What Happened to Your Favorite Female Icons From the 1970s?

By Robin Mei - February 28, 2018

Lynda Carter

Lynda Carter was 21 when she became Miss World America in 1972. Only a few years later she shone again but this time in the role of Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman in the TV series that lasted for three seasons, from 1975 to 1979.

Forty years later, Carter still shines. She is featured on the hit TV show “Supergirl” where she plays U.S. President Olivia Marsdin, and we know we can expect more big things from her down the road.

Source: Iconic Female Celebs From The 1970s…40 Years Later

Raquel Welch

Raquel Welch was the definition of a sex symbol in the late 1960s. Her appearance in the 1966 movie “One Million Years B.C.” playing the young and wild Loana not only advanced her career but made her one of the most desirable women in the world.

Even though she had just a few lines in that movie, the fact that she uttered them wearing nothing but a deerskin bikini made a lasting impression.

Candice Bergen

Candice Bergen started as a fashion model in the 1960s, but it didn’t take too long before her unique beauty, along with her unmistakable sense of style, brought her to the attention of Hollywood.

Her first role was in Sidney Lumet’s 1966 movie “The Group” where she played Lakey Eastlake. Before acting took off for her she was a photojournalist, working for Life, Esquire and Playboy. Over the course of her acting career she has won dozens of awards, including five Emmys.

Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour started acting in British TV shows when she was 19, but her career really took off a few years later when James Bond film producers noticed her and gave her a real chance to show what she is capable of. In 1973 Seymour became a Bond girl named Solitaire in “Live and Let Die.”

It seems that the enthusiasm she got then has never left her. Seymour is still very much a presence on both the big and small screens.

Goldie Hawn

Goldie Hawn had only two years of professional acting experience before she was awarded the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for the role of Toni Simmons in the 1969s romance movie “Cactus Flower.”

Since then, Hawn has starred in more than 30 movies and TV shows. She even produced ten of them and also tried her hand at directing one. She is well known for her charity work too as the founder of the Hawn Foundation, which helps underprivileged students.

Pam Grier

Credits: Image:

The amazing Pam Grier will always be remembered for Foxy Brown and Jackie Brown, two roles she absolutely nailedthe first in 1974 and the second more than two decades later, in 1997, even though she did have a successful acting career in between.

In the early 2000s, the actress paused her movie career to pursue another one. By 2011 she had completed two doctoral programs and started the Pam Grier Community Garden and Education Center.


Born as Cherilyn Sarkisian in 1946, this American icon started her career in the entertainment industry at the beginning of the 1960s. By the ’70s, she was a household name and known only as Cher.

Throughout the 1970s over 30 million viewers could hardly wait to tune in for her weekly show “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour,” and in the ’80s her solo singing career saw her consistently landing on the Billboard Top 100.

Bo Derek

Bo Derek a household name after only her second appearance in the movies. It was 1979 when she landed the role of Jenny Hanley in Blake Edwards’ “Ten.” starring alongside Julie Andrews and Dudley Moore.

The role of the young, beautiful and seductive Jenny also helped launch Bo’s modeling career. Thanks to a series of bikini posters that found their way onto the bedroom walls of teenage boys around the world, she became an iconic sex symbol whose fame still lives on today.

Faye Dunaway

Credits: Image:

Faye Dunaway took her first acting steps in the 1960s on Broadway but soon after moved on to film. In 1967 she starred in “Bonnie and Clyde,” a movie that got her nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award and, as she said herself in one interview, made her career.

Faye is still acting to this day, and now has more than a hundred roles to her credit and many awards, including three Golden Globes to go along with her Oscar.

MIchelle Pfeiffer

Credits: Image:

Michelle Pfeiffer started her career in the late ’70s, but rather modestly with small, less noticeable roles in several movies before she scored her first lead turn in 1982s “Grease 2.” Only a year after she starred in Brian De Palma’s classic “Scarface” along with Al Pacino and other great Hollywood names.

Across her forty-year-long career, she appeared in over three dozen films, won several major awards and dedicated herself to environmental activism along the way.

Stevie Nicks

Credits: Image:

Now 70 years old, Stevie Nicks is a real rock icon with a unique voice and energy that could move the mountains. She started her career as a singer in the early ’70s, but she truly rocked it when she joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975.

Nicks’ one-of-a-kind singing style helped the band’s 1977 release “Rumours” go platinum upon its initila public offering. Today, “Rumors” is one of the best-selling albums of all time, having sold 40 million copies.

Jaclyn Smith

Credits: Image:

Jaclyn Smith truly kicked off her career when she became one of Charlie’s Angels in 1976 and went on to star in many other TV shows. She is also known for her stints on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Besides her acting career, Jaclyn Smith is also a successful businesswoman who developed her own clothing line in the late ’80s, as well as a wig line in 2008.

Sally Field

Credits: Image: The Seattle Times

Sally Field deserves to be known as “The Girl With Something Extra.” That was the name of the TV show from the early 1970s that made her famous, even though she started acting about a decade before.

In the late 1970s, she went on to the big screen and won her first Best Actress Academy Award in 1979 for her work in Norma Rae. The second one came five years later for her part in “Places in the Heart.”

Dolly Parton

Credits: Image:

Dolly Parton, a true diva of country music, began her career in the 60s, but it wasn’t until the mid-’70s when she really caught the public’s attention. Her single “Jolene” was released in late 1973 and hit the charts in 1974.

In addition to country music, Dolly also left her mark in other music genres. She made a few pop and bluegrass records and has won her share of awards and accolades. In 2016, she re-released “Jolene” and followed that with a successful tour.

Diane Keaton

Credits: Image: HippieDreamer

Diane Keaton is one of those tireless actresses who have at least one big project a year. In her 40-year acting career she has played over sixty roles, won an Oscar, two Golden Globes and countless hearts with her incredible talent and unique style.

Keaton is still active today. Only last year she made us all laugh in the romantic comedy “Book Club,” and two years before left the world speechless with her role of Sister Mary in Paolo Sorrentino’s HBO series “The Young Pope.”

Cybill Shepherd

Cybill Shepherd started as a model while she was only a teen. A few years later she ended up on the cover of Glamour magazine, which reportedly helped her land her first movie role in the 1971 film “The Last Picture Show.”

Throughout the ’70s, she landed more big screen roles, while the ’80s were defined for her turn on “Moonlighting.” Shepherd’s last TV project was “The Client List,” and she also appeared in the 2013’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

Barbi Benton

Barbi Benton is an American model, actress and singer who started her career as a Playboy model. She was only 18 years old when she co-hosted the “Playboy After Dark” television show and was put on the cover of the magazine. She was one of the rare girls whose face (and body) “decorated” Playboy’s cover four times.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Barbi appeared in several TV shows, a couple of movies and recorded the top five Billboard album “Brass Buckles” in 1975.

Susan Dey

Susan Dey was only 17 years old when she managed to land her first big role. She was cast to play Laurie Partridge in the 1970’s hit TV show “The Partridge Family.”

Her career throughout the ’80s kept going in more or less the same direction. She stuck primarily with TV shows and movies, before she decided to leave Hollywood behind in 1990 and dedicate herself to what some might consider to be more significant work with various charitable organizations.

Catherine Bach

Catherine Bach, born Catherine Bachman, is an American actress best known for playing Daisy Duke in seven seasons of “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

Reportedly, her legs were insured for $1 million during her work on that show and the Dukes’s poster she posed for wearing her character’s legendary cutoff denim shorts sold over five million copies.

Bach’s latest project is “The Young and the Restless” soap series which she has co-starred on for the past six years.

Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett was 21 years old when she arrived in Hollywood. Thanks to her amazing athletic look it didn’t take her long to sign her first contracts for commercials for Max Factor, Noxzema and Mercury Cougar cars. A year later, she got her first movie role, and in the mid-’70s Farrah became of one Charlie’s Angels.

Throughout her 35-year-long career, she laned 60 roles. She was a six-time Golden Globe and four-time Emmy Award nominee. Fawcett passed away in 2009 at the age of 62.

Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry is a legendary American singer, actress and model, best known as the lead vocalist of one of the most influential punk rock / new wave bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s — Blondie.

After the band broke up in 1982, Debbie took more interest in acting and made several TV shows while she also continued to work as a musician. During her solo career, she recorded five studio albums and worked on many collaborations.

Suzanne Somers

Suzanne Somers started her career as an actress and realized a series of roles in various TV shows during the late 1960s and early 1970s before she took on the iconic role of Chrissy Snow in “Three’s Company.”

Somers is also a writer and health spokesperson best known as the author of several best-selling self-help and diet books, including the famous (and a bit controversial) “Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones” published in 2006.

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson started acting when she was only a child. At the age of 11, she landed her first big role playing Mary Ingalls in the all-time classic TV show everyone loved, “The Little House On The Prairie.” An interesting fact is that Anderson was the actor that earned an Emmy nomination during the six years of the show’s run.

Anderson remained active in the acting community until the early 2000s, with only a scattering of appearances in several TV shows.

Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore began her show biz career in the mid-1950s as a dancer. She appeared in a series of Hotpoint commercials as a Happy Hotpoint tiny elf who danced Hotpoint appliances during the 1950s “Ozzie and Harriet” sitcom.

During the sixties, she played Laura Petrie on the “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” In the ’70s launched “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” that captivated audiences from 1970 to 1977 and won a total of 29 Emmy Awards during its seven years on the air.

Donna Summer

Donna Summer made a career in the mid-1970s as a singer with strong, unique voice and style that swung between R&B and soul, pop and rock, disco and even avant-garde electronic genres.

She recorded 17 studio albums and became one of the best-selling artists of all time with three successive double albums that scored the top spot on the Billboard 200 charts and five Grammy Awards. Summer died in 2012 at the age of 63 from lung cancer.

Olivia Newton–John

Olivia Newton-John will always be remembered as Sandy from 1978’s “Grease” where she starred with John Travolta and sang some of the most popular tunes of the decade. The movie’s soundtrack is one of the most successful records in motion picture history.

After this breakthrough in the entertainment industry, Olivia Newton-John continued acting but also pursued a music career. She recorded 28 studio albums, won four Grammy Awards and sold over 100 million records worldwide.

Sigourney Weaver

The sovereign queen of science-fiction films, Sigourney Weaver, started her career in the early 1970s with an appearance in the debut season of the “Somerset” TV series.

Seven years later she landed her first notable role in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall,” and only two years after that, in 1979, she began her journey as Ellen Ripley in the epic and still ongoing movie franchise that all started with “Alien.” She was also memorable in summer blockbusters like “Ghostbusters” and “Avatar.”

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep is considered to be one of the greatest living actresses, not only by movie-goers who adore her but also by many respected critics and colleagues too.

Streep has been a nominee for Academy and Golden Globe Awards more than anyone else in history and has managed to win three Oscars and nine Golden Globes (so far). Knowing what an amazingly talented and hard-working artist she is, we can expect more unforgettable performances from her in the future.

Jessica Lange

In the late 1960s, Jessica Lange moved to Paris to study drama and experience the life of a real artist. A few years after she came back to New York City and worked as a model before she got her first role in 1976’s “King Kong,” which both Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn were also in the running for.

In the following decades, Jessica Lange has had 45 memorable roles and won two Oscars and five Golden Globes.

Kim Basinger

One of the most beautiful women of our times, Kim Basinger started her career as a model in the early 1970s, but it didn’t take her too long to replace the catwalk with new exciting adventures in Tinseltown.

In the mid-’70s, Basinger got a couple of TV roles, including 1976’s “Charlie’s Angels.” After starring in 9½ Weeks she landed the role of Vicki Vale in 1989’s “Batman” her career gained some serious steam. In 1998, she was awarded Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “L.A. Confidential.”

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda was almost predestined to have a great acting career as the daughter of one of the best of all time, multiple award-winning actor Henry Fonda. Yet, she didn’t show much interest in her father’s profession until she entered her twenties.

Her first significant role was in 1960’s “Tall Story” where she starred next to Anthony Perkins. Since then, her collection of amazing roles has only kept growing and winning her many prestigious awards in the process, including Oscars in 1971 and 1978.

Joni Mitchell

Canadian singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell is one of those musicians whose songs became anthems of the flower power era in the 1960s straight through to the late 1970s. Rolling Stone magazine described her as “one of the greatest songwriters ever,” and her nine Grammy Awards just confirm this recognition.

In her 55-year-long career, Joni has recorded 22 studio and live albums. The last one, “Shine,” was released in 2007. Mitchell is also known for her skill as an author and painter.

Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette (1942 – 1998) was an American singer and songwriter, and one of country music’s most admired artists. She was the genre’s first female musician to sell a million albums.

Often referred to as the “First Lady of Country Music,” Tammy won dozens of awards during her fruitful career. Between 1967 and 1988 she had 57 hits on the Top 40 country charts. Unlike her professional career, her private life was much less successful and filled with controversies.

Source: Tammy Wynette Biography

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield (1939 – 1999) rose from the swinging London scene in the 1960s and became one music’s most recognizable vocalists. Her 1969 classic “Son of a Preacher Man” is still considered a masterpiece of modern music.

Throughout her almost four-decades-long career, Dusty had many ups and downs, including struggles with drug and alcohol abuse. Despite all this, she managed to make some of the most memorable soul music classics of the late sixties and seventies.

Agnetha Fältskog

Agnetha Faltskog gained worldwide fame with ABBA, but even before the band was formed in the early ’70s, Agnetha was a successful singer in her home country of Sweden with a few hit songs and several albums to her name.

Her solo career can hardly match the success ABBA achieved throughout their 10 active years that ended in 1982,  After the break-up of the band, Fältskog continued her solo career. Her last album was released in 2013.

Source: 14 fascinating facts about ABBA singer Agnetha Fältskog

Bernadette Peters

Bernadette Peters has been performing on stage ever since she was a child. She started landing her first TV and movie roles in 1958 at the age of 10, but her career took off in the ’70s with a series of appearances and roles in various television shows.

At the beginning of the 1980s, Peters returned to the theater and became one of Broadway’s best-known stars, but continued to act in films and on television.


Ann-Margret was a real star of the 1960s and one of the first sex symbols of the era. Empire magazine has listed her among the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history.

This Sweden-born artist started her career as a singer in the early ’60 but soon moved to the big screen with roles in the 1963’s “Bye, Bye, Birdie” and 1964’s “Viva Las Vegas.” She has continued to work in the entertainment industry now for over five decades.

Source: Ann-Margret Biography

Erin Gray

Erin Gray was only 15 when she was signed to one of Hollywood’s top model agencies in the mid-’60s. She soon moved to New York, and soon became a top model along with Farrah Fawcett and Susan Blakely.

Gray turned to acting 10 years later. She first appeared in a couple of TV shows and movies before she got her big-break role of Colonel Wilma Deering on “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century,” the character that most science fiction fans still recognize her for today.

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand’s career spans over six decades and includes memorable turns in films such as 1973’s “The Way We Were” and 1976’s “A Star Is Born,” plus over 30 albums, several books and plenty of awards.

Barbra (or Babs, if you prefer) is also famous for her philanthropy work. Her most famous live album, “The Concert,” sold millions of copies and the tour generated over $10 million (US) for various charities.

Source:  Barbra Streisand Biography

Lola Falana

Often called “The Queen Of Las Vegas,” Lola Falana was only a teen girl when she decided to fulfill her destiny of becoming a performer. She would eventually be known as a singer, dancer, model and actress.

Her big break came in 1964 when she starred in “Golden Boy,” on Broadway opposite Sammy Davis Jr. After a few years spent in Italy making movies, Falana moved to Las Vegas and became one of the highest-paid female entertainers in the entertainment capital of the world.