21 years ago in TIME

The eccentricities of MICHAEL JACKSON were only beginning to be apparent back in 1984, when his album Thriller was a hit and TIME put him on the cover

Director Steven Spielberg has remarked that "if E.T. hadn't come to Elliott, he would have come to Michael's house." He reflects that Jackson is like a hybrid of outer space's most famous tourist and of Chauncey Gardiner, the video-bedazzled innocent whom Peter Sellers portrayed in Being There ... Jackson lives at home in Encino, Calif., with his mother, father and two youngest sisters. He supervised the recent redesigning of the sprawling Tudor house, and the result is a cross between a vest-pocket Disneyland and Citizen Kane's Xanadu in suburbia. The menagerie, the soda fountain, the screening room are dream toys of...

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