Then And Now: Female Stars Who Transformed TV And Film Into Glory

In a heartbeat, you’ll recognize the following iconic stars who have left their mark on Hollywood. Their breathtaking roles caused some jaw-dropping moments on-and-off set, proving they deserve the title of “great” and some even “extraordinary.” Let’s revisit some of Hollywood’s biggest female stars, who transformed TV and film.


1. Bo Derek

Bo Derek’s real name is Mary Cathleen Collins. What’s most surprising though is that Derek is 61 years old today but still looks about 20 years younger. Time flies but she hasn’t aged a bit. Derek is famous for her roles in Tarzan, the Ape Man, Bolero, and Ghosts Can’t Do It. She is now in semi-retirement, only making films, TV shows, and documentary appearances occasionally.


2. Sophia Loren

This 83 years old singer and actress is called the “Italian Marilyn Monroe.” Sophia Loren entered Hollywood in the 50’s and is killing it even today. Known for her stunning looks, Sophia is also a total foodie. She once said, “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”


3. Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar portrayed Buffy Summers in the Vampire Slayer franchise and is probably the ultimate sign of feminism. She was discovered at just 4 while eating at a restaurant. It’s no surprise that Gellar is considered as one the greatest female role models of all time. She is currently slaying life as a businesswoman – co-founding a food crafting brand, Foodstirs, which sells “kid-friendly” baking kits.


4. Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson is somehow now 50 years old! I guess I must have been blinking too quickly, otherwise, how’d that even happen? As you probably know, Anderson is famous for her roles in V.I.P., Home Improvement, and Baywatch. She is also well-known for her rocky relationships with Tommy Lee and Kid Rock.


5. Nancy Kerrigan

You likely already know that skater Nancy Kerrigan has an impressive Olympic history – winning bronze at the 1992 Winter Olympics and silver at the 1992 World Championships, before becoming the 1993 US National Champion. However, In January 1994, her rival Tonya Harding’s ex-husband brutally attacked Kerrigan with a police baton. She miraculously recovered and went on to win silver at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Kerrigan since then has gone pro in ice shows. Moreover, she was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, season 24.


6. Jaclyn Smith

The star of Charlie’s Angels holds a special place in many hearts. Jaclyn Smith was actually the only original female lead who stuck with the series for its entire duration. Since the show was wrapped up in the early 80’s, Smith developed and marketed her own line of clothing and perfume.


7. Cheryl Ladd

Next up is another alum from the hit 70’s show Charlie’s Angels, Cheryl Ladd. She played Kris Munroe on the show once Farrah Fawcett left. The 67-year old has starred in more than 30 made-for-television films. That’s why she is crazy familiar on television. Most recently, she made some guest appearances on TV shows such as Chuck and NCIS.


8. Melissa Rauch

How could we not include Melissa Rauch on this list? All thanks to her role of Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz in The Big Bang Theory series, Melissa, now 38, is enjoying a ton of success. She most recently voiced Harley Quinn in the animated movie Batman and Harley Quinn.


9. Raquel Welch

We can’t believe this actress and singer is 78 years old now! Really beats us! It seems like yesterday that Raquel Welch took the world by storm as a sex symbol. She gained huge success in the acting industry mainly due to her roles in Fantastic Voyage and One Million Years B.C. Besides, Welch also has a successful beauty and fitness career.


10. Maureen McCormick

Sure, we could dish out a few Marcia Brady jokes but not today. Maureen McCormick, now 62, has come a long way since appearing as Marcia Brady on the 70’s hit sitcom The Brady Bunch. McCormick has actually reprised this role multiple times, has had success on the stage, released 4 studio albums and is a published author. Wonder Woman truly!


11. Lisa Whelchel

You probably know Lisa Whelchel as a Mouseketeer on The New Mickey Mouse Club or as Blair Warner on The Facts of Life. The actress and singer even earned a Grammy Award nomination for her contemporary Christian album, All Because of You in 1984. In more recent times, Whelchel acchieved second place in 2012’s reality show Survivor: Philippines.


12. Elizabeth Berkley

This actress and dancer is for all you 90’s babies. Elizabeth Berkley played the witty, brilliant and beautiful Jessie Spano on Saved by the Bell, which is probably one of the greatest 90’s shows out there. The 46-year-old is also an animal rights activist. Most impressively, in 2016, she started an online self-help program, Ask-Elizabeth, helping teenage girls.


13. Melissa Sue Anderson

This American-Canadian actress is best known for her role as Mary Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. Meanwhile, she has also starred in some great films, such as Midnight Offerings, Happy Birthday to Me, and Which Mother Is Mine?. Nowadays, Melissa Sue Anderson is still acting, and her most recent role was in the 2018 film, The Brits Are Coming.


14. Phoebe Cates

Now you’re looking at Phoebe Cates who is best known for her two biggest movie roles on Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Gremlins. Cates continued acting until 1994 when she retired to raise her children. Gladly, Cates came back to the big screen in The Anniversary Party as a favor to a friend.


15. Catherine Bell

When we mention Catherine Bell, we have to mention JAG, where she played Major Sarah MacKenzie. This 50-year-old actress is also known as Denise Sherwood in Army Wives and Cassandra “Cassie” Nightingale in the Hallmark film and TV series The Good Witch. Bell has maintained a steady acting career over the years and she often lands leading roles in Hallmark films.


16. Betty White

Oh man, what else could we tell you about the oh so well-known Betty White! This actress and comedian has THE longest TV career of any female entertainer. Moreover, she’s one of the first ever women to be in control in front and behind the camera, so she’s considered a pioneer for TV. She’s also the first woman to have produced a sitcom! Impressive!


17. Priscilla Presley

This actress and business magnate probably will always be referred to as the ex-wife of American singer Elvis Presley. But regardless of her last name, Priscilla Presley is also known for her roles in the Naked Gun films and on Dallas as Jenna Wade. In 2017, she provided her voice for an episode of the TV show Family Guy.


18. Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore is best known for the two sitcoms, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Moore is also known as a cultural icon. She broke the stereotypical image of women and pushed gender norms, thus inspiring lots of young actresses, professional women, and feminists. Sadly, this legend passed away in 2017 at the age of 80.


19. Melissa Gilbert

This actress and television director got her start as a child actress. Melissa Gilbert is best known as Laura Ingalls Wilder on Little House on the Prairie. She later starred as Caroline “Ma” Ingalls in the show’s Musical version. In 2016, Gilbert ran for U.S. Congress as a Democrat for Michigan’s 8th congressional district, and she won the Democratic primary. However, due to neck injuries sustained in 2012, she later dropped out of the race.


20. Barbara Feldon

This actress and model mainly worked in theatre, but she is also known for her roles on TV, especially the sitcom Get Smart. Although it’s been a while since she appeared in anything, Barbara Feldon is currently still active in Hollywood. Besides, Feldon is a published author.


21. Terry Farrell

Whether you know her as Regina “Reggie” Kostas on Becker or as Jadzia Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the point is you know Terry Farrell. This actress and fashion model did retire in 2003, but in 2015, the now 54-year-old made her comeback and recently starred in the TV series Renegades.


22. Linda Kozlowski

Linda Kozlowski made her film debut at the age of 23 in 1981 and in 1986, her big break came. Obviously, you know it’s the Crocodile Dundee franchise where she played the female lead Sue Charlton. Linda has since then had a few varied roles. Unfortunately, they weren’t enough to keep her in the industry, and she finally chose to retire in 2001.