Where are child actors from the `60s and `70s now?
Since the beginning of show business, we’ve seen child stars either thrive or succumb to the pressures of Hollywood. While most of these child stars rode the wave of success well into maturity, some decided to turn their backs on entertainment forever. Regardless of their career paths, these familiar young faces are bound to spark some nostalgia!
Best known for her role as the whimsical daughter, Barbara Cooper, on One Day at a Time, Bertinelli appeared in 208 of the 209 episodes before the show left the air in 1984. She went on to star in a few made-for-TV films and appeared as a guest star on popular television shows of that time.
In 2001, she joined the cast of Touched by an Angel for the last two seasons. While it is evident that Bertinelli was a formidable talent, she decided to take her career in an unexpected direction. In 2015, she began hosting Valerie’s Home Cooking and Kids Baking Championship on the Food Network. In 2019, Bertinelli became the face of Family Food Showdown and Family Restaurant Rivals.
At eight years old, Susan Olsen was the youngest actress on the successful sitcom, The Brady Bunch. When asked about the role, she admitted the show made it difficult for her to connect with other children her age because they were unable to separate her from the character she played on TV.
As Olsen grew into adulthood, she dedicated herself to animal welfare, serving on the board of directors of the non-profit organization, Precious Paws. Inspired by her passion for animal advocacy, Olsen created an art collection entitled, “The Art of Rescue.” The proceeds were donated to local animal rescue organizations.
Helen Hunt’s first roles were minor parts in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Swiss Family Robinson. She would go on to land the lead role in My Life and Times, which aired on ABC in 1991. However, it was her role as Jamie Buchman on Mad About You that gained her notoriety and helped her win an Emmy Award, along with many notable nominations.
She went on to star in the disaster film, Twister, alongside Bill Paxton, and it became one of the biggest movies of the year. She shot to A-list status upon winning an Academy Award for As Good as it Gets. In 2019, she played the lead in the BBC series, World on Fire.
Erin Murphy was the adorable face behind Tabitha Stephens in the beloved ’60s sitcom, Bewitched. At the beginning of the third season, Murphy shared the role with her fraternal twin sister, Diane. As the siblings got older and began to look noticeably different, Murphy took over the part entirely.
Murphy went on to guest star on Lassie and modeled for Hang Ten swimwear. Since then, she has remained relatively unknown in the acting world. These days, she works as a fashion, beauty, and luxury lifestyle writer and motivational speaker. She also started the philanthropic branch for Verge Living, a residential-retail development in Las Vegas.
If you grew up in the ’70s, there’s a good chance your first crush was David Cassidy. Cassidy was the biggest “teen dream” of that era thanks to his role as the adolescent Keith Partridge in the musical-sitcom The Partridge Family. Although Cassidy had sparked hysteria within his fanbase similar to that of Beatlemania, he became frustrated when he could never break out of his “teeny bopper” position.
Regardless, he continued to have a successful music career and even appeared in a pre-Broadway production of Little Johnny Jones. In 2017, Cassidy was diagnosed with liver disease and passed of liver failure on November 21, 2017, at the age of 67.
Lisa Loring kickstarted her career at the young age of 3 as a model prior to snagging the role of the cute (but psycho) Wednesday Addams in the television series, The Addams Family. After appearing in The Pruitts of Southhampton, she joined the cast of soap opera, As the World Turns as Cricket Montgomery.
Sources claim that in 2002, Loring was working in public relations for a hotel chain. After a brief stint in rehab, Loring returned to acting in 2011. These days, she can be found attending The Addams Family conventions, where she is delighted to sign autographs and meeting fans.
At just a few months old, Richards appeared in a television commercial for Firth Carpet. She played the starring role of Prudence Everett in the ’70s series, Nanny and the Professor, and she became a well-known face in popular Disney films such as Escape to Witch Mountain, No Deposit, No Return, and Return from Witch Mountain.
In 2010, Richards joined The Real House Housewives of Beverly Hills alongside her sister, Kyle, where the pair continued to cause a ruckus for five seasons until Kim was let go. She returned as a guest star during the sixth, seventh, and ninth seasons.
Scott Baio is best known for his role as Chachi Arcola on Happy Days. Fans of the show may be surprised to learn that the role was only meant to last a single episode. That is until it was revealed by Baio’s 5,000 fan letters that Chachi was a fan-girl favorite.
Although he had a few roles here and there, it was the charm he displayed as Chachi that boosted his popularity. Baio once again appeared as Chachi in the 1982 spin-off, Joanie Loves Chachi, with Erin Moran, which lasted 17 episodes. He continued to act in television and movies and eventually began dabbling in writing, directing, and producing.
Kurt Russell found a way to make the bound from child actor to A-lister in a seamless fashion, as he is still quite productive today. At 12-years-old, Russell dazzled audiences as the title character of ABC show, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters. In the late 1960s, he signed a ten-year deal with The Walt Disney Company, which solidified his superstar status in the ’70s.
On May 4, 2017, Russell and long-time girlfriend, Goldie Hawn, received stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a double star ceremony. In 2019, Russell worked on Quentin Tarantino’s film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, where he narrated the movie and played a stunt coordinator named Randy.
Brooke Shields was paraded in front of a rolling camera before she could speak. Her first modeling gig was at 11-months-old for an Ivory Soap ad. Although she continued to be a child model, she skyrocketed to fame when she starred in the controversial film, Pretty Baby, where she played a child prostitute living in New Orleans.
In 1983, Shields decided to take a break from the `biz to pursue a bachelor’s degree in romance languages at Princeton University. She returned to acting in the early ’90s, to do some minor films while starring in the NBC sitcom, Suddenly Season, and Lipstick Jungle. In 2014, she had a recurring role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit during the show’s 19th season.
Janet Jackson is music royalty with a career that has spanned over four decades. She is a fixture in the entertainment world with her innovative sound and her long list of achievements. In 1976, Jackson began acting in the show, The Jacksons, which led to her snagging the role as Penny Gordon Woods on Good Times a year later.
She made her film debut in 1993 with Poetic Justice, which received positive reviews and praise from audiences and critics. Jackson has accrued 12 American Music Awards, five Grammy Awards, nine MTV Music Video Awards, 13 Soul Train Music Awards, and 10 Billboard Music Awards.
Jodie Foster, real name Alicia Christian Foster, is an actress that needs no introduction. With her many BAFTAs, Academy Awards, and Golden Globes, her illustrious career that began when she was just three years old. She started out acting in television commercials and then made her way to Disney films.
Following her childhood fame, Foster found herself in a stand-still until she did The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs. Not only is Foster a brilliant actress, but she has shown promise as a director as well. She was awarded the Crystal Award by Women in Film, which honors females who have expanded the role of women in the entertainment industry.
Best known for playing the oldest of the Brady sons, Greg Brady, on The Brady Bunch, Williams continued to have a successful career after the cancellation of the show in 1974. After the sitcom, he continued to appear in various television shows, and he became involved in musical theater.
His theatrical talents allowed him to tour with famous productions such as Grease, The Sound of Music, and West Side Story. His most recent appearance was on the 2019 series, A Very Brady Renovation. The HGTV series debuted on Sept. 9, 2019, and it revolves around the renovation of the Studio City, California home that was used for the outside shots of The Brady Bunch.
If you’ve seen her face pop up in a nightmare or two, don’t fret. It’s probably because you’re still haunted by her terrifying performance as Regan in the 1973 film, The Exorcist. She was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe for her stellar performance in the film. Although she took a break to pursue other kinds of roles throughout the ’70s, she returned to her horror film roots in the ’80s.
She appeared in multiple slasher films such as Hell Night, Chained Heat, and Savage Streets. Blair has been an avid animal rights activist and humanitarian since her teens. She devotes much of her time to a non-profit organization she created in 2004, called, Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation, which helps abused and neglected animals.
Angela Cartwright was already accustomed to the chaotic and fast-paced lifestyle of Hollywood, seeing as she grew up in Los Angeles. Cartwright landed her first notable role at three years old in the 1950s as Linda Williams, on The Danny Williams Show.
One of her most prominent roles was Brigitta von Trapp, in The Sound of Music alongside Julie Andrews. In the 1960s, she appeared in the television series, Lost in Space, as Penny Robinson, and appeared on several television shows such as My Three Sons, Adam – 12, and The Love Boat. As well as acting, Cartwright has been a photographer for three decades, and her work is displayed in Studio City, Los Angeles.
Leave it to Jerry Mathers to reprise his most famous role, Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver, two decades after the character debuted in the ’50s. Leave It to Beaver ran for six seasons, and returned in 1983 with a television film, Still the Beaver, followed by another series, The New Leave It to Beaver.
In 1996, Mathers was diagnosed with diabetes, and so he enrolled in a weight loss program with Jenny Craig, making him the first male spokesman for the brand. He continued acting on television and film during the early 2000s, and in 2007, he made his Broadway debut playing Wilbur Turnblad in Hairspray.
Does this face look familiar? It should! Donny Osmond’s career is still going strong, and he’s been around since he reached teen idol status in the early ’70s. Since teaming up with his younger sister Marie, the pair gained notoriety thanks to their 1976-79 variety series on ABC, Donny & Marie.
During the late ’90s and 2000s, the duo had a Daytime Emmy Award-nominated talk show, which captured the hearts of audiences everywhere. The pair of siblings do so well together that they have a residency at the Flamingo Las Vegas, where they are accompanied by back up dancers and a nine-piece band.
Melissa Sue Anderson
When Melissa Sue Anderson stepped into the role of Mary Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie, it was clear that she had a star-studded career ahead of her. Following the end of the show in 1981, Sue Anderson transitioned to the big screen. She appeared as Vivian in Midnight Offerings, Ginny in Happy Birthday to Me, and Alex in the ABC Afterschool Special, Which Mother Is Mine?
In 2010, she published a tell-all about her experience on Little House on the Prairie, called The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House. Her most recent appearance was a quick cameo in the 2018 comedy-heist film, The Con is On.
Before starring as Laurie Partridge in the musical sitcom, The Partridge Family, Susan Dey was an entry-level model. Her first modeling gig was in 1967, where she was on the cover of a booklet for Pursettes tampons.
While on the show it was eventually revealed that Dey and David Cassidy had a brief fling, but Cassidy soon broke it off when he realized he didn’t reciprocate her feelings. Dey is a three-time Emmy Award nominee and she won a Golden Globe in 1988 for Best Actress in a Drama Series for L.A. Law. Her last appearance on screen was in 2004, when she appeared as Dr. Breene on Third Watch for two episodes.
Although these days, you usually only see him mentioned in the credits, at one point, Howard was just your ordinary child mega-star. As a child, Howard received praise for his role in the film, American Graffiti, and he soon became a household name for his portrayal of Richie Cunningham in the sitcom, Happy Days.
In 1980, Howard decided to put his Happy Days days in the past to pursue directing. Although he is now one of the most recognizable names in directing, he admits that his passion for filmmaking began while he was still a child acting on television.
What Tatum O’Neal achieved at just 10-years old, is something that many adult actors dream of. She was the youngest actor to win an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in 1974, for her performance as Addie Loggins in Paper Moon. She went on to star in The Bad News Bears, Nickelodeon, and Little Darlings.
She would go on to appear in only five films over the next 15 years. However, she did gather media attention back in the 70s for her very public relationship with the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Unfortunately, she continued to have a tumultuous life filled with dangerous vices and troublesome relationships.
Perhaps one of the most famous redheads during the ’60s and ’70s, Whitaker became a household name after he played Jody Davis on Family Affair. While remaining a regular actor on the show, he took the starring role in the 1969 film, The Littlest Angel.
After appearing in Snowball Express, The Biscuit Eater, and Tom Sawyer, he took a step back from the spotlight. During an interview with Tom Snyder on The Late Late Show, Whitaker went on to work as a computer consultant at CBS, and he later joined the talent agency, Whitaker Entertainment, owned by his sister.
Pamela Sue Martin
You may recognize Pamela Sue Martin from playing the “part-time investigator” Nancy Drew on The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. Following a job at a hamburger stand, Martin decided it was time to enter the world of glitz-and-glamour when she took a modeling job in New York at 17-years-old.
Through modeling, she was eventually hired for television commercials and advertisements, which led to film offers. As an adult, she gained recognition for playing the self-indulgent socialite, Fallon Carrington Colby on the ABC soap opera, Dynasty. In the 2000s, she became the artistic director of the Interplanetary Theater Group in Idaho but has not been spotted on-screen since 2017.
Danny Bonaduce has had quite a unique career with many unexpected twists and turns. As a child, he appeared on the popular sitcom, The Partridge Family, as the middle son, Danny Partridge. In 1994, Bonaduce made his professional wrestling debut and continued to appear in a few matches.
In 2005, Bonaduce starred in his own reality show, Breaking Bonaduce, and began hosting morning talk/music shows at a Seattle radio station. In 2011, it was announced by Seattle radio station 102.5 KZOK, that Bonaduce would be co-hosting their morning show.
Mike Lookinland is known for playing the youngest brother on The Brady Bunch, Bobby Brady. When The Brady Bunch wrapped, Lookinland appeared in the 1974 disaster film, The Towering Inferno alongside Jennifer Jones and Paul Newman.
Lookinland once again stepped back into the shoes of Bobby Brady for the 1988 Christmas special, A Very Brady Christmas, and in the 1990s sequel, The Bradys. Not long after, Lookinland left show business to operate his own company that makes decorative concrete in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Mark Lester sang his way onto the big screen when he took the title role of the film Oliver!, a musical version of the Charles Dickens’ novel, Oliver Twist. He went on to appear in a few British television series, The Prince and the Pauper, and then retired from acting altogether.
As he reached his 20s, he decided to pursue martial arts, where he became interested in sports injuries. From there, he decided to become an Osteopath, and in the ’90s, he opened up his own acupuncture clinic in Cheltenham.
Robby Benson started his career on Broadway before making his way to the big screen. Following his Broadway appearance in The Rothschilds, he appeared in a 1971 commercial for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. He then joined the cast of the daytime soap Search for Tomorrow, which cemented his teen idol status.
Following his appearance in films One on One, and Ice Castles, he voiced the character of Beast in the Disney animated film, Beauty and the Beast, along with its sequels and spin-offs. Since then, Benson started teaching at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, the University of Utah, and the University of South Carolina.
Ricky Schroder got his start in the film, The Champ, playing the emotionally troubled son of an ex-boxing champion. The role earned him a Golden Globe for “New Star of the Year,” and only led to more successful projects as an actor, producer, and director.
Some of his other notable roles include Ricky Stratton in the sitcom, Silver Spoons, and the role of Newt Dobbs in Lonesome Dove. Schroder eventually decided to create a production company called Ricky Schroder Productions. His production company produced Starting Strong, a television show for the U.S. Army, along with three war documentaries since launching in 1993.
Before Thibodeaux was a child actor, he was making $500 a week at playing drums with the Horace Heidt Orchestra. In 1955, his father took him to audition for the part of Little Ricky on I Love Lucy. He recalled, “I walked on the set, and there was Lucy, she was standing there, and she was looking at me. She said ‘OK, he’s cute, but what does he do?'”
He continued, “My dad said, Well, he plays the drums,’ and she said, ‘Oh, come on–I can’t believe that.’ Then she says ‘Look, we have a drum set over there, go ahead and let him play.’ Eventually, Desi Arnaz himself came over and started jamming with me on the drums and then he kind of stood up and said, “Well, I think we found Little Ricky.'” In 1990, he became Executive Director for his wife’s company, Ballet Magnificat!, which tours nationally and internationally.
Butch Patrick began his acting career at seven years old, his most notable role being the young werewolf Eddie Munster on The Munsters. When asked about how he landed the role, he said, “I had a lot of experience. But maybe it was because my fangs were my own teeth. My teeth were so bad, that even when I closed my mouth, they stuck out. I was about a head smaller than the other kids, and they liked that because it played off Herman’s height.”
When The Munsters ended, he went on to guest-star on popular television shows such as I Dream of Jeannie, Death Valley Days, Gunsmoke, The Monkees, Daniel Boone, and Adam-12. In 1967, he left acting to work for his father while learning to play the bass guitar. In addition to music, Patrick went on to do the occasional guest appearance.
Tracy Nelson got a head start on her career just three months after she was born, on her grandparents’ television show, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. At four years old, she played one of Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball’s daughters in Yours, Mine, and Ours. Nelson’s most famous role was Sister Stephanie from the television show The Father Dowling Mysteries.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Nelson made appearances on television shows such as Family Ties, St. Elsewhere, Murphy Brown, The Nanny, 7th Heaven, Melrose Place, Will and Grace, Matlock, Diagnosis Murder, and Seinfeld. In 2005, Nelson was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and in 2010, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then, she has become an active member of cancer research advocacy and received the “Lifesaver Award” from The Lymphoma Research Foundation of America.
The famous Sandra Dee got her start as a child model, then moved to commercials before she made her home in film. She earned a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Robert Wise’s Until They Sail.
She became a household name when she appeared in Imitation of Life and Gidget in 1959. After she separated from her husband Bobby Darin, she stepped back from the spotlight. She unfortunately passed in 2005 at 62 due to complications from kidney disease.
Jay North stepped into the role of the naughty Dennis Mitchell on Dennis the Menace at six years old. As a young teen, North received parts in two MGM films, Zebra in the Kitchen, and Maya. As an adult, North had a very successful voice acting career.
He did voice acting work as Prince Turhan in the Arabian Knights segment of The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, and he was the voice of teenage Bamm-Bamm Rubble on The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show. North eventually teamed up with fellow former child star Paul Peterson and the organization A Minor Consideration to help other children in the entertainment industry.
NEXT: 30 of the world’s oldest living celebrities are stepping back into the spotlight
Mel Brooks (92)
The king of slapstick comedy is 92-years-old and is still making crowds laugh to this day. He is not just the beloved writer, producer, and director of some of the most quotable films ever, but he also served in WWII. It’s hard to imagine a character like Mel Brooks in the military ranks when most are used to seeing him in a comical light.
He was friends with other famous directors and producers such as Carl Reiner and Alfred Hitchcock, who helped Brooks with his comedic style over the years. For instance, a longtime friend and fellow comedian, Carl Reiner (who is 92 by the way) helped him create the “2,000 Year Old Man.”
Olivia de Havilland (102)
Another centenarian makes the list… Olivia de Haviland is another of the few actors that were a part of Hollywood’s “Golden Age.”There are a few things many don’t know about the Gone With the Wind star, however. For one, she toured military hospitals during WWII and did some radio work to entertain the troops.
However, aside for her Golden Globe wins for, To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949), she was also known for her bitter rivalry with her younger sister, Joan Fontaine. De Havilland said, “My Sister was born a lion, and I was born a tiger, and in the laws of the jungle, they were never friends.” And you thought your sibling rivalry was bad?
Dick Van Dyke (93)
Whether it’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke will always be every generation’s favorite gangly performer and actor. Clocking in at 93 years old, Van Dyke had his ups and downs. Before he was the star of The Dick Van Dyke Show he experienced homelessness in his early acting career.
He and his first wife, Margie Willet, were married on air during the show Bride and Groom. The show paid for their rings, honeymoon, and household appliances considering their financial circumstances. They were so poor, according to Countryliving.com, the newly married Van Dykes lived in their car for a while. Thankfully, he later became a legend.
Tippi Hedren (89)
Many know Tippi Hedren as the lead protagonist in Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds. Beautiful and elegant, Hedren has lived through some pretty incredible roles in her lifetime. One of them includes her involvement in the nail industry. Come again? Well, Tippi Hedren may be a star on the screen, but for many Vietnamese-American women, she was the Godmother of the nail industry.
Hedren visited a Vietnamese refugee camp in California and wanted to give the women a vocation. The women were mesmerized by her elegant and long nails that Hedren sent her personal manicurist to teach the art. Since then, the nail industry has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry.
John Astin (89)
One can’t help but whistle and snap their fingers when hearing the opening theme to the Addams Family. Young or old, the Addams Family has to be the favorite spooky family that will eternally be immortalized by the goths of the world. Aside from Morticia Addams and Uncle Fester, the family romantic, Gomez Addams, will always be pictured synonymously with John Astin.
Before John Astin was an actor, he studied mathematics at John Hopkins University. He discovered his love for the theatre while performing in minor plays until he played a small role in West Side Story. Bada-bing, bada-boom! The rest is history!
Beverly Cleary (103)
Ah, Beverly Cleary, the woman who gave birth to the quirky and trouble-making character everyone knows and loves as Romon Quimbly. Cleary’s stories resonated with the hearts and minds of kids from ages five to 95 and continue to do so to this day. Her days as an author began while working as a librarian.
Cleary was encouraged to write children’s books when a young boy came into the library and asked where all the books about “kids like us” were. The young boy inspired Cleary to write a series of children’s stories that would highlight the innocence of childhood. We don’t know how she did it, but Clearly managed to write about kids honestly and sold over 85 million copies.
Jerry Lee Lewis (83)
In 1957, Jerry Lee Lewis went insane on the Steve Allen Show. Performing A Whole Lotta Shakin’, Lewis’ hair went from smoothly combed to a crazy mess of curls. He played the piano like he was at war with his music. They don’t call him “The Killer” for nothing. Playing and slaying, his fingers might have stayed on the keys, but his feet were everywhere else except beneath the piano.
Lewis’ contribution to rock n’ roll was historical and he continued to be a fan favorite well into the ‘80s (most are still fans). His energy was raw and untapped on stage and he even set a piano on fire while performing. Talk about getting a tad bit carried away?
Christopher Plummer (89)
Most remember Christopher Plummer for many roles, the most recognized would be in The Sound of Music (1965), with co-actress Julie Andrews; and his Academy Award-nominated performance in The Insider (1999). Although Christopher Plummer gained worldwide recognition for his role as Captain von Trapp, The Sound of Music wasn’t his favorite film. Plummer wished to play edgier characters (and is obvious in his selection of later roles).
Plummer said on The Hollywood Reporter, “Because it was so awful and sentimental and gooey,” he explained with a laugh. “You had to work terribly hard to try and infuse some miniscule bit of humor into it.” If that doesn’t kill childhood nostalgia, nothing else will.
Clint Eastwood (89)
Clint Eastwood remains as one of the most prolific actors of his time. The Fistful of Dollars (1964) star is a Hollywood icon, but it wasn’t easy. Many believe famous actors slide into Hollywood without so much as having to work their way to A-list films. This wasn’t the case for Eastwood!
At one point Eastwood was fired from Universal Pictures because of his looks. He and Bert Reynolds were laid off from Universal Pictures because, according to Reynolds, “ [Eastwood] was fired because his Adam’s apple stuck out too far. He talked too slow. And he had a chipped tooth and he wouldn’t get it fixed.” Reynolds was fired because the studio claimed he couldn’t act.
Angela Lansbury (93)
Angela Lansbury is one television’s most beloved actresses of her time. Not only did she reign supreme in hit homicide TV show, Murder She Wrote (1984-1996), but she was also the beloved voice of Mrs. Pots in Disney’s animated film, Beauty and the Beast (1991) (Yes, Millennials rejoice). Lansbury’s life began in a daring and harrowing escape from WWII.
Did you know, before the bombs dropped over England, Lansbury and her family took refuge in the United States by sailing on the Duchess of Atholl? What was so harrowing about her voyage was, a day after she fled England, her home was bombed and her ship sunk soon after her arrival in the US. What a close call!
Little Richard (86)
Little Richard and rock n’ roll are like a scoop of rainbow sherbet, it’s Tutti-Frutti../ Ba-dum-cha! The 1950s rock n’ roll icon has won multiple awards since his debut, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, he was also honored with the Rhythm & Blues Pioneer Award.
Sure he was a star-born musician since his childhood, but not a lot of people know is that as a teenager, Little Richard traveled across Georgia in vaudeville and minstrel shows. In the show circuit, Little Richard would dress in and out of drag for various acts, such as Sugarfoot Sam from Alabama, the Tidy Jolly Steppers, and Broadway Follies.
Bob Newhart (89)
Bob Newhart, is a comedian and actor who is well-known for his deadpan delivery and comedic monologues. For those who have seen The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, they’d know his work by the Abe Lincoln phone-call bit in the first episode. His monologues made America laugh hysterically and still do to this day.
Though he’s better represented as a comedian, Newhart had an illustrious acting career. Sure, most know he was the voice of Bernard in Disney’s The Rescuers (1977), but he also starred in his own television show, The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978), followed by Newhart (1982-1990), oh, and he was also Papa Elf in Elf (2003). Comedian, actor, icon. Awesome.
Tony Bennett (92)
Tony Bennett has recently been circulating in the media when he and diva, Lady Gaga, had the pleasure of touring together in 2014. However, before Gaga, Tony Bennett was nominated for 34 Grammy awards and currently has 18 (including a Lifetime Achievement Award) under his belt. However, an unknown portion of his life is his involvement in WWII.
Bennett fought in France and Germany and helped liberate a concentration camp. Because of what Bennett witnessed in the war, he became a pacifist and an anti-war activist. After the war ended, Bennett has been crooning us with delicate songs such as I Left My Heart In San Francisco and Rags To Riches.
Betty White (97)
Betty White is literally older than sliced bread. That’s a fact, but her accomplishments go beyond the standard Wonderbread. Aside from being this century’s unofficial grandma, Betty White has an impressive resume in front of a camera, so impressive that it made the Guinness Book of World Records. Oh yeah, she’s the record holder for the longest female TV entertainer.
What have you been doing with your life? Not enough, apparently, because Betty White would make everything minuscule in comparison. Don’t worry, everyone starts somewhere. For White, it all began on an experimental TV show, one where she danced with her high school’s student body president in 1939.
Cicely Tyson (94)
Cicely Tyson has stood the test of time (to a point where most aren’t sure how old Tyson really is). CNN reports that Cicely was born in 1924, but alternative sources suggest that it may be 1933. So, which is it? Does it matter? She made audiences cry in Fried Green Tomatoes and made them laugh in Diary of a Mad Black Woman.
Tyson is still with us today creating memorable favorites such as The Help and the hit TV show How to Get Away with Murder. Her age is meaningless as long as she continues to grace audiences with her long-standing appearances on the screen.
Cloris Leachman (93)
Cloris Leachman, like Betty White, is a national treasure. She was the grandma in the Beverly Hillbillies and Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein (We can hear you fact-checking), she’s won eight Primetime Emmys, a Daytime Emmy, and an Academy Award. Before her time as an actress, Leachman was a Miss America Pageant contestant and was named as one of the sixteen semi-finalists.
Why is this piece of her biography so important? Because it directly led to her film debut in 1947 as an extra in Carnegie Hall. Once Leachman got a taste for the cameras, she was hooked, and ta-da! A star was born.
Sam Elliott (75)
Well-suited for Westerns with his deep voice and grizzly mustache, he began his career back in the late 60s, finding steady work on TV shows such as ‘Gunsmoke’. His popularity started to grow with 1989’s ‘Road House’ alongside Patrick Shwayze and a small yet memorable appearance in ‘The Big Lebowski’.
Sam Elliott has been on a hot streak in Hollywood recently, gracing one great movie after another with his presence and his trademark mustache. Most notably, he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 2018’s ‘A Star Is Born’. He has more wins sure to come with the live-action version of ‘Lady and the Tramp’ right around the corner.
Kirk Douglas (102)
Look out, folks, it’s Hollywoods shinning star (well, between 1946-2008, anyway). Kirk Douglas had many faces in Hollywood. He was Midge in Champion, Spartacus in, well, Spartacus, and finally, he was Ned Lands in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He’s won multiple awards, including a Golden Globes award and an Academy Award.
He’s also 102-years-old. Mind boggling isn’t it? Born Issur Danielovitch, son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Kirk Douglas is an actor that is still alive and well. He is one of the few actors who were a part of Hollywood’s “Golden Age.” Before Kirk was an actor, he worked as an usher, bellhop, and waiter.
Delta Burke (63)
Delta Burke is best known for playing the tole of Suzanne Sugarbaker in ‘Designing Women’. She first appeared in the film, Zuma Beach in 1978 before hitting a hot-streak in the 80s. Burke was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for ‘Designing Women’.
You may also recognize her whenever she’s on the arm of husband and fellow actor, Gerald McRaney since 1989. Fortunately, she’s had a successful career in acting and now, she’s an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ rights.
Raquel Welch (78)
Actress and pop culture icon, Raquel Welch, achieved the status of being a “household name” following her illustrious career. She began acting in 1959 but knew she wanted to live a life of show-business when she danced ballet a the early age of seven.
While some actresses are remembered for their talents, others are remembered for their beauty. Raquel will always be remembered for both. She won a Golden Globe for her performance in “The Three Musketeers” for Best Motion Picture. She will always hold her place in history as the Hollywood sex symbol that transformed the idea of a beautiful woman from Marilyn Monroe to a brunette, long-haired Latina.
Sean Connery (88)
There’s an unspoken agreement among Sean Connery fans that League of Extraordinary Gentlemen never existed. The only thing that mattered was Sean Connery solidifying his status as a James Bond and only James Bond (although, most agree that his playing Indiana Jones’ father is just as acceptable).
Although Connery is known for his role as 007, his first film debut was in 1957 as an uncredited role in the movie Lilacs in the Spring. After that, he was molded into James Bond, a franchise that would immortalize his fame and anyone who accepted the role after. Now, go watch Dr. No (1962).
Queen Elizabeth II (93)
The code has been cracked and, now, Britain’s tightest-kept secret is out. Every time someone says “Long Live the Queen” the Queen gains a year of longevity. Joking aside, Q.O.E. has a long-lasting legacy that entails 67 years. That’s nothing to sneeze at. Aside from her impressive collection of Corgis, Her Royal Highness has also served in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service.
Bonus! She also trained as a military truck driver and mechanic up until 1945. The Queen remains the only female royal family member who entered the armed forces. Aside from being a hands-on monarch, she drinks gin, owns all the dolphins in the UK, and doesn’t have a driver’s license.
Diahann Carroll (83)
Let’s smooth over the folds on who this magical and amazing woman is. She’s not just another actress; she’s the first black actress to receive a Tony Award in her performance for No Strings and an Academy Award for Claudine. Yes, all these achievements should warrant Carroll infinite amount of respect.
Really, what pinned her as a celebrity was her lead in Julia in 1968. This role further marked Carroll as the first African-American woman to star in her own television series. Carroll is best-known, however, for her role in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1979), as well as recurring guest appearances in Grey’s Anatomy.
Eva Marie Saint (94)
Everyone wishes they can age as well as Eva Marie Saint. At age 94, she is still throwing her lot with stars (she presented the 2018 Best Costume Design at the Oscars). Saint is best known for her performance in On the Waterfront (1954) alongside co-star Marlon Brando and in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959).
She’s a talented and beautiful movie star who touched the hearts and minds of her fans worldwide. She even had a serendipitous romance; Saint met her husband of 65 years while riding a subway under Rockefeller Center in 1949. After pestering Saint for lunch, they finally dined and he encouraged her to go into the movies. Saint loved her husband for his devotion and faith. The rest, of course, was history.
Sidney Poitier (92)
Director, actor, and producer, Sidney Poitier’s career began in 1950 in the film No Way Out. Unlike many other actors who sought Hollywood specifically to be an entertainer, Sidney Poitier had absolutely no aspirations of being an actor. Before becoming an actor, Poitier was content as a dishwasher. Until one afternoon, while looking for a job, Poitier found an ad for “actors wanted.”
He thought, “I could do that,” and answered the call, but was immediately rejected. He was told he should stick to dishwashing. Fumed by the incident, he sought to prove them wrong. In the end, Poitier became one of the most influential actors of his time.
Julie Andrews (83)
Julie Andrews will forever be Mary Poppins (and Maria from The Sound of Music). She will always be the younger generation’s unofficial grandmother and queen (of Genovia). Classy, elegant, and one heck of an actress, Julie Andrews has a sparkling career dedicated to her fans falling in love with musicals and cinema.
What you don’t know about Julie Andrews is that she nearly said “no” to playing Maria in The Sound of Music. Who would take her place, one would ask? Producers were considering Grace Kelly or Doris Day for the part. Phew! Aren’t they glad that the lovely Andrews played the part?
Kim Novak (86)
Kim Novak is best recognized in her performance in the Alfred Hitchcock psychological thriller, Vertigo. Novak, like Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, was groomed to be Hollywood’s next sex symbol. Unfortunately, Hollywood wasn’t as kind to Novak as Monroe or Russell. In fact, her performance in Vertigo was regarded as “tepid,” and unimpressive.
Through the rise and fall of stardom, and in the constant butt-end of horrid reviews, Novak left Hollywood for good and retired in Oregon. Novak opted for the outdoors and kept it that way. She’s a painter and finds that her new hobby as an artist is much more fulfilling than commanding the stage.
Jane Seymour (68)
Jane Seymour is a drop-dead gorgeous actress who had the misfortune of being in her fair share of not-so-great films. However, she won two major awards, one Golden Globe for her performance in East of Eden (1981), and a Primetime TV Emmy for Onassis: The Richest Man in the World (1988).
What Seymour is most recognized for is her role as a Bond girl named Solitaire in Live and Let Die (1973). She also co-starred with Christopher Reeve in Somewhere in Time (1980). If you’re wondering about her name, Jane Seymour isn’t really her name. She was born Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg and took her current stage name from the wife of King Henry VIII.
Bob Barker (95)
Everyone knows and loves The Price is Right host, but how much is really known about the fabulous Bob Barker? Aside from making history for hosting the longest-running show in TV history, Bob Barker has a pretty interesting background. Not only did he make a cameo appearance in the 1996 film Happy Gilmore (1996), but Barker also won an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
If you look further into Barker’s past, you will learn that Barker is a member of the Sioux Indian tribe and grew up in South Dakota’s Rosebud Reservation. He also trained as a fighter pilot during WWII. Who would have thought?
Prince Phillip (98)
Of course, Prince Philip must see a spot on this list. Born in 1921, Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh grew up with the Queen of England. They were third cousins, after all, and share the same great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. Although he is The Queen’s husband, His Royal Highness was not crowned at The Queen’s coronation ceremony in 1953.
Marriage aside, Prince Phillip is also related to Kings of Prussia and the Emperors of Russia. He also holds titles such as Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich. Despite being 98, His Royal Highness accompanies The Queen and has assisted her in over 18,600 official engagements and all 251 overseas trips.
Sophia Loren (84)
Known as the “Screen Goddess,” of cinema’s Golden Age, Sophia Loren is one of the more popular names that ever graced Hollywood. The Italian actress is considered to be the silver screen’s official sex symbol (aside from Marilyn Monroe, of course) and has left her trail of spurned lovers along the way. One example would be Loren rejecting Cary Grant’s proposal in 1957.
Their love affair was the talk of Hollywood, but Loren turned Grant down for Carlo Ponti. Despite tireless gossip, Loren kept her personal life private. So private that she burned her diaries. Every year, Loren would gather her journals and set them on fire. For Loren, it was gaining control over her life.
Shirley MacLaine (85)
Terms of Endearment (1983), Steel Magnolias (1989), and The Turning Point (1977) are all movies that have one thing in common, Shirley MacLaine. Not only was MacLaine an actress, but she was also a singer and dancer, as well. To this day, MacLaine remains just as talented and witty and continues to capture the hearts of audience members worldwide.
Her popularity is still recognized and MacLaine believes it remains intact due to her constant curiosity. That same tenacious curiosity led her to various good fortunes in her life and rewarding her with roles such as Sweet Charity (1969). A seven-time Golden Globe and Oscar winner, MacLaine’s legacy is a reminder of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Robert Redford (82)
Of course, the best way to wrap up this story is by closing it with Mr. Charming himself, Robert Redford. For those who opted for cliff notes and movie versions from classic lit in high school, they would remember Redford as the elusive Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby (1974).
For everyone else, Redford is best remembered in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) or All the President’s Men (1976). Sure, he’s an actor, but he directed, too. Big whoop, sure. However, it’s not every day an actor turns into a director and wins an award in his directorial debut. He won an Academy Award for Ordinary People (1981).