PHOTOS Top Five ‘Seventeen’ magazine covers featuring stars before they were stars

First Seventeen magazine cover from 1944

Seventeen magazine is celebrating it’s 65th birthday this year and in honor of that momentous occasion put together a great gallery of covers from the last 65 years including the very first issue from 1944 (See above). (I’m not sure about the math here – perhaps there were two years the magazine was not in print?)

Anyway, while browsing through the gallery I was shocked numerous times by covers featuring future stars before they were stars and decided I would put together this list of the five best!

Before we get to the list though I thought I might kick things off with the first page from the first issue of Seventeen:

“Seventeen is your magazine, High School Girls of America — all yours! It is interested only in you — and in everything that concerns, excites, annoys, pleases, or perplexes you.

You’re going to have to run this show — so the sooner you start thinking about it, the better. In a world that is changing as quickly and profoundly as ours is, we hope to provide a clearinghouse for your ideas.

As a magazine, we shall discuss all the things you consider important — with plenty of help from you, please. Write us about anything or everything. Say you agree with Seventeen or disagree violently, say we’re tops, say we’re terrible, say anything you please — but say it!”

—Helen Valentine, Editor in Chief

• • •

1986 Seventeen magazine cover featuring actress Jennifer Connelly


This one is a little unfair because Jennifer Connelly was already an actress at the time, starring previously in the film Once Upon a Time in America and in Labyrinth the same year. But, she was primarily a model when she posed for this hardcore 1980s shot that features a Madonna-esque top-of-the-head ponytail, Duran Duran album cover geometric pink earrings and some Cleopatra-inspired neck bling that I don’t know any ’80s references for. (Did any of the Bangles gals wear something similar in their “Walk Like an Egyptian” video?) Another thing that helped Jennifer secure her spot in the top five? I’m in love with her. Hey, it’s my list!

• • •

Cameron Diaz on the July 1990 cover of Seventeen magazine


A 17-year-old model at the time, Cameron Diaz told the magazine in an interview, “I’ll probably model until I’m old and gray. Actually, my ultimate dream is to be a zoologist. Maybe go on safari in Africa and study lions.” Surprise! Not only did she turn out to be one of the biggest actresses in Hollywood, but judging by the fact that she looks just about the same 21 years later, she may never have to worry about being “old and gray” either! Or at least it suggests she still has time to become a zoologist.

• • •

Actress Angie Harmon on the cover of Seventeen magazine from October 1987


In the same year that the magazine changed its tagline from “Young America’s Favorite Magazine” to “It’s Where the Girl Ends and the Woman Begins” a 17-year-old Angie Harmon won its cover model contest. This raspy-throated brunette would go on to star in Baywatch Nights before becoming my vote for sexiest primetime star as Assistant District Attorney Abbie Carmichael on Law and Order. (I still can’t look at Sam Waterston without an irrational feeling of jealousy.)

• • •

Seventeen magazine cover with Cybill Shepherd from December 1968


Before going on to become a famous actress, 18-year-old Cybill Shepherd took home the honor of Seventeen‘s model of the year in 1968! (Is it just me or does the teenage Cybill look a lot like Alicia Silverstone?)

• • •

Whitney Houston on the cover of Seventeen magazine from November 1981


OK, how many of you out there knew Whitney Houston was a successful model before she began her singing career? I plead complete ignorance on that one! In case you needed some help, that’s Whitney there on the right at the ripe young age of 18. Her modeling buddy on the left is Diane Leich, who, as far as I know, hasn’t gone on to become one of the greatest singers of all time.

• • •

Congratulations to Seventeen and their continued success over the last 65 years! Be sure to to visit their site and scroll through the other covers that also include some great excerpts from over the years, including dating tips, dating tips and even some dating tips!

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