Famous Women Of The 70's Then And Now

These are the most iconic women we know and love from the 1970s.
Harriet King May 3rd 2018 Entertainment
Time waits for nobody, but some people seem to be able to at least make it impatient. The female models and actresses of the 1970s were some of the most striking, confident and beautiful the world had ever seen, and they're still capable of turning heads now, forty years later.
The young women of the 70s were the product of the revolutionary change in society during the 60s; a time of experimentation, progression, free love, and great music. Because of those changes, they grew up being told that they could do more than any previous generation of women. They did.
From singers to style icons, fashionistas to fallen idols, here are twenty-five of the most iconic women we know and love from the 1970s. Their lives didn't start and end in that decade though, so we've included the latest pictures and information we could find about what they're doing now!
Mary Tyler Moore - Then
The Mary Tyler Moore of the 1970s was almost a completely new kind of woman. Confident, articulate and outspoken, Moore had the confidence to go on television and be herself. In fact, that was the whole point of her self-titled television hit, 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show.' Breaking with the archaic social expectation to be married with children by the time she hit her 30s, Moore was single, proud of it, and had a career of her own as a news producer.
It would be no exaggeration to say that Moore is an icon of the decade. She wasn't only known for her views and her wisdom; Moore was a fashion inspiration whose style choices informed a whole generation of young women. On top of that, she went about her business with a dry sense of humor that could often catch people off guard. People in Hollywood had sometimes been known to take themselves too seriously. Moore broke the mold.
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Mary Tyler Moore - Now
Sadly, Moore is no longer with us. She lived her life to the full, and stayed with us until January 2017, when she passed away peacefully at the age of 80. The 1970s may have been the best period of her working life, but she was active on screen and on stage for far longer than that. She never truly stopped working at all and was accepting new roles right up until her death.
In a career full of highlights, the achievements Moore would probably be most satisfied with were her multiple Emmy Awards, and her Tony Awards for performances in the theater. Tony Awards are notoriously hard to achieve, and doubly so for a woman who, at times, was perceived to have 'upset the apple cart' in the eyes of traditionalists. The 2010s show 'Hot in Cleveland' introduced her to a brand-new audience, making her as relevant to the youth of today as she was to the youth of four decades prior.
Faye Dunaway - Then
Blonde hair, big eyes, full lips - Faye Dunaway ticked every box as far as casting agents and directors were concerned in the 1970s. A pin-up fixture on the walls of many teenage boys of the era, Dunaway is one of the decade's most successful movie starts. Although she's more closely associated with the 70s, Dunaway didn't have to wait for the decade to begin before she could forge a career. She already had movie credits to her name by the end of 1969.
It's the 70s she's best known for, though, and that's because of hugely successful films like 'Network' and 'Towering Inferno,' the latter of which was the definitive disaster movie of its era. 'Network' wasn't quite the box office sensation 'Towering Inferno' was, but it did bring her the most acclaim; for her performance in the film, she won both a Golden Globe and an Oscar at the 1977 awards.
Faye Dunaway - Now
Nobody appears to have told Dunaway's skin or hair that forty years have passed. Although she's a little older, she looks as glamorous now as she did when she first emerged onto the Hollywood scene. She's now in her late 70s and picked up plenty of awards to go with her 'Network' trophies, including a Golden Globe for 'Gia' and an Emmy for a performance in 'Columbo.'
Dunaway has tried to retire from acting and let the younger generation step up, but the industry doesn't want to let her go just yet. Her retirement lasted a full six years from 2009 to 2017, but director Stacy Title was able to talk her into coming back in front of the camera for the horror film 'The Bye Bye Man,' and she's gone on to make another two movies since then, with no sign of stopping.
Dolly Parton - Then
If you need us to explain to you who Dolly Parton is, we'd have to assume that you've just arrived on Earth from somewhere in outer space. It's a controversial statement, but we think Parton may be the most famous and successful country music singer of all time. At one point, she was one of the best-known women in the whole world. In the 1970s, she was everywhere.
Good looking, American as apple pie and brimming with charisma, Parton was a record company executive's dream. Her breakthrough single 'Here You Come Again' made her an almost overnight sensation, and from then on Parton never looked back. The world fell in love with her, and her name was on top of the bill wherever she went. There have only ever been a handful of artists who were able to take country music mainstream; Parton was one of them.
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Dolly Parton - Now
Once she was on the international stage, Parton was determined never to leave it, and she never has. She has an appearance that defies her age, describing herself as 'plastic and proud of it.' As with many successful musicians, Parton crossed over into acting. She still performs and acts to this day, having enjoyed a recent appearance in the 'Legends' slot at the world-famous Glastonbury Music Festival.
The one thing Parton has done that no other musician has dared to attempt is to open her own theme park. Everybody presumed 'Dollywood' was doomed to failure when it launched in Tennessee in 1986, but its thrived and remains open now. With a hugely successful music career, a slew of film credits and a theme park that she owns and is named in her honor, Parton has lived an A-List life for longer than most of us have been alive, and we hope she continues to do so for many years yet.
Cher - Then
Is there a more enduring icon in the world of performance than Cher? It sometimes feels like she's been with us forever. That's because she's been making music for more than fifty years, starting out in the 1960s as part of her iconic partnership with her husband, Sonny Bono. The 60s were just humble beginnings compared to what came later, though. By the time the 70s were over, Cher was one of the most famous women in the world.
Cher seemed undecided about whether to pursue music or acting very early on in her career, having acting credits in the 60s just as her music career was starting to take off. Eventually, she combined both together, appearing in 'The Sonny and Cher Show' and variations on the theme for virtually the entire decade, making American audiences feel like they knew her as well as they knew their neighbors.
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Cher - Now
Cher is now in her early 70s but has no intentions of retiring. In an interview in Toronto in 2013, she said that instead of weakening, her voice was actually still getting stronger, and that she was able to reach notes now that she couldn't get near in her 20s and 30s. She also doesn't rule out doing another residency in Las Vegas!
There is almost nothing Cher hasn't done in the world of entertainment. She's won an Emmy Award for her small-screen appearances, a Grammy Award for her music, and three Golden Globe and an Oscar for her movie career. Although she's a legendary figure, with her track record of success, you could even make a case that she doesn't get the recognition she deserves from the public. She has fully embraced her status as a gay icon and uses her social media presence to speak out on gay rights issues.
Brigitte Bardot - Then
Most of the women on this list either started their career or experienced their peak years during the 1970s. For French blonde bombshell Brigitte Bardot, the opposite is true. Her acting career began in the late 1950s, ran through the 60s and would have continued through the 70s if she'd so desired, but instead, she spontaneously retired from acting, and never went back to it.
Bardot is a fiercely proud French woman, and the overwhelming majority of her performances were in French language films, but her looks and screen presence were such that directors eventually persuaded her to appear in Hollywood. Her best-known roles included 'Helen of Troy' and 'Act of Love,' along with 'Two Weeks in September.' As she approached her 40s, she decided to leave the acting profession before she was pushed and made her final movie in 1973.
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Brigitte Bardot - Now
Bardot had a long-standing interest in standing up for the rights of animals, and when she gave up acting, she threw herself into that role full time. She's campaigned nationally and internationally for animal rights, having written open letters to heads of state on numerous occasions, gaining press attention for her causes while doing so. Even now, in her mid-80s, she's as passionate about the issue as she ever has been.
Not all of Bardot's post-movie activities have been well received. Her current husband, whom she married in 1992, is a former adviser to a French far-right political organization. Bardot began speaking on political issues shortly after her marriage and has now been convicted four times in the French courts for inciting racial hatred with her comments. Although she apologized in 2004, claiming she didn't realize her words were offensive, she found herself in the dock yet again in 2008 facing the same charge for the same reason.
Olivia Newton-John - Then
It wasn't only Paul Hogan in 'Crocodile Dundee' who made it big in Hollywood from Australia. Olivia Newton-John beat him to the punch by several years. No matter what era you grew up in, at some point you'll have sat down to watch 'Grease' and been enthralled by Newton-John's performance as 'Sandy' opposite John Travolta. The movie was a launching pad for both of their careers, and she was the woman every high school girl dreamed of being.
In truth, it was singing that got Newton-John the 'Grease' role that made her world-famous. You can't perform in a musical unless you can hit the high notes, and she could most certainly do that! 'Grease' was only her second acting credit, but she'd already released eleven studio albums before the film came out in 1978. That's an incredible amount of work for someone who wasn't yet 30 years old.
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Olivia Newton-John - Now
'Grease' somewhat typecast Newton-John, and she struggled to pick up major acting roles despite the box office success of the film. She kept going with the music, though, and has so far released another eighteen studio albums, with the most recent being a Christmas album issued in 2016.
Now 70 years old, it would be fair to say that she is better known for being herself than anything else. She's had many television roles since her 'Grease' days, but most of them have either been cameos as herself, or appearances in which she's not been required to act. She's also been a talent show judge for television, sitting in the chair for the successful 'Dancing with the Stars' series. Perhaps inspired by her youth in the countryside of Australia, Newton-John has become an advocate for environmental issues, which she's invested a great deal of her own time and money into.
Jane Seymour - Then
Appearing as a 'Bond Girl' in any of the famous 'James Bond' movies can be a double-edged sword for an actress. It's either the launching pad to a hugely successful career, or it's a one-way ticket to typecasting from which you never return. In the case of Jane Seymour, it turned out to be the former. She was fantastic as 'Solitaire' in 'Live and Let Die,' but perhaps even better in 'Frankenstein' the following year.
After those two movies, the pattern was set for Seymour. She would appear in 'Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger' and 'The Four Feathers' in the big screen before the decade was out, coupled with various appearances on television shows and TV movies. At some point in the 70s, she says she was sexually harassed by a movie producer and considered giving up the profession, but ultimately decided to carry on.
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Jane Seymour - Now
For a lot of people, finding out that Seymour had ever been a Bond girl would have been a surprise. If you were a child of the 80s or 90s, you're far more likely to know her as 'Doctor Quinn: Medicine Woman.' That was the show in which she starred for six years and endeared herself to a whole new audience, twenty years after her first wave of stardom.
Seymour has always been aware of her looks and has never been ashamed of showing them off. In February 2018, at the age of 67, Seymour became the oldest woman ever to pose for 'Playboy.' It was her third time appearing in the magazine. Seymour now has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen of England in 2000.
Susan Dey - Then
'The Partridge Family' is a show that's difficult to explain to anyone who wasn't there to see it during the 1970s. Try explaining the plot or the concept to anyone now, and they'll struggle to understand what made it so special, but during the four years it aired from 1970 to 1974, everybody watched it. When they did, they fell in love with the young Susan Dey, who had the bluest eyes the world had ever seen.
The show made a star out of Dey, who was being cast in movies within two years of appearing on the show. Her first credit was in 1972's 'The Candidate,' which was a minor role. She had a much bigger part in 'Skyjacked' the same year, and by that point, she was a breakout star before she'd even turned 20.
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Susan Dey - Now
It seems that if you want to turn a TV show into a success, you cast Susan Dey in a part and let nature take its course. What she did for 'The Partridge Family' she also did for 'L.A. Law.' The show started off on television and progressed into a movie, with Dey playing the same role all the way through.
In her mid-60s, Dey is still young enough to be acting, but appears to have retired. She hasn't appeared on either the big screen or the small screen since 2003. During that time, she broke off all contact with her former 'Partridge Family' co-star David Cassidy, whom she fell in unrequited love with during the making of the show, only for him to release a 'tell all' book on the subject about several years later.
Jaclyn Smith - Then
We're not done with the 'Charlie's Angels' girls just yet! All of the girls who starred in the show were incredibly good looking and gifted, and being gifted would take you a long way in Hollywood during an era when being good looking was enough to open the door. Jaclyn Smith was the most loyal of all the Angels; she remained with the show from its first episode in 1976 all the way through to the last one in 1981.
Whether through loyalty to the show or other reasons, Smith never seemed to have the same burning desire to escape the show and move on to other things as her co-stars. She did make a couple of TV movie appearances during the decade, but fit them around her 'Angels' filming commitments. The show was her first steady and reliable acting work, so it's possible she felt a sense of obligation to stay with it.
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Jaclyn Smith - Now
When 'Charlie's Angels' eventually ended, Smith was finally free to evaluate what she wanted to do with the rest of her career. As with her former co-stars, she tried her hand at movies, with appearances in 1980's 'Nightkill' and 1985's 'Deja Vu.' Her true passion also started to become clear in the 80s though, as she spent time away from acting to begin developing her own clothing and perfume ranges.
Although it's almost expected that major stars will launch their own product ranges in the modern era, it was unheard of them. Celebrities may have endorsed products, but they never released their own. Smith started the trend, and whether you want to condemn or applaud her for that is up to you! When 'Charlie's Angels' returned to the big screen with a new cast in 2003, Smith was the only 'original' performer to reprise her role, appearing in a cameo. Now in her mid-70s, she last appeared on screen in two episodes of 'CSI' in 2012 and may consider herself to be retired.
Loni Anderson - Then
Loni Anderson was an actress struggling to make it as the 1970s started, and it took her most of the decade to get to the top. She'd made two feature film appearances, but they were in roles so small she wasn't even credited. She's made single-episode appearances in shows like 'S.W.A.T' and 'The Bob Newhart Show,' but nothing that resembled regular work.
That all changed when she was cast as 'Jennifer Marlowe' the sexy receptionist on the TV show 'WKRP in Cincinnati' in 1978. She was an instant hit with viewers and stayed with the show for four years. More than forty years later it's still the role she's best known for, but it also became the launching bad for her later career, starting with a guest spot in 'Three's Company.' Her secretarial role had put her in front of a wide audience on a consistent basis, and directors took note.
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Loni Anderson - Now
Anderson makes no secret of the fact that she's 'had work done,' but even taking that into account she still looks sensational for a woman in her early 70s. The 80s were a golden era for Anderson, during which she won role after role, and married legendary actor Burt Reynolds in 1988.
For the main part, she stayed in television rather than going into movies. She was the star attraction of 'Partners in Crime' and 'Easy Street' during the 80s, and 'Nurses' in the 1990s. As with many of our 70s stars, she's starting to slow down as she gets older, and hasn't been seen on our screens much since an eight-episode run in 'So Notorious' during 2006. Her decision to step away from her career came at roughly the same time her daughter received a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, so it's possible that her priorities changed at that time.
Goldie Hawn - Then
Has anybody ever played the 'girl-next-door' role better than Goldie Hawn? It was her comedy skills in the sketch show 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In' from 1968 to 1970 which first brought her to America's attention. With her distinctive hair, soft blue eyes and infectious laugh, she was easy to fall in love with, and so the world did.
Her major career breakthrough came in 1969 when she won a 'Best Supporting Actress' Oscar for 'Cactus Flower', her first major film role. She used that as a stepping stone, going on to appear in eight critically acclaimed movies during the 70s, and even finding time to take a mini career break in the middle of the decade to focus on the birth of her first son. When she decided to go back to work, she was given her own 'Goldie Hawn Special' on network television to make the announcement.
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Goldie Hawn - Now
Hawn just kept going and going as the years went on. She kicked off the 1980s with 'Private Benjamin,' which earned her another 'Best Actress' Oscar Nomination, and then went back to playing for laughs in 1992's 'Death Becomes Her,' with several great films in between. Things continued to be successful for Hawn until the turn of the century, when her first box office failure seemed to hit her hard.
Hawn appeared in 'Town & Country' with Warren Beatty and Diane Keating in 2001. With an all-star cast and a $90m budget, the movie was expected to do great things, but critics hated it, and audiences avoided it. When it was pulled from cinema screens, it had grossed just $7m. Seemingly stung by this, Hawn pulled away from acting and went mostly unseen for the next fifteen years. That wasn't the end of her career, though. In 2017 she returned, performing with Amy Schumer in 'Snatched' and playing her part so gracefully it was like she'd never been away.
Christie Brinkley - Then
Christie Brinkley may not have been the very first American supermodel, but she was the most prolific of her time. 'Sports Illustrated' magazine doesn't tend to hand its front covers out easily, but for Brinkley, they made an exception. During the 1970s, she was the cover girl of three consecutive issues, which was a first in the history of the publication.
That wasn't the exact start of Brinkley's career, but it was a major push along the way. Despite her success, she didn't originally think of herself as a model. She felt that she was a 'normal' girl from California and didn't understand why so many people were so keen to take pictures of her. She was also more interested in a career in the arts, having moved to Paris to study in 1973. Some would say that rather than studying art, she became it.
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Christie Brinkley - Now
The 70s were Brinkley's launchpad, but incredibly she's still in demand as a model today. She was signed up by 'Cover Girl' and served as the face of their brand for twenty-five years; a period longer than any model would be expected to serve. When it was all over, she found herself signing up with them again in 2005 to promote their mature skincare range.
Along the way, she also found time for three marriages including one to musician Billy Joel, and three children. In more recent times you're more likely to find her promoting her range of beauty and skin care products, although you'll still see her walk the occasional catwalk with her daughter. Brinkley has appeared on more than 500 magazine covers in all, which is believed to be a world record. Not bad for a surfer from California.
Charo - Then
We tend to think of 'flash in the pan' celebrities as being a comparatively recent invention - the product of 'one hit wonder' musicians, or reality television stars. That isn't quite the case. It would be a little unfair to call Charo a flash in the pan, but her career both started and ended in the 1970s.
It's hard to say why her fame didn't last longer. At one point, she was everywhere. Any time you switched on the television and saw a variety show, you'd see Charo singing. She sold out shows in Las Vegas, headlining bills which contained people who could go on to have much more enduring fame. Charo may not have been a big deal after the 70s were over, but people definitely enjoyed her and her (largely staged) pigeon English style of delivery at the time.
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Charo - Now
Over the years, many people will have wondered what happened to Charo after the 70s ended, so we're happy to fill in the blanks. Charo is still with us, and we'd tell you how old she is, but nobody knows. At one point she claimed it was 1941, but as she got older, she adjusted her age down, seeming to finally settle on 1949.
The reason for Charo's sudden disappearance from television is simple - she left the United States mainland and moved to Hawaii. She still performed there, but it was at her own dinner and theater bar, where she seemed to be happy away from the world's glare. She does still make the occasional reality television appearance as herself, most notably in the 2017 series of 'Dancing with the Stars.' Unfortunately for Charo fans, it wasn't a memorable stint on the show - she was voted off in the second week.
Morgan Fairchild - Then
Sometimes it seems that there are soap stars, and then there are movie stars. Soap stars don't often progress into being movie stars and movie stars never 'lower themselves' to appearing in soaps, so it feels like people stay in their lanes. Those rules don't apply to Morgan Fairchild, who got her big break in 'Search for Tomorrow' in 1973.
Fairchild stood out among the cast of the soap, and a year after leaving the show she found herself cast in 'Dallas' and then 'Mork and Mindy', all of which left her well positioned to move on to bigger and better things. There were many actresses who could portray 'sexy,' and far fewer who could do 'glamorous.' Fairchild could, which made her a 'go to' casting choice when roles demanded it. The world was her oyster, and she was ready to take a bite as the 80s approached.
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Morgan Fairchild - Now
It's true to say that time will eventually catch up with all of us, but so far, it's only laid a very light glove on Fairchild, who still looks as fresh and breezy now as she did all those years ago. She's adapted her style to suit her age perfectly, and because she's stayed current, she's also managed to stay busy.
Fairchild has been a regular staple of both the big and small screen, racking up diverse credits from 'The Bold and the Beautiful' to 'My Name is Earl.' She's an ardent campaigner for both environmental issues and AIDS awareness, and is known to have made large donations to the Democratic Party. In 2017, her extended run in 'Days of Our Lives' saw her nominated for an Emmy. She's as in demand now as she ever has been, at the age of 69.
Susan Anton - Then
We weren't as aware of the health problems associated with smoking in the 1970s as we are now. Adverts for cigarettes are banned on television almost everywhere, but they were commonplace during the time, and performers like Susan Anton owe their careers to them. Anton first caught the eye of the nation while advertising Muriel Cigars, using both her name and her singing voice to get the product firmly inside your head.
Merv Griffin was impressed with what he saw, and invited Anton to appear on his show several times. That added to the force behind her rising star. Appearances on 'Hollywood Squares' and 'The Mike Douglas Show' followed, as well as the movie 'Goldengirl.' Success just seemed to keep following success, and by 1979 she was famous enough to host a show of her own - 'Presenting Susan Anton.'
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Susan Anton - Now
The first thing Anton became notable for after the 1970s ended was her relationship with British comedian and actor Dudley Moore. Moore was a short man, and with Anton's model-height good looks she towered over him, which always made for entertaining photographs when they were seen in public.
It was no surprise when any blonde woman with model looks turned up on the TV show 'Baywatch' in the 1990s, but Anton was already in her 40s when she secured her recurring role, which meant she broke barriers down by doing it. She may never have secured notable honors for her acting abilities, but she has continued to work regularly, most recently appearing in the tongue-in-cheek horror movie 'Sharknado 4'. She only has a handful of credits in the past five years, but as a happily married 68-year-old woman she may have decided she doesn't want or need to go to work anymore.
Suzanne Somers - Then
Suzanne Somers is another of the iconic pin-up girls of the 1970s. She seemed to play the part of the 'dumb blonde effortlessly'. She did it so well that people assumed that she must be the same way in real life, but actually Somers is a fiercely intelligent woman, who struggled hard to make it in the acting world.
It was 'Three's Company' that finally saw her make a breakthrough into the mainstream, when she was cast in the part of Chrissy Snow in 1977. She made herself - and the part - icons of the era. The decade also saw her appear in 'Starsky and Hutch' and 'Zuma Beach' as well as the movies 'American Graffiti' and 'Billy Jack Goes to Washington', but to a whole generation of people, she's always going to be Chrissy Snow.
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Suzanne Somers - Now
Somers is in her early 70s now and has aged remarkably well. She doesn't attribute this to plastic surgery though. Somers is an advocate for a medical process called 'Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy,' a form of hormone replacement which is purported to have many health and anti-aging benefits, but about which little medical evidence exists.
The lack of evidence doesn't concern Somers, who has written and published a book called 'Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones' in support of the procedures. She stoked particular controversy in 2013, when she suggested that the shooter in the Sandy Hook massacre may have been affected by the toxins in his diet and being exposed to household cleaning agents. When she's not advocating unusual health causes, she still sometimes appears on television. Her most recent major appearance was in the 2015 series of 'Dancing with the Stars,' in which she was eliminated during the show's fifth week.
Lola Falana - Then
It takes a special talent to be spotted by a legend like Sammy Davis Jr. It takes an incredibly confident woman to walk away from Sammy Davis Jr because she felt it was the best thing for the advancement of her own career. For that, we salute the bravery of Lola Falana.
Falana kicked off the 70s is controversial and headline-grabbing style when she posed for 'Playboy' magazine in 1970s. Some felt it would be the end of her career, but it turned out to be the exact opposite. Regular appearances on 'The Streets of San Francisco' and 'The New Bill Cosby' show made her a household name. Building on her success and focusing on acting as well as singing and dancing, she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in 'The Liberation of L.B. Jones' and courted further controversy when she appeared in 1974's 'The Klansman.'
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Lola Falana - Now
Falana lived a life of glitz and glamour through most of the 1980s, including a famous night at the casino when she won a small stake in the New York Mets during a game of baccarat in 1983. Instead of immediately selling her stake, she took an interest in the team for a period of time before going on to sell it in 1988 for $14m. Sadly she wasn't selling it because she'd lost interest; she was selling it because her health was deteriorating.
Falana suffered a severe bout of multiple sclerosis in 1987. It left her partially blind and paralyzed down her left side. She was eventually able to recover some movement, but her career as a performer was over. She recorded one more song in 1995, but never took to the stage again. During her extended recovery, Falana became very religious, and gave up her public life completely to focus on pursuing spirituality. She is believed to be still alive and living in the Philadelphia area.
Jayne Kennedy - Then
There aren't many people in life who can say they've performed a 'first' in entertainment, but Jayne Kennedy can. She was the first black woman ever to win the Miss Ohio beauty contest and used the press attention that came with that victory to build a successful career for herself in both modeling and acting.
During the 70s, you were never far away from a Kennedy appearance on television. She rarely held down recurring or regular roles, but put in a wide range of guest appearances in shows such as 'Shaft,' 'The Six Million Dollar Man,' 'Starsky and Hutch' and 'Sanford and Son.' Kennedy's true passion was sports, though, and so she broke the mold once again when she became an NFL sportscaster in 1978, taking a position as an announcer on 'NFL Today.' There was some resistance from male colleagues and viewers, but Kennedy excelled in her role, eventually going on to host other sports shows on syndicated television.
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Jayne Kennedy - Now
The list of accolades against Kennedy's name if you look her up on Wikipedia is impressive and suggests that she should still retain a higher profile today. She's named as an actress, a model, a writer and producer, a spokeswoman, public speaker, and broadcaster. In reality, though, she largely retired from public life as the 1980s drew to a close and hasn't been seen much on television since.
Kennedy gave birth to three children during the 80s plus a fourth in the 1990s, so it's likely that she walked away from fame so she could focus on her family. She's still warmly remembered by legions of keen admirers though; 'Ebony Magazine' named her one of the twenty greatest sex symbols of the 20th century, and Coca Cola named her 'the most admired black woman in America.' She could have gone on to do whatever she wanted, but it seems that what she most wanted to be was a mother.
Catherine Bach - Then
When you start out your career playing a corpse on screen, it isn't the most promising of scenarios. You won't have much chance to show off your range as a performer in a role like that. Catherine Bach must have feared the worst for her career when she took the part in the movie 'The Midnight Man,' but things got better for her after that.
After her stiff performance in 'The Midnight Man,' Bach was cast in 'Thunderbolt & Lightfoot', where she got to do some actual acting. It wasn't until she put on a pair of cut-off shorts and played Daisy Dukes in 'The Dukes of Hazzard' that the public was convinced, but once they were all-in on Bach, they were really all-in. She made the part so iconic that cut-off shorts are still referred to as 'Daisy Dukes' to this day.
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Catherine Bach - Now
Bach's career didn't really take off the way that everyone thought it would after 'Dukes of Hazzard' and nobody knows why. She was cast in a series of low-budget movies, but Hollywood stayed away, and prominent television roles were hard to come by. In fact, the most regular work she could find was as voicing her most famous character in an animated version of the show called 'The Dukes.'
The 90s treated Bach a little better, with a recurring role in 'African Skies,' but it wasn't until the 2000s came around that she finally experienced the second upturn in her career. Since 2012 she's been starring as Anita in 'The Young and the Restless,' which has led on to appearances in 'Hawaii 5-0' and 'Almost Royal.' A new audience is enjoying Bach's talents, thirty years after her previous one last saw her.
Debbie Harry - Then
'Heart of Glass.' 'Atomic.' 'One Way or Another.' Blondie's music was never off the airwaves in the 1970s, and nor should it have been. The new-wave band combined punk and pop perfectly, and a large part of their appeal came in the form of lead singer Debbie Harry, and her waifish good looks.
Harry was more than just a singer; she was a style icon. There are still young women in the world today who model their look on the unique choices Harry made a generation ago. She had a way of making anything she did look effortlessly cool and sang in a distinctive voice that meant you always recognized a Blondie song on the first bar. 'Legend' may be thrown around too often as a description, but Harry deserves it. To a lot of people, Blondie is the soundtrack to their whole youth.
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Debbie Harry - Now
Blondie had the world at their feet during the early 1980s, but their success was derailed suddenly as a serious illness affected one of the group - guitarist Chris Stein, became seriously ill. The band was no longer able to perform, and to compound the issue, Stein and Harry were in a relationship. Instead of continuing her career, Harry took time away to care for him. She was away longer than she intended to be.
It would be 1997 before Blondie and Harry were back in the charts, with Stein recovered and Harry back on vocals. She was a little older, and some of her youthful swagger had disappeared, but the voice was still unmistakably hers. Blondie continues to perform, having released their most recent album in 2017. Perhaps after taking such a long time away from music, Harry is still making up for lost time.
Pam Grier - Then
Back in the 1970s, there was a whole genre of movies known as 'Blaxploitation,' and Pam Grier was the undisputed queen of them. Grier reached prominence within the genre by appearing in movies such as 'The Big Bird Cage,' 'Sheba, Baby' and 'Foxy Brown.'
As well as being an influential performer within black culture and black film during the 70s, Grier was also in relationships with two huge stars. She dated the comedian Freddie Prinze and is believed to be the last person he spoke to before his 1977 suicide. She also dated Richard Pryor, who she met during the filming of 'Greased Lightning' and is credited with helping him to learn to read. As an actress, critic Roger Ebert was a big fan of Grier's work, crediting her with being able to bring a humanity and reality to her roles that others working in her genre weren't capable of.
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Pam Grier - Now
Grier may have been a huge star within a confined genre in the 1970s, but she truly became a breakout talent after the decade was over. Quentin Tarantino had seen and loved her earlier work, and she was his first choice to play the role of 'Foxy Brown' in his 1995 classic movie 'Jackie Brown'; a role that Grier took to with great gusto and is still well recognized for today.
More recently than that, Grier played 'Kit Porter' on 'The L Word' for six seasons, running from 2004 onward. Still only 69 she continues to work, with movies currently in post-production that will come out next year. Grier is a cancer survivor, having once been given 18 months to live after a diagnosis of cervical cancer in 1988. She defied all medical expectations to fight the disease off, and while she's technically still in remission, it's never shown any sign of returning.
Jacqueline Bisset - Then
Jacqueline Bisset was already known and loved by cinema audiences before the 1970s began; she had eleven movie credits to her name including a part in the original 'Casino Royale.' She may not even have been any more famous by the end of the 70s than she was when it began, but that doesn't change the fact that she was one of the era's enduring stars.
Bisset racked up an astonishing eighteen movie credits during the 1970s; almost two a year, and many of them prominent and critically acclaimed performances. It was probably 1977's 'The Deep' that was the best known of all - the film is known for a scene where Bisset's character swims in the sea in only her underwear and a t-shirt. The movie's director Peter Guber would later remark that the t-shirt made him a lot of money.
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Jacqueline Bisset - Now
Bisset's career started to gradually wind down as of the mid 1980s, but the actress wasn't ready for retirement, and experienced a career renaissance after the turn of the century. She starred in a miniseries based on Joan of Arc which gained her an Emmy nomination, and was well received as Jackie Kennedy in a 2003 biopic of JFK.
Finally, in 2013, she began to receive the kind of awards her career has merited for some time. She starred in the drama 'Dancing on the Edge' for the BBC in 2013 and won a Golden Globe for 'Best Supporting Actress' in a television production for that year. With her profile raised once more, she was then offered a part in 'Miss You Already' with Drew Barrymore and Toni Colette. Returning to American television in 2017, she's recently been seen in 'Counterpart.' Bisset is in her mid-70s now, but ha an effortless grace about her, along with the demeanor of a performer much younger.
Stevie Nicks - Then
If you weren't into Debbie Harry and Blondie, you were probably into Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac. The softer and gentler tones of the British-American rock band captured the imaginations of people who were put off by the more aggressive punk sound of the 70s, and Stevie Nicks was every bit the beauty queen and fashion icon Harry was.
Nicks breathy vocals and dynamic range delighted audiences everywhere she went, with a power that belied her size. Fleetwood Mac was arguably a band ahead of their time. 1977's 'Rumors' was arguably their finest achievement, which seemingly everybody owning a copy. Both Nicks and her bandmates frequently wrote about their own experiences; which is a little awkward, seeing as some of them had romantic history with each other. Songs like 'The Chain' and 'Go Your Own Way' were full of sincerity, but it was the Nicks-penned 'Dreams' that became a classic.
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Stevie Nicks - Now
Stevie Nicks now is very much the same as Stevie Nicks then! The band may have taken extended pauses from time to time, but they've never stopped playing, and Nicks has always been with them. She may not quite cut it as a fashion icon anymore, and she may not have the elfin charm she did in her youth, but she still has the voice. For the millions of Fleetwood Mac fans around the world, that's more than enough.
When she's not singing (which she does even when the band is on a break, releasing her own music), Nicks devotes her time to charitable causes. She has the 'Stevie Nicks Band of Soldiers' foundation, which benefits wounded soldiers, among other interests. Any fan of 'American Horror Story' will know that she turns her hand to acting from time to time, too.
Maureen McCormick - Then
It wouldn't be fit or proper to go through a list of all the famous women from the 1970s, and not visit the 'Brady Bunch' once. Maureen McCormick will always, in our hearts, be 'Marcia Brady.' Known best for her beaming smile, she captured the hearts of audiences, and was a major factor in the show's incredible popularity during its peak years.
McCormick was still young when the 70s began, but she was a veteran in terms of television. She'd had a short run on 'Bewitched' prior to her years as a Brady, but being Marcia made her one of the best-known faces in America. She was rarely off television screens for the rest of the decade, appearing in shows like 'The Love Boat,' 'Fantasy Island' and 'Happy Days.' She also broke out onto the big screen in 'Moonshine Country Express,' in a role very similar to her 'Brady Bunch' part.
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Maureen McCormick - Now
The connection to 'The Brady Bunch' may have made McCormick famous, but it might also have been her Achilles' heel. She was so closely identified with the role that she struggled to find work elsewhere when the show was over and found herself returning to play Marcia time and again in special episodes during the 1980s. She's had some small film roles, but she never achieved the superstardom that was forecast for her.
McCormick has been open about the issues she faced when 'The Brady Bunch' finished, and they will also have impacted her career prospects. She developed an addiction to both cocaine and Methaqualone shortly after the end of the show's original run and would routinely turn up for auditions on drugs and deprived of sleep. For this reason, she lost out on a part in the 1984 'Indiana Jones' movie 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.' She battled her addictions for years before getting help in the 1990s and settling down with her husband.
Lynda Carter - Then
Long before Gal Gadot donned the costume and introduced the character to a whole new generation, Lynda Carter was 'Wonder Woman,' and she did the part proud! Not many people could get away with the costume that the character was required to wear, but as a former Miss World USA (picking up the prize in 1972) Carter had no concerns.
Carter had brains to go with her looks, and realized she had a short window to capitalize on her beauty and turn it into a career. As soon as she'd won the Miss World competition, she enrolled to take acting classes. She was rewarded with her first part two years later in an episode of police drama 'Nakia.' 'Starsky and Hutch' came next, and 'Wonder Woman' arrived in 1975. Carter had been acting for only three years, but she would spend the next four playing 'Diana Prince.'
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Lynda Carter - Now
As Michael Keaton found out with 'Batman,' once someone's played a superhero the part stays with them forever. Carter was 'Wonder Woman' in the eyes of the public, and it was difficult to shift that perception. She even made appearances on 'The Muppet Show' after 'Wonder Woman' had ended, playing a variation on the character.
Away from fame, Carter was struggling with alcoholism, for which she obtained treatment and rehabilitation during the 1990s and overcame at the turn of the century. As she recovered so did her career. She can currently be seen in a roll that nods and winks at her own superhero past; she's fictional US President 'Olivia Marsdin' in 'Supergirl.' She also made a return to the big screen for the first time in over ten years in 2018, with a part in 'Super Troopers 2'. In her spare time, she advocates for LGBT causes and pro-choice groups.

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