15 Vintage Celebrity Passports

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einstein-website.de

The jet-setting celebrity lifestyle seems so glamorous: wake up in New York one morning, fly out to London that night, and sign autographs all along the way. It’s a nice fantasy, but being famous doesn’t get you out of having to fly the old-fashioned way, and even award-winning actors, authors, and athletes have to make sure they have all their documents in line before showing up to board their flight. The way those documents look has changed over the years, so this look at fifteen vintage passports featuring famous faces is a little bit of history and celebrity gossip all in one.

1. Marilyn Monroe

Passport Party Project

Dated February 8, 1954, this particular legal document of Marilyn Monroe’s serves as a reminder that she was once—very briefly—married to New York Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio. It also notes the color of her hair as blonde and her eyes as blue, not that anyone needed to be reminded of that.

2. Muhammad Ali

Passport Party Project

Ali has surprisingly dainty handwriting for a boxing powerhouse. However, this World Heavyweight Champion proves that penmanship matters. 

3. Ernest Hemingway

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Ernest Hemingway Collection

Notable American expatriate Ernest Hemingway was a seasoned traveler from about the 1920s onward. In A Moveable Feast, his memoir of his life in Paris with other illustrious artists like James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and Pablo Picasso, he provides some succinct travel advice after learning his lesson on a long, frustrating car ride with a tipsy F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Never go on trips with someone you do not love.”

4. Janis Joplin

JanisJoplin.net

The Queen of Rock and Roll is smiling in her passport photo, just less than seven months before she died of a heroin overdose in a Hollywood hotel room. Tragically, she never lived to need her passport renewed in 1974.

5. Ella Fitzgerald

Smithsonian Institution, Ella Fitzgerald Collection

The stamps on this well-traveled blues singer’s passport document her trips to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Yugoslavia, which makes you wonder even more why Hungary didn’t want to let her in.

6. F. Scott Fitzgerald

hemingwaysparis.blogspot.com

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s passport is a three-for-one: In the older tradition of American travel documents, a passport issued to a man would be eligible to cover his wife and children as well, so pictured here are Fitzgerald, his wife Zelda, and their only child, “Scottie,” who would later become a writer and journalist who traveled the country of her own accord.

7. Virginia Woolf

Flavorwire

Unlike Zelda Fitzgerald, who appears to have traveled to Paris and back on her husband’s documents, Virginia Woolf seems to have insisted on a passport of her own.

8. Walt Disney

Zap 2 It blog

Walt Disney’s passport features the signature—here inscribed over a photo of the mustachioed animator whose imagination we have to thank for Mickey Mouse and all his friends—that inspired his iconic company logo.

9. Audrey Hepburn

Zap 2 It blog

The Breakfast at Tiffany’s star appears to be wearing a white blouse, which disappears against the white background of her passport photo—maybe she should have gone with the little black dress that day instead.

10.  Johnny Cash

Zap 2 It blog

The “Ring of Fire” singer looks like he means business.

11. James Joyce

The Telegraph

James Joyce’s passport, which was issued to him by the British Consulate in Zurich after he fled Italy upon its entry into World War I, was valid from 1915 and covers almost the entire 7-year period he spent writing his epic Ulysses. It also claims his long-term partner Nora, featured in a photo with their children, as his “wife”—a sly untruth, as the two weren’t officially married until 1931, long after Joyce was granted his passport.

12. Albert Einstein

einstein-website.de

The theoretical physicist’s hair is fairly well tamed for his Swiss passport photo, but other photographs of him prove that wasn’t always the case.

13. David Bowie

Zap 2 It blog

Speaking of tamed, does anyone else wonder how hard it was to get glam rocker David Bowie to look so clean and presentable for his passport photo?

14. John Lennon

Zap 2 It blog

You might say that John Lennon’s certified United States immigration document was his ticket to ride.

15. Beyoncé

Zap 2 It blog

While not technically vintage, Beyoncé’s passport nonetheless gives us a glimpse at the singing superstar before her Super Bowl headliner days. These days, Queen Bey's passport seems capable of allowing her and fellow famous husband Jay-Z entry into Cuba despite the embargo on tourism: royal treatment indeed.

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April 9, 2013 - 3:20pm
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