The 1970s saw the rise of bell-bottom pants, the creation of video games and multiple political turmoils. It was a time of emerging cultures and new technological innovations. Along with the new advances came new faces into the Hollywood spotlight, including many beautiful women. These women became media goddesses and influenced many a young impressionable boy and girl for that matter. They became hugely successful in the 1970s, but find out what they like today. (#Note some 70’s icons that have past on like Farrah Fawcett was omitted out of respect.)
Patsy Ann McClenny, better known as Morgan Fairchild, became a household name after landing the role of Jennifer Pace on the TV series “Search For Tomorrow”. She played the role of Pace from 1973-1977. Due to her newfound fame, she was quickly able to land more roles and appeared in productions such as “Happy Days”, “Kojak”, and “Dallas”. However, one of her more famous roles did not come until the 1980s, when she played Constance Weldon Semple Carlyle in the TV series “Flamingo Road”. She still continues to act, and recently returned to her roots of soap opera on “Days of Our Lives”.
Linda Ronstadt began her music career by playing shows at the Troubadour, a famous nightclub in West Hollywood. She made a few tweaks to her original style of music and was soon being called the “Queen of Rock” and the “First Lady of Rock”, by national media. She went on to have over 30 gold and platinum records and won 10 Grammys. Sadly, in 2013, she announced she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, which led to her retirement from singing. She released her memoir, “Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir”, that same year.
Goldie Hawn rose to fame by becoming a regular on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. Due to her likable and approachable personality, she began landing roles in more extensive comedic productions such There’s a Girl in My Soup and Butterflies are Free. Her career in comedic films continued and today has many well-known performances on her resume, such as in Death Becomes Her and The First Wives Club. She took a hiatus from acting in 2002, after her performance in The Banger Sisters. However, she returned in 2017, appearing alongside Amy Schumer in Snatched.
Pam Grier rose to fame by playing bold and assertive women, in early 1970s blaxploitation movies. She played roles in hit films such as “Coffy”, “Foxy Brown”, and “Sheba, Baby”. Since the 70s, her acting resume has continued to grow with roles in hit films such as “Foxy Brown”, “Man with the Iron Fists”, and “Mars Attacks!” She currently has roles in 3 movies that are in post-production which are expected to be completed soon.
Linda Gray got her big break in a very unusual way. She portrayed Mrs. Robinson’s body double in “The Graduate”. That “performance” was good enough for her to land her own roles. Her breakthrough acting role came as Sue Ellen on “Dallas”, which she played from 1978-1991. She reprised her role in the show’s remake from 2012-2014. Her most recent on-screen appearance was in 2017, on 2 episodes of “Hand of God”.
After becoming a successful model, Kim Basinger decided to jump into acting. She made her on-screen debut in the series “Gemini Man”. She continued to land roles through the 70s, in several TV movies and shows. However, she was able to make the transition onto the big screen in the 1980s, including her famed role of Lynn Bracken in “L.A. Confidential”. In 2016, she appeared alongside Russell Crowe in “The Nice Guys” and, in 2017, she appeared in the movie adaptation of “Fifty Shades Darker”.
After having a successful singing career and appearing in two musical films (Funny Girl and Hello, Dolly!) in the late 1960s, Barbara Streisand’s career flourished in the 1970s. She has truly succeeded in the spotlight and today has titles to her name such as Producer, Director, Composer, and Writer. She is still acting as well as singing, and she even recently finished a tour. In 2015, it was announced that she would be writing a memoir, which is scheduled to be released in the near future.
Billie Jean King
Bille Jean King became a sports legend, in 1973, after winning the “Battle of the Sexes” – a tennis match verse the male-champion tennis player, Bobby Riggs. She furthermore inscribed her fame after she became the first prominent female athlete to come out as gay, in 1981. In 1987, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Her story was recently immortalized in a film starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, appropriately called “Battle of the Sexes”.
After making her on-screen debut in 1978, Kirstie Alley played her breakout role of Saavik in 1982’s “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”. Her most memorable role, however, was as Rebecca Howe on the sitcom “Cheers”. In 1991, she won a Golden Globe award for her performance as Howe. Her most recent role was in 2016, as Ingrid Hoffel, on the satirical thriller series “Scream Queens”.
Ann-Margret’s breakout role was in 1963, as Kim Mcafee in the movie adaptation of “Bye Bye Birdie”. Since her role as Kim, her career has yet to slow down. Her most recent role was as Annie Santori in the 2017 film “Going in Style”, which also featured actors such as Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. She is also a successful singer and has released 14 albums and has even been nominated for multiple Grammys.
Alison Arngrim may be best remembered for her role of Nellie Oleson in “Little House on the Prairie”. After playing little, nasty Nellie, Arngrim landed roles in several TV shows and movies. However, she never saw the same success as her days on the Prairie. In 2010, she released a comedic memoir titled “Confessions of A Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated.” Today she is actively involved in charity work.
Maureen McCormick is best known for her role as Marcia Brady on the TV sitcom “The Brady Bunch”. She reprised the role several times in spin-off feature films and TV movies. She has appeared on several reality TV shows such as “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” and “Dancing with the Stars”. Her most recent role was in 2017, in the drama film “The Neighborhood”.
Teri Garr’s breakthrough role was as Igna in 1974’s “Young Frankenstein”. She continued to land roles and has appeared in films such as “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Tootsie”. Sadly, in 2002, she publicly announced that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. However, she has used that diagnosis for good and has become a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and National Chair for the Society’s Women Against MS program.
Cicely Tyson is a model turned actress who has received much critical acclaim for her performances in films and TV shows such as “Sounder”, “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman”, “Roots” and “King”. Although she is 92-years-old, Tyson doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Her most recent appearance was in 2017 in the hit TV series “How to Get Away With Murder”.
Charlene Tilton is best remembered as Lucy Ewing on “Dallas”. She was given nickname the “poisonous dwarf” because or her short stature of 4 feet and 11 inches, as well as her character’s wild personality. After portraying Lucy, Charlene dabbled in music and began singing pop music. Although she still appears in various shows and films, today, she concentrates less on acting and singing and more on charity work. She is very involved in organizations that help foster children.
Paula Prentiss rose to fame as a comedic actress in the 1960s. However, in 1975, she proved she could play roles beyond comedy when she appeared in the cult horror film “The Stepford Wives”. Although her career has remained steady, she has not appeared in any lead roles for many years. Her most recent role was as Iris in the 2016 horror film “I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House”.
Loretta Swit is best remembered as Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the military TV series “M*A*S*H”. She was 1 of 4 cast members that remained on the show for its entire duration, 11 seasons. She won two Emmy awards for her performance as Houlihan. Her last on-screen appearance was in 1998. But, she did some voiceover work in 2015. However, she is currently credited with a role in a film that is set to be released in 2018.
Debbie Harry, born Angela Tremble, is best known as the lead singer of the band “Blondie”. The band’s first album was released in 1976 and they quickly shot into fame. In 2011, Debbie Harry was inspired by Elton John and decided to become more involved with charity work. She has worked with charities such as the Endometriosis Foundation of America and Amnesty International Human Rights. In May 2017, Blondie released its 11th studio album, “Pollinator”.
Jane Seymour rose to international fame after playing the Bond girl, Solitaire, in “Live and Let Die”. With her new found status as Hollywood hottie, she quickly landed roles in productions such as “Battlestar Galactica” and “The Four Feathers”. Her acting still continues till today. However, she has taken on several other ventures such as writing self-help and inspirational books as well as jewelry design.
Diane Keaton’s breakthrough role was as Kay Adams-Corleone in “The Godfather.” But it was her collaboration with Woody Allen, on films such as “Play it Again Sam,” “Sleeper,” “Love and Death,” and “Annie Hall,” that truly made her a household name. Her performances as the title role of “Annie Hall” even won her an Oscar for Best Actress. Her most recent role was in the 2017 rom-com “Hampstead”.
Sissy Spacek burst onto the Hollywood scene in the 1970s. She was given critical acclaim for the 1973 film “Badlands”, which was soon followed with her portrayal of the title role of the cult horror film “Carrie”, in 1976. For her portrayal of Carrie, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Spacek is the first person to act in an Academy Award-nominated film in each of the 4 most recent decades: Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980), Missing (1982), JFK (1991), In the Bedroom (2001) and The Help (2011).
Faye Dunaway began her acting career on stage on Broadway. She got her on-screen debut in 1967’s “The Happening”. Her big break would come later that same year as Bonnie Parker in “Bonnie and Clyde”, a role for which she received an Oscar. Her career has never wavered, and her most recent role was in the 2017 thriller film “Inconceivable”.
Katharine Ross rose to fame in the late 1960’s with critically acclaimed performances in “The Graduate” as well as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. She secured that fame with roles in 1970’s films such as “The Stepford Wives” and “The Betsy”. She married famed, southern-drawl sounding, cowboy actor Sam Elliott in 1984. They are still happily married, and they have one daughter together.
Julie Andrews is synonymous with amazing acting talents as well as a beautiful singing voice. She rose to international fame after playing the lead roles in movie-musicals “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music”. She made the jump back to TV when she headlined 5 variety specials on ABC between 1973-1975. Her most recent role was as the voice of Gru’s mom, in the animated film “Despicable Me 3”.
Beverly Johnson made history in August 1974 when she became the first African-American model to appear on the cover of American Vogue. She continued to make history the following year when she became the first African-American woman to appear on the cover of the French edition of Elle. In 2014, Johnson wrote an article in “Vanity Fair”. In the article, she accuses Bill Cosby of drugging her in the 1980s. Her memoir, which was released in 2015, also touches on the incident.
Karen Lynn Gorne
Karen Lynn Gorney began her rise to fame playing Tara Martin, from 1970-1974, on the soap opera “All My Children”. However, her biggest role to date was as Stephanie Mangano in the hit film “Saturday Night Fever”. Gorney took a hiatus from acting in the 1980s, but returned in the 1990s and had roles on shows such as “Law & Order” and “The Sopranos”. Her most recent role was in the 2016 drama “H.O.M.E.”.
Lorraine Gary helped bring the everyone’s underwater nightmare come to life in the “Jaws” films. Although she said she was going to retire from acting after appearing in the film “1941” (released in 1979), she came out of retirement to reprise her role of Ellen Brody in the Jaws franchise’s final installment “Jaws: The Revenge” (released in 1987). She is actively involved in charity work and is a member of the Humans Rights Watch Africa Advisory Committee and the Human Rights Watch Women’s Rights Advisory Committee.
Ellen Burstyn shined in the 1970s. She began the decade strong and received her first Oscar nomination, in 1971, for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “The Last Picture Show”. Only a few short years later, she received another nomination for her performance in the cult classic film, “The Exorcist” (1973). She finally won the award for Best Actress, in 1975, for her portrayal of Alice Hyatt in “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”. Her most recent appearance was alongside Sharon Stone, in the 2017 film “A Little Something For Your Birthday”.
Meryl Streep began her acting career on stage. In the early 1970s she preformed on Broadway, but, in 1977, she got her film debut in the TV movie “Deadliest Season”. She rounded out the decade with a strong performance in 1979’s “Kramer v Kramer”. For her performance of Joanna Kramer she received a Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Streep has gone on to be one of the most celebrated and decorated actresses in the industry. She has more Oscar nominations than any other actor or actress.
Marilu Henner began the 1970s traveling the United States, with the national touring company of the Broadway musical “Grease”. However, by the end of the decade she received her first film role in 1977’s “Between the Lines”. But, it was in 1978 that Henner became a household name, after landing the role of Elaine Nardo in the sitcom “Taxi”. Besides acting, Henner is 1 of only 12 people to have Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, a trait that allows her to remember every little detail of her life.
Carol Kane shined in 1970s. Her first major role of Gitl in “Hester Street”, in 1975, earned her a Golden Globe nomination. Her performance was also noticed by many in the industry including Woody Allen. He soon after cast her in his Oscar-winning film, “Annie Hall”. Her career has yet to slow down and she has landed roles in hit films such as “The Princess Bride”, “Addams Family Values”, and “Scrooged”. One of her most recent roles from 2015-2017 as Lillian Kaushtupper in the the Netflix series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”.
Talia Shire gained national fame after playing the role of Connie Corleone in “The Godfather” films. Her fame only continued after she landed the role opposite, Sylvester Stallone, as Adrian Pennino is “Rocky”. For both roles she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress, respectively. Her most recent role was as Annette Kulina in the TV series “Kingdom”, in 2017.
Diana Ross rose to musical fame as the lead singer of “The Supremes” in the 1960s. The Supremes was and is still considered one of the most successful vocal groups in the United States. They released multiple number-one hits such as “Stop! In the Name of Love” and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”. Ross left The Supremes in 1970, and began her own solo career with her self titled album. The album contained the number-one hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. Diana Ross has never stopped preforming and still goes on tour today. In 2016, she was awarded the he Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.
Cybill Shepherd’s film debut was “The Last Picture Show”, in 1971. The film was a huge success and was the foundation of Cybill’s blossoming career. She went on to land roles in other hit movies such as “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Taxi Driver”. In 2012, she moved to stage acting and appeared alongside James Earl Jones in “The Best Man” on Broadway. Her most recent on-screen role was in the 2015 film “Do You Believe?”
The Swedish pop group ABBA was form in 1972. The word ABBA was taken from the names of the members, each letter was the first letter of each member’s name. One of the A’s was Agnetha Faltskog. The group produced hits such as “Dancing Queen” and “Take a Chance on Me”. The group disbanded in the early 80s. After which, Faltskog began her solo career, but only achieved moderate success. She released her biography, “Agnetha Fältskog: The Girl with the Golden Hair”, in 2016.
Raquel Welch was a Hollywood bombshell, and certainly showed it off in her fur bikini during “One Million Years BC”. After that film, her career continued to soar. She landed a role in 1973’s “The Three Musketeers”, a performance for which she won a Golden Globe. Aside from acting, she is also a business woman and released a Total Beauty and Fitness Program book and videos. Her most recent role was as Celeste in 2017’s “How To Be A Latin Lover”.
Carly Simon’s first album was released in 1971. The album included her first hit “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be.” Riding on huge success, she quickly released her second album “Anticipation” only a few months later. However, it was 1972, that Simon soared into international fame with her single “You’re So Vain”. In 2015, she released her memoir “Boys in the Trees: A Memoir”, which details her life from childhood to her marriage with James Taylor.
Catherine Bach is best known for playing Daisy Duke, from 1979-1985, on “The Dukes of Hazzard”. After playing Daisy, she landed roles in several films. In 2012, she landed the recurring role of Anita Lawson in the hit soap opera “The Young and the Restless”. Her most recent role was in the 2016 TV movie “My Best Friend”.
Lynda Carter was the original female heroine, “Wonder Woman”, from 1975-1979. During her time as the super hero she also released a pop album titled “Portrait”. Some of the music from this album was also featured on the show. She recently returned to the super hero world and had a small role in the CW series “Super Girl”. She is credited with a role in the upcoming film “Super Troopers 2” (expected to be released in 2018).
Jacqueline Bisset became a household name after playing the female lead, opposite Frank Sinatra, in 1968’s “The Detective”. She continued to land big roles throughout the 1970s and appeared in 17 films by the end of the decade. In 2017, she appeared in 2 films “9/11” and “The Double Lover”. But, she isn’t done yet, and she is credited with roles in multiple productions that have yet to be released.
Samantha Fox got her first record deal when she was only 16-years-old. However, she didn’t see much musical success until she was 20-years-old, when she released her single “Touch Me”. The single reached number 1 in 17 countries. Since her release of “Touch Me”, she created 6 more studio albums. In 2016, she appeared in Celebrity Big Brother 18. She was eliminated right before the finale episode.
Erin Murphy is best remembered for a role she played as a young child – Tabitha on Bewitched. She, and her twin sister, received the role when they were only 2-years-old. However, Erin was used for all the close-up scenes. Murphy appeared as Tabitha from 1964-1972. Murphy mainly stayed out of the limelight after “Bewitched”. However, still added a few acting credits to her name. She most recently appeared in the 2017 TV movie “Life Interrupted “.
Susan Anton rose to fame, in the 1970s, by appearing as the main model in Muriel cigar commercials. Along with appearing on several Merv Griffin shows in the 1970s, she was also given a variety series with country singer Mel Tillis. Unfortunately, the show only lasted 4 weeks. Despite the show’s failure, she was still named one of TIME‘s “Most Promising Faces in 1979”. She continued to act and her most recent on-screen role was in the 2016 TV movie “Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens”.
Traci Lords rose to fame through the adult film industry. But, with her popularity, she was able to make the jump into mainstream productions. She had roles in productions such as “Married With Children”, “Cry-Baby” and “MacGyver”. She also appeared in hit shows such as “Melrose Place” and “Nash Bridges”. Traci Lords also dabbled in singing and even sung songs on several movie soundtracks.
Joanna Cameron is best known for playing the title role of the children’s TV show, “The Secrets of Isis”. The show ran from September 6, 1975, to September 3, 1977. Unfortunately, Cameron’s career fizzled by the 1980s. After leaving the entertainment industry, she worked in home healthcare for several years and then marketing for hotels.
After studying ballet and acting at the University of Southern California, Daryl Hannah landed her first on-screen role in 1979 horror film “The Fury”. By the 80s, she was a household name from roles in films such as “Splash” and “Steel Magnolias”. Her career has since continued to flourish with roles in box office hits such as “Grumpy Old Men”, “The Little Rascals”, “My Favorite Martian”, and “A Walk to Remember”. She recently portrayed Angelica on the Netflix series “Sense8”.
Barbi Benton is best known for posing on 4 covers of a famous men’s magazine: July 1969, March 1970, May 1972, and December 1985. In 1969, she became a longtime girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, but the two separated in 1976. She eventually made the jump into acting and had roles in series such as “Sugar Time!” and “The Love Boat”. She married real estate developer, George Gradow, in 1979. Her last public appearance was in 2014, when she revealed that Bill Cosby was a frequent visitor of the magazine’s famous mansion.
Susan Dey became the dream “girl-next-door” when she began playing the role of Laurie Partridge on “The Partridge Family”. She played Laurie until 1974, after which she had roles in several films. However, she saw most of her success on TV, with roles on shows such as “L.A. Law” and “Love & War”. Her most recent on-screen role was in 2004, on “Third Watch”. She has chosen to remain out of the spotlight and has kept a low profile, since her last role.
Born Loletha Elayne Falana, Lola Falana, broke into fame overseas as an Italian film star. Her acting and singing was so stellar, it caught the eye of singing legend Sammy Davis, Jr, and the two went on tour together. She made her U.S. film debut in 1970’s “The Liberation of L.B. Jones”. Like many other performers, she took her talents to Las Vegas. She eventually became known as the “Queen of Las Vegas”. She has not appeared on camera since 1989, as she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1987.
Jaclyn Smith is best known for her role of Kelly Garrett in the TV series “Charlie’s Angels.” After fighting crime as an Angel, Smith’s acting career continued. She appeared in several TV shows and films such as “Christina Cromwell” and “The District”. Her most recent role was in the 2015 TV movie “Bridal Wave”. Smith is also a clothing designer and is one of the first celebs to release her own line rather than just endorsing others.
Bo Derek made her way into the Hollywood scene in the 1977 film “Orca”. However, her best-known role of the decade was as Jenny Hanley in 1979’s “10”. Her most recent role was in 2013’s comedic-drama “Highland Park”, alongside actors such as Danny Glover and Billy Burke. Derek is a prominent activist and has given her support to various organizations such as Richard Branson’s Wild Aid, and various disabled veterans organizations.
Sophia Loren’s beauty and talent were evident from a very young age. She made her professional acting debut when she was only 15 years old. Her performance as Cesira in “Two Women,” helped her gain international recognition as the performance led to an Oscar. She went on to appear in hit films such as “Man of La Mancha,” “A Special Day,” and “Brass Target.” Although her last on-screen appearance was in 2014, her influence on Hollywood is still prevalent today.
Kate Jackson is best known for playing the butt-kicking, crime-fighting beauty, Sabrina Duncan is the 1970s TV series “Charlie’s Angels”. However, she left the show at the end of the third season. After leaving “Charlie’s Angels”, she appeared in TV shows such as “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” and “Baby Boom”. She recently began exploring a different art, writing. She is writing a memoir that is set to be published in 2020.
Like many actors, Ali MacGraw began her career working in commercials. But, in 1970, she landed her big break playing Jenny, in 1970’s “Love Story”. Despite the success, she only appeared in 3 other films in the 1970s: “The Getaway,” “Convoy,” and “Players.” Her most recent on-screen role was in 1997’s “Glam. However, in 2016, she reunited with her “Love Story” co-star, Ryan O’Neal, in the stage production of “Love Letters.”