30 Famous Women From The 1970s: Then & Now

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Catherine Bach Who didn’t love Catherine Bach from the get-go? Catherine Bach is best known for her role as Daisy Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985). She landed the part on the spot, even though the producers were originally looking for a Dolly Parton-type.

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Lindsay Wagner is remembered for starring in The Bionic Woman (1976-1978), where she played Jaime Sommers.  The show lasted two years, with Wagner winning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Dramatic Role in 1977.

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Suzanne Somers is best known for her portrayal of Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company (1977-1984) and Carol Foster Lambert on Step by Step (1997-1998). As of 2020, Somers has mainly stuck to TV appearances with her latest in 2017.

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Laurette Spang is mainly known for her role playing Cassiopeia on the original Battlestar Galactica (1978). Spang studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and graduated in 1969. In 1972 a Universal Studios talent agent spotted Sprang and signed her to 7- year contract with the studio.

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Susan Anton has made several appearances on television, film, theater, and concerts since the 1970s. She began doing commercials for Muriel Cigars, gaining a small following in 1976. After the 70s, Anton went on to costar in many Broadway productions, record music, and work on TV/Film projects.

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Diane Keaton was born Diane Hall. She studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City after dropping out of college. She became an understudy to the lead in the original Broadway production of Hair in 1968. Keaton gained some notoriety for not performing nude in the role.

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Susan Sarandon is a legend in the industry. She’s never stopped going, and she’s been rewarded handsomely for her hard work. SHe got her start in 1970, and by 1975, she got her shot and she took it, starring in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. After that, it was off to the races. You remember her in the 1995 classic Dead Man Walking, right?

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Susan Hallock Dey is best known for playing Laurie Partridge on the sitcom The Partridge Family (1970-1974) as well as Grace Van Owen on the drama series L.A. Law (1986-1992). In 1988, she finally won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series. As of 2004, Dey has retired from acting.

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Morgan Fairchild, born Patsy Ann McClenny, began acting at an early age performing in children plays at 10. Since then, she has appeared in many live theater performances as well as TV shows such as Maude (1972-1978), where she got a Golden Globe nomination for her guest appearance.

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Jacqueline Bisset started her acting career in 1965. By 1968, she was nominated for the most promising newcomer at the Golden Globes for her role as Vickie Cartwright in The Sweet Ride. She also acted in prominent movies such as The Detective, Bullitt, Airport, Day for Night, Murder on the Orient Express, and The Deep.

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Brigitte Bardot shined brighter than most in the 1950s and 1960s. Bardot began her career as a model before quickly veering into acting. By 1957, she was snowballing popularity as an actress, but it was the film “And God Created Woman” that skyrocketed her into international fame.

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Betty Brosmer was born on August 2, 1935, in Pasadena, California. At only 13, she began her modeling career debuting in the Sears & Roebuck catalog in 1948. She moved to New York in the early 50s and began what would become a very successful modeling career. By 1953, she decided Hollywood was the next stop on her life tour.

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Cheryl Ladd was born July 12, 1951. She is an American actress, singer and author, and has inspired many people in an array of industries. Ladd is most famous for her role as Kris Munroe in ABC’s “Charlie’s Angels”. She was hired to replace Farrah Fawcett during the second season in 1977.

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Raquel Welch  won the 1974 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her acting work in Three Musketeers. In One Million Years B.C., the first-ever deer-skin outfit she wore throughout the film launched her into superstardom status!

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Cathy Lee Crosby – How many former professional tennis players go on to become famous television stars? Well, at the least, this one does. She was the first Wonder Woman on TV. Many people think it was Lynda Carter, but no. Crosby starred in the television movie Wonder Woman in 1974.

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Sissy Spacek – If you remember the movie Carrie then you remember her. One of the multi-faceted women of Hollywood, Spacek is the recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

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Ellen Burstyn – Born during the throes of the Great Depression, she has been grinding ever since 1932. Burstyn is one of the only actresses to ever win the Triple Crown of Acting – which is a Tony Award, an Oscar and an Emmy. She burst onto the scene in 1971 in the hit movie The Last Motion Picture Show

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Jane Fonda is one of those characters that seems to only get brighter and more famous with age. She has been acting what seems like her whole life. Born in 1937, she is still gracing the silver screen! Her biggest, and most notable early role, came in the film Cat Ballou.

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Marilu Henner made her starring debut in 1977. And then, in the mid-1980s, everything came together for her. She had co-starring roles in films such as Hammett (1982), The Man Who Loved Women (1983), Cannonball Run II (1984), Johnny Dangerously (1984), Rustlers’ Rhapsody (1985), Ladykillers (1988).

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Loni Anderson is best known for playing Jennifer Marlow on the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, which ran from 1978-1982. She went on to get nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and two Emmy nominations for her portrayal of Jennifer.

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Kristy McNichol is an actress recognized for playing Letitia “Buddy” Lawrence in the 1976 TV Drama Family. For the show, she won 2 Emmy awards and was nominated for a Golden Globe. After a series of television, movie, and voice work, she retired from acting in 1998.

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Debbie Harry is the lead singer for the new wave band Blondie. She met guitarist Chris Stein when she was performing with a female trio called the Stilettos. Eventually, Stein and Harry grew romantically involved and started their own band in 1974. Blondie reached commercial and critical successes in 1978 with their third album.

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Barbra Streisand is one of the few entertainers who have been awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. That puts her in elite company with other superstars like Audrey Hepburn, John Legend, Mel Brooks and others.

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Jerry Hall is a model and actress. She was found by fashion agent Claude Haddad who spotted her and her twin sister sunbathing on a Saint Tropez Beach. Besides modeling, Hall has acted in many movies, TV Shows, and plays, including Batman (1989). In 2004, she broke the record for the most theatrical appearances in one night.

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Charo is a Spanish-American musician who burst onto the scene in the 1970s with an undeniable personality, a great guitar-playing and singing ability and a catchphrase: “cuchi-cuchi.” Where did the name Charo come from? Legend has it that it is the naturally shortened form of her full name Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza.

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Cheryl Tiegs was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota, in 1947. Tiegs has appeared on just about every magazine cover in the world! She was the first model to appear twice on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and then in 1979, she signed a two-year contract with CoverGirl Cosmetics for $1.5 million!

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Jane Seymour – Live and Let Die  put her on the map – but she’s been active long before, and long after that legendary Bond film. The British-American actress has earned an Emmy Award, two Golden Globe Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2000, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

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Adrienne Jo Barbeau began her acting career in New York City after moving from Sacramento. She worked in a variety of plays and musicals but broke out with the stage production Grease, where she won the 1972 Tony Award. From the 1990s-present, Barbeau has had steady small roles in popular TV shows, videogames, and movies.

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Maureen McCormick was born in 1956 and by the time she was 13 in 1969, had landed the role of her career as Marcia Brady! Now at the sprightful young age of mid-60s, McCormick is still acting in various reality TV series and was even recently a contestant on Dancing With The Stars.

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Charlene Tilton – If you grew up loving the show Dallas then you definitely remember  Tilton. She played the Ewing’s niece on the show, which set her up for a lifetime of acting and public gigs. She even landed herself a role in the 2013 super-hit The Theory of Everything.

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Bianca Jagger (born Blanca Pérez-Mora Macías) is the former wife of Rolling Stone’s Mick Jagger and a former actress. She met Mick Jagger at a party in France in 1970, and they married in 1971. She filed for divorce in 1978 on the grounds of adultery with Jerry Hall, who may or may not show up later on this list….

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Charlotte Rampling was model before acting in film.  She rose prominently in the 1970s after playing a concentration camp survivor in The Night Porter (1974) as well as the sci-fi film  Zardoz (1974) and the 1975 film Farewell, My Lovely which was received very well by critics.

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Joanna Lumley is an English actress who rose to prominence in London during the 1960s as a model. As an actress, she landed the role of Purdy in The New Avengers (1976) against 800 other auditions. Purdey was an instant hit for Lumley and made her hairstyle nicknamed the Purdey bob, a “must-have.”

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Cybill Shepard is an actress who is famous for her appearance in The Last Picture Show (1971), The Heartbreak Kid (1972), and Taxi Driver (1976). After returning to Hollywood recently, she was cast in the television show Moonlighting and has since appeared on The L Word, Psych, and The Client List.

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Pam Grier – Director Quentin Tarantino describes her as the first female action star in movie history. Grier is predominately known for women prison films like The Big Bird Cage and Foxy Brown from the 1970s.  In 1997 she earned the title-role for Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and received a nomination for a Golden Globe for Best Actress.

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Dolly Parton is known primarily for work in country music. She is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist and record producer. In the 1970s, she met her sales and chart peak, which sustained into the 80s. Today, Parton music is still widely listened to, and she has had great success in business as well as many multimedia projects.

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Sally Field starred in comedies and sitcoms such as Gidget, The Flying Nun, The Girl with Something Extra and Sybil. Following Sybil, she broke out of TV with hits such as Smokey and the Bandit (1977). She later received two academy awards for best actress for Norma Rae (1979) and Places in the Heart (1984).

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Faye Dunaway Following her iconic portrayal of Bonnie Parker in 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde, Dunaway appeared in some of the most renowned films of the 1970s, including Chinatown, Three Days of the Condor, and The Towering Inferno. She also won an Academy Award for Best Actress for Network (1976).

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Candice Bergen, daughter of famed ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, is best known for her role as the title character Murphy Brown which lasted eleven seasons (1988-1998).  In 1979, Bergen even received a Best Supporting Actress nomination from the Academy Awards for the 1979 film Starting Over.

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Goldie Hawn is a highly recognized actress. She began her career as a dancer at a Show Theater in Disneyland California before cast as dumb blonde in CBS’s Good Morning World. Her next role would gain Hawn international prominence as a regular on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In sketch comedy 1968-1973.

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Stevie Nicks is a prominent singer and songwriter. She is widely known for her writing and vocal work on Fleetwood Mac, as well as her solo career. Nicks image is synonymous with her mysticism style. Fleetwood Mac’s second album “Rumours,” became the bestselling album in 1977. They went on to sell 40 million copies worldwide.

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Ali MacGraw is an actress, model, and author. She worked at Vogue magazine as a model & hairstylist before going into commercials and film.  The movie, that lifted her into stardom was Love Story (1970), where she received a Golden Globe Award. Later she starred in popular movies such as The Getaway (1972) and Convoy (1978).

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Olivia Newton-John is a prolific songwriter and singer. In the 1970s, she made a big splash with her recordings. Her song “Let Me Be There” reached the American top 10 charts. Newton-John, however, might be best remembered for her role as Sandy Olsson in Grease (1978). The film became the biggest box office success in 1978.

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Kate Jackson is an actress recognized for her role as Sabrina Duncan on Charlie’s Angels and Amanda King on Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Following Charlie’s Angels success, Jackson appeared on several television films. She has received three Emmy Award nominations and four Golden Globe Award nominations.

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Jaclyn Smith is best known for her role as Kelly Garrett on Charlie’s Angels, which ran from 1976-1981. The show’s success pushed her into stardom. Following Charlie’s Angels, Smith used her new popularity as a branding tool for various business ventures. She created a collection of women’s apparel, clothing brands, wigs, and perfume.

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Lynda Carter is almost synonymous with the character Wonder Woman. Her iconic portrayal as the Amazon princess lasted three seasons from 1975-1979. Following the role, she made a series of other television appearances, including shows, movies, and commercials. Carter also is a singer and songwriter.