Best Actresses in the 1970's-- Film/TV

by dmclaughlinabq | created - 24 May 2016 | updated - 10 Jul 2016 | Public

1. Jane Fonda

Actress | Klute

Born in New York City to legendary screen star Henry Fonda and Ontario-born New York socialite Frances Seymour Brokaw, Jane Seymour Fonda was destined early to an uncommon and influential life in the limelight. Although she initially showed little inclination to follow her father's trade, she was ...

2. Jill Clayburgh

Actress | Bridesmaids

It came as no surprise to film aficionados when, in 1999, Entertainment Weekly named Jill Clayburgh on its list of Hollywood's 25 Greatest Actresses. For decades, she delivered stellar performances in a wide variety of roles.

Jill Clayburgh was born in 1944 in New York City, into a wealthy family, ...

3. Cicely Tyson

Actress | The Help

Cicely Tyson was born in Harlem, New York City, where she was raised by her devoutly religious parents, from the Caribbean island of Nevis. Her mother, Theodosia, was a domestic, and her father, William Tyson, was a carpenter and painter. She was discovered by a fashion editor at Ebony magazine and...

4. Faye Dunaway

Actress | Network

An icy, elegant blonde with a knack for playing complex and strong-willed female leads, enormously popular actress Faye Dunaway starred in several films which defined what many would come to call Hollywood's "second Golden Age." During her tenure at the top of the box office, she was a more than ...

5. Glenda Jackson

Actress | A Touch of Class

Few in modern British history have come as far or achieved as much from humble beginnings as Glenda Jackson has. From acclaimed actress to respected MP (Member of Parliament), she is known for her high intelligence and meticulous approach to her work. She was born to a working-class household in ...

6. Isabelle Adjani

Actress | Possession

Isabelle Yasmine Adjani was born in Gennevilliers, Hauts-de-Seine, a suburb of Paris, to Emma Augusta "Gusti" (Schweinberger) and Mohammed Adjani. Her father was a Kabyle Algerian, from Iferhounène, and her mother was a Bavarian German. She grew up speaking German fluently. After winning a school ...

7. Gena Rowlands

Actress | The Notebook

Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands is an American film, stage, and television actress, whose career in the entertainment industry has spanned over six decades. A four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner, she is known for her collaborations with her late actor-director husband John Cassavetes ...

8. Ellen Burstyn

Actress | Requiem for a Dream

Ellen Burstyn was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Correine Marie (Hamel) and John Austin Gillooly. She is of Irish, French/French-Canadian, Pennsylvania Dutch (German), and Native American ancestry.. She worked a number of jobs before she became an actress. At 14, she was a short-order cook at a ...

9. Shelley Duvall

Actress | The Shining

Shelley Alexis Duvall was born in Fort Worth, Texas, to Bobbie Ruth (Massengale) and Robert Richardson Duvall, a lawyer. At the time of her birth, her mother was visiting her grandmother in Fort Worth, though Duvall was raised in Houston. During her childhood, Shelley's mother humorously gave ...

10. Sissy Spacek

Actress | In the Bedroom

As a kid, Sissy Spacek climbed trees, rode horses, swam, and played in the woods. She was born Mary Elizabeth Spacek on December 25, 1949, in Quitman, Texas, to Virginia Frances (Spilman) and Edwin Arnold Spacek, Sr., a county agricultural agent. Her father's family was of Czech and German origin.

...

11. Diane Keaton

Actress | Annie Hall

Diane Keaton was born Diane Hall in Los Angeles, California, to Dorothy Deanne (Keaton), an amateur photographer, and John Newton Ignatius "Jack" Hall, a civil engineer and real estate broker. She studied Drama at Santa Ana College, before dropping out in favor of the Neighborhood Playhouse in New ...

12. Talia Shire

Actress | Rocky

Talia Shire was born on April 25, 1946 in Lake Success, Long Island, New York, USA as Talia Rose Coppola. She is an actress, known for Rocky (1976), The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974). She was previously married to Jack Schwartzman and David Shire.

13. Vanessa Redgrave

Actress | Atonement

On January 30, 1937, renowned theatre actor Michael Redgrave was performing in a production of Hamlet in London. During the curtain call, the show's lead, Laurence Olivier, announced to the audience: "tonight a great actress was born". This was in reference to his co-star's newborn daughter, ...

14. Ruby Dee

Actress | American Gangster

Ruby Dee was an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and civil rights activist. She is best known for originating the role of "Ruth Younger" in the stage and film versions of A Raisin in the Sun (1961).

She also starred in The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), Cat People (1982), ...

15. Karen Black

Actress | Five Easy Pieces

Karen Black was born Karen Blanche Ziegler in Park Ridge, Illinois, to Elsie Mary (Reif), who wrote children's books, and Norman Arthur Ziegler, an engineer and businessman. She was of Norwegian (from her paternal grandmother), German, and Bohemian (Czech) descent. Karen entered Northwestern ...

16. Jodie Foster

Actress | The Silence of the Lambs

Jodie Foster was born Alicia Christian Foster on November 19, 1962 in Los Angeles. She is the daughter of Evelyn Ella "Brandy" (Almond), a producer, and Lucius Fisher Foster III, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and real estate broker. Brandy had filed for divorce in 1959 after having three children...

17. Meryl Streep

Actress | The Devil Wears Prada

Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 21 times, and has won it three times. Meryl was born Mary Louise Streep in 1949 in Summit, New Jersey, to Mary Wolf (Wilkinson), a commercial artist, and Harry William ...

18. Lee Grant

Actress | In the Heat of the Night

Academy Award-winner Lee Grant was born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal on October 31, 1925 in Manhattan, New York City, to Witia (Haskell), a teacher and actress, and Abraham Rosenthal, an educator and realtor. Her father was of Romanian Jewish descent, and her mother was a Russian Jewish immigrant. Lee ...

19. Maggie Smith

Actress | Gosford Park

One of the world's most famous and distinguished actresses, Dame Maggie Smith was born Margaret Natalie Smith in Essex. Her Scottish mother, Margaret (Hutton), worked as a secretary, and her English father, Nathaniel Smith, was a teacher at Oxford University. Smith has been married twice: to actor ...

20. Geneviève Bujold

Actress | Dead Ringers

Genevieve Bujold spent her first twelve school years in Montreal's oppressive Hochelaga Convent, where opportunities for self-expression were limited to making welcoming speeches for visiting clerics. As a child she felt 'as if I were in a long dark tunnel trying to convince myself that if I could ...

21. Dyan Cannon

Actress | Heaven Can Wait

Perhaps best known for her trademark curly blond tresses and her faithful appearances at L.A. Lakers basketball games, Dyan Cannon has enjoyed nearly fifty years in the entertainment industry. Born Samille Diane Friesen in Tacoma, Washington, Cannon had early dreams of becoming an actress. She made...

22. Maureen Stapleton

Actress | Reds

Academy Award-winner Maureen Stapleton was born June 21, 1925 in Troy, New York, to Irene (née Walsh) and John P. Stapleton. Her family was of Irish descent. Maureen moved to New York City at the age of eighteen and did modeling to pay the bills. Already a Tony Award-winner, she made her Academy ...

23. Jane Alexander

Actress | Kramer vs. Kramer

Angular in features, reserved in demeanor and more-or-less plaintive in appearance, actress Jane Alexander has played down the glamor card for the most part. Her true brilliance has come from the remarkable range and depth of her talent. Heralded as one of the finest 70s actresses to arrive in ...

24. Julie Christie

Actress | Doctor Zhivago

Julie Christie, the British movie legend whom Al Pacino called "the most poetic of all actresses," was born in Chabua, Assam, India, on April 14, 1940, the daughter of Rosemary (Ramsden), a painter, and Francis St. John "Frank" Christie, a tea planter. The young Christie grew up on her father's ...

25. Cloris Leachman

Actress | The Last Picture Show

The legendary actress set a record when at age 82, she appeared on Dancing with the Stars (2005). Cloris Leachman was born on April 30, 1926 in Des Moines, Iowa to Berkeley Claiborne "Buck" Leachman and the former Cloris Wallace. Her father's family owned a lumber company, Leachman Lumber Co. She ...

26. Liza Minnelli

Soundtrack | Cabaret

Liza Minnelli was born on March 12, 1946, the daughter of Judy Garland and movie director Vincente Minnelli. She was practically raised at MGM studios while her parents worked long hours there and she made her film debut at fourteen months of age in the movie In the Good Old Summertime (1949). Her ...

27. Liv Ullmann

Actress | Viskningar och rop

Liv Ullmann's father was a Norwegian engineer who used to work abroad, so as a child she lived in Tokyo, Canada, New York and Oslo. In the mid-'50s she made her stage debut and in 1957 made her film debut. She really became successful, however, when she began to work for Swedish director Ingmar ...

28. Bibi Andersson

Actress | Persona

Her artistic dreams came early in life and were further supported by her older sister Gerd Andersson who became a ballet dancer at the Royal Opera and made her acting debut in 1951. Bibi, on the other side, had to make do with bit parts and commercials. She debuted in Dum-Bom (1953), playing ...

29. Shirley MacLaine

Actress | Terms of Endearment

Shirley MacLaine was born Shirley MacLean Beaty in Richmond, Virginia. Her mother, Kathlyn Corinne (MacLean), was a drama teacher from Nova Scotia, Canada, and her father, Ira Owens Beaty, a professor of psychology and real estate agent, was from Virginia. Her brother, Warren Beatty, was born on ...

30. Geraldine Page

Actress | The Trip to Bountiful

Considered by many to be one of the greatest American actresses of all time, Geraldine Page was a master craftswoman who seemed to bring out the most inner detail of the character she was playing. Her dedication to her craft has earned her the respect of many of today's great actors including Meryl...

31. Eileen Heckart

Actress | The Bad Seed

Versatile, award-winning character actress Eileen Heckart, with the lean, horsey face and assured, fervent gait, was born Anna Eileen Herbert on March 29, 1919, in Columbus, Ohio. An only child, she lived with her mother after her parents separated at age 2, and was eventually adopted by her ...

32. Madge Sinclair

Actress | Coming to America

Madge Sinclair was born Madge Dorita Walters on April 28, 1938 in Kingston, Jamaica, married young and had two sons. Madge worked as a teacher in Jamaica until she was 30. She left her two boys with their father and moved in 1968 to New York City to be an actress.

She began modeling and later acted ...

33. Marsha Mason

Actress | The Goodbye Girl

She has a wonderful, extremely engaging "feel good" quality about her, an innate warmth that makes you root for her whether she's playing a stubborn single mom, brittle prostitute, or strung-out alcoholic. Marsha Mason was a resoundingly respected and popular film actress of the 1970s and 1980s ...

34. Joanne Woodward

Actress | Rachel, Rachel

Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward was born on February 27, 1930, in Thomasville, Georgia, to Wade Woodward and Elinor Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward in a modest household. Her one older brother, Wade Jr., who was the favorite of her father, eventually became an architect. Elinor Woodward was a ...

35. Madeline Kahn

Actress | Paper Moon

Madeline Kahn was born Madeline Gail Wolfson on September 29, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Freda (Goldberg) (later known as Paula Kahn) and Bernard B. Wolfson, a garment manufacturer. She was of Russian Jewish descent. Madeline began her acting career in high school and went on to university ...

36. Sylvia Sidney

Actress | Beetlejuice

Sylvia Sidney was born in New York City, in the Bronx borough, on August 8, 1910 with the birth name of Sophia Kosow. Her father was Russian born and her mother was born in Romania. They divorced not long after her birth. Her mother subsequently remarried and Sylvia was adopted by her stepfather, ...

37. Candy Clark

Actress | American Graffiti

Candy Clark was born on June 20, 1947 in Norman, Oklahoma, USA as Candace June Clark. She is an actress, known for American Graffiti (1973), The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) and Blue Thunder (1983). She was previously married to Jeff Wald and Marjoe Gortner.

38. Diane Ladd

Actress | Wild at Heart

Ladd earned recognition for her role as Florence Jean Castleberry, the hardened, sharp-tongued waitress in Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974); her performance earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role but she lost to Ingrid Bergman in Murder on the ...

39. Diahann Carroll

Actress | Julia

One of television's premier African-American series stars, elegant actress, singer and recording artist Diahann Carroll was born Carol Diann (or Diahann) Johnson on July 17, 1935, in the Bronx, New York. The first child of John Johnson, a subway conductor, and Mabel Faulk Johnson, music was an ...

40. Valerie Perrine

Actress | Superman

Valerie Perrine was born on September 3, 1943 in Galveston, Texas, USA as Valerie Ritchie Perrine. She is an actress, known for Superman (1978), Lenny (1974) and Superman II (1980).

41. Ingrid Bergman

Actress | Notorious

Ingrid Bergman was one of the greatest actresses from Hollywood's lamented Golden Era. Her natural and unpretentious beauty and her immense acting talent made her one of the most celebrated figures in the history of American cinema. Bergman is also one of the most Oscar-awarded actresses, tied with ...

42. Louise Fletcher

Actress | One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, to Episcopal minister Robert Fletcher and his wife Estelle, both of whom were deaf, Louise Fletcher was introduced to performing at a young age by the aunt who taught her to speak. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, she took a trip out west with her...

43. Anne Bancroft

Actress | The Graduate

Anne Bancroft was born on September 17, 1931 in the Bronx, the daughter of Michael Italiano (1905-2001), a dress pattern maker, and Mildred DiNapoli (1908-2010), a telephone operator. She made her cinema debut in Don't Bother to Knock (1952) in 1952 and over the next five years appeared in a lot of...

44. Mariel Hemingway

Actress | Manhattan

Mariel Hemingway was born on November 22, 1961 in Mill Valley, California, USA as Mariel Hadley Hemingway. She is an actress, known for Manhattan (1979), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) and The Sex Monster (1999). She was previously married to Stephen Crisman.

45. Goldie Hawn

Actress | Overboard

Goldie Jeanne Hawn was born on November 21, 1945 in Washington D.C. to Laura Hawn (née Steinhoff), a jewelry shop/dance school owner, and Rut Hawn, a band musician. She has a sister, Patti Hawn, and a brother, Edward, who died in infancy before her birth. She was raised in the Jewish religion. Her ...

46. Esther Rolle

Actress | Driving Miss Daisy

Best known for the role of Florida Evans on the 1970s sitcoms Maude (1972) and Good Times (1974), African-American actress Esther Rolle proved to be as spirited and iron-willed off-camera as well. The gap-toothed actress with the gravelly voice was born in Pompano Beach, Florida, the 10th child of ...

47. Eileen Brennan

Actress | Clue

A supremely gifted, versatile player who could reach dramatic depths, as exemplified in her weary-eyed, good-hearted waitress in The Last Picture Show (1971), or comedy heights, as in her sadistic drill captain in Private Benjamin (1980), Eileen Brennan managed to transition from lovely Broadway ...

48. Melinda Dillon

Actress | Magnolia

Melinda Dillon came to prominence with the role of Jillian Guiler, a mother whose child is abducted by aliens in Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Dillon's performance in the film earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. A few years later, Dillon ...

49. Zohra Lampert

Actress | Let's Scare Jessica to Death

Solemn, Middle Eastern-looking Zohra Lampert had a touching, understated quality to her talent that should have gone further in the film business than it did. Somehow she never got the bigger breaks necessary for top-flight stardom. Still and all, this comely actress with soft, vulnerable features ...



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