Mia Farrow Turns 79! Look Back at the Actress on PEOPLE's First-Ever Cover from 1974

The actress starred in 'The Great Gatsby' opposite Robert Redford in 1974, the same year PEOPLE had its first issue

<p>PEOPLE, Taylor Hill/FilmMagic</p> Mia Farrow on the first cover of PEOPLE on March 4, 1974 (L) and in New York City on April 26, 2023

PEOPLE, Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Mia Farrow on the first cover of PEOPLE on March 4, 1974 (L) and in New York City on April 26, 2023

Happy 79th birthday, Mia Farrow!

In honor of the actress's milestone Friday, PEOPLE is revisiting the magazine's first-ever cover from 50 years ago — on March 4, 1974 — which featured Farrow.

The issue came as Farrow was starring as Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, opposite Robert Redford as the titular Jay Gatsby, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel of the same name.

Scottie Fitzgerald, the daughter and only child of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, wrote the accompanying article, in which she recalled Farrow being "not at all like" her character.

"With Mia everything is family," Scottie wrote of the then-29-year-old actress. "She worried about neglecting her children by working so late."

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<p>Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> Mia Farrow and Robert Redford in <em>The Great Gatsby</em> (1974)


Mia Farrow and Robert Redford in The Great Gatsby (1974)

Related: PEOPLE Is Celebrating Its 50th Anniversary in 2024 — Read Our Editor-in-Chief's Letter About the Milestone

She continued, "She is really a loving, caring person, not like those old selfish movie stars caring only about themselves."

Scottie also recalled seeing the "ravishing" and "breathtaking" Farrow on set for the first time, writing, "The New England Summer sun was hitting her face under this lilac chiffon hat and she looked just like my father's Daisy Buchanan should look."

"I had seen Mia only in a TV movie, and I envisioned her disheveled, very modern, very blue-jeany, the kind of person who would never go to a Gatsby-type party," she explained.

Scottie added, "I'm embarrassed to say I kept getting her confused with Jane Fonda: they both come from that younger generation of famous actor-parents."

<p>KMazur/WireImage</p> Mia Farrow in New York City, August 2003


Mia Farrow in New York City, August 2003

Related: Mia Farrow Marks Late Ex-Husband Frank Sinatra's Birthday — and Reveals His Nickname: 'I Will Always Love You'

According to Scottie, other actresses in the running for the role of Daisy included Faye Dunaway and Candice Bergen, but director Jack Clayton saw something in Farrow — "despite the fact that she was running a 103-degree fever at the time," Scottie wrote.

"The moment I saw the test, I knew she was more like Daisy Buchanan than the other actresses," Clayton told Scottie for PEOPLE.

And a Paramount executive also saw the lasting potential of Farrow, who was known at the time for her TV role as Allison MacKenzie on Peyton Place from 1964 to 1966 and, of course, for her starring role in the 1968 horror classic Rosemary's Baby.

"We're not worried," the executive told Scottie for PEOPLE. "Even the seer Jeane Dixton predicted that in 1974 Mia Farrow would become the most famous movie star in the world."

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