Many fads of the 1970s, such as the Pet Rock and the 8-track tape, have come and gone. However, the 1970s was the boom of inspiring women, in pop culture. From Beverly Johnson to Raquel Welch, these 1970s women remain influential today. See their stories below, and check out how amazing they all still look.
Olivia Newton John
Olivia is best known for her playing Sandy in the film adaptation of Grease. After her role as Sandy, Olivia returned to her roots as a singer and released her second studio album, Totally Hot. In 2015, Olivia released a song co-featuring her daughter, Chloe, titled You Have to Believe. The track was the first mother-daughter song to reach number-one single on Billboard’s Dance Club Play chart. Today, you can still find her touring internationally with her music.
Morgan Fairchild, born Patsy Ann McClenny, gained national fame after she played Jennifer Pace on the soap opera “Search for Tomorrow,” from 1973-1977. Her performance landed her guest roles on “Happy Days,” “Kojak,” “and “Dallas.” However, her career really took off after she appeared in “Flamingo Road” and “Falcon Crest,” in the 80s. She continues to act until today, with her most recent role in 2016’s “A Christmas in Vermont,” alongside Chevy Chase.
Linda originally began her music in the folk-rock and country-rock scene, playing at the Troubadour. However, after a few changes to her music, she was soon named the “Queen of Rock” and “First Lady of Rock,” by the media. She made 31 gold and platinum records and won 10 Grammys. Unfortunately, in 2013, Linda announced she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, and can no longer sing. However, she remains strong and even released her memoir, that same year, titled “Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir.”
After her rise to fame role, as a regular on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, Goldie’s career continued to flourish. She appeared in multiple comedies like There’s a Girl in My Soup and Butterflies are Free. She proved she could take on various roles when she appeared in satirical dramas such as The Sugarland Express and Shampoo. In 2013, Goldie performed as a voice actor on the popular cartoon series Phineas and Ferb. Goldie will return to the big screen for the first time since 2002 in the mother-daughter comedy, “Snatched,” with famous comedian Amy Schumer.
Pam became a staple of early 1970s blaxploitation movies, playing big, bold, assertive women, beginning with Jack Hill’s Coffy (1973) and continuing with movies like Foxy Brown and Sheba, Baby. Since then, Grier has appeared in the films Jackie Brown and The Man with the Iron Fists, and starred on the series The L World. She’s currently set to star in a dark comedy feature film about four grandmothers who accidentally kill a con man.
After performing as Mrs. Robinson’a body double in “The Graduate,” Linda Gray thought it was her time to shine. Grays breakthrough role came as the beautiful Sue Ellen in “Dallas.” She reprised her role of Sue Ellen in the “Dallas” remake from 2012 to 2014. However, she also appeared in various movies including “The Entertainers,” “Expecting Mary, and “Hidden Moon.” Most recently, in 2016, she appeared in the TV series “Hollyoaks,” as Tabby Maxwell-Brown.
First finding success in modeling, Kim made her acting debut on the TV series “Gemini Man.” Throughout the 70s, she landed various roles on TV movies and series including the remake of “From Here to Eternity.” Beginning in the 1980s she began to land for roles in feature films. Her most prominent performance was as Lynn Bracken in “L.A. Confidential,” for which she won the Oscar Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She most recently appeared alongside Russell Crowe in 2016’s “The Nice Guys,” and she will appear in 2017’s “Fifty Shades Darker.”
Barbara Streisand, although still young in the 60s. This is the decade where her career really took off. After having a successful music career, in the 1960s, Streisand decided to make the transition to movies. In 1968, she had her breakthrough role in “Funny Girl,” for which she won an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. Barbara only continues to show off her talents to the world with platinum albums and amazing acting performances. She will soon combine both, when she appears in the movie adaptation of “Gypsy,” which is set to begin filming in 2017.
Billie Jean King
King is best known for winning the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match verse male tennis-champion, Bobby Riggs, in 1973. In 1981, she became the first prominent female athlete to come out as gay. King continued to have success inside and out of the tennis world. In 1987, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and in 2009 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2014, she launched the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative to address inclusion and diversity issues in the workplace.
Ann-Margret gained national attention after she played Kim Mcafee in the movie adaptation, of the musical, “Bye Bye Birdie.” Her talents led her to have a super successful career, during the 1970s. She received academy award nominations for her work in “Carnal Knowledge” and “Tommy.” She also appeared in many other movies as well as variety TV shows. Her most recent role was in 2014, on the Showtime series “Ray Donovan.” However, she is currently credited with two roles in movies that have still not been released.
Alison Arngrin is most known for playing Nellie Oleson in “Little House on the Prairie,” from 1974-1982. Since her days as nasty little Nellie, she has continued to act in various TV movies and TV films as well as write. In 2010, she released “Confessions of A Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated.” The book is a comedic memoir growing up as one of TV’s most memorable characters. Today she is also heavily involved in charity to raise awareness for aids as well as child abuse.
McCormick is best known for her portrayal as the eldest daughter Marcia on the TV series The Brady Bunch. After The Brady Bunch ended in early 1974, she continued to make cameos on various shows like Happy Days and Love Boat. In 2015, McCormick appeared in the Australian version of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!. She lasted 42 days and was the last evictee before the season finale. In 2016, McCormick returned to reality TV and placed 8th on Dancing with the Stars.
Teri landed her first significant motion picture role in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, in 1974. However, her big break came when she landed the role as Igna in Young Frankenstein. Her fame continued to grow with roles in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Black Stallion. In 2002, Garr publicly announced she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Soon after, she became a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and National Chair for the Society’s Women Against MS program.
Model turned actress, Cicely received her first Academy Award nomination in 1972, for her performance as Rebecca Morgan in Sounder. In 1974, she went on to win two Emmy Awards for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman. She also appeared in other critically acclaimed television shows like Roots and King. Cicely continued her acting career in film, TV and Broadway. She appeared in the Best Picture nominated movie The Help and recently performed in the hit TV show How to Get Away with Murder.
Charlene Tilton is best known for her roles as Lucy Ewing on “Dallas.” She received the nickname poisonous dwarf due to her character’s wild personality at her short stature – Charlene was on 4’11”. After “Dallas,” Charlene began a pop career in the 1980s. She also posed topless for “Playboy.” However, more recently she spends her time doing foster work for foster children. She also currently in credited with having a role in the film “Road Less Traveled,” that is currently in pre-production and set to be released in 2017.
Paula became known as a comedic actress in the 1960s with roles in Where the Boys are, The Honeymoon Machine and Bachelor in Paradise. However, she proved her acting diversity when she appeared as Bobbie Markowe in the cult horror film The Stepford Wives. Except for small roles, Paula had not appeared in a movie for over 30 years, until 2016’s horror film I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in this House.
Many will remember Loretta as Major Frank Burn’s love interest, Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the TV series M*A*S*H. She was 1 of only 4 cast members to stay for the duration of all 11 seasons of the show. She received two Emmy Awards for her performance. Loretta last appeared on the silver screen in 1998. However, in 2015, she narrated the documentary Never the Same: The Prisoner of War Experience. The documentary is about prisoners of war who used ingenuity, creativity and humor to survive.
Born Angela Tremble, the singer-songwriter is best known as the lead singer of the band “Blondie.” After Blondie’s debut album in 1976, their success skyrocketed. In June 1979, Blondie was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. In 2011, Harry Told Britain’s The Sun that Elton John inspired her to get involved in more charity work. She has helped organizations like the Endometriosis Foundation of America and Amnesty International Human Rights. In 2014, the band released its tenth studio album, Ghosts of Download.
Jane gained International fame in her role as Bond Girl, Solitaire, in the 1973 film, Live and Let Die. Jane continued the 70s with landing roles on TV series and movies, like Battlestar Galactica and The Four Feathers. In the 1980s, Seymour began writing self-help and inspirational books, including Jane Seymour’s Guide to Romantic Living (1986), Remarkable Changes (2003), and Among Angels (2010). In 2008, she teamed up with Kay Jewelers to create the “Open Heart Collection.” She also continues to act including in movies set to be released in 2017.
Cheryl Ladd is most notable for playing Kris Munroe in the hit series “Charlie’s Angels,” from 1977-1981. In 1978, she released her first single “Think It Over,” which peaked at #34 on the Top 100 Billboard chart. She released 3 more albums after that. In 1980, she even sang the National Anthem before the Super Bowl. Since the 70s, her most notable performances were in “Millennium” in 1989, and “Poison Ivy,” in 1992. Her most recent role in 2016, was in the hit TV mini-series “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”
Keaton’s first major film role was Kay Adams-Corleone in “The Godfather.” However, it washer films with wordy Allen that really rose her fame: “Play it Again Sam,” “Sleeper,” “Love and Death,” and “Annie Hall.” Her performance as the title role in Annie Hall, won her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Diane continues to land roles in movies such as “Somethings Gotta Give” and “First Wives Club.” She most recently appeared in the TV series “The Young Pope” as Sister Mary.
Faye Dunaway began her career, in the 60s lighting up the stage on Broadway. However, her screen debut was in 1967 in “The Happening.” Her big break came later that year with her role as the notorious Bonnie Parker in the “Bonnie and Clyde.” She received a Academy Award for the performance. Other performance in the 60s, include roles in “The Thomas Crown Affair” and “The Arrangement.” Faye’s career has only continued to flourish. She is still acting today, and currently is credited with 2 roles for movies set to be released in 2017.
Spacek began her career in the early 1970s. She received world wide attention, in 1973, when she starred in Badlands. She continued to gain recognition when she landed the iconic title-role of the 1976 horror film, Carrie. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Carrie. In 2012, Spacek published a memoir, My Extraordinary Ordinary Life. Spacek became 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).
Katharine Ross came to fame after playing Mrs. Robinson’s daughter in “The Graduate,” in 1967. She landed roles, in the 70s, that fortified her legend in Hollywood. She had the lead role of Joanna Ingalls Eberhart in “The Stepford Wives,” in 1975. She rounded out the 70s, with roles in movies such as “Voyage of the Damned,” “The Betsy,” and “The Swarm.” She still continues to act and is credited with roles, in 2 movies, that have yet to be released. She has also co-authored numerous children books.
Julie Andrews became a musical sensation, in the mid 1960s, from starring in the title role of Mary Poppins and, as Maria in “The Sound of Music.” However, her success continued into the 1970s, landing roles in “Darling Lili,” and “10.” Between 1973 and 1975, she headlined five variety specials on ABC. Andrews continues have a very strong career in TV and film, as well as, in voice acting for films like “Shrek” and “Despicable Me.” She is currently filming “Julie’s Greenroom,” an educational pre-school series set to premiere on Netflix in 2017.
In August 1974, Beverly Johnson was the first African-American model to appear on the cover of American Vogue. In 1975, she became the first African-American woman to appear on the cover of the French edition of Elle. She eventually made the jump from modeling to acting. In 2014, Johnson wrote an article for Vanity Fair, which she accused Bill Cosby of drugging her in the 1980s. In 2015, she released her memoir, The Face That Changed It All, which also discusses the incident.
Karen Lynn Gorney
From 1970 to 1974, Gorney played Tara Martin on the soap opera All My Children. In 1977, she landed her biggest role to date, as Stephanie Mangano in Saturday Night Fever, alongside John Travolta. Although Gorney took an acting hiatus in the 1980s, she returned in the 1990s. She had roles in TV shows like Law & Order and The Sopranos. She most recently appeared in a short film titled Behind the Wall.
Gary is best known for her portrayal of Ellen Brody in the Jaws films. She retired from acting after her appearance in Spielberg’s 1941. However, she came out of retirement for a reprisal of Ellen Brady in Jaws: The Revenge in 1987. Since her reprisal of the 1987 Jaws sequel, Gary has removed herself from the spotlight. She is married to entertainment industry executive Sidney Sheinberg, with whom she has two sons. She is a member of the Humans Rights Watch Africa Advisory Committee and the Human Rights Watch Women’s Rights Advisory Committee.
In 1971, Burstyn received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in The Last Picture Show. She continued the decade with a Best Actress nomination for playing Chris MacNeil in the cult classic The Exorcist. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress, in 1975, for playing Alice Hyatt in the Martin Scorsese film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. Recently, Burstyn appeared in the two box office hits, Interstellar and The Age of Adaline. Burstyn is still acting today with a few movies currently in post-production.
From 1964-1967, Dawn Wells was stranded on “Gilligan’s Island.” She played the role of Mary Ann Summers, which she reprised in 1978 for TV movie “Rescue from Gilligan’s Island” and in 1979, “The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island.” After Gilligan’s Island, she spent most of her time touring with musical theater productions. Unfortunately, Wells never landed any major TV or films roles after Gilligan’s Island. In 2014, she released “What Would Mary Ann Do? A Guide to Life,” which she co-wrote with Steve Stinson. In May 2016, she was named Marketing Ambassador to MeTV network.
Born Lucy Kate Jackson, Jackson is best known for her role as Sabrina Duncan in the hit 1970s TV series Charlie’s Angels. She left the show in 1979, at the end of the third season. After fighting crime in Charlie’s Angels, Jackson moved onto TV series like Scarecrow and Mrs. King and Baby Boom. She is currently writing an memoir, titled The Smart One, that is set to be released in 2020.
Streep spent most of the 1970s performing on Broadway. In 1977, she had her film debut in the TV movie, “Deadliest Season,” and had a small role in “Julia” that same year. She continued on the silver screen and finished the decade strong with her performance as Joanna Kramer in the film “Kramer v Kramer.” She received both Golden Globe & Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for this performance. Streep continues to have success in film. Streep has more nominations for an Academy Award than any other actor or actress. She is also heavily involved with charity work for women’s equal rights.
Marilu began the 70s playing the part of Marty with a national touring company, of the broadway musical Grease. Her first film appearance was in Between the Lines in 1977. However, she became a household name when she landed the part of Elaine Nardo in the comedy sitcom Taxi. As one of only twelve people documented with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, Marilu was the subject of a two-part special on 60 Minutes and 60 Minutes Australia. She has also written many books including her most recent, Changing Normal: How I Helped My Husband Defeat Cancer.
Carol Kane truly rose to fame in the 1970s. She played Gitl in “Hester Street,” for which she was a Golden Globe nomination and landed a role in the Woody Allen Film “Annie Hall.” In the early 80s she received a the role of Simka Dahblitz-Gravas on the popular TV series “Taxi.” Kane continued to land roles in movies such as “The Princess Bride” and “Adams Family Values.” From 2005-2014, she played the evil headmistress Madame Morrible in the Broadway musical “Wicked,” with various productions. Beginning in 2015, she landed the reoccurring role of Lillian Kaushtupper in Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
Jane began the 70s strong with winning her first Academy Award for Best Actress, in 1971, for her performance as a prostitute in Klute. However, after this film her work in the business declined until 1977. Through her production company, IPC Films, she produced the 1977 comedy film Fun With Dick and Jane, which is generally considered her “comeback” picture. Although taking an acting hiatus in the 1990s, Jane returned to film in 2005 as Viola Fields, in Monster-In-Law. She currently co-stars alongside Lily Tomlin, in the Netflix series, Grace and Frankie.
Talia is best known for her roles as Connie Corleone in The Godfather films, and Adrian Pennino in the Rocky series. For these performances, she was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress, respectively. Talia continued her career appearing in various films and TV movies. She most recently appeared in her son, Robert Schwartzman’s movie, Dreamland, which also co-starred another one of her sons, Jason Schwartzman.
Lynda is best known for starring in the TV series “Wonder Woman” from 1975 – 1979. However, in 1978 she also released a pop alum “Portrait.” Two of the songs, from this album, were featured in “Wonder Woman” episodes. After “Wonder Woman” wrapped, she continued to act in various TV shows and movies. She recently appeared in the new CW series “Supergirl,” and currently credited as being a cast member in the upcoming movie “Super Troopers 2.”
Cybill’s first appeared in film was in The Last Picture Show (1971). It was a box office hit, and received several Academy Awards and nominations. Cybill then went on to play Kelly in The Heartbreak Kid (1972), and Betsy in Taxi Driver (1976). In 2012, Cybill received positive reviews for her Broadway debut in the revival of The Best Man, along side James Earl Jones and John Stamos. In 2015, she appeared as a mother grieving the loss of her daughter, in the Christian-themed film, Do You Believe?.
Agnetha Faltskog, is one of A’s from the famous Swedish pop group ABBA. ABBA brought us hits like “Dancing Queen” and “Take a Chance on Me.” Unfortunately, ABBA disbanded in the early 80’s and Agnetha took a shot at a solo career. Her first solo album was “Wrap Your Arms Around Me,” which achieved moderate success. In 2016, a biography titled “Agnetha Fältskog: The Girl with the Golden Hair,” was released in the UK.
Ending the 1960s with her iconic bikini wearing role in One Million Years BC, Raquel continued to rise to fame in 1970s. She won an Golden Globe award for her performance in The Three Musketeers in 1973, and appeared in the thriller The Last of Shelia. Raquel expanded her influence in pop culture with releasing a Total Beauty and Fitness Program book and videos, as well as, a signature line of wigs called “HAIRuWEAR.” Raquel also recently appeared in the TV movies, House of Versace and The Ultimate Legacy.
Alongside Kate Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, Jacklyn Smith starred as Kelly Garrett in “Charlie’s Angels.” After fighting crime as an Angel, Smith’s career only continued to grow. She appeared in TV shows and movies. She played the title role in “Christina Cromwell” from 1989-1990. Her most recent role was in 2015, as Felice Hamilton in the TV movie “Bridal Wave.” Now in her 70’s she still looks amazing.
Carly Simon released her first self-titled album in 1971, which included her first hit “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be.” She didn’t waste much time and released her second album “Anticipation,” later that year, which saw the same success. However, she was sky rocketed in superstardom, in 1972, when she released “You’re so Vain.” Even today, people still debate about who the song is actually referring to. In 2015, she released “Boys in the Trees: A Memoir.” Her memoir includes details from her childhood through her marriage to James Taylor.
Bach is best known for her role as denim cut-off shorts wearing Daisy Duke, in the Dukes of Hazzard TV series from 1979-1985. After the series ended, Bach had roles in a number of low-profile films. In 2012, Bach joined the cast of daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless, in the recurring role of Anita Lawson. She had a roles in the feature film “You Again,” and appearances on TV shows “Monk” and “Hawaii Five-O.”
Chris Evert is a former world champion of tennis. She began playing tennis at age 5, and by the time she was 16, she had already made a name for herself in the sport. She was the World champion in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, and 1981. She was voted the Associate Press Female Athlete of the year 4 times and was the first female athlete to receive Sport Illustrated’s “Sportswoman of the Year award,” in 1976. She has since opened a tennis academy in Boca Raton, Florida, and has created a line of tennis apparel for women.
Ali Macgraw began her acting career appearing in commercials. However, she gained international attention after playing Jenny, in “Love Story,” in 1970. However, she only appeared in 3 more films in the 1970s: “The Getaway,” “Convoy,” and “Players.” In the 80s, she appeared in TV series “The War of Winds” and “Dynasty.” In 2008, GQ magazine listed her as one of the “Sexiest 25 Women in Film Ever.” In 2016, she reunited with “Love Story” co-star, Ryan O’Neal, in the stage production of “Love Letters.”
In 1974, Dolly took the world by storm with 3 solo songs, Jolene, I Will Always Love you, and Love is Like a Butterfly, that reached #1 on the country chart. She consistently continued to top the country charts throughout the decade. She also hosted her own variety show, Dolly!, from 1976-1977. In 2016, Dolly had her largest U.S. tour to date, performing in 60 cities throughout the country. She also recently released a new cover of Jolene with the a cappella group the Pentatonix.
Lauren Hutton, made the gap-tooth look good, and paved the way for imperfections to be labeled as beautiful. She appeared on the cover of Vogue a record of 27 times. She also dabbled in acting, receiving high praise for her role as Billie in “The Gambler,” in 1974. She continued to act and model. One of her most recent roles was in 2013, alongside Demi Moore and David Duchovny, in “The Joneses.”
British-Actress Jacqueline Bisset gain worldwide attention, in 1968, after she played the role of Norma MacIver, in “The Detective,” opposite Frank Sinatra. Therefore, the 1970s only continued to be a huge success for Bisset. She appeared in 17 movies throughout the decade including, “Airport,” “The Mephisto Waltz,” and “Day for Night.” In 2015, she appeared along side Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette in “Miss You Already.” A lesser known fact about her is she is godmother to actress Angelina Jolie.
Lola Falana, born Loletha Elayne Falana, had her rise to fame, in the late 1960s, overseas, as an Italian film star. Simultaneously, she was working and touring with Sammy Davis, Jr. In 1970, Falana made her American film debut in “The Liberation of L.B. Jones.” In the late 70s, she took her talents to Vegas, and by the end of the decade she was consider the “Queen of Las Vegas.” Unfortunately, Lola has not done an on-camera acting gig since 1989, which may be due to her 1987 diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.
Carrie Fisher became a Hollywood star after she landed the role of Princess Leia Organa in the “Star Wars” franchise. However, she also appeared in other hit movies like “The Blue Brothers,” “When Harry Met Sally,” and “Heartbreakers.” She is also an author of 2 books: “Postcards from the Edge,” and “Wishful Drinking.” Unfortunately, Fisher passed away, from a heart attack at the age of 60, in December 2016. She is remembered by her daughter Billie Lourd.
Barbi is best known for posing on 4 covers of Playboy: July 1969, March 1970, May 1972, and December 1985. She also later became the wife of Hugh Hefner. From 1972-1983, she had a role on “Hee Haw” doing short comic sketches. This was the first step in her acting career. She landed reoccurring roles on TV series “Sugar Time!” and “The Love Boat.” She also found some success as a country singer. She married George Gradow, a real-estate developer, in 1979 and they have 2 daughters. Unfortunately, in 2006, her husband was sentenced to prison for pleading guilty of tax fraud.
Bo Derek first appeared in the Hollywood scene, in 1977, with her role as Annie, in the Michael Anderson horror movie Orca. However, Derek is best known for her breakthrough role in the 1979 film 10. In addition to acting, she lends her support to a number of great organizations like Richard Branson’s Wild Aid, and various disabled veterans organizations. She has also created a specially formulated line of organic shampoo and conditioning products for dogs called “Bless the Beasts.”
Dey is best known for her television roles as Laurie Partridge on the sitcom “The Partridge Family.” She returned to weekly network television, in 1977, as the co-star of the short-lived situation comedy “Loves Me, Loves Me Not.” From 1986-1992, she played D.D.A Grace Van Owen on “L.A. Law,” for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series. In 2002, she repressed her role as D.D.A Grace Van Owen in a the TV movie “L.A. Law: The Movie.” She also appeared in two episodes of the hit TV show “Third Watch.”