir Paul McCartney and phone calls from President Ronald Reagan
At her happiest: After leaving Hollywood in 1968 for an 11-acre estate in Carmel, Doris Day devoted herself to her beloved pets and became an ardent animal campaigner
Blue eyes: Despite being far from her Hollywood heyday, Doris Day still maintained the sparkle in her eyes, in pictures taken by former assistant Sydney Wood
Loved: Doris Day and her beloved son Terry Melcher, who died from cancer in 2004 aged 62. The pair are pictured in an old Ford on Doris's driveway
But far from the pampered lifestyle that four-times married Doris could have afforded – or expected – Sydney said on a typical day: ‘She’d come down in her dressing gown and go into the kitchen. She’d make a ham sandwich or cereal, coffee or hot chocolate, depending on her mood, then she’d feed the animals little biscuits and prepare their main breakfast meal.
He even revealed she has a washing machine in her bedroom, adding: ‘She always said she was best ironer of clothes. If you gave her a broom, you couldn’t take it from her, she loved sweeping; she’d take it off me if I was outside with it.’
And when discussing her hit movies, Doris – ever a perfectionist - would always have the same refrain ‘I could have done it better.’
'A friend of mine went round for dinner recently and Doris served it on paper plates. That would never have happened in my day. She took great pride in running the house well'
Sydney had two stints in Carmel - from 1979 to 1992 then a further six years in 2000.
‘It wasn’t about the money when working with Doris,’ he said: ‘I was earning about seven dollars an hour when I first started, which wasn’t much but I never had any keep, everything was paid for. I never knew what a bill was like until I quit working for her. We were best of friends.’
Doris made 39 films and recorded 29 albums and throughout her career, she worked alongside stars from Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra to Carey Grant and Clark Gable.
However, Sydney, who now lives in Maine, New England, said that she’s hidden away most of the mementos of her previous life, saying: ‘‘There was literally hundreds of memorabilia wrapped in tissue—gold discs, billboard chart awards, magazine covers, and they were all kept in boxes in the spare room. She’s not the type of person that has to show what she’s done in life.’
As she aged, Doris was still determined to maintain her independence, Sydney added: ‘She’d do the cooking, fetching and carrying.’
Last picture: Doris Day was last pictured out in public in July 2008, while shopping with a friend near her estate in Carmel, California
Animal lover: Doris Day is happiest when she's with her beloved pets, according to her former caretaker Sydney Wood
Aged: Doris Day devoted herself to her animals, but Sydney Wood says: 'I love Doris and she had such an active life. But now she has a nurse on the property and living there because she's in her nineties now her health isn't what it used to be'
A smile: Doris Day beams as she takes her dogs for a walk along a California beach
With the exception of the occasional day trip to San Francisco or Monterey, Doris would spend most of her time ‘pottering around her house and Carmel’.
Sydney added: ‘She’d feed the dogs at 4.30, then go over to her bedroom and eat a snack and watch TV. She watched a lot of British TV on CBS and absolutely loved Judi Dench. She loved the comedy As Time Goes By, she always thought it was very well written.’ Bedtime was then 9pm.
But Doris thought Sydney was joking when former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney rang out of the blue, as he recalled: ‘She said: “The Beatles? Go away, it’s someone pulling my leg’.
‘She then spoke to him for 90 minutes and got off the phone and said ‘he wants to come to the house. He wants to see the dogs and liked one of my films and wanted to talk about my career’.
Sir Paul and his ex-wife Heather Mills came to Carmel and brought Doris a pot plant and Girl Scout Cookies and stayed for five hours as Sydney said: ‘Paul asked me to take a picture of the three of them. They hugged and said goodbye, what they talked about I have no idea, but I’m sure it would be about her career. He loved the property and what she’d done there. He still calls her now.’
Although she had a love of food – Doris maintained a Hollywood diet, as Sydney said: ‘She never really ate that much, but she’d always work off what she ate. She never put on weight; she was the same as she was when she was in her heyday.
America's Sweetheart: Doris Day in the film Love Me or Leave Me, in which she starred alongside James Cagney in 1955 (left) and in 1948 on the right after being named 'Sweet Note of Music' by the National Music Trades Association
Box office hit: Doris Day starred alongside long-time friend Rock Hudson in the 1959 movie Pillow Talk
Famous: Doris Day starred in a number of iconic movies, including the 1953 musical Calamity Jane, with co-star Howard Keel
Doting: Doris Day in an unseen picture with her grandson Ryan Melcher, the son of her only child Terry and his wife Terese. Ryan is now a realtor in Carmel
‘She never stopped keeping busy, even when she was retired, she just kept on the move all the time.’
And while Doris was blessed with the luxuries of her successful career, her love and family life has been blighted with tragedy.
She was left heartbroken when her only son, producer and songwriter Terry Melcher, known for his work with the Beach Boys and the Byrds, died in 2004 at the age of 62 after a long battle with cancer. Her grandson Ryan, Terry's only child, now works as a realtor in Carmel - but refuses to discuss his famous grandmother.
Terry had re-married by the time Sydney returned to work for Doris in 2000 and even though he had moved to Santa Monica he called his mother every day.
Photos of Terry are seen around the house – and in a glass cabinet and Sydney said: ‘I’m sure in private moments when he passed away, Doris would have looked at those photos a lot. Terry was all she had. They were more than mother and son. They would walk all around the estate, walking and talking.
‘He would take her everywhere if she had appointments, dinners or functions, he would always escort her, keep his eye on her, as Doris didn’t have a partner. They were more like brother and sister.
Heartbroken: Doris Day was left devastated by the death of her only son Terry Melcher from cancer in 2004 aged 62. Terry is seen here in December 1969 at the Los Angeles County grand jury probe into the Sharon Tate murder case
Out of the spotlight: Doris Day with her pets. Her former caretaker Sydney Wood revealed all her mementos of her Hollywood career were hidden away
‘But Doris was never lonely, she always had lots of people to call upon, and I think that’s why she also liked her own company. She never had a problem being on her own.'
Despite her low-key existence, Doris still had her fair share of famous friends and had calls from Ronald Reagan, co-star Rock Hudson and Ginger Rogers.
Sydney said :’Ronald Reagan called when he was president. He’d said in the press that he’d taken one of his dogs to his ranch in Santa Barbara, as it was too troublesome to stay at the White House. Doris responded in an article in Parade magazine and said that she hoped the dog was now being taken care of. So Ronald called her and said the dog was fine, she didn’t need to worry.
Retired: Doris Day quit Hollywood in 1968 and never made a movie again. She's seen her with a pet Basset Hound during a Kraft Margarine shoot at her home
Friends: An unseen photo of Doris Day and actor Cleveland Amory. The pair worked together on setting up animal shelters
A star is born: Doris Day on the set of her 1957 movie The Pajama Game (left) and pictured in the movie, Lover Come Back in 1961, on the right
‘She loved Ronald, the pair were dating when they were making movies together in the early 50s. Even then, she said he was always talking politics. If she would have played her cards right, Doris could have become the First Lady.
‘She thought the world of Ronald, she thought he was a great president. She’s a strong Republican.'
Sydney left Doris's employ in 1996 and moved to Florida, previously stating they were both getting on each other‘s nerves.
But, in 1998, Day’s son, Terry Melcher, invited him back for a visit - and then offered. Sydney returned in 2000 for six years.
Doris celebrated her 91st birthday on April 3, and Sydney remembered joking about her ageless vitality. He recalled: ‘I always said to her: “You’re going to live forever, you’ll outlive everyone.” And she’d just laugh and tell me to stop being silly.’