'70s Icons You Forgot About (But Shouldn't Have)

Is this partially a list of '70s actresses I think deserve more credit? Maybe!

70s forgotten stars cheryl tiegs
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If you grew up enjoying '70s television, film, and music—or caught up on its magic years later—you've been graced with a lot of classic, canonic material. Some of the biggest icons of the '70s have stopped acting or singing entirely, but others are still going strong, even if you stopped following their careers years ago.

Ahead, 32 '70s stars you probably forgot about, but shouldn't have—and what they've been up to in the decades since. (Is this partially a list of '70s actresses I think deserve more credit? Maybe!)

Anita Pallenberg

70s stars Anita pallenberg

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Rolling Stones muse Anita Pallenberg (and romantic partner to both Brian Jones and Keith Richards) was also active in Andy Warhol's Factory and an actor in movies. Despite multiple requests to write a memoir, she refused to speak about anything "salacious" in her life. She passed away in 2017 at the age of 75.

Bobby Sherman

70s stars Bobby Sherman

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Teen idol (and singer of "Little Woman") was wildly popular in the 1960s and 70s (including five albums that went gold) before semi-quitting show biz. He became a paramedic and deputy sheriff and cofounded the Brigitte & Bobby Sherman Children's (BBSC) Foundation.

Karen Black

1970s stars Karen black

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Karen Black's acting career technically began in the '60s, but she rose to prominence the following decade (including being lauded as an early scream queen). One of her biggest hits, Nashville, also includes two songs she wrote and performed. She passed away in 2013 from cancer.

Robby Benson

70s stars Robby Benson

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Robby Benson rose to fame in the '70s with sports movies including One on One and Ice Castles. In the '90s, Benson was most notable for voicing the Beast in Beauty and the Beast (and other related movies). He's been a director (including on six episodes of Friends) professor, and singer.

Marisa Berenson

70s stars Marisa Berenson

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Natalia in Cabaret (and, if you follow fashion, "The Queen of the Scene" in the '70s) actually acted prolifically in other '70s projects. She continued to act until the 2000s (including I Am Love in 2009) and then beyond (including as herself in 2019's Halston), also including work on Broadway.

Ned Beatty

70s stars Ned Beatty

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Ned Beatty worked for 50 years, and had an absolutely banger of a year in the '70s, including Deliverance in 1972, All the President's Men in 1976, Network in 1976, and Superman in 1978 (younger fans may know him as Lex Luthor's henchman). He passed away in 2021.

Ingrid Pitt

70s stars Ingrid Pitt

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Scream queen Ingrid Pitt found much success in the horror genre (including roles in Doctor Who) and had a cult following in vampire films (Countess Dracula and The Vampire Lovers, among others). Pitt was also a prolific writer, including a novel titled Dracula Who...? She passed away in 2010.

Robert Loggia

70s stars Robert loggia

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For '80s movie fans, you probably remember Loggia for Jagged Edge and Big, but his career spanned much longer than that. People who love the Pink Panther films will probably remember him in Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978). He died in 2015 from complications from Alzheimer's.

Gordon Jackson

70s stars Gordon Jackson

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Scottish actor Gordon Jackson made a name for himself in a couple of iconic roles: namely, Angus in Upstairs, Downstairs and George, head of criminal intelligence, in The Professionals. (He'd also starred in The Great Escape in the '60s.) Sadly, he died in 1990 of cancer.


70s stars Ann-Margaret

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Technically, Ann-Margaret's star was on the rise back in the '60s, but she had a productive '70s too. She achieved a bunch of critical acclaim for supporting roles (including two Oscar nominations) in Carnal Knowledge, The Train Robbers, Tommy, and Magic. She continued to work into the 2010s and 2020s.

Charles Grodin

70s stars Charles grodin

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If you're a younger fan of Charles Grodin (and only know him as the harried dad from the Beethoven films), check out his early work. The lead in The Heartbreak Kid also had some iconic roles in the '70s (Catch-22, King Kong, Heaven Can Wait) and into the '80s.

Lauren Hutton

70s stars Lauren Hutton

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A model who popularized the gap-toothed look, Lauren Hutton continued to model into her 70s(!). But let's also not discount her film and television work, which included The Gambler with James Caan and John Carpenter's Someone's Watching Me!

Sterling Hayden

70s stars Sterling Hayden

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Even if you're not super-familiar with '70s actors, you probably know Sterling Hayden (technically Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was a '60s film, but one of his best). But you might not know the same actor is Captain McCluskey in the first Godfather! He died of cancer in the '80s.

Cheryl Ladd

70s stars cheryl ladd

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Cheryl Ladd replaced Farrah Fawcett on the incredibly popular '70s show Charlie's Angels. She stayed with the show through that decade, then continued to work primarily on television. If you're wondering where you remember her from lately, it was on 2022's Dancing with the Stars.

John Astin

70s stars john astin

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TV's Gomez Addams can also count an iconic '70s movie (Freaky Friday) to his long filmography; His acting started in the '50s and '60s (see also: West Side Story) and continued into the '80s and '90s (see also: National Lampoon's European Vacation). He's also adoptive father to actor Sean Astin.

Stacy Keach

70s stars Stacy Keach

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Originally a stage actor, Stacy Keach first became prominent on screen as a boxer in Fat City as well as roles in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean and Luther. He continued to act all the way to narrating American Greed and a role in The Bourne Legacy.

George Kennedy

70s stars George Kennedy

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While the Oscar-winning actor became a star in the '60s, George Kennedy was a staple in Westerns as well as disaster films like Airport in the 1970s. (It's also what made him such a brilliant and surprising comic actor into the '80s with the Naked Gun movies.) He passed away in 2016.

Jack Warden

70s stars Jack warden

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The Academy Award-nominated actor for Shampoo and Heaven Can Wait was a '70s staple. But, if you remember him, it's probably from All the President's Men as well as, more recently, While You Were Sleeping and The Replacements. He passed away in 2006.

Hal Holbrook

70s stars Hal Holbrook

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Another alum of All the President's Men, Hal Holbrook was a prolific actor for many decades (and if you saw him recently, with an Oscar-winning performance in Into the Wild). The '70s were a time of success for him, from playing Abraham Lincoln to Clint Eastwood's boss (Magnum Force).

Teri Garr

70s stars Teri garr

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Teri Garr's career took off in the late '60s, and this decade reaaallly showed off her range: from Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation to Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein (in the same year!), and Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind in the late '70s.

Peggy Lipton

70s stars peggy lipton

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Norma Jennings from Twin Peaks was previously a great '70s actor (technically, her role as Julie in The Mod Squad started in the '60s and continued into the '70s). She was considered an "it girl" before taking a 15-year break to concentrate on parenting before coming back to the screen. She's Rashida Jones' mom!

Michael York

70s stars Michael York

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Known for his boyish good looks, Michael York is probably known to young audiences from the Austin Powers films. That's a shame, because he's got a great number of films from the '70s, from Something for Everyone to Zeppelin, Cabaret, The Three Musketeers, and Logan's Run.

Jill St. John

70s stars Jill St. John

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Tiffany Case from James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever (the first American Bond girl!), Jill St. John actually has a long filmography. Feeling exhausted with film, she moved to TV, and did guest roles on shows like The Love Boat, Magnum, P.I., and Fantasy Island.

Slim Pickens

70s stars Slim Pickens

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Actor and rodeo performer (with one heck of a stage name), Slim Pickens is now probably most known for "that guy who rides a bomb like a bronco in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." But he was also in other films, including Blazing Saddles.

Liv Ullmann

70s stars Liv ullmann

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Muse to Ingmar Bergman, Liv Ullmann has starred in a number of iconic films (many of which were in the 1970s, from The Emigrants to Scenes from a Marriage) and has also directed. If you're unfamiliar with her work, it's worth it to seek out the films she's in.

John Cazale

70s stars John cazale

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With a tragically short life (he died in the '70s from lung cancer), John Cazale left behind quite a legacy, from The Deer Hunter to The Conversation and Dog Day Afternoon. But it will be his role as Fredo in the Godfather films for which he's perpetually remembered.

Barbara Bach

70s stars barbara bach

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If you're only familiar with Barbara Bach as Ringo Starr's wife, you're missing out on one of the best Bond girls of all time (that's Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me, obviously). She was a famed model in the '60s and didn't do too many other movies, but her work is still exceptional.

Ali MacGraw

70s stars ali MacGraw

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The "it girl" of the '70s, Ali MacGraw achieved super-superstardom with 1970's romantic drama Love Story. While she never again hit the heights of that film, she continued to act on stage and screen (including on Dynasty) and became a famed practitioner of yoga.

Ryan O'Neal

1970s stars Ryan O'Neal

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MacGraw's costar in Love Story (and ultimately Farrah Fawcett's husband), Ryan O'Neal continued to work in the '70s, including in Paper Moon and What's Up, Doc? More recently, he also had a recurring role on the TV show Bones. He passed away in 2023.

Cheryl Tiegs

70s stars Cheryl tiegs

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Considered the prototypical 1970s Sports Illustrated model, Cheryl Tiegs' "pink bikini" SI cover was one of the most indelible images of the '70s. She brought a sporty, youthful vibe to her work, and her modeling continued into the '80s (and she continued to act after that).

Madeline Kahn

70s stars Madeline Kahn

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Whatever success Madeline Kahn obtained in her life, it still wasn't enough: She was one of the most talented actors and comediennes of her generation. If you only know her from the Clue "flames on the side of my face" meme, check out Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, and Paper Moon.

Tippi Hedrin

70s stars Tippi hedrin

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If you're unfamiliar, Tippi Hedrin was a frequent collaborator with Alfred Hitchcock, but spoke out against his mistreatment of her (and as a result, he ruined her career, and her contract was sold in 1966). She never again acted in major films, but still took on roles in the '70s including for The Harrad Experiment, and developed a lifelong relationship to conservation in Africa.

Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.