There’s no doubt you’ll recognize the names on this list – the following celebrities left their mark on the big screen long before some of us were even born. That’s just how iconic they are. Their roles in film and television have fully cemented their status as “greats”. These are the kinds of names we’ll still be talking about in the decades and centuries to come. So take a walk down memory lane with us as we revisit some of the most iconic celebs from the greatest decades of our past: the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.
Just in case you forget, Jane Fonda is an actress, political activist, writer, former fashion model, and fitness guru. Plus she’s a two time Academy Award winner and two time BAFTA Award winner. Once she even said that she can go out in public and not be recognized by anyone – if she’s not wearing any makeup that is.
83 year old Sophia Loren is an Italian actress and singer who emerged onto the scene in the 50’s. Oh, she’s also referred to as the “Italian Marilyn Monroe.” Cause of her stunning figure obviously, to which she said, “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” [Woman after my own heart!]
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Buffy Summers was discovered at just the age of four while eating at a local restaurant! Who could have guessed that Sarah Michelle Gellar would go on to become one of the most cherished female role models of all time? And now she’s slaying as a business woman – Gellar co-runs Foodstirs, a food crafting brand that sells baking kits.
For seven years, Helen Hunt starred in the series Mad About You, from there, her career really took off. Hunt starred in films like As Good as It Gets, Twister, Cast Away, What Women Want, and Pay It Forward. In 2007, she made her directorial debut with Then She Found Me .
Mary Cathleen Collins is Bo Derek’s real name and hold up – Derek is 60 now? Yeesh. Anyways, Derek is best known for roles in 10, Tarzan, the Ape Man, Bolero, and Ghosts Can’t Do It. As she’s in semiretirement, she makes the occasional film, TV, and documentary appearance.
When you read the name Nancy McKeon, you might be scratching your head. Until we mention the name Jo Polniaczek – ding! McKeon starred as Polniaczek on the hit show The Facts of Life. Her last on-screen role was in 2011 in the TV film Love Begins.
Remember Barbi Benton? Well, just in case you don’t, listen up! She appeared on many spreads and covers of Playboy magazine and dated Hugh Hefner for many years. Aside from modeling, she starred in Hee Haw and had a string of successful albums in the 70’s and 80’s.
Get this, Angie Harmon started acting when she was discovered on an airplane…by David Hasselhoff. However before her acting debut, Harmon worked as model, gracing the covers of ELLE, Cosmopolitan, and Esquire. Now her roles in Baywatch Nights and Law & Order launched her career, her latest work was in the series Rizzoli & Isles.
Here’s a question for you! One that needs a serious answer. Ahem, how is Pamela Anderson 50?! We can hardly believe it! I’ll just have to stick to reruns of Home Improvement, Baywatch, and V.I.P..
Eek, it’s Lorraine Baines from the Back to the Future trilogy! Lea Thompson, 56, may have started acting in commercials at age 20 but she has come a long way since then. From 2011 to 2017, Thompson starred in the family series Switched at Birth, and finished in 6th place in season 19 of Dancing With The Stars.
61 year old Maureen McCormick is best known for her portrayal of Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch. Since her Brady days, she appeared in various film roles, reprises her role as Marcia numerous times, did stage acting, released four studio albums, and authored a few books. Dang, Maureen is a jack of all trades!
Just to let you know, personally I ~adore~ Rob Lowe! Ever since he emerged onto the scene as a teenage heartthrob, fans have fallen far more for the 53 year old hunk. With hits like The Outsiders, Oxford Blues, St. Elmo’s Fire, and About Last Night…, his name is in the history books. Then there’s his TV career, The West Wing, Brothers & Sisters, Parks and Recreation, The Grinder, and Code Black. Lowe is here to stay!
53 year old Kim Richards is a former child actress from Nanny and the Professor and a TV personality from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. From the 70’s to the 90’s, Richards had a string of starring roles and appearances in film and television. She made a comeback in 2002.
John Francis Daley
Daley started acting when he was cast as “Young Tommy” in The Who’s Tommy, a Broadway show on a U.S. and international tour. From there, he starred in Freaks and Geeks, and appeared in various shows. Maybe most of us צשט recognize Daley best as the psychologist Lance Sweets from the drama series Bones. He left the show in order to focus on directing and screen writing – to date, he’s written the script for Horrible Bosses, Vacation, and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Remember how I said that personally I adored Rob Lowe? Well, I feel the same when it comes to Hilary Duff! The 30 year old actress, singer, and author killed it as a child actress, a teen idol, and now as an adult icon. Duff is a source of inspiration to many Disney actresses and is a role model to not just millennials but many individuals worldwide. Never change, Hilary, never change.
Actor and comedian Samm Levine makes the cut. Levine is known best as Neal Schweiber from Freaks and Geeks and as PFC Hirschberg from the film Inglourious Basterds. Furthermore Levine acts as the sidekick and fill-in host for the talk show Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show.
At 48, Nancy Kerrigan, the former figure skater, has quite the Olympic history. She won bronze medals at the 1992 Winter Olympics. Then she earned the silver medal at the 1992 World Championships, before she became the 1993 US National Champion. Kerrigan rose to fame for a horrible reason – in January 1994, she was attacked by an assailant with a police baton, who was actually hired by the ex-husband of her fierce rival Tonya Harding. Miraculously she recovered and won a silver medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics. After she went pro and performed in many ice shows, like Champions on Ice and Broadway on Ice. Kerrigan was a contestant on season 24 of Dancing with the Stars.
72 year old Jaclyn Smith will always be Kelly Garrett from the series Charlie’s Angels. Which is quite the compliment as Smith was the only original female lead to stick with the series for its entire run. From the 80’s, she started to develop and market her own brand of clothing and perfume.
Correct, another alum from the 70’s show Charlie’s Angels, the great Cheryl Ladd. Once the show went off air, the 66 year old was still a familiar face on television. How so? Well she did star in overe 30 made-for-television films! Although her recent works have been guest appearances on TV shows such as Chuck and NCIS.
Guys, Justine Bateman can do it all – she is after all a writer, director, producer, and actress. Bateman starred in hits like Family Ties, Satisfaction, Desperate Housewives, and Californication. Just in 2016, she eared a degree from UCLA in Computer Science and Digital Media Management.
Let’s see, Lisa Whelchel is known for her works as a Mouseketeer on The New Mickey Mouse Club and her portrayal of Blair Warner on The Facts of Life. Additionally, in 1984, she earned a a Grammy Award nomination! For none other than her contemporary Christian album, All Because of You. Oh, in 2012 she tied for second place in Survivor: Philippines.
Seriously, what could we possibly tell you about the great Harrison Ford that you don’t already know? The 75 year old actor and producer has starred in some of the greatest films ever known – Han Solo and Indiana Jones, anyone?
At just the age of 19, Erika Eleniak appeared in Playboy magazine, and from there, Eleniak’s career only grew. 1989 was a busy year for her as she starred in Charles in Charge and Baywatch. From then, she appeared in films and shows like The Blob, Under Siege, and The Beverly Hillbillies. In 2017, her part in Marilyn Monroe Back? will be released at an undisclosed date.
73 year old English actress Jacqueline Bisset began her acting career in 1965 and is still going strong to this day. Just in 2017 alone, she has three movies coming out, Backstabbing for Beginners, L’Amant Double, and 9/11.
The Outsiders, The Perfect Storm, Under the Tuscan Sun, Unfaithful, and Man of Steel – just a few of Diane Lane’s greatest works. In fact, her role in the 2002 Unfaithful earned Lane a ton of accolades, such as nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She’s reprising her role of Martha Kent in the 2017 Justice League flick and next year is set to star opposite of Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in a erotic thriller, Serenity.
Most of us recognize Johnny Whitaker from his highly successful roles as a child actor. Yah know the ones, Family Affair, General Hospital, and Tom Sawyer. Whitaker is still acting today, although on a smaller scale.
Up next is the 59 year old actress, director, and comedian Amanda Bearse. Bearse is best remembered for her roles as neighbor Marcy Rhoades D’Arcy on Married… with Children and the film Fright Night. Currently Bearse is still acting, with her latest role in 2013 on the series Anger Management.
Saved by the Bell star Elizabeth Berkley makes the list! The 45 year old is doing more than just acting and dancing, she is an animal rights activist. Moreover she set up an online self-help program, Ask-Elizabeth, for teenage girls in 2006.
Remember how Burt Reynolds is known by his mustache, well so is Tom Selleck. The 72 year old Magnum, P.I., or perhaps Dr. Richard Burke on Friends, is as legendary as it gets. Selleck has plenty of starring film and television roles, and so far, he’s still in the game. Catch him as the NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan in the drama series Blue Bloods.
Actor. Producer. Director. Singer-songwriter. Just some of the skills the British-Canadian legend Kiefer Sutherland can check off his resume. Sutherland will always be best remembered for his portrayal of Jack Bauer on the series 24, which earned him an Emmy, a Golden Globe, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and two Satellite Awards. Currently he stars as the lead role on the political drama Designated Survivor as President Tom Kirkman.
44 year old Alyssa Milano is well known for her roles in Who’s the Boss?, Melrose Place, Charmed, My Name is Earl, and Mistresses. Aside from acting, she’s also a producer and activist for various causes. Currently she’s set to join the cast of a Netflix comedy series titled Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later.
Ugh, it is just so bittersweet to have Patrick Dempsey on this list! If you’re not a Grey’s Anatomy fan then you just don’t get it. Dempsey portrayed Doctor Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd for 11 seasons before Shonda Rhimes ripped our hearts out of our chests by killing him off. (Still NOT forgiven, Rhimes, not even close!) In other news, Dempsey starred in many successful films while in his 20’s, like Can’t Buy Me Love, Loverboy, and Sweet Home Alabama. Aside from acting, Dempsey is also a race car driver!
Firstly Jennifer Connelly began her career as a child model before jumping ship to acting – bold, but good choice overall! When she starred in Dark City and Requiem for a Dream, her success skyrocketed. And who could forget her role in A Beautiful Mind, it is one of the greatest movies out there. She is an actively involved in championing various causes such as human rights, clean water, and children’s rights.
Bend and snap! Jennifer Coolidge’s big break was in American Pie as Stifler’s mom. Then came films like Legally Blonde, A Cinderella Story, and the television show 2 Broke Girls. At 56, we’ve got a lot of Coolidge heading our way.
You know his face, you just can’t put your finger on it. Just wait for it. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, the Italian-American actor, fashion model, and spokesman appeared on dozens of covers of romance novels. Yup, he’s ~that~ guy.
When Courteney Cox joined the cast of Friends, she was the most famous out of anyone. Having already appeared in Family Ties, Mr. Destiny, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and Seinfeld, Cox’s career was just getting started.
Ahem, Matt LeBlanc gained international stardom for his role of Joey Tribbiani on Friends – which earned him three Emmy Award nominations. 50 year old LeBlanc also starred in the British comedy series Episodes, which earned him a Golden Globe Award and four Emmy Award nominations. Since 2016, LeBlanc has a co-host of the British series Top Gear.
No doubt you’re familiar with the 53 year old singer, songwriter, actress, and visual artist. For four decades, Love has killing it with her punk, grunge style – of course there’s also her confrontational lyrics. Although now it looks as though Love is returning to acting with a part in Justin Kelly’s biopic JT LeRoy.
In your best Janice voice, say it with me, “Oooooohhh my god, Chandla Bing!” 48 year old Canadian-American actor has a list of hilarious films he’s appeared in, cause come on guys, Friends is not the funniest show or flick hes been in. There’s Fools Rush In, Almost Heroes, The Whole Nine Yards, The West Wing, and we could literally continue for ages. But for now, we’ll just say in our best Janice cackle laugh, eh-he-he-he, Bing-a-ling.
Michael J. Fox
Since the 70’s, we’ve been blessed with the great Canadian-American actor, author, producer, and activist. From Family Ties to the Back to the Future trilogy to Spin City, and so much, Fox is a Hollywood legend. After Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he created the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help find a cure for those also suffering from the disease.
There’s not much we can tell you about 48 year old Jennifer Aniston that you don’t already know – she’s one of Hollywood’s most beloved and written about stars. Just know that aside from acting, Aniston is also a producer and businesswoman.
Looks like Ross Geller, err David Schwimmer, makes the list. Schwimmer was a struggling actor until he was cast in Friends in 1994 – a role for which he earned his first Primetime Emmy Award nomination. His second Primetime Emmy Award nomination was for his 2016 role as Robert Kardashian in American Crime Story.
Once Ryan Phillippe appeared as Billy Douglas on the soap opera One Life to Live, he was well on his way. Fast forward to the late 90’s and Phillippe lands starring roles in numerous films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cruel Intentions, and 54. Currently he stars as the lead, Bob Lee Swagger, in the drama series Shooter. Oh yeah, he’s won awards for his roles in Gosford Park, Crash, and The Eric André Show/i>.
Now Reese Witherspoon’s career all began as a teenager when she landed the lead role in The Man in the Moon, although she merely auditioned for a bit part. Now, Witherspoon is one of the most critically acclaimed actresses and has been for decades. Apart from acting, Witherspoon is also a producer, entrepreneur, and total book lover (her social media is basically a library).
48 year old actress Renée Zellweger has earned tons of accolades since she first started acting in 1992. To date, she’s earned an Academy and BAFTA Award, three Golden Globe Awards, and also three Screen Actors Guild Awards. In 2010, Zellweger “retired” from the scene for six years before her comeback in 2016 with Bridget Jones’s Baby.
Ryan may have started out in 1981 in minor roles but the following year she joined the case of As the World Turns. Also during the 80’s she appeared in supporting roles in various films until ~that~ performance in the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally… – for which she earned her first Golden Globe nomination. Now Meg Ryan is more focused on her career as a director and producer.
How is Barry Williams, AKA Greg Brady, 63?! Seems like the other day he was gracing our screens, along his Brady siblings, on The Brady Bunch. To this day, he’s still performing and appearing on various shows.
With nine People’s Choice Awards to his name, the Boogie Nights star kicks off the list. Burt Reynolds is known for his rebellious but likable characters, and don’t even get us started on his iconic mustache. At 81, Reynolds isn’t going anywhere either, in fact he said, “I’m going to keep working until they shoot me and take me off and bury me. And I hope they film it.”
Thank you Lisa Kudrow for bringing the great Phoebe Buffay to life! Kudrow’s role on Friends earned her six Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning one, and also 12 Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, winning twice. Lastly Kudrow is also a comedian, writer, and producer.
It’s actually hard to fathom that James Bond is 87 years old! Furthermore it’s also hard to digest that the Scottish actor and producer retired in 2012. I’m sure there’s a Connery, Sean Connery joke in there somewhere. Hmm, must have slipped my mind.
Surely you’re aware that Susan Sarandon started her career in the 1970 movie Joe, from there she appeared in a soap opera called A World Apart, and bam. 1975 rolled around and Sarandon stars in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That was all it took to propel Sarandon’s career to the Oscar-winning machine we all know and love.
63 year old Ron Howard is known for two things – being a child actor and transforming into an insanely successful director. So if you think you haven’t seen one of his films, trust me, you have. Such Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, and Solo: A Star Wars Story (coming out in 2018).
Did you know that Harvey Keitel worked as a court stenographer in NYC while he was a struggling actor? Although the 78 year old Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominee doesn’t have to worry about securing a gig anymore.
It’s Britney, b*tch. Yes, that was necessary, what other way would you introduce Britney Spears? The now 36 year old got her start in acting roles in carious stage productions and TV shows as a child before she signed with Jive Records in 1997. This “Princess of Pop” has won a Grammy Award, six MTV Video Music Awards (even the Lifetime Achievement Award), seven Billboard Music Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Currently Spears is still doing what she does best, making music.
Of course the Goddess of Pop makes the list. In 1965, Cher’s career kicked off as the other half of the folk-rock husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher – especially when “I Got You Babe” reached #1 worldwide. Simultaneously Cher started her solo career, started acting, and became a fashion icon. With a number of impressive awards to her name, Cher dedicates her time to social activism.
Here’s the thing, David Spade got his start in the 1990’s as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. From there, he kicked off a successful acting career in film (Tommy Boy, Joe Dirt, Grown Ups, anyone?) and TV (Just Shoot Me! and Rules of Engagement). You can catch him on the ABC hit series The Mayor nowadays.
Academy, Emmy, and Grammy Award winner, Kate Winslet is the English actress we all adore. What? Don’t pretend like you don’t either! And guys, we have got to let the whole Rose-door issue go, it’s time. Aside from her dazzling career, Winslet is also a champion for various charitable causes.
Actor, writer, and director Ethan Hawke made his film debut in 1985 but it was his role in the 1989 drama Dead Poets Society that put him on the map. To date, the 47 year old has earned four Academy Awards nominations and a Tony Award nomination.
Suzana S. Drobnjaković Ponti is her birth name but let’s just stick to her stage name, Sasha Alexander. The Serbian-American is best known as Gretchen Witter on Dawson’s Creek, Caitlin Todd on NCIS, and Maura Isles on Rizzoli & Isles. Currently Alexander has a reoccurring role on hit show Shameless.
From one Bond star to another. Ursula Andress played the role of Honey Ryder in the very first Bond film, Dr. No. Currently the 81 year old is retired from acting and modeling.
Robert Sean Leonard
Maybe Robert Sean Leonard is best known for his role as Dr. James Wilson from the series House. Or maybe as Neil Perry from the epic film Dead Poets Society. Heck, it could be from all the dozen (dozen is putting it lightly) other films Leonard has starred in since 1986. In any case, however you know him, just know that the 48 year old has a long road ahead of him in whatever he does.
Ahem, 54 year old Elisabeth Shue will always be remembered for roles in The Karate Kid, Cocktail, and Back to the Future (parts II and III). Before you ask, yes she’s still acting! From 2012 to 2015, she starred as Julie Finlay in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Melissa Sue Anderson
American-Canadian actress Melissa Sue Anderson is up next. Anderson is best known for her portrayal of Mary Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. Then there were her epic film roles Midnight Offerings, Happy Birthday to Me, and Which Mother Is Mine?. She is still acting, her film The Brits Are Coming comes out in 2018.
We know what you’re thinking, 90’s Sophia Bush and 2018 Sophia Bush look identical. What can we say, our girl ages like fine wine. After starring as Brooke Davis in the drama series One Tree Hill (the greatest show from the 2000’s), she went on to star in many hit films and most recently, she starred on Chicago P.D.. Currently Bush spends most of her time as a director, spokesperson, and activist.
Four time Emmy nominee and six time Golden Globe nominee, Farrah Fawcett and her famous red bikini poster are up next. During the 70’s, Fawcett’s face was pretty much everywhere – from commercials to film to TV. One of her most famous roles was as Jill Munroe during the first season of Charlie’s Angels in 1976. Late 80’s, she shifted her attention to Off-Broadway plays, and earned quite the praise for it. Sadly in 2009, at age 62, Fawcett passed away from anal cancer.
Actress and producer Hilarie Burton made her mark as a VJ for MTV’s Total Request Live (TRL). After appearing on Dawson’s Creek, Burton landed the role of Peyton Sawyer on One Tree Hill and the rest is history. Burton starred on Blue Collar, guest appeared on Castle, Grey’s Anatomy, and various other shows. Since 2009, she has been in a relationship with Supernatural star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, together they have a son with another on the way!
Chad Michael Murray
The late 90’s is when Chad Michael Murray started his modeling career, and from 2003 to 2009, he stars as Lucas Scott on One Tree Hill. But before One Tree Hill, some of us may remember Murray from Gilmore Girls. With a few film roles to his name, Murray is now a series regular on Agent Carter.
Let’s be honest, Winona Ryder is not the kind of actress who really needs an introduction. After all, she is known as one of the most iconic, successful actresses from the 90’s. With hits like Beetlejuice, Mermaids, Edward Scissorhands, The Age of Innocence, Girl, Interrupted, and the list could go on and on, we’re proud to include Ryder on this list. In 2006, Ryder made her comeback and starred in Star Trek, When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story, Black Swan, and most recently, Stranger Things.
The Karate Kid, Crossroads, My Cousin Vinny, and The Outsiders. Yes, Ralph Macchio is a bit of an acting legend. During the 12th season of Dancing with the Stars, Macchio was eliminated in the 8th round.
Rather bittersweet including the teen idol River Phoenix on this list. At just age 10, Phoenix began his acting career and from there, he starred in 24 film and TV roles. He was a star in the making. Sadly in 1993 at just age 23, Phoenix passed away from a drug overdose.
Once Ally Sheedy made her film debut in the 1983 film Bad Boys, she then became part of the Brat Pack and starred in The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire. Her latest film role was in X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016.
Footloose, JFK, A Few Good Men , Apollo 13, Mystic River – Kevin Bacon has a string of hits to his name. And let’s not forget his TV roles, The Following and Taking Chance. Aside from acting, Bacon has a game out called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” and also launched a charity foundation, SixDegrees.org.
Maybe Christina Applegate is best recognized for her iconic role as Kelly Bundy on Married… with Children, but there’s more to her than that. With numerous film and Broadway productions to her name, Applegate has won an Emmy Award and earned Tony and Golden Globe nominations.
80’s films Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Dirty Dancing are what Jennifer Grey is known for – I mean, she did earn a Golden Globe Award nomination for her role alongside Patrick Swayze. Later on, Grey would win season 11 of Dancing with the Stars and starred in the Amazon comedy series Red Oaks.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Gremlins. Obviously we’re talking about Phoebe Cates. After her two biggest blockbuster hits, she continued acting here and there however she retired in 1994 so she could raise her kids. In 2001, she made a return to star in a friend’s film, The Anniversary Party.
52 year old Jami Gertz is best known for her earlier roles, such as Crossroads, The Lost Boys, Less Than Zero, Quicksilver, Square Pegs, and Twister. But let’s not forget her roles as Judy Miller on Still Standing and as Debbie Weaver on The Neighbors. Gertz is still acting to this day, with her latest TV roles on This Is Us and Difficult People.