There are a number of posters that us 80s kids remember having on our teenage bedroom wall like it were yesterday, but we suspect that there’s one poster above all the others that will instantly transport you back to the days of your misspent youth.
The poster we’re referring to featured a gorgeous, shirtless, muscle-bound, jeans-wearing male model gently holding a newborn baby, whose infant eyes stare back up at him with an emotion that appears to be something in between fear and awe.
Even if you weren’t one of the millions of people who had this poster up on their bedroom wall, you can’t possibly have lived through the last four decades without seeing the famous image. But have you ever wondered what became of Adam Perry, the male model featured in the classic image? Did you know how many women Perry claims to have slept with since it made him famous? And what became of the baby he was holding so tenderly?
It was actually given the title L’Enfant (The Child), but the classic poster is usually referred to simply as Man and Baby.
It was originally released in 1987 and went on to sell a whopping 5 million copies, which unsurprisingly made it one of the best-selling posters of all time.
The photo in question was taken in 1986 by the photographer Spencer Rowell, who once revealed that the shoot was extremely basic, saying “to be honest, it was just another job of work. We spent a couple of hours in the studio getting things ready with the babies and make-up for Adam. We then spent about 20 minutes doing the pictures.”
Thankfully for Rowell, he had decided to take a 10 percent cut of the photo’s earnings rather than a lump sum, although he later built up massive debts, revealing that he had “put most of the money up my nose.”
Another sad story surrounding the poster was that of its art director Paul Rodriguez, who came up with the whole concept in the first place.
Rodriguez, who purchased a number of subsequent photos from photographer Spencer Rowell, became HIV positive and died from Aids in 1993.
L’Enfant was said to represent the ‘new man’, that being men who are still attractive but also have a sensitive side, and the idea has been copied multiple times in the decades that have followed.
But what became of Adam Perry, the male model whom the poster made famous, and what does he look like these days? And what about the small baby in the photo?
Well shockingly, in a 2004 documentary called L’Enfant, The Model, the Poster and 3,000 Women, Adam Perry made the claim that his newfound fame meant that he has slept with over 3,000 women.
“Girls would just come up to me asking to be 3001 or 3002 and so on,” Perry was quoted as saying. “I was sleeping with different girls every day of the week. Sometimes two or three a day, a few times two or more at a time.”
Perry also claims that he feels ripped off with regard to the photo, even though he has made a good amount of money selling stories to tabloid newspapers, and does still receive a payment every time the photo is reprinted onto a different format.
He was meant to have been paid £250 for the original shoot, but was only given £100 after he turned up with sunburn on his chest due to having fallen asleep on a sunbed the night before.
And then we come onto the baby. And we’re pleased to report that Stelios Havatzias, now in his mid-30s, went on to do very well for himself and became a lawyer!
So, even though Adam Perry appears to have failed to live up to the sensitive new man image he portrayed in the famous shot, we like to think that the poster conveys so much more than just the man and baby that feature in it, and we will always remember it being on our 1980s bedroom wall with a great deal of fondness.
Still feeling nostalgic for posters you had on your bedroom wall as a kid? Here are seven others you’re bound to recognise from your youth.
7. Kylie and Jason
Come on, who didn’t have a poster of either Kylie, Jason, or both, on their bedroom wall when they were growing up? We didn’t know it at the time, but they were actually a couple in real life, and not just on Neighbours and Top of the Pops!
And although the truth didn’t come out for many years, their romance ended when Kylie dumped Jason for legendary Australian rocker and INXS front-man Michael Hutchence. When once asked if he was a fan of Michael Hutchence, Jason replied: “a fan of Michael Hutchence? I wanted to be Michael Hutchence!”
6. The Lost Boys
There were many amazing 1980s movie posters we could have picked, but we just had to go with the one that accompanied the release of the 1987 classic that is The Lost Boys.
The Lost Boys was credited with bringing a more sexy and youthful appeal to the vampire genre inspiring subsequent films like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which was a film before being turned into a successful TV series), as well as much later offerings like the Twilight saga.
5. I Want to Believe
Made famous by Fox Mulder in the legendary TV series X-Files, the simple ‘I want to believe’ poster had us all looking up to the stars in search for extraterrestrial life.
Of course, X-Files creator Chris Carter flipped established gender stereotypes and made Mulder the believer and Scully the sceptic. In reality though, things are different, with David Duchovny being the non-believer and Gillian Anderson the open-minded one!
4. Tennis Girl
The Tennis Girl poster quickly became iconic, showing 18 year old Fiona Butler walking towards a tennis net with a racquet in one hand, and her other hand lifting her tennis dress to reveal that she is not wearing anything underneath!
This classic image was taken by Martin Elliott in 1976, and his subject Fiona Butler was his girlfriend at the time. It was taken at the University of Birmingham’s tennis courts, formally known as Edgbaston lawn tennis club.
3. Kurt Cobain
Some may have had Kylie, Jason, New Kids on the Block or Wham! on their bedroom walls, but others were waiting for someone to come along and really take their fancy. And for many of us that was the grunge rock group Nirvana, and especially their late lead singer Kurt Cobain.
Cobain’s death only increased his legacy, and we suspect that there are many people across the globe that still have his image on their bedroom wall.
2. Magic Eye
We all remember doing it years ago. Staring at an image of colorful patterns, moving it around, focussing and un-focussing our eyes. Some of us were rewarded with victory in the form of a 3D image, whilst others were left frustrated and jealous, knowing we didn’t have what it takes.
Magic Eye images have a horizontally repeating pattern which differs slightly with each repetition, therefore giving the illusion of depth when each eye focuses on a different part of the pattern. The stereograms were created using a patented process that allowed colorful patterns to be used in creating the final images. Did you have one on your bedroom wall?
We’ve struggled to pick one 80s cartoon to represent the decorating of our childhood bedroom, because it totally depended on our preference.
We personally had walls covered with M.A.S.K. characters, but we know that many of you would have had Transformers, Care Bears or My Little Pony posters. Which was your personal favourite?