The ’70s didn’t just give us bell-bottom pants and tie-dye. It was also a decade of more variety in pop culture than ever before. Across television, movies and music, there was something for everyone.
Let’s take a look back at some of the rising stars of the 1970s and see what they’re up to now.
Clint Eastwood: Then
Clint Eastwood hit the big time in the 1960s as the “man with no name” in Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns. By the 1970s, he was one of the biggest movie stars around, playing the cop Harry Callahan in the “Dirty Harry” series. He also made his debut as a director with the critically-acclaimed “Play Misty for Me,” co-starring Jessica Walter.
Clint Eastwood: Now
Today, Eastwood continues to direct and produce movies. His next release, “The Ballad of Richard Jewell” (based on the story of Richard Jewell, who was a suspect in the 1996 Olympic bombing), will be his 10th release through Warner Bros. Recent successes include the 2018 drug-dealing drama “The Mule,” which grossed over $172 billion worldwide. In the movie, Eastwood played an elderly drug smuggler; it was his first acting role since “Trouble with the Curve” in 2012.
Barbra Streisand: Then
One of the best-selling recording artists of all time, Barbra Streisand was prominent on the pop charts during the 1970s, enjoying Top 10 hits like “The Way We Were,” “Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)” and “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough),” a duet with Donna Summer. By the end of the decade, Streisand was named the most successful female singer in the U.S. In 1977, she won three awards for the movie “A Star Is Born” — the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Evergreen,” the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical) and the Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
Barbra Streisand: Now
Streisand continues to tour and make music and television specials, such as “The Music… The Mem’ries… The Magic!” which aired on Netflix in 2017. According to Billboard, she is the only recording artist to have a No. 1 album in each of the last six decades, having released 53 gold albums, 31 platinum albums and 14 multi-platinum albums in the United States. Streisand has been married to her second husband, actor James Brolin, since 1998.
Robert Redford: Then
Robert Redford started his acting career on television in the late 1950s and, in 1973, he had the greatest hit of his career, “The Sting,” for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. He didn’t win (it went to Jack Lemmon for “Save the Tiger”) but his career went from strength to strength. Other big hits for Redford included “The Way We Were” (1973), “The Great Gatsby” (1974), “The Great Waldo Pepper” (1975), “Three Days of the Condor” (1975) and “All the President’s Men” (1976).
Robert Redford: Now
A prolific movie actor over five decades, Redford was hailed as the “Godfather of Indie Film” by Time magazine in 2014; he was also included in their annual Time 100 as one of the “Most Influential People in the World.” He announced his retirement from acting in August 2018, at the age of 81. However, he appeared to backtrack only a month later, saying it had been a mistake, and in July 2019 it was reported that he would play President Robert Redford, a fictionalized version of himself, in the upcoming HBO drama series “Watchmen.”
Dustin Hoffman: Then
Widely considered to be one of the greatest actors of all time, Dustin Hoffman had his breakthrough movie role in 1967 with “The Graduate.” He started the 1970s on a high note, winning the BAFTA Award for Best Actor for “John and Mary,” which co-starred Mia Farrow. A stream of hit movies followed, including “Little Big Man,” “Straw Dogs,” “Papillon,” “Lenny” and “All the President’s Men.”
Dustin Hoffman: Now
The last ten years have brought mixed reviews for Hoffman both as an actor and as a director, but things took a turn for the better in 2017 when Noah Baumbach’s Netflix film “The Meyerowitz Stories” — in which Hoffman starred alongside Emma Thompson, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler and Elizabeth Marvel — premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. It received a four-minute standing ovation and, subsequently, a 93% Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the summary praising “the impressive efforts of a remarkable cast.” Hoffman has been married to businesswoman Lisa Gottsegen, with whom he has four children, since 1980.
Goldie Hawn: Then
Goldie Hawn’s movie career took off in 1970 after she won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her role in 1969’s “Cactus Flower.” A string of box office hits followed, including “There’s a Girl in My Soup” (1970), “Butterflies Are Free” (1972), “The Sugarland Express” (1974), “Shampoo” (1975) and “Foul Play” (1978). In 1976, Hawn had her first child, Oliver, followed by Kate in 1979, with her second husband, musician Bill Hudson.
Goldie Hawn: Now
After a lengthy break from film acting, Hawn made a brief comeback in the comedy “Snatched” (2017), playing Amy Schumer’s mother. She has been in a relationship with actor Kurt Russell since 1983. One of her biggest commitments is The Hawn Foundation, which she founded in 20o3 to help underprivileged children.
Pam Grier: Then
The poster girl for blaxploitation films in the early 1970s like “Coffy,” “Foxy Brown” and “Sheba, Baby,” Pam Grier worked nonstop throughout the 1970s and 1980s, appearing in more than 20 films. In “Coffy” (1973), Grier became the first female action lead.
“People had only seen African-American women depicted a certain way in film and it was about time that changed,” she told The Guardian in 2011.
Pam Grier: Now
In recent years, Grier has been more prolific on television than in film; she played Kate “Kit” Porter on the Showtime series “The L Word” from 2004 to 2009. In 2018, Grier revealed that a biopic based on her memoir “Foxy: My Life in Three Acts” was in development. Later that year, she was selected for the Ad Astra Award at Tallgrass Film Festival, recognized as “the iconic feminine face of urban cinema in the ’70s” and “a prime inspiration both for an entire genre’s mainstream success, a muse for multiple filmmakers, and an inspiration and trend-setter for many actors and filmmakers that followed.”
John Travolta: Then
The 1970s made an international star our of actor John Travolta, who starred in the television series “Welcome Back, Kotter” from 1975 to 1979 and the box office hits “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease” in 1977 and 1978, respectively. At age 24, he was one of the youngest performers to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for “Saturday Night Fever.” Travolta was also a successful singer — his single “Let Her In” peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in July 1976, and he performed several of the songs on the “Grease” soundtrack.
John Travolta: Now
Travolta has never replicated his huge career success of the 1970s but has worked consistently in film and on television in the years since. Since 2010, he’s focused mostly on action films and thrillers. In 2016, he made a much-hyped TV comeback in the first season of the anthology series “American Crime Story,” titled “The People v. O. J. Simpson,” in which he played lawyer Robert Shapiro. A prolific, long-time Scientologist, Travolta has been married to actress Kelly Preston since 1991.
Swedish born Ann-Margret Olsson, known simply as Ann-Margret, was an acting, dancing and singing sensation during the 1960s and ’70s. She was nominated for her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Carnal Knowledge” (1971), in which she played Jack Nicholson’s girlfriend. The following year, she won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Supporting Role for the same role. Ann-Margret received a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1973. Another huge movie hit was 1975’s “Tommy,” for which she received another Oscar nomination, this time for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Ann-Margret continued to take supporting roles during the 1980s, ’90s, 2000s and 2010s and, in 2018, she guest-starred in the critically-acclaimed “The Kominsky Method,” playing Diane, a widow and potential love interest for the recently widowed Norman (Alan Arkin). She became a widow herself in 2017 following the death of her husband of 50 years, Roger Smith. Ann-Margret shows no sign of disappearing from the small screen; in October 2018, it was announced that she had joined the second season of the Syfy series “Happy!” in a recurring role as Bebe Debarge, a former siren of stage and screen.
Debbie Harry: Then
As the lead singer of new wave punk band Blondie, Debbie Harry became a global superstar — and a style icon — during the mid to late 1970s. It was the band’s third album, “Parallel Lines” (1978), that took their success to another level; it included “Heart of Glass,” which went to No. 1 in the U.S. and sold nearly two million copies. In June 1979, Blondie was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone; inside the magazine, the interview described them as “one of the big success stories” of the year.
Debbie Harry: Now
After splitting up in 1982, Blondie reformed in 1997 and the band continues to tour around the world. Their most recent album, “Pollinator,” debuted at No. 4 in the U.K. in 2017. Harry will soon embark on a book tour for her memoir “Face It,” which is due to be released in October 2019.
Sissy Spacek: Then
After her singing career failed to take off, Sissy Spacek turned to acting and made her movie debut with a small role in Andy Warhol’s “Women in Revolt” in 1971. She became a household name for her portrayal of Carrie White in Brian De Palma’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s supernatural horror novel “Carrie” in 1976, receiving her first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Four years later, she won her first Oscar for her role as Loretta Lynn in the musical biopic “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” This project also got her singing career back on track; she sang all of Lynn’s songs for the soundtrack album, which earned her a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
Sissy Spacek: Now
A six-time nominee for the Academy Award for Best Actress, Spacek received critical acclaim for her role in the biographical crime film “The Old Man & the Gun” (2018), alongside Robert Redford. Her most recent nomination is for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Streaming Series for her role as Ruth Deaver in the psychological horror anthology web TV series “Castle Rock” (winners to be announced in September 2019). Spacek has been married to production designer and art director Jack Fisk, with whom she has two children, since 1974.
Lynda Carter: Then
Actress and singer Lynda Carter was crowned Miss World United States 1972 and finished as a semifinalist in the Miss World 1972 pageant, but she’s most famous for playing Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in the TV series based on the DC comic book superhero of the same name, which aired from 1975 to 1979. Throughout her superhero success, Carter continued to nurture her music career, releasing the album “Portrait” in 1978.
Lynda Carter: Now
In 2008, Carter told TV’s “The Insider” that she had been sober for 10 years after going into rehab for alcohol addiction.
In a 2016 Council on Recovery interview, she said, “After 18 years of recovery, I live every day with immense gratitude. I am forever thankful for my family and friends who stood by me and encouraged me… and for those who helped me heal.”
Today, Carter appears as a guest speaker at various health and well-being events. In 2018, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Bobby Sherman: Then
Singer and actor Bobby Sherman was the teen heartthrob of the 1970s, the face and voice of a series of hit singles, including the million-seller “Little Woman,” which was released in 1969. In total, Sherman had seven gold singles, one platinum single and five gold albums, and toured extensively throughout the U.S. — mainly to crowds of screaming young women — until the mid-1970s. Reportedly, it came at a price: The screaming was so loud, Sherman experienced hearing loss.
Bobby Sherman: Now
Although Sherman performed occasionally into the 1990s, he mostly retired from music in the 1970s for a career as a paramedic and, later, a police officer. He was already a trained EMT when he joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1988 as a specialist officer to train police recruits in first aid and CPR. In 2011, Sherman and his wife, activist Brigitte Sherman, launched The Brigitte and Bobby Sherman Children’s Foundation.
Dolly Parton: Then
Global superstar and business mogul Dolly Parton was a successful artist and songwriter during the 1960s, but her career went stratospheric during the 1970s, first in country music and then in the pop world. In 1974, her song “I Will Always Love You” (written about her break from former music partner and mentor Porter Wagoner) reached No. 1 on the country chart and went on to make her millions in royalties. Parton won a slew of awards during the 1970s, including a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for the album “Here You Come Again” in 1978.
Dolly Parton: Now
One of the most successful entertainers of all time, Parton is also one of the richest. She has an estimated net worth of $500 million, largely due to her songwriting royalties and large business portfolio, which includes Parton’s The Dollywood Company, which operates the theme park Dollywood (the 24th most popular theme park in the U.S., with 3 million visitors per year), a dinner theater, Dolly Parton’s Stampede, the waterpark Dollywood’s Splash Country, and the Dream More Resort and Spa. Dolly fans have an upcoming eight-part Netflix anthology series based on her music to look forward to, which Parton is both executive producing and starring in.