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The Biggest Celebrities Who Are in Their 70s, Then and Now

See these Hollywood icons back when they were just starting out.

Today, they have crowded trophy cases and are revered by countless fans, but once upon a time, even the most famous names were looking for their big break. The seasoned stars on this list are celebrated actors, singers, and even activists, with tons of life experience under their belts. But it wasn't always that way. Read on to see our favorite celebrities who are in their 70s as they are today and how they were when they were still wannabes.

Harrison Ford: Then

Harrison Ford in 1978
Archive Photos/Getty Images

In 1978, a 36-year-old Harrison Ford was a newly minted movie star, fresh off of the release of the first Star Wars movie in 1977.

RELATED: The Biggest Male Icon Every Year Since You Were Born.

Harrison Ford: Now

Harrison Ford at the premiere of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" in 2019
DFree /

At 79, Ford is still one of the biggest movie stars in the world. He's currently filming his fifth adventure as another one of his iconic characters, Indiana Jones. The new sequel is due out in 2022.

Dolly Parton: Then

Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton in the '60s
GAB Archive/Redferns

In the late '60s, when she was in her 20s, Dolly Parton became a featured singer on country music star Porter Wagoner's variety show. She'd see her first big solo hit, "Jolene," a few years later, in 1973.

Dolly Parton: Now

Dolly Parton performing in 2019
Carl Beust / Shutterstock

Now 75, Parton is a legendary singer-songwriter, as well as a philanthropist. While she continues to write, record, and act, her most celebrated contribution of the past few years was helping to fund the development of the Moderna COVID vaccine.

RELATED: See Dolly Parton Recreate Her Iconic Playboy Cover 43 Years Later.

Steve Martin: Then

Steve Martin performing in 1970
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In 1970, when he was 25, Steve Martin had broken into Hollywood as a writer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and was about to gain some serious attention for his standup performances.

Steve Martin: Now

Steve Martin in 2016

At 76, Martin is known not only as an actor and comic but as a writer, musician, and art collector. He's currently starring in the Hulu crime comedy Only Murders in the Building, which he also co-created.

Goldie Hawn: Then

Goldie Hawn in 1964
Joseph Klipple/Getty Images

At 1964, when Goldie Hawn was 19, she was working as a professional dancer and had yet to get into acting formally. Four years later, she'd book the job that brought her national attention: Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.

Goldie Hawn: Now

Goldie Hawn

Most recently, Hawn, who is now 75, co-starred with her long-time partner Kurt Russell in the Netflix holiday movie The Christmas Chronicles and its sequel. The beloved Hollywood pair played the Clauses.

RELATED: 15 Celebrities Who Say They're Never Getting Married.

Helen Mirren: Then

Helen Mirren in 1969
David Farrell/Getty Images

In 1969, stage actor Helen Mirren was 24 years old. As a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, she starred as many of the playwright's famous heroines.

Helen Mirren: Now

Helen Mirren at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019
taniavolobueva / Shutterstock

…But she had to wait until she was 76 to speed through London in a sports car with Vin Diesel. Mirren's most recent film credit is reprising her role as Queenie in F9: The Fast SagaUp next is the Marc Forster film White Bird: A Wonder Story and the sequel to Shazam!

Tim Curry: Then

Tim Curry in 1975
Wood/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Tim Curry was 29 in 1975, the very year that he took his iconic role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter from the stage to the screen in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was the future star's first-ever film role.

Tim Curry: Now

Tim Curry in 2016
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Curry is 75 today and uses a wheelchair due to a stroke he suffered in 2012. He's continued to do voiceover work and appear at fan events. He even had a cameo as a the Criminologist in the 2016 live TV production of Rocky Horror.

Stevie Wonder: Then

Stevie Wonder in the 70s
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In the '70s, Stevie Wonder was in his 20s and already busting out classic records like his 1972 smash "Superstition."

Stevie Wonder: Now

Stevie Wonder in 2020
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Still young at 71, Wonder has said that he has a few projects currently in the works. In 2020, he released two new singles and hit the campaign trial to perform in support of Joe Biden, as pictured above.

Susan Sarandon: Then

Susan Sarandon in 1979
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Seen here at the 1979 Tony Awards at the age of 33, Susan Sarandon already had films including The Front PageThe Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Pretty Baby under her belt.

Susan Sarandon: Now

Susan Sarandon in 2018
Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

Now 74, Sarandon is known as much for her politics and activism as she is for her acting work. She most recently appeared in the films Jolt and Ride the Eagle, as well as a couple of episodes of Search Party.

RELATED: Susan Sarandon Says She'd Date a Woman or Man, But They Must Have This.

Ted Danson: Then

Ted Danson in 1986
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In 1986, 39-year-old Ted Danson was a TV heartthrob thanks to the celebrated comedy Cheers, which had been on the air since 1982. He'd go on to win two Emmys for his role of Sam Malone.

Ted Danson: Now

Ted Danson
Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

At 73, Danson is still making us laugh on TV. After The Good Place rolled off into the sunset in 2020, Danson moved on to the small-town political comedy Mr. Mayor. He's been married to fellow actor Mary Steenburgen since 1995.

Diana Ross: Then

Diana Ross in 1964
James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Diana Ross was just 20 here in 1964, the beginning of the era when her group The Supremes reigned supreme. It was also the year that their first major chart-topper "Where Did Our Love Go" hit the airwaves.

Diana Ross: Now

Diana Ross in 2019
Omar Vega/Getty Images

Ross, who became a major success as a solo artist, is 77 today and still performing. She has a new album, Thank You, due out in November of this year—her first in 15 years.

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Tom Selleck: Then

Tom Selleck in 1980
Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Tom Selleck didn't become a household name until 1980, when he was 35 and his series Magnum, P.I. premiered. He'd play the role until 1986.

Tom Selleck: Now

Tom Selleck in 2017
Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

Since 2010, Selleck has been starring on the police drama Blue Bloods. The 76-year-old also made a cameo on the Friends reunion special this year, acknowledging his recurring role as Monica's boyfriend, Richard Burke.

RELATED: See Tom Selleck's Daughter, Who's a Model and Pro Athlete.

Ben Kingsley: Then

Ben Kingsley in 1980
Doug McKenzie/Getty Images

In 1980, when he was 37, Ben Kingsley was still two years away from the role he's most associated with: Mohandas Gandhi in 1982's Gandhi, for which he won the Oscar. At this point, Kingsley's resume was filled with London stage roles and U.K. television shows.

Ben Kingsley: Now

Ben Kingsley
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Kingsley is 77 now, and had two films come out this year. First was the HBO Max heist movie Locked Down and second was the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) flick Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, in which he reprises the same role he played in Iron Man 3.

RELATED: Ranking Every Marvel Movie, From Worst Reviewed to Best.

Samuel L. Jackson: Then

Samuel L. Jackson in 1992
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Fame came relatively late for Samuel L. Jackson. He's 44 in this shot from 1992, just a few years after some of his earliest significant roles, including parts in Coming to America and Do the Right Thing.

Samuel L. Jackson: Now

Samuel L. Jackson in 2019

At the age of 72, Jackson is most frequently seen (and heard) as Nick Fury, his no-nonsense MCU character. He's also set to star alongside John David Washington in a Broadway revival of The Piano Lesson next year.

RELATED: The Biggest Celebrities Who Are in Their 90s, Then and Now.

Sage Young
Sage Young is the Deputy Entertainment Editor at Best Life, expanding and honing our coverage in this vertical by managing a team of industry-obsessed writers. Read more
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