Top 20 Actresses Of The 1970s – Guess Who’s On The List

March 18, 2024
2 months

Set your time machines to oh-so-groovy because we’re about to take a glam trip back to the 1970s! This was a time when Hollywood was a glittering roller disco of talent. And let me spill the tea, the leading actresses of the 1970s were serving looks, talent, and drama on a silver platter. I mean, these actresses were like the secret sauce in your grandma’s recipe – they just made everything better.

We’ve got scream queens that made you wanna hide under your bed, drama divas who could out-sass anyone, and comedy goldies that had you rolling on the floor laughing. And let me tell you, picking the crème de la crème wasn’t a walk in the park. It was like choosing the best disco track at a Saturday night fever – tough but oh-so-rewarding.

So, fluff up that afro or slip into your grooviest outfit, ’cause we’re about to dish out the deets on the top actresses of the 1970s. Trust me, you’re gonna wanna stay tuned for this fab trip down memory lane. It’s gonna be a blast!

Here are the phenomenal actresses that rocked the groovy 70s.

Jane Fonda

Jane Seymour Fonda, born December 21, 1937, stands out as one of the most influential American actresses and activists. Her rich career has spanned across various genres over six decades in both film and television. Fonda’s remarkable contributions to the entertainment industry have earned her a plethora of awards, including two Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, seven Golden Globe Awards, and many more prestigious accolades such as the AFI Life Achievement Award and the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Actresses Of The 1970s

Hollywood Royalty

Was anyone surprised? Not really. With those Fonda genes (yes, she’s Hollywood royalty, thanks to daddy Henry Fonda), she was destined for greatness. Transitioning from the stage to film, Jane didn’t just dip her toes in; she dove headfirst into Hollywood with her debut in Tall Story, turning heads and making everyone whisper, “Who’s that girl?”

Actresses Of The 1970s

Jane Takes the 70s by Storm

If the 60s were her warm-up, the 70s were her world tour. Miss Fonda wasn’t just in the game. She was leading the league. With an Oscar for Klute and another for Coming Home, she wasn’t just acting; she was rewriting the script on what it meant to be a leading lady in Hollywood. Not to mention, she kept the box office buzzing with hits like Fun with Dick and Jane. And let’s face it, only Jane Fonda could make us want to watch a movie titled The Electric Horseman. Seriously, what was that about?

Actresses Of The 1970s

More Than a Pretty Face

But wait, there’s more! Beyond her killer roles and iconic workout tapes (yes, kids, your mom’s VHS collection has some gems, thanks to Auntie Jane), she took “celebrity activism” to a whole new level. Who else can say they went from being Hollywood’s golden girl to “Hanoi Jane” and back? Despite the controversy, Jane strapped on her activism boots tighter and waded through the mud—speaking out on environmental issues, women’s rights, and even co-founding the Women’s Media Center. Talk about a glow-up!

Goldie Hawn

The dazzling Goldie Jeanne Hawn, born on November 21, 1945, is an American actress who danced her way into the hearts of America. Hawn started her career on the NBC sketch comedy program, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (1968–1970), where her contagious giggles and bubbly personality quickly became an audience favorite. Her breakthrough into the film industry was lined with gold, literally, as she won the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Cactus Flower (1969).

Stealing the Silver Screen in the ’70s

The 70s saw Goldie Hawn’s star shining brightly as she lit up the silver screen with her talent and charisma. She became a fixture in comedy, leading successful films such as There’s a Girl in My Soup (1970) and Butterflies Are Free (1972). Showing she could hold her own in multiple genres, Hawn continued to impress audiences with performances in The Sugarland Express (1974), Shampoo (1975), and Foul Play (1978). Her acting skills proved versatile, shifting seamlessly from light-hearted, comedic roles to more serious, dramatic parts.

The Icon Beyond Her Roles

Beyond the camera, Goldie Hawn developed into an icon, both on and off the screen. Known for her infectious laughter and radiant energy, Hawn became synonymous with comedic brilliance, a 70s “It Girl”, if you will. Her persona wasn’t limited to her roles but extended into her real-life demeanor, making her an unforgettable personality in the industry.

From Star to Star-Mother

Maintaining her career while raising a family, she raised her children – actors Oliver Hudson, Kate Hudson, and Wyatt Russell – ensuring the continuation of the Hawn legacy in Hollywood. Since 1983, she has been in a long-standing relationship with actor Kurt Russel.

From her infectious giggle to her unforgettable roles, Goldie Hawn is the ultimate 70s queen we never stopped rooting for. So, here’s to Goldie—making us laugh, warming our hearts.

Carrie Fisher

Born to Hollywood royalty — actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher — Carrie Fisher was immersed in the world of showbiz from the start. With a lineage like that, Carrie was destined to leave her own indelible mark on the entertainment industry. Despite her parents’ highly publicized divorce when she was just two, Fisher managed to navigate the complexities of growing up in the spotlight with tenacity and wit.

From Act 1 to Infinity

Fisher absolutely killed it as Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” trilogy (1977-1983). But she was not just any princess. She gave us a strong, relatable woman who broke barriers in the science fiction genre. She had fans loving every moment as she ruled with bravery and intelligence – all while rocking space buns!

And get this – she was talented enough to shine in a range of roles in films beyond just the “Star Wars” franchise – like “The Blues Brothers” (1980), “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986), and her turn as the hilariously zingy character in “When Harry Met Sally…” (1989). Each performance different, but each equally fabulous. Talk about versatility!

A Princess with a Pen, Too!

The actress had brains and a knack for words. She penned novels like the ‘Postcards from the Edge,’ which was later turned into a super-hit movie – with the main role played by none other than Meryl Streep. If that’s not a feather in the cap, I don’t know what is!

As an author, Carrie bared her soul to us through her books like “Wishful Drinking,” making us feel like we’ve had a deep heart-to-heart with a good friend – you know, the ones where you are crying one minute and laughing the next.

Fisher’s Never-Ending Story

Fisher shared her trials and tribulations with drug addiction and bipolar disorder, emerging as a beacon for mental health awareness. Her upfront confessions provided comfort to those on a similar journey, making her a real-life hero – no cape or fancy costume needed!

Her sudden passing in 2016 was a significant loss to the entertainment industry and fans worldwide. But, Fisher’s star continues to shine in the Hollywood firmament. A Grammy winner for Best Spoken Word Album and a shiny star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2023 are just some of the awards up in her trophy cabinet.

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster, born Alicia Christian Foster on November 19, 1962, began her journey into stardom at an early age. Initially stepping into the limelight as a child model, Foster’s versatility and talent quickly transitioned her into acting.

By the mid-1970s, she was already a teen idol, featuring in a string of Disney films that showcased her growing prowess as an actress. Some of her notable works from this period include Napoleon and Samantha (1972), Freaky Friday (1976), and Candleshoe (1977), solidifying her status as a beloved figure in family entertainment.

The Taxi Stopping Role

If you thought getting your driver’s permit was an adrenaline rush, imagine landing a role in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver at 14! Sharing screen space with Robert De Niro himself, Jodie played a teen hooker (gasp!) and held her own. This was no easy feat—we’re talking major risk, high reward! Her portrayal earned her an Oscar nomination (Best Supporting Actress, anyone?) and proved she could take on complex roles. This wasn’t her Disney days anymore, honey.

Young but Seasoned

Throughout the late 70s, Jodie kept wowing audiences with thrilling performances in films like Bugsy Malone and The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. Remember those? Infusing her roles with a splash of youthful charm and a dash of seasoned grit, Jodie became the perfect recipe for teen superstar status while also silencing any doubters. I mean, who could doubt that face?

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough for Miss Foster

After her early success, Foster made a seamless transition into adult roles, further exemplified by her Academy Awards for Best Actress in The Accused (1988) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Her career trajectory from a child star in the 70s to a respected actress and filmmaker is a testament to her enduring talent and dedication to her craft.

Faye Dunaway

Born as Dorothy Faye Dunaway on January 14, 1941, this esteemed actress commenced her tour de force on Broadway during the early 1960s. But soon, her captive talent would transition from the stage to the silver screen.

Blast Off to Fame

Our girl Faye didn’t just walk into Hollywood; she strutted in with Bonnie and Clyde (1967), bagging an Oscar nom like it was no big deal and setting the tone for a decade of dazzle. Talk about making an entrance! Bonnie’s beret? Iconic. Faye’s performance? Historic.

The Diverse Diva

Through the 70s, Faye was like the queen bee of genres. From the mystery allure of Chinatown, sizzling through the flames in The Towering Inferno, sneaking around in Three Days of the Condor, to finally yelling “I’m mad as hell!” in Network – and snatching an Oscar while she was at it. If the 70s were a party, Faye was the disco ball – vibrant, spinning, and impossible to ignore.

Stealing the Scene

Ending the decade with a chilling Eyes of Laura Mars, Faye didn’t just act; she made sure everyone remembered her name. Her roles were like a box of assorted chocolates – you never knew what you’d get, but it was always delicious.

The Legacy Continues

Diving into the 80s, did Faye slow down? Not a chance! She dove headfirst with Mommie Dearest, turning heads and sparking conversations with her portrayal of Joan Crawford that had everyone whispering. In a role so iconic, wire hangers now have a completely new meaning. Oops!

Diane Keaton

Before Diane Keaton was the queen of the silver screen, she was all Broadway jazz hands and stage-spotlight smiles. She debuted in the OG “Hair” production. Would you believe she kept all her clothes on while everyone else was dropping threads? Diane always did it her way! Then she wowed in Woody Allen’s Play It Again, Sam, earning a Tony nod. This gal wasn’t just warming up; she was on fire!

The Godfather’s Girl with Grit

Keaton’s breakthrough role as Kay Adams-Corleone in The Godfather (1972) and its sequels catapulted her into stardom. Her portrayal of a woman entwined with the complexities of the mafia’s world showcased her ability to bring depth and nuance to the character, earning her widespread acclaim.

Rom-Com Royalty with Woody

Keaton became Allen’s go-to gal, giving us life in Sleeper and Love and Death. And then came Annie Hall, where our girl strutted her stuff in a waistcoat and tie, snagging an Oscar and cementing herself as rom-com royalty. She made us laugh, she made us cry, and darn it, she made us want to dig through our boyfriend’s closet.

Fashion Maverick Who Dared to Wear

They say life imitates art, and Diane’s threads in Annie Hall became THE look. Who knew raiding your boyfriend’s wardrobe could set the world on fashion fire? Channeling that IDGAF attitude, Diane turned androgynous chic into a battle cry for all the fashion rebels out there.

More Than a Decade Darling

Newsflash! Keaton didn’t pack up her talent with her bell-bottoms as the ’70s came to a close. She kept us hooked with movies like Reds, had us swooning in Baby Boom, and have you seen Something’s Gotta Give? More like ‘Something’s Gotta Get,’ and that’s more Diane on our screens, please!

Diane Keaton was the ’70s gift that kept on giving and, babe, she’s still giving us life! With her corky charm, endless talent, and that timeless wardrobe, she’s living proof that true stars shine bright in every decade. So here’s a toast to Diane – long may she reign as our fabulously fearless Hollywood fave!

Sissy Spacek

Do you know who totally owned the silver screen in the 70s with more grace than a catwalk model with the perfect strut? Yes, you guessed it – Sissy Spacek, the darling of 70s cinema turned Hollywood legend. Kickstarting her career with a bang in Badlands (1973), our girl Sissy had everyone saying, “Who’s that chick?” playing the soft-spoken Holly, who’s pretty much everyone’s teenage dream with a dark twist. It was like watching the girl next door turn into a femme fatale overnight!

The High School Horror Queen

But, that was just the appetizer. Come 1976, Sissy pulled off a high school prom look that, let’s just say, was literally fire in Carrie. Playing Carrie White, the shy girl with those powerful vibes, Sissy had us all rooting for her and practicing our telekinetic powers (or was that just me?). Scooping up an Academy Award nomination for her role, she basically showed the world how to turn high school trauma into accolade gold. Iconic, right?

A Star is Born (And She Sings Too!)

Fast forward a smidge, and enter Coal Miner’s Daughter, the role that had Sissy belting out tunes as Loretta Lynn so convincingly, we all thought she missed her calling as a country superstar. Winning an Oscar for Best Actress was the cherry on top of a very fabulous cake for Sissy, proving she wasn’t just a one-trick pony but a full-on rodeo show.

But wait, there’s more! Sissy Spacek didn’t just rest on her laurels and fabulous cheekbones. She ventured into music, blessing us with her vocals on the Coal Miner’s Daughter soundtrack because, why not? If you’ve got it, flaunt it, right?

Legacy of a Drama Queen

Decades on, and Sissy Spacek’s reign as one of the brightest stars of the 70s (and beyond!) is undisputed. From haunted high schooler to country sensation, she’s been there, done that, and probably has a T-shirt for it. Honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011, because obviously, Sissy’s legacy is like a fine wine. It just gets better with time. So here’s to Sissy, a true screen queen who showed us all how to be fierce, fabulous, and fearlessly ourselves.

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Meryl Streep

Alright, so the vivacious Meryl Streep wasn’t always the film veteran we adore today. Back in the day, and we’re talking 1975, she was a rising star on Broadway, dazzling audiences in Trelawney of the Wells. Just a year later, she snatched a Tony nomination for her pair ‘n’ tear performances in 27 Wagons Full of Cotton and A Memory of Two Mondays. Who knew then that she was just warming up for a killer streak in Hollywood!

First Forays into Film

In 1977, Streep pulled a slick move and transitioned from stage to screen, making a heart-winning debut in Julia. Even though it was more like a ‘blink and miss’ role, it was enough to reveal her sparkling potential. Result? Her captivating act in the disturbingly poignant miniseries Holocaust that not only earned her an Emmy but intensified her growing fandom. From there, she hit it big playing opposite Robert De Niro in The Deer Hunter and buried her first Oscar nomination, because why not?

Climbing the Oscar Podium

Without missing a beat, Streep took everything up a notch in 1979 when she deeply moved us with her heart-wrenching performance in Kramer vs. Kramer. Our girl ditched the ‘nominee’ tag and bagged herself an Oscar, stepping into the limelight as a leading lady of film!

From the 70s Dazzler to Everlasting Diva

This 70s dazzler was just getting started! From portraying a heartrending Holocaust survivor in Sophie’s Choice to stepping into the iron-shoes of a British Prime Minister in The Iron Lady, Meryl continued to shake things up, reminding us why we simply can’t get enough of her!

Undeniably, Meryl Streep is Hollywood royalty. With a Hollywood Walk of Fame star shining under her name, the AFI Life Achievement Award sitting pretty on her mantle, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Meryl Streep’s legacy is nothing short of an entertainment revelation. Her journey which took off in the 70s, paved the way for a future filled with captivating stories and unforgettable characters, as well as a film industry forever changed by her unmatched talent.

Sally Field

Miss Sally Field! Our brown-eyed girl truly gave the 70s that extra flavor, didn’t she? Remember her? That adorable, dimpled face actress who conquered both the tiny screen and the silver screen back in the day, it was hard to miss her!

Small Screens, Big Dreams

Our girl Sally, she kicked off her career on the small screen, making waves with her giggle-inducing performances in Gidget (1965–1966) and The Flying Nun (1967–1970). Sure, she was a bit typecast, but she was also totally nailing the comedy game, hinting at the crazy plot twists to come in her career.

Then along came Sybil, and suddenly laughter took a back seat and tear-jerker commandeered the wheel. In this breathtaking mini-series, Sally played a lass dealing with some heavy-duty dissociative identity disorder, winning an Emmy and flipping her giggly image on its head.

Lights, Camera, Action

From the TV to the Big Screen, Sally swapped her funny gal persona to flex her serious acting muscles. She co-starred in the action-comedy Smokey and the Bandit which almost broke the box office in 1977. But it was her whistleblower role in Norma Rae (1979) that scored her the ultimate Hollywood crown – an Academy Award for Best Actress. Can we hear a “Yass Queen!”?

The Ultimate Legacy

Thanks to her epic roles in the ‘70s, our Hollywood darling Sally Field has a career that could make any aspiring actress ultra-jealous. From beach babe to factory siren, she’s grooved her way through genres, scooped up awards like candy, and even scored a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2014. Sally Field isn’t just an actress. No, she’s a true Hollywood legend whose versatile performances in the 70s redefined women’s rules on the silver screen.

Shirley MacLaine

Shirley MacLaine, born Shirley MacLean Beaty, became known for her character portrayals of quirky, strong-willed, and unconventional women. Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, MacLaine ventured into acting in her teenage years, finding her first successes on Broadway before quickly transitioning to the silver screen. Her breakout role came with Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Trouble with Harry” in 1955, earning her a Golden Globe for New Star of the Year.

The Decade She Owned

Fast-forward to the 70s, and Shirley’s killing it left, right, and center. Drama, comedy—you name it, she nailed it. “The Turning Point” and “Being There”? Total showstoppers that had everyone buzzing. Our girl Shirl was flexing her acting muscles and proving she was as versatile as they come. Critics couldn’t get enough, and neither could we!

By the time the 70s rolled around, Shirley had already racked up an Oscar nom and a mantel’s worth of Golden Globes. But let’s be real. It was her role in “The Apartment” back in the ’60s that set the stage. That performance whispered promises of the stardom that exploded in the following decade.

Leading Lady and Trendsetter

Now, if you thought Shirley was just about the movie biz, think again. By the end of the 70s, she turned her real-life adventures into page-turners. Yes, the woman is a powerhouse of talent: pitch-perfect on screen and a storytelling sorceress off it. “Out on a Limb”? More like out of this world. It’s basically a hug in a book form, full of spiritual escapades and juicy life lessons.

So Much More Than Just an Actress

Shirley MacLaine wasn’t just an actress in the 70s. She was an era-defining icon, a force of nature in fabulously flamboyant frocks. Donning her spiritual adventurer hat (probably sequined), she ventured into the realms of writing and metaphysics, leaving us all wondering, “Is there anything Shirl can’t do?”

Honoring a Prolific Career

Over her eight-decade career, MacLaine has been honored with the Film Society of Lincoln Center Tribute, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, the AFI Life Achievement Award, and the Kennedy Center Honor. Her unique talent and commitment to her craft have made her one of the top actresses of the 1970s and beyond.

Glenda Jackson

Glenda May Jackson, born on May 9, 1936, rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most brilliant actresses of her time. After studying at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she made her Broadway debut in “Marat/Sade” in 1966. Throughout her career, she was nominated for multiple Laurence Olivier Awards, showcasing her raw talent on the stage.

From Zero to Hero

Glenda leapt from “Who’s that girl?” to “It’s her again!” after dazzling us all in “Women in Love” (1969). This role didn’t just land her an Oscar; it strapped a rocket to her back. Her performance was so sizzling, it probably had the Academy members fanning themselves. And that was just the beginning!

Glenda didn’t stop at one shiny gold man. Oh no, she went and snagged herself another for “A Touch of Class” (1973), playing a woman trying to keep a fling no-strings-attached, but—spoiler alert—it gets complicated (as it always does, right?).

Queen of the Small Screen

Switching lanes from movies to your TV, Glenda ruled the BBC with “Elizabeth R” (1971), bringing to life Queen Elizabeth I with more elegance and power than a royal wedding. She scooped up two Emmy Awards for this gig, proving she could dominate any screen, any size.

Theater Darling Makes a Splash

Just when film and TV thought they had her all to themselves, Glenda dipped back into theater like it was no big deal. She tangled with Shakespeare and Ibsen, earning herself a Tony nod because, of course, she’s Glenda flippin’ Jackson.

From Hollywood to the House of Commons

And then, because conquering the entertainment world wasn’t enough, she thought, “Why not run for Parliament?” As you do, right? Trading scripts for speeches, she went from standing ovations to standing for election, making almost as much drama in the political arena as she did on stage and screen.

Raquel Welch

Raquel Welch dominated the big screen in the ’70s with performances that showcased not just her undeniable beauty but also her considerable acting chops. Here’s a look at her journey and achievements during the decade.

From Bikini Babe to Box Office Bombshell

Okay, so you’ve probably seen that poster of Raquel in “One Million Years B.C.” where she’s rocking a fur bikini like it’s haute couture. Well, that little number not only started a fashion revolution in the Stone Age but it also catapulted our girl into the stratosphere of stardom!

Flexing Girl Power on Film

Girl wasn’t just about looking good on a poster (although, let’s face it, she crushed that game). She brought some serious kick-butt energy to the big screen. She was slinging guns in “Hannie Caulder” and lacing up for some fierce roller derby action in “Kansas City Bomber.” Talk about smashing through that Hollywood glass ceiling with a pair of skates and a shotgun!

Acclaimed Roles

In 1973, Welch starred in “The Three Musketeers” and earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her performance as Constance Bonacieux. The success continued with “The Wild Party” (1975) and “Mother, Jugs & Speed” (1976), showcasing her versatility as an actress.

Queen of the Screen and Everything In Between

This bombshell wasn’t boxed in by the screen, oh no. She brought the sizzle to TV spectacles and even shook up the whole cultural landscape of the time. Racquel didn’t just walk the walk, she boogied it in style, and with enough pizzazz to make even the disco ball jealous.

Still the Poster Girl of Our Hearts

Sure, the world couldn’t stop gawking at her stunning good looks (I mean, come on, those cheekbones could cut glass), but Raquel was more than just a pretty face. Playboy and Empire weren’t just listing her as a top hottie for her yoga-toned bod––the lady oozed talent like a fondue pot at a ’70s dinner party.

Olivia Newton-John

Let me tell you about the sweetheart of the ’70s, Olivia Newton-John, who was basically the era’s triple-threat queen. She sang, she acted, and she had this effortlessly chic vibe that literally everyone wanted to copy.

Olivia transitioned into acting during the 1970s. She was a well-established musician with several top-ten singles and a four-time Grammy Award winner. This successful career in music set the stage for her introduction to acting.

Breakout Role in Grease

Her most iconic role came in 1978 when she starred in the musical film “Grease”. The film was not only the highest-grossing musical at that moment but also had one of the world’s best-selling soundtracks. Newton-John, alongside co-star John Travolta, performed captivating duets like “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights” which are considered major hits to this day.

Not Just a One-Trick Pony

And as if ruling over the land of ’70s cinema with “Grease” wasn’t enough, Olivia said, “Hold my hair roller” and jumped right into “Xanadu.” A roller-skating muse who sings? Only Olivia could make us believe such a dream was possible. Hits like “Magic” and the titular “Xanadu” had us all wanting to don our skates and glide into some musical fantasy.

Leaving Her Sparkle Everywhere

Olivia Newton-John wasn’t just a star. She was the entire constellation in the ’70s entertainment sky. From her groovy hits to those mesmerizing movie roles, she turned everything she touched into gold—or should we say, platinum? An icon in music and film, Olivia left a legacy that’s like the perfect high note—unforgettable and always leaving you wanting more.

Our hearts skipped a beat (and not in the good way) when Olivia traded in her sequins for wings in 2022. But let’s be real, she’s probably up there right now, teaching angels how to hit those high notes and Grease Lightning dance moves. Singing on cloud nine? Absolutely, baby!

So, here’s to Olivia, the marvelous diva of the 70s, a true legend who taught us the power of transformation, from pop sensation to silver screen siren. We’re still hopelessly devoted to you, girl!

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand is no run-of-the-mill actress. She’s a gal who’s got more skills up her sleeve than a magician at a kid’s birthday party! This sassy diva has rocked the stages and screens for six glittery decades, blazing her trail with the dreamy trifecta – an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and a Tony Award. Talk about having all your bases covered!

From Brooklyn Streets to Broadway’s Bright Lights

Born in Brooklyn and blessed with chutzpah larger than some of those disco hairdos of the 70s, Barbra began her journey to stardom in small nightclubs and Broadway stages. She boldly opted for lower pay (who does that?) for complete control over her performances, a savvy move that must’ve had agents pulling their sideburns out. Her bet on herself paid off big-time when her debut album, “The Barbra Streisand Album,” snagged her the Grammy for Album of the Year in ’63!

Chart-Topping Hits and Groundbreaking Albums

Golden girl Streisand’s tunes ripped through the charts like a rhinestone-studded comet. Eleven of her albums topped the US Billboard 200 chart—a record held by a woman until 2023. And let’s not forget her five number-one singles. Hits like “The Way We Were,” “Evergreen,” and “Woman in Love” still clatter in our hearts, don’t they?

Transition to the Silver Screen

Swapping the stage lights for the rotating reels at the end of the’ 60s, Streisand nabbed the Oscar for Best Actress with her role in “Funny Girl.” Roles in “Hello, Dolly!”, “What’s Up, Doc?”, and “The Way We Were” followed, making Streisand a beloved figure in the cinematic world. How could anyone forget when she nabbed a second Oscar as the first woman composer for her sizzlin’ love theme from “A Star Is Born”?

Running the Show from Behind the Camera

If acting and singing were not enough, our girl decided to wear the director’s hat with “Yentl,” making her the first woman to write, produce, direct, and star in a major studio film. Talk about a four-in-one deal! This feat not only landed her an Oscar for Best Original Score but also a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Musical and Best Director. It was a high-kick to the glass ceiling!

A Diva Forever Etched in Our Hearts

With over 150 million records sold worldwide, Barbra is still far from her final bow. With an impressive array of awards (Did I mention 2 Academy Awards, 10 Grammys, and 5 Emmys? Because yeah, she’s got ’em) Streisand’s legacy continues to shimmer in the entertainment universe. Truly, she’s the beloved queen of the ’70s and beyond!

Ellen Burstyn

Ellen, oh Ellen – born Edna Rae but honestly, “Ellen Burstyn” just has that Hollywood ring to it, wouldn’t you agree? This gal burst onto the scene (see what I did there?) and instantly became the “it girl” with her role in “The Last Picture Show. A small-town movie capturing hearts and getting all the Oscar buzz, with our girl Ellen right at the heart of it. Iconic.

Queen Ellen Takes Her Throne

1974 was the year Ellen snatched her Oscar for “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” playing a single mom hustling to make ends meet. It wasn’t just any role, honey. It became a rallying cry for the feminist movement, proving Ellen wasn’t just about the razzle-dazzle. She was here to make a statement.

“The Exorcist” Madness

Let’s get into the spooky stuff because who can ever forget Ellen in “The Exorcist”? Yes, the movie that had everyone sleeping with the lights on. Ellen played a mom dealing with slightly more than typical teenage rebellion—try demonic possession. Not to mention, she did her own stunts, got genuinely injured, and kept on acting. If that’s not commitment, I don’t know what is!

Other Gems in the Crown

And just when you thought, “Surely, that’s all the brilliance one person can manage?” Ellen hits us with “Same Time, Next Year,” snagging another Oscar nod for her role as a woman in an annual affair. Because, darling, who doesn’t love a scandal wrapped up in a love story?

The Legacy Lives On

Ellen Burstyn didn’t just act in the 70s; she redefined what it meant to be a leading lady. She took roles that pushed boundaries, broke hearts, and probably even scared the pants off you (looking at you, “The Exorcist” fans).

So, when you think of the 70s, sure, think disco and bell-bottoms. But don’t forget to pay homage to the queen of the screen, Ellen Burstyn. Her performances are the stuff of legend, proving that true talent is timeless.

Ann-Margret

Let’s hit the rewind button for a moment and travel back to Ann-Margret’s early days in Tinseltown. Miss Margret was shaking things up in the 60s, and by the time the 70s rolled in, she’d won herself a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for ‘Bye Bye Birdie’. Now, if that’s not what you call a glamorous entrance, I don’t know what is!

The Lady, The Legend, The 70s

he 1970s was a wild ride for our favorite redhead. Ann-Margret starred in ‘Carnal Knowledge’, where she shared the spotlight with none other than Jack Nicholson! Fun, right? She even snagged an Academy Award nomination, proving she was more than just a pretty face and a set of killer pipes.

The Movie Marathon

Didn’t get enough of Ann-Margret yet? No worries, throughout the 70s she was practically a regular at the cinemas. From holding her own next to John Wayne in ‘The Train Robbers’ to belting out tunes in ‘Tommy’, our girl was not messing around. Her role in ‘Tommy’ even got her a second invite to the Oscar nominations party!

Keep the Camera Rolling!

Ann-Margret was the gift that kept on giving throughout the 1970s. Sure, there might’ve been whispers about waning star power, but she blew those out of the water. Whether it was a lesser-known film like ‘Magic’, or gracing our TV screens, Ann-Margret had us hooked!

Fast forward to now, and it’s crystal clear that Ann-Margret left an unforgettable mark on Hollywood. Her stellar performances in iconic films are proof that she was a total powerhouse. She’s a shining example that talent, spunk, and a dash of sass can create an enduring legacy in Tinseltown.

Julie Andrews

A little girl with a voice that could out-sing a nightingale starts her journey on the cold stages of the West End and Broadway, making everyone’s heart melt. That’s Julie Andrews for you, folks! Starting her gig in 1948, she was basically Broadway royalty by the time she was sipping her first legal champagne. She hit the ground running, and spoiler alert, she never stopped.

Queen Julie Takes the Crown… and The Oscars

Fast forward to the 1960s, and bam! Julie Andrews is practically floating down from the sky with her magical umbrella as Mary Poppins, earning her an Oscar because, of course, who else could play a practically perfect nanny? Then she twirls around the hills because they’re alive with The Sound of Music, grabbing a Golden Globe while she’s at it. The 1960s were her playground, and Julie was swinging from success to success.

Key Roles in the 1970s

Moving into the 70s, while everyone was getting down with disco, Julie decided to keep it classy. She starred in The Tamarind Seed(1974), playing a love story amidst the Cold War – talk about range! And finishing off the decade with 10(1979), she proved that her knack for picking roles was as impeccable as her vocal range. Yes, folks, Julie Andrews was the OG queen of versatility before it was cool.

Andrews is also known for her collaborations with Carol Burnett. The duo performed in specials like “Julie and Carol at Lincoln Center” (1971). She starred in her own variety special “The Julie Andrews Hour” in 1973 and received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Musical Series.

A Trove of Trophies

Let’s talk bling because Julie’s got plenty. An Oscar, a BAFTA, Emmys, Grammys, Golden Globes – girl’s got a collection that could rival any A-lister’s vanity closet. And just when you think Queen Elizabeth II has seen it all, she goes and makes Julie a Dame.

Julie didn’t just decide to rest on her laurels. Nope, she moved on to become the fairy godmother we all need, literally, by voicing characters in Shrek and Despicable Me. In addition to her acting career, Julie Andrews has authored numerous children’s books and two autobiographies, contributing to her influence in the entertainment industry during the 1970s and beyond.

Pam Grier

Let me spill the tea about the ultimate badass diva of the ’70s, the one and only Pam Grier. This fierce lady wasn’t just playing the damsel in distress—no way! Pam was all about kicking butt and taking names, and she didn’t need any prince charming to do it. When she strutted onto the scene, action movies got a high-heeled, karate-chopping makeover.

Film’s Fab Femme Fatale

The ’70s knew all about flower power, but it was Pam’s turn to show off her power moves in hits like “Coffy” and “Foxy Brown.” This woman turned the blaxploitation genre upside down, serving us relentless vengeance with a side of epic one-liners. If her characters were on a dating app, their bios would say: “Looking for love, but won’t hesitate to throw a jab!”

Not Just a Pretty Face on the Big Screen

Pam didn’t just work it in cinemas; she had TV viewers glued to their seats too. That’s right, she brought her brand of fierce wherever she went and honey, we were living for it. IndieWire might say she’s missing an Oscar nod, but please, she’s had all of us nodding in approval since day one!

Legacy and Continued Success

Grier’s influence did not stop in the 70s. She continued to play prominent roles in film and TV, including the title character in Tarantino’s crime film ‘Jackie Brown’ (1997) and Kit Porter in the Showtime drama series ‘The L Word’ (2004–2009). Today, she’s not just remembered for her roles, but for paving the way for present-day leading ladies of action.

Cicely Tyson

Hold up, let me spill the tea about the dazzling Cicely Tyson who was absolutely owning it in the ’70s. This fierce lady wasn’t just acting. She was re-writing the rulebook on what it meant to be a leading lady.

Oscar-Who? Cicely for the Win!

Okay, so let’s dish about 1972—Cicely stars in “Sounder,” and girl, she turns. it. out. She’s serving drama, emotion, and sheer power on a silver platter. Nominations? Honey, she snagged herself both Oscar and Golden Globe nods. Talk about setting the bar high.

Emmy After Emmy — A TV Icon, Y’all!

But hold on, because our queen didn’t just conquer the big screen – she straight-up revolutionized TV too. In 1974, “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” and Cicely is delivering a performance so iconic, the Emmys practically threw themselves at her—two, to be exact! Let’s be real, she wasn’t just winning awards. She was making history and had everyone saying, “More Cicely, please!”

More than a Pretty Face

And get this—Cicely wasn’t playing your average characters. No damsel-in-distress gigs for her. She chose roles with guts, characters with stories that mattered. Fast-forward to all the bling on her shelf: Kennedy Center Honors, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and, hello, a spot in the Television Hall of Fame. I mean, if that’s not goals, what is?

Broadway Baby

Off-screen, Cicely was strutting her stuff on Broadway. She wasn’t the kind of legend to rest on her laurels—nope, she went and won a Tony, ’cause why not? This diva was serving talent that could span decades.

Her Lasting #Impact

Cicely Tyson was a ’70s powerhouse, setting stages on fire long before hashtags were a thing. She stepped on the scene, demanded respect, and left us all shook. And let’s just say, the screen—big or small—has never been the same since.

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Cher

Cher, born Cherilyn Sarkisian, emerged as a powerhouse of pop culture and entertainment in the 1970s. While the early part of the decade saw Cher achieving musical success with chart-topping singles, it was also a period where she established herself as a formidable actress.

Musical Triumphs

Before Cher was the emoji on your phone, she was the it girl of the 70s, flipping her hair and belting tunes that could give your momma’s vinyl collection a run for its money. Starting off as one half of the awww-sweet Sonny & Cher duo, our girl broke off and had the jukeboxes poppin’ with hits like “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” – talk about a title that screams drama, glitz, and a hint of scandal, am I right?

She was crowned as the female solo artist with the most number-one singles in the United States at that time. Her musical expertise not only dominated the airwaves but also played a significant role in shaping her public persona.

Cinematic Ventures

Now, after she and Sonny called it quits (major tea spilled), Cher didn’t just sit around eating Ben & Jerry’s. She reinvented herself musically with the successful disco album “Take Me Home” (1979). She also forayed into television and film. Her TV shows, most notably “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour,” garnered a massive audience, creating a seamless transition for her into the world of acting.

Hollywood, Baby!

Just when everyone thought, “Oh, she’s just a singer with a TV show,” BAM! Cher proves she’s also a serious actress. Her performances garnered critical acclaim in the late ’70s and through the ensuing decades in films like “Silkwood” and “Moonstruck,” the latter winning her an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1987. Who else could go from belting out disco hits to snagging spots in critically acclaimed films and making it look like a walk in the park? Spoiler: nobody but Cher.

More Than a Pretty Voice

And because being a pop culture icon isn’t enough, Cher also turned heads with her killer fashion (hello, outfits we’d still kill for today) and became the voice we all needed, speaking up for gay rights and HIV/AIDS awareness before it was on everyone’s radar. Talk about being ahead of your time!

The Final Bow: The Queens of the ’70s Silver Screen

And that’s a wrap, folks! We’ve just tangoed through the glitter and glam of the ’70s, swinging by the crème de la crème of actresses who owned the big screen like it was their personal runway. These ladies weren’t just faces in the crowd. Oh no, they were the crowd, setting the bar so high, even today’s stars are reaching for it.

From making us laugh so hard our bellies ached to bringing us to tears with just a glance, these powerhouse women were the heart and soul of ’70s cinema. They didn’t just play roles. They owned them, lived in their characters’ shoes so convincingly, we’re still tied up in those fictional lives.

Each name on our list brought something unique to the table. If you’ve missed these iconic legends in action, I strongly suggest a movie marathon. Get the popcorn ready, ’cause these ladies are about to show you how it’s done, 70s style! 

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