Favorite 70s Stars – Then and Now


Film and television in the 70s were the cornerstone of where families and friends would gather to spend quality time together. As such, the stars of these 70s hit movies and shows became almost like family. So where are these stars these days? Lets see who managed to stay relevant into the 21st century.

Then – David Cassidy

David Cassidy was just a kid when he played the role of Keith in The Partridge Family. Every girl back then had a major crush on this feather haired young man. The child star was sent straight into the limelight with this role.


Now – David Cassidy

After his acting debut, David most into the world of music. He released several albums before returning to film and television in the 90s. His career really did manage to stand the test of time…mostly.


Then – Danielle Spencer

Spencer had a role on Whats Happening as Dee Dee Thomas, starting in 1976 through 1979. She played the classically annoying younger sibling, and coined the phrase “Oooooh, I’m tellin’ Mamma”.


Now – Danielle Spencer

After Whats Happening, Danielle decided that acting wasn’t for her. She left Hollywood to study veterinary medicine. In 2014 she was diagnosed with cancer, but is now in remission.


Then – Helen Hunt

Helen Hunt started acting when she was 8 years old. She spent the 70s playing roles in shows such as, Amy Prentiss, Swiss Family Robinson, and The Fitzpatricks. Little did she know…


Now – Helen Hunt

… That her career was going to take off! Hunt continued to act, so well in fact, that she won herself an Oscar for her role in As Good As It Gets. She has since played smaller roles, in less aclaimed films, but her name is already in the Hollywood book of success stories.


Then – The Jackson Five

Michael, Tito, Marlon, Jermaine, and Jackie were the five siblings that made up The Jackson Five. The kids struck gold with five hit singles within the space of one year. Now that’s success if we’ve ever seen it!


Now – The Jackson Five

The siblings haven’t sung together in years, even growing slightly apart. But after the most famous brother, Michael, died, the siblings came together for a memorial tour. Janet is the only Jackson left who still performs every so often.


Then – Johnny Whitaker

Johnny Whitaker spent the better part of the 70s acting in shows such as, General Hospital and Family Affair. He also grabbed a movie role in Tom Sawyer, alongside Jodie Foster.


Now – Johnny Whitaker

While on the show, Family Affairs, Whitaker became very close with co-star Anissa Jones. When she passed away, he was upset enough to take a very long break from acting. Johny also battled with drug abuse issues until he kicked the habit entirely due to an intervention.


Then – Kim Richards

Kim starred in films like, Escape to Witch Mountain and the subsequent sequel, Return from Witch Mountain. Everyone thought Kim’s presence in the limelight would remain forever.


Now – Kim Richards

Alas, that was not the case. The former child star can now be seen on the E! Channel’s reality show, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills; but only reruns of the show, as new episodes don’t include her, as she was let go.


Then – Lance Kerwin

Another child star from the 70s. Lance got his start in, Emergency. Afterwhich he continued to act throughout the years in minor television and movie roles.


Now – Lance Kerwin

In an interesting turn of events, after battling a serious drug addiction, Kerwin decided to turn his face towards his faith and become a minister. He used his faith to continued to act until 1995. He had a severe drug problem through his acting career and decided to leave to become a

Minister. Kerwin attributes his faith to how he managed to get clean.


Then – Leif Garrett

The 70s made Leif Garrett famous. His roles in Walking Tall and Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band being brought him to the forefront of American minds.


Now – Leif Garrett

Garrett had a little too much too soon. The result being a drug addiction that he just couldn’t shake off. Since the 70s, Leif hasn’t done much of anything, disappearing into the unknown.


Then – Mark Lester

Mark’s claim to fame was being cast in the 1970 musical, Oliver. The play was based on Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens. Mark could sing and matched the look of the character, but couldn’t sing for the life of him so his singing was dubbed.


Now – Mark Lester

After his earlier acting gigs, Lester decided to stop acting, around the age of 20, choosing to study Osteopathy instead. He also had a very good relationship with friend, Michael Jackson, before his death.


Then – Mason Reese

Mason Reese’s looks are what made him special in Hollywood. He was the face of various television commercials and talk show appearances. He appeared in over 70 commercials throughout the years.


Now – Mason Reese

Reese capitalized on his success from his youth and took the money he made into the restaurant business. Reese opened three restaurants in New York City, putting his commercial past behind him.


Then – Robbie Rist

Robbie Rist played the role of Oliver, the young cousin on The Brady Bunch. His appearance was towards the end of the show, as the Brady children were growing up and a young character was needed to grow the ratings.


Now – Robbie Rist

After The Brady Bunch, Rist took to voice acting and made out quite well for himself. These days, Robbie was on the Sharknado films soundtrack, for one reason or the another…

Robbie Rist participates in the "Sharknado" DVD Signing held at Dark Delicacies Bookstore on September 8, 2013 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega

Then – Robbie Benson

Benson was one busy actor in the 70s. He played in films like, Jory, Jeremy, and Ode to Billy Joe. Not to mention his television stints, like his role on Search For Tomorrow.


Now – Robbie Benson

Later in life, Benson hit the motherload when he voiced ‘Beast’ in Disney’s, Beauty and the Beast. Since then, however, he has lay pretty low due to medical issues that have needed four surgeries to date.


Then – Ron Howard

Before the epic success he made for himself later in life, Ron was on the show, Happy Days, as well as some random gigs on The Andy Griffiths Show. Man, he never would have guessed how big he would actually make it.


Now – Ron Howard

Just how big did he make it? Howard is an Academy Award winning producer and director. He was the brains behind films like Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, and The Da Vinci Code. When he has some time though, he narrates the comedy hit, Arrested Development.


Then – Scott Baio

Chachi! Happy Days wouldn’t have been the same without Scott’s good looking, teen heart crushing, character. He also had a starring role in Bugsy Malone, alongside Jodie Foster.


Now – Scott Baio

These day, Scott is mostly known for his political opinions. Backing current president-elect, Donald Trump, while he was on the campaign trail in 2016. His views on the presidency were heard clearly in the Republican National Convention.


Then – Karen Carpenter

Karen was one part of the band, The Carpenters, alongside brother, Richard. They had two singles reach ‘hit’ status in the 70s. Karen was considered to be an amazing drummer, a compliment not afforded to women usually.


Now – Karen Carpenter

Sadly, Karen passed away in 1983 due to an extreme case of Anorexia Nervosa, an eating disorder that left her too weak and her eventual death due to heart attack and organ failure.


Then – Barry Williams

Barry was cast as Greg, the eldest Brady on the super successful series, The Brady Bunch. He was just 14 at the time. Barry was beloved by his fans, growing up on the show and alongside them. He also released four albums throughout the show, with his on-screen family.


Now – Barry Williams

Replacing television with musical theater, Barry kept the acting bug pretty tame after the show. He went on to write an autobiography, Growing Up Brady, which, as you can tell, about his life on and off the show during its run.


Then – Maureen McCormick

The Partridge and the Brady’s, those were the two 70s show everyone watched. So it’s no surprise that everyone fell for Marcia Brady. Maureen was only 12 when she started playing the role of the beautiful teen, which ended right around her 18th brithday.

LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 9: Maureen McCormick as Marcia Brady in the BRADY BUNCH episode, "The Subject Was Noses." Original air date, February 9, 1973. Image is a screen grab. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Now – Maureen McCormick

And the Child Star Syndrome strikes again. Most child stars are afflicted with drug and alcohol issues, and Maureen was no different. She had a drug problem that she finally managed to get a handle on a few years later.


Then – Danny Bonaduce

Danny played the mischievous middle child on The Partridge Family – aptly named Danny as well. His character played the bass guitar in the family musical group. He also counted David Cassidy as a form of real-life brother to him.


Now – Danny Bonaduce

Here’s a title you never thought you would put by the Bonaduce’s name – professional wrestler. It’s true, along with being a musician and comedian, Danny’s a pro wrestler too. Interesting…


Then – Tatum O’Neal

Tatum started her career out with a bang. She won an Oscar at the tender age of 10 for her performance in Paper Moon, in 1974. Since then she played in films like, Nickelodeon and Bad News Bears.


Now – Tatum O’Neal

Tatum kind of lost herself somewhere in the 80s and 90s, but come the 21st century, O’Neal found her acting chops again, and got roles in Rescue Me and Law and Order.


Then – Linda Blair

Scarring the pants off of us in the 70s, Linda played the eery role of possessed youth in The Exorcist. The movie got her so much aclaim that she was nominated for an Oscar and actually won a Golden Globe award for her acting. Was it the head spinning skills?


Now – Linda Blair

Horror was the way to go for Blair. She stayed in the scary catergory throughout her career, getting roles in smaller horror movies. She has also had a recurring cameo in the thriller series, Supernatural.


Then – Jodie Foster

We have Bugsy Malone, Taxi Driver and many more examples of Jodie’s acting abilities. She started acting when she was just 3 years old, and kept very busy all through the 60s and 70s, showing the world that even though shes’s young, she can definitely hold her own.


Now – Jodie Foster

These days, Foster is a two-time Academy Award winner, and had added the title of director to her many talents. Her career has been as upbeat as ever, starring in films like The Silence of the Lambs, Panic Room, and Anna and the King.


Then – Valerie Bertinelli

Bertinelli starred in the tv sitcom, One Day at a Time – appearing in 208 out of 209 episodes. She spent the years between 1975 and 1984 on the show, earning herself a Golden Globe in 1981.


Now – Valerie Bertinelli

Valerie’s career never saw a dull moment in the 90s and early 2000s. She had roles in television shows, such as, Sydney and Touched by an Angel. More recently she’s been a spoksperson for Jenny Craig, as they have helped her shed the pounds he always wanted to.


Then – Mackenzie Phillips

Phillips was 12 when she got noticed. She had a role in American Graffiti, alongside stars like Ron Howard. Afterwards she found herself on yet another hit show, One Day At a Time.


Now – Mackenzie Phillips

Mackenzie, like many other child stars, had a bit of a substance abuse situation. The problem got to the point where the One Day At a Time producers decided to fire her. Finally, in 1992, she got help and tried to reboot her acting career.


Then – Kristy McNichol

It seemed as though Kristy was everywhere. She has cameos on show like, The Bionic Woman, Starsky & Hutch, and The Love Boat. However, it was her role in Family that scored her two Emmy Awards.


Now – Kristy McNichol

McNichol quickly moved to film. She starred alongside Mark Hamill and Dennis Quaid in the film, The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, and recieved a Golden Globe nomination for Only When I laugh.


Then – Adam Rich

Adam got the role of Nicholas Bradford in Eight is Enough. He basically made the bowl-cut haircut popular. His role on the show would have him pegged as the adorable little one that everyone loved.


Now – Adam Rich

And another child star bites the dust. As soon as Adam grew up a bit, he went down. Way down. Once again, drugs and alcohol played a part in an actors troubles, so much so that he was arrested for robbing a pharmacy. My how the mighty have fallen.



Then – Haywood Nelson

Haywood got noticed when he got a cameo appearance in the show, Sanford & Son, in the role of Grady. He would be so good that he would eventally get a spin-off. He continued to act on the show, What’s Happening!!.


Now – Haywood Nelson

After his great start, Nelson thought his career would skyrocket from there, but it didn’t. He got very few acting jobs thereafter and has since moved to working behind the screen.


Then – Cybill Shepherd

What started a very successful career was Cybill’s role in, The Last Picture Show, and Martin Scorsese film, Taxi Driver, alongside not-so-veteran (yet) actor, Robert De Niro.


Now – Cybill Shepherd

Fast forward to today, Cybill has many more project under her belt, such as the television series ,Moonlighting, alongside Bruce Willis. Shepherd also starred in the show, aptly named, Cybill. Which was loosely based on her life.


Then – Faye Dunaway

70s were the decade Faye became a hit girl. Starring as Bonnie, in the classic, Bonnie & Clyde, Dunaway made her acting as noticable as her features. She also starred in films, such as, Mommy Dearest, Chinatown, and Network. For the film, Network, Faye won herself an Oscar.


Now – Faye Dunaway

Faye has had a long and steady career sine the 70s. Most recently she’s had an appearance on the hit show, Grey’s Anatomy. However, other than that she has pretty much left her acting days behind her.


Then – Clint Eastwood

In the 70s, Clint was one of the most good looking men in Hollywood. He was not only a very successful actors but the 70s also inspired him to become a director of the films he was in. For example, High Plains Drifter, ,The Eiger Sanction, The Gauntlet, and Escape from Alcatraz. He also spent the 70s married to his first wife, Maggie Johnson. b8615a84908a32e6a96151743222ccb3

Now – Clint Eastwood

You probably know this, but Clint has since become one of the most well respected people in Hollywood, and one of the richest. His long list of credits would fill up this whole page if we listed it, but his top hits were, The Bridges of Madison County, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima, and American Sniper… to name a few.


Then – Robert De Niro

Back in the 70s Robert was a budding young actor with a lot of talent to spread around. Most notably he was in The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver, The Last Tycoon, and New York, New York. There was just something about his face that attracted the gangster flicks for some reason. In the 70s and 80s, Robert was married to Diahnne Abbott.


Now – Robert De Niro

Robert’s career went from strength to strength, his movies are a wide range of drama, comedy, action, and everything in between. Most recently he’s been in films like, Little Fockers, Limitless, Silver Linings Playbook, The Big Wedding, American Hustle, Last Vegas, The Intern, and Joy. He is known to be one of the most beloved actors to work with; not surprising at all.

Fine Arts Work Center In Provincetown Honors: De Niro And Pachett

Then – Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds made 20 movies during the decade of the 1970s. That astonishing amount of films was because Burt was one good look man, and an actor to boot. His credits from the 70s include, The Longest Yard, Hustle, Smokey and the Bandit, and Hooper. He was also a producer on some of the productions, he liked being a part of the film as a whole. burt-reynolds-turtleneck

Now – Burt Reynolds

Burt is now 80 years old, and is considered a Hollywood legend. He no longer acts, as he was injured several years ago on set, which caused him to have further substance dependence and other health issues. His hard work over the decades in Hollywood have left their mark though, that’s for sure.


Then – Harrison Ford

Harrison was all about Star Wars in the 1970s, or was it us that were all about Star Wars? Either way, Harrison was busy playing Han Solo and we all went from not knowing who this random previously a carpenter individual, to being totally obsessed with him and his character.


Now – Harrison Ford

Harrison is now still known for being  Han Solo but also for his role as Indiana Jones, he really had a thing for franchises! He is also married to fellow actress Calista Flockheart (you may remember her from Ally McBeal). Harrison is obviously still acting and not showing us any movement to the contrary.


Then – Jeff Bridges

Jeff starred in his first film in 1970 (we aren’t counting his role when he was a baby, no one knew it was him!). His role in the 1971 film, The Last Picture Show, was the one that put him on the map. His beach blonde hair and chiseled good looks were a shoe in in move stardom. Add to that a film like, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot and Jeff was on route to being one of the top grossing and famous actors in Hollywood.


Now – Jeff Bridges

Would you look at that? Jeff kept good on our premonition. He is one of the top grossing actors in Hollywood, with such a long list of credits, it’s hard to pin point the exact moment he became a  household name, but he sure is.


Then – Sally Field

Sally got her start in acting in the 60s, but her 70s job list is the one that got her noticed. Her role as Carrie in Smokey and the Bandit, as well as Gwen Doyle in Hooper, made her sweet face all the more recognizable. She has the innate ability to turn herself completely into her characters, a true acting chameleon.


Now – Sally Field

Sally is now everyones favorite lovable leading lady. She has been on television and film for so long that her name is synonymous with quality. Her roles in Amazing Spider-Man, Lincoln, and Hello – My Name is Doris, solidified everyones affection for Field. Her five year stint on the show Brother & Sisters showed her diversity of film and television.


Then – Robert Redford

Robert started on television before transitioning to film. In the 70s, Redford played in the highly acclaimed films, All the President’s Men, and Jeremiah Johnson. During these decades, Robert was married to former model, Lola Van Wagenen. His ability to draw viewers into his scenes is one that is not easily done, yet he managed to do just that in almost every movie he’s been in.


Now – Robert Redford

Now at 80 years of age, Robert looks slightly weathered in comparison to his 70s decade, but his Hollywood street cred has done him wonders. He is far from finished, he has been in films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and The Company You Keep, and has two more films coming out in 2017.

SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Actor Robert Redford attends the 29th Santa Barbara International Film Festival American Riviera Award to Robert Redford at the Arlington Theatre on February 7, 2014 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Then – Barbara Bach

Barbara shot to fame when she played the role of Anya Amasova in the James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, in 1977. Not to mention her role of Maritza Petrović in, Force 10 from Navarone, in 1978. Barbara was married to Augusto Gregorini from 1968 to 1978.


Now – Barbara Bach

After her failed marriage to Augusto Gregorini, Barabara went on to marry Beatles band member, Ringo Starr. The two are still happily married today. In terms of her career, Barbara has not acted since the mid-80s, deciding to focus her energy on her charitable efforts and family.

2014 Grammy Awards

Then – Al Pacino

Come on. The 1970s were ALL ABOUT The Godfather! Al hit it big with the role of Michael Corleone, which even he was surprised as to the effect it had on his career. The Godfather was followed by two more chapter/parts, for continued success for the franchise. Al was nominated for several Academy Awards, one for The Godfather Part II.


Now – Al Pacino

The film Scent of a Woman, got Al his first Academy Award win of his career. He has been a significant part of major films and television shows, both in front and behind the camera. Most notably was his HBO miniseries, Angels in America, that reminded the world of Al Pacino, outside of the world of The Godfather.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 06: Al Pacino attends AARP's 2nd Annual Movies For Grownups Film Showcase - "The Humbling" at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on November 6, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/WireImage)

Then – Michael Douglas

Michael’s claim to fame was his part in the ridiculously successful film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The film won an Academy Award for Best Picture, a BAFTA Award for Best Film, and a Golden Globe for Best Picture. Wow. Because Michael was one of the films producers, means that these awards applied to him as well.


Now – Michael Douglas

So Michael has enjoyed epic success, as well as a brilliant marriage to fellow actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. The couple has two children together, that look like a perfect combination of the two of them. Michael has recently been in Ant-Man, and Beyond the Reach.


Then – Meryl Streep

Meryl made her film debut in the 1977 picture, The Deadliest Season. With talent like hers it’s no surprise that just one year later, she would be going to the Oscars as a nominee in her role in The Deer Hunter.


Now – Meryl Streep

Since her incredible debut decade, Streep has collected over 19 Oscar nominations and has been in more films than we can count. Her more recent roles include The Devil Wears Prada, It’s Complicated, and August: Osage County.


Then – Susan Dey

Another Partridge Family alum. Susan began her career as a model (obviously) and was hired to be on the show to attrack the young demographic that the network needed for the show ot succeed. She had never acted before the show.


Now – Susan Dey

As would happen, Susan had a fling with equally good looking co-star, David Cassidy. After the show, Dey continued to act in small roles in film. Such films were, Little Women, Skyjacked, and Disappearance.