Child Stars Of the ’70s
It has been almost 50-years since the child of the stars of the ’70s were going to the studio to film. Today, many of our favorite ’70s shows can be seen in syndication, but have you ever wondered what happened to your favorite actors? Here are some of the most famous child stars in the ’70s today.
Melissa Gilbert played Laura Ingalls on Little House On the Prairie. She got her start in television commercials, and when people saw what a good actress she was, she landed roles while Little House was not filming. She appeared in The Miracle Worker and The Diary of Anne Frank. After taking a break from acting, she played Caroline “Ma” Ingalls in the touring production of Little House On the Prairie, and she has lent her voice to the animated series, Batman: The Animated Series. She was also a contestant on Dancing With the Stars in 2012.
Ron Howard started acting when he was just 18-months-old when he appeared in Frontier Woman. Later, he landed his breakout role as Opie Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show. After playing Richie Cunningham on Happy Days, he went on to star in 27 films but decided that he liked being behind the camera better than in front of it. He has directed 28 motion pictures and produced 20. Over the years, he has become a monumental film icon.
Helen Hunt got her start in the business when she was 8-years-old. Her father, Gordon Hunt, was a Director and Acting Coach. When she was 9, she starred in Amy Prentiss. The rest of the ’70s was busy for Helen, starring in The Bionic Woman, Swiss Family Robinson, the Facts of Life, The Fitzpatricks, and Rollercoaster. Throughout her career, she has won four Emmy Awards, a Blockbuster Award, four American Comedy Awards, four Golden Globes, two Screen Actor Guild Awards, and an Oscar. This is a pretty impressive resume.
Johnny Whitaker got his start in acting when he starred in a local car dealership commercial at 3-years-old. From there, he starred in General Hospital, and The Russians Are Coming. He is best known for his role of Jordy Davis on Family Affair. During the ’70s, he starred in plenty of films including The Littlest Angel, Snowball Express, the Magic Pony, and Tom Sawyer. After graduating from high school, he attended Brigham Young University and graduated in 1986. In 1999, he received the Young Artist Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award at the 20th youth in Film Awards. Despite his professional and personal troubles, he managed to recover.
Brooke Shields is gorgeous. When she was 5-days-old, her mother knew she would have a fantastic career based on her looks. Her first role was a controversial one, and she played a child prostitute in Pretty Baby. Next, she starred in The Blue Lagoon and Endless Love. She took a bit of time off, and in 1996, she landed the lead role on Suddenly Susan. She also starred in Army Wives and made guest appearances on That 70’s Show and Two and a Half Men. She also wrote a book called, Down Came the Rain, that details her personal experience with postpartum depression.
Danny Bonaduce is best known for his role in the 70s hit show, The Partridge Family. Later, he starred in Corvette summer and made guest appearances on ChiPs. After taking a break for a while, he got a few guest roles on television and had his own VH1 reality show, Breaking Bonaduce. He has tried several careers over the years including a professional wrestler, a comedian, and has been hosting a morning show on Seattle radio since November 2011.
Maureen is best known for her role as the oldest sister, Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch. She later starred in Dogtown, Baby Huey’s Great Easter Adventure, and The Million Dollar Kid. She wrote a best seller called Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice in 2008. The book detailed her struggles with being a child star.
Scott Baio got his start playing Chachi Arcola on Happy Days. Later, he starred in the spin-off, Joanie Loves Chachi. In the 80s, he starred in Charles in Charge and then in the 90s, Diagnosis Murder. During the 90s and the early 2000s, he had parts in many movies. When his daughter, Bailey, was diagnosed with a rare metabolic disorder, he started the Bailey Baio Angel Foundation. In 2015, he was diagnosed with a meningioma brain tumor.
Valerie got her start playing on One Day At a Time, which earned her a Golden Globe in 1981. She also starred in Sydney, Cafe American, and Touched By An Angel. After taking some time out of the spotlight, she lost a lot of weight and became a spokesperson for Jenny Craig. She also starred in the TV series, Hot In Cleveland from 2010 through 2015.