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1970s Male Teen Idols

Glory's love of sharing info about 70s TV entertainment wouldn't be complete without a visit to the world of teen idols!

The cutest and most talented 70s male teen idols!

The cutest and most talented 70s male teen idols!

This is my growing list of the cutest and most talented male teen idols from the 1970s. These cuties became famous on hit TV shows, with songs at the top of the charts, or just because their likenesses graced the pages of teen magazines such as Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, or Super Teen.

Most of these guys would out-grow their teen idol status and become accomplished entertainers in television, film, or music. Others didn't fare as well over time and simply disappeared from the spotlight for one reason or another.

Also, please note, that maybe your favorite actorsl isn't listed, and that is because he may have "earned" a spot on the companion page to this, 1970's Popular and Handsome TV Actors. With a page this size, I can't list everyone who could fit into this category, so I broke it down into two articles.

So, let's get started with our look back, shall we?

Willie Aames from Eight Is Enough

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Willie Aames was a child actor in the 1960s and appeared on Adam 12, Gunsmoke and The Courtship of Eddie's Father.

In the '70s he did stints on Cannon, Medical Center, and The Waltons. On The Odd Couple, starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman, Aames was the first actor to play Felix Unger's son, Leonard, a role which would eventually be assumed by another teen-idol-to-be, Leif Garrett.

In 1976, Aames got the role of Tommy Bradford in the series Eight Is Enough, which ran until 1981.

Aames became an ordained minister and appeared as a Christian superhero in the video series Bibleman from 1995-2004.

Jimmy Baio Was Billy Tate on Soap

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There isn't a lot of information available about Jimmy Baio. We know that his television career began at 13 when he played an uncredited part on the TV series, Ellery Queen.

In 1976, he was cast to play Nick Vitale in the series Joe and Sons, which lasted for one season. The next year he joined the cast of Soap, playing Billy Tate. He stayed with the show until 1981.

Baio went on to appear as a guest star on various TV shows in the 1980s and '90s, but it appears that he retired from acting in 1996.

It is also cool to note that Jimmy is Scott Baio's cousin. Another cousin is Joey Baio, who had some success as an actor in the 1950s and '60s.

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Scott Baio from Happy Days

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Baio got his big break in the 1976 film Bugsy Malone playing the title character. What made this film so different from other gangster films was that it was an all-kid cast and a musical.

But the role most associated with Baio is Chachi Arcola from Happy Days. I have to admit that I was never taken with Scott Baio as Chachi on Happy Days, or even with his popular TV "cousin," The Fonz. But lots of other girls found them both to be dreamy.

Baio came on the scene in season five and lasted until season nine, when he left for the spin-off series, Joanie Loves Chachi, which lasted two seasons. He returned to Happy Days for its last season, when his series was cancelled.

The cancellation didn't slow him down. Baio went on to star in another popular syndicated series, Charles in Charge, which ran from 1984 to 1990.

His most recent project, See Dad Run, debuted on Nick at Nite in October, 2012 and was cancelled after three seasons.

Lenny Bari From Fish

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Lenny starred in Fish, the short-lived spin off from Barney Miller. Abe Vigado's character became a foster father of sorts to five street-wise kids; Loomis (Todd Bridges), Victor (John Cassisi), Jilly (Denise Miller), Diane (Sarah Natoli) and of course, Mike played by Lenny.

Lenny began singing at the age of 5 and when he was 10 he was singing at the Little Miss American Pageant in New York when he was spotted by a manager who signed him immediately.

By the time he was 15 he was starring on Broadway (never having had an acting lesson in his life) in The Me Nobody Knows. He eventually ended up in the road company for Grease.

There isn't a lot of information available on Lenny, The Internet Movie Database offers up just a few credits for him after his gig on Fish. The feature film Skatetown U.S.A., a guest stint on both, Quincy and Hill Street Blues with both of those appearances being in 1981.

The Bay City Rollers

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This Scottish pop group was originally formed in 1967 with a different line-up. The Rollers we know from the '70s consisted of brothers Alan and Derek Longmuir, Eric Faulkner, Stuart "Woody" Wood, and Les McKeown.

After having major success in the UK, executives at Arista Records thought these guys had a chance to make it big in the US. They were right. The group hit #1 on the Billboard charts with S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night, which just a few years before had completely failed to chart in the UK. Another hit song, Money Honey reached #9 on the charts and the boys seemed unstoppable. But the stress of success took its toll on bassist, Alan Longmuir and he quit the band in 1976 and was replaced by 17-year-old cutie, Ian Mitchell. Mitchell also wasn't destined to last long with the group and he was replaced by Pat McGlynn, whose time with Rollers was also short-lived.

In 1978, Alan Longmuir returned to the band just as they were about to make their Saturday morning debut on the Krofft Super Star Hour. The show was eventually renamed The Bay City Rollers Show, and lasted for only 13 episodes. After the show failed, and with their popularity slipping, singer Les McKeown left the band and struck out on his own. By 1979 the band was called simply, "The Rollers."

At present there is no official Bay City Rollers band, but Mitchell, Faulkner and McKeown have each toured and included BCR songs in their acts.

Dirk Benedict Was Battlestar Galactica's Starbuck

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The first time I ever saw Dirk Benedict was on his short-lived 1974 TV series Chopper One in which he played Officer Gil Foley.

Then just a few years later, Benedict got his big break. He played Lt. Starbuck on the sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica, which only lasted for one season. Some called it a Star Wars take-off, and not a very good one at that. In fact, I do believe there were some lawsuits going on between 20th Century Fox and Battlestar's producers, Universal Studios.

Before Battlestar and even Chopper One, Benedict starred in a cult classic horror film called Sssssss (1973) playing the lab assistant to a scientist who has a bad habit of turning his assistants into giant snakes.

Battlestar Galactica Cutest Hunk?

Robby Benson

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With his dark hair, beautiful blue eyes, and soft, gentle voice, it's easy to understand why Robby Benson was such a hit as a teen heartthrob.

Benson had a role on the soap opera, Search For Tomorrow, in 1972. He moved on to working in film and made his big screen debut in the 1972 film, Jory. That was followed by Jeremy and the role that most remember best, as Billy Joe MacAlister in the film, Ode To Billy Joe (1976) based on a popular written and performed by singer Bobbie Gentry.

Benson continued to work into the 1980s and made a name for himself doing voice work, most notably in Disney's Beauty and the Beast as Beast.

In 1984, Benson had heart surgery to correct a defect. The surgery was successful, but he had to have another operation in 1998.

Benson continues to act, write, direct, and teach and he is an active fundraiser for heart disease research.

Michael Biehn 70's Teen Idol and 80's Science Fiction Hero!

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Most folks probably associate Michael Biehn with two roles: Sgt. Kyle Reese in the 1983 sci-fi thriller The Terminator and Corporal Dwayne Hicks in the 1986 movie Aliens.

In fact, Biehn paid his dues in the '70s, working on a variety of television shows including James at 16, Logan's Run, Family, and an ABC After School Special.

Biehn also had a role in a short-lived series from 1979 called The Runaways and that landed him a place in teen magazines.

Danny Bonaduce Wise Cracking Red-Head Danny Partridge

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His biggest claim to fame is his role as wise cracking red-headed Danny Partridge on the classic show The Partridge Family that aired on ABC from 1970-74.

His career started in the late 60s making appearances on shows like The Second Hundred Years, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Mayberry R.F. D. to just name a few.

After being cast as Danny on the series, he was given the chance to make a solo self titled album which was released in 1973 by Lion Records. Bonaduce admits that he did very little singing on the album as most vocals belonged to Bruce Roberts.

After The Partridge Family ended its run, Bonaduce made a few films, the most notable of them, the 1978 film, Corvette Summer co starring Mark Hamill.

In the 1980s, he became a radio personality in Philadelphia, his home town. In the 1990s he had his own talk show The Danny Bonaduce Show.

From 2008 to 2013, he was seen on truTV Presents: World's Dumbest...

Clark Brandon

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Clark Brandon starred in the short-lived show The Fitzpatricks beginning in 1977. The series only lasted for 13 episodes but that was long enough for teen magazines to start running stories and pin-ups of this cutie.

Brandon went on to appear on other popular TV shows including Family, Fantasy Island, and Wonder Woman before landing a part on another series, Out of the Blue, in 1979.

In 1981 Brandon starred in the series Mr. Merlin, about the great wizard living in modern day California. He played Zachary Rogers, the wizard's apprentice. The series lasted for a season and is probably Brandon's most popular work.

I am not sure where Brandon is today. If anyone has an update, please feel free to share.

Kevin Brophy 70s Teen Idol and Lucan the Wolf Boy

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There isn't much information available about Kevin Brophy. Honestly, the only thing I remember about him is his role in Lucan, the story of a young man who spent the first 10 years of his life living with wolves.

The show ran from 1977-78 and followed the boy's story after he is taken in by a kindly research scientist who teaches him how to live in the world of men. Each week, we watched as Lucan tried to fit into this new world. When he was pushed to the point of becoming angry, his eyes would glow red and you could tell that his wolf instinct was coming into play.

Brophy was in the news for an unusual reason more recently. In 2012, a man named Ray Fulk, who had never met Brophy, died and left half of his $1 million estate to the actor. The other half was left to another actor, Peter Barton.

David Cassidy 70s Singing Sensation

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David Cassidy, the step-son of Shirley Jones and son of actor Jack Cassidy, made his professional debut on Broadway in 1969 in the four performance play The Fig Leaves Are Falling. After that, he made guest appearances on a variety of TV shows including Adam 12 and Marcus Welby, M.D.

It was his role as Keith Partridge on The Partridge Family that helped propel him to teen heartthrob status. He told the producers of the show that he could sing and they decided to let him have a go at it, taking the lead on "I Think I Love You," which became a hit single. Encouraged by this success, Cassidy recorded solo albums. His first solo effort to make the Top Ten was "Cherish," from his solo album of the same name. The show's success, combined with his solo musical successes, made him a true teen idol.

Cassidy left the series and in 1978 began another show, playing an undercover police officer in the show David Cassidy: Man Undercover. The show lasted just one season.

Sadly, David passed away, at age 67 on November 17, 2017.

Shaun Cassidy

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Shaun Cassidy, David Cassidy's half-brother, is the son of actress Shirley Jones and actor Jack Cassidy. As a pre-teen he started his own band called "Every Mother's Dream" while his mom and David were working on The Partridge Family.

In 1976 Cassidy released several singles in Germany and had a hit with "Morning Girl." The following year he won the role of Joe Hardy on the TV series The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. The show ran for three season, during which time Cassidy recorded several more hit singles: "Da Doo Ron Ron," "That's Rock and Roll," and "Hey Deanie."

Shaun Cassidy may be David's younger brother, but he certainly grew up to be a major teen heartthrob on his own merit.

In recent years Cassidy has worked on Broadway and on several TV shows as a writer and producer. One, the 1995 series American Gothic, gained cult status.

Battle of the Cassidy boys!

Michael Cole as Pete Cochran on the Mod Squad

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Michael Cole's career began in the 60s with work in television and feature films.

From 1968-73, he worked in what would be his most famous role, that of Pete Cochran on the series The Mod Squad about three young rebellious social outcasts who become undercover cops. Cole's character of Pete Cochran, the son of a wealthy family who toss him to the curb when he gets arrested for stealing a car turned Cole into a teen sensation over night.

Cole wasn't interested in the role at first, but after reading the scripts and getting better feel for the tone of the series decided to take the role.

Cole is still active in front of the camera. His most recent work was in 2010, in a short film called Father's Day.

Tony DeFranco of the DeFranco Family

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Tony DeFranco was the lead singer for The DeFranco Family, a Canadian singing group high on the American charts from 1973-77. DeFranco, then 13, sang the lead on the group's biggest hit: "Heartbeat( It's a Love Beat)."

The group went on to chart several more singles, including "Abra-ca-dabra" in 1973, "Save the Last Dance For Me" in 1974 and their last chart hit, "We Belong Together" in 1975.

The group officially disbanded in 1978. DeFranco and his sister Marisa still perform on occasion but he also has a successful career as a real estate agent.

Peter Duel of Alias Smith and Jones

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Peter Duel's entertainment career began in the 1960s with minor roles in both film and television.

In 1965 he played psychology student John Cooper in the Sally Field comedy series Gidget. The series lasted for one season. Shortly after the series ended, he was offered a starring role in Love on a Rooftop, as newlywed apprentice architect Dave Willis. Even though the series did fairly well in the ratings, ABC decided to not renew it for a second season. Duel wasn't too disappointed, as he had decided to try for more serious acting roles.

In 1970 Duel was cast in the role that he is best remembered for: Hannibal Heyes/Joshua Smith in the successful Western series Alias Smith and Jones, which co-starred Ben Murphy. The show was a hit. Sadly, on a break between the first and second series in 1971, Duel committed suicide. The producers recast Roger Davis in Duel's role, but the show never really recovered and was cancelled in 1973.