From disco to rollerskates to your beloved pet rock, there are many fads from the 1970s that have failed to remain popular in the present day. One thing that has withstood the test of time? The amazing women. The ’70s was an awesome era for women in pop culture and many are still remembered for their careers. From Barbara Mandrell to Cicely Tyson, there are plenty of strong and fabulous ladies of the ’70s that paved the way for the female celebrities that came after them. Here are some of our favorites and what they look like now!
Linda Ronstadt began a career in folk music with hits like “You’re No Good” and proved her versatility in many other genres. The ten-time Grammy Award winner was a prolific collaborator as well, most notably with Aaron Neville in “Don’t Know Much.” By the ’70s, Rondstadt was rock and pop’s most successful solo female act and became the highest-paid woman in rock.
In 2013, Ronstadt revealed that she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which sadly has left her unable to sing.
Everyone remembers Linda Gray as Sue Ellen Ewing on Dallas, for which she earned two Golden Globe nominations. Following the success of Dallas, Ronstadt starred opposite Sylvester Stallone in 1991’s Oscar and had the lead role in Fox’s Models Inc.
Aside from television, Gray made her way into the theatre, starring in the West End production of The Graduate in 2001. Today, Gray continues to act, joining the cast of Hand of God in 2017.
Kim Basinger started out with a successful modeling career in New York City throughout the ’70s but in 1976, she quit the runway and moved to Los Angeles to become an actress. She starred in a number of made-for-television movies before gaining international stardom as Bond girl Domino Petachi in 1983’s Never Say Never Again.
Today, Basinger continues to act and is a fervent supporter of animal rights. She most recently starred in 2017’s Fifty Shades Darker.
Barbra Streisand started with a successful recording career in the ’60s and by the end of that decade, made a name for herself as an actress when she won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for 1968’s Funny Girl. As a result, Streisand was a prominent actress throughout the ’70s, starring in films like The Way We Were and A Star Is Born.
These days, Streisand is somewhat of a recluse but did appear at the 2019 Academy Awards to introduce one of her favorite movies of 2018, BlacKkKlansman.
Swedish-American actress Ann-Margret rose to prominence for her roles in Bye Bye Birdie and Viva Las Vegas in the ’60s. Those iconic roles helped solidify her place on the big screen throughout the ’70s. She went on to win Golden Globes for Carnal Knowledge and Tommy.
Over the years, Ann-Margret has maintained a steady acting career, guest starring in a number of television shows. She most recently starred in Netflix’s The Kominsky Method and has a recurring role on Syfy’s Happy!
Susan Anton gained fame in the ’70s for singing in Muriel Cigar commercials and also appearing on The Merv Griffin Show. In 1978, she had her own summertime variety series, Mel and Susan Together, with country singer Mel Tillis.
In later years she appeared on Broadway and was the host of the Great Radio City Music Hall Spectacular at the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas, where she lives. Today, she lives a quieter life with her family.
Barbara Mandrell’s “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed” became the country singer’s first number-one hit in 1978 and it wasn’t long before she became one of country music’s most successful female vocalists of the time. In the ’80s she transitioned to TV with NBC’s Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters before she survived a serious car wreck in 1984.
Mandrell performed her last concert at the Grand Ole Opry in 1997, just before retiring. Today, Mandrell is in her 70s and continues to enjoy life with her family.
Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King famously won the “Battle of the Sexes” at age 29 when she defeated 55-year-old Bobby Riggs in 1973. It’s no surprise she was the former World No. 1 pro tennis player, having won 39 Grand Slam titles over the course of her career.
She broke barriers in 1981 when she was the first prominent female athlete to come out as gay. In 1987, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
Linda Evans got her start in the ’60s as Audra Barkley on The Big Valley but if that doesn’t ring a bell, then you might remember her best as Krystle Carrington from Dynasty. Evans played the secretary-turned-wife of oil tycoon Blake Carrington, who was played by Evans’s co-star John Forsythe.
After leaving Dynasty, Evans semi-retired from acting and chose to focus on fitness issues. In addition to setting up a small chain of fitness centers, she later became known for selling Rejuvenique face masks. Later in her life, she was diagnosed with idiopathic edema, which turned her onto alternative healing.
Alison Arngrim started acting at the age of 12 and is best remembered for her role as Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie. For seven years Arngrim played one of the most hated characters on television, but she made light of it in her stand-up routines as an adult.
In 2010, she penned an autobiography about growing up in the role and how she learned to love being hated. Today she does charity work, raising awareness about AIDS and child abuse.
Maureen McCormick is known throughout America as Marcia Brady on the hit sitcom The Brady Bunch, which ran from 1969 to 1974. Following the run of The Brady Bunch, McCormick reprised the role for television specials, but also went on to make guest appearances in other shows like Happy Days and Love Boat.
McCormick’s career was hurt by her dive into drug addiction but recovered after getting married. In recent years, she was a contestant on a number of celebrity reality shows.
Growing up in a show-business family, Teri Garr’s breakthrough role came in 1974 with her role as Inga in Young Frankenstein. From there, Garr was cast in a number of high-profile roles including one in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
She continued to act throughout the ’80s and ’90s, towards the end of which she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She has not appeared in anything since 2007 as she continues to battle her disease.
Cicely Tyson started out as a model before she began an acting career that spanned over 60 years. Tyson rose to fame for her role as Rebecca Morgan in 1972’s Sounder. She later went on to win two Emmy’s for 1974’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Tyson also made a name for herself on stage with a career on Broadway.
In recent years, she’s had roles in 2011’s The Help and in ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder.
Charlene Tilton is best remembered for her role as Lucy Ewing on Dallas. Tilton was only 4’11” and due to the saucy nature of her character, earned a nickname in Hollywood as the “poisonous dwarf.” A talented singer as well, Tilton released a song in 1984 called “C’est La Vie,” which became a hit in Europe.
Since then she’s appeared in a number of commercials, television shows, and movies. These days she is an advocate for autism awareness.
Paula Prentiss came onto the scene in the ’60s with Where the Boys Are and What’s New, Pussycat? From there, she went on to have lead roles in films like Born to Win and The Stepford Wives. She then appeared on Broadway in The Norman Conquests.
Later in her career, she made guest appearances and had cameo roles on television, but otherwise maintained a low profile. The last film she was in was 2016’s I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House.
Loretta Swit was known in her heydey as Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan on the hit series M*A*S*H. Swit was so talented in the role that she earned two Primetime Emmy Awards in the early ’80s. Aside from M*A*S*H, Swit was in shows such as Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and Hawaii Five-O.
Most recently in 2015, Swit narrated the documentary, Never the Same: The Prisoner of War Experience. She is also an avid fan of needlepoint and Ms. Pac-Man.
Everyone remembers Barbara Eden as 2,000-year-old Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie, which ran from 1965 to 1970. Despite being a comedic actress, she starred in dramas during the ’70s including The Stranger Within and A Howling in the Woods opposite her “Jeannie” co-star Larry Hagman.
In 2011, she published her memoir Jeannie Out of the Bottle and in 2013, she appeared alongside Bill Clinton, Elton John, and Fergie at the 21st Life Ball in Vienna.
English singer and actress Samantha Fox has acted in the theater since she was a child, but when she reached her teens, she became famous as a pin-up model. Fox appeared topless on Page 3 of The Sun, which is perhaps what she is best known for during the ’80s in the U.K.
Most recently, she participated in Celebrity Big Brother 18 and has been known for her civil partnership with Myra Stratton.
Bo Derek infamously ran off to Germany with actor-director John Derek, who was 30 years her senior, when she was 16. They married when she was 19 and at that point she underwent her Hollywood makeover, adopting her name and bleach-blonde hair.
She is best known for her role in 1979’s 10 but also starred in Tarzan, the Ape Man, and Bolero. In the 2000s, she made appearances in films for which she received Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Supporting Actress.
Loni Anderson won three Golden Globe Awards for her role as Jennifer Marlowe on CBS’s WKRP in Cincinnati, which ran from 1978 to 1982. She went on to star in 1983’s Stroker Ace alongside Burt Reynolds, to whom she was married for five years.
Though her acting career isn’t as prominent today as it once was, she was seen on the MeTV television network in 2018 promoting WKRP in Cincinnati.
Kate Jackson rose to prominence as Sabrina Duncan on Charlie’s Angels but left the show during its third season in 1979. Afterward, she was also known for her role as Amanda King on Scarecrow and Mrs. King.
Over the years, she has starred in a number of made-for-television movies, but most recently appeared on Criminal Minds in 2008. She is expected to release a memoir, which after repeatedly being delayed, is set to debut in 2020.