As a boomer, I grew up in the 1960s and '70s. Sometimes I like to share some nostalgia from that time.
Do You Remember the Teen Celebrities From the '70s?
If you were a kid during the 1970s, you may or may not remember some of the celebrities that teens and pre-teens loved. This article is dedicated to some of those teen celebrities, particularly the guys that young girls had plastered all over their walls. The heartthrobs. While some of them were teens, others of them may have been a bit older but definitely attracted girls in that age group.
It's interesting that several of these teen celebrities are still around today. In movies and even still recording music. Take a bit of time to look back at how they once were and what allowed them to carve out a special place in our hearts.
Which Teen Celebrities From the '70s Made the List?
- Parker Stevenson
- Shaun Cassidy
- David Cassidy
- Scott Baio
- Andy Gibb
- Donny Osmond
- Michael Jackson
- John Travolta
- Leif Garrett
- Bobby Sherman
- Robbie Benson
The Hardy Boy Stars
Parker Stevenson was one of the stars that teenage girls followed. Although he did some stints as a kid, most of his acting career occurred after his graduation from Princeton in the early 1970s. Therefore, he was actually in his 20's as his acting career took off.
While he was in a number of movies and guest starred in several shows, it was probably his role in the Hardy Boys that brought this '70s celebrity to the attention of most teens.
Of course, for some fans of the show, Shaun Cassidy who played his brother was also considered a favorite. Shaun continued to work in the business, but primarily behind the scenes as a producer and screenwriter. Parker also remains in the entertainment business to current day and at one time was married to Kirstie Alley for a number of years.
So what became of these two? Parker Stevenson continued acting. He had roles in a variety of TV shows through the '80s, including Baywatch. He moved on to made-for-TV movies in the '90s and still had roles in the first decade of the 2000s.
Shaun Cassidy, on the other hand, stopped touring as a singer and left TV as an actor for the most part. He starred on Broadway for awhile but transitioned primarily into the role of writer and producer.
Not all teen celebrities are born into the profession, but David Cassidy was. His father Jack Cassidy was an actor and his mother was an actress. Although he was acting in plays and filled smaller roles in TV shows, David became a constant in the teen consciousness in 1970 when he took a part in The Partridge Family.
He not only acted but sang as well, as Keith Partridge, the oldest son. His stepmother at the time, Shirley Jones, was his TV mom too.
David sang lead on a number of hits that sprang from the 1970-74 show and he toured actively for several years. His brothers, Shaun (mentioned above) and Patrick Cassidy are in the entertainment business as well. In fact, David and Patrick both starred in a 2009 series, Ruby & the Rockits.
After his years as a hard-working teen idol, David Cassidy quit touring around 1974 after a death at one of his concerts. He then focused on writing and recording with an occasional acting gig.
He continued writing, recording, performing in musical theater, and so forth until 2017. He had admitted to alcohol issues and been arrested for DUI previously but announced that he had been diagnosed with dementia resulting in his retirement that year. He died somewhat unexpectedly in November 2017 due to liver failure.
Although it wasn't his first role, Scott Baio probably reached teen celebrity status when he joined the cast on Happy Days as Chachi, Fonzi's younger cousin. It was 1977 and at the time he was 16 years old.
He went on from that show to star in Joni Loves Chachi, a spin-off, and then Charles in Charge in the 1980s. At that time he also recorded some albums
Of course, Scott still acts today and has starred in some reality shows as well.
Another teen celebrity from the 70's that grew up in a talented family was British singer Andy Gibb. He was the younger brother of Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees. Born in 1958, he first began performing when he was 13 years old and became popular in Australia before moving to the US.
Andy's first hit song in the US was "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" which he also composed. He went on to record several albums and had a number of hits.
See him perform in concert below.
Andy's career continued through much of the 1980s but unfortunately, drug and alcohol abuse became a hindrance. He went through at least two stints in rehab during this time period, lost contracts, and struggled to bounce back.
He died in 1988 at the age of 30, presumably from myocarditis as a result of his substance abuse over the years.
Justin Bieber's hair has nothing on this '70s teen celebrity. Donny Osmond was equal parts big toothy smile, massive quantities of hair, and loads of talent. Osmond was born in December 1957 and began performing as a child, singing with his four older brothers, as the Osmond Brothers. He went solo in the '70s for a time and had a string of hits.
Later he paired up with his sister Marie for their own variety show and some hit duets. See him perform as a teen below.
Not just a singer, Osmond was/is also a musician, actor and even a dancer. He staged a musical comeback in the late '80s as a contemporary pop artist and scored a couple of hits. He later hosted TV Shows, made appearances in films, starred in Broadway shows, and even starred in the movie version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
His skill in dancing won him the Dancing with the Stars competition in 2009 and he and sister Marie found themselves performing together in Las Vegas.
Michael Jackson was born in 1958 and began performing with his brothers as part of The Jackson 5 as a child. His soprano voice was striking and the group experienced a great deal of success.
Michael struck out on his own individual career in 1971. His talent continued to evolve and his voice changed. His dance and compositions continued to grow but it wasn't until the 1980's that he became a superstar. He even had an acting gig in The Wiz in 1978. While Michael was certainly one of the teen celebrities of the '70s, we had no idea then just how big his fame and talent would grow. He became known as "the King of Pop" due to his international fame, groundbreaking videos and so forth. He died suddenly in 2009 but he is still known as one of the top performers to this day.
His videos and music were award-winning and his dancing trendsetting. Thriller was probably his most famous accomplishment as the best selling album of all time and the video that changed everything.
Michael's career ended up spanning 45 years; from his debut in 1964 until his death in June 2009. At the time he was planning a tour although no new album had been released.
John Travolta as Vinnie Barbarino
John Travolta was multi-talented, he sang, danced, and acted. He was born in 1954 and began a professional acting career directly after high school.
As a teen celebrity, he had a number of small roles on TV and in movies but became a household name in 1975 (in his early 20's) when he got the part of Vinnie Barbarino on the show Welcome Back Kotter. His career took off from there with hit songs and movies like Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Urban Cowboy, and Pulp Fiction among many others.
Travolta, of course, continues to act and produce today. You can see him in an episode of Welcome Back Kotter above.
Another teen idol from the '70s was Leif Garrett. He started at a very young age. Born in 1961 he started in the entertainment business in 1966. Acting was his first experience, he had spots in both film and television before moving into the music business several years later. He had a handful of musical hits while continuing to act. He continues to have a presence in the entertainment business, but battles addiction issues.
Bobby was not a teen at the time, but he was certainly a teen idol in the 1970s. He was born in 1943. He was musically inclined and could actually play 16 musical instruments. His greatest success was in the 1960s and '70s, essentially retiring after that and subsequently serving as an EMT and a law enforcement officer while still making occasional appearances.
You can see him perform below.
Robbie Benson was mostly in front of audiences in the 1970s, winning the hearts of many teens. He was a dual threat as both a singer and actor. Later his face became less prominent as he transitioned into roles as a director, writer, and voice actor.
You can see him in this American Bandstand interview from 1979 below.
© 2010 Ruth Coffee
Let Us Know You Stopped By!
anonymous on April 28, 2013:
thank you for sharing
Never heard of Parker Stevenson before
RetroMom on December 11, 2012:
Those celebrities are talented. Thanks for sharing this wonderful lens. Hope you could build another lens that presents then and now photos of them.
Hypersapien2 from U.S. on May 24, 2012:
Nice lens! this one took me way, way back!
justDawn1 on March 18, 2012:
Yep, you've got them all listed! :) LOL
anonymous on December 27, 2011:
Oh Lordy... I was telling my boyfriend, who is 15 years younger than I am, about my boyhood crushes... He laughed seeing some of these guys but I always thought they were hot! Being a high school quarterback I was always in love with sexy Joe Montana. A lot of good memories here.
Light-in-me on August 14, 2011:
I had a crush on some of these guys too. Especially Donnie Osmand, I had a big poster of him on my wall....groan.. lol!
LouiseKirkpatrick from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on August 13, 2011:
The great thing is that most of these guys had/have enduring fame! That's a mark of real talent as opposed to nowadays where so many people want to be rich and famous but rarely seem to have the talent and staying power to back up their desire :) A wonderful trip down Memory Lane - blessed by this Squid Angel as part of the "Back To School Bus Trip"!
Rankography on August 01, 2011:
If you could add some recent pictures for a "Where are they now..." feature that would be excellent.
anonymous on May 29, 2011:
Oh I had a crush on a number of these guys!!! Blessed by a Squid Angel
joanv334 on February 17, 2011:
Hello, love your lens!
anonymous on December 04, 2010:
Nice lens, thanks
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on July 06, 2010:
I remember every one of these guys! Tough choice, but I would have to pick Andy Gibb as my favorite. I also loved his voice. I will have to thank Bev for sending me to read this totally awesome lens. I enjoyed the walk down memory lane :)
Indigo Janson from UK on July 06, 2010:
A little before my time but a whole lot of fun all the same! I enjoyed seeing those who were famous in later life the way they looked as fresh-faced teens and young men. Visiting via Bev's "groovy" review ;)
anonymous on July 06, 2010:
@anonymous: Thank you so much for the review! I actually stumbled across it just a little while ago when it was Tweeted by ronpass.
kimmanleyort on July 06, 2010:
What a trip down memory lane. You have pulled together a great group of teen celebrities and I remember every one of them. I was totally in love with David Cassidy. Of course, Michael Jackson turned out to be way more than a teen celebrity. Thanks to Bev at Squidoo Lens Reviews for pointing out this page.
anonymous on July 06, 2010:
What a fun trip down memory lane seeing the teen celebrities from the 70s! Your lens was reviewed today on the Squidoo Lens Review blog.
oztoo lm on July 04, 2010:
Oh all this nostalgia makes me feel old. Great trip down memory lane.
Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on July 04, 2010:
Fun lens! Yes, I remember these guys! :)
oneskms on July 04, 2010:
I can only just recall the seventies - not sure whether luckily or unluckily - lol
I used to enjoy Gary Coleman from different strokes (possibly 80's though)
Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on July 04, 2010:
Great trip back in time.
LisaDH on July 03, 2010:
Wow, what a blast from the past! Makes me feel old. :-) How about Shaun Cassidy? You gave him a brief nod in the section on Parker Stevenson, and I'd argue he was at least as popular - if not more so - than Parker. All my friends had posters of him on their walls and we all had his album.