The 1960s were a time of massive social change in America. Thanks to the rise of feminism, women were taking on more active roles in their homes and workplaces.
As the formality and traditional values of the 1950s were challenged by artists, activists, thinkers and writers, Hollywood sirens like Marilyn Monroe and dainty actresses like Grace Kelly fell out of favor on the big screen, replaced by more overtly fierce and assertive stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand, Joanne Woodward and Anne Bancroft.
Elizabeth Taylor and Anne Bancroft showed mass audiences that even the most feminine women could still have strong sexual drives, while Joanne Woodward and Barbra Streisand challenged beauty standards and portrayed some of the most psychologically complex characters ever captured on film.
Hollywood ideals of masculinity changed as well. In the previous decade, macho hunks like Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas dominated in blockbuster epics and black-and-white dramas. Now, new and more realistic films about growing social unrest demanded more conflicted and intellectual stars, giving actors like Elliott Gould, Richard Burton, Paul Newman and Mel Brooks the opportunity to shine.
Eventually, these stars paired off, forming new Hollywood power couples: Elliot Gould and Barbra Streisand, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks and Richard Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor. For many Americans, they represented more modern models for how relationships could be.
Which classic 1960s couple are you and your partner like? Find out by taking this quiz!