Child Actors Of The ‘70s: Where Are They Now?

Melissa Gilbert a.k.a. Laura Ingalls

Melissa Gilbert, popularly known as Laura Ingalls from “Little House on the Prairie,” stole our hearts in the ’70s. Aside from the show’s popularity, Melissa had industry experience with various TV commercials. She continued to guest-star for shows such as “The Diary of Anne Frank,” and “The Miracle Worker.”

Those old shows were just insurance. Now, Melissa is really making waves. She made an appearance on NBC’s Dancing with the Stars in 2012. She has evolved over the years. She’s on tour as Caroline “Ma” Ingalls in “Little House on the Prairie, the Musical” and does voice-overs for “Batman: The Animated Series.”

Ron Howard a.k.a. Opie Taylor

Popularly known as Opie Taylor of “The Andy Griffith Show,” Ron always lands great acting roles. Following the footsteps of his parents, who are both actors and his father is also a director, Ron made his first movie appearance at 18 months old for Frontier Woman (1956). It was no surprise that he took after his parents. He continued to appear on stage and TV from thereon.

He made appearances in more than 27 films, takes credit for directing more than 28 films, and producing more than 20 films. He has become a monumental film icon! His work includes “Beautiful Mind,” “The Da Vinci Code.”, and “Apollo 13,”

Helen Hunt

Helen took her acting career seriously even when she was just 8 years old. With the support of her father, director and acting coach Gordon Hunt, she was set up for success. She had her first debut appearance at the age of nine and has continued to appear in many projects, such as Amy Prentis, The Bionic Woman, Swiss Family Robinson, The Facts of Life, and many more.

She’s maintained steady flooring in the awards portion as well. She’s got four Emmys, four American Comedy Awards, four Golden Globes, a Blockbuster Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and one Oscar.

Johnny Whitaker

Johnny started acting when he was 3 years old. He became popular for playing the orphan Jody Davis in Family Affair (1966 to 1971). He went on to appear in a series of films, TV shows and even played a lead role in a musical.

If online classes were a thing back then, he would’ve continued his career while studying at the same time. But he had to take a break. He graduated from Sylmar High School and Brigham Young University. With years of experience, he was awarded a Young Artist Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award in the 20th Youth in Film Awards back in 1999.

Brooke Shields

Brooke’s first role was quite controversial. She played a child prostitute in Pretty Baby (1978). She was so beautiful it was easy for her to land roles after that with no problems. In her youth, she appeared in more than a dozen films, such as The Blue Lagoon (1980) and Endless Love (1981).

She dominated more in the modeling world but she still remained active in the acting industry. Modeling was just insurance. Aside from acting, she published a book called Down Came the Rain in 2003. In the book, she shared her struggle with postpartum depression, which many women relate to.

Danny Bonaduce

Danny was popularly known for playing Danny Partridge in the hit TV show “The Partridge Family.” His father was a TV writer and producer, so it was no surprise that he would play the middle-child bass player.

As expected, he continued to appear in many films, such as Corvette Summer in 1978. With big investments in the movie industry, one would think he could retire early. But no, he had a brief acting hiatus and then went back on track. He continued to appear in many TV shows, even tried a career as a professional wrestler, radio personality, and a comedian.

Maureen McCormick

Widely known as Marcia Brady of NBC’s The Brady Bunch, Maureen made waves in the TV industry as she continued to appear in a series of Barbie and Kool-Aid commercials. She also appeared in My Three Sons, Bewitched, and Camp Runamok.

TV acting was her insurance as she also ventured into the movie industry appearing in Dogtown, Great Easter Adventure, and The Million Dollar Kid from 1997 to 2000. She even won VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club in 2007. In 2008, she decided to publish a book about her TV experience called Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice.

Mike Lookinland

Who could forget his jet-black hair when he played the role of Bobby Brady in The Brady Bunch? Aside from appearing in this ‘70s hit show, Mike also worked on the ever-popular Little House on the Prairie. He even appeared in several Brady Bunch movies and specials, such as The Towering Inferno.

However, that wasn’t really his thing. After retiring from the acting scene, he got married and now has two children. His investments include his happy family life and a decorative concrete business that he owns in Utah. He confessed to being a deadhead and isn’t ashamed of it.

Quinn Cummings

She started young doing commercials until she finally landed the role of Lucy McFadden in The Goodbye Girl (1977). At a young age, her amazing performance got her nominated as Best Supporting Actress for both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.

She continued to appear in various TV shows and films, such as Family (1978) and Chief (1985). She also became a casting director and managed her investments well as a business owner and blogger. She’s a writer and a book author, too. Her works are featured in The Wall Street Journal, People, Time, The Huffington Post, and many more.

Robby Benson

Robby made appearances in the early ‘70s on shows such as The Rothchilds, Search for Tomorrow, Jory, Jeremy, and in the movie Ode to Billy Joe. But his debut happened in 1967 on Wait Until Dark.

He continued to appear in various TV shows and films. But ultimately, he takes major credit for his voice-over project in Beauty and the Beast (1991). The award-winning movie was a milestone in his life. It was truly an unforgettable moment playing the voice of the Beast. He also published a book, the bestselling novel called Who Stole the Funny?: A Novel of Hollywood (2007).