Although it has been fifty years since the hippie era of the 1970s, for many people it seems like yesterday. Unique fashion fads like the afro and bellbottoms were born in the ’70s, which also saw the public being introduced to Studio 54, Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, and Star Wars.
Famous people who wowed audiences in films, on television, and especially on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson were also made famous during this time. What have these megastars been doing in the intervening years, though? Some of their faces will bring you right back to your sunken living room, while others will leave you wondering how the same person could still be around all these years later. Get ready to be amazed.
Since she played Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan on the popular TV sitcom MAS*H, Loretta Swit is a well-known name. She won two Emmys for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on the venerable show. She was one of only four cast members to appear in all 11 of the show’s seasons.
Swit’s popularity on the program led to her regular appearances on popular game shows of the time, such as Pyramid, Match Game, and Hollywood Squares. Swit’s most successful years in the entertainment industry were the 1970s and 1980s, but she did make a comeback appearance on the MAS*H 30th Anniversary Reunion in 2002, playing her well-known role once again.
Morgan Fairchild’s career on the CBS daytime drama Search For Tomorrow began there. She developed a devoted fan base while portraying Jennifer Pace from 1973 to 1977, which enabled her to pursue other notable primetime television roles, such as cameos on the sitcom Mork and Mindy. Additionally, she would be the first actress to play Jenna Wade on the Dallas soap opera.
Her later career in film and television turned out to be just as successful as her early years in the industry. She was the ideal addition to the cast of Fashion House, where she sparred with Bo Derek, playing the part of “rich and deviant” quite well. Fairchild’s most recent appearance was in the 2019 TV movie A Date Before Christmas Eve. She is best known for her roles as Charlie’s love interest on Two and a Half Men and as Chandler’s errant mother on Friends.
For her role as Sabrina Duncan on Charlie’s Angels, which aired on television for several seasons, Kate Jackson’s girl-next-door appearance worked well. She also brought energy to the part of Amanda King in the Scarecrow and Mrs. King television series, which served as a launching pad for several other successful film roles.
Jackson hasn’t made an appearance on screen since late 2009, but she has dedicated a lot of time to the idea of becoming a best-selling author. Her Hollywood memoirs were published by Gallery Books in collaboration with her and were made available in 2016 and 2021.
The ultimate 1970s heroine was Lynda Carter. She played the legendary superhero Wonder Woman, and viewers tuned in to see this one-of-a-kind performance every week for a variety of reasons, including her commanding presence, stunning costume, and invisible airplane.
Carter still shines on and off camera despite no longer regularly employing the “Lasso Of Truth,” making sporadic appearances in film and television. Between 2016 and 2018, she played the President of the United States on the television series Supergirl.
Talia Shire is best known for her parts in two incredibly popular Hollywood series. She would initially portray Connie, Michael Corleone’s sister, in The Godfather and its sequels. The second and more well-known role she would play is Adrian, the beloved underdog prizefighter’s wife in the Rocky movies.
Although she is best known for her work on the Rocky franchise, she continued to make appearances in random supporting roles up until 2016. Shire has appeared on television numerous times, including twice in the Netflix comedic series Grace and Frankie. The year 2020 movie Working Man featured her most recent cameo.
In the middle of the 1960s, Jacqueline Bisset started her illustrious film career. She rose to fame with parts in The Detective, Bullitt, and The Sweet Ride, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer. She would appear in the critically acclaimed murder mystery Murder on the Orient Express as well as the 1970 disaster movie Airport.
Bisset keeps getting casts in movies and TV shows. She co-starred with Keira Knightley in the 2005 film Domino, and from 2007 to 2010, she played a recurring character in the Nip/Tuck television series. She joined the Birds of Paradise cast in 2020, but these days she spends a lot of her free time reading, cooking, and gardening. A-list actress Angelina Jolie has her as her godmother.
It’s difficult to think of a media organization from her era that she wasn’t involved with. The seven-time Academy Award nominee and Henry Fonda’s daughter first gained notoriety in Barbarella before moving on to more lauded roles in movies like Klute and Coming Home.
She has worked in theater, film, television, and other areas of the entertainment industry over the course of her career. She has also produced a series of timeless home workout videos. She most recently co-starred in the popular Netflix series Gracie and Frankie with fellow ’70s icon Lily Tomlin.
It’s difficult to forget John Travolta’s explosive rise to fame at the end of the 1970s, when he appeared in such iconic films as Grease and Saturday Night Fever, in addition to the well-known sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. He became a formidable actor as a result of these performances.
In the nearly five decades since Pulp Fiction was released, Travolta has established himself as a Hollywood legend in his own right and experienced a significant comeback. He finds time for one of his most cherished hobbies—flying—when he isn’t working. He has received seven Golden Globe nominations and two Oscar nominations over the years. He has appeared in movies like Speed Kills, The Fanatic, and The Poison Rose in recent years.
Christie Brinkley is one of those exceptional beauties who, despite the passage of the years, doesn’t seem to age. After making appearances in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues to start her modeling career, she later graced our screens as the CoverGirl cosmetics face. She has now been featured on more than 500 magazine covers.
Brinkley’s youthful appearance made the transition to on-screen work simple. She starred opposite Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Vacation for her debut film role. She has participated in a number of shows as a host and guest before creating her own CNN television series, entitled Living In The ’90s. She is still involved in politics and works with PETA to spread knowledge about the food production industry as an animal rights activist.
Barbara Streisand is one of only 12 people to have earned an EGOT, winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award. She is practically dripping with talent. She would garner praise for her performance in The Way We Were and an Academy Award for her role in Funny Girl. The love theme she wrote for the movie A Star Is Born would also earn her an Oscar.
Streisand may be sluggish these days, but she still participates in organizations that support the arts and occasionally makes appearances in movies and on television. She is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, with album sales that have surpassed 150 million globally. In the 2010s, she gave a number of sold-out performances all over the world. Walls, her most recent album, came out in November 2018.
In the 1970s, every fan of disco had Diana Ross’ legendary voice on their playlist. She first achieved success as the lead vocalist of the Motown band The Supremes, one of the best-selling female vocal groups in music history, before breaking out as a solo artist. Twelve of their singles peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. Ross was named the Female Entertainer of the Century by Billboard in 1976.
Ross continues to inspire music lovers with breathtaking and unforgettable performances despite being one of the few female vocalists listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. She has won more number one hits than any other female artist in history and is a Golden Globe and Academy Award winner. She is currently still performing all over the world in numerous cities.
Want to read some more fun stuff? See What Happened To These Stars From The 80s?
In the 1970s, Cheryl Ladd from Charlie’s Angels was well-known to anyone who turned on the television. She replaced the iconic Farrah Fawcett in the show’s second season and remained a cast member until the early 1980s, when it was canceled.
After Charlie’s Angels ended, Ladd would make a significant number of appearances on television and in movies. She gained recognition for her work in movies like Purple Hearts, Poison Ivy, and Unforgettable, as well as a TV Land Pop Culture Award. She appeared in cameos on CSI: Miami and Charmed in more recent years. She is a prominent member of the non-profit group Childhelp and is a well-known golf enthusiast.
American entertainment legend Dolly Parton is a musician, actress, and businesswoman in equal measure. She entered the music industry in the 1970s and went on to become one of the most well-known country music stars ever. She was given hosting opportunities at the Ford Theater and entered the movie business thanks to her bubbly and gregarious personality. She even entertained Jimmy Carter at one point.
She co-owns The Dollywood Company, which oversees a number of entertainment venues including the Dollywood theme park, in addition to her music. She appeared in a recent episode of Grace and Frankie alongside longtime friends Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. She became a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in May 2022, and her induction is scheduled for that November.
Only thirteen actresses—including Jessica Lange—have won the Triple Crown of Acting, which consists of an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award. As the lead in the 1976 remake of King Kong, she made an impressive debut on the big screen and would go on to receive nominations for six Oscars, 16 Golden Globes, 10 Emmys, and one Tony award.
She won her first Emmy in 2010 for her performance as Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s aunt Edie in Grey Gardens. Additionally, she has gained popularity thanks to her appearances in several seasons of the FX horror anthology series American Horror Story. In addition to her work as an actress, she is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and the author of four photography books.
Mia Farrow gave the eerie title role in Roman Polanski’s horror movie Rosemary’s Baby a dreamy quality. She then went on to star in a number of blockbuster movies over the following ten years, including The Great Gatsby and Death on the Nile. She is also well-known for having starred in several of director Woody Allen’s films and for having previously been married to him.
Farrow now focuses her efforts on activism after taking a break from her lucrative career to raise fourteen children, including ten that she adopted. She has enjoyed her time as a UNICEF ambassador, successfully completing more than 20 missions around the world with a particular focus on raising money for Africa.