Who were the movie stars Japanese flocked to see in 1964? I came upon the August and November 1964 copies of “Eiga no Tomo” (Friends of Film), a magazine devoted to the pictures and stories of the world’s most popular movie stars. Based on those magazines, here are the men who sent Japanese women’s hearts a flutter.
Alain Delon: French sex symbol, Delon, had six films released in 1964, including the film, “Les Félins” (also known as “The Love Cage”). Just released, Delon starred with Jane Fonda. He also happened to visit Japan, and went on a photo shoot at the Komazawa Olympic Park.
Steve McQueen: Conversely, McQueen had no films released in 1964. And yet, Eiga no Tomo had a lot of love for Steve McQueen. In addition to promoting a film to be released in 1965, “Baby the Rain Must Fall” (known as “The Travelling Lady” in Japan), in which he co-starred with Lee Remick, he was featured in a photo spread with President Lyndon Johnson’s daughter, Lucy Johnson (during the 1964 presidential campaign, I presume).
George Chakiris: Winning an Academy Award for his supporting role as Bernado in the 1961 box-office hit, West Side Story, George Chakiris was a legitimate Hollywood star. Of the three movies of 1964 he appeared in, one was a movie filmed in Japan called “Ashiya Kara no Hiko” (“Flight from Ashiya”)
Elvis Presley: Elvis in 1964 was not only the biggest solo act in the world, he was one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. In addition to Roustabout, which Eiga no Tomo was promoting in November, Presley was starring in these 1964 films: The Age of Violence, Viva Las Vega, Kissin’ Cousins.
Sean Connery: For many, Sean Connery is the best Bond, and in 1964, one of the best Bond films ever – Goldfinger – was released. In addition to his third Bond film, Connery starred in two other films in 1964 – Marnie and Woman of Straw.