In a heartbeat, you’ll recognize the names on this list. The following stars have left their mark on Hollywood, long before some of us even knew how to walk. That is how iconic they are. Their breathtaking roles in television and film have proven that they deserve the title of “great”. Actually great doesn’t quite cover it, these women are extraordinary. Aside from their greatness, their roles caused some jaw-dropping moments on-and-off set. Whether it was their character’s attitude or wardrobe, they caused some scandals. Let’s revisit some of Hollywood’s biggest stars who transformed TV and film into the glory we know it to be now.
Let’s catch up with Lorraine Baines from the Back to the Future trilogy, because well, that role and film are both as iconic as it gets. 56 year old Lea Thompson started acting in commercials at just age 20 but man has she come a long way since. From 2011 to 2017, she starred in the family series Switched at Birth, and also went on to finish 6th in season 19 of Dancing With The Stars.
Firstly, Bo Derek’s real name is Mary Cathleen Collins but that’s not the most surprising part. Derek is 60! Dang, how time flies and she hasn’t aged a bit. Derek is well known for her roles in 10, Tarzan, the Ape Man, Bolero, and Ghosts Can’t Do It. Currently she is in semi-retirement, therefore occasionally she makes film, TV, and documentary appearances.
We’ll remind you just in case you forgot, but we’re sure you know all about the great Jane Fonda. At 80, she is an actress, writer, former fashion model, political activist, and fitness guru. Phew, that’s quite the list. Moreover Fonda is a two time Academy Award winner and two time BAFTA Award winner. Once she claimed that she can go out in public and no one will recognize her, only if she’s not wearing makeup!
Next up is the 83 year old “Italian Marilyn Monroe,” Sophia Loren. The singer and actress entered the Hollywood scene in the 50’s and is still killing it today. Not only is she known for her stunning looks but she is a total foodie. Loren has said in the past, “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” We can get behind that.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Buffy Summers is the ultimate sign of feminism and if you don’t agree with that, don’t talk to me. Sorry, not sorry. At just age four, while eating at a restaurant, Sarah Michelle Gellar was discovered. And we’re really not that surprised. Gellar is considered as one the greatest female role models of all time, also something that doesn’t surprise us. Currently she is slaying life as a business woman – Gellar is the co-founder of Foodstirs, a food crafting brand which sells “kid-friendly” baking kits.
Maybe the name Nancy McKeon doesn’t ring any bells, but Jo Polniaczek should. Yup, we are talking about the star of The Facts of Life, the 80’s hit series. 2011 is when we last McKeon on the big screen, in the flick Love Begins.
David Hasselhoff actually discovered Angie Harmon while on-board a flight! That’s pretty remarkable. Before making her acting debut, the now 45 year old worked as a model. She appeared on the covers of popular magazines such as ELLE, Cosmopolitan, and Esquire. Baywatch Nights and Law & Order are the shows that Harmon credits with kick-starting her career. She last worked on the series Rizzoli & Isles.
I guess I blinked too quickly because Pamela Anderson is somehow now 50 years old! How’d that even happen? As you likely know, Anderson is best known for her roles in Home Improvement, Baywatch, and V.I.P.. And also her rocky relationships with Tommy Lee and Kid Rock.
Surely you recognize the former child actress from Nanny and the Professor? Now the 53 year old is known as a TV personality from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Kim Richards had many starring roles in film and TV from 70’s to the 90’s. Her comeback was in 2002.
Former figure skater Nancy Kerrigan has an impressive Olympic history, but you knew that already. Or at least I hope you did. Kerrigan earned bronze at the 1992 Winter Olympics and silver at the 1992 World Championships – all before becoming the 1993 US National Champion. Of course we have to mention why she is such a celebrity but the reason isn’t warm and fuzzy. In January 1994, Kerrigan was brutally attacked with a police baton by the ex-husband of her rival Tonya Harding. Miraculously Kerrigan recovered and went on to win silver at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Since then, she’s gone pro and has performed in ice shows. Moreover she was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, season 24.
The original cast of Charlie’s Angels holds a special place in many hearts. Especially when it comes Jaclyn Smith, AKA Kelly Garrett. In fact, Smith’s character was the only original female lead to have stuck with the series for the duration of its entire run. Since the 80’s, Smith has developed and marketed her own line of clothing and perfume.
You’re looking at another alum from the hit 70’s show Charlie’s Angels, Cheryl Ladd. She landed a role on the show once Farrah Fawcett left, but more on that later. The now 66 year is crazy familiar on television and that’s because she’s starred in more than 30 30 made-for-television films. Her most recent work has been in guest appearances on TV shows like Chuck and NCIS.
Oh look, it’s later. Jill Monroe was a fan favorite and many say Charlie’s Angels wasn’t the same when she left. Farrah Fawcett, a four time Emmy nominee and six time Golden Globe nominee, is well know for her red bikini poster and iconic hairstyle. She was also highly praised for her work in Off-Broadway plays. In 2009, at age 62, Fawcett sadly passed away from cancer.
Pssh, don’t pretend you don’t recognize Mary Ann Summers from the hit series Gilligan’s Island. For this role in 2005, TV Guide would rank Wells as No. 50 on its “50 Sexiest Stars of All Time” list. The now 79 year old recently appeared in an episode of The Bold and the Beautiful in 2016.
OF course we have to include the British-American actress, Marina Sirtis. The now 63 year old will always be remembered as Counselor Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation and also the four feature films that followed. Sirtis has had many supporting roles in films and TV since then, such as Crash, Grey’s Anatomy and NCIS.
Mary-Kate And Ashley Olsen
Now we’re really tugging at your 90’s heartstrings. Mary-Kate And Ashley Olsen stated their acting careers when they were just six months old and now they’re widely recognized as fashion icons. At 31, the fraternal twins, thanks to their company Dualstar, are some of the wealthiest women in the entertainment world at such a young age. Preach.
How could we not include Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz from the series The Big Bang Theory on this list? At 37, Melissa Rauch is enjoying a ton of success and it’s all thanks to her role in The Big Bang Theory. Recently she voiced Harley Quinn in the animated movie Batman and Harley Quinn.
How is this actress and singer 77 now? Beats us really. Seems like yesterday that she emerged onto the scene as a sex symbol and took the world by storm. Fantastic Voyage and especially One Million Years B.C. propelled her career to the success that it is today. Welch also has a successful beauty and fitness career.
Sure, we could dish out a few Brady jokes but we don’t want to go there. The now 61 year old has come a long way since appearing as Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch. McCormick has repriced her role as Marcia multiple times, has done stage acting, released four studio albums and is a published author. Yup, she’s Wonder Woman.
Where do we even begin? Justine Bateman is a jack of all trades! For real, she is an actress, writer, director, and producer. Told you. To date, Bateman has starred in Family Ties, Satisfaction, Desperate Housewives, and Californication. In 2016, she earned a degree from UCLA in Computer Science and Digital Media Management.
Whether you know her as a Mouseketeer on The New Mickey Mouse Club or as Blair Warner on The Facts of Life, you know the name Lisa Whelchel. Furthermore in 1984, she even earned a Grammy Award nomination for her contemporary Christian album, All Because of You. Lastly in 2012 she tied for second place in the reality show Survivor: Philippines.
At only 19, Erika Eleniak appeared in Playboy magazine, and from there her career has only exploded. 1989 was a busy year as she starred in hit shows Charles in Charge and Baywatch. Since then she has appeared in films and shows such as The Blob, Under Siege, and The Beverly Hillbillies. She last appeared in Marilyn Monroe Back?.
1965 is when English actress Jacqueline Bisset entered the Hollywood scene and yes, she’s still going strong. The 73 year old just had three films come out, Backstabbing for Beginners, L’Amant Double, and 9/11.
This one’s for all you 90’s babies. Elizabeth Berkley played the witty, brilliant and beautiful Jessie Spano on Saved by the Bell – probably one of the greatest 90’s shows out there. The 45 year old isn’t just an actress and dancer, she is also an animal rights activist. Most impressive is her online self-help program, Ask-Elizabeth, which she started for teenage girls back in 2006.
Before becoming an actress, Jennifer Connelly worked as a child model. Once she starred in Dark City and Requiem for a Dream, her success blossomed. And let’s not forget her role in A Beautiful Mind alongside Russell Crowe. Connelly is heavily involved in championing causes like human rights, clean water, and children’s rights.
Suzana S. Drobnjaković Ponti just doesn’t roll off the tongue, but it is Sasha Alexander’s real name. The Serbian-American actress is well known for her roles as Gretchen Witter on Dawson’s Creek, Caitlin Todd on NCIS, and Maura Isles on Rizzoli & Isles. Currently she has a reoccurring role on Shameless.
As far as Bond stars go, Ursula Andress is well remembered. She appeared as Honey Ryder in the first Bond film, Dr. No. The 81 year old has since retired from acting and modeling.
The Karate Kid, Cocktail, and Back to the Future (parts II and III) – these are the films that will forever live in infamy. And what do they all have in common? Obviously Elisabeth Shue as she starred in all of them! The 54 year old starred in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Julie Finlay from 2012 to 2015.
Melissa Sue Anderson
You’re looking at the American-Canadian actress who is best known as Mary Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. Of course she starred in some great films as well, Midnight Offerings, Happy Birthday to Me, and Which Mother Is Mine?. Melissa Sue Anderson is still acting now, her new film The Brits Are Coming comes out sometime in 2018.
We don’t really need to introduce one of THE most iconic and successful actresses of the 90’s, now do we? Didn’t think so. Winona Ryder is known for her roles in Beetlejuice, Mermaids, Edward Scissorhands, The Age of Innocence, Girl, Interrupted, and so much more. In 2006, Ryder made her comeback after a few years of “retirement” and has since starred in Star Trek, When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story, Black Swan, and most recently, the hit series Stranger Things.
Sure Christina Applegate is recognized for her portrayal of Kelly Bundy on Married… with Children, but she’s more than that. Applegate has multiple film and Broadway productions under her belt. Moreover she is the winner of an Emmy Award and she also earned Tony and Golden Globe nominations.
80’s films such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Dirty Dancing are iconic and always will be. As is the acting of Jennifer Grey in both films. Grey even earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for her hit role alongside Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. Since then she has won season 11 of Dancing with the Stars and also starred in the comedy series Red Oaks.
When we mention Phoebe Cates, we have to mention Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Gremlins. Since her two biggest movie roles, Cates continued acting but would retire in 1994 in order to raise her children. Although in 2001, she returned to the big screen in The Anniversary Party as a favor to a friend.
52 year old actress Jami Gertz is known best for her work in Crossroads, The Lost Boys, Less Than Zero, Quicksilver, Square Pegs, and Twister. Then there’s her role as Judy Miller from Still Standing and as Debbie Weaver from The Neighbors. Her latest TV role was on This Is Us and Difficult People.
This 49 year old actress is best known as Major Sarah MacKenzie in JAG, Denise Sherwood in Army Wives, and Cassandra “Cassie” Nightingale in the Hallmark film and TV series The Good Witch. Bell is still acting and she often lands lead roles in Hallmark films.
English-Argentine actress Olivia Hussey is best known as Juliet in the Franco Zeffirelli 1968 film version of Romeo and Juliet. This same role lead her to receive international recognition, in fact she won a Golden Globe and the David di Donatello Award. From there she starred in many great films and has done a ton of voice over work. Her last role was in the 2015 film Social Suicide.
Former child actress. Animal welfare advocate. Artist. Former radio host. Check, check, check, and check! Susan Olsen is well known as the youngest Brady, Cindy, from the hit series The Brady Bunch. Olsen last appeared in the 2015 film Mama Claus, Deck the Halls with Guts.
If we going to talk about the youngest Brady, we might as well mention the middle daughter, Jan! While Eve Plumb continued acting after The Brady Bunch, her biggest success and passion is in painting. In fact, she has shown her work in many galleries across the United States. Plumb just made a guest appearance on the series Blue Bloods.
Honestly what hasn’t Julie Benz starred in? She is best known as Darla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel and as Rita Bennett on Dexter (for which she earned two Saturn Awards for Best Supporting Actress.) Her list of roles in film and TV since then are a mile long, but trust us, you recognize her from somewhere! She had a reoccurring role on Hawaii Five-0 from 2015 to 2017.
The Vancouver-born actress starred in Smallville as Lana Lang and also Beauty and the Beast as Catherine Chandler. Kristin Kreuk also appeared in films like Snow White: The Fairest of Them All, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, Eurotrip and Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy. Currently she plays the main role in the series Burden of Truth.
You recognize her best as Joanie Cunningham from Happy Days and the spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi. She appeared in a string of shows and movies after her success with Happy Days before retiring in 2012. Sadly Moran passed away in April 2017.
Canadian actress Erica Durance is best known as Lois Lane on Smallville and as Dr. Alex Reid on Saving Hope. After starring in Smallville, Durance appeared in various films like The Butterfly Effect 2 and Island Heat: Stranded. She now has a recurring role as Alura Zor-El on Supergirl.
We are talking about Fonzie’s girlfriend Carol “Pinky” Tuscadero from the series Happy Days, Roz Kelly. She had a few roles after this but retired in 1983.
90’s easily recognize Michelle Trachtenberg as Harriet M. Welsch in Harriet the Spy, Nona F. Mecklenberg in The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Dawn Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Georgina Sparks in Gossip Girl. Am I right or am I right? She last appeared in the 2016 TV film Sister Cities.
Before I tell you about the AMAZING Hayden Panettiere, I just want to make it clear that I completely respect and adore her. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it. At just 11 months, Hayden landed a commercial role before beginning her full-time acting career. You might know her best as a child actress in Remember the Titans. In recent years, she’s best recognized as Claire Bennet on Heroes and Juliette Barnes in Nashville. Panettiere is a passionate activist and after her daughter was born in 2014, she revealed she suffered from post-partum depression – many applauded her openness to such a “taboo” subject.
Where do we even begin? Marilyn Chambers, in case you didn’t know, is a pornographic film actress, exotic dancer, actress, model, and vice-presidential candidate. Yeah, all of that and more! Although she was best known for her work in adult film, she did make a successful transition to mainstream projects. Many refereed to her as “porn’s most famous crossover”. Sadly she passed away in 2009.
Yvonne De Carlo
Canadian-American actress, dancer, and singer Yvonne De Carol experienced a ton of success in the 40’s and 50’s. Her breakthrough role was in 1945 in the film Salome, Where She Danced. Afterwards she continued to enjoy much success in film and TV before retiring in 1995. Carol sadly passed away in 2007.
Surely you recognize Linda Gray? The woman is a highly successful film, stage and television actress, director, producer and former model. Yeah, she pretty much does it all. And yes, she did play Sue Ellen Ewing in the hit series Dallas. The 77 year old is still acting to this day.
Fame and success run in the family – Anjelica Huston is actually the third generation of her family to have won an Academy Award. She has many brilliant works to her name such as Prizzi’s Honor, Enemies, A Love Story, The Grifters, and The Addams Family to name a few. Huston is also a published author.
Up next is Victoria Principal, AKA Pamela Barnes Ewing from the soap opera Dallas. With a solid amount of work in television, Principal retired in 2001. She has been working as an entrepreneur since 1987 – she has her own production company, Victoria Principal Productions, her own self-named line of skin care products, and is also a best selling author.
Oh man, what could we possibly tell you about Betty White that you don’t already know! This actress and comedian has THE longest TV career of a female entertainer. Moreover she is considered to be a pioneer for TV as she was one of the first ever women to be in control in front and behind the camera. Oh, she’s also the first woman to have produced a sitcom! White is still acting to this day.
Iowa girl Beverley Owen is best known for her character role of Marilyn Munster during the first season of the series The Munsters. She actually left The Munsters in order to get married to the writer and producer Jon Stone. They have two children together.
Maybe she’ll always be referred to as the ex-wife of American singer Elvis Presley or maybe not. Either way, you know who Priscilla Presley is, regardless of her last name. She is known for her roles in the Naked Gun films and as Jenna Wade on Dallas. She provided her voice for an episode of Family Guy in 2017.
English actress Hayley Catherine Rose Vivien Mills, AKA Hayley Mills, will always be Susan and Sharon from the original Disney film The Parent Trap. After her success as a child actress, Mills later became more prominent in theatrical plays and took on more mature roles. She is still acting now.
Most of us will recognize Sally Strutheres as Gloria Stivic, the daughter of the loud-mouthed Archie Bunker on All in the Family. She earned two Emmy awards for this role. We also know her as Babette on Gilmore Girls. Apart from acting, she’s also a voice artist, spokeswoman and activist.
Best known as Janet Wood on Three’s Company, Joyce DeWitt is still acting today. Most impressively though, she is a champion for hunger and homelessness in America. In fact she is the narrator for Street Signs: Homeless But Not Hopeless, a documentary coming out later this year.
Well if we’re going to mention Three’s Company, let’s make sure to include Suzanna Somers, AKA Chrissy Snow. Somers is also known as Carol Foster Lambert on Step by Step. the 71 year old is also an author, singer, businesswoman and health spokesperson.
Always will Margot Kidder be remembered as Lois Lane in the Superman film series, alongside the legendary Christopher Reeve. However she is even better known for her outspoken political, environmental, and anti-war actions. More than that, Kidder was very open about her struggles with mental illness. She was a true inspiration to so many – sadly she passed at age 69 on May 13, 2018.
63 year old Priscilla Barnes is best known as Terri Alden on Three’s Company. She came in as the permanent replacement for Suzanne Somers. After she appeared in films like A Vacation in Hell, Licence to Kill, Mallrats, The Devil’s Rejects, and the TV series Jane the Virgin.
Mary Tyler Moore
The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show are the two sitcoms Mary Tyler Moore is best known for. But let’s be real, Moore is known as a cultural icon. She inspired so many young actresses, professional women, and feminists all thanks to her breaking the stereotypical images of women and pushing gender norms. Sadly this legend passed in January 2017 at age 80.
Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan! If, for whatever reason, you haven’t watched M*A*S*H, make sure you do so. That show is a classic. While Swit has continued acting, she doesn’t take on so many roles. The 80 year old has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Meet the actress and television director, Melissa Gilbert. Gilbert got her start as a child actress, she’s best known as Laura Ingalls Wilder on Little House on the Prairie. Although later she starred as Caroline “Ma” Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie, the Musical. In 2016, Gilbert actually ran for U.S. Congress as a Democrat for Michigan’s 8th congressional district. She won the Democratic primary but dropped out later due to neck injuries sustained in 2012.
If we’re speaking of Little House on the Prairie then let’s make sure to mention the original Caroline Ingalls, Karen Grassle. The 76 year old actress last appeared in the short 2017 film Where’s Roman?
Surely you know the singer, actress, author and doll designer, Molly Osmond! And yes, she is obviously a member of the show business family, the Osmonds. Duh. During the 70’s and 80’s, she had a successful solo country music career. She hosted the TV variety show Donny & Marie with her brother, Donny. She is still performing to this day.
Remember the Bahamian American actress Roxie Roker? Of course you do! She played Helen Willis on The Jeffersons, which was half of the first interracial couple to ever be shown on regular prime time TV. Or maybe you know her as the mom of rock artist Lenny Kravitz? Sadly she passed away in 1995.
While Barbara Feldon mostly worked in theatre, she is also known for her roles on television. Especially the sitcom Get Smart. Feldon was also a model. Currently she is still active in Hollywood although it’s been a while since she appeared in anything. Feldon is a published author as well.
Surely you recognize the name. Yeah, we thought so! Bonet will always be Denise Huxtable from The Cosby Show to most of us. She last appeared in the 2016 series Ray Donovan, although she is living life under the radar mostly. The 50 year old is married to fellow actor Jason Momoa, they have two children together.
And speaking of The Cosby Show, next up is mama bear Clair Huxtable. A role which earned her two Emmy nominations. During the 2010 NAACP Image Awards, Phylicia Rashad was dubbed “The Mother” of the African-American community. Apart from acting, the 69 year old also is a singer and stage director who has worked on Broadway.
The four-time Primetime Emmy Award Valerie Harper will always make the list. Harper is best known as Rhoda Morgenstern from The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off, Rhoda. Moreover she’s known for her roles in Valerie, Freebie and the Bean, and Chapter Two. This Broadway star focuses on charity organizations nowadays.
The Hogan Family alum Sandy Duncan is also known for her work in the Broadway show Peter Pan. The 72 year old singer, dancer, comedienne and actress has been nominated for three Tony Awards, two Emmy Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards in her career. She still performs on Broadway.
39 year old Christine Lakin is well known as Alicia “Al” Lambert on Step by Step, Joan of Arc on Reefer Madness, the sidekick on talk show The Kilborn File, and is also the voice of Joyce Kinney in Family Guy. Phew, that’s quite a list. Lakin currently has the main role on the new series Hollywood Darlings.
My Two Dads and Step by Step are the two shows that Staci Keanan is best known for. 1987 is when Keanan made her debut and 2012 is when she retired. In February 2017, she married the actor and producer, Guy Birtwhistle.
Five Emmy nominations, that’s what Shelley Long earned for her role as Diane Chambers on Cheers. Oh, but she also won an Emmy for the role and also two Golden Globe Awards. Long had a recurring role on Modern Family and most recently appeared in the film Southern Christmas.
Whether you know her as Jadzia Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine or as Regina “Reggie” Kostas on Becker, the point is you know Terry Farrell. While she did retire in 2003, the now 54 year old actress made her comeback in 2015. She just starred in the TV series Renegades.
English actress, model, comedienne, producer, singer, and dancer Jane Leeves is best known as Daphne Moon on Frasier – for which she received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Although you might also know her from Hot in Cleveland. The 57 year old just appeared in The Great Indoors.
1981 is when Linda Kozlowski made her debut in film and 1986 is when her big break came. Obviously we’re talking about the Crocodile Dundee franchise where she played the female lead. Since Crocodile Dundee, she had a few roles but chose to retire in 2001 as she wasn’t satisfied with the roles she was getting.