70’s Child Stars Then And What Are They Up To These Days?

Published on 01/11/2021
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Slammin’ 70’s

Can you still remember the ’70s? A time when there were long hair and shaggy carpets and “groovy.” There was no DVR or Netflix back in those days, and watching TV was a family thing. Every family has a favorite, Happier Days, The Brady Bunch, What is Happening, or Pleasant Times. You probably still recall the child stars in these famous shows. Keep reading to see who and what keeps each of these stars and actresses occupied these days!

Slammin’ 70s

Slammin’ 70’s

David Cassidy – Then

David was Keith Partridge in The Partridge Family, the famous sitcom. Keith had been the family band’s lead singer. His good looks, in reality, won David the role. The creators of the show didn’t really think about whether or not David should sing!

David Cassidy - Then

David Cassidy – Then

David Cassidy – Now

David and The Partridge Family released ten records, each selling one million or more copies after he persuaded the producers that he was really singing. David quickly rose to superstardom, but he tragically died of liver failure on November 21, 2017.

David Cassidy - Now

David Cassidy – Now

Helen Hunt – Then

Ever since she was just eight years old, Helen has been performing. In her youth, she had an amazing career in television and movies. She also participated in many shows, including The Fitzpatricks (1977-78), Robinson of the Swiss Family (1975-76), and Amy Prentisson (1974-75). She also appeared in Rollercoaster, a 1977 movie, among other movies.

Helen Hunt - Then

Helen Hunt – Then

Helen Hunt – Now

Helen is still going full throttle, with frequent television and film performances. As Good As It Comes, where she earned an Oscar for her performance, and the 2014 comedy Trip, which she produced, directed, and starred in, are a couple of her most popular movies. The fact: Helen saw the 9/11 attacks from her apartment in New York. She took all of her workers with her three days later, and they all went to Connecticut for protection.

Helen Hunt - Now

Helen Hunt – Now

The Jacksons – Then

Tito, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael were members of the popular group “Jackson Five.” In the Billboard charts, their first four songs (“I’ll Be There,” “The Love You Save,” “ABC,” and “I Want You Back”) hit the number one place. Back in 1970, this was a record in the world of music and industry. Within a nine-month span, the singles were launched, and “I’ll Be There” was at number one position for five weeks.

The Jacksons - Then

The Jacksons – Then

The Jacksons – Now

The Jacksons reunited in 2011, following a hiatus of seventeen years, to mark their brother’s solo career (the late Michael Jackson). They have appeared as part of the Unification Tour for the party. A while ago, their brother Randy retired, but most of the Jacksons are still around, playing at different events and venues and traveling across the world.

The Jacksons - Now

The Jacksons – Now

Janet – Then

Janet is the youngest family member in the Jackson family. She may have appeared at times on variety shows alongside her older siblings, but Janet enjoyed acting rather than music. On the Good Times sitcom, where she portrayed the terrified and bruised kid called Penny, who lived in the same neighborhood as the Evans family, she was one of the main roles she played while she was a little girl. Fame and Diff’rent Strokes are also other hit shows where Janet appeared. She seemed to get a music career of her own as well.

Janet - Then

Janet – Then

Janet – Now

More popular than Janet is her brother Michael. She remains one of the most celebrated musicians in the recording industry, selling millions of albums, multi-platinum albums, selling performances, and starring in hit movies. She married the billionaire Wissam Al Mana, and the reason for the cancellation of her most recent tour was her wish to start a family.

Janet - Now

Janet – Now

Kim Richards – Then

Kim appeared in several tv shows and movies in the ’70s as one of the most well-known child actors around. Kim seemed to be everywhere, from programs like James at Sixteen and Nanny and the Professor to headlining films such as Escape to Witch Mountain and the sequel Return from Witch Mountain.

Kim Richards - Then

Kim Richards – Then

Kim Richards – Now

Kim entered the spotlight again in 2010 when she joined Beverly Hills’ hit reality TV show The Real Housewives with her sister Kyle. However, shortly after Kim began appearing in the series, rumors of possible alcohol and drug problem began spreading, partly due to the erratic behavior she showed on camera. She was in rehab several times and claimed sobriety, but was arrested in 2015 for public intoxication, disorderly conduct, battery on an officer, and resisting an officer at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Kim Richards - Now

Kim Richards – Now

Mindy Cohn – Then

Many recall Mindy Cohn portraying the irrepressible student Natalie between 1979 and 1988 on the Existence television program’s Facts. Her character Natalie, honest yet cynical, was an important part of the show’s success. In a sense, when she was typecast as a “nice girl,” the role became a curse for Cohn. Afterward, it became impossible for her to secure any important roles on television.

Mindy Cohn - Then

Mindy Cohn – Then

Mindy Cohn – Now

When she received a degree in cultural anthropology, Cohn was employed as an actress. She also helped set up the Support Group for WeSPARK Cancer. She’s a tv guest star, but her abilities have led her to do more voice-over work. In the animated series Scooby-Doo, she has been playing “Velma” for several years now, and her performance has also had her nominated for an Emmy.

Mindy Cohn - Now

Mindy Cohn – Now

Johnny Whitaker – Then

In various television programs, including Family Affair and General Hospital, Johnny has starred. When they appeared in the movie Tom Sawyer, it was Jodie Foster’s first on-screen kiss. Johnny had some serious difficulties after his friend Anissa Jones died, and he took a break from performing for such a long time. She played the Family Affair game with her sister.

Johnny Whitaker - Then

Johnny Whitaker – Then

Johnny Whitaker – Now

Johnny had suffered through a lengthy and painful drug misuse time, but his relatives wanted to conduct an intervention to compel the performer to get assistance. It was a twelve-step program that enabled him to solve his drug addiction struggles, and he has been sober for 12 years now. Fact: Like Spanish and Portuguese, and American and French Sign Language, Johnny talks various languages fluently.

Johnny Whitaker - Now

Johnny Whitaker – Now

Mike Lookinland – Then

On The Brady Bunch, Mike played the family’s youngest boy, Bobby Brady. The character is enthusiastic and sweet, but in some of the show’s scenes, Lookinland unexpectedly shows Bobby’s spectrum of emotion. Fact: Mike’s hair is naturally curly, colored sandy brown. To play the character Bobby Brady, the actor had to straighten his hair to fit the show’s other male characters. This sometimes created complications because if the set lights were too bright, hair dye ran down his face!

Mike Lookinland - Then

Mike Lookinland – Then

Mike Lookinland – Now

Before quitting show business entirely, Mike starred in numerous shows such as Little House on The Prairie, various Brady Bunch specials, and movies such as The Towering Inferno. He and his wife and two children live a peaceful existence while operating his own decorative concrete company based in Utah. Mike discovered that he was a Dead Head.

Mike Lookinland - Now

Mike Lookinland – Now

Erin Murphy – Then

American actress Erin Margaret Murphy is well remembered for the Bewitched mega-hit series between 1964 and 1972. During the show’s season, she shared the spotlight with her twin sister, Diane, portraying young Tabitha Stephens. When the girls got older, they seemed less similar, but Erin played by herself. With her part, she became one of the world’s most popular young actresses.

Erin Murphy - Then

Erin Murphy – Then

Erin Murphy – Now

Murphy bounced around different auditions after Bewitched ended, turning down various modeling gigs and commercials. Her family moved to Orange County, and she had the chance to start sixth grade as a “normal kid.” She got married at 21 and gave birth to her first child while living in Arizona. She taught the craft since she loved acting and worked in makeup and production when film shoots came to town. She returned to Los Angeles ten years ago and started working in commercials, as a celebrity judge, and on reality shows. Also, she now owns two companies, one selling vodka martini ice pops.

Erin Murphy - Now

Erin Murphy – Now

Robbie Rist – Then

During the last six episodes of the program, Robbie joined The Brady Bunch. As they were getting rivalry from other programs such as Sanford & Son, he was taken in to be an option to the other Brady children who’re older and support the program’s ratings. He played Oliver, an eight-year-old cousin, but Rist was nine years old at the point.

Robbie Rist - Then

Robbie Rist – Then

Robbie Rist – Now

In movies such as The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and several anime films, including Batman: The Animated Series, Rist has been performing voiceover work as an adult. For movies such as Sharknado and Sharknado 2, the creative Robbie has recently garnered recognition on movie soundtracks. He plays with many rock bands in Los Angeles as the lead singer, drummer, bassist, and/or guitarist and all of these activities.

Robbie Rist - Now

Robbie Rist – Now

Tina Majorino- Then

Tina Majorino, a child actress, appeared in a hit movie named Waterworld, where she portrayed Enola. She did not vanish, at least after that. She remained in Hollywood and started to produce films; she was in other films, including Corrina and Corrina as a teen, and she played the part of Alice in Alice In Wonderland’s TV film version.

Tina Majorino Then

Tina Majorino- Then

Tina Majorino- Now

You can recall Tina in Napoleon Dynamite from her role as Deb, but she was also seen in hit shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, where she was seen in 22 episodes! She recently portrayed Florence in twelve Scorpion scenes. It doesn’t seem like Majorino will soon be moving somewhere, and we’re relieved to hear it.

Tina Majorino Now

Tina Majorino- Now

Valerie Bertinelli – Then

Valerie Bertinelli, born in 1960, was 15 years old when she began starring in the new One Day at a Time sitcom. Out of the 209 show series, she’s appeared in 208 of them. The series stopped in 1984, but the show’s cast reunited for the 2005 One Day at a Time Retrospective Episode. In 1981, she earned the Golden Globe when the TV queen was 21 years old. In recent years, it does not feel that her work has slowed down.

Valerie Bertinelli - Then

Valerie Bertinelli – Then

Valerie Bertinelli – Now

Bertinelli may have gained early fame, but in two sitcoms, Café Americain and Sydney, she never quit performing and starred. She joined an Angel Impacted in 2001, but the show only lasted for two seasons. She suffered from her weight for years but finally resolved her struggles and became a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig’s diet business, starring in numerous advertisements. She joined Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, and Betty White on TV Land’s 2010 hit series Hot in Cleveland. After six hilarious seasons, on June 3, 2015, the show’s last episode aired.

Valerie Bertinelli - Now

Valerie Bertinelli – Now

Robby Benson – Then

Robby was also a tv personality, better known for his film roles, featuring in programs including the soap opera Hunt for Tomorrow. Jory, Jeremy, and the famous Ode to Billy Joe are some of his movies. For his part in Ice Castles, one of the biggest movies he starred in, he learned how to skate.

Robby Benson - Then

Robby Benson – Then

Robby Benson – Now

These days, Benson’s best-known work contributes his voice to the “Beast” in Disney’s animated Beauty and The Beast. He’s been happily married since 1982 and served as a lecturer at numerous colleges in Utah, South Carolina, New York, and now Indiana. Fact: Robby suffered from cardiac attacks that he never revealed to directors and producers because he figured they wouldn’t throw him into anything. Benson’s had over four cardiac operations.

Robby Benson - Now

Robby Benson – Now

Ron Howard – Then

Ron has been performing since the sixties, beginning off as a children’s actress. One of his popular roles was in The Andy Griffith Show, but later, as he starred in Happier Days, his most effective part came. Richie Cunningham, the focused and gentle-mannered adolescent who grew up in Milwaukee with his parents, played the lead role.

Ron Howard - Then

Ron Howard – Then

Ron Howard – Now

Without question, Ron Howard is a good star, director, and producer. Still, in Hollywood culture, he is one of the most famous individuals in the world interested in TV and movies. He has acted in more than 27 films, managed nearly 28 films, and created over 20 films. Ron Howard tells everybody what a guy can achieve if the right opportunities are presented to him.

Ron Howard - Now

Ron Howard – Now

Ron Paolillo – Then

Arnold Horshack is familiar to many who have been following Welcome Back Kotter. He was the class clown of the Sweathogs, a crew of children from high school. The character was played expertly by Ron Paolillo. The actor has also mastered the hyena-like laugh of his role.

Ron Paolillo - Then

Ron Paolillo – Then

Ron Paolillo – Now

Ron was in demand as well during his adult lifespan. In tv shows and movies like Friday The Thirteenth, Laverne, and Shirley in The Army, and several more, he portrayed a wide range of roles. Furthermore, he was a costume designer, performed various musicals and plays on Broadway, and published several children’s books. Ron Paolillo passed away at home from a heart attack on August 14, 2012.

Ron Paolillo - Now

Ron Paolillo – Now

Scott Baio – Then

Former teen heart-throb Baio is best remembered for his time at sitcom Happy Days, where he played Chachi, the love interest of Joanie Cunningham (Erin Moran). Yet years before, he was also the leader in the musical gangster film Bugsy Malone, based on how gangsters like Bugs Moran and Al Capone lived during prohibition in the 1920s. The twist of the movie was only child actors starred in it. One was Jodie Foster, a future Oscar winner. Fact: Over two thousand other children auditioned for Baio’s part.

Scott Baio - Then

Scott Baio – Then

Scott Baio – Now

After Happy Days, Scott appeared on the spin-off series Joanie Loves Chachi. He also played in several movies like Skatetown USA, Zapped, and Foxes. His new endeavors include appearing in his own television shows and creating several shows for Nick at Nite. Baio is a registered Republican, and in 2016 it was revealed that he got into an argument with a barista when she declined to tell the name of Trump, who was then the presumptive Republican candidate.

Scott Baio - Now

Scott Baio – Now

Susan Dey – Then

Susan Dey (pictured left) was Laurie Partridge as part of the hit series The Partridge Family. With major stars including the mega-talented David Cassidy and acclaimed actress Shirley Jones, she entered the season’s ensemble. She was a modeling model previous to Dey being cast on the program. Fact: Then, before coming to the stage, seventeen-year-old Dey had no acting experience.

Susan Dey - Then

Susan Dey – Then

Susan Dey – Now

Dey appeared in several films, such as Skyjacked, Disappearance, and Little Women, and television series, including the massively popular L.A. Law. The actress refuses to join the reunion shows of The Partridge Family. After the end of the show, she and co-star David Cassidy briefly dated, but things didn’t work out, and to this day, the two do not speak to each other.

Susan Dey - Now

Susan Dey – Now

Karen Carpenter – Then

As an American singer and guitarist, Karen Anne Carpenter has become a household name. Her musical talents were very exceptional, and she also won the respect of numerous luminaries of drumming. What really made her a name, though, was her opposite vocal range. She played as a duo with her partner, Richard, and their 1970 song, “Close to You,” became a major achievement. Two hit singles were included, “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “(They Long To Be) Near You,” which peaked at #2 and #1 on the Hot 100.

Karen Carpenter - Then

Karen Carpenter – Then

Karen Carpenter’s Passing In 1983

In 1983, at the young age of 32, Karen Carpenter tragically passed away. Karen immediately collapsed at her parent’s home, and she was rushed to Downey Community Hospital, which was 25 minutes away. In reality, she suffered from anorexia nervosa, a condition synonymous with compulsive dieting, and cardiac arrest was the cause of her death. Karen’s anorexia was the explanation for the termination of the 1975 appearance of The Carpenters for Queen Elizabeth and their concert tour in Europe and the Orient. Almost until her sudden demise, however, she managed to play.

Karen Carpenter’s Passing In 1983

Karen Carpenter’s Passing In 1983

Barry Williams – Then

At just 14 years of age, Barry Williams was introduced in the hit show The Brady Bunch as Greg Brady, the eldest brother. He soon became a heartthrob teenager who had millions of female fans in the United States. Barry has released four songs, aside from his acting chops, along with his well-known TV siblings. This has allowed his success among the female population to expand even further.

Barry Williams - Then

Barry Williams – Then

Barry Williams – Now

The Young Artist Organization won the Young Artist Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989. He published his autobiography “Growing Up Brady … I Was A Teenage Greg” in 1992, which was on the best-seller list for three months. His novel was adapted as NBC’s TV movie in 2001, for which he was an executive producer. In recent years, Williams has had guest appearances on many Brady Bunch specials, Three’s Business, and The 70’s Display, among others. He also spent many years in musical theatre and played West Side Story, Grease, and Sound Of Music.

Barry Williams - Now

Barry Williams – Now

Maureen McCormick – Then

Now that we’ve listed some of the guys from the sitcom The Brady Bunch, we’re curious about one of the show’s leading ladies. From 1969 to 1974, Maureen McCormick portrayed Marcia Brady, Brady’s oldest child. Marcia was beautiful, clever, optimistic, and she was extremely famous at home and school. She may have always cared about her looks, but she was very involved in politics, too. When Maureen began performing the famous part, she was just 12.

Maureen McCormick - Then

Maureen McCormick – Then

Maureen McCormick – Now

In 1985, they married Maureen McCormick and Michael Cummings, and in 1989, they received their daughter Natalie. McCormick suffered from opioid use when her television show finished, but she resolved her addiction ultimately. She debuted on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club in 2007 and became a famous competitor, winning the entire thing finally.

Maureen McCormick - Now

Maureen McCormick – Now

Danny Bonaduce – Then

Thanks to his part in the hit series The Partridge Family, Danny Bonaduce became a famous child actor in the ’70s. Danny Partridge, the brilliant (red) haired and wisecracking middle girl, was on the stage. Danny was the player of the fictitious family band’s bass guitar. David Cassidy was amongst his co-stars on the program. The men have been good mates ever since the pilot of the show.

Danny Bonaduce - Then

Danny Bonaduce – Then

Danny Bonaduce – Now

Since his hit television show finished, Bonaduce went on to carry more caps. He has been a personality on radio/TV, a comedian, and also a professional wrestler. He appeared in several television shows after the film, such as the 2005 VH1 reality series Breaking Bonaduce. He has since been the moderator of many Philadelphia and Los Angeles radio programs. He has been hosting the morning talk and music show at the KZOK-FM radio station in Seattle since November 2011.

Danny Bonaduce - Now

Danny Bonaduce – Now

Tatum O’Neal – Then

Tatum O’Neal brought home an Academy Award back in 1974 when she was only 10 years old. This is an incredibly amazing figure. In Paper Moon, where she played Addie Loggins, she won for her performance. In 1976, in the films The Bad News Bears and Nickelodeon, Tatum emerged. It’s a remarkable sight to see in Hollywood, getting raved about at a very young age.

Tatum O’Neal - Then

Tatum O’Neal – Then

Tatum O’Neal – Now

In 1986, Tatum O’Neal married tennis star John McEnroe with three daughters. However, they agreed to split in 1992 and divorce the two by 1994. After making a good film string in the 1970s, she acted in just five films in the next 15 years. Tatum began playing again in the 2000s with guest appearances on Sex and City, 8 Basic Guidelines for Dating My Teenage Daughter, and Law and Order: Criminal Intent. She took a recurring part on Rescue Me in 2005 and proceeded to perform, relying on her work on TV shows.

Tatum O’Neal - Now

Tatum O’Neal – Now

Linda Blair – Then

Linda Blair may be better remembered for turning her head in circles before vomiting pea soup. Formed in 1959, she was just 14 when she landed a possessed girl’s part in The Exorcist. She replicated her role in The Exorcist II, 1977 sequel: The Heretic. Blair was nominated for her first part and earned a Golden Globe. At six, she started acting and becoming a child model. Between 1968 and 1969, Secret Fences, a daytime soap opera, had a short-lived role.

Linda Blair - Then

Linda Blair – Then

Linda Blair – Now

In several low-budget horror and exploitation films, including Hell Night, Vicious Streets, and Chained Heat, Blair appeared throughout the 1980s. She made fun of her origins in horror films in the 1990 movie Repossessed and had a role in the well-known 1996 film Scream. She was also on stage (via Grease) and BBC TV for an L.A. show. 7. Blair presented the 2000-2006 Fox Family showed Scariest Places on Earth and made a special spot on the favorite Supernatural people.

Linda Blair - Now

Linda Blair – Now

Melissa Gilbert – Then

Melissa Ellen Gilbert started her career in the late ’60s as a child actor in the early ’70s. She had many advertisements and guest-starring appearances on TV programs. Her big break was landing Laura Ingalls Wilder on the Prairie Little Home, the popular NBC program. Melissa starred on the TV series from 1974 to 1984, and she also featured in TV movies, including Anne’s Diary and The Miracle Worker.

Melissa Gilbert - Then

Melissa Gilbert – Then

Melissa Gilbert – Now

Gilbert hasn’t quit playing in her adulthood, though she mainly worked on TV programs. She voices to the animation show Batman: The Animated Series and even decided to play Caroline “Ma” Ingalls on the Prairie Little Home, the Musical Tour. Her viewers were delighted to see her on the hit NBC reality series Dancing with the Stars in 2012, where she was a contestant. She was the president of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001 to 2005 and stood for Congress as a Democrat in 2016 but had to withdraw from Michigan’s campaign due to certain health-related problems.

Melissa Gilbert - Now

Melissa Gilbert – Now

Jodie Foster – Then

Jodie Foster, born in 1962, had already begun her acting career in 1965. Two years later, she joined Mayberry R.F.D. Show cast. By the late ’60s, the young girl had been a frequent fixture on primetime TV. She appeared in many children’s movies, but her breakthrough parts were in her youth. She was cast in Cab Driver, Freaky Friday at Disney, Little Girl Who Lives Down the Street, and Candleshoe.

Jodie Foster - Then

Jodie Foster – Then

Jodie Foster – Now

Although Foster in Hollywood proceeded to achieve a great deal of popularity, she wanted to go to Yale. She appeared in the very divisive movie The Accused at the point, and her success won her a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. She received a second Academy Award for The Silence of the Lambs three years later, where she portrayed Clarice Starling. Foster has not quit taking on lead roles and turning heads in Hollywood despite more than five decades of being in Hollywood.

Jodie Foster - Now

Jodie Foster – Now

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