Top Box Office Actors of the 1970's

Posted on 13 Jun 00:00

Hollywood has endured plenty of lively changes throughout its history. From the colors of cinematography to genres of melodies, the Hollywood industry has modified its attitude in accordance with the demands of time and generations. The era of the 1970's was of exceptional worth for Hollywood, as the industry saw the advent of new filmography.

Here is the list of some top actors/actresses of the 1970's who inspired numerous fans and critics through their extraordinary on-screen recitals.

1)  Clint Eastwood (May 31, 1930 - )

Clinton Eastwood, jr., an American born film actor, producer and director was born on May 31 1930, is sone of the biggest superstars of the 1970's. After numerous unsuccessful auditions, Clint started his film career with a trivial role in “Revenge of The Creatures” (1955) under the direction of Jack Arnold. The 1960's became the eventual booster for Eastwood’s career when he performed in several commercial successes like “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964), “For a Few Dollars More” (1965), and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” (1966).

During the course of the 1970's, Clint Eastwood was established as one of the biggest stars of the decade whereas; he was also indulged in numerous affairs with many leading actresses including Jean Seberg, Jo Ann Harris, Sandra Locke, Francis Fisher and Roxanne Tunis.

His huge commercial successes of the 1970's include “The Outlaw Josey Wales” (1976), “High Plains Drifter” (1973), and “Dirty Harry” (1971). Those splendid performances not only won him numerous academy award nominations but in 1995 he received The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award of lifetime achievement and also American film institute’s life achievement award in 1996.

2)  Barbara Streisand (April 24, 1942 - )

Barbara Streisand, her original name Barbara Joan Streisand is an American actress, musician, director, and producer. Barbara started her career with a commercial hit “Funny Girl” in 1964, during the course of ‘70's’ Barbara managed to earn the title of the most powerful lady in show business.

Besides her brilliant performances as a leading actress in several roles and numerous musical hits Barbara was blasted by the media over the famous Michael Jackson case where she received much backlash after her notorious remarks about the accusers of Michael Jackson.

Barbara has won two academy awards for the best actress in 1969 for the movie “Funny Girl” (1968) and the second one for the movie “A Star is born” (1976). Her notable movies of the ‘70's’ were “The Way we were” (1973),”What’s Up Doc” (1972) and “Funny Lady” (1975).

Despite winning two Oscars for her extraordinary performances as an actress Streisand has also won 14 academy award nominations for movies that she directed (Yentl (1983), won a Golden Globe for best picture).

3)  Burt Reynolds (February 11, 1936 to September 6, 2018)

Burt Leon Reynolds, the major sex symbol of the American film industry and first nude male attraction, was born in Michigan on February 11, 1936. He started his career on the small screen, however, Burt emerged as a serious actor and a major star in “Deliverance” (1972) co-starring Jon Voight.

Despite having a successful movie career of over 60 years late in his career, Reynolds had several monetary problems that that resulted in bankruptcy in 1990, later he had to sell his mansion in Florida.

Reynolds in the 1970s appeared to be the most influential and iconic star of the decade, his movies like “The Longest Yard” (1974), “Semi-Tough” (1977), and “Smokey and The Bandit” (1977) played a vital role in making Burt one of the top actors of the 1970's.

“Smokey and The Bandit” (1977) was his top-grossing movie of the decade, he received two Golden Globe Award nominations in the ‘70's’ for “The Longest Yard” (1974), “Dan August” (1970) and “Starting Over” (1979).

Burt Reynolds died on September 6, 2018, at the age of 82 years after going into cardiac arrest.

4)  Robert Redford (August 18, 1936 - )

Charles Robert Redford, a legendary actor of the American film industry was born on august 18, 1936, in California. He is an iconic actor, director, environmental activist, entrepreneur, and producer of Hollywood. He is also the founder of The Sundance Film Festival, the most significant movie event in Hollywood.

The biggest breakthrough of his early career proved to be a leading role in “Barefoot in The Park” (1963) which was directed by Mike Nichols. Robert received his first academy award nomination for “The Sting” (1973) after working in another major hit of 1973 “The Way We Were” co-starring Barbara Streisand.

At the beginning of his career, the actor prior to the start of his theater career, faced the greatest of his life loss of his life, his five month old son Scott died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. 

Other most notable Redford films are “The Sting” (1973), “The Candidate” (1972), “Three Days of The Condor” (1975), all tremendously successful films of the 1970's.

5)  Steve McQueen (March 24, 1930 to November 7, 1980)

Steven McQueen was born on the March 24, 1930, in Indiana. He was known for his cool, good looks and tough guy personality. Steve was one of the top actors of the 1970's with exceptional performances in the movies including “The Getaway” (1972), “Papillon” (1973), and “The Towering Inferno” (1974).

Steve received the Oscar nomination for best actor in 1967 for the movie “The Sand Pebbles”. Steve McQueen made his movie debut in an unaccredited role in “Girl on The Run” (1953). While filming “The Getaway” (1972), her fell in love with his co-star, Ali McGraw, which ignited a bit of a scandal because the actress was then married to the film executive Robert Evans. Later in 1973, the duo married.  Their marriage lasted 5 years and ended due to McQueen's alcoholism in 1978.

On November 7, 1980, at the age of 50 years, Steve died of lung cancer after a long battle with the disease.

6)  Woody Allen (December 1, 1935 - )

Born Allen Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935, in New York, Woody Allen is a comedian, producer, and director. Allen received his career breakthrough with “Annie Hall” (1977) starring Diane Keaton, who was was romantically involved for many years. He often had affairs with his costars.  However, he is most notoriously remembered for having an affair with the adopted daughter of his then girlfriend (Mia Farrow) and ultimately marrying the daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. 

His popular movies of the 1970's are “Manhattan” (1979), “Sleeper” (1973), and “Annie Hall” (1977). He was also nominated for the best actor for an academy award for “Annie Hall” (1977).  

7)  Charles Bronson (November 3, 1921 - August 30, 2003

Charles Dennis Buchinsky also known as Charles Bronson was born on November 3, 1921 in Pennsylvania. His most famous on-screen character is  Bernardo O’Reilly in “The Magnificent Seven” (1960). He is renowned for playing tough guy characters in violent thrillers such as “Death Wish” (1974), “The Mechanic” (1972), and “Mr. Majestyk” (1974).

He won a golden globe award for the best actor during the era of the 1970's in 1972. After battling Alzheimer’s disease and pneumonia for many years, Charles Bronson died on August 30, 2003, at the age of 81 years.


The era of the 1970's was the cause of antagonistic changes in the movie industry. New faces were introduced by many filmmakers, which made the competition tough for many on-screen characters to make in the list of top actors of the 1970's.

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