Hollywood Queens of the 70s, 80s and 90s… Where are they now?
These powerful women ruled the scene in their day, taking Hollywood by storm with their talents and beauty. From queens of the silver screen to some of history’s most iconic musicians, we’re taking a deep dive into the most unforgettable female stars.
Do you remember which famous actress has two different colored eyes, or which former child star went on to compete on Survivor? Read on to see where your favorite female stars have been since they were in the spotlight!
You might be surprised by a few…
America’s beloved mogul of the household scene has had some ups and downs in the spotlight. Through pleasant and turbulent times, she’s maintained an empire for more than 30 years.
From cookbooks to products and some successful TV appearances, it’s fair to say Martha has secured her status as a household name for generations. Plus, she’s friends with Snoop Dogg.
This fashion icon got her start in the theater. However, when she auditioned for Play It Again, Sam, she was initially rejected for being taller than Woody Allen.
Fortunately, she went on to become a success. She won an Oscar for Annie Hall and hasn’t slowed down at all, starring in recent blockbuster films like Finding Dory and Book Club.
What says “It Girl” more than having a $500,000 purse named after you? As Serge Gainsbourg’s muse as well as a successful actress and musician in her own right, Birkin has certainly earned the title.
In 2001, Birkin was awarded the OBE, the Order of the British Empire. These days, she’s a proud grandmother who focuses her time on philanthropy.
Brunette beauty Marlo Thomas has been a Hollywood sensation since the 1960s when she appeared in several popular programs. Her most famous role was as Ann Marie in That Girl.
Thomas continued her landmark success throughout her life. She wrote children’s books, starred on Broadway, and became involved with philanthropy. In 2014, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom!
When she hit the scene, folksy songstress Linda Ronstadt charmed audiences with her smoky, soulful vocals. She toured extensively, performing with The Eagles and Jackson Browne.
Her genre-defying style originally turned some people off, but she soon became the most successful female singer of the 1970s. Sadly, in 2011, she announced her retirement due to medical issues.
“Foxy” Pam Grier gained fame as one of Hollywood’s first female action stars. She burst onto the scene as Coffy – a vigilante nurse who seeks revenge on a heroin dealer.
She’s still acting to this day, in addition to having written a memoir, earning two honorary doctorates, and having established her own Community Garden and Education Center.
Though Fox has been making music since the age of 16, she originally gained notoriety as a pin-up girl in British tabloids. At age 20, she began her musical career in earnest.
After making a few modeling comebacks and appearing on Charles in Charge and A Song For Europe, Fox ended up settling down with her former manager Myra Stratton, who passed tragically in 2015.
The stunning Jane Seymour stole Hollywood’s hearts when she starred as a Bond girl in Live and Let Die. She’s also well known for playing the titular role in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.
In more recent years, Seymour has pursued more television roles, guest starring on How I Met Your Mother and even Dancing With the Stars. She even posed for Playboy in 2018, the oldest model for the magazine at age 67. Fun fact: she has one green eye and one brown eye!
With a dance teacher for a mother, it’s no wonder Goldie Hawn began her career as a dancer. When a job brought her to California, she landed a part on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and her fame skyrocketed.
She had two children with ex-husband Bill Hudson, including her lookalike daughter and fellow actress Kate Hudson. She met her partner Kurt Russell in 1983 and the two have been together for over 35 years.
Songbird Stevie Nicks is best known as the frontwoman of the classic rock group Fleetwood Mac, alongside ex Lindsey Buckingham. Though the two split, Nicks continued to make music with the band.
She also performs as a solo artist and has released eight solo albums, including 1981’s Bella Donna, which went multi-platinum. Incredibly, she’s still making new music to this day!
The lovely Barbi Benton took her first major job for Playboy at age 18. She began a relationship with Hugh Hefner soon after, and some say she even convinced him to buy the infamous mansion.
After modeling, she joined the cast of Hee Haw, a comedy sketch show, and a handful of television and movie appearances followed. She’s also a singer – she’s recorded an impressive 8 albums.
Linda Gray acted in over 400 commercials before landing the role of Sue Ellen in Dallas that launched her into fame. She continued to play the character on TV specials and a 2012 reboot that lasted for two years.
Post Dallas, Gray acted in several indie films and guest-starred on shows like The Bold and the Beautiful and 90210. Most recently, she starred in Amazon’s Hand of God with Ron Perlman.
Acting, modeling, and singing – Kim Basinger can do it all. An acclaimed Ford model who got her start as a Bond girl, Basinger went on to enjoy a lauded career on the big screen.
She won the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for L.A. Confidential and has continued to act to this day. She’s also a staunch animal rights activist who’s worked with PETA.
Figure skating fans know Nancy Kerrigan as one of the sport’s biggest stars. In the 90s, her fame transcended the sports world when a rival skater organized an attack that forced her to withdraw from the National Championships.
Despite the incident, Kerrigan won the silver medal that year. She’s still remembered as one of the best skaters of all time and was inducted into the Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2004.
At the tender age of 17, Susan Dey was cast as the worldly and intelligent Laurie Partridge on the musical sitcom The Partridge Family. She was a hit, despite having no previous acting experience.
Her next big break came when she starred in L.A. Law. Her portrayal of D.A. Grace Van Owen earned her a Golden Globe and three Emmy nominations before she retired from acting in 2004.
The magical star of I Dream of Jeannie grew up singing in the church choir and nightclubs before she made it big. She appeared in several TV shows and movies before eventually taking the role of Jeannie, who she played for 5 years.
After the show ended in 1970, Eden took to the stage and starred in musicals like South Pacific and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. More recently, she’s done voiceover work for children’s TV program Shimmer and Shine.
Bo Derek started her movie career at the young age of 16 in 1973, but it was her role in the film 10, released in 1979, that made her an international sex symbol throughout the ’80s and beyond. Though she would go on to be nominated for (and win) several Golden Raspberry Awards for some of her performances, Derek is still beloved in Hollywood.
In May 1998, her husband John passed away from cardiovascular disease in Santa Maria, California. He was 71. Since 2002, Bo has been in a relationship with actor John Corbett. The couple initially met on a blind date, as reported by Today. Although she looks a bit different now because of her age, you cannot deny the simple fact that this iconic blonde is still beautiful.
Molly Ringwald became a teen icon in the 1980s after multiple collaborations with director, John Hughes. Her famous teenage roles include starring in Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty In Pink. In the 1990s, Ringwald turned down main roles in Pretty Woman and Ghost and instead moved to France to star in French films.
As of recent years, the actress has found success with roles in young adult TV shows such as The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Riverdale. Being fluent in French, Ringwald also began translating French novels into English as of 2019.
Raquel Welch was listed at No. 2 in Men’s Health’s “Hottest Women of All Time” list in 2011. Her name is synonymous with sexy, so much so that she played “Lust” in the 1967 film Bedazzled.
Welch hasn’t been active on screen for a few years now. The last movie she made was How to Be a Latin Lover in 2017, but she has since moved into makeup and skincare market instead.
Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters
Barbara Mandrell, also known as the “Sweetheart of the Steel,” came from a musical family. She grew up playing steel guitar alongside her siblings Louise and Irlene in a family band.
The sisters would eventually have their own variety show, Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters – though it would end just 2 years later. She retired from performing in 1997 but still occasionally returns to the stage.
With over 140 credits on her resume, it’s safe to say Teri Garr is a Hollywood legend. Comedy fans will remember her hilarious performance as Inga in Young Frankenstein.
In 2002, she was diagnosed with MS and retired from acting a few years later. She’s now a dedicated activist, supporting causes like The Trevor Project and protesting nuclear weapons testing.
When she was cast as the sweet and sassy Daisy Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard, Catherine Bach became the embodiment of the “All-American Girl” for an entire generation. Her legs became so famous, they were once insured for $1,000,000!
She continued to act for a while in smaller productions after the show ended and even launched her own jewelry line. In 2012, she joined the cast of the soap opera The Young and the Restless.
Blonde bombshell Morgan Fairchild’s first job on the big screen was as Faye Dunaway’s driving double in Bonnie and Clyde. She started acting in soaps like Search for Tomorrow and Dallas, and her career took off.
She’s continued to act in soaps and movies for many years, including Walk Hard and Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2. Off-screen, she’s served on the SAG-AFTRA board and advocates for the environment.
As the alluring yet witty Jennifer Marlowe on WKRP in Cincinnati, Loni Anderson stole the spotlight with her stunning good looks. She married Burt Reynolds in 1988, and the two starred in Stroker Ace together.
They also attempted to work together on the CBS sitcom Evening Shade, but the female role was ultimately given to Marilu Henner. Anderson and Reynolds separated in 1994, and Loni married musician Bob Flick in 2008.
Certainly one of the most successful actresses of the 80s and 90s, and possibly of all time, Michelle Pfeiffer has serious range, acting in films from Grease 2 to Scarface.
Even into the 2000s, Pfeiffer continues to book roles in major blockbuster films, including Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp. We have a feeling she’ll be around for quite a while!
Erika Eleniak has made a career out of looking good in a swimsuit. The half-Ukrainian hottie first rocked the iconic red Baywatch one-piece in 1989 as the female lead Shauni McClain.
She continued acting until the mid-2000s, appearing in the reality show The Real Gilligan’s Island in June 2005. After giving birth to a daughter in 2007, Eleniak continues to take on the occasional role.
Though she’s best known as Blair Warner from The Facts of Life, Lisa Whelchel actually got her start as a Mouseketeer on The New Mickey Mouse Club. She’s also even recorded a Christian pop album!
Her devout faith has led her to become a motivational speaker and writer, addressing motherhood and child-rearing. Surprisingly, she was also a competitor on Survivor: Philippines.
You probably remember her best from Grease, which made us all want to wear leather pants for a brief period of time. Olivia hasn’t let age get in her way: she continued singing and performing live into 2018.
She’s also spent time doing advocacy work and starting a nonprofit to support work in cancer. Multi talented for sure.
Lynda Carter is another woman with an iconic role (and an iconic costume). If you think Lynda Carter, you think Wonder Woman, and if you think Wonder Woman, you think those cute little shorts.
Carter hasn’t left the DC Universe behind entirely. She guest-starred on Supergirl in 2017. She’s also become an impressive voice in the addiction and recovery community, sharing her 20 years of sobriety publicly.
The beautiful and talented Dolly Parton is a famous American singer, actress, and bussinesswoman. She first rose to fame in the 60s from her iconic country music which has earned her 11 Grammy Awards and 50 nominations over the years.
In the 1980s, Parton starred in films such as 9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias. In more recent years, the actress and singer appeared in the film Joyful Noise and in 2020 she released her first Christmas album in over 30 years. Parton also is the co-owner of a theme park in Tennessee called Dollywood.
Jane Fonda is America’s exercise girl. Her name became synonymous with spandex and splits in the ’80s. It’s hard to deny how hot she was when you could see every curve of her body in those jumpsuits.
But after she retired from acting in the ’90s, Fonda proved that she was much more than a pretty face. Jane Fonda has become a major political activist, both during the Vietnam War, and in recent years. She’s a staunch feminist, a major pacifist, and an activist for environmental justice.
Kirstie Alley broke into our consciousness as Saavik from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. But she also was on Cheers for six years, and that’s where we all fell in love with her.
She hasn’t exactly kept up her TV pedigree. She starred in her own reality show, was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, and did a season of Celebrity Big Brother.
Winona Ryder has so many iconic roles it’s hard to choose. She was Tim Burton’s “it girl”‘ for a while, starred in Heathers, and made us all wildly uncomfortable in Girl, Interrupted.
But she’s also the face you probably know best in its current form. Ryder has vaulted back into fame playing Joyce Byers on Stranger Things. Proof that age doesn’t stop some people.
Miss Sophia Loren began her career at the young age of 15 in Italy where her natural beauty was immediately recognized at a beauty pageant. Her first international film, The Pride and Passion, was released in 1956 by Paramount.
Her thick Italian accent only added to her appeal and before long she had a list of achievements a mile long, including an Academy Award, five Golden Globes, and a Grammy.
Arguably one of the most popular movie stars of all time, as well as one of the most breathtakingly beautiful, Elizabeth Taylor began her career in the film There’s One Born Every Minute in 1942.
In the 1950’s she was the most bankable star in Hollywood, anything she touched turned to gold. Her role as Cleopatra in 1963 earned her $1 million, which was a record for female actresses at the time.
At the young age of 15, French actress Brigitte Bardot made her modeling debut as she landed the cover of the uber-popular French magazine, Elle.
Her long blonde hair and trademark smile helped her move into movies. In 1953, she was featured in the film Act of Love with Kirk Douglass. She retired in 1973 after starring in more than 47 films!
Farrah Fawcett is arguably one of the most iconic and beautiful women in the history of Hollywood. Not only was she a brilliant actress, but she was incredibly smart in regards to show business. She was one of the first women to create herself as a brand; there were Farrah Faucet dolls, posters, and many other things and she had a hand in it all.
It also helped that she was the definition of the “girl next door” with that natural beauty. She even created her own hairstyle called the “Farrah Flip” that could be seen on pretty much every woman in the 1970’s.
One of the few people that have ever achieved the “Triple Crown” of acting, Helen Mirren, also happens to be one of the most beautiful women of the 60’s and 70’s. The triple crown involves winning an Oscar, Emmy, and Tony all in the acting categories which by far isn’t an easy thing to achieve.
Making her film debut in the late 60’s, Mirren would go on to have an extremely successful career that is still going strong today. Her role as the Queen in the self titled 2006 film won her all kinds of awards, including the Academy Award for best actress.
Many people feel that Meryl Streep might be the best actress of her generation, which would really be saying something considering the competition out there. She first started on stage at Broadway before making her film debut in the late 70’s. By 1979 she had already won an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role Kramer vs Kramer. She has more than 19 nominations from the Academy, more than any other actor or actress in history.
Meryl Streep is still one of the best older actresses, appearing in movies like The Iron Lady, Julie & Julia and August: Osage County. With 21 academy award and 31 golden globe nominations, she is undoubtedly one of the best actresses over 40s. Also, her amazing acting as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada will always be legendary!
Popularly known for her role in E.T., Drew Barrymore was one of the popular women of the 90s for so many reasons. Her remarkable roles in 50 First Dates, Never Been Kissed, The Wedding Singer, and Poison Ivy made her one of the most famous 90’s actresses. And let’s not forget her exceptional 90’s fashion and style.
She really knew how to rock the 90’s grunge look with distressed denims, leather jackets, crucifix necklaces and dark lipstick. She even launched her own fashion line called Dear Drew last year.
Demi Moore’s career began on the soap opera General Hospital in the early 1980s, but it was her inclusion in the so-called “Brat Pack” of 1980s Hollywood that put her on the map. Her notable films of that era include Blame It on Rio, St. Elmo’s Fire, and About Last Night.
She started the 1990s hot too in Ghost, A Few Good Men, and Indecent Proposal. In 1996 she became the highest-paid actress in film history when she made $12.5 million for Striptease. Since then she’s taken things a little easier, spending more time on her family which has included Bruce Willis, and Ashton Kutcher, among others.
Brooke Shields may be more of an acquired taste to some, but in The Blue Lagoon (1980) she saw her star rise in the most controversial way. Shields had been a minor during filming; she was only 14 years old at the time of production. Although the film is not that great, it has become a cult classic.
In the 1980s, after the release of the seminal The Blue Lagoon, it was more her modeling work that helped catapult her into the realms of international hotness. Shields graduated from Princeton, was once married to Andre Agassi, and enjoyed TV success with Suddenly Susan.
It has been thirty years since Mariah Carey introduced herself to the world with her self-titled debut album, and music hasn’t been the same. Mariah was merely 18-years-old when she signed her deal with Columbia Records in 1988. Over the years, Mariah has released FIFTEEN records, and her career truly stands the test of time. She has five Grammy Awards but has been nominated 29 other times, as well. She also received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016 and was even nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2018.
Mariah’s most proud accomplishment is her twins, Moroccan and Monroe. She shares the babies with her ex-husband, Nick Cannon, who she remains close friends with. Becoming a mother was a big part of her transformation.
Elizabeth Hurley’s career started at 29, as an Estee Lauder spokesmodel. That year she started dating Hugh Grant, and after she was spotted with him on a red carpet, Hollywood came calling. She quickly became one of the biggest names of the 1990s in the films Austin Powers and Bedazzled.
Like her relationship with Grant, her career took a dip in the mid-2000s, but she returned to the spotlight with a role on Gossip Girl. She’s recently played a starring role in the E! series The Royals. She’s still modeling today too.
Pamela Anderson was a model first and an actress second. First came her Playmate of the Month selection in the February 1990 issue of Playboy magazine. This exposure led to her being cast in the television shows Home Improvement and Baywatch.
Anderson has put her acting career on the back-burner in the past decade. Sure, she’s made the odd appearance in reality television or made a cameo in a film, but her work now is mostly with PETA, which is a cause near and dear to her heart.
The performer known as Cher, initially famous in the duo Sonny & Cher and born Cherilyn Sarkisian, has been in show business for five and a half decades. Her style choices range from glamorous to outrageous, with sexy being the theme, time and again. The iconic Cher took Hollywood by storm at a very young age, as she performed with her boyfriend and signing partner Sonny, creating the hit, “I Got You Babe.”
Now, at 74, Cher maintains the same vibrant, youthful energy as she did more than 50 years ago when she was an aspiring performer. Her iconic show attire has featured skin-tight leotards, sheer, lacy fabric, and knee-high stilettos—even to this day. The way she moves on stage is nothing less than impressively athletic, and it has left many of us wondering how she does it.
Crawford’s modeling career began when she was still in high school. She won the Elite Model Management’s Look of the Year contest when she was 17 and her life was never the same. She left DeKalb, Illinois for New York City and became one of the most famous faces in the world.
After modeling for nearly 20 years, Crawford retired in 2000. She has created a line of cosmetics, called Meaningful Beauty, and has had her own furniture line sold in J.C. Penneys. She returned to modeling in 2011 and has even appeared in print with her daughter.
Tomei had some standing in Hollywood thanks to her roles on As the World Turns and A Different World, but everyone knew her name after her performance in the 1992 hit My Cousin Vinny. Tomei earned an Academy Award for her performance.
With her star burning bright, Tomei was offered many roles throughout the years and has starred in films like Anger Management, Wild Hogs, and appears as Aunt May in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tomei also performs on stage with a theater company called Naked Angels Theater Company.
Fran Drescher is someone you either love or can’t stand. There can be no in-between, her schtick demands it. Drescher had some small film appearances in films like Saturday Night Fever and This Is Spinal Tap, but it was her role as Fran Fine on The Nanny that made her a celebrity.
After polarizing audiences with her high, nasally voice and thick New York accent on The Nanny, Drescher continued to play similar characters in the 2000s on the sitcoms Living with Fran and Happily Divorced. Recently she’s performed on Broadway and played a role in the animated Hotel Transylvania franchise.