Top Television Stars of the 60s


The 1950s was the era of outstanding films, while the 1960s are marked as the years of the most famous TV shows in which some of the greatest names of Hollywood worked and started their careers. These stars from the 60s didn’t only work in television series but also in movies of this decade. 

During the 1960s, new faces got the attention of viewers with their dazzling beauty and outstanding acting skills. Some of these best actors and actresses are listed below, along with their achievements in the entertainment industry. 

1. James Arness (1947-1994)

James Arness as Gunsmoke's Matt Dillon in 1956

James Arness, an American actor who ruled the television with his famous role of Marshal Matt Dillon in the TV series “Gunsmoke” for twenty years straight, is top on our list. He was an actor with the perfect mixture of talent and looks, as he also had the distinction of playing “Dillon’s” role from 1955 to 1975. Although Arness started his career before the 60s, his fame peaked during the 1960s, as if the decade was made for him.  

After “Gunsmoke’” Arness also starred in “How the West Was Won,” two “made-for-TV Gunsmoke movies,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Front Row Center,” “The Red Skelton Chevy Special,” and “McClain’s Law.” 

Other than television series, Arness also appeared in some films, including “The Farmer’s Daughter,” “The Thing from Another World,” and “Them!” 

Arness also had a very friendly relationship with John Wayne, with whom he co-starred in films like “Big Jim McLain,” “Hondo,” “The Sea Chase,” and “Gun the Man Down.” 

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1:  Arness is best known for his role as Marshal Matt Dillon in the long-running TV western “Gunsmoke,” which aired for 20 seasons from 1955 to 1975.
  • Fact 2:  He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was severely wounded during the Battle of Anzio, leading to a lifelong limp.
  • Fact 3:  Arness was the older brother of actor Peter Graves, known for his role in “Mission: Impossible.”

2. Lucille Ball (1927-1989) 

Lucille Ball in a 1955 film still, for I Love Lucy episode "Face to Face", aired on November 14, 1955.

Lucille Ball was a famous comedian, model, producer, and actress who starred in several TV shows and some movies throughout her career. During the 1960s, Lucille got popular for her roles in the famous American sitcoms called “The Lucy Show” and “Here’s Lucy,” which were both a part of the sitcom series that started from “I Love Lucy” in 1951. Some more notable shows following these sitcoms also aired, including “The Lucy-Desi Hour.” 

Along with being a great comedian and actress, Lucy also became the first female owner and head of a Hollywood studio called “Desilu Productions.” Popular TV series like “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible” were also the works of this same production house. 

She got thirteen nominations in the “Primetime Emmy Awards” and won four of them. In 1960, Lucille received two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her fantastic work during her acting career. 

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Lucille Ball was not only a talented actress but also a pioneering businesswoman. She became the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu Productions, which produced many popular television series, including “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible.”
  • Fact 2: Her show “I Love Lucy” was one of the first television shows to be filmed in front of a live studio audience with multiple cameras, revolutionizing TV production techniques.
  • Fact 3: Ball was married to Desi Arnaz, her co-star on “I Love Lucy.” Their marriage and subsequent divorce were highly publicized, but they remained friends and business partners.

3. Doris Day (1939-2019) 

Publicity photo of Doris Day

Doris Day was an actress, singer, and activist who started her career as a singer in 1939. However, later in her life, during the 50s and 60s, she reached the heights of fame by playing roles in films like “Romance on the High Seas,” “Calamity Jane,” “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” “Pillow Talk,” “Move Over, Darling,” and “The Thrill of it All.” 

Unlike other actors and actresses, Doris Day had a backward progression in her career. Being a famous film star, Day never thought of working on TV; however, after the death of her third husband, Martin Melcher, she came to know he had left her in enormous debt and also committed her to TV shows about which she didn’t even know about. 

She never liked the idea of working on TV but was obligated to do so in order to pay the debts. Her famous TV show was called “The Doris Day Show,” and it aired from 1968 to 1973. After “The Doris Day Show” ended, Day retired from her acting career and later appeared in two TV specials, “The Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff Special” and “Doris Day Today.” 

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Doris Day was not only a television star but also a renowned singer and film actress. She recorded more than 650 songs from 1947 to 1967.
  • Fact 2: She was known for her commitment to animal welfare and founded the Doris Day Animal Foundation.
  • Fact 3: Despite her success in entertainment, Day was notoriously private and shied away from the Hollywood spotlight, preferring a quieter life.

4. James Garner (1954-2014) 

James Garner

Whoever has watched “The Notebook” must know about James Garner too. Garner was an American television and film actor who played the famous roles of “Bret Maverick” and “Jim Rockford” in the shows “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files,” respectively.  

During the 54 years of acting career, Garner worked in 50 movies and more than 50 theatrical films. In the 1960s, Garner was grey-listed by Warner Bros, but he was soon hired by William Wyler, who offered him a leading role in the movie “The Children’s Hour” with Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn. After this movie, Garner starred in several films, including “The Boys’ Night Out,” “The Thrill of it All,” “Move Over, Darling,” and “My Favorite Wife.” 

He also played significant roles in some famous war dramas, such as “The Americanization of Emily” and “The Great Escape.”

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Garner was known for his roles in both “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files,” showcasing his versatility in playing both Western and modern detective characters.
  • Fact 2: He was an avid golfer and race car driver, often participating in celebrity racing events.
  • Fact 3: Garner was a Purple Heart recipient for his service in the Korean War, demonstrating his bravery both on and off screen.

5. Don Knotts (1953-2006) 

Photo of Don Knotts as Barney Fife from The Andy Griffith Show.

Jesse Donald Knotts was a famous comedian and actor known for the iconic role he played as the Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife in “The Andy Griffith Show.” This prominent role led him to win five Emmy Awards back to back. Knotts also appeared as Ralph Furley in the American sitcom “Three’s Company.” Along with these famous TV shows, Knotts starred in several comedy films, including “The Incredible Mr. Limpet” and “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.” 

Don Knotts made several cameo appearances in shows like “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” “The Bill Cosby Show,” and “Here’s Lucy.” Later in his career, Knotts worked in more films such as “The Shakiest Gun in the West,” “The Reluctant Astronaut,” “The Love God?” and “How to Frame a Figg.” 

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Don Knotts is most famous for his role as Deputy Barney Fife on “The Andy Griffith Show,” for which he won five Emmy Awards.
  • Fact 2: Before his acting career took off, Knotts served in the U.S. Army during World War II as part of a special unit that entertained troops.
  • Fact 3: He was also known for his roles in family-friendly films such as “The Incredible Mr. Limpet,” where he played a man who turns into a fish.

6. Elizabeth Montgomery (1951-1995) 


Elizabeth Montgomery worked in the entertainment industry for over five decades, and one of her most famous roles was her starring role as Samantha Stephens in the TV series called “Bewitched.” Montgomery started her career in the 1950s from her father’s TV series “Robert Montgomery Presents.” She won a Theater World Award for this role and later worked in the ABC sitcom “Bewitched.” 

For her role as Samantha Stephens, she earned four Golden Globe awards and five Primetime Emmy Award nominations. After the sitcom ended, Montgomery starred in several TV films, including “The Legend of Lizzie Borden” and “A Case of rape.” These two roles also made her earn more Emmy Award nominations. 

Along with being an actress and a singer, Montgomery kept her involvement in political activism and charity works very noticeable and open to the world. 

Interesting Facts:

  1. Fact 1:  Montgomery is best known for her role as Samantha Stephens in the classic TV series “Bewitched.” The show, where she played a witch married to an ordinary mortal, ran from 1964 to 1972 and became a cultural icon.
  2. Fact 2: She was born into a show business family; her father, Robert Montgomery, was a famous actor and director, and her mother, Elizabeth Bryan Allen, was a Broadway actress.
  3. Fact 3: Montgomery was a vocal advocate for gay rights and women’s rights, using her fame to support various causes and charities.

7. Raymond Burr (1934-1993) 


Raymond Burr was a Canadian-American actor who gained fame due to his long career in Hollywood films and starring roles in famous dramas such as “Ironside” and “Perry Mason.” He was also one of the famous actors who were at the heights of their careers during the 60s. Before starring in films, Burr played different roles in several television, radio, and Broadway shows. He also played negative roles and appeared as a villain in many films, such as the role of “Murderer” in the thriller “Rear Window.” 

Today, Burr is still remembered for his iconic roles in the film “Godzilla, King of the Monsters!” 

In addition, Burr earned two Emmy Awards for his famous role of Perry Mason and the 26 Perry Mason TV movies. However, the TV series “Ironside” became a better achievement and earned him two Golden Globe and six Emmy award nominations. Some other TV series in which Burr starred include “Kingston: Confidential” and “79 Park Avenue.” He also hosted a TV special that was later included in the series “Unsolved-Mysteries” as the pilot episode.

Interesting Facts:

  1. Fact 1: Raymond Burr is most famous for his portrayal of the titular character in the long-running TV series “Perry Mason” and as Robert T. Ironside in “Ironside.” “Perry Mason” ran for nine seasons and became one of the most enduring legal dramas in television history.
  2. Fact 2: Before his acting career, Burr served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, where he was wounded in Okinawa.
  3. Fact 3: Burr was known for his passion for horticulture, particularly orchids. He had an extensive collection and even had several orchid varieties named after him.

8.  Dick Van Dyke (1925 – )

Van Dyke in a 1959 publicity photo

Born in 1925, Dick Van Dyke is an American actor, comedian, writer, and producer with a career spanning seven decades. He first gained prominence with “The Dick Van Dyke Show” in the 1960s, where he played Rob Petrie, charming audiences with his impeccable comedic timing and relatable portrayal of a TV writer. Beyond this role, Van Dyke’s versatility shone in other mediums.

In cinema, his performance in “Mary Poppins” remains memorable, showcasing his singing and dancing talents. Van Dyke continued to appear in various TV shows and movies, consistently proving his adaptability and talent. Despite his age, he has remained active in the entertainment industry, demonstrating his enduring appeal and dedication to his craft.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Van Dyke’s career in entertainment began in radio before he moved to television and film.
  • Fact 2: He has won multiple Emmy Awards for his performances.
  • Fact 3: Van Dyke has been inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.

9.  Mary Tyler Moore(1936-2017)

Moore in Johnny Staccato (1960)

Mary Tyler Moore was an American actress, recognized as a television trailblazer. She gained fame as Laura Petrie on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” and later, in her eponymous sitcom, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Moore’s portrayal of Mary Richards, a single, career-focused woman in her thirties, broke new ground for female characters on television. The show addressed issues like equal pay, birth control, and workplace dynamics, making it ahead of its time.

Moore’s work extended beyond acting; she was an influential figure in the television industry as a producer. Her production company, MTM Enterprises, produced several acclaimed TV series. Moore’s legacy is marked by her role in shaping the modern woman’s image on TV and her advocacy for diabetes research, following her own diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Moore won seven Emmy Awards throughout her career.
  • Fact 2: She was a passionate advocate for animal rights and diabetes awareness.
  • Fact 3: The Mary Tyler Moore Show was one of the first shows to feature a never-married, working woman as the central character.

10.  Andy Griffith (1926-2012)

Photo of Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor and Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife from the premiere of The Andy Griffith Show.

Andy Griffith was an American actor, television producer, and singer, best known for his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor in “The Andy Griffith Show.” The show, set in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, portrayed the life of a widowed sheriff raising his son. Griffith’s folksy, down-to-earth style and the show’s emphasis on family values, humor, and life’s simpler aspects resonated with audiences, making it one of television’s most beloved series.

Griffith’s career also included a successful stint as a country and gospel singer, with multiple albums to his credit. Later in his career, he starred in the legal drama “Matlock,” further cementing his status as a television icon. Griffith was known for his ability to portray warmth, integrity, and a sense of justice, making him a cherished figure in American pop culture.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Griffith’s career began in the theater, with notable performances in plays like “No Time for Sergeants.”
  • Fact 2: He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
  • Fact 3: Griffith also had a successful career as a gospel singer.

11.  Barbara Eden (1931 – )

Eden as Jeannie in a variation of the famous "Jeannie costume" seen only in the pilot episode

Barbara Eden, born in 1931, is an American actress and singer best known for her role as “Jeannie” in the TV sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie.” The show, which aired from 1965 to 1970, featured Eden as a playful and often mischievous genie discovered by an astronaut, with whom she falls in love. Eden’s portrayal of Jeannie was notable for combining charm, wit, and a touch of naivety, making her character both endearing and iconic.

Before her breakthrough role, Eden appeared in a string of TV shows and films, displaying her versatility as an actress. Her career post-“I Dream of Jeannie” included various roles in TV movies and guest appearances, keeping her a recognizable face in the entertainment industry. Eden’s memoir, “Jeannie Out of the Bottle,” offers an intimate look at her life and the challenges and triumphs of her long career.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Eden’s career started with smaller roles in popular TV shows of the 1950s.
  • Fact 2: “I Dream of Jeannie” ran for five seasons and became a pop culture phenomenon.
  • Fact 3: She published her memoir, “Jeannie Out of the Bottle,” providing an insight into her life and career.

12. William Shatner (1931 – )

Shatner in a publicity photo in 1958

Born in 1931 in Montreal, Canada, William Shatner is an actor and author, most famous for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in the original “Star Trek” series. His interpretation of Kirk as a charismatic, bold, and sometimes rule-bending leader helped define the sci-fi genre. Shatner’s career, however, extends beyond “Star Trek.”

He has starred in several other television series, including “T.J. Hooker” and “Boston Legal,” showcasing his range from science fiction to drama and comedy. An accomplished author, Shatner has written a series of books chronicling his experiences with Star Trek and science fiction. He’s also known for his unique spoken-word musical performances. Shatner’s contributions to television and his iconic status in the sci-fi community have made him a cultural legend.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Shatner’s career spans over seven decades, including roles in television, film, and theater.
  • Fact 2: He is also an author, having written several books about his “Star Trek” experiences.
  • Fact 3: Shatner became the oldest person to travel to space in 2021.

13. Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015) 

Photo of Leonard Nimoy as a cast member of Mission:Impossible.

Leonard Nimoy was an American actor, director, and photographer, immortalized by his role as Spock in “Star Trek.” Nimoy’s portrayal of the logical, unemotional Vulcan science officer was groundbreaking. Spock’s character, struggling with his mixed human-Vulcan heritage, became a symbol for those grappling with issues of identity and belonging. Beyond “Star Trek,”

Nimoy had a rich career, including stage acting, directing, and photography. He directed successful films like “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,” showcasing his talents behind the camera. Nimoy was also a prolific photographer, with several published collections exploring themes of identity, body image, and spirituality. His cultural impact, especially through Spock’s character, continues to influence generations, making him an enduring figure in popular culture.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Nimoy directed several successful films, including two “Star Trek” movies.
  • Fact 2: He was also an accomplished photographer and published several photography books.
  • Fact 3: Nimoy is credited with creating the famous Vulcan salute, which has become a symbol of peace and cultural recognition.

14.  Carol Burnett (1933 – )

Burnett in 1974

Carol Burnett, born in 1933, is an American actress, comedian, singer, and writer, renowned for her groundbreaking variety show, “The Carol Burnett Show,” which aired from 1967 to 1978. Her show was a significant milestone in television history, especially for female comedians. Burnett was known for her incredible comedic timing, versatility, and her ability to perform in a range of sketches and musical numbers.

Her Tarzan yell became iconic, and her endearing curtain call tug on her ear became a signature move. Beyond her variety show, Burnett appeared in several films and theatrical productions, showcasing her range as a performer. Her contributions to comedy and television have earned her numerous awards and accolades, making her a beloved figure in American entertainment.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Carol Burnett was the first woman to host a TV variety sketch show with “The Carol Burnett Show,” breaking new ground for women in comedy and television.
  • Fact 2: She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, one of the United States’ highest civilian honors, in recognition of her contributions to the entertainment industry.
  • Fact 3: Burnett’s famous ear tug at the end of each “The Carol Burnett Show” episode was actually a secret message to her grandmother, saying, “I love you.”

15.  Bill Cosby (1937 – )

Cosby as a basketball player during his Navy service in 1957

Bill Cosby, born in 1937, is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and author. He first gained national attention with his stand-up comedy in the 1960s and then starred in the action show “I Spy,” becoming one of the first African Americans to lead a television show. However, Cosby is most known for “The Cosby Show,” which aired from 1984 to 1992. The sitcom, where he played Dr. Cliff Huxtable, was lauded for its portrayal of an upper-middle-class African-American family, a rarity in that era of television. The show was a significant cultural phenomenon and played a crucial role in shifting perceptions about African-American families. However, Cosby’s legacy was later overshadowed by numerous sexual assault allegations and convictions, profoundly impacting his career and public image.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: In addition to his television success, Bill Cosby is also a best-selling author, with books like “Fatherhood” and “Time Flies” being particularly popular.
  • Fact 2: Cosby earned a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, reflecting his long-standing interest in education and children’s programming.
  • Fact 3: He created and produced the animated educational series “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids,” which was based on his childhood experiences and aimed at teaching moral lessons to children.

16. Robert Conrad (1935 – )

Photo of Robert Conrad.

Robert Conrad, born Conrad Robert Falk in 1935 and passed away in 2020, was an American film and television actor. He is best known for his role in the 1960s television series “The Wild Wild West,” where he played the daring Secret Service agent James T. West. His portrayal of the physically agile and charming West made him a television icon of the era. Conrad was known for performing his own stunts, which added an element of authenticity to his action-packed performances. Beyond “The Wild Wild West,” Conrad appeared in other television shows and movies, including “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” further showcasing his versatility as an actor. His rugged good looks and tough-guy persona made him a popular and memorable figure in the television industry.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Robert Conrad was also a recording artist, releasing several pop/rock songs in the late 1950s and early 1960s under the name Bob Conrad.
  • Fact 2: He was an amateur boxer before becoming an actor, which contributed to his physicality and ability to perform his own stunts in action roles.
  • Fact 3: Conrad was known for his philanthropy, particularly in supporting children’s charities and the Wounded Warriors Project.

17.  Larry Hagman (1931 – 2012)

Publicity photo of Larry Hagman.

Larry Hagman, born in 1931 and passed away in 2012, was an American film and television actor best known for his roles in “I Dream of Jeannie” and “Dallas.” In “I Dream of Jeannie,” he played Major Anthony Nelson, an astronaut who discovers a beautiful genie. His chemistry with co-star Barbara Eden was a key element of the show’s success. However, it was his portrayal of the conniving oil baron J.R. Ewing in the hit series “Dallas” that cemented his status as a television legend. Hagman’s portrayal of J.R., one of the most iconic villains in TV history, was both charismatic and unscrupulous, captivating audiences worldwide. His role in “Dallas” earned him several award nominations and made him one of the most recognizable faces on television during the show’s run.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Larry Hagman was the son of the famous Broadway star Mary Martin, which influenced his early interest in acting and the arts.
  • Fact 2: He was a passionate advocate for organ donation after undergoing a successful liver transplant in 1995 due to liver cancer.
  • Fact 3: Hagman directed several episodes of “Dallas,” showcasing his skills not just in front of the camera but also behind it.

18.  Sally Field (1946 – )

Sally Field in Sybil (1976)

Sally Field, born in 1946, is an American actress and director, known for her roles in both television and film. She started her career in the 1960s with the TV show “Gidget,” where she played the titular character, a perky, young surfer girl. This was followed by another successful TV role as Sister Bertrille in “The Flying Nun.” However, Field’s talents extended far beyond these early comedic roles.

She demonstrated her dramatic skills in the 1970s TV movie “Sybil” and continued to build a distinguished film career with performances in “Norma Rae,” “Places in the Heart,” and “Steel Magnolias.” Field’s ability to portray a wide range of characters with depth and authenticity has earned her multiple Academy Awards and made her one of the most respected actresses in Hollywood. Her transition from television to film is seen as a significant achievement in an industry where such crossovers were not always common or successful.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Sally Field made her directorial debut with the 2000 film “Beautiful,” demonstrating her talents extended beyond acting into filmmaking.
  • Fact 2: She is a two-time Academy Award winner, receiving Oscars for her roles in “Norma Rae” (1979) and “Places in the Heart” (1984).
  • Fact 3: Field has been a vocal advocate for women’s rights and was arrested in 2019 during a climate change protest, showing her commitment to activism and social causes.

19.  Robert Vaughn (1932 – 2016)

Robert Vaughn in a 1964 press photo for the series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Robert Vaughn was an American actor noted for his suave, sophisticated demeanor, best known for his role as Napoleon Solo in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (1964-1968). He brought a mix of charm, intelligence, and wit to his character, which became a pop culture icon of the 60s. Vaughn’s acting career spanned over several decades, allowing him to display his versatility across a range of genres. Besides television, he also had a significant presence in films, including “The Magnificent Seven” and “Bullitt.”

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Vaughn earned a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Southern California in 1970, showcasing his dedication to academics alongside his acting career.
  • Fact 2: He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in “The Young Philadelphians” (1959).
  • Fact 3: Vaughn was an active participant in politics, especially during the 1960s, expressing his opposition to the Vietnam War.

20.  David McCallum (1933 – 2023)

McCallum as Illya Kuryakin

Scottish actor David McCallum rose to fame as Illya Kuryakin, a Russian secret agent, in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” His character, known for his cool demeanor and blonde Beatles-style haircut, became a teen idol during the 1960s. McCallum’s career extended beyond this role, with notable appearances in TV series like “NCIS” where he played Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard. His distinctive voice and elegant screen presence made him a memorable figure in television and film.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: McCallum is also a musician and released four albums during the 1960s. His musical talents were occasionally showcased in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”
  • Fact 2: He has written a series of crime novels, demonstrating his multifaceted talents beyond acting.
  • Fact 3: McCallum’s son, Valentine McCallum, is an accomplished guitarist, indicating a family line of artistic talent.

21.  Peter Graves (1926 – 2010)

Publicity photo of Peter Graves.

Peter Graves was an American actor whose calm and authoritative demeanor made him a perfect fit for roles in action and drama series. He is best remembered for his role as Jim Phelps in the original “Mission: Impossible” television series (1967-1973). Graves brought a sense of gravitas to the character, leading the team of secret agents in complex espionage missions. His work in “Mission: Impossible” earned him a Golden Globe Award, and he continued to work in television and movies well into the later years of his career.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Graves was the younger brother of James Arness, another famous actor known for his role in the TV series “Gunsmoke.”
  • Fact 2: In addition to his acting career, Graves was a skilled pilot and often flew himself to filming locations.
  • Fact 3: He hosted the documentary series “Biography” on A&E in the late 1980s and 1990s, showcasing his versatility as a performer.

22.  Barbara Stanwyck (1907 – 1990)

Publicity photo of Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck was a versatile and powerful actress whose career spanned over five decades. While she started in film, she successfully transitioned to television in the 1960s. Stanwyck is best remembered for her role in the television series “The Big Valley” (1965-1969), where she played the matriarch Victoria Barkley. Her strong presence and commanding performance earned her critical acclaim. Stanwyck’s contribution to the entertainment industry was immense, and she received numerous awards, including three Emmys and a Golden Globe.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Stanwyck started her career as a dancer and a stage actress before transitioning to film and then television.
  • Fact 2: In 1983, she received an Honorary Academy Award for her contribution to the acting industry, recognizing her work in both film and television.
  • Fact 3: She was known for her strong work ethic, often being the first to arrive and the last to leave on set.

23.  Adam West (1928 – 2017)

Photo of Adam West as Steve Nelson from the television program Robert Taylor's Detectives.

Adam West, an American actor, achieved iconic status with his portrayal of Batman in the 1966-1968 television series. His campy, colorful interpretation of the Caped Crusader became a cultural phenomenon. West’s Batman was known for its over-the-top antics and humor, making it a distinct and memorable version of the character. Despite being typecast after this role, West embraced his Batman persona and remained a beloved figure in pop culture, with appearances in various shows and conventions.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Before becoming Batman, West appeared in a Nestlé Quik commercial in the 1950s, playing a James Bond-like character.
  • Fact 2: He made a guest appearance on “The Simpsons,” voicing a fictional version of himself, which became a memorable part of the show.
  • Fact 3: West wrote a memoir titled “Back to the Batcave,” in which he shared his experiences playing Batman and his life afterward.

24.  Bob Crane (1928 – 1978)

Photo of Bob Crane as Colonel Hogan from the television program Hogan's Heroes.

Bob Crane was an American actor best known for his role as Colonel Robert Hogan in the television sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes” (1965-1971). His portrayal of the clever and charismatic POW camp inmate earned him two Emmy nominations. Crane’s career was overshadowed by personal controversies and his mysterious murder in 1978, which remains unsolved. Despite these issues, his performance in “Hogan’s Heroes” remains a highlight of his career, showcasing his comedic talents and timing.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Crane began his career as a radio host, known for his morning show on KNX in Los Angeles before transitioning to television.
  • Fact 2: He was an accomplished drummer and often incorporated his drumming skills into his acting roles.
  • Fact 3: Crane’s life and mysterious death were the subject of the 2002 movie “Auto Focus,” where he was portrayed by Greg Kinnear.

25.  Marlo Thomas (1937 – )

Publicity photo of Marlo Thomas

Marlo Thomas, an American actress, producer, and social activist, gained fame with her role in the television sitcom “That Girl” (1966-1971). She played Ann Marie, an aspiring actress in New York City, portraying a young, independent woman, which was a relatively new concept on television at the time. Thomas’s role was groundbreaking in presenting a female character with ambitions and a career. Besides her acting career, she is known for her work in social causes, particularly through her involvement with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, founded by her father, Danny Thomas.

Interesting Facts:

  • Fact 1: Thomas has been awarded four Emmys, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy, making her one of the few entertainers to receive all three major American entertainment awards.
  • Fact 2: She is the author of several books, including “Free to Be… You and Me,” which became a children’s classic.
  • Fact 3: Thomas is married to talk show host Phil Donahue, forming one of the entertainment industry’s enduring partnerships.


Just like the 50s, the 60s were also considered the golden times of the entertainment industry. Many new faces took over the television, and many from the 50s enjoyed stardom in this decade. Some famous names from the television tried their luck on the silver screen and marked their names in history, while some had to move back to television after years of acting in films. 

Undoubtedly, the 60s were the years when stardom and fashion spoke volumes, and people admired almost every actor and actress who had both beauty and talent. 

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