It’s always exciting to look at throw-back pictures of your friends and family, but what about when it comes to our favorite celebrities? These flashback pictures of our generation’s superstar celebrities walking down their very first red carpet will have you dropping your jaws at how much they’ve changed ever since!
Whether it was a classic film star like Audrey Hepburn, the bold and iconic Jack Nicholson, or the young Princess of Pop Britney Spears, you won’t just be blown away by how these treasured superstars looked on their first red carpet, but their wardrobe choice and attire are just as shocking!
Take a look.
1948: Elizabeth Taylor
The iconic and beautiful actress, Elizabeth Taylor, started her career out in the early ‘40s with 1942’s There’s One Born Every Minute, 1943’s Lassie Come Home, and 1944’s National Velvet.
In 1948, she walked her first red carpet since her earlier films were released during World War II, and there weren’t any movie premieres.
She strutted down the red carpet for her significant role as Carole Pringle in the rom-com musical, A Date with Judy, wearing a beautiful gown alongside actor Robert Taylor.
1951: Rock Hudson
Another old-timey, classic Hollywood movie star is the one and only Rock Hudson. He’s better known for his works in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s like 1956’s Giant, 1959’s Pillow Talk, and 1961’s Come September.
It wasn’t until after he served as a navy airplane mechanic during WWII that Roy Harold Scherer, Jr., better known as Rock Hudson, got his foot in the door in show business. And shortly after, in 1951, he walked down his very first red carpet alongside Veronica Hurst.
1953: Audrey Hepburn
From acting to fashion, the astonishing Audrey Hepburn was known for all sorts of iconic things throughout her career. She started climbing her way up to fame in Hollywood back in the early ‘50s and graciously walked the red carpet for the first time during the premiere for her big break, Roman Holiday.
Considering that her unique fashion was always something that set her apart and drew everyone’s attention for decades to come, there’s no doubt she was dressed to impress in this beautiful gown.
1979: Meryl Streep
We know and love her the legendary Meryl Streep for her awe-inspiring performances and Oscar-worthy roles in films such as Sophie’s Choice (1982), Death Becomes Her (1992), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), and The Iron Lady (2011), to name a few.
And the marvelous Meryl Streep has been a success in showbiz for decades. Her first gigs were in the late ‘70s, and within a few years, she was walking down the red carpet in 1979 for the premiere of The Seduction of Joe Tynan, next to her lovely co-star, Alan Alda.
1981: Tom Cruise
No matter what age he is, you can always leave it up to Tom Cruise to look bright and flashy!
The talented Tom Cruise’s first film was 1981’s Endless Love, and it was that same year that he got his big break in the biz. His very first red-carpet premiere was that same year for the movie Taps—to which he showed up with the talented and beautiful Heather Locklear—and from there, he just kept climbing to the top of stardom.
From 1986’s Top Gun to 1988’s Cocktail, to 1996’s Jerry McGuire, to 2005’s War of the Worlds, Cruise never ceases to amaze us with his phenomenal performances.
1982: Drew Barrymore
It’s easy for us to forget that some of our favorite celebs started when they were so young, but who could forget the delightful 7-year-old Drew Barrymore’s performance in one of Steven Spielberg’s classic movies, 1982’s E.T.
We love how she’s rocking the sweet flower-child head dressing of pretty flowers and a superstar cape. Talk about adorable!
E.T. was just the start for this born-to-be-superstar, though. She starved in all sorts of comedy films alongside Adam Sandler like The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates and action films like Charlie’s Angels.
1985: Robert Downey, Jr.
He’s currently recognized for his phenomenal performance in the Iron Man and The Avengers superhero film series as the one and only joyful Tony Stark/Iron Man. Still, Robert Downey Jr. has been acting long before these hit series.
Funnily enough, his first appearance on the red carpet was actually for the 1985 TV Movie premiere of Going for the Gold: The Bill Johnson Story, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, his at-the-time girlfriend.
It looks like the tinted lens look is something that he’s been rockin’ for decades, too!
1986: Tom Hanks
Whether it’s for his unbelievable inspiring and tear-jerking voice acting or his on-screen acting in the countless hit movies he’s starred in, Tom Hanks is a cherished actor around the world.
This American treasure started acting when he was in his 20s in the early ‘80s but won our hearts over with his innocent and lovable role in the 1988 film Big.
His first red carpet walk was before his big break, though, for the 1986 film Nothing in Common. There’s no denying that he had some striking style back then, too—we love it!
1986: Angelina Jolie
The astonishing and awe-inspiring Angelina Jolie hasn’t just walked down the red carpet countless times throughout her career, but she’s won numerous awards, as well. Starring in Girl, Interrupted (1999), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), and many more, it’s clear that she was born to be a star regardless of her parents’ success.
Born to Oscar winner Jon Voight and actress and producer Marcheline Bertrand, Jolie was strutting down the red carpet ever since she was a little girl—and with impeccable style, grace, and beauty, might we add.
1987: Christian Bale
Nowadays known for his more serious roles like Patrick Bateman in American Psycho and the highly-admired Bruce Wayne/Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, Christian Bale started acting in his early teen years.
It’s incredible to see how adorable child actors grow up to be successful and memorable people today—just like the dashing and talented Christian Bale.
Look at him rocking that over-sized suit during the premiere of Steven Spielberg’s 1987 film Empire of the Sun! So sweet!
1988: George Clooney
For decades now, there’s no question George Clooney is a total heart-throb swoon-fest! It’s safe to say that he’s aged-well with his iconic salt-and-pepper look, but looking at this throwback picture of him in 1988—long before he landed his big break on the highly-admired and well-loved TV series, ER—alongside then-girlfriend Kelly Preston is melting our hearts.
From his thrilling role in the 1996 action horror film From Dusk to Dawn to the exciting action-packed Ocean’s series in the mid-2000s to 2014’s historical comedy film The Monuments Men, Clooney doesn’t cease to amaze us.
1988: Brad Pitt
You can tell that the legendary and remarkable Brad Pitt has always been a charmer from this picture alone.
While he didn’t get his big break as an awe-inspiring actor until the ‘90s, he still had his foot in the door of show business since the ‘80s.
Pitt walked his first red carpet for the Red Heat movie premiere back in 1988. Check out this laidback cool kid leather jacket and white shirt look that Pitt’s rockin’. Once a cool kid, always a cool kid.
1989: Halle Berry
The regal and remarkable Halle Berry strutted down the catwalk before making her way on the red carpet. In her late teen years, she won the Miss Teen All-American Pageant in 1985 and made it to the Miss USA Pageant’s finals a year later.
In 1989, she started her exciting acting career, though, including walking down the red carpet for the first time. How nostalgic!
Berry won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Monster’s Ball in 2001 and later became a superhero when she starred in Catwoman and as Storm in the X-Men movies.
1990: Will Smith
He’s better known for his diverse and dynamic range of hit movies in more recent years, but the wondrous Will Smith got his name in the game through his music.
One of his first red carpet walk of fame was at the 1988 MTV Video Music Awards with his crime partner, the dazzling DJ Jazzy Jeff.
After they dropped some hit songs, Will Smith kicked off his incredible acting career with the TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
No matter what decade it is, Smith has shown us that he’s got some great style in his attire.
1990: Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio started his acting career when he was just a lad. The 5-year-old got his first gig on TV and continued on this path until the ‘90s.
And while his inspiring performance in 1996’s Romeo & Juliet followed his first big break in 1997’s legendary Titanic, the first time he walked on the red carpet was back in 1990, when he was just a teenager.
And even as a growing boy, you can see that this kid will be a megastar one day.
1994: Natalie Portman
In the ‘90s, America was introduced to Natalie Portman, a sweet and charming actress from Israel’s other side.
At the young age of 12, she made her debut appearance in the 1994 film Leon the Professional, excitingly walking across the red carpet for the first time at the movie premiere. Look at how excited she looks—we love her cute 90s girl hair-do!
After the new millennium, she shot up to the top, starring in films like 2004’s Closer, 2005’s V for Vendetta, and 2010’s Black Swan.
1995: Salma Hayek
Since the start of her career, Salma Hayek has known to be a spicey and feisty superstar! It clearly shows; check out her beautiful bold red dress and matching lipstick that she rocked for her debut featured film Desperado in 1995.
Just a year later, she made a dazzling appearance in Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn, which led her to land leading roles until today in films like After the Sunset, Frida, Savages, The Roads Not Taken, and Wild Wild West.
1996: Kate Winslet
The glorious and elegant Kate Winslet made her debut in films in the mid-90s in her late teens and early 20s—landing her most famous role as Rose in 1997’s iconic historical romance drama, Titanic.
The wondrous Winslet started out working on television shows. Still, in 1996, she walked across her first red carpet for her big-time role in Sense and Sensibility—in which she starred alongside screenwriter Emma Thompson.
Beneath her lengthy, black jacket, she rocked a beautifully eccentric and gorgeously unique lacey-sheer jumpsuit.
1996: Charlize Theron
From action-thriller movies like Mad Max: Fury Road to more comedic roles like in the TV series Arrested Development, Charlize Theron has appeared in all sorts of works as an actress since the ‘90s.
But did you know that the amazing and beautiful actress was a professional dancer? The South-African born superstar started her career as a Ballerina in New York.
But in the mid-90s, she decided to expand her performance horizons and made her way to Hollywood, where she finally started acting. Theron’s first exciting walk down the red carpet was a couple of years later in 1996 at the 2 Days In The Valley premier when she was barely 21 years old. How precious!
1996: Dakota Johnson
Dakota Johnson was well-rounded with red carpets and how Hollywood works well before she landed the leading role in the film adaptation of one of the most popular romance novels of our time, the Fifty Shades series.
Daughter of Miami Vice and Django Unchained’s Don Johnson, Dakota and her siblings joined her father for the movie premiere of 1996’s Tin Cup.
There’s no doubt that she’s grown up a lot since then, but look at how adorable she looks with her cute purple floral print dress!
1997: Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson has one of the most iconic and legendary actresses of our time and has repeatedly proven just how dynamic a superstar is on screen. From her performance in 1998’s The Horse Whisperer to 2003’s Lost in Translation, 2008’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, 2014’s Lucy, and of course, The Avengers series, the list goes on!
The saucy and feisty Scarlett’s dreams of becoming a big-time actress started when she was a little girl, and the first time she strutted along the red carpet when she was barely a teen at the Independent Spirit Awards 1997.
1997: Ben Affleck & Matt Damon
Both Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s careers started when they appeared in small roles in films and TV shows, but it was when the two childhood friends collaborated that the world indeed was caught in their magic. In 1997, they co-wrote and starred in Good Will Hunting, and it was the premiere of this film that saw their first red carpet appearance.
Since then, both actors became mega start in their own right: Ben Affleck went on to steal our hearts in films like Armageddon (1998) and Pearl Harbor (2001) and started an award-winning career as a director with films such as Gone Baby Gone (2007) and Argo (2012). Matt Damon starred in the Bourne franchise (2002–2016), the Ocean’s trilogy (2001–2007), and The Martian (2015), among many others.
1997: Rachel Weisz
The remarkable Rachel Weisz was born across the pond in London, England, and started acting on TV in the early ‘90s. However, it wasn’t until 1997 that she got to walk across the red carpet for the first time for the premiere of the drama romance mystery film, Swept from the Sea. We love her classic, sleek, and timeless, beautiful black dress!
The wondrous Weisz was later featured in all sorts of films like action-adventure The Mummy series, 2003’s Runaway Jury, 2015’s The Lobster, and 2017’s The Favorite.
1998: Britney Spears
While she did end up acting in a couple of movies and is known for her industry-breaking music videos, the red carpet isn’t only reserved for all-star actors, of course.
The one and only Britney Spears, a.k.a. the Princess of Pop, rose to stardom after her hit single “Baby One More Time” was released and dominated pop music’s new craze ‘90s and changing the music scene for years to come.
Just look at how excited she looks, walking down the red carpet in 1998 as a young teen.
1999: Amy Adams
The astonishing Amy Adams has shown the world that she can act in all sorts of films and TV shows. From 2007’s half-live action half-animated family comedy Enchanted to 2013’s crime drama American Hustle, she’s starred in all kinds of diverse films and has worked her way to the top.
However, her first appearance in show business back in 1999’s hilarious romance thriller Drop Dead Gorgeous, when she excitingly first walked down the red carpet for the first time!
And she didn’t walk that red carpet alone. Here she’s seen alongside co-stars Mindy Sterling, Brittany Murphy, Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards, and Shannon Nelson Newline.
1999: Ashton Kutcher
You wouldn’t think that wearing jeans would be appropriate attire for the red carpet, right? But if there’s anything that we’ve learned from his class-clown character on That 70s Show and his iconic prank show Punk’d, it’s that Ashton Kutcher isn’t afraid to break the rules and do what he wants. Classic Kutcher!
The heart-throb and lovable actor has blown us away with his hilarious rom-com films over the years like 2003’s Just Married, 2005’s A Lot Like Love, and 2011’s No Strings Attached, but he’s taken things to a whole new level with his more recent work on the TV western drama series The Ranch.
1999: Jake Gyllenhaal
With a father for a director and a mother for a producer/screenwriter, there’s no doubt that Jake Gyllenhaal has acted in his blood and was born to be in show business.
He started as a child actor when he was a pre-teen and worked his way up to the top as an adult with his charming demeanor and natural acting talents.
Funnily enough, his first walk down the red carpet was actually for a movie that he didn’t appear in—1999’s Cruel Intentions.
1999: Jennifer Garner
She blew us away with her aggressive role in 2003’s Daredevil, melted our hearts with her incredible lead role in 2004’s 13 Going on 30, and got us even more excited when she made an appearance in 2007’s Juno. But it was back in the ‘90s where the gracious Jennifer Garner rose to fame.
Garner started out acting in TV movies and shows before making it to the big film screen back in the mid-1990s, but her first walk down the red carpet was at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in 1999.
1999: Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway won over our hearts worldwide with her fantastic performance as Mia in The Princess Diaries, starring Julie Andrews in 2001. From starring in movies like 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada to 2012’s Les Misérables, and more recently 2018’s Ocean’s 8, there’s no doubt that Hathaway has come a long way since her big break at the beginning of the millennium.
With that said, though, it’s safe to say that fashion trends have come a long way since the ‘90s as well! Check out Hathaway’s first walk down the red carpet in 1999, for a FOX TV party alongside Erik Christian Olsen. Who could forget how choker necklaces were all the rage back in the ‘90s?
2000: Kiley and Kendall Jenner
We all know that the Kardashian-Jenner kids are each on their path and famous for their reasons nowadays as adults, but far before their TV personality careers and hit reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians came along, they were all strutting across the red carpet along with their parents.
Talk about an adorable nostalgic flashback of the young Jenner sisters’ first red carpet together for The Emperor’s New Groove movie premiere back in 2000! How cute is this picture of little Kendall and Kylie in their matching velvet dresses?
2001: Emma Watson
As one of the most beloved series around the world, we fell in love with Emma Watson as we watched her grow from her pre-teen years to the wonderful woman she’s bloomed into today.
Not only has she grown up and matured since her decade acting in the Harry Potter series as the sweet smarty-pants Hermione Granger, but she’s also landed more intense roles in the movie world ever since.
From playing a scandalous American teenager in 2013 in The Bling Ring to the gracious Belle in Disney’s 2017 live-action film of Beauty & the Beast, there’s no doubt that the young and adorable Watson walking down the red carpet for the first time at the premiere of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 2001 would be so proud of how far she’s come today.
2001: Bradley Cooper
With those long, bleached locks of his, Bradley Cooper started out working in TV before making his way to the big screen. And while many of us recall him rising to the top with his hilarious and impressive performance in 2009’s The Hangover, his big break was back in 2001 with his appearance in the TV show Alias.
And it was that same year that Cooper made his way across the red carpet for the first time, at an ABC upfront party.
2001: Kerry Washington
The phenomenal and incredibly talented Kerry Washington has been around acting in all sorts of films for three decades. While she’s become a lot more popular since landing her lead performance in the TV series Scandal from 2012-2018, her very first walk across the red carpet was over a decade before that.
Film fans fell in love with her early in her career after her performance in 2001’s drama dance film Save the Last Dance, which was the same year that the young 24-year-old actress attended the Teen Choice Awards for her first walk along the red carpet.
2001: Dakota Fanning
We think it’s safe to say that one of everyone’s most cherished child actor in recent times is the one and only dear Dakota Fanning. 2001 was a big year for the little 7-year-old girl, considering that she made an appearance in all sorts of TV series like Malcolm in the Middle and Family Guy and starred in the inspiring and tear-jerking drama film, I Am Sam.
For the big premiere of I Am Sam, the adorable little Dakota got to strut down the red carpet for the first time in her cute, gold dress!
2005: Blake Lively
Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively is one of our favorite stars on the red carpet, no matter what she’s wearing, and she’s been a shining star since her very first appearance.
The lovely Lively won America’s heart over in her incredible performance in the film adaptation of The Traveling Pants’ Sisterhood starring America Ferrara, Amber Tamblyn, and Alexis Bledel back in 2005, and here she seen at the Kids’ Choice Awards in the same year.
2006: Taylor Swift
At the start of the new millennium, a sweet teenage girl won over our hearts with her angelic voice, heart-warming lyrics, and country twang guitar playing. While she’s transitioned her music to a more pop-oriented feel, Taylor Swift is one of the more iconic female country singers.
Her career in the music industry erupted as soon as she dropped her first album, Taylor Swift, in 2006. That same year, she attended the CMT Music Awards, her first walk on the red carpet. How exciting!
2006: Emma Stone
Another fierce femme that won our hearts over in the mid-2000s was the glorious and kind-hearted Emma Stone.
She started her acting career in television but quickly transitioned to films as soon as she caught her big break in Superbad’s hilarious 2007 comedy.
However, at the Replay Brand Party in 2006, the illustrious Emma Stone walked on her first red carpet. Funnily enough, she was also one of the celebrities to rock a pair of blue jeans on the red carpet!
2007: Jennifer Lawrence
Since the mid-2000s, Jennifer Lawrence has made appearances on the big Hollywood screen. From her first roles. And while her big break wasn’t until her role as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games series (2012-2015) and the X-Men series as Mystique (2011-2019), she strutted down the red carpet at the 15th Annual Movie guide Faith and Values Awards back in 2007.
And what can we say? This talented, Oscar-winning lady was also making great fashion choices right from the start.