Find Out What Your Favorite Child Stars From The 70s Up To Nowadays

Published on 01/25/2021
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Slammin’ 70’s

Can you recall the 70’s? A time when there were long hair and a shaggy carpet, and “groovy.” There was no DVR or Netflix back in those days, and watching television was a family affair. Every family had a favorite, regardless of Happy Days, The Brady Bunch, What’s Happening, or Good Times. In these popular series, you probably remember the child stars, too. To see who some of these actors and actresses are and what keeps them busy these days, keep reading!

Slammin’ 70s

Slammin’ 70’s

David Cassidy – Then

In the popular The Partridge Family series, Keith Partridge was David. Keith was the lead singer for the family band. In reality, his good looks earned David the part. It did not even matter to the producers of the show whether David could sing or not!

David Cassidy - Then

David Cassidy – Then

David Cassidy – Now

After convincing the producers that they were singing, David and The Partridge Family released ten albums, selling millions or more copies each. On 21 November 2017, David quickly shot into superstardom but unfortunately died of liver failure.

David Cassidy - Now

David Cassidy – Now

Helen Hunt – Then

Since she was only 8 years old, Helen has been acting. During her teens, she enjoyed an incredible career in television and film. She appeared in several shows, including The Fitzpatricks, the Swiss Family Robinson, and Amy Prentiss. She also starred in the Rollercoaster film in 1977 as well as in other films.

Helen Hunt - Then

Helen Hunt – Then

Helen Hunt – Now

Helen continues to be strong with regular TV and film appearances. As Good As It Gets, where she won an Oscar for her performance, and the 2014 comedy Ride, which she wrote, directed, and starred in, are a few of her most famous films. Fact: from her New York apartment, Helen saw the 9/11 attacks. She took her entire staff with her three days later, and they all flew to Connecticut for safety.

Helen Hunt - Now

Helen Hunt – Now

The Jacksons – Then

Tito, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael formed the popular group “Jackson Five.” Their first four singles reached first place on Billboard charts. It was a record in the history of music and business back in 1970. In a nine-month period, the singles were released, and “I’ll Be There” was at number one place for five weeks.

The Jacksons - Then

The Jacksons – Then

The Jacksons – Now

After a 17-year long break, the Jacksons reunited in 2011 to celebrate their brother’s solo career (the late Michael Jackson). They also performed as part of the group’s Unity Tour. Their brother Randy retired a while ago, but the rest of the Jacksons are still active; they perform at various events and venues and tour the world.

The Jacksons - Now

The Jacksons – Now

Janet – Then

Janet is the youngest member of the Jackson family. She may have performed various shows with her older brothers, but Janet preferred to act rather than sing. One of the biggest roles she played as a young girl was at the Good Times sitcom, where she played the scared and battered child named Penny living in the same neighborhood as the Evans family.

Janet - Then

Janet – Then

Janet – Now

Only her brother Michael is more popular than Janet and remains one of the most renowned recording musicians in the industry with millions of records, multi-platinum albums, performances, and hit movies. She married Wissam Al Mana, a billionaire, and her wish to begin a family was the reason for her most recent tour being canceled.

Janet - Now

Janet – Now

Kim Richards – Then

In many television shows and movies in the 1970s, Kim starred as one of the most famous child actors. Kim was everywhere from shows like James at Sixteen and Nanny and the Professor to headline films such as Escape to Witch Mountain and the sequel Return from Witch Mountain, Kim appeared to be everywhere.

Kim Richards - Then

Kim Richards – Then

Kim Richards – Now

Kim entered the spotlight again in 2010, joining the hit reality TV show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills with her sister Kyle. However, shortly after Kim appeared in the series, rumors of possible alcohol and drug problem began to spread, partly due to the erratic behavior she showed on camera. She has been in rehab several times, claiming sobriety, but was arrested in 2015 for public intoxication, trespassing, battery on an officer, and resisting an officer at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The series immediately let her go, but Kim returns as a guest star.

Kim Richards - Now

Kim Richards – Now

Mindy Cohn – Then

Many remember that between 1979 and 1988, Mindy Cohn portrayed Natalie, an irrepressible student, in The Facts of Life TV show. Her sincere but sarcastic character, Natalie, was a vital part of the success of the show. Somehow the role of Cohn became a curse because she was typecast as a “nice girl.” She then found it difficult to play more significant roles on TV.

Mindy Cohn - Then

Mindy Cohn – Then

Mindy Cohn – Now

When Cohn earned a degree in cultural anthropology, she worked as an actor. The weSPARK Cancer Support Center was later founded. She is the guest star on TV, but she has more Voiceover work by her talents. She voiced “Velma” in the animated Scooby-Doo series for many years now, and her work even got her nominated for an Emmy.

Mindy Cohn - Now

Mindy Cohn – Now

Johnny Whitaker – Then

In numerous television shows, including Family Affair and General Hospital, Johnny appeared. Actually, when they starred in the movie Tom Sawyer, it was Jodie Foster’s first on-screen kiss. Johnny had some extreme struggles when his friend Anissa Jones died, and he took a break from acting for quite a long time. She played his sister on Family Affair.

Johnny Whitaker - Then

Johnny Whitaker – Then

Johnny Whitaker – Now

Johnny had been through a long and difficult period of substance abuse, so his family decided to intervene to force the actor to get help. It was a twelve-step program that helped him overcome his substance abuse problems, and he’s been clean for 12 years. Fact: Like Spanish and Portuguese and American and French Sign Languages, Johnny speaks various languages fluently.

Johnny Whitaker - Now

Johnny Whitaker – Now

Mike Lookinland – Then

In The Brady Bunch series, Mike played Bobby Brady, the youngest son in the family. The character is energetic and nice, but in some of the show’s episodes, Lookinland surprisingly showed a range of emotions when playing Bobby. Fact: Naturally, Mike’s hair is curly and sandy brown in color. The actor had to get his hair straightened and dyed to match the show’s other male characters to portray Bobby Brady’s character.

Mike Lookinland - Then

Mike Lookinland – Then

Mike Lookinland – Now

Before leaving show business completely, Mike appeared in various shows such as Little House on The Prairie, various Brady Bunch specials, and films such as The Towering Inferno. He lives a happy life with his wife and two children while running his own Utah-based decorative concrete business. Mike revealed him to be a Deadhead.

Mike Lookinland - Now

Mike Lookinland – Now

Erin Murphy – Then

Between 1964 and 1972, American actress Erin Margaret Murphy is best known for starring in the massive hit series Bewitched. She shared the spotlight with her twin sister, Diane, playing one of the show’s season’s young Tabitha Stephens. They looked less alike as the girls grew older, so Erin played by herself. Through her role, she became one of the world’s most famous young actresses.

Erin Murphy - Then

Erin Murphy – Then

Erin Murphy – Now

Murphy bounced around various auditions after Bewitched ended, turning down different modeling gigs and commercials. Her family moved to Orange County, and as a “normal child,” she got a chance to start sixth grade. At 21, she married and gave birth to her first child while living in Arizona. Since she loved acting, she taught the craft and worked in makeup and production when film cape town. Ten years ago, she returned to Los Angeles and started working in commercials, as a celebrity judge, and on reality TV shows.

Erin Murphy - Now

Erin Murphy – Now

Robbie Rist – Then

During the last six episodes of the show, Robbie joined The Brady Bunch. Since they saw competition from other shows such as Sanford & Son, he was brought on to be an alternative to the other Brady kids who were older and to support the show’s ratings. He played Oliver’s eight-year-old cousin, but Rist was nine years old at the time.

Robbie Rist - Then

Robbie Rist – Then

Robbie Rist – Now

In movies such as The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and many animated shows, including Batman: The Animated Series, Rist has performed voiceover work as an adult. For movies such as Sharknado and Sharknado 2, the talented Robbie has recently received notice on movie soundtracks. In addition to all these things, he performs as a lead singer, drummer, bass player, and/or guitarist for several rock bands in Los Angeles.

Robbie Rist - Now

Robbie Rist – Now

Tina Majorino- Then

In a hit film titled Waterworld, where she played the role of Enola, child actress Tina Majorino starred. She didn’t disappear at all after that. She stayed in Hollywood and continued to make films; she was in other films like Corrina, Corrina as a child, and she played Alice’s role in Alice In Wonderland’s TV film version.

Tina Majorino Then

Tina Majorino- Then

Tina Majorino- Now

You may remember 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 featured in 22 episodes! She recently played Florence in 12 Scorpion episodes. It doesn’t look like Majorino will soon be going anywhere, and we’re happy to hear that.

Tina Majorino Now

Tina Majorino- Now

Valerie Bertinelli – Then

When Valerie Bertinelli started appearing in the new sitcom One Day at a Time, she was only 15 years old. Out of the show’s 209 episodes, she was in 208 of them. The series ended in 1984, but for the One Day at a Time Reunion Special in 2005, the show’s cast reunited. She won a Golden Globe in 1981 when the TV star was 21 years old. In recent years, it doesn’t seem like her career has slowed down.

Valerie Bertinelli - Then

Valerie Bertinelli – Then

Valerie Bertinelli – Now

Bertinelli might have had early success, but she did not stop acting and starring in two sitcoms, Café Americain and Sydney. In 2001, she joined Touched, but it only lasted for two seasons. For years she struggled with her weight but eventually overcome her problems and became a spokesperson of the dietary company of Jenny Craig in various ads. On TV Land’s 2010 hit series Hot in Cleveland, she joined Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, and Betty White. Following six hilarious seasons, the last episode of the show came out on June 3, 2015.

Valerie Bertinelli - Now

Valerie Bertinelli – Now

Robby Benson – Then

Robby, best known for his film work, was also a television star, appearing in shows such as the Search for Tomorrow soap opera. Jory, Jeremy, and the popular Ode to Billy Joe are some of his films. For his part in Ice Castles, one of the biggest movies he appeared in, he learned how to skate.

Robby Benson - Then

Robby Benson – Then

Robby Benson – Now

Benson’s best-known work these days in the Disney animated film Beauty and The Beast lends his voice to the “Beast.” He has been happily married since 1982 and worked as a professor at various universities in Utah, South Carolina, New York, and now Indiana. Fact: Robby had heart problems he’d never mentioned to directors and producers since he thought he’d be thrown into nothing. Over four heart surgeries occurred in Benson.

Robby Benson - Now

Robby Benson – Now

Ron Howard – Then

Ron has been acting since the 60s, starting as a child actor. The Andy Griffith Show was a prominent role, but his most successful role came later when he starred in Happy Days. Richie Cunningham, the centered and gentle-mannered adolescent who grew up in Milwaukee with his friends, played the main character.

Ron Howard - Then

Ron Howard – Then

Ron Howard – Now

Without a doubt, Ron Howard is a successful actor, director, and producer. Today, in Hollywood history, he is one of the most successful people in the world involved in TV and film. He has starred in more than 27 films, directed approximately 28 films, and produced over 20 films. Ron Howard shows everyone what a guy can do if the right chances are given to him.

Ron Howard - Now

Ron Howard – Now

Ron Paolillo – Then

Arnold Horshack is familiar to those who have watched Welcome Back Kotter. He was the class clown of the Sweathogs, a high school children’s crew. Ron Paolillo expertly portrayed the character. The actor even perfected the hyena-like laugh of his character.

Ron Paolillo - Then

Ron Paolillo – Then

Ron Paolillo – Now

Ron was in demand as well during his adult life. In television shows and films like Friday The Thirteenth, Laverne, and Shirley in The Army, and many others, he played a wide variety of characters. Moreover, he was a fashion designer, directed several musicals and plays on Broadway, and even wrote some 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 known for his time on the sitcom Happy Days, where he played Chachi, Joanie Cunningham’s love interest. However, years before, he was also the lead in the musical gangster film Bugsy Malone, based on 1920’s gangsters like Bugs Moran and Al Capone who lived during prohibition. The film’s twist was that only child actors starred in it. One of them was Jodie Foster, the future Oscar winner.

Scott Baio - Then

Scott Baio – Then

Scott Baio – Now

After Happy Days, Scott went on to star in the Joanie Loves Chachi spin-off sitcom. In several films, such as Skatetown USA, Zapped, and Foxes, he also had parts. For Nick at Nite, his most recent projects include starring in his own reality shows and producing several shows. Baio is a registered Republican. Since she refused to say the name of Trump, who was still the presumptive Republican nominee at the time, it was reported in 2016 that he got into an altercation with a barista.

Scott Baio - Now

Scott Baio – Now

Susan Dey – Then

As Laurie Partridge, Susan Dey was in the hit series The Partridge Family. With big names like the mega-talented David Cassidy and acclaimed star Shirley Jones, she joined the show’s cast. She was a fashion model before Dey was cast in the show. Fact: Before entering the show, seventeen-year-old Dey had no acting experience.

Susan Dey - Then

Susan Dey – Then

Susan Dey – Now

In several movies, such as Skyjacked, Disappearance, and Little Women, and television series, Dey continued to appear, including the massively popular L.A. Uh. Law. The actress is refusing to attend The Partridge Family’s reunion shows. She and co-star David Cassidy briefly dated after the end of the show, but things didn’t work out, and to this day, the two don’t talk to each other.

Susan Dey - Now

Susan Dey – Now

Karen Carpenter – Then

Karen Anne Carpenter became an American singer-drummer living legend. Her skills on her instrument were remarkable, and she even earned admiration from various drumming luminaries. What made her a star, however, was her contralto vocal range. She performed as a duo with her brother, Richard, and their 1970 album, “Close to You,” became a massive success.

Karen Carpenter - Then

Karen Carpenter – Then

Karen Carpenter’s Passing In 1983

Sadly, at the young age of 32, Karen Carpenter died in 1983. Karen suddenly collapsed at her parent’s house and was taken to Downey Community Hospital, a 25-minute drive away. In fact, she suffered from anorexia nervosa, a compulsive diet-related disorder, and the cause of her death was cardiac arrest. Karen’s anorexia was the reason behind the cancelation of Queen Elizabeth’s 1975 performance of The Carpenters and their concert tour in Europe and the Orient. She continued performing, however, almost until her sudden death.

Karen Carpenter’s Passing In 1983

Karen Carpenter’s Passing In 1983

Barry Williams – Then

Barry Williams was cast in the hit show The Brady Bunch at only 14 years of age as Greg Brady, the eldest child. He quickly became a heartthrob teenager who had millions of female fans across the U.S. Barry also recorded four albums together with his well-known TV siblings, aside from his acting chops. This helped his popularity among the female population grow even more.

Barry Williams - Then

Barry Williams – Then

Barry Williams – Now

In 1989, the Young Artist Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Williams. He published his 1992 autobiography, entitled “Growing Up Brady… I Was A Teenage Greg,” on the best-seller list for three months. His book was adapted in 2001 as an executive producer for an NBC television film. In recent years, Williams has had guest roles, including a few Brady Bunch specials, Three’s Company, and That 70’s Show. He also spent several years in musical theater, playing roles in West Side Story, Grease, and The Sound Of Music.

Barry Williams - Now

Barry Williams – Now

Maureen McCormick – Then

Now that we have mentioned some of the guys from The Brady Bunch sitcom, it’s time for us to talk about one of the show’s leading ladies. Maureen McCormick played Marcia Brady, the oldest of the Brady girls, from 1969 to 1974. Marcia was pretty, smart, and confident, and inside her own home and at school, she was incredibly popular. Maybe she was always worried about her appearance, but she was really interested in politics as well. She was just 12 years old when Maureen began playing the iconic role.

Maureen McCormick - Then

Maureen McCormick – Then

Maureen McCormick – Now

In 1985, they married Maureen McCormick and Michael Cummings, and in 1989 they welcomed their daughter Natalie. McCormick struggled with drug addiction after her TV show ended, but she ultimately overcomes her addiction. She appeared on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club in 2007 and became a popular contestant, winning the whole thing eventually.

Maureen McCormick - Now

Maureen McCormick – Now

Danny Bonaduce – Then

Thanks to his part in the hit series The Partridge Family, Danny Bonaduce became a popular child actor in the ’70s. Danny Partridge, the bright (red) haired, wisecracking middle child, was on the show. Danny was the fictional family band’s bass guitar player. On the show, his co-stars included David Cassidy. The men have remained close friends since the pilot of the show.

Danny Bonaduce - Then

Danny Bonaduce – Then

Danny Bonaduce – Now

After his hit television show ended, Bonaduce went on to wear many hats. He became a personality on radio/TV, a comedian, and even a professional wrestler. He starred in other television series following the show, such as the 2005 VH1 reality series Breaking Bonaduce. He has also been the host of several Philadelphia and Los Angeles radio shows. He has been hosting a morning talk and music show on Seattle’s KZOK-FM radio station since November 2011.

Danny Bonaduce - Now

Danny Bonaduce – Now

Tatum O’Neal – Then

Tatum O’Neal took home an Academy Award back in 1974 when she was just 10 years old. This is an absolutely impressive statistic. In Paper Moon, where she played Addie Loggins, she won for her performance. Tatum appeared in the Bad News Bears and Nickelodeon movies in 1976. In Hollywood, being raved about at a really young age is a rare thing to see.

Tatum O’Neal - Then

Tatum O’Neal – Then

Tatum O’Neal – Now

Tatum O’Neal married John McEnroe, a tennis star, in 1986, having three kids together. They decided to separate in 1992, but both were divorced by 1994. She appeared in just five movies in the next 15 years, following a string of successful movies in the 70s. Tatum began acting again in the 2000s, with guest appearances on Sex and City, 8 Simple Dating My Teenage Daughter Rules, and Law and Order: Criminal Intent. In 2005, she claimed a recurring role in Rescue Me and continued to act, focusing on her television show work.

Tatum O’Neal - Now

Tatum O’Neal – Now

Linda Blair – Then

For spinning her head in circles before vomiting pea soup, Linda Blair may be best known. Born in 1959, she was only 14 when she landed a possessed girl’s role in The Exorcist. She repeated her role in the sequel to The Exorcist II, 1977: The Heretic. Blair was nominated and won a Golden Globe for her first role. She began acting and being a child model at six. Hidden Fences, a daytime soap opera, held a short-lived role between 1968 and 1969.

Linda Blair - Then

Linda Blair – Then

Linda Blair – Now

Blair appeared in some low-budget horror and exploitation movies throughout the 1980s, such as Hell Night, Savage Streets, and Chained Heat. She made fun of her roots in horror movies in the 1990 comedy Repossessed, and she had a cameo in 1996 in the well-known film Scream. Also, she has been on stage for the show L.A. and on BBC TV. 7. From 2000 to 2006, Blair hosted the Fox Family show Scariest Places on Earth, and she had a guest appearance on people’s favorite Supernatural.

Linda Blair - Now

Linda Blair – Now

Melissa Gilbert – Then

In the late ’60s, Melissa Ellen Gilbert started her career and continued to be a child actress in the early’ 70s. She was in several commercials, and on TV shows, she had guest-starring roles. The part of Laura Ingalls Wilder landed on Little House on the Prairie, the hit NBC show, for her big break. From 1974 to 1984, Melissa starred in the TV series, and while doing so, she also appeared in TV films, including The Diary of Anne Frank and The Miracle Worker.

Melissa Gilbert - Then

Melissa Gilbert – Then

Melissa Gilbert – Now

In her adulthood, Gilbert didn’t stop acting, although she mostly appeared on TV shows. She gave her voice to the animated show Batman: The Animated Series and agreed to play Caroline “Ma” Ingalls on the Prairie’s Little House Musical Tour. Her fans enjoyed seeing 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 in 2016, as a Democrat, she ran for Congress but had to withdraw from the race in Michigan due to some health-related issues.

Melissa Gilbert - Now

Melissa Gilbert – Now

Jodie Foster – Then

Jodie Foster, born in 1962, had already begun her acting career in 1965. She joined the cast of the show Mayberry R.F.D two years later. By the late ’60s, the young girl had become a regular fixture on primetime TV. She also starred in several films for children, but in her teens, her breakout roles came. She was cast in Taxi Driver, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, and Candleshoe, Disney’s Freaky Friday.

Jodie Foster - Then

Jodie Foster – Then

Jodie Foster – Now

She decided to go to Yale while Foster continued to enjoy a lot of success in Hollywood. She starred in the really controversial film The Accused at that time, and her performance earned her a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. She won a second Academy Award for The Silence of the Lambs three years later, where she played Clarice Starling. Foster has not stopped taking on lead roles and turning heads in Hollywood after more than five decades.

Jodie Foster - Now

Jodie Foster – Now

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