Forgotten Actresses of the 70s – Where are They Now?

By “forgotten actresses,” we refer to talented actresses who were once well-known and had successful careers in the entertainment industry, but over time, their popularity and recognition have faded. These actresses might have achieved significant fame and acclaim during a certain period, but for various reasons, they are not as prominently featured or celebrated in the present day.

On the other hand, “famous actresses” are those who have gained widespread recognition, critical acclaim, and enduring popularity throughout their careers. These actresses have achieved a high level of fame and are well-known for their talent, performances, and contributions to the film and television industry. They often continue to be in the spotlight and receive attention for their current projects and achievements.

In summary, the main difference between forgotten actresses and famous actresses lies in their level of recognition and prominence in the present day. Famous actresses are still actively celebrated and remain in the public eye, while forgotten actresses, despite their past achievements, are not as widely known or acknowledged by contemporary audiences.

Forgotten Actresses of the 70’s

The 1970s brought us to a plethora of great ladies who adorned the screens and left their mark on the cinema industry. While they may not be as well known today, these forgotten actresses of the 1970s made significant contributions to the cinematic scene. Here are ten such actresses, as well as a look at where they are now:

1. Karen Black

Born: July 1, 1939 

Died: August 8, 2013

Age: 74 years old

Karen Black was a talented and acclaimed American actress known for her versatile performances in film and television. Born on July 1, 1939, in Park Ridge, Illinois, she rose to prominence in the late 1960s and became a prominent figure in the 1970s entertainment scene. Black’s breakout role came in the film “Easy Rider” (1969), which led to a successful career and a reputation for portraying complex and emotionally compelling characters.

Throughout the 1970s, Karen Black delivered memorable performances in several acclaimed films, including “Five Easy Pieces” (1970), “The Great Gatsby” (1974), and “Nashville” (1975). Her talent and versatility garnered her critical acclaim and two Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress. She also appeared in various other films and television shows during that period, leaving an indelible mark on the cinematic landscape of her time.

Karen Black passed away on August 8, 2013, at the age of 74, due to complications from ampullary cancer. Although she is no longer with us, her contributions to the film industry continue to be remembered and appreciated by fans and fellow artists alike. Karen Black’s legacy lives on through her powerful performances, making her an enduring figure in the history of cinema.

2. Barbara Hershey

Born: February 5, 1948

Age: 75 years old

Barbara Hershey is an accomplished American actress known for her remarkable talent and versatility on the big screen. Born on February 5, 1948, in Hollywood, California, she began her acting career at a young age and quickly established herself as a rising star in the 1970s. Hershey’s ability to embody a wide range of complex and compelling characters earned her critical acclaim and a loyal following of fans.

In the 1970s, Barbara Hershey gained recognition for her standout performances in films like “Last Summer” (1969), “Boxcar Bertha” (1972), and “The Stunt Man” (1980). Her dedication to her craft and her ability to portray characters with depth and emotional authenticity made her a respected and sought-after actress during that era.

Barbara Hershey remains an active and respected figure in the entertainment industry. Her passion for acting and commitment to her roles have made her a revered actress, leaving an indelible mark on the world of cinema.

3. Tuesday Weld

Born: August 27, 1943

Age: 79 years od

Tuesday Weld is a talented American actress who made a significant impact on the film industry in the 1960s and 1970s. Born on August 27, 1943, in New York City, Weld began her acting career at a young age and quickly rose to prominence with her natural beauty and compelling performances. She possessed a unique ability to portray complex and emotionally nuanced characters, earning critical acclaim and a devoted fan base.

Weld’s filmography in the 1970s includes notable roles in movies such as “Pretty Poison” (1968), “Play It As It Lays” (1972), and “A Safe Place” (1971). Her performances showcased her versatility and ability to capture the complexities of the human experience on screen. However, as the 1970s progressed, Weld chose to step away from the spotlight and transition to a more private life.

4. Karen Allen 

Born: October 5, 1951

Age: 71 years old

Karen Allen is a well-known American actress who has appeared in films and plays. Born on October 5, 1951, in Carrollton, Illinois, she gained fame in the late 1970s and 1980s for her roles in several iconic films. Allen’s breakthrough came with her portrayal of Marion Ravenwood in the classic adventure film “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), which became a defining role in her career. Her on-screen chemistry with Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones made her a beloved figure in cinema.

Throughout the 1980s, Karen Allen continued to impress audiences with her talent and versatility in films like “Starman” (1984) and “Scrooged” (1988). While she appeared in various movies and television shows over the years, she also explored her passion for theater, performing in both classical and contemporary plays.

Karen Allen has remained active in the entertainment industry. While she may not have appeared in high-profile blockbusters like “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Allen has continued to act in films and television projects. Additionally, she has been involved in directing and teaching acting classes. Her dedication to her craft and her versatility as an actress have earned her a lasting place in the hearts of moviegoers and fellow artists alike.

5. Adrienne Barbeau

Born: June 11, 1945

Age: 78 years old

Adrienne Barbeau is an American actress, singer, and author, known for her diverse contributions to the entertainment industry. Born on June 11, 1945, in Sacramento, California, she rose to fame in the 1970s and became a prominent figure in film, television, and theater. Barbeau’s distinct voice and striking presence contributed to her success in various roles.

In the 1970s, Adrienne Barbeau gained widespread recognition for her role as Rizzo in the original Broadway production of “Grease” (1972). She then transitioned to television and became well-known for her portrayal of Carol Traynor in the hit TV sitcom “Maude” (1972-1978), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. Her talent and versatility also extended to the horror genre, starring in John Carpenter’s “The Fog” (1980) and “Escape from New York” (1981).

Adrienne Barbeau has continued to be active in the entertainment industry. While she might not have appeared in mainstream blockbuster films in recent years, she has remained a busy actress, appearing in various films and television shows. Additionally, Barbeau has delved into voice acting and is often recognized for lending her voice to animated projects and video games. Moreover, she is an accomplished author, having published several books. Adrienne Barbeau’s enduring presence in the entertainment world and her multi-faceted talents have solidified her place as a respected figure in Hollywood.

6. Veronica Cartwright 

Born: April 20, 1949

Age: 74 years old

Veronica Cartwright is a talented American actress who has had a diverse and successful career in film and television. Born on April 20, 1949, in Bristol, England, she started her acting journey at a young age, making her film debut in the 1958 science fiction classic “The Blob.” Cartwright’s talent and dedication to her craft led her to earn critical acclaim and recognition throughout her career.

In the 1970s, Veronica Cartwright appeared in several notable films, including Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror masterpiece “Alien” (1979) and Philip Kaufman’s sci-fi thriller “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978). Her performances in these films showcased her ability to bring depth and authenticity to her characters.

Veronica Cartwright has continued to be active in the entertainment industry. While she may not be as much in the mainstream spotlight as in her earlier years, she has remained a busy actress, appearing in a variety of film and television projects. Cartwright’s talent and versatility have earned her a dedicated fan base, and she remains a respected figure in Hollywood. Her contributions to the film industry, particularly in the science fiction and horror genres, have left an indelible mark on the world of cinema.

7. Talia Shire

Born: April 25, 1946

Age: 77 years old

Talia Shire is an American actress best known for her memorable roles in iconic films. Born on April 25, 1946, in Lake Success, New York, she comes from a prominent acting family, with her brother being the renowned filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. Shire gained widespread recognition and critical acclaim for her performances in the 1970s and 1980s, solidifying her place as a talented actress.

Talia Shire’s breakthrough role came with her portrayal of Adrian Pennino, the shy and reserved love interest of Rocky Balboa, in the “Rocky” film series. Her nuanced and heartfelt performance earned her widespread acclaim and made her a beloved figure in the world of cinema. She reprised the role in multiple sequels, further establishing herself as a versatile actress capable of bringing depth and vulnerability to her characters.

Talia Shire remains active in the industry but has taken on fewer prominent roles in recent years. While she may not be as frequently seen on the big screen, Shire has continued to work on independent films and has also explored other creative endeavors. Additionally, she has been involved in various philanthropic efforts, using her platform to make a positive impact in society. Talia Shire’s contributions to the film industry, particularly her portrayal of Adrian in the “Rocky” series, have left an enduring legacy, and she is still remembered and admired by fans around the world.

8. Marsha Mason

Born: April 3, 1942

Age: 81 years old

Marsha Mason is a talented American actress and director known for her outstanding performances in film, television, and theater. Born on April 3, 1942, in St. Louis, Missouri, she began her acting career on stage, earning critical acclaim for her work in various theatrical productions. However, it was her collaborations with playwright and filmmaker Neil Simon that brought her widespread recognition and success in the 1970s.

Mason earned four Academy Award nominations for her roles in Neil Simon’s films, including “Cinderella Liberty” (1973), “The Goodbye Girl” (1977), “Chapter Two” (1979), and “Only When I Laugh” (1981). Her natural talent for portraying relatable and complex characters endeared her to audiences and critics alike. Her performance in “The Goodbye Girl” earned her a nomination for Best Actress, and she won the Golden Globe for the same role.

Marsha Mason has remained active in the entertainment industry, although her on-screen appearances have become less frequent in recent years. Instead, she has focused more on her work as a director and producer in theater, as well as being involved in various philanthropic activities. Mason’s contributions to the film industry and her achievements on stage have left an indelible mark on the world of acting, and she continues to be regarded as one of the finest performers of her generation.

9. Karen Lynn Gorney

Born: January 28, 1945 

Age: 78 years old

Karen Lynn Gorney is an American actress and dancer known for her work in film and television. Born on January 28, 1945, in Beverly Hills, California, she began her career in entertainment as a ballet dancer before transitioning to acting. Gorney gained widespread recognition for her portrayal of Stephanie Mangano in the iconic film “Saturday Night Fever” (1977), starring alongside John Travolta. Her performance in the film, particularly the dance scenes, earned her praise and made her a notable figure in Hollywood.

In addition to her role in “Saturday Night Fever,” Karen Lynn Gorney appeared in various television shows and theater productions during the 1970s and beyond. However, it was her role as Stephanie Mangano that became her most memorable and defining work. Her character’s dance sequences in the film, including the iconic dance with John Travolta, remain iconic in popular culture.

Karen Lynn Gorney’s current activities and whereabouts was relatively limited. While she may not be as frequently seen in major film or television projects, it is not uncommon for actors to take on less high-profile roles or explore other interests in the industry. Given her background in dance and acting, Gorney may have continued to be involved in the arts in various capacities, whether through teaching, directing, or other creative endeavors. Her contributions to “Saturday Night Fever” and her impact on popular culture continue to be remembered and appreciated by fans and admirers of the film.

10. Diane Ladd 

Born: November 29, 1935

Age: 87 years old

Diane Ladd is a talented American actress, film director, producer, and author, known for her remarkable contributions to the entertainment industry. Born on November 29, 1935, in Meridian, Mississippi, she began her acting career in the 1960s and quickly established herself as a versatile and acclaimed performer. Ladd’s talent and dedication to her craft earned her multiple nominations and awards throughout her career.

In the 1970s, Diane Ladd delivered several noteworthy performances in films such as “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (1974) and “Chinatown” (1974), which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She continued to showcase her acting prowess in subsequent decades, receiving two more Oscar nominations for her roles in “Wild at Heart” (1990) and “Rambling Rose” (1991).

Diane Ladd remains active in the entertainment industry. While she may not have appeared in major blockbuster films in recent years, she has continued to work on various film and television projects, as well as occasionally appearing on stage. Ladd’s passion for her craft and her dedication to storytelling have led her to take on roles that challenge and inspire her as an actress. Beyond her acting career, Diane Ladd has also pursued other creative endeavors and has been involved in philanthropic work. Her lasting impact on the film industry and her contributions to the art of acting continue to be celebrated and admired by audiences and fellow artists alike.

Conclusion

The forgotten actresses of the 1970s were once talented and successful people in the entertainment industry who made important contributions to film and TV during their time. But, even though they played important roles and gave great performances, their level of fame and recognition has decreased over time. It can be hard to find out where and what these actresses are doing now because some of them may have chosen to live more privately, changed careers, or taken on less high-profile parts in the industry. Even though their names don’t come up as often when talking about Hollywood legends, they had a big effect on movies in the 1970s, leaving a lasting mark on the art of acting and inspiring future generations of performers.

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