All too often, actresses get frozen in time at the point in which they were considered their “hottest.” But these 40 leading ladies of the ’70s have just got better with age. They may not be rocking bikinis like they used to, but they’re living proof that true talent doesn’t have a shelf life and that beauty really can be ageless.
40. Lindsay Wagner
Lindsay Wagner played none other than The Bionic Woman throughout the 1970s. Her initial appearance in The Six Million Dollar Man was supposed to be her last job with Universal. Yet the character proved so popular that Wagner got her own spin-off, and it led to an illustrious career. Furthermore, the star is still acting; in 2019 she was in Grey’s Anatomy and provided motion capture for the game Death Stranding.
39. Sally Struthers
Sally Struthers captured the heart of America when she starred in the 1971 sitcom All in the Family. She won two supporting Emmy Awards for the role and later moved onto TV dramas and voice work – including the role of Charlene on Dinosaurs. She naturally looks different now, but her baby doll features remain.
38. Charlene Tilton
The attractive Charlene Tilton first became famous for playing Lucy Ewing on Dallas, and it’s a role she stuck with right through to the 21st century. She’s also been in some other well-known movies such as Freaky Friday. Now, Tilton is an older woman, but she still has that stunning blonde hair.
37. Cloris Leachman
Cloris Leachman became famous after playing Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. It ran for seven years from 1970, and the actress took on other work while it was still ongoing. She even got a Golden Globe Award nomination for her role in 1973’s Charley and the Angel. Believe it or not, Leachman is in her 90s now and is still acting.
36. Mackenzie Phillips
Mackenzie Phillips started her career at the age of just 12 when she was cast in the 1973 movie American Graffiti. Then, just three years later she began appearing in the hit show One Day at a Time. And despite a very traumatic life which Phillips later discussed in a book, she’s pulled through it and survived.
35. Loretta Swit
During the early 1970s Loretta Swit was starting to make a name for herself as a comedy actress, and then came M*A*S*H. That show – and the star’s performance – would subsequently go down in TV history. In fact, Swit was nominated for an Emmy ten out of the 11 years that the show was on the air. The actress didn’t appear in anything as huge again, but perhaps she didn’t need to.
34. Paula Prentiss
Paula Prentiss has been around in the entertainment industry for a long time. Indeed, she appeared in many movies over the 1960s and ‘70s. These included What’s New Pussycat, The Sunshine Boys and Catch-22 – that last one alongside her husband Richard Benjamin. And the pair of them have been married for over half a century now.
33. Dyan Cannon
Dyan Cannon has picked up several Academy Award nominations over the years – including for 1969’s Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and Heaven Can Wait ten years later. So, she’s had a very successful career. Cannon was also once married to acting legend Cary Grant and is the mother of his daughter Jennifer.
32. Susan Anton
Susan Anton got big towards the end of the 1970s. She did the film Goldengirl in the last year of that decade and earned a Golden Globe nomination for it. The star then went on to gain an NBC variety show titled Presenting Susan Anton. Her star faded a little as time went on, but she kept her good looks extraordinarily well.
31. Talia Shire
Talia Shire’s birth name was Talia Rose Coppola, and she’s the sister of director Francis Ford Coppola. She’s been in not one but two incredibly beloved film franchises: Rocky and The Godfather. It was, in fact, her brother who helmed the latter series, and she got an Oscar nomination for the movie’s second iteration.
30. Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson first became famous in the 1950s, and she continued to have the spotlight over the following decades. In 1972 she got an Oscar nomination for her role in Sounder, and two years later she won two Emmys for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. At the time of writing, Tyson is 95 years old and she has no plans to retire.
29. Ellen Burstyn
Actress Ellen Burstyn first became famous for 1971’s The Last Picture Show, for which she gained both Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. Then came something even bigger: the legendary 1974 horror movie The Exorcist. Burstyn is still acting today, and in 2014 she played an important role in the movie Interstellar.
28. Michael Learned
Michael Learned – named so because her father had expected a boy – found fame in the early 1970s as Olivia in The Waltons. And it’s what she’s most famous for to this day. In 2019 Learned confessed to the Daily Mail that she and her onscreen husband Ralph Waite had been “in love,” even though he was married.
27. Barbra Streisand
It goes without saying that Barbra Streisand has been a big star for a long time now, but she was especially luminous in the 1970s. During that decade, the actress starred in The Way We Were and A Star Is Born among other things. At the time of publishing this article, Streisand is 78 years old and says that she has never had plastic surgery – despite rumors claiming otherwise.
26. Joyce DeWitt
In the 1970s Joyce DeWitt was offered a choice of two different comedy pilots. The one that she chose ended up being the massively successful Three’s Company. However, the actress never really wanted to be famous, and even after the show ended she kept a low profile. As of June 2020 DeWitt is 71, and she has aged very well.
25. Cheryl Ladd
Cheryl Ladd’s performance as Kris Monroe in Charlie’s Angels made her a sex symbol for the 1970s. Aged 68 at the time of publishing, she looks great and still has praise for the show which made her a star. In 2019 she told CNN, “The role was life-changing for sure. It gave me a 40-year career, so I have nothing but fond memories.”
24. Judy Landers
Judy Landers was another alumnus of Charlie’s Angels, and it’s easy to see why. The star is good-looking, but also funny, and this helped make her career. She also popped up in TV shows such as B.J. and the Bear and Vega$. Landers is now 61 and has obviously changed, but her blonde hair remains the same.
23. Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger didn’t become truly massive until the 1980s. But in the decade before that she appeared in TV shows such as The Six Million Dollar Man and Charlie’s Angels. Her good looks took her far, and though she’s 66 years old now as we write this, she’ll probably always be remembered as a major sex symbol.
22. Jacqueline Bisset
Actress Jacqueline Bisset appeared in many films throughout the 1970s: including Airport, The Grasshopper, and Murder on the Orient Express. Seven years later her star soared thanks to a sexy underwater scene in The Deep, but Bisset herself hated that she’d been filmed in this way and felt that it had been exploitative. Furthermore, in 2018 she added her voice to Hollywood’s #MeToo movement.
21. Jaclyn Smith
Jaclyn Smith ended up being the only one of Charlie’s Angels to stick with the show throughout its entire five-year run. The star even popped up in the 2003 movie Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle as well. Smith is in her 70s now, and she credits her good looks to lots of exercise and healthy food.
20. Goldie Hawn
Goldie Hawn – the ultimate ‘70s glamour girl – rose to fame in the sketch comedy series Rowan & Martin’a Laugh-In. The bubbly blonde then went on to win big movie roles in films like Private Benjamin and The First Wives Club. And today, Hawn is just as glamorous as ever. Ahead of her 70th birthday in 2015, in fact, she told Porter magazine, “It’s wonderful to know you’re aging, because that means you’re still on the planet, right?”
19. Jane Seymour
In 1973 Jane Seymour played Solitaire – one of the most popular Bond girls ever in Live and Let Die – and she could still easily play the role now. And not only does Seymour not look her age, but she thinks like a younger woman, too. She told The Huffington Post in 2014, “When I look at my actual chronological age, I’m in shock. I don’t feel like someone in my mid-60s.”
18. Jessica Lange
Jessica Lange received a Golden Globe for her big-screen debut in the 1976 remake of King Kong. Fast forward to 2015, and the beauty was racking up her 15th nomination for her work in American Horror Story. She played Elsa – a character who is afraid of getting old. But judging by Lange’s continued success, she has nothing to fear.
17. Lynda Carter
For many people who grew up in the ‘70s, Lynda Carter was – and still is – the definitive Wonder Woman. But since she set aside her cape in 1979, the one-time superheroine has shown that she’s a talented singer, too. She’s released four studio albums, in fact, as well as having had a successful run on London’s West End as Chicago’s Mama Morton.
16. Raquel Welch
Raquel Welch became one of the biggest sex symbols of the 1970s thanks to her bikini-clad appearance in One Million Years B.C. Aged 79 at the time of publishing, the actress still looks fabulous. She told Saga magazine that her enduring good looks are down to 6:00 a.m. yoga sessions, vitamins, weight training and something called “food combining.”
15. Diahann Carroll
In 1968 Diahann Carroll became a trailblazer for black women. In the hit show Julia, she became the first black female lead on American TV to play something other than a stereotyped domestic worker. And in another more minor – but still impressive – achievement: the actress still looks amazing at the age of 84.
14. Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda picked up her first Oscar in 1972 for her role in Klute, and it was all up from there. These days, however, the veteran star is as known for her political activism than her acting. Though she still appears on screen today as the star of the long-running comedy series Grace and Frankie.
13. Cybil Shepherd
Cybil Shepherd is still best known for playing Betsy in the iconic 1976 film Taxi Driver, but she’s had success outside Hollywood, too. Somewhat like like her character in that movie, Shepherd is an outspoken political activist. Her acting career, meanwhile, is still going strong with recent big screen roles in Do You Believe? and She’s Funny That Way.
12. Valerie Perrine
Valerie Perrine nabbed an Oscar nomination for the 1974 movie Lenny and also won herself a place in many men’s hearts. Writer Larry Karaszewski told Vice in 2014 that he considered Perrine “the thinking man’s sex symbol.” Yet that kind of lifestyle seemingly wasn’t for her, and she quietly slipped away from Hollywood.
11. Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton started out on Broadway before making her 1970 big screen debut in Lovers and Other Strangers. It was the start of a long and successful on-screen career that still continues to this day. Aged 74 at the time of publishing, Keaton is open to a little cosmetic help to roll back the years. In her 2014 memoir, in fact, the Hollywood veteran explained, “I don’t see anything wrong with face-lifts or Botox or fillers. They just erase the hidden battle scars. I intend to wear mine, sort of.”
10. Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster was just 12 when she starred in Taxi Driver, and she went on become a truly successful actress. Today, the star looks much younger than her 57 years; what’s more, as she has claimed to People magazine, there’s been no cosmetic surgeon involved in that, either.
9. Barbara Hershey
Thanks to her strange relationship with David Carradine, Barbara Hershey’s star both rose and fell during the 1970s. Luckily, the Beaches actress got her career got back on track – thanks in part to her stunning and long-lasting good looks.
8. Britt Ekland
Britt Ekland was a huge deal in the ‘70s; the Bond girl also starred in The Wicker Man, was married to Peter Sellers and became one of the most photographed celebs in the world. Aged 77 at the time of writing, she still looks great – despite some regrettable plastic surgery.
7. Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver shot to fame in 1979 as sci-fi heroine Ripley in the Alien movie series. She is now aged 70 at the time of publishing, and the actress has insisted that she’ll never go under the knife. She explained to the Daily Mail back in 2009, “I would never have plastic surgery or Botox injections. How can you as an actress?”
6. Catherine Bach
Catherine Bach – or Daisy Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard – was a major sex symbol back in 1979. Since then she’s had some difficult times – her husband committed suicide in 2010 – but Bach still looks great. She is still acting, too, with her most recent roles including a long-running stint on The Young and the Restless.
5. Faye Dunaway
Faye Dunaway was a star of ‘70s hits like Chinatown and The Towering Inferno, and she has spoken out about sexism and ageism in the movie industry. In a 2008 interview with The Telegraph, she asked, “Why should I play sisters and mothers while guys like Jack [Nicholson] and Clint [Eastwood] – who are older than me – have on-screen lovers half their age?”
4. Sissy Spacek
Sissy Spacek thrilled audiences as the tormented schoolgirl-turned-killer in Stephen King’s iconic horror Carrie. But even under all that blood, Spacek’s beauty was obvious. Now in her 70s, the actress still has a mesmerizingly ethereal look to her.
3. Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John turned 29 during the filming of Grease, but she easily passed as a teenager. Now, after a long acting and singing career, Newton-John is 71 at the time of publishing. And she still looks a lot younger than her years.
2. Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston’s striking good looks set many hearts racing back in the 1970s and ‘80s in films such as The Postman Always Rings Twice and Prizzi’s Honor. Moreover, even though she’s in her 60s, the actress shows no signs of retiring with recent appearances in Smash and Transparent. And according to Huston, getting older isn’t something to dread. She told Vogue in 2014, “There’s a few nice things about [aging], don’t let them kid you.”
1. Pam Grier
Pam Grier became famous in the ‘70s with ground-breaking roles in cult classics like Foxy Brown. And while these days the blaxploitation heroine doesn’t act quite so much – although she did play herself in Grand Theft Auto V – she still looks fabulous and much younger than her 71 years.