Take A Peek: Vintage TV Exposed
Season one of "Charlie's Angels" was a jiggly game changer
The Jiggle TV movement took place in an era when television shows were shifting from dealing with women who were buttoned up homemakers to sisters who were doing it for themselves in low cut blouses and high rise miniskirts. Shows like Charlie’s Angels, Wonder Woman, and Battle of the Network Stars brought the jiggle to the masses, but not everyone was on board. The phrase “Jiggle TV” was initially introduced by Paul Klein, an executive from NBC who absolutely hated the way the network’s biggest competitor, ABC, bounced out a slew of shows that brought in big numbers by using plenty of T and lots of A.
Rather than cover up their stars, ABC continued producing Jiggly goodness into the ‘80s, creating nostalgic TV sitcoms that turned audiences on while making sure they tuned in. Jiggle TV movement didn't stop at just sitcoms, but jiggled and spilled its way over into all kinds of media. If you thought Jiggle TV ended at TV, think again, there's plenty of jiggles that created a movement that shocked the entire groovy era!!!
Warning, these photos are graphic and will cause major nostalgia!
This article originally appeared on our sister site: groovyhistory.com
Season one of Charlie’s Angels is essential Jiggle TV viewing. It’s the’s only season that features Farrah Fawcett as blonde bombshell Jill Munroe, a character that made male viewers from the age of 14 to 65 turn the channel to ABC once a week from 1976 to 1981. Throughout the series the Angels may have changed, but the sexy style never did. Throughout its five year run smokin’ hot actresses like Cheryl Ladd and Jaclyn Smith moved into rotation as private investigators who have a blast while going undercover to solve crime. Anyone growing up in the era definitely had their eyes glued to this show.
Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, trapped in some kind of music room
When Wonder Woman appeared on television in 1975 she shocked viewers with her total knockout status. Lynda Carter, who plays the Amazonian hero knew that she had to work her sexuality in order to make the show as successful as possible. When she heard that critics were speaking negatively about the character, her looks, and what it meant for culture she shot back at her detractors:
Superman has got a big pouch in his crotch…it’s the ultimate sexism to say because she [Wonder Woman] has big breasts and a costume on, that is what you think represents her and who she is.
It's hard to know where to look on "Battle of the Network Stars"
Even if sports aren’t your thing, Battle of the Network Stars was a whole different kind of monster. Not only did viewers get to see their favorite television stars competing in semi-olympic games that tested their might and mettle, but it was a prime example of programming of their era that placed a premium on watching gals in tight clothing carry out unnatural acts. This wasn’t just a byproduct of the show, it was one of the reasons that it was created. There’s no way that the producers weren’t aware of the genius work that they were committing to celluloid when they pitched this show.
Marsha Brady stuns in a miniskirt
Marcia Brady may have been the fresh-faced, wholesome oldest sister of the Brady Bunch, and that’s exactly what endeared her to fans across the world. There’s just something so fascinating about a goody two shoes. However, offscreen Maureen McCormick was photo negative of the eldest Brady daughter. She wrote in her memoir that she was taking drugs and partying hard throughout her time on the show. She even hooked up with her TV brother, Barry Williams while they filmed in Hawaii:
We couldn't hold back any longer. It was our first kiss, and it was long, passionate and deep. It was wonderful, too, though as we continued to kiss and press against each other so closely that we could feel each other's body heat, a part of me - a tiny part, admittedly - said to myself, "Oh my God! I'm kissing my brother. What am I doing?’
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia…
The second season of "SNL" was hot TV for cool kids
In the late ‘70s Saturday Night Live was the arbiter of cool. The show was full of smart alec actors tossing off irreverent comedy at late at night on a Saturday. The series introduced audiences to Bill Murray, but Murray’s not the sole reason why a lot of young comedy nerds tuned into the show. It was dangerous, it was cool, and it had some seriously super hot young comedy babes on the air. Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner were two of the funniest cast members on the show and they were also major eye candy for anyone staying in on a Saturday night.
Carol Wayne and Johnny Carson make quite a pair
Audiences knew they were in for a good time whenever Carol Wayne popped up on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. She was always a tasty delight whenever she appeared as the buxom Matinée Lady in Carson’s Art Fern's Tea Time Movie sketches where she tossed off double entendres that would make Hugh Hefner blush. Wayne was all over the TV during the ‘70s, but her most popular appearances were with Carson, who genuinely seemed to work with her as a comedy partner. While she passed away in the early '80s she’ll always be remembered as long as we keep things groovy.
Yeoman Barrows tempts the Enterprise crew in "Shore Leave"
There are few one off characters who have arrested the hearts and minds of Star Trek the way that saucy actress Emily Banks did as Yeoman Brown I the stand out episode “Shore Leave.” She and the rest of the crew were astonished by the illusions on the Shore Leave Planet where she was romanced by Doctor McCoy. She was only on the show one time her character was only named in the credits, but Barrows none the less became a nerdy pin up for the sci-fi sect. What is it about her that’s so appealing? Her devilish smile? Her cutting figure in a red dress? Maybe it’s both.
Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland were the hottest couple of the 1970s
Has there ever been a hotter couple than tough guy Charles Bronson and bombshell Jill Ireland? This London born fox was a fan favorite, and guys always perked up whenever she appeared on TV, whether it was on The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Star Trek, or Mannix. Aside from titillating audiences on the small screen she made numerous appearances in the theaters, often alongside her husband, Charles Bronson. The couple appeared in more than 10 films together, which shows how strong their love for one another really was. These two were hard to keep apart, and it’s an inspiring tale of romance.
Helen Slater as a sultry "Supergirl" in the 1984 film
It’s not that Christopher Reeve wasn’t a great specimen to look at, after all he defined the role of Superman, but Helen Slater gets our hearts beating faster than a speeding locomotive. Slater was cast in the role when she was only 18 years old, and she was 19 when the film wrapped, what was your first job out of high school? It probably wasn’t saving the planet in a tight outfit. How did she get the role at such a young age? Slater says that she was bold:
I think part of my having gone through Performing Arts High School, I was very bold. I had made a cape and a skirt. And I went in with glasses as Linda Lee. I was a little bit fearless. I don't know if I would have had that if I hadn't been through Performing Arts.
Gabe Kaplan walks Joyce DeWitt across the field on 'Battle of the Network Stars' 1978
He was great on Welcome Back Kotter, but Gabs Kaplan was an absolutely beast on Battle of the Network Stars. He was the kind of ‘70s athlete that we just don’t see anymore. Rather than be some kind of ripped adonis who exists on wheatgrass, Kaplan was the kind of guy who would eat an entire pizza and run the 100 yard dash. In 2008 he admitted that he wasn’t the best looking guy on the field but he could get things done:
I'm sure it looked like I couldn't possibly win. I looked like a guy who should be hanging around a deli, and he was, like, the macho man of his generation.
Things heat up between Robyn Hilton and Johnny Carson
Anyone who saw Blazing Saddles definitely got an eyeful when they saw Robyn Hilton onscreen. Not only was she hot, but she has a voice that drives men wild. The same goes for Johnny Carson. When the venerable talk show host interviewed Hilton he was absolutely gobsmacked by the Playboy model and actress, and can you blame him? She’s such a hottie that even the unflappable Carson was clearly flapped. It’s rare to see a talk show host openly flirt like this, and it’s genuinely human to see. It wasn’t just weird, wild stuff, it was great television, and the kind we don’t get to see today.
Sally Field catching rays on the set of "Gidget"
When Gidget appeared on the small screen this tiny surfer girl stole the collective heart of America, but it wasn’t the character, it was the gal who played her. Sally Field was plucked from obscurity to portray Gidget, and when she was auditioning she didn’t even know what it was for. She explained:
When I did an audition scene with my mother, to get into [a workshop], I did a scene from Toys in the Attic by Lillian Hellman and I had not a clue what I was saying about sexual repression … I had no notion. I got into the workshop and they were a lot of casting people who were watching the audition scenes, and the casting man came out the next day and asked me if I wanted to come on an interview … so I went on that interview … and at the end of the summer it was for a television series called Gidget, and I got it.
Heather Locklear works on her tan
Whether you were a regular viewer of Dynasty or TJ Hooker you were probably watching for one reason - and it wasn’t the storylines. Heather Locklear was one of the hottest actresses of the ‘80s and you could count on her to pop up in shows all over the dial whenever they needed a boost. Even though she tended to appear in something scantily clad or in a bathing suit she says that her trick to staying so fit is to avoid the sun. She told People that in order to keep up with her fabulous looks she stays out of the sun and sleeps in soft sheets.
What's hotter, the black top or Jungle Pam?
Is there a blacktop hottie more iconic than Jungle Pam? This race track babe didn’t just strut around as eye candy, but actually helped work on the funny cars she traveled with. Pam posed for Hot Rod Magazine and could be seen on race tracks up and down California. She initially started traveling with “Jungle” Jim when she was only 18 years old after a chance encounter in West Chester. Initially she was just a “backup girl,” but she quickly learned the ropes and started positioning Jim’s 1973 Chevrolet Vega, a move that had every eye in the track on her. Vroom vroom indeed.
Everyone on "Three's Company" was living the dream
Every guy’s dream, to live in an apartment with two super sexy babes was on full display in Three’s Company. Starring John Ritter, Suzanne Somers, and Joyce DeWitt, this show was so much better than it should have been. For eight seasons and nearly 200 episodes Jack Janet and Chrissy did their best to keep up appearances in front of Mr. Roper and Mr. Furley. Who didn’t want Jack Tripper’s life? All he had to do was hang out with babes, get up to hijinks and own a restaurant. What’s not to envy about that guy’s situation? We should all be so lucky.
Jessica 6 shows some skin on the TV adaptation of "Logan's Run"
Logan’s Run is one of the most low key sexy franchises in science fiction. Think about it, the film and the show is about a world where people lust after youth, and spend their days working out and getting down. The series, which was only on for one season from 1977 to 1978, was written in part by D.C. Fontana and Harlan Ellison, Star Trek alums, and while the series was very enticing to young viewers they just couldn’t keep up with expectations for modern science fiction. In 2017 star Heather Menzies explained:
I think they needed to spend more money on the visuals. Star Wars came out around that time and we couldn’t really compete with that.
Judy Landers flirts with her crush Johnny Carson
You couldn’t turn on a TV in the 1970s without catching a peek of Judy Landers, a journeywoman of sorts who appeared on everything from Happy Days, to the Love Boat and Night Court. She, her sister, and her mother run their own production company making them free to do what they want at any old time. When she appeared on The Tonight Show she absolutely bowled over Carson, the man could barely keep himself together, especially when she explained that she had a bit of a crush on him. Johnny, the consummate comedian responded, "When did the crush leave you?"
Barbara Eden granting wishes in "I Dream of Jeannie"
When I Dream of Jeannie premiered at 1965 it caused a major stir with censors because viewers they didn’t think that viewers were ready for Jeannie’s scantily clad outfit that showed off her mid-drift with a top that really wasn’t ready for primetime. During early episodes the producers used putty that was matched to Barbara Eden’s flesh color in order to hide her belly button. It’s not clear if the censors were just opposed to people seeing an innie on television or if they thought that viewers would go mad at the sight of a sexy, wish granting woman.
Marilu Henner stops traffic on “Taxi”
As the hot to trot cabbie Elaine Nardo in the 1970s sitcom Taxi, Marilu Henner had jaws dropping across TV land, from the viewers at home to the people she shared a screen with. Henner says that one time Johnny Carson even went so far as to mention her unmentionables on television, something that viewers wouldn’t see today. She told Market Watch:
The first time I was on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson I walked out and I had a beautiful silk blouse on and he went ‘Oh it’s cold backstage, huh?’ You would never see that now. That’s like crazy.
Elvira, the horror host with the most
Even though Elvira’s movie macabre premiered in the ‘80s, it should be absolutely crystal clear why she’s a major player in he Jiggle TV revolution. Even though Elvira rocked her particular “assets” on every episode of her show, the coolest thing that she brought to the table was her sense of humor that was valley girl meets vampire. Everything about Elvira’s whole vibe says “flash in the pan,” but she connected with audiences in a way that so few artists do, and over the course of three decades she had her own feature film, a special on MTV, and a hit live show at Knott’s Scary Farms.
Doris Day wows Carson on “The Tonight Show” in the 1970s
Doris Day spent so much of her life on camera that it’s hard to not have a connection with her. Even someone as famous as Johnny Carson was wowed by her presence on his show, how could he not be? Wildly enough, Day never really liked being famous, but she had to keep acting in order to stay solvent. After she found out that she’d been contracted to perform on a series of specials she was devastated. She explained:
It was awful. I was really, really not very well when Marty [Melcher] passed away, and the thought of going into TV was overpowering. But he'd signed me up for a series. And then my son Terry [Melcher] took me walking in Beverly Hills and explained that it wasn't nearly the end of it. I had also been signed up for a bunch of TV specials, all without anyone ever asking me.
John Travolta works the denim in "Urban Cowboy"
Is there anything better than watching a hot cowgirl ride a mechanized bull? In the 1970s Urban Cowboy brought glamor to the country scene and showed how fun it was to get back to your roots while sticking rhinestones on everything. Starring John Travolta as Bud, a wannabe cowboy who spends his nights at western bar Gilleys and his days fighting with his wife, Sissy. Mickey Gilley, the bar owner of the real honkytonk where the film took place said that the film and Travolta changed his life forever. He told Rolling Stone:
I was in an elevator in Nashville one day back in Eighties. There was a guy on there who said, ‘I want to thank you for all you did for Western wear.’ And I said, ‘You need to thank John Travolta. He’s the one who brought it front and center.’ Every night when I go to bed, I thank John Travolta for keeping my career alive.
Morgan Fairchild was hot, but she wasn't a bimbo
Morgan Fairchild was a hot TV fixture in the 1970s and ‘80s and it’s not hard to know why - her blonde hair, and her cat like eyes turned her into a must see celebrity who men desired and women wanted to be. And while she was often a seductress, she thinks it’s important to note that she never played a bimbo. She said:
I was asked once if I ever got tired of playing bimbos, and I answered that I've never played a bimbo. I've always played smart, manipulative women. Marilyn Monroe and Judy Holliday, who were not stupid, could play stupid really well, but I don't do it well.
Heather Thomas stuns in "The Fall Guy"
What was it about the 1970s where every other show was about a group of people from a specific profession moonlighting as a spies, detectives, or bounty hunters? It’s not bad, it’s just wild to think that we were so obsessed with stunt men who moonlight as bounty hunters. The Fall Guy starred ‘70s super babe Heather Thomas alongside Lee Majors to capture fugitives and criminals in Majors’ GMC truck. The series was wildly popular - it lasted for five seasons and even inspired a board game and a comic strip.
Even though the show was super popular, Thomas fell into drug addiction and sometimes found herself in “a mini coma.” Luckily she cleaned up in the mid ‘80s after co-star Lee Majors made sure she got help.
Daisy Duke giving the audience what they want
The Dukes of Hazard had everything: fast cars, crime, great music, and a hot babe in short shorts. For seven seasons on CBS people dropped by to see what the Duke boys were up to while getting a peek at their cousin Daisy. Viewers could always count on catching sight of Daisy’s dukes while she helped her doofus cousins, Bo and Luke out of whatever jam they found themselves in while racing around in the General Lee. Catherine Bach, who portrayed Duke, wasn’t ashamed of the role and she went onto play the character in subsequent versions of the show. She can still be seen on TV today.
Linda Gray made everyone want to take a trip to Dallas
Dallas is one of those shows that everyone had to watch. While the show was on the air it was a major water cooler conversation starter, especially the summer everyone spent asking, “who shot JR?” So why was the show so popular? Linda Gray, who played Sue Ellen, thinks that it was because it was one of the only shows on - and because it showed people that things were tough all around. She told the Dallas Observer.
Sometimes the answer is I have no idea what makes it so iconic and why people still talk about it. It came to television when people had three channels — no TiVo, no 900 channels. You had to be home or wherever you were and had to sit down and watch it because there were no replays or nothing, and if you weren't there when people started talking about it, you'd have to stop them and say, 'I didn't see it.'
People dream, 'If only I had all that money or that big house and those beautiful clothes and cars ...' and I think the show took them out of their 9-to-5 life and showed them these very rich, dysfunctional people and they would say, 'Our life isn't so bad after all.'
A young Jamie Lee Curtis poses in a bathing suit
Jamie Lee Curtis has been acting for a long time. Since her first theatrical role in Halloween Curtis has been hustling, which is probably why she’s an onscreen constant. According to Curtis, this isn’t just luck, it’s all thanks to her intense work ethic. She explained:
I think the bottom line is that the older you get, you realize that really none of it matters. If you like to do the work, you do it with integrity. You are not jaded about the hustle. You are very clear. I call it the Halloween hustle… People have been talking about movies and selling movies for a very long time. It’s part of the gig. There are, as you know, way more venues and portals and outlets into that hustle than there used to be. It used to be a simpler hustle. It’s gotten a little more complicated. The ultimate reality is that the things that matter are your people, who you are, how you are, say please and thank you, leave a $20 on the bed for the housekeeping staff who are going to clean up after you, write a thank-you note if somebody does you a kindness.
The cast of "Charlie's Angels" remained friends long after the series ended
Even though Farrah Fawcett was only starred in Charlie’s Angels for one season she made a lasting effect on the culture. Co-star Jaclyn Smith says that there wasn’t any animosity when Fawcett left the show, and that they remained friends until she passed away. She told People:
We had each other’s backs. It was like a college dorm, eating in our trailers together. Sometimes we’d shop on weekends for what we were going to wear. We were not just actresses working, but girlfriends and it remained that way for 40 years… When Farrah decided to leave after one season, we all supported her. She wasn’t afraid to say, ‘This is what I’m gonna do.’
Electro WOW, it's Electra Woman and Dyna Girl
Electra Woman and Dana Girl were Sid and Marty Croft’s answer to the superhero shows of the 1970s, and rather than take things seriously the way that shows like Wonder Woman and the Six Million Dollar Man did, they made things weird, this was a show for people who liked to smoke a bowl and kick back while watching two hip checks fight weird crime.
These characters were basically female versions of Adam West’s campy Batman and Robin. They were both helped by an older gentleman who stayed at home and they both used a bunch of gadgets, and on top of that they both had kicking catchphrases.
Cheryl Bradshaw won a date with a serial killer on “The Dating Game” in 1978
While appearing on a taping of The Dating Game on September 13, 1978, babe Cheryl Bradshaw won a date with bachelor Rodney Alcala. While that would have been great under different circumstances, at the time Alcala was in the middle of a killing spree. Luckily, when they spoke backstage she had a feeling about him and declined their date. She explained, “I started to feel ill. He was acting really creepy. I turned down his offer. I didn’t want to see him again.” Good for Bradshaw, not only did she win a gameshow but she has a once in a lifetime story.
Raquel Welch shows some leg, Dick Cavett shows some wig
When Raquel Welch appears on your talk show you know that you’ve got to be on your A-game (assuming you have a talk show). Welch has been turning heads since her role in 1964’s Roustabout, where she acted alongside Elvis Presley. She became an international superstar in the late ‘60s and her speed train of a career didn’t slow down. Welch was aware of her need to stay camera ready, and she reportedly even worked her face out in order to stay screen ready. She told the Saturday Evening Post:
In front of a camera everything you do is magnified. I have to put so much of my energy into making myself an extremely dynamic, feminine person on the screen.
Benny Hill surrounded by his Hill's Angels
Jiggle TV wasn’t just an byproduct of American culture, it traveled across the pond and latched its jiggly hooks in programs like the Benny Hill Show, where lead ham Benny Hill performed in sketches with women wearing tight clothing and bustiers that pushed their assets to the sky. One of the mainstays of the show was Hill’s song and dance troupe “Hill’s Angels” who performed with Hill during his opening songs, in his sketches and as extras during some of his filmed routines. Hill’s name may have been on the marquee for the show, but there’s a contingent of the fanbase that definitely came for his Angels.
Sally Field breaks horses in “Murphy’s Romance”
Is there a decade where Sally Field isn’t a total babe? It’s hard to find an era where she’s not a stone cold fox, pin that down to the fact that she carries herself cool as a cucumber no matter what she’s doing. She’s not just sexy, she’s thoughtful, and often thinks about how taking on so many different roles has changed her over the years. She told EW:
I’ve always thought about this. It’s like it was in my DNA, somehow, to play some of these characters. I wonder if John Wayne would’ve been John Wayne had he not played all those real macho cowboy guys — he was a real right-winging, gun-toting fellow. Was] part of his personality developed through, like, The Searchers? I don’t know. Certainly, acting fools with your psyche.
Goldie Hawn showing off her body paint on "Laugh-In"
More than just a pretty face, Goldie Hawn has been flexing her comedy chops since she first appeared on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In as a bikini clad hottie covered in slogans. While she may have initially been used to give the show a boost of sex appeal (not that Rowan and Martin weren’t eye candy enough), Hawn proved herself to be a comedic force in her own right. Fans of the show remember her cracking up in the middle of sketches, and breaking the fourth wall. While that would have been annoying had someone else done it, Hawn had a way of endearing herself to the audience that can’t be replicated.
Suzanne Somers jogging at the beach in the early 70's.
Suzanne Somers has been turning heads since she was on TV in the ‘70s, and even after she was fired from Three’s Company she stayed in the spotlight and maintained her sex symbol status, something that she still holds onto today. How does she do it? Somers says that she and her husband take a “sex shot,” otherwise known as PT-141, a melanocortin based peptide that creates sexual arousal. She explained, “I'm kind of in that groove, like when you were younger and you're in the mood all the time, and so is he because he's on hormone replacements.”
Lynda Carter and Loni Anderson were perfect "Partners in Crime"
That’s right, for a brief period in time Loni Anderson and Lynda Carter were co-starring in Partners in Crime, a series that saw them helming a private detective agency after solving their ex-husband’s lawyer (long story). The series was put together by Carson Productions, as in Johnny Carson, and it was meant to be a big comedy action foray for both women, but for some reason it didn’t connect. Lynda Carter’s character was meant to be a broke photographer, something that she said she didn’t have any experience with. She told People, “Unlike the character I play, I love to spend money and be extravagant. I hope I never have to be that thrifty.”
Captain Kirk makes a pass during the Games of Triskellion
Star Trek was meant to be intelligent, thought provoking program about man’s journey into space, our growth amongst the stars, and the way we continue to change for the better - but it also had its fair share of good looking characters that wore sexy outfits while exploring the depths of space. More often than not these space babes found themselves in the arms of Captain Kirk, which is a pretty good perk of the job. The one and done space babes on Star Trek played a major part in every young nerd’s pubescent growth, and if you don’t believe us just go to literally any sci-fi convention.
Holy tight outfit Batman, it's Yvonne Craig as Batgirl
Anyone watching Batman in the late ‘60s was shocked and delighted when Yvonne Craig appeared on Batman as Batgirl, the mysterious young woman who popped up in the third season to help out the caped crusader and his young ward Robin. According to Craig she’d never even seen the show, but she was so headstrong that she got the part anyway. She explained:
I had done a couple of pilots that didn’t go, but then they called me and said they were thinking of adding a girl to Batman. I had never seen the show, even though everyone was crazy about it. Even when I was shooting Batman, I had a black and white TV. I’m a book reader and not much of a TV watcher, so I just didn’t pay attention. The producer, William Dozier, said, ‘I’m sure you’ve seen our show,’ and I said, ‘Actually, I haven’t, but if I get the part I’ll spend the summer watching re-runs so I know how I’ll fit into the scheme of things.’
Angie Dickinson bares it all in "Police Woman"
Angie Dickinson was already over 40 when she starred in Police Woman, a show that followed Sgt. Pepper Anderson as she worked for the Criminal Conspiracy Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department. In the ‘70s police procedurals were the soup de jure of the day, but Police Woman had a kind of gritty realness to it that wasn’t matched by anything else at the time. While the series was meant to be a pre-girl power detective show, it was also full of testosterone fueled series that often found Dickinson getting into skimpy situations, which is what most of the audience remembers.
"Father Knows Best" was as buttoned up as they come
Audiences who were used to shows like Father Knows Best with demure actresses like Jane Wyatt and Elinor Donahue were shocked as soon as the skirts got shorter and blouses got together in the ‘60s and ‘70s. While they may have been chuffed on the outside, these conservative viewers must have been excited when shows like Three’s Company and Charlie’s Angels came on the air. TV historian Tim Brooks explained:
Television had been fairly demure before that. It may sound strange, but there was a bit of a flap in the early ‘50s when some actresses had plunging necklines. But mostly it was women in the kitchen on Father Knows Best with their pearls and dresses.
Richard Simmons helped America sweat it out
Whether you needed to party off the pounds or you were watching the workout videos of Richard Simmons for something a little more… educational these videos were absolutely fascinating. Not only did they star the elfin, and very loud Richard Simmons, a man who never heard a positive aphorism he didn’t like, but it was wall to wall babes in spandex working out. Who doesn’t want to see that kind of thing? Simmons may have been trying to help people feel better about themselves while staying active, but he also played a major part in an important education for teenage viewers.
Farrah and Cher pose as store mannequins on the “Sonny & Cher COmedy Hour”
Cher and Fawcett are two of the most recognizable faces of the ‘70s, and it turns out that their on screen chemistry stretched into their real life. These two women were dynamic, comedic actresses who appreciated until they proved that they had staying power. As Fawcett bravely fought cancer toward the end of her life Cher said that she’d never met anyone like the pin up actress who was one of the toughest people she’d ever met:
Farrah Fawcett is the strongest woman I have ever known. I would have never been able to do what she’s done. I’m not kidding. This chick has got iron ones.
Super model Cheryl Tiegs in white linen, 1970s
Well hello there, this stunning shot of Tiegs snapping a pic in white linen shows off her midwest beauty and the fact that she had an eye for what looked good on film while she was working as a supermodel. According to Tiegs, when she first got her shot at modeling she didn’t know anything about the process, only that she slapped on some mascara and posed. She said that her first contract turned her into a star overnight:
Contracts were never heard of those days and when cover girl and Revlon offered me contracts worth 75 thousand dollars per year and for 3 years I was the hottest, most sought-after model.
Suzanne Somers gives plenty of attitude as Chrissy from "Three's Company"
Suzanne Somers stole hearts when she appeared as Chrissy for six seasons on Three’s Company. Her ditzy demeanor and blonde ambition definitely made her a fan favorite, but when she asked for a raise in order to put her pay on par with John Ritter she was fired regardless of what the move did to the chemistry of the cast. At the time she was only making $30,000 while Ritter was making $150,000. After she was kicked off the show Somers told The Hollywood Reporter:
Life isn't fair. Getting fired for asking for a raise wasn't fair, but I landed on my feet and I've done OK.
Don’t cry for Somers, she made a huge comeback in the ‘90s and hasn’t stopped working since.
Adrienne Barbeau flirting with Johnny Carson
Is there any star of the groovy era that’s more charming than Adrienne Barbeau? Not only was she an absolute babe, but she was amazing to see on screen and she’s incredibly charming in interviews. When she appeared on The Tonight Show in 1973 she didn’t just win over Carson, something that was always fun to watch, but she made the audience swoon and their eyes grow to the size of saucers thanks to her low cut dress. The two bantered for much longer than usual and it’s obvious why. Carson liked to keep a gal on the couch as long as he could so he could work his magic. Barbeau must have known what was going on, but who doesn’t want to hang out and flirt with Johnny Carson?
A babe from "UFO," the one season British wonder
Set in the far off future of 1980, UFO. is a relic of an era of science fiction where writers and and creators were excited about the future to come even if that future wasn’t super realistic. This British television show only lasted for a 26 episode season but it garnered quite the cult following, likely because of the very hot look of the aliens on the series. The aliens wore catsuits, fish net and some of them even had swinging purple wigs. As gonzo as the show was, it was still somewhat in line with reality. Editor Michael Peck explains:
Humans were landing on the moon, new technologies such as the Harrier jump jet were entering service and desktop computers would soon be a reality. Gerry Anderson didn't have to invent fantastic technologies like warp drive and tractor beams. They were happening all around him, along with war, riots, the Sexual Revolution and all the other ferment of the 1960s.
Loni Anderson sizzling in "WKRP in Cincinnati"
WKRP in Cincinnati was such an incredible show because it took people into the world of radio DJs and it had babes like Loni Anderson on every episode. Anderson played Jennifer Marlowe, the deceptively sexy receptionist. Anderson said that there was such good chemistry on set because all of the actors were on the same level:
Nobody was a big star. We all started at the same level. There was a real camaraderie and closeness, kind of like a first kiss. It was special…
As for her character, Anderson believes that she connected with people because she was sexy and funny. She said:
I think women loved the fact I was sexy and smart. I know it sounds crazy to people today but in 1978, when we came on, not many women were doing both in comedy.
Heather Locklear's dangerous look on "TJ Hooker"
Heather Locklear, one of the major babes of the ‘80s more or less ran TV throughout the decade. Not only was she starring on TJ Hooker as a young police officer working with William Shatner on the "LCPD" at the same time that she was starring in Dynasty as Sammy Jo Carrington. The series, produced by Aaron Spelling, served as a way for Locklear to make more moves throughout the ‘90s when she moved onto Melrose Place. Who knew that a little job on the police force could get you such good real estate. And on top of that she looks great in those shorts.
Suzanne Somers and John Ritter had a frayed relationship after "Three's Company"
When Suzanne Somers was fired from Three’s Company for asking for a raise she said that neither of her co-stars, John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt, went to bat for her or even called to offer their condolences. The entire situation broke her heart and it took her years to get over it. She says that she spoke to Ritter about the firing in her final conversation with him before his death and that it wasn’t what she thought it would be. She explained:
I go to the phone. I said, ‘John?’ He said, ‘Hey babe,’ and I knew his voice right away. And then he said, ‘I forgive you.’ I had a moment of, ‘Uh, you forgive me?’ And then I thought, ‘Be the grownup.’ And so I said, ‘Thanks.’
Lindsay Wagner changed the world as the Bionic Woman
Even though it seems like a show like The Bionic Woman wasn’t anything more than a science fiction action spin-off of The Six Million Dollar Man, star Lindsay Wagner says that it was the first of many shows that put women front and center, something that she couldn’t be more happy about, regardless of whether not the shows that followed featured women who were bionic. She said:
There wasn’t any prime-time show that starred a woman in the dramatic area. There were a couple people who were forerunners in the comedy area, but not a serious role and certainly not in a man’s role, so The Bionic Woman kind of broke that glass ceiling and then all of a sudden there was a flood.
Kate Jackson was Charlie’s most tumultuous angel
Charlie’s Angels may have been a show about sexy private detectives, but Kate Jackson wasn’t happy to writhe around and let the viewers gawk. She once referred to the show as being “so light it would take a week to get to the floor if you dropped it from the ceiling.” When she was let go from the show there was no real reason given, but Jackson admitted that she wasn’t the easiest person to deal with. She told People:
I guess I did cause a few problems. What it comes down to is I got tired of them and they got tired of me. I’m glad I’ve finally been able to hang up the halo.
Sultry Michele Carey lounging in a bikini
This iconic ‘60s actress made a major splash with genre audiences after appearing on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. before popping up on everything from Gunsmoke to Starsky and Hutch. She went onto star with Elvis Presley in Live a Little, Love a Little, a musical about a carefree photographer. Carey started her career as a model with the Powers agency at 21, but it wasn’t long before she was onscreen. Her greatest work was in EL Dorado where she starred as Josephine MacDonald, but she almost didn’t - director Howard Hawks waned Mariana Hill in the role. However, she signed to Paramount and Carey was able to take a roll in the hay with James Caan.
Linda Harrison is definitely a reason to return to the Planet of the Apes
Anyone who’s a fan of Planet of the Apes remembers Linda Harrison, the prisoner babe who loved Charlton Heston despite being lobotomized. Harrison didn’t have the easiest time on set, not because of any problems on set, she just had to run around in a leather bikini thing that was restrictive to say the least. However, no matter how uncomfortable she was, she noted that everyone thought the film was unusual. She said:
It was a pretty, I won’t say somber set, but we were dealing in new territory that had never been done on film. So everybody was really at attention, wondering what the next shot was going to be. It was pretty unusual to be sitting there with apes!
Susan Anton flaunting her curves
Even if you’re not a smoker, you’ve got to remember Susan Anton as the spokesperson for Murial Cigars in the 1970s. Her hair, her curves, her face, what’s not to love? After her time as a spokesperson she moved around the entertainment world and appeared in film and telelvision before working on a country music career. However the most memorable part of her career were the sexy posters that hung in every dorm room in America. She’s still around and she’s still sexy. In 2016 Anton appeared in Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, it’s cool to know that she can laugh at herself.
Wanda Ventham is ready to throw down in "UFO"
As Col. Virginia Lake Wanda Ventham helped the British government fight invaders from space, but that wasn’t the only thing she did while on British television. She appeared on Doctor Who multiple times, as well as The Prisoner and Fallen Hero. She’s continued to act into the 21st century, and you may have even heard of one of her songs - Benedict Cumberbatch. When she went to see him perform as Hamlet in 2015 she said what any proud mum would say, that he was “a bloody good Hamlet.” To go from fighting creatures from outer space to seeing her son act in Hamlet, she’s had quite a journey.
She’s Pam Grier and she’s Foxy… Brown that is
She’s become a mainstay in the films of Quentin Tarantino and John Carpenter, but throughout the ‘70s she starred in amazing Blacxploitation films like Foxy Brown and Coffy. While speaking with Vice she said that she brought everything she had to her early roles to weight them in reality:
In real life, being active with cars, animals, tractors, boats, guns, and hunting and my family, I just brought what I do to work. That was normal for me. I was already that before I went to film, and living outside of Los Angeles, living in the heartland, you can really develop your character. You can see the world from other eyes, other lenses when you don’t live in Hollywood or New York. You can see the beats, rebel flags, rednecks, and guns all over the place. See different things or different people. That forms your gift that you have
Madonna flirted her way through her first "Tonight Show" appearance
It took nearly a decade before Madonna was considered to be more than a musician. When she was finally called over to the couch for The Tonight Show she showed TV land what they were missing. While speaking with Carson she flirted with the host, which he was more than happy to play into. This was the beginning of Madonna’s full steam ahead sexual steamroll of the 1990s. While people knew that Madonna was a fun party girl, they didn’t know that she was so charming. Thanks to Johnny Carson the American public finally got to know the “Lucky Star.”
Me-ow, Julie Newmar wasn't pussy footing around as Selina Kyle
Adam West’s Batman was famous for a lot of reasons - it was campy, had great catchphrases and had three different Catwomen. Every fan has their favorite actress to don the cat mask, but for many Julie Newmar was the most sultry of them all. For Newmar, playing Catwoman was easy but appearing on Rhoda was tougher. She told the LA Times:
I just arched and stretched as Catwoman, but how do you be a robot? We’ve seen lots of cats, but how many robots have you seen that looked like Rhoda? How do you get the human-to-human connection to make people laugh?
Charo shows the world how it's done
If you were watching TV in the ‘70s and ‘80s then you definitely saw Charo dancing around on shows like The Love Boat and Fantasy Island, dancing around and slaying on the flamenco guitar while shouting “Cuchi Cuchi.” As hard as it is to imagine someone like Charo hitting it big, she chalks it up to just being herself. She told the LA Times:
When I meet younger Latinas, I get always the same question: ‘How did you make it?’ I made it because I resolved my problems with comedy, with making people laugh. The American audience loves something original. Either they love you or they hate you, but they will learn your name and they will talk about you. Don’t come to this country copying people. You got to be yourself.
Sally Fields wows Johnny Carson
What is it about Sally Field that’s so cool and sexy? Is it her tomboyish nature or the way she can goof off with the guys just as easily as she can get gussied up with the gals? We may never have an answer to this question, but co-star and former beau Burt Reynolds tries to sum it up for us. He said:
I really felt I was lucky to be with Sally. The great minds at Universal never thought she was sexy or talented enough to be in ‘Smokey and the Bandit,’ but I knew then and still feel she’s a super talent. … I’m not going to get in a urinating contest with Sally because I’d lose.