Long Island celebrity yearbook pictures: The '40s and '50s
If you finished high school when big band and doo-wop ruled and folks still know who you are, you've made your mark. Check out these yearbook photos of famous Long Islanders who graduated in the '40s and '50s before making their mark on the gridiron, the Olympic stage and both sides of the camera.
It's no surprise that this 1953 Manhasset Secondary School graduate was voted "best athlete" by his classmates. The sports section of his senior yearbook chronicles his many accomplishments on the lacrosse and football fields and the track. During his senior year, he played a key role in the football team going undefeated for the first time in 29 years, and he earned the coveted Tom Thorp Memorial Award.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown set multiple records during the nine years he played running back for the Cleveland Browns before retiring in 1966. After hanging up his cleats, he appeared in several films and TV shows, and also earned acclaim for his activism.
This 1954 Sewanhaka High School graduate played freshman football before focusing on varsity track. It turned out to be a good decision.
Al Oerter earned iconic Olympic status by winning the gold mdeal in the discus at four consecutive Summer Olympic Games (1956, 1960, 1964, 1968). At the '68 Games in Mexico City, his throw of 212 feet, 1½ inches broke his own Olympic mark of 200 feet, 1½ inches. Oerter died in 2007 at age 71.
Before playing dad to a double dose of actress Hayley Mills, this actor went by his real name, Robert, and his nickname, "Snarl," while attending East Rockaway High School. This 1941 graduate ran track, played football, performed with the dramatic club and listed his profession as the "King of Boogie Woogie" in his high school yearbook.
Actor Brian Keith appeared in more than 100 films and TV series throughout his career, including "The Brian Keith Show." He's best known for his roles in Disney's 1961 version of "The Parent Trap" and the TV shows "Family Affair" and "Hardcastle and McCormick." Keith died in 1997 at the age of 75.
Nicknamed "Glimpy" at Bay Shore High School, this iconic politician played football and opted for a humorous quote in the 1947 yearbook: "And they say WOMEN are never at a loss for words!"
Harvey Milk became one of the first openly gay people to hold elected office. As a San Francisco supervisor, he led a groundbreaking effort for gay and lesbian rights. "If a bullet should enter my brain," Milk once said, "let that bullet destroy every closet door." He was assassinated by political rival Dan White in 1978.
While attending Manhasset Secondary School, this 1953 graduate went by the nickname "Big Ted," according to his senior yearbook. He was also quite the joiner, serving on the Colgate Student Congress, and the Junior Prom and Air Raid committees. He also participated in "Dramatics," worked on the school newspaper, and played lacrosse and football alongside future Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown.
The late Howard Bessell Jr. was known by his stage name, Ted Bessell, when he appeared on television and in movies throughout the '60s, '70s and '80s. He is best known for playing Marlo Thomas' love interest, Donald Hollinger, on "That Girl," which ran from 1966 to 1971. He was also a producer for "The Tracey Ullman Show." Bessell, shown here with Sandy Dennis while performing in the Broadway comedy "Same Time, Next Year," died in 1996 at the age of 61. (Sept. 1, 1976)
This 1956 Great Neck North High School graduate performed in his school's band for four years and was a member of the "Junior Players." He also attended the New York Military Academy.
Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola has three Oscars, including two for best picture for his 1979 Vietnam War movie, "Apocalypse Now," and "The Godfather: Part II." At least two scenes in Coppola's "Godfather" trilogy were shot on Long Island. At the 2010 Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Coppola with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.
This 1941 South Side High School graduate's basketball skills earned him a spot on the Dartmouth College hoops squad in New Hampshire. Little did he know he'd play in New York again.
Audley "Aud" Brindley, shown here at Dartmouth, went on to what could be called a unique NBA career with the New York Knicks. It spanned all of 12 games in the 1946-47 season, but in that brief time he managed to play in two jersey numbers (12 and 15).
While attending Levittown Memorial High School, this 1957 graduate was a member of the National Honor Society, chorus and a club called Spotlight. She also worked on the school's yearbook and served as vice president of her class during her junior year.
Ellie Greenwich, who died in 2009 at age 68, was an award-winning songwriter and singer whose legacy includes penning hits such as "Leader of the Pack," "Be My Baby," "I Can Hear the Music," and "Do Wah Diddy Diddy." She was also the vocal arranger and a backup singer on Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 anthem “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”