HomeTrendingPowerful Female Stars Who Ruled The 70s

Powerful Female Stars Who Ruled The 70s

Remember the 1970s? It was a time full of flower power, political turmoil, the birth of video games, and bell-bottom denim. The decade also had some great musicians, actors, and athletes. 

We’ve taken some of the greatest female stars from the ’70s and looked at how their stardom started and how they contributed to the era! Buckle up and prepare to see some pretty influential women.

The “Queen of Rock” or the “First Lady of Rock”  as she was often called, Linda Ronstadt is a very influential musician from the ’70s. She started playing in Troubadour, West Hollywood where Elton John found his fame.

Over the years she’s gotten 10 Grammy Awards and more than 30 gold and platinum records. She still performed until she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2012. She decided that it was best that she retire and worked on a memoir Simple Dreams which got published in 2013.

Before our beloved film star, Goldie Hawn became an actress she was actually a professional dancer. That all changed when he got a role in Cactus Flower in 1969.

She managed to get herself an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Afterward, she starred in many movies and rose in popularity. She decided to give her career a small break in the early 2000s but takes on roles still today.

The Big Doll House and The Bird Cage were big films in the 1970s that Pam Grier started her career with. Unfortunately, she got a deadly tropical disease while they were filming The Big Doll House in the Philippines. After a year of rest, she recovered.

She appeared on the cover of MS Magazine in 1975 and was the first-ever African American to be in the magazine. She’s been in numerous roles throughout the years and found a big role in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown. In 1988 Pam sadly got diagnosed with cancer and her estimated time to live was a year and a half. After changing the way she lived dramatically she’s still acting today despite the odds!

Before she was an actress, Linda Gray did TV commercials in the ’60s. Eventually the actress found herself playing Sue Ewing on Dallas in 1878. 

She played the character until 1989 and two years later starred alongside Sylvester Stallone in Oscar. She’s been in many roles since and has even performed at West End’s stage in London.

In the original TV series of the ’70s, Charlie’s Angles, Kate Jackson played a role in the show for three seasons. When she was done playing Sabrina Duncan she acted in Scarecrow, Baby Boom, and Mrs. King.

She’s also had her fair share of films under her belt and has been nominated three times for an Emmy and four times for a Golden Globe. She stopped acting in 2009 when she started writing a memoir. 

Here’s another actress that started it all with commercials until they got their big break. Ali MacGraw finally found acclaim when she got a role in Goodbye Columbus in 1969. She won the Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer.

She went on to star alongside Ryan O’Neal Love Story as Jenny and got her recognition. In recent years, she’s starred alongside O’Neal once again when they stepped on stage for Love Letters.

Kim Basinger was a model before she became an acclaimed actress. She got a job with Ford Models when they saw her and became a popular model in the 1970s. When she was 20 years old she was earning a tidy sum of $1000 per day!

Kim started her acting career in 1976 when she took in roles like Charlie’s Angels and Never Say Never Again in 1983. She got an Oscar after acting in L.A. Confidential and still acts today.

Here’s the first lady on this list without gaining their acclaim from acting. Billie Jean King became famous after she won against Bobby Riggs in 1973 in a heated tennis match. The match became so famous that a film was adapted from the match that starred Emma Stone.

Billie was an activist for gender equality and went on to get big companies to sponsor women in sports. She was inducted to the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987 and came out as a lesbian in 1981.

Ann-Margret starred as Kim Mcaffee in Bye Bye Birdie in 1963 and that’s where she got her big break. At the time she was only 22-years-old, afterward, her life changed and she found herself starring in more roles.

She’s still acting today and starred in Going in Style with Morgan Freeman in 2017. Most recently she’s been in Papa in 2018 and has even gotten a Grammy nomination for her music.

First bursting onto screens at the young age of 12, Alison Arngrim is probably best known for playing Nellie in Little House on the Prairie. Coming from a family of actors, she continued to act in a number of movies and television shows after her character of Nellie

She went on to do stand-up comedy and also produced a hilarious memoir called Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated. Nowadays, she still performs but is mainly focused on her philanthropic work.

Actress, dancer, and singer Teri Garr starred opposite Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein, later starring in Tootsie and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and many others, with over 140 credits in television and film to her name.

Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2002, and mostly retired from performing since 2007, but now serves as the National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Talk about making something good out of something bad!

Cicely Tyson started out modeling and began acting in the late 1950s. In 1972, Cicely acted in Sounder which led to an Academy Award nomination, and in 1974 she played a 110-year old former slave in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

The film earned herself two Emmy awards for the performance and really putting herself on the Hollywood map. Today she is 93 years old and is still active in Hollywood!

Another Dallas star is Charlene Tilton, who played Lucy Ewing on the show. After Dallas, Charlene continued to do some acting as well as singing, releasing the pop single ‘C’est La Vie’ in 1984, which went on to become a hit in many European contries.

Tilton is a prominent advocate for autism awareness and is currently the ambassador for Actors with Autism. The organization leads improvisation and acting workshops for children and adults with autism.

Loretta Swit is probably best known for her role on M*A*S*H as Major Margaret, and is an Emmy Award-winning actress, but what many don’t know is the amount of impressive theater shows Swit worked on before she appeared on our screens.

In 1989 Swit received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was acting until the late 1990s, when she became less active in Hollywood, but still does some small roles and voiceovers, as well as writing.

Barbara Mandrell is the famous American country artist and actress, who really made it big when many of her songs became massive hits throughout the 1970’s and 1980s, becoming one of the most successful female artists of that period.

She also hosted her own NBC variety TV show that aired on prime-time! She achieved many awards during her music career, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

Maureen McCormick will always be remembered for playing Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch, where she really made her mark, but she has also done many things since then.

McCormick also ventured into the world of theater, with roles like playing Rizzo in Grease on Broadway. Recently she has also done a few bits for reality TV such as I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and Dancing with the Stars.

Linda Evans started her career in the 1960s, and played the role of Audra Barkley in The Big Valley between 1964 and 1969. She actually went to high school in Hollywood, and says she began taking drama classes as a way ‘to cure her shyness’.

She appeared in shows such as The Rockford Files and Mannix, and at the age of 75, she is still in great shape which she attributes to a balanced diet and aerobics.

Loni Anderson got her big break in 1978 when she landed the role of Jennifer in WKRP in Cincinnati, when she shot to fame, and has since starred in quite a number of movies and television shows.

Loni is also known for her colorful personal life and personality, having been married four times and demanding to be paid more for the shows that she did, which was revolutionary at the time for women in the entertainment industry.

Sophia Loren’s name is synonymous with elegance, beauty, and talent. Sophia was just 15 when she began her acting career, and it was her role in Two Women as Cesira that got this Italian actress and model international recognition as well as an Oscar.

She continued to act and starred in quite a number of famous films such as Brass Target, A Special Day, and Man of La Mancha, and although her last acting role as of yet was in 2013 she is still influential in the entertainment industry today.

Jane Seymour became a star after her role as Solitaire in Live and Let Die, later becoming the much loved Dr. Quinn in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and had many roles after that. She is still acting today, and is also a writer of inspirational and self-help books, and she is an activist helping children who have faced neglect or abuse.

Jane also became the oldest woman to pose for Playboy in 2018, at the age of 67, showing that older ladies can rock it too, while also bringing attention sexual harassment in the film industry in the ’70s during the interview.

Debbie Harry was actually born as Angela Tremble, and is the lead singer of the hit 70’s group Blondie, who released their first album in 1976 becoming very successful. Blondie took a 15-year-break, and began recording again in 1997, and to this day they still perform and even released an album as recently as 2017.

Debbie was inspired to do more philanthropic work by Elton John, saying, “After witnessing Elton John and his tireless efforts against HIV/AIDS. These things are important to my life now. I have the privilege of being able to get involved, so I do. I applaud people like Elton John, who have used their position to do so much good.”

Diana Keaton got her breakthrough role with The Godfather where she played the character of Kay, but is probably best known for her work in numerous Woody Allen films such as Play it Again Sam, Sleeper, and even won an Oscar for her role in Annie Hall.

She continues to act to this day, and is also a photographer, an author, a real estate developer, and singer. Quite the talented woman!

Sissy Spacek gained critical acclaim in the 1970s for her role in the movie Badlands, and soon after that for playing the lead role in the horror movie Carrie, which even got her nominated for an Academy Award.

Since then, Sissy has continued to act in hit movies, with the most recent being The Help.

Faye Dunaway started her career on Broadway until she got her on-screen debut in 1967 with the film The Happening. Her role as Bonnie in Bonnie and Clyde was what that really propelled her to fame, even earning herself an Oscar for the role.

Faye has not stopped acting over the years and has a successful movie career.

Julie Andrews is another absolute star who doesn’t really need introducing. She started her career with theatre, starring in a number of musicals in the West End where she showcased her incredible musical talents as well as acting.

Films like Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music really made her name unforgettable, although she has starred in many movies since then and still acts today. She is also a writer, and writes children’s books, and published her memoir in 2008.

Beverly Johnson made history when she was the first African American to appear on the cover of Vogue in 1974 and the French edition of Elle in 1975.

The American supermodel had a short musical career, is an actress and has been involved in various reality TV productions. She has also spoken out about various eating disorders in the fashion industry and wrote about being drugged by Bill Crosby in the 80s.

Karen Lynn played Stephanie in the hit film Saturday Night Fever opposite John Travolta, and you probably remember her as Tara Martin on All My Children.

Karen took a break from acting during the 1980s and returned a decade later with roles in many shows such as The Sopranos and Law and Order. She is still acting today so keep your eyes peeled!

Susan Anton is well known for her modeling in the 1970s for the Muriel cigar commercials, and she then had quite a number of appearances on a variety of Merv Griffin shows, and even got a variety series that she hosted with Mel Tillis

Regrettably, the show only lasted one month. TIME even named her as one of the “Most Promising Faces in 1979”.

Barbi Benton did a number of photo shoots for Playboy, and shot to fame when she started dating Hugh Hefner, and the two continued dating from 1969 until 1976. She moved onto acting after modeling, appearing on shows like Love Boat, Sugar Time! and Fantasy Island.

Barbi got married in 1979 to George Gradow, a real estate developer, with whom she had two children. Barbi’s last public appearance was in 2014.


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