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When they were teens: The ups and downs of celebrities in their adolescence

Goran Blazeski

Just like the rest of us, famous people faced all sorts of social and emotional challenges as teenagers.

For many of them, it was this period that shaped the rest of their lives and formed their characters.

From Ingrid Bergman and Jimi Hendrix to Mark Twain and Sigmund Freud, here are some interesting photos of celebrities when they were teens and the stories behind the challenges they faced.

Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman at 14.

Ingrid Bergman at 14.

Best known for her role as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca, Ingrid Bergman was one of the most captivating figures of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Born on Aug. 29, 1915, in Stockholm, Sweden, Bergman was the only child of Justus Samuel Bergman and Friedel Adler Bergman. Her mother died when Ingrid was only three years old and her father took on the responsibility of raising their child.

Justus Bergman ran a camera shop and would often photograph the little girl, inspiring her to pursue an acting career. Still, it was a tough childhood for young Bergman and her teenage years became even tougher when her father unexpectedly died. She spent some time living with her unmarried aunt before she moved in with the family of an uncle who couldn’t accept the fact that Ingrid wanted to become an actress.

Despite the fact that her uncle disapproved of her decision to become an actress, Bergman auditioned successfully and attended the Royal Dramatic School. She appeared in numerous plays and established herself as a talented student.

It didn’t take long before Bergman became one of Sweden’s most popular actresses and started appearing in movies. The young actress caught the attention of Hollywood and appeared in Intermezzo with Leslie Howard. Within a short time, Bergman won roles in numerous Hollywood movies and went on to become one of the most beloved figures of the Golden Age.

Janis Joplin

Joplin as a senior in high school, 1960.

Joplin as a senior in high school, 1960.

There is no doubt that Janis Joplin is one of the biggest rock stars of the 20th century. Known for her unique singing style, Joplin is still considered to be one the most influential artists and served as an inspiration to many other female rock singers.

Born on Jan. 19, 1943, in Port Arthur, Texas, to Seth Ward Joplin and Dorothy Bonita East, Janis Lyn Joplin demonstrated a love for music as a child. Her parents were there to support their little girl and encouraged her to sing in the church choir.

The most turbulent period of her life followed when puberty kicked in and Janis became overweight. In high school, she was often humiliated by her fellow students and found herself rejected. However, her life changed after she became friends with some guys who shared her interests, including her love of music and singing.

By 1962 Joplin had started performing in local bars and recorded her first song., “What Good Can Drinkin’ Do,” but her career didn’t take off until she moved to San Francisco and joined the band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Their first two albums were massive hits, but there were some misunderstandings and she parted ways with the band to pursue a solo career.

In 1969, she released her first solo album, titled I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, which received mixed reviews. Joplin’s second album Pearl, which was released in 1971, was a huge success. It was released posthumously after Joplin joined the 27 Club, dying of an accidental overdose at the age of 27.

Jimi Hendrix

Hendrix in the U.S. Army, 1961.

Hendrix in the U.S. Army, 1961.

Another member of the 27 Club and one of the most influential musicians of the last century is Jimi Hendrix. He is widely recognized as one of the best electric guitarists in the history of popular music.

Johnny Allen Hendrix, better known as Jimi, was born on Nov. 27, 1942, in Seattle. Childhood was not easy for Hendrix, as his parents’ marriage was quite turbulent and his mother left the family when he was young.

Like Joplin, he showed interest in blues and rock & roll early in his life and was encouraged by his father to learn how to play the guitar. He got his first acoustic guitar at the age of 16 and the next year his father bought him an electric guitar.

In 1961, Hendrix enlisted in the United States Army as a paratrooper and served until 1962. After leaving the Army, Hendrix focused on his musical career and began performing in a club in Nashville, where he soon become a local star.

Over the next few years, he worked as a session musician with several different bands until he caught the attention of Chas Chandler, a member of the rock group the Animals, who offered to be his manager. Chandler was responsible for bringing him to London, where Hendrix formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience and soon became one of the greatest rock stars of the 20th century.

Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens, age 15.

Samuel Clemens, age 15.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, more commonly known by his pen name Mark Twain, is the man behind the classic American novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Born on Nov. 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri, to John and Jane Clemens, Twain experienced a difficult childhood after the death of his father, leaving school after the fifth grade so he could become a printer’s apprentice.

Twain was about 16 years old when he started working as a typesetter, often contributing articles and editing at the Hannibal Western Union, a newspaper owned by his brother Orion. About two years later, he left the paper and started working as a printer in New York City, where he educated himself in public libraries, spending many nights reading books.

He worked several different jobs in the following period, but after his humorous story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” was published and brought him national attention, he focused on writing and went on to author several novels.

Marie Curie

Marie, 16 years old.

Marie, 16 years old.

Marie Curie, the researcher who coined the term “radioactivity” and discovered the elements radium and polonium, is definitely among the most famous scientists of all time. She will always be remembered as the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.

Born Maria Sklodowska on Nov. 7, 1867, in Warsaw to Wladislaw and Bronislava Boguska Sklodowska, Marie Curie showed interest in math and physics from an early age, most likely inspired by her father, who worked as a math and physics instructor.

She was a very bright child and excelled at school, but tragedy struck her family when she was 10 years old and Curie lost her mother to tuberculosis. It was a difficult time for the young genius. However, she graduated from high school as one of the best students and became a university student abroad.

She spent five years working as a tutor and a governess, hoping to earn enough money to go to Paris and enroll at the Sorbonne. Her dream became reality in 1891 when she arrived in France and enrolled as a student of physics at the prestigious school.

She struggled to make ends meet with the little money she had but didn’t give up. While in Paris, she met a man named Pierre Curie, whom she married in 1895. They went on to become one of the most famous scientific couples in history.

Iggy Pop

Osterberg as a high school senior, 1965.

Osterberg as a high school senior, 1965.

Many people refer him as “the Godfather of Punk” and there is a good reason why. Iggy Pop, the front man of the late-60s/early-70s band the Stooges, influenced generations of punk bands and became a true punk icon.

James Newell Osterberg, Jr., better known as Iggy Pop, was born on April 21, 1947, in Muskegon, Michigan, to Louella and James Newell Osterberg Sr. He demonstrated a love for rock & roll early in life and by the early 1960s he began playing drums and formed his first band.

In the years that followed, Pop was a drummer in various bands, but decided to leave the drums behind and became the frontman of a band called the Psychedelic Stooges. Inspired by bands such as the Velvet Underground and the Doors, the Psychedelic Stooges soon achieved cult status.

Woody Allen

Allen as a high school senior, 1953.

Allen as a high school senior, 1953.

Allen was born Allen Stewart Konigsberg on Dec. 1, 1935, in Brooklyn to a Jewish middle-class family. His childhood years were not particularly happy as his parents did not get along; he spent many hours alone in his room practicing magic tricks.

After graduating from high school, Allen enrolled at New York University and later in the night school at City College, but he dropped out so he could start a career as a comedy writer. He made his living by selling jokes to the New York newspapers and by 1960 he began performing in nightclubs.

Allen slowly lost interest in standup, and in 1965 he made his film debut titled What’s New, Pussycat? The movie was a success and he soon followed it with What’s Up, Tiger Lily? and Take the Money and Run.

Jim Morrison

Morrison and his father on the bridge of the USS Bon Homme Richard in January 1964.

Morrison and his father on the bridge of the USS Bon Homme Richard in January 1964.

He was the Lizard King and he could do anything. The lead singer of the Doors, Jim Morrison is another member of the 27 Club and a legend of rock music like no other.

James Douglas Morrison was born on Dec. 8, 1943, in Melbourne, Florida, to Clara Clarke Morrison and George Stephen Morrison. He underwent a traumatic experience at the age of 4 when he witnessed a car accident in the New Mexico desert. A truck full of Native American workers overturned, leaving many of them dead or injured at the side of the road. He recounted the incident many times later and throughout the years it became a central narrative in his life.

He was a very bright child and excelled at school in his early years, demonstrating a particular interest in reading, drawing, and writing. The Morrisons moved frequently as his father was a naval aviator, and Jim ended up attending George Washington High School in Alexandria, Virginia.

Growing up with an authority figure like his father transformed him into a rebel and shaped the rest of his life. Upon graduation, he attended Florida State University in Tallahassee but soon transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles to study film.

An event that would change his life and shape the history of rock music was meeting Ray Manzarek, an organist, with whom he made plans to form their own rock band. Guitarist Robbie Krieger and drummer John Densmore would later become part of their band, The Doors.

Sigmund Freud

Freud (aged 16) and his beloved mother, Amalia, in 1872.

Freud (aged 16) and his beloved mother, Amalia, in 1872.

There is no other scientist in the fields of psychology and psychiatry that was more influential than Sigmund Freud, the developer of psychoanalysis.

Sigismund Schlomo Freud was born on May 6, 1856, in Freiberg, in the Austrian Empire, to Jakob and Amalia Freud. However, he spent most of his childhood years in Vienna where he entered the Leopoldstädter Kommunal-Realgymnasium in 1865 and graduated in 1873 as one of its best students.

Freud entered the University of Vienna the same year and upon graduation in 1881, he started working at the Vienna General Hospital. He specialized in nervous and brain disorders and later set up a private practice. In the years that followed he become famous for his theories of the unconscious mind and after publishing several books on the field, he would be appointed to a professorship at the University of Vienna.

Freud developed the theories and techniques of psychoanalysis and his works would go on to revolutionize the concepts of the unconscious, cementing his place in history as “the father of psychoanalysis.”

Rita Hayworth

At age 12, Margarita Cansino was dancing professionally as her father’s partner in the Dancing Cansinos.

At age 12, Margarita Cansino was dancing professionally as her father’s partner in the Dancing Cansinos.

In the history of Hollywood, few actresses were as glamorous as Rita Hayworth. Known as the Love Goddess, she was not just one of the biggest movie stars, but also a sex symbol.

Hayworth was born Margarita Carmen Cansino on Oct. 17, 1918, in Brooklyn to Eduardo Cansino and Volga Hayworth. It is no wonder that Hayworth had great dancing talent, as both her parents were well-known dancers.

Read another story from us: Lucky Luciano started his own gang as a teenager and became the New York mafia’s Boss of Bosses

She attended dance classes at a very young age and was dancing professionally while other girls her age were in school. Hayworth never graduated from high school because of her father’s demands.  At one of her performances, she was spotted by a Fox Film Company producer, which launched her film career.

In 1935, Hayworth made her film debut with Under the Pampas Moon. She went on to star in a total of 61 films during a career that spanned nearly four decades.