When you step out the door, you're playing a role. Whether you're a hippie, stock broker, police officer or biker, you dress the way the world expects you to dress, you act the way the world expects you to act. So you can imagine how much more intense this is for celebrities, whose very careers depend on managing a public image down to the molecule.
But even they can't keep the occasional image-shattering photo from leaking out to the public ...
14Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Pool Hustler
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who, when seeing this photo, immediately hear "Werewolves of London" in their heads, and those who do not. That is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago, showboating in a pool match with local civil rights leader Al Raby.
And no, this isn't one of those photo ops where a public figure poses with a prop to look like regular folk. King was a hell of a pool player -- he took up the game in college almost 20 years earlier, and in the early days of the civil rights movement allegedly won the respect of local gang members by playing (and presumably beating) them at it.
Which is amazing, considering that a man who would attempt a shot like that in the middle of a match is probably something of a sore winner. "Looks like you lose again, Johnny Switchblade! Now pardon me while I do a victory lap around your pool hall while riding my cue like a horse."
13A Young, Cool Stephen Hawking, Standing With His Bride
On one hand, none of us probably thought that Stephen Hawking was born in a wheelchair. But as a pop culture figure, his wheelchair and electronic voice are his thing, and against all logic you find it hard to think of him any other way, like how you can't think of Hulk Hogan without the tan and mustache.
That photo up there is from 1965, when a 23-year-old Hawking married Jane Wilde. That was after his diagnosis with ALS, the disease that would put him in the wheelchair (note the cane). But just a couple of years before that, he had no idea he had a degenerative disease -- he was a healthy, active, drinking college student at Oxford:
Via Stephen Hawking: Master of the Universe
Seconds after this picture was snapped, his pants hit the floor.
Then, one day he noticed he was having trouble keeping his hands steady, and once fell down a flight of stairs. Hey, best to go get it checked out, right? Could be, like, an ear infection or something throwing off his balance. That's when the 21-year-old (now studying for his Ph.D. at Cambridge) was told he'd be bedridden soon, and dead within a few years, a prognosis that is true for almost every ALS patient. Hawking, somehow, is still alive 50 years after his diagnosis.