The 70s were a time of emerging cultures and innovations in the entertainment industry when many of Hollywood’s most iconic stars gained popularity. While they were extremely influential back then, some of these icons have faded out of the public eye. Check out what our favorite icons from the 70s are doing today.
The Most Iconic '70s Stars: Then And NowPublished 1 month ago
Before she became the first lady of American home life, Martha Stewart was a model. She began modeling at the age of 15 and continued to work in the industry in order to pay for her studies. After that, she worked as a stockbroker for a boutique firm for a while.
Today, Stewart has an empire of cooking books, shows, and retail. After a short period as an outlaw in 2004, Stewart came back to her brand, and in the last years, the '70s star can still be found expanding her brand by adding dozens of products to her retail lineup, which includes books, cookbooks, television specials, and collaborations. In June 2018, she agreed to be a guest judge on Chopped. She spends the rest of her time in her estates in New York and Maine.
Keaton was born in 1946 to a mother who was a former pageant contestant. While watching her mother perform, Keaton decided quite early that she wanted to become an actress. Her first prominent role was in The Godfather as Kay Adams-Corleone, and her career took off afterward with starring roles in Annie Hall, Love and Death, Sleeper, and Play it Again Sam.
Her performance in Annie Hall won her the Academy Award for Best Actress. As the years passed, Keaton continued to act, becoming one of the most established actresses in Hollywood. Recently, she acted as Sister Mary in the TV Series The Young Rope and even did some voice-over work in the animated film Finding Dory.
The '70s were defined by freedom and love, and Jane Birkin definitely went all in. Jane Birkin became an icon of inspiration for women across the globe when she decided to follow her own path by creating her own trends and by being as free-spirited as she could be.
From her exciting duet with French superstar Serge Gainsbourg, “Je t’aime… Moi non plus,” or opting to use a straw basket over a regular handbag, the star has continuously lived by her own rules. All of this would certainly explain why Jane Birkin has been the classic 'It Girl' since the '60s – with her style staying forever in season.
Margaret Julia Thomas, otherwise known as Marlo Thomas, was born in 1937. Her rise to stardom began when she was cast in 1966 in the popular television series That Girl, maintaining a starring role until 1971. Then in 1980, she married the beloved talk-show host Phil Donahue, and they became a well-known power couple in the world of entertainment.
Marlo went on to become a staple in Hollywood productions, starring in countless movies and series, even producing a few of her own. She now is an active philanthropist for St. Judes Children's Hospital, which her father founded.
Kirstie Alley appeared as an actress in the 1970s and became popular for her acting in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as Saavik. Later, she acted in a number of different TV series and films. However, she was most famous for her performance in Cheers as Rebecca Howe. For this role, she won a Golden Globe award and was nominated for many other awards.
Most recently, she was featured in Scream Queens, the Fox TV series. No matter what role she played though, Alley stayed in the spotlight due to her struggles with weight loss. She was very vocal about it in the media, especially due to the scrutiny she was forced to go through during her setbacks. Unfortunately, in December 2022, Kristie Alley died of cancer at the age of 71.
Pam is known for her strong and courageous roles in African-American centered movies of the 1970s. In 1973, she began her career in Jack Hill's Coffy, and continued to grow in movies like The Man with the Iron Fists, and the TV series The L Word. At the time, Grier became a huge influence within black culture and was an important performer who paved the way for other African-American artists in the industry.
After the '70s were over, Grier continued to grow and to shine in ways that only she could. The actress was the only choice for the role of Foxy Brown in Quentin Tarantino’s classic Jackie Brown. Until today, Grier’s performance in the movie is widely acclaimed, having become one of the best performances of her career. Today, she still works but has gone through some ups and downs as she battled and survived cancer.
Linda originally kicked off her music career in the folk and country-rock scene at the famous Troubadour Theatre. But soon after, she made a few tweaks to her music style to an extent that the media ended up naming her the “First Lady of Rock” and “Queen of Rock”.
She won 10 Grammys and earned 31 platinum and gold records. Unfortunately, her singing career ended in 2013 when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and she announced she would no longer be performing. She remains creative, however, and has since written a memoir about her life called Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir.
Born in April of 1966, Samantha Fox started acted in theater shows when she was only three years old. Her first musical album Lamborghini Records didn’t get much attention, but the following album titled Touch Me got her a lot of popularity in 17 countries from all over the world.
In 2016, Fox took part in Celebrity Big Brother, giving her a renewed popularity amongst her fans. Her personal life has also contributed to her continuous presence in the media. After coming out, the actress got engaged to her former manager, Myra Stratton, during a vacation in Thailand in 2009. The couple was clearly head over heels for each other throughout the years, until sadly, Samantha lost Myra to a long battle with cancer in 2015.
After gaining fame for her role in Live and Let Die as a Bond girl, Jane Seymour continued to act in movies and TV series such as The Four Feathers and Battlestar Galactica.
In the 1980s, she wrote a lot of self-help and inspirational books, such as Romantic Living and Among Angels. She still writes and has continued to work in movies, and has even dabbled in other fields like jewelry design. Even though she is widely known for her role as a Bond girl, '80s and '90s kids probably know her better for her performance in Doctor Quinn: Medicine Woman.
Goldie started her career with a small role in Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. Soon after, she acted in many comedies, such as Butterflies are Free and A Girl in My Soup. Since then, Hawn has never stopped acting and has become a household name. She did, however, hit a small bump in her career when she agreed to star in the 2001 movie Town & Country alongside well-known actors Diane Keaton and Warren Beatty. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t do so well, becoming a huge box office failure.
Hawn decided to take a couple of years off, but came back in full force when she gave her voice to the children's animated series Phineas and Ferb and in 2017, she came back to the big screen in the movie Snatched.
Barbi gained enormous popularity from a young age when she posed for several Playboy magazine issues. She remained on the covers of the popular men’s magazine for many years between 1969 and 1985. Eventually, she made her acting debut on Hee Haw.
Later, she got many roles in TV series such as The Love Boat and Sugar Time! She has also become well-known because of her previous relationship with Hugh Hefner, and of course, her appearance on The Girls Next Door. Today, Barbi lives a quieter life with her two children and husband George Gradow, in their pretty impressive real estate holdings.
Susan Anton, who won the title of Miss California in 1969 and narrowly missed out on the national Miss America title in the same year, was known for her appearances in Muriel Cigar commercials. She managed to turn her following from these into a musical and acting career, with roles in several variety shows in the 1970s and hit single "Killin' Time" released in 1980.
Since the 1990s when her career slowed after a recurring role on Baywatch, she has resumed acting. She guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order: SVU in 2010's Season 11, and played the role of Betty in 2016's Sharknado: The 4th Awakens. She has been married to actor Jeff Lester since 1992, and the couple resides in Las Vegas.
Linda first appeared in The Graduate as a body double for Mrs. Robinson, but her career really took off when she starred in Dallas and surprised everyone with the memorable role of Sue Ellen. After Dallas, Linda was featured in several movies like Hidden Moon, Expecting Mary, and The Entertainer.
Linda even reprised her role in the remake of Dallas, from 2012 to 2014. Some of her latest projects were in 2016 where she portrayed Tabby Maxwell-Brown in the TV series Hollyoaks and her 2017 appearance on just two episodes of Hand of God. She has also managed to make a pretty good name for herself as a director and producer.
Few women can say they'd had a career as diverse as the one Jackie Stallone had. Besides one of her most well-known roles as the mother of none other than Sylvester Stallone, she was also famous for her work as an astrologer (where she pioneered "rumpology") and a wrestling promoter for GLOW: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.
She died in her sleep, at home in Los Angeles in 2020 at the age of 98.
After spending some time as a model, Kim Basinger started her acting career in the TV show Gemini Man. People saw her star potential, and throughout the 1970s she appeared in many more TV series and movies. In the 1980s, Kim finally got the chance to be on the big screen with her most famous role being Lynn Bracken in L.A. Confidential, a role that earned her an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
In 2016, she acted alongside Russell Crowe in The Nice Guys and appeared in Fifty Shades Darker in 2017.
Although she had originally starred in The Conversation, Teri Garr really became famous for her role in Young Frankenstein as Igna. Afterward, she was featured in multiple major motion pictures like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Black Stallion.
In 2002, she disclosed that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She even published an autobiography in 2006, sharing some daring details about her career and the struggles she faced with her health over the years. Since then, she has done a lot of work with several different MS organizations, like the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Women Against MS.
Known for her role as Barbara Cooper Royer on One Day at a Time, Valerie Bertinelli was only 15 when her rise to fame began. While on the show, her character appeared in 208 of the show's 209-episode entirety
Since her days playing Barbara, Bertinelli has been busy. She continued to act up until 2015, after which she expanded her professional repertoire into hosting cooking shows on the Food Network (Valerie's Home Cooking and Kids Baking Championship). She is also a spokesperson for Jenny Craig's weight loss and has written a book on her weight loss journey. Personally, she was married to Eddie Van Halen (of Van Halen band fame) from 1981 to 2007, and the two share a son, Wolfgang.
Morgan Fairchild gained national notoriety after playing Jenifer Pace in Search For Tomorrow from 1973 to 1977. Afterward, she got offers for Dallas, Kojak, and Happy Days, all of which she accepted. However, she gained true fame after her appearance in Falcon Crest and Flamingo Road in the 1980s.
She more recently had a role in the 2016 TV movie, A Christmas in Vermont, also starring Chevy Chase. Since the 19070s, Fairchild has been a presence both on the big screen and in smaller projects. Today, she has also become a huge campaigner and activist in AIDS awareness and education, and environmental issues.
Anderson’s career started in 1966 when she had supporting roles in various shows like S.W.A.T and Three’s Company. Her big breakout role was in the comedy WKRP in Cincinnati where she starred as Jennifer Marlow. After the show ended, Anderson appeared in Stroker Ace, A Night at the Roxbury and others. She remained busy in her TV career and starred in Nurses and Melrose Place. Besides her acting career, Anderson published an autobiography named My Life in High Heels in 1997.
Today, Anderson’s hands are still full. In 2016, she starred in Baby Daddy in addition to other web series and is living a happy life with her fourth husband, Bob Flick, who she married in 2008.
Michelle Pfeiffer is certainly one of the most popular actresses of the '80s and '90s. She won awards and international fame for her work in the film industry and is considered one of the most talented women of her time. Her breakout came when she played in 1983’s Scarface, and later on, she received recognition for her performance in Dangerous Liaisons and in The Fabulous Baker Boys, for which she was nominated for two Academy Awards. At a later stage, she also started to produce films herself.
Pfeiffer took a five-year break from acting and since she has returned to the screen, she's played in a few movies and TV series. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance in The Wizard of Lies in 2017. In 2018 she appeared in the Marvel movie Ant-Man and the Wasp, and it sure seems like she's not going anywhere soon!
Erika Eleniak was born in 1969 in sunny California, and even though she appeared in various TV shows and movies, she is probably most remembered for her unforgettable role in Baywatch. She was easily one of the most loved stars of the show, where she played Shauni during the first seasons.
She left the show in 1993 but didn't stop acting - she appeared in small films and productions afterward until her career reached a quieter stage. In 2006, Erika appeared in Celebrity Fit Club on VH1 but has been out of the spotlight ever since. Today she lives in Calgary with her family.
Lisa Whelchel's rise to stardom began at the young age of 12 when she was cast as a member of The New Mickey Mouse Club in 1977. From there, she was cast as Blair Warner on the hit series The Facts of Life where she would remain for nearly a decade, transforming her career.
Leaving behind her childhood, she has since become known for her roles in reality television as a contestant on Survivor: Philippines in 2012. She then stepped into the world of adult comedy, starring in A Madea Christmas in 2013. In 2019, she became the host of her own show Collector's Call and has recently become semi-retired to take a step away from show business and focus on raising her three children.
Nancy McKeon joined the industry as a child actress when she appeared in TV commercials alongside her brother. In 1980, she played Jo Polniaczek in The Facts of Life, with the part she is most recognized for. She played in the show for eight seasons until 1989. Through the 1990s she appeared in movies and TV shows such as Where the Day Takes You, Teresa’s Tattoo, and Just Write.
In 2011 she appeared in the TV film Love Begins and in 2016 she played herself in a special episode of Home & Family titled “The Facts of Life Reunion”. Today, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two daughters.
Susan Dey is famous for her role in the TV sitcom The Partridge Family where she played the role of Laurie Partridge. But before joining the show, she did a couple of modeling gigs after her grandmother submitted her photo, alongside one of her sisters, to a modeling agency when she was only 18 years old.
After the show, she continued acting, joining the cast of the LA Law from 1986 until 1992. Dey also succeeded in the writing industry after publishing a book titled Susan Dey’s Secrets on Boys, Beauty, and Popularity. Even though she remained in the industry for a while after her latest role, she decided to retire from acting in 2004.
Academy Award-winning actress Marisa Tomei continues to outshine other younger Hollywood starlets to this day. And while one might assume that surgery had something to do with that, the native New Yorker has discovered other, more natural ways to keep her gorgeous glow.
She has appeared in a handful of shows and movies, such as the Spider-Man series, where she played the role of Aunt May, Spider-Man’s aunt, and also found enormous success in the romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love. Over the years, Tomei has had an incredibly successful career but has recently been pretty vocal about the lack of roles for women her age in the industry.
Margot Kidder broke out as Louis Lane in Superman in 1978 and was a busy actress in the '70s and '80s playing in TV series such as Shell Game, and in all of Superman's sequels.
Kidder kept playing even in her later years, acting in different movies and shows. In the 1990s she struggled with bipolar disorder and became a mental health advocate after many reached out to help her. Sadly, she passed away in May 2018 in her home in Montana, at age 69.
In the '70s, Norwegian actress Liv Ullman was known as one of the "muses" of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. She played in 10 of his movies and was one of his wives. She was nominated for awards over 40 times during her acting career, and later started a directing career of her own.
In 2014, Ullman directed a film adaptation of Miss Julie that was widely praised by the Norwegian press. She published two autobiographies and also received an honorary degree from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Busy woman!
After becoming a singing sensation in the 1960s, Barbra Streisand decided to give it a try in the acting industry. She really took the leap with her role in Funny Girl in 1968 and even won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her performance.
Since then, she has continued to be a sought-after actress and singer. She released two more platinum albums and appeared in many different films, including Meet the Fockers. Unfortunately, in 2016, Streisand was due to work on the remake of the movie Gypsy, when a distributor suddenly tapped out. But in 2019 it was announced that the movie was back on track, and we’ll hopefully hear more details about it soon.
King became a well-known figure in 1973 when she played male tennis champ Bobby Riggs and won the match. It was aptly titled the “Battle of the Sexes” and has since become the storyline for a movie with the same title. In 1981, King came out as gay, becoming the first major female athlete to do so.
She was given a place in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. She has used her stardom to create the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative in 2014, with the aim of helping people embrace diversity at work.
After her performance as Kim McAfee in the movie adaptation of the musical Bye Bye Birdie, Ann-Margret became an overnight sensation. The actress’s career hit off around 1961 and has only grown exponentially over the years. She starred in multiple films throughout the 1970s and received Oscar nominations for her performance in Tommy and Carnal Knowledge.
Since then, she has stayed in the spotlight in various movies and TV shows, most recently starring in Showtime's Ray Donovan in 2014. Today, she is one of the most admirable stars in Hollywood, having been nominated for literally everything: two Grammys, five Golden Globes, six Emmys, and two Oscars!
Allison Arngrim is best known for her role as Nellie Oleson in Little House on the Prairie between 1974 and 1982. Afterward, she worked in many different TV series and TV movies.
In 2010, Allison Arngrim released the book titled Confessions of A Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated, a hilarious memoir all about growing up in the spotlight as one of TV's most famous characters. Nowadays, she is involved in a charity in order to raise awareness about child abuse and AIDS.
Dolly Parton has gone beyond her label of a national country star to become one of the most praised musicians and cultural icons in the world. The singer was born in 1946 and started singing and playing instruments at an early age. She was so determined that as soon as she finished high school, she knew exactly what she wanted to do.
She started by writing songs for other artists, starred in the movie 9 to 5, and even got to record the theme song for the film. Since then, her career has been non-stop! Between 1976 and 1977, she hosted Dolly!, her own variety show, and in 2016, she performed in 60 cities in the USA. Recently, she re-released hit single "Jolene" with the Pentatonix.
Maureen McCormick is famously known as Marcia, the eldest daughter on The Brady Bunch. After the show ended in 1974, she appeared in several shows such as Love Boat and Happy Days. However, her performance in The Brady Bunch was so iconic that she became linked to the show for years. In fact, the actress found herself getting other roles after the show ended because of her strong association with the show.
Since 2015, Maureen has been involved in celebrity reality TV shows like the Australian version of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and Dancing with the Stars. The actress has also been pretty open about her addictions throughout the years before she finally decided to get some help and get sober.
In 1972, Cicely was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Rebecca Morgan in Sounder. After the film, her acting career really took off, and in 1974, she won two Emmy awards for her brilliant role in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.
She continued to work in TV, movies, and even on Broadway. Most recently, she appeared in the popular TV show How to Get Away with Murder, which has gained critical acclaim for its brilliant cast. Today, the legend is still glowing, has won an honorary Oscar, and has become a huge inspiration for younger generations.
Charlene Tilton gained popularity for her role as Lucy Ewing in the hit show Dallas. During the show, she continued to act in other movies and TV series and even got to be a part of the 2012-2014 remake of Dallas. Unfortunately, the series didn’t succeed so much in the remake attempt, so Tilton tried her luck in pop music in the 1980s. Although she can really sing, she didn’t manage to break the charts and make a career out of music.
She has also been credited in the movie Road Less Traveled that was released in 2017, and appeared in her last movie Vengeance, A Love Story, also in 2017. Recently, she has been involved in charity work for foster children.
Paula became popular for her comedic performances in The Honeymoon Machine, Bachelor in Paradise, and Where the Boys Are. She also really showed off her acting range as Bobbie Marlow in The Stepford Wives.
In the past 30 years, she was featured in a few movies but just in minor roles. In 2016, however, she starred in the horror movie titled I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in This House. Even so, her impressive resume includes a variety of movies and TV shows that are to be admired. In a recent interview, the actress shared how she loved choosing roles just for the experience, be it big or small.
Loretta is remembered for her role as a nurse in the M*A*S*H TV series. She was one of the four actors in the show from the first season to the last - all eleven seasons.
Her performance in M*A*S*H won her two Emmy Awards. In 2015, she narrated Never the Same: The Prisoner of War Experience. Although her biggest role was in M*A*S*H, Loretta continued to act in small budget movies and TV series. She decided to take a step back from Hollywood a couple of years later and has since been working on jewelry design and fighting for animal rights.
As a lead singer of the famous band Blondie, Debbie Harry achieved huge success in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She rose to fame so quickly that in 1979, she was on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
She has been involved in charity work since 2011. The singer never had children and has consequently dedicated most of her life to creating music. In 2014, she released Ghosts of Download, her 10th studio album, and has been singing and performing to this day. Interestingly, those who still listen to her music will identify a different sound from her earlier days.
Faye started her career on Broadway in the 1960s. However, her acting career took off after her role in Bonnie and Clyde as Bonnie Parker, for which she won an Academy Award.
Even though her performance in the movie was praised by many people, the public had mixed reactions. During an interview, a number of years later, the actress shared that a lot of people had gained the wrong impression of her for a long time. But one of her most memorable moments in Hollywood is easily the moment that, alongside co-star Warren Beatty, the duo wrongly announced La La Land as the Oscar winner during the 2017 Academy Awards, when in fact, Moonlight was the actual winner.
Sissy started her career in the 1970s but got popular after she became a part of the cast of Badlands. Later, she became well-known for her role in the film Carrie. Funny enough, she wasn’t actually the first choice for the role. Before she auditioned, actresses such as Linda Blair, Melanie Griffith, and Farrah Fawcett auditioned for the role of Carrie White. At some point, the show’s designer asked that his wife, Sissy Spacek, be given the opportunity to audition.
After arriving at her audition with a bunch of vaseline in her hair while wearing an old dress her mother had made, Spacek instantly won the role. Thanks to her remarkable performance, she was nominated for an Academy Award. Spacek later published her memoir, My Extraordinary Life.
In 1967, Katharine Ross got the fame she deserved after acting in The Graduate as Mrs. Robinson. Soon after, she became a Hollywood legend.
In 1975, she was the lead actress in The Voyage of Damned as Joanna Ingalls. She played an impressive role in Voyage of the Damned and won a Golden Globe. Ross and her husband Elliot, have been one of Hollywood’s power couples for decades. They had both gained a decent amount of success and recognition before meeting in 1978 on the set of The Legacy. Ironically, the two actors played the role of lovers in the horror movie, and have been married ever since.