Beautiful Stars Of The 70s And How They’re Looking 50 Years Later
Loni Anderson's Calendar Made 'WKRP In Cincinnati' A Success
The '70s was a magical decade for beauty and glamor, and the female stars who emerged have an allure we'll never recapture. We saw women taking charge as never before, and it was, frankly, quite sexy. Linda Ronstadt and Stevie Nicks showed us that a woman can rule the biggest stages in rock music, while dynamic cover girls like Beverly Johnson, Cheryl Tiegs and Cybill Shepherd proved there was more to modeling than holding still and looking pretty. We also thrilled to the sight of the first female action heroes -- Pam Grier on the big screen and Lynda Carter on the tube.
There are many paths that lead to adulation and stardom, but in the '70s there was none more effective than the hot poster. A young starlet with a hot poster could count on getting some serious buzz and better paying jobs. It worked for Lynda Carter, Farrah Fawcett, Cheryl Tiegs, Catherine Bach, Heather Thomas, Heather Locklear -- and it worked like crazy for Loni Anderson.
In fact, Loni Anderson's red swimsuit poster didn't just help her to succeed -- the poster helped WKRP In Cincinnati to succeed. It's what got Anderson the job of Jennifer Marlowe on the sitcom, which premiered in 1978, and the promise of Jennifer Marlowe was a major incentive for viewers to tune in every week. The other characters -- Dr. Johnny Fever, Venus Flytrap, Les Nessman, Herb Tarlek -- would all grow on audiences and contribute to WKRP becoming a beloved show. But without Jennifer Marlowe, without "that girl from the poster" coming into your living room, who knows whether WKRP would have gotten off the ground?
Loni Anderson Plays A Martini-Swilling Vamp Of A Grandma
After many years out of the business, Loni Anderson returned to sitcoms in 2016, appearing in My Sister Is So Gay, a web series on Tello TV. Now in her 70s, Anderson is still playing a blonde bombshell, although one whose style is the polar opposite of the cool, collected Jennifer Marlowe.
"I carry the ice bucket and all the makings for a martini in my purse," she said of her character, in an interview with Huffington Post. "I’m promiscuous and wear tiny little mini-skirts and have plunging necklines and animal prints."
Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman Was The Best Superhero Ever
Famed as the 1970s TV incarnation of Wonder Woman, young Lynda Carter became the feminine ideal for the three seasons (1976-1979) her show aired. As TV's first female superhero, she was an inspiration to women and girls, while her beauty-queen looks (she'd been Miss World USA) and snug star-spangled costume kept teenage boys and their fathers tuning in.
Although her statuesque frame and stunning chestnut hair would soon become her trademarks, she didn't always consider them assets, believe it or not. Though young Lynda was obviously a knockout, she was mercilessly teased about her appearance when she was young. Carter always had dark hair and was quite noticeably taller and thinner than her friends and peers as a child -- for this reason, she was called “Olive Oyl” (from the old Popeye cartoon). Carter especially stood out among her friends as most of them were on the shorter side with blonde or very light hair. In fact, she didn’t make the cheerleading cut in high school because she “towered over everyone else.” If only they had known.
Lynda Carter, The Singing Superhero
Carter could not have known that she'd become Wonder Woman, but she did dream of an entertainment career -- as a singer. Early on, she sang in several bands, and she cut a solo album that was released in 1978, during the show's run, entitled Portrait. In 2009, 30 years after hanging up her lasso of truth, Carter released At Last, an album of favorites from the Great American Songbook, and in 2011 she put out the more diverse and contemporary Crazy Little Things.
For fans of the '70s TV Wonder Woman -- the true Wonder Woman -- the arrival of new movies with a new actress, Gal Gadot, elicited some skepticism. There will never be another Lynda Carter, that's just a fact. Carter herself weighed in, voicing approval for the new franchise, and even making a fan-pleasing cameo appearance in Wonder Woman 1984. "I have become good friends with Gal and [director] Patty Jenkins, whom I have tremendous respect for," she told Boca Mag. "I think it’s really great for the character. I think they did an amazing job."
Nobody Kicked More Butt Than Pam Grier
Pam Grier arose from the blaxploitation genre to become one of the great icons of the '70s. Yes, she's stunning, with a figure that wouldn't quit, but Grier also played roles that captured the spirit of the times. With her afro, stylish outfits and fighting prowess, she was an action heroine with overtones of feminism and black empowerment.
Grier first gained notice in low-budget prison movies The Big Doll House (1971), Women In Cages (1971), and The Big Bird Cage (1972), then emerged as something completely new in Coffy (1973). She was a full-fledged action hero, kicking ass on screen in a way we hadn't seen from a woman -- a female Charles Bronson, with the added weapon of ninja-level seduction. Grier fought injustice with the tools at her disposal -- guns, fists, eyes, cleavage, whatever it took. Audiences went wild for Grier, who gave them more and more of what they wanted in subsequent films Foxy Brown (1974), Sheba, Baby (1975), Bucktown (1975) and Friday Foster (1975). In less than two years, Grier had practically created her own film genre, one that Hollywood has been trying to recapture ever since. Every female action hero since the mid-'70s has (or should have) a little Pam Grier in her.
Pam Grier Is The Best Advertisement Beans And Rice Could Want
Pam Grier was born in North Carolina but grew up an Air Force brat, and thus moved around frequently. She spent her high school years in Denver, Colorado, which was a tough town for her. "That was where I learned you had to fight all the time," she recalled. "I mean fight for your lunch money or act like you didn't have any. I used to keep mine in my sock. It was pretty rough for a kid who had been sheltered on Air Force bases, but I am a quick study."
Between the rough times at school and her strict religious household, it may be surprising that Pam Grier turned out a major sex symbol -- but she knew she had something going on. She entered pageants as a teenager, and finished second runner-up in the 1967 Miss Colorado competition. Still, Grier has always let her imagery and her work do the talking, affecting a modest attitude reflected in one of the greatest celebrity quotations of all time:
Me, sexy? I'm just plain ol' beans and rice.
Beans and rice -- no hot sauce required.
People Couldn't Pronounce Raquel Welch's 'Exotic' Name
Raquel Welch was born Jo Raquel Tejada to a Bolivian father and an Irish-American mother. Early in her career, her exotic qualities were considered a risk -- right down to her name. "They had a point," Welch later admitted. "In school, nobody could pronounce my name. They just called me Rocky." 20th Century Fox proposed she use the stage name "Debbie Welch," but young Raquel decided to stick it out with her given name. Everyone knows how to pronounce it now.
Raquel Welch spent the '70s cruising on a well-earned reputation as, arguably, the most attractive woman on the planet. She'd built this brand in such late-'60s films as Fantastic Voyage, One Million Years B.C., Fathom, Bedazzled, and 100 Rifles. All of those films are probably more lasting than any she made in the '70s, but Welch had nothing left to prove. She was a '60s icon with enough legs (literal and figurative) to continue to be an icon without blowing up the box office.
Fans Are Still Obsessed With Raquel Welch's Fur Bikini
Welch was able to transition from the genre of movies that had made her a sex symbol into more serious roles over time. She won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in 1974 for her performance in The Three Musketeers. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film Right to Die (1987).
Despite all the roles and images Welch has created over the decades, there's one clear winner. "I have people that handle my fan mail, and every day tons of photos come in, with requests for autographs," she says. "The fur bikini [from One Million Years B.C.] is the perennial one. I do feel very fortunate, because I had no suspicion that a dinosaur movie would ever pay off for me as an actress. I figured, it's going to be swept under the carpet, nobody will ever see it. ... It was [a great movie] for kids, but maybe not the ideal way for an actress to enter the movie-making scene. I even complained to the studio. I was like 'Please, please don't make me do the dinosaur movie.' They were like 'No, Raquel, you don't understand. It's a classic. It'll live on forever.' Turns out they were right.
Sally Field Hated Being The Flying Nun
Sally Field became a famous TV star as Gidget, and then The Flying Nun. She embraced the surfer-girl role, but playing the airborne Sister Bertrille was a chore. "I was so depressed and I was 19 and I didn't want to be playing something called the Flying Nun," she recalled. "I did not want to be dressed as a nun all day long."
Field struggled to break out of the good-girl persona of her '60s sitcoms, but finally did with her Emmy-winning performance as a woman with dissociative personality disorder in Sibyl. Then she took the role that further changed her image and personal life: the runaway bride Carrie (also known as Frog) in Smokey and the Bandit. The chemistry between Field and Burt Reynolds was clear, and it wasn't faked -- the two actually started a romantic relationship during filming, and ended up staying together for five years.
Sally Field Could Have Won A Third Oscar
Field won Academy Awards for Norma Rae (1979) and Places In The Heart (1984). In 2012, she had a chance to win a third, this time for her brilliant portrayal of First Lady Mary Todd in Lincoln. Alas, the statuette went to Anne Hathaway for her performance in Les Miserables.
Field continues to look for meaty roles that fit her age, “I’m an aging actor, and my face and body — I have to be able to play what I am,” she adds. “If I play a character who is attractive, I want to be attractive, but I’m also [getting old], so my face is drooping and falling, and my body isn’t what it was.” If only we could all look so good at her age!
Dolly Parton Was Booed The First Time She Performed With Porter Wagoner
Dolly Parton was born into the most humble of beginnings. Her father, a sharecropper in Tennessee’s Appalachian mountains, had so little money at the time of her birth that he had to pay the doctor (who also the preacher) with a sack of cornmeal in order for him to deliver the baby. Growing up, she lived in a small wood cabin without electricity or running water.
As the 20-year-old Parton began to have success in country music, she caught the attention of the singer, producer and future Country Music Hall of Famer Porter Wagoner, who hosted the weekly Porter Wagoner Show. His previous female vocal accomplice, Norma Jean, had just left and the young upstart Dolly Parton seemed like the perfect replacement... or so he thought. Parton was unfortunately booed during her very first performance on the Porter Wagoner Show. She later returned back on stage with a shaken, weepy voice. According to her autobiography, many audience members even went so far as to chant “Norma Jean” during the commercial breaks. Rude.
Dolly Parton Wrote The Office-Workers' Anthem '9 To 5'
Parton couldn’t be contained by the music world alone, and in the 80’s found parallel success in critically acclaimed films like Steel Magnolias, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and smash hit 9 to 5. The song "9 to 5," written and recorded by Parton, is still seen by critics as one of the most impactful songs regarding issues facing the working class, and is often used at rallies by politicians whose platforms revolve around worker’s rights and economic inequality.
In 2016 when wildfires ravaged her hometown of Pigeon Forge, TN, and surrounding areas, Parton didn’t flinch at donating more than 3 million dollars to local residents. She is also a benefactor of scholarships and a book delivery service to homes with children under 5 years of age to promote literacy, as her father never learned how to read despite being “the smartest man” she ever knew.
Sometimes A Plain White Tee Is The Best Wardrobe, Just Ask Jacqueline Bisset
Jacqueline Bisset commanded attention from her earliest films, including Casino Royale (1967) and Bullitt (1968), but seeing Jacqueline Bisset in The Deep (1977) was a revelation for many male moviegoers. Swimming through the depths in a white t-shirt and bikini bottoms, Bisset went from young and attractive actress to white-hot sex symbol overnight.
Peter Guber, producer of The Deep, recognized the power of the white tee. “That t-shirt made me a rich man,” he once remarked. Jacqueline Bisset beat out a few other well-known actresses for the role, including Candice Bergen. Bisset’s leading man was Nick Nolte. It is reported that the two didn’t get along when the movie started filming, but were a romantic item by the time filming was complete.
Jacqueline Bisset Still Gets 'Obsessed' When She's Acting
Bisset has continued to get roles in television and film. She starred with Keira Knightley in the movie Domino (2005) and in 2006 she had a recurring role in the television show Nip/Tuck. She also did a movie with Drew Barrymore, Miss You Already (2015).
As for her time off the set, Bisset spends much of her time reading, cooking, and gardening. She has an insatiable need to keep busy and though she is working less, when she is making a movie, she has said that she becomes “obsessed” with the process. Bisset has no regrets about the way her life has gone. In her own words, “I have a very fulfilling life with good friends and I enjoy my work.”
Suzanne Somers Was The California Blonde Who Took TV By Storm
Her claim to fame was playing Chrissy from 1977-81 on Three's Company, but Suzanne Somers has remained a celebrity for decades even though her acting career has been inconsistent. Today, she's better known as the ThighMaster spokesperson and an advocate of alternative medicine.
Somers capitalized on the burgeoning fitness craze and her own toned physique to launch a series of infomercials for health and fitness equipment. She gained a whole new following of fans with her ThighMaster commercials, which featured the spandex-wearing Somers squeezing the workout tool between her rock-hard thighs. When she wasn’t hawking workout videos or promoting exercise equipment, the ageless blonde worked as a Las Vegas performer and entertained the troops serving overseas.
Suzanne Somers Battles Breast Cancer, Controversially
Suzanne Somers may have played a dumb blonde on TV, but she’s one smart cookie! Her health and fitness empire included books, videos, exercise equipment, weight loss supplements, skincare products, cosmetics, clothing, jewelry, and even chemical-free home cleaning products.
A breast cancer survivor, Somers defied her oncologist’s orders and replaced traditional chemotherapy with homeopathic treatments including Iscador, an extract made from fermented mistletoe. She supports a controversial and unproven hormone replacement therapy regime, which she has written about in her 2006 self-help book Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones. The American Cancer Association has called the actress’s views on cancer treatment “dangerous” and the organization has been openly critical of Somers’ medical views. Yet, they seem to be working well for her.
BernNadette Stanis Was A Good Reason To Watch 'Good Times'
BernNadette Stanis played an important role as Thelma Evans on the '70s sitcom Good Times. Though the goofy JJ, played by Jimmie Walker, is often remembered for his antics and his catchphrase "Dyn-o-mite!," every goofball needs a straight man. Thelma was smart, reasonable, and more serious than her scene-stealing older brother.
Stanis' performances may have been overshadowed by her co-stars, but she hardly went unnoticed -- she was a very popular character and the object of many a teenage crush. If Thelma's sex-symbol status is news to you, it might be because you weren't buying Jet and Ebony in the mid-'70s. Just as the show was ground-breaking, Thelma was as well. At 16, Thelma was the first African American teenage girl character on television (although BernNadette was 20 when the show debuted.)
BernNadette Stanis Is Hoping To Cure Alzheimer's
She published her first book, Situations 101: Relationships The Good, The Bad & The Ugly in 2005. The book did well and she was able to travel around the country meeting people as she participated in book signings. She went on to write The Last Night (following her mother's death from Alzheimer's), Situations 101: Finances The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and For Men Only, which was a collection of poetry dedicated to the men who supported her.
Her mother’s disease also influenced her to start a foundation dedicated to Alzheimer’s. Stanis was watching a Good Times rerun one night as her mother was in the grips of the disease and did not recognize that Thelma was actually her daughter, even though she consistently recognized BernNadette. This incident inspired the name of her foundation: Remembering the Good Times.
Linda Ronstadt Was The Top Selling Female Artist Of The '70s
They called Linda Ronstadt the "Queen of Rock" in the '70s, but the name is a little limiting. Ronstadt has recorded and performed in just about every genre during her career -- not just rock, but vocal jazz, country, and Latin. In 1978, Linda Ronstadt was the highest paid woman in rock, with solo platinum records to her name and sold-out stadium shows.
At the peak of her popularity in the late '70s, Ronstadt seemed to have the perfect combination. She was a veteran performer who could share the stage with anyone, her voice could tackle just about any musical genre, and her image as a fun rock chick was completely appealing to her fans. To put it in juvenile terms -- she was the pretty girl who could hang with the boys. "I don't know how good a sex symbol I am, but I do think I'm good at being sexy," she told New Times in 1977. "The sexual aspect of my personality has been played up a lot, and I can't say it hasn't been part of my success."
Parkinson's Disease Forced Linda Ronstadt Into Retirement
Linda Ronstadt has earned the admiration of many fans and fellow artists over the years and has also been celebrated with many awards. She has 10 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, an Alma Award and an Emmy Award. In addition to that, Ronstadt has many gold, platinum/multi-platinum albums. In 2011, she was awarded the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Linda Ronstadt was forced into retirement after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. She struggles with her condition but don’t count her out yet. In 2019, Ronstadt was the subject of the documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice. The movie won a Grammy Award for Best Music Film in 2020.
Britt Ekland Aspired To Have Her Ursula Andress Moment
Swedish bombshell Britt Ekland secured her place in movie history as a gun moll in Get Carter (1971), a pagan temptress in The Wicker Man (1973), and a Bond Girl in The Man With The Golden Gun (1974). Her international-celebrity life dates to 1964, when Peter Sellers wooed and wed the unknown actress almost like a mail-order bride.
By the time she was cast as Mary Goodnight in The Man With The Golden Gun, Ekland was already a star. "At the time it was not important because I had done plenty of films before," she told the Huffington Post. "Bond was just something I wanted to do, I liked the idea of coming out of the sea like Ursula Andress, and being an action woman - in the '60s we just played sex kittens - so at the time it wasn’t important, it was another movie."
Britt Ekland Has Opinions About Beauty
After decades in show business, Ekland learned lessons the hard way and doesn’t mind passing along a few tips. As she says, "Vanity is your greatest friend!" Vanity "is the reason I am not a druggie, I am not an alcoholic and I am not - how do I say without hurting anyone? - overweight. You have to be careful today."
Ekland also cautions women on the dangers of plastic surgery. "I think it's tragic because the one time you really look good is before you're 25. Everyone is altering themselves so they all look older and older and older. And by the time they're 25 they look 35. It's very sad. I've of course played around with plastic surgery but I was after 50 when I did.” She speaks from experience, having spent years trying to correct a lip procedure gone wrong.
Barbi Benton Earned Hugh Hefner's Approval, And Ran With It
Born Barbara Lynn Klein in 1950, the curvy model was just 18 years old when she accepted an invitation from a certain famous magazine to appearing on a syndicated TV show called After Dark. She was hired as an extra in the show, but that all changed when she met Hugh Hefner. The PB founder, then in his early forties, fell in love with the teenage Benton (hey, at least she was legal -- Priscilla Beaulieu was 14 when Elvis Presley fell for her).
Hefner increased Benton’s role in the PB's After Dark show to co-host. It was Hefner, in fact, that suggested she change her name from Barbi Klein to Barbi Benton because he thought the alliteration made it a more marketable name. Benton also appeared on the cover of Hefner's magazine four times in three decades: July 1969, March 1970, May 1972, and December 1985.
With connections in the entertainment industry through her famous boyfriend, Benton pursued her dreams. She released four country albums in the 1970s, and her single "Brass Buckles" rose to #5 on the country chart. Benton was a frequent guest on talk shows, and made numerous appearances on Fantasy Island and The Love Boat. Benton's most memorable TV gig was probably her recurring role on the country music comedy show Hee Haw as one of the Hee Haw Honeys.
Barbi Benton Looks Back Fondly On Her Time As Hefner's Girlfriend
Though she was Hugh Hefner's main squeeze for about seven years, they never married, and split up in 1976. With just a few months of the 1970s left, Barbi Benton married a California real estate developer named George Gradow. The couple, who are still married, had their first child, Alexander, in 1986, followed by a daughter, Ariana, in 1988.
Benton entered a semi-retirement from show business to concentrate on raising her children and devoting her time to her husband. Today, the couple split their time between their home in Los Angeles and their second home in Aspen.
Benton and Hefner remained friends up until his death in 2017. She told People magazine about her last trip to the Mansion: "Rather than sit where other people were, he wanted to sit with me privately. ... When I was there for a party or a small get-together, I never got to talk to Hef. So we went to one of the rooms in the Mansion, and behind closed doors we had the most amazing conversation about old times.”
Angie Dickinson Was A Lady Cop And A Big Bad Mama
Angie Dickinson was pushing 40 in 1970, and had already broken plenty of hearts with screen performances in Rio Bravo (1959), Ocean's 11 (1961), The Killers (1964), The Chase (1966) and Point Blank. She had certainly established a genre -- she played a pretty girl in films where tough guys did bad stuff. She was a '60s sex symbol, but the old girl still had a couple of tricks up her sleeve.
In 1974, a new TV show hit the airwaves and its title was self-explanatory, yet revolutionary: Police Woman. Dickinson played the blond and beautiful Sgt. Pepper Anderson of the Los Angeles Police Department, Criminal Conspiracy Unit Officer. She worked undercover to expose the bad guys and bring them to justice. Police Woman was the first television show about cops to feature a woman. With this action show that ran for four seasons, Dickinson changed the game, showing by example that actresses could carry a serious show. You could have a leading lady without a leading man. You could build a show around a pistol-packin' mama.
Angie Dickinson Won't Be Playing Anyone's Grandmother
In the same year that Police Woman debuted, 1974, Dickinson further titillated audiences who wanted to see a tough beauty in Big Bad Mama, a glorified B-movie in which she played a bank robber and bootlegger who kicked ass and took names. The film's taglines included "Hot Lead - Hot Cars - Hot Damn!" and "Men, Money And Moonshine: When It Comes To Vice, Mama Knows Best."
When you've played hardball with the likes of Lee Marvin, Marlon Brando, and Frank Sinatra, the prospect of making Christmas movies for Lifetime might be underwhelming. Dickinson has made just three films in the 21st century -- and it appears to be by choice. "I don't want to do grandmother parts," she has said. "I'd rather stay home. That's not fun. Movies are too hard when it's not rewarding. If stage weren't so hard, I would do stage, because I do love acting and I love performing and I'm a ham. I've also considered going on the road with a one-woman show, which I would love, but I'm not fooled. It's too hard-all that travelling. It's different for a woman too. You forget about what we do to look good."
Debbie Harry Had The First Rap Song To Top The Pop Chart
Debbie Harry of Blondie, whose biggest hits include "Call Me," "Heart Of Glass" and "The Tide Is High," was the queen of new wave and the darling of punk rock in the late '70s and early '80s. A smoldering beauty who radiated downtown New York cool at all times, Debbie Harry took Blondie to international stardom, fronting a band with all the skill and showmanship of her male contemporaries.
If there's a sound of New York at the beginning of the 1980s it's "Rapture." This mix of disparate genres all jammed together in one six-and-a-half-minute song is a link between the quickly waning disco era and the emergent sound of hip hop. By 1980, the group was already playing around with their version of Reggae on "The Tide Is High," and had topped the chart a couple years earlier with the shamelessly disco "Heart of Glass," so why not continue experimenting with hip hop? It's important to note that "Rapture" isn't really pure rap -- it's more like a disco groove that has a rap section -- but it is pure Blondie.
Debbie Harry Is Still Fronting Blondie, And Still Touring
Just as Blondie was achieving the success Harry and her bandmate/lover Chris Stein had hoped for, the two decided to step away. In 1982, Stein was diagnosed with a rare skin disorder that left him temporarily unable to work. Harry set her career aside to take care of him. Although the two remained a couple until the end of the decade, the relationship struggled in the eighties. Harry, who later came out as bisexual, stated that she had romantic encounters with women, even as she maintained long-term relationships with men.
Now in her 70s, Debbie Harry still looks like the sexy punk princess she was forty years ago. And she is showing no signs of slowing down. The Blondie frontwoman, now a member of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, is a cultural treasure who's still hitting the road with Chris Stein and the Blondie crew.
Jungle Pam Was A Drag Racing Star Who Didn't Drive A Funny Car
In the '70s, Jungle Pam, drag racing's sweetheart of the asphalt, captured the imagination of Funny Car fans like no one else. Working to assist driver "Jungle Jim" Lieberman, Jungle Pam was known for her tight outfits, skimpy shorts or mini-skirts, go-go boots -- and of course a high-octane smile. In an era when drivers had a free hand to market themselves, the Jungle Pam phenomenon was a stroke of genius on the part of Lieberman, raising the profile of his team and Funny Car racing in general.
Lieberman was known for his flamboyant and showy drag car exhibitions and Hardy was just the girl to add glitz and glamour to his image. Her first official role was as Liberman's "backup girl," helping to position Lieberman's 1973 Chevrolet Vega on the track prior to each race. Liberman wanted all eyes on him when he climbed behind the wheel of his Funny Car. Who better to bring attention to him on the track than a beautiful, leggy and buxom young woman? Hardy soon captured the attention that Liberman had hoped for, and just the mention of her name would elicit excitement with her male fans. And these fans weren't even always Jim Lieberman fans -- they were just Jungle Pam fans.
Drag Racing Changed, And Jungle Pam Didn't
As drag racing became more popular, the sport saw some tightening of its rules, which cut down on the showmanship Liberman and Jungle Pam so relished. He continued to race but not nearly as much as before. Unfortunately, in 1977, his prized Corvette collided with a bus (not related to racing), killing him at the age of 31. After that tragic accident, Jungle Pam went back to being Pam Hardy and took a traditional 9-to-5 job.
So, what is Jungle Pam Hardy doing now? Hardy lives a quiet and “normal” life since leaving the limelight of the drag racing scene. All the while, however, she has done her best to keep the groovy memory of Jungle Jim Liberman and that era alive. She continues to make media and National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) appearances signing autographs. Currently, Hardy hosts a Facebook page and website dedicated to the memory of the sport of drag racing as it was back in those mid-'70s glory days.
Cybill Shepherd Was A Model Who Hit It Big In 'The Last Picture Show'
Cybill Shepherd, with a name so recognizable it even rings a bell for Millennials, came from Memphis, Tennessee. Even as a youth, Cybill Shepherd's jaw-dropping beauty made waves. Carrying a name combined from grandfather Cy and father Bill, she took beauty contests and pageants by storm. She competed in the 1966 Miss Teenage America and won Miss Congeniality.
She won 1968 Model of the Year in Tennessee, and almost immediately began appearing in national advertisements and on covers of major magazines -- she was rapidly becoming a fashion icon, while barely out of high school. Her ocean deep blue eyes and picturesque look would quickly propel Shepherd from fashion darling to silver screen vixen. In her very first film, The Last Picture Show starring Jeff Bridges, Shepherd earned a Golden Globe nomination.
Cybill Shepherd Found Her Voice In Broad, Zany Comedy
In the early '70s, Shepherd was a hot actress whose output was erratic -- The Heartbreak Kid (1972) was a hit, but Daisy Miller (1974) and At Long Last Love (1975) were both panned. Taxi Driver, from 1976, was another rare success. In the '80s, though, Shepherd roared back on the small screen, starring with a then-unknown Bruce Willis in Moonlighting, and from there going on to have her own sitcom Cybill.
It was with Cybill that Shepherd got to emulate one of her idols, Lucille Ball. Like Shepherd, Ball had started out as a model before building her legacy as a comedic genius. "[Cybill] was my first chance to do broad comedy, and have the hair funny, and the shirt wrong, and the jeans that wouldn’t pull up over my butt," Shepherd told The Hollywood Interview. "In fact, there was a lot of criticism towards me, from one of the producers, who said that he was only trying to stop me from doing the 'broad, Lucy-esque takes.' And the show was a hit! So we had to have a parting-of-the-ways because it was impossible to work with someone who was fighting you constantly because they had some sort of Moonlighting ideal that I had to be Maddie Hayes."
Ali MacGraw Was The Most Glamorous Woman In Hollywood For A Time
Ali MacGraw, who began as a fashion model in the '60s before carving out a movie career with Love Story (1970) and The Getaway (1972), epitomized early-'70s glamour and star quality. A New York brunette from an artistic family, MacGraw was the sophisticated fashion icon and sweetheart America craved as the cultural bonfire of the late '60s was still burning.
“She exemplified this great American style,” designer Calvin Klein told Vanity Fair. “In the beginning, there was that rich-hippie period. But it went beyond that, and her style put her among the greats: Katharine Hepburn, Jackie Onassis, C. Z. Guest, Babe Paley.”
Producer and former husband Robert Evans added:
Every girl in America wanted to be Ali. ... The 10 top box-office names of 1971 were nine men and one woman, and that woman was Ali.”
Yoga Brought Ali MacGraw Back
In the '80s, following an acclaimed performance in the TV miniseries The Winds of War and a strange run on Dynasty, MacGraw quasi-retired from acting. After turning 50, MacGraw began to practice yoga. In 1994, she released a home video, Yoga Mind and Body, that was a best-seller and sparked renewed interest in yoga in the United States. She also wrote an autobiography, Moving Pictures.
While her focus in life has turned away from acting, she made her stage debut on Broadway in Festen, a drama about a family’s patriarch celebrating his 60th birthday. And now, in a way, her life has come full circle, as she is once again modeling for Chanel, but this time, for their J12 Watch.
Agnetha Faltskog Was The Most Swedish Thing Ever
Nothing was bigger, globally, than ABBA in the '70s -- though the Swedish quartet didn't quite connect with the American audience (not until later), their albums and singles topped pop charts virtually everywhere else. They were ambassadors for Sweden, and the blonde beauty Agnetha Faltskog embodied Swedishness most of all. She had an angelic aura, and she wore crazy European fashion that often included hot pants and fishnet tights.
For most of ABBA's run as a pop-music juggernaut, Agnetha was married to Bjorn Ulvaeus, and the couple had a daughter, Linda, who was born in 1973. Agnetha suffered from a dislike of all the publicity associated with being in ABBA, as well as feelings of guilt that she wasn't being a good mother. In 2014, Faltskog commented that during ABBA's heyday
It felt like the fans were going to eat me up. I was still a normal kid from Jönköping, but now I couldn’t go anywhere. When we were on tour, I longed for [my daughter] Linda. I had negotiated with our manager and the others that our tours would never last longer than two weeks, but this meant they had me down as cranky Agnetha. They thought I was demanding.
Agnetha Falskog's Reluctance Kept ABBA From Reuniting, Until Now
Eventually, Agnetha's marriage to Bjorn Ulvaeus fell apart. ABBA soldiered on, with Agnetha and Bjorn maintaining their professional relationship as divorces. The quartet managed to release a couple more albums, but played what looked to be their final concert as ABBA in 1982. In the space of 10 years, they had conquered the world and burned out.
For 35 years, the quartet resisted the temptation to reunite, largely due to Faltskog's anxiety about stepping back into the spotlight. She lived a somewhat hermetic existence on her farm in Sweden, releasing some solo albums that found some success in Europe, but not ABBA-level success. Then, in 2018, Bjorn Ulvaeus announced that ABBA would be getting back together to record a couple of new songs. Fans, many of whom had come to love the group thanks to the Mamma Mia! musical, were shocked and thrilled. ABBA also expects to tour in 2022, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the group's founding.
Sonny Didn't Find Cher 'Particularly Attractive' at First
The iconic Cher took Hollywood by storm at a very young age, as performing partner for her boyfriend Sonny, singing their hit "I Got You Babe." But you didn't have to be a talent scout to see that Cher's showbiz potential (much like her physical stature) far exceeded that of her partner.
As an act and (soon enough) a married couple, Sonny and Cher was clearly made up of one superstar and a guy named Sonny. To look at them, it would seem that Sonny had somehow snagged a girl who was way out of his league -- but that's not how it started. Speaking to Time magazine in 1975, Cher recalled a very platonic start to their friendship, and Sonny's anything-but-romantic invitation to cohabitate. He said,
Look, I don't find you particularly attractive and I have no designs on you. I'd like you to move in with me and keep the house clean and cook. I'll pay the rent.
Cher added that she and Sonny "lived together for two months, slept in the same bedroom and he never laid a hand on me." Over time, the nature of their relationship changed, and they developed into both a romantic and professional pair.
Cher Is Not A Fan Of Cher
Cher, to this day, has a body any woman would kill for. She is tall and slender and can pull off just about anything she wears. Over the years, Cher’s style has gone through many an evolution but one thing has been constant. That one thing is that she is always provocative and daring with her wardrobe.
As she has aged, Cher has remained remarkably young-looking and has continued to take risks in terms of her fashion and her career. The notoriously candid entertainer admits that she regrets plenty of them. As she somewhat confusingly said to People in 2017, "I'm not a Cher fan. ... I just don’t think my aesthetic taste lies in her direction." Cher the person may not always agree with Cher the performer, but she remains impressed that she's still getting up there at all. "I’m shocked that I can still run across the stage at my age. I thought I’d be dead!"
Cheryl Tiegs Was The Cover Girl To End All Cover Girls
There are a few women who have a claim to the nebulous distinction of being the first supermodel, but Cheryl Tiegs has an exceptionally strong case. She was the first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model to have name-brand recognition, and the first to appear on the issue's cover twice, in 1970 and '75. Even if she's not the first supermodel, she's definitely the face and figure that made the Swimsuit Issue an institution.
Like other fellow '70s icons Loni Anderson, Lynda Carter and Farrah Fawcett, Tiegs raised her profile significantly with a best-selling poster, known as the "pink bikini" poster. She also made for one of the most memorable Time Magazine cover subjects when she was hailed by the news weekly as the "All-American Model" in 1978. She could wear a t-shirt and jeans on a no-concept Us magazine cover and it would be a jaw-dropper. When she signed a contract with a cosmetics company that made her the highest paid model in the biz, it's hardly surprising that the name of the company was Cover Girl.
Cheryl Tiegs Is A Boss Lady
Tiegs has used her influence to raise awareness of global warming, becoming an advocate for electric cars and other green lifestyle choices. She's also become a businesswoman several times over. In 1980, she launched a signature clothing line with Sears that was enormously successful for her and also helped Sears recover from some lean years. She also has a line of sportswear she sells through QVC and wigs that she sells through Revlon.
Tiegs' success in business has something to do with opportunities she didn't pursue -- though given her high profile, she could have. As she told Artful Living:
When I was modeling, most of the girls became actresses, because that was the next logical step. I just decided I didn’t want to be an actress, and I started up these companies.
Time has told us that swimsuit modeling is in no way a ticket to movie stardom, so Tiegs probably did the right thing by becoming a serial entrepreneur. You can't argue with the results.
Stevie Nicks Remains A Romantic
Stevie Nicks has been a one-of-a-kind performer ever since reinvigorating Fleetwood Mac in the mid-'70s, and her continued work with that band and as a solo artist has only cemented her legacy and grown her legend. Fortunately for music fans, Nicks likes to share her wisdom these days, and always makes for a good interview. How does Stevie see the world, and her place in it?
She very deliberately tries to remain a romantic, particularly when others don't. As she told The Creative Independent:
It’s very sad, once you stop being a romantic, you can no longer be a poet. If you are, you’re a lousy poet and nobody’s going to want to read your poems because they’re just jaded and miserable. If you can’t write something that’s going to inspire people they’re not going to read it.
Stevie Nicks Keeps Her Shawls In A Special Vault
Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac has entered her seventh decade and, as shown in a recent Rolling Stone interview, still going strong. The Gold Dust Woman herself was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for the second time (having already earned a spot as a member of Fleetwood Mac), making her the first woman to be inducted twice.
Whether she’s casting spells on American Horror Story: Coven, or whirling her way across stage with The Mac, Stevie Nicks is never seen without a scarf. She’s quick to point out that she doesn’t just keep them in a closet, but rather a “shawl vault.” As she puts it to Rolling Stone:
I have my shawl vault—they’re all in temperature-controlled storage. I have these huge red cases Fleetwood Mac bought, all the way back in 1975—my clothes are saved in these cases. ... I’m trying to give my shawls away—but there’s thousands of them.
Carly Simon Epitomized The Liberated, Sexy Woman Of '70s Pop
One of the sex symbols of pop music in the '70s, Carly Simon gave us hits including "Anticipation," "Nobody Does It Better," and of course "You're So Vain." That last song was, perhaps surprisingly, her only #1 hit, yet you couldn't get through that decade without being very aware of Simon.
She was stylish, she had famous lovers (including a famous husband, James Taylor), she was a regular performer and guest on TV talk shows, she was nominated for Grammys seemingly every year. Simon's effortless and earthy sexuality, and the strength in her singing voice made her a kind of ideal in the liberated '70s -- a feminist taking charge of her life and career who could still drive the boys wild.
The Carly Simon-James Taylor Marriage Didn't Last -- Rock Stars Always Split Up
The power couple of Carly Simon and James Taylor spent many years together and yielded two children. Nevertheless, their relationship was far from sunshine and rainbows. The happier times included him naming a pond on his property “Carly’s Bottom” of which he was deeply enamored. On the darker side, she witnessed his battles with a serious drug problem.
The Lasting Cultural Influence Of 'Dukes Of Hazzard' Is Catherine Bach's Shorts
Catherine Bach as Daisy Duke wasn't billed as the main attraction of The Dukes Of Hazzard, but audiences who watched the show came to appreciate her just as much as her cousins Bo and Luke. Those cousins (yes, Bo and Luke and Daisy were all cousins) entertained boys and young men with their muscle car antics on the back roads of Hazzard County, ripping out a "yee haw!" as the General Lee flew through the air.
Daisy spent her days waiting tables at the Boar's Nest and breaking hearts in her cutoff jean shorts -- a style today known as Daisy Dukes. You know you're a cultural icon when the style of hot pants you wore are now named after you. It's hard to find The Dukes Of Hazzard on TV these days, but everyone knows what Daisy Dukes are.
Catherine Bach Would Not Wear A Skirt That Matched The Boar's Nest Tablecloths
In a 1997 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bach explained that she saw Daisy as empowering. "Whatever she did, she could shoot better, drive better, do everything better than a guy," Bach said. "Whenever the guys were in trouble, she stepped in. She wasn’t acting tough, she just was.
She also shared some insight about the Daisy Duke getup -- for those who think it was too skimpy or sexy, it could have been worse:
[The hardest thing about the shorts was] Keeping them zipped. Originally they wanted me to wear a checkered skirt to match the checkered tablecloths at the Boar’s Nest, and white vinyl boots that were up to my knees. I said, 'You guys are nuts. That’s not only dorky, it’s kind of degrading.'
Maureen McCormick Did Get Together With Her TV Step-brother
Maureen McCormick and her co-star, Barry Williams, who played the step-brother, Greg, to McCormick’s Marcia, were teens when The Brady Bunch was filming. The two began a flirting friendship. When The Brady Bunch cast and crew traveled to Hawaii to film a special episode, things got steamy in paradise.
In McCormick’s memoir book, Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, she recalled that she and Williams shared their first kiss in Hawaii. As she was kissing him, McCormick said that it immediately popped into her mind, “Oh my God! I’m kissing my brother. What am I doing?” McCormick's misgivings didn't stick -- after all, there is a difference between an actual brother and a TV-show brother. And to be even more specific, the characters of Marcia and Greg Brady are really only step-siblings. McCormick and Williams dated on and off.
Maureen McCormick's Husband Would Never Call Her Marcia
Life after The Brady Bunch was tough for McCormick -- she may have been every pubescent boy's favorite California blonde, but her career was lackluster and she struggled with drug addiction. By the 1980s, McCormick was trying to get her life back in order, though she still had bouts of depression and paranoia. She met Michael Cummings at church and the two fell in love.
Cummings confessed to McCormick that, although he had heard about The Brady Bunch before, he had never watched a single episode. McCormick was thrilled; it allowed them to begin a relationship without any pre-conceived Marcia Brady associations. The couple married on March 16, 1985, and has one child, Natalie, who was born in 1989.
Brady Bunch fans can still catch McCormick on TV from time to time, a recent example being the HGTV series A Very Brady Renovation, which brought the actors from the show together to renovate the famous Brady house.
Beverly Johnson Blazed The Trail For Naomi Campbell And Tyra Banks
In 1974, future supermodel Beverly Johnson became Vogue's first black cover model -- something she'd been explicitly told would never happen. If Johnson's cover feat seems late, it was -- media desegregation and "firsts" had been happening for decades, but fashion remained stubbornly homogeneous. "Without Beverly Johnson," wrote Huffington Post's fashion editor, "there would be no Iman, Naomi Campbell or Tyra Banks."
Shortly after Beverly Johnson shattered the glass ceiling, many women of color followed. Johnson detailed what that cover said to other black women, “My cover shattered that notion forever...Women of color could boldly say to the world, ‘Hey, look at me! I’m here and I have value and I am beautiful.”
Beverly Johnson Took A 40-year Break From Matrimony
All told Johnson appeared on more than 500 magazine covers, becoming an absolute superstar fashion model. She then parlayed her success in print to television. Johnson made appearances on Law & Order, 3rd Rock From The Sun, and Sabrina, The Teenage Witch. She even showed up on Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns in 2010.
Johnson was married twice in the '70s -- from '71 to '74, and then from '77 to '79. After that, she took a break from matrimony -- a four-decade break. In 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, 67-year-old Beverly Johnson announced she'd gotten engaged to 70-year-old financier Brian Maillian. "This is the first time I've dated someone so close to my age!" she told People. "We know the same songs and we've lived through a lot of the same things."
Welcome To TV, Cheryl Ladd. You're Replacing Farrah Fawcett
In 1977, Cheryl Ladd was cast on Charlie’s Angels, which was one of the hottest shows on TV. A big part the appeal was Farrah Fawcett, who was leaving the show after one season to pursue a film career. Ladd was hesitant at first to accept the role because she was a bit intimidated by the prospect of trying to replace Fawcett.
In fact, Ladd initially turned producer Aaron Spelling down when he offered her the job. She told People that she didn't want the role for “several reasons. Primarily that I don’t know who was going to go in there and try to replace Farrah Fawcett. What maniac would try that? But also that I didn’t have a sense of who I would be, what I would play.” Spelling was persistent, and worked with Ladd to develop the character of Kris Munroe, younger and funnier sister of Fawcett's Jill Munroe.
Cheryl Ladd Will Build You A House
When you're Cheryl Ladd, it seems, you do stuff and people pay you to do more of it. After she and her husband remodeled their house a couple of times, they decided to go into business. Now they build houses for other people as Cheryl Ladd Signature Homes.
Ladd is also a writer who published her first book, a children's tale entitled The Adventures of Little Nettie Windship, in 1996. In 2005, she published a memoir focused on her love of golfing, Token Chick: A Woman’s Guide to Golfing With the Boys. Her love of golf has also led her to host a golfing tournament sponsored by Buick.
Olivia Newton John Was A Vamp Hiding In Plain Sight
Olivia Newton-John stole hearts as the good girl Sandy in Grease -- but of course, she turned up the sex appeal, sporting teased-up hair and skintight pants for the film's final scene. That's kind of how it went for Newton-John. The Australian singer (who was born in Britain) looks plenty wholesome but she can easily slip into vixen mode. Or maybe she's a vixen who's good at pretending to be wholesome.
After Grease, Newton-John seemed to stay in the bad-girl Sandy persona, appearing in black leather on the cover of her album Totally Hot. When we next saw her on the big screen she was a good girl again -- a goddess, in fact -- as Kira in the 1980 flop Xanadu. But the seductive Olivia was only waiting to strike, and she did just that with the chart-topping title track from her next album, Physical. Its lyrics didn't leave much to the imagination: "Let's get physical," she sang, "let me hear your body talk." Some radio stations would only play a toned-down version of the song, while others banned it altogether. The song's workout-themed video was appropriate to the subject matter and, with Newton-John back in spandex again, totally hot.
Olivia Newton John Is A Cancer Survivor Who's Making A Difference
In 1992, when she was just 44 years old, Olivia Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly, her father died just a few days after her diagnosis. She underwent breast cancer treatment and went into remission. Afterward, she became an outspoken advocate for breast cancer research, even lending her famous name…and a bunch of money…to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness Centre in Melbourne.
In 2013, Newton-John's breast cancer returned, and it came back again in 2017, having progressed to stage four. She continues to fight, and you know she has a positive attitude -- she's Olivia Newton-John. "I’m using a lot of plant medicine and medicinal cannabis that my husband grows for me, and I am feeling wonderful," she told an interviewer in February 2021.
Swimsuit Model Erin Gray Was A Plausible Princess Leia Substitute
As Colonel Wilma Deering on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Erin Gray was her era's definitive TV space sweetheart. Gray combined her model's looks with a charismatic presence -- and Wilma's take-charge manner to make her a reasonable substitute for Princess Leia as space-opera fans awaited another Star Wars film.
That's not a comparison out of thin air, either -- Buck Rogers and its competitor Battlestar Galactica were launched to cash in on the public's hunger for Star Wars-like galactic drama, and the brunette Deering in her white jumpsuit, brandishing a big space blaster, wasn't far off from Carrie Fisher in her white Leia robe doing the same. If anything, the skintight jumpsuit was a little more attention-getting, and Gray, a former model, didn't have a problem with it -- well, more or less. She told Den of Geek:
They wanted it very form-fitting and tight. ... I’d been one of the original Sports Illustrated models, so my sexuality, showing my body, I was comfortable with that. The thing was, I didn’t mind being on-camera that way, but I couldn’t walk around the studio with my spandex – I always had to wear a bathrobe over it!
Erin Gray Played A Hot Stepmom After Playing A Space Vixen
After working with another Rogers -- country singer Kenny Rogers -- on the movie Six Pack, Gray found her longest-running show in her career: Silver Spoons. For seven years in the '80s, Gray played Kate Summers, the voice of reason (and eventually, stepmother) to a spoiled Ricky Schroder and his playboy father, played by Joel Higgins.
Despite Silver Spoons reaching syndication, Gray will be forever remembered by her skin-tight jumpsuit and commanding presence on Buck Rogers. Today, Gray runs a casting agency, specializing in booking fantasy and sci-fi stars for meet and greets. She also teaches Tai Chi in her free time.
Lindsay Wagner Went Toe To Toe With Lee Majors (In The Ratings)
In the early '70s, Lindsay Wagner had a promising TV career, with appearances on shows like The Rockford Files and Marcus Welby, MD. With her on-screen charisma and looks, she was obviously leading-role material. On March 16, 1975, she had a guest appearance on The Six Million Dollar Man in the episode "The Bionic Woman," and audiences loved her character Jaime Summers from the start. In fact, they basically liked her more than they liked Lee Majors, the star of The Six Million Dollar Man.
The Six Million Dollar Man, with the beefy Lee Majors in the title role, was always going to be the big dog, right? Not necessarily -- after all, it was the clear fan enthusiasm that suggested Lindsay Wagner should get her own show, rather than continue as an occasional guest on Six Million Dollar Man. When the spinoff The Bionic Woman hit the airwaves, it was an immediate hit, and was generally just as popular as Lee Majors' show.
You Can Thank Lindsay Wagner For The Bionic Wedding
The Bionic Woman ran for two years but came back for three made-for-TV movies that also included Lee Majors, the Six Million Dollar Man. Fans of the show who eagerly wanted to see the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman tie the knot, and Wagner agreed. "I said ‘You have tortured this audience long enough. This is not fair’,” Wagner recalled. That of course led to the wedding special Bionic Ever After?.
Today, She works in holistic healing inspired by her own battles from stress-induced ulcers. “We have the capability to change the way we feel about things, even if we cannot change the circumstances,” she explained. "I help people deal with all kinds of everyday life problems—things we think are so difficult, but which are not really, it's just our perspective of them."
Jaclyn Smith Turned Down An Offer To Be On 'Dark Shadows'
Jaclyn Smith is one of the original Charlie’s Angels, and the only one to stick around on the show for its entire run. Being on TV wasn't her first plan -- she studied dance in college, then moved to New York City where she continued to study at the Balanchine School of American Ballet. In New York, she began to do some modeling, scoring an early high-profile job in a commercial touting the benefits of fresh breath for Listerine.
Dramatic acting was initially so far out of the question that, in 1968, Smith actually turned down the role of Victoria Winters on Dark Shadows. She continued to model, ascending the food chain to the very top -- the elite class of folically-gifted beauties known as "Breck girls." She also joined Farrah Fawcett in promoting Wella Balsam hair products.
Jaclyn Smith's Hair Color Almost Kept Her Off 'Charlie's Angels'
In the mid-'70s, Smith auditioned for a new show about three female investigators, which (for some reason) were envisioned as a blonde, a brunette and a redhead. Farrah Fawcett and Kate Jackson had already been cast as Angels, leaving Smith, a brunette, to go up against a gaggle of redheads for the redhead role. Producer Aaron Spelling liked Smith's chemistry with Fawcett and Jackson so much that he scrapped the hair color requirement. It's always about the hair, isn't it?
Today we don’t think twice about a celebrity having their own line of clothing, makeup, or wellness products but in the 1980s that was a whole different story. Smith continued to pop up in film and television after her years on primetime but she was most focused on her business: a line of women’s apparel for Kmart, something that paved the way for the stars that followed. Smith advertised for everything from clothing, to towels, to bed sheets, she was a truly the queen of alternative revenue streams by the late ‘80s.