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We all have memories of the shows we grew up with. Some of us were on top of the latest shows for our age, others watched shows on Nick-at-Night or other channels that gave us the ability to see the popular shows from decades before we were born. Regardless of what you watched, you probably know a great deal about most of the stars that were big in the 60’s.

Shows like The Brady Bunch, and Gilligan’s Island stood the test of time and are still popular to this day. While not all of the stars have aged gracefully, and a few have left us, their stories are interesting. Some stayed in the public eye, others used their early fame to allow them the financial freedom to do what they wanted with their life out of the public spotlight.

Even those that left a career on the screen still show up from time to time. Generally, they attend conventions or award shows that honor the work they did early in their lives. Some take a detour down the wrong road just to come back later and make a name for themselves to a new generation. Many of these stars were beloved at the time, lost public favor for years and then found a totally different audience due to a new type of attitude. The first individual on the list is a perfect example of that.


In the following list, we are going to look at some of the biggest names from the 60’s and see where they are now. There are a few, as mentioned, that are no longer with us, but deserve to be on this list either way. A few have gone downhill since their peak of fame, and others have become even more loved over the years. There is a little bit of everything on this list and you will be surprised at a few of the stars that may have been forgotten by a new generation. Enjoy!

Danny Bonaduce-The Partridge Family

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Finding his first role on television on Bewitched in 1969, Danny Bonaduce barely makes this list. It was in 1970 that he stared in The Partridge Family that made him a household name. Over the years he was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star “Lifetime Achievement” Award, but unlike others on this list, he had a bit of a rough go as he became the man he is today.

Starting in 1985, he had a failed three year marriage to Setsuko Hattori, which quickly led to a more successful marriage in 1990, when he got married to Gretchen Hillmer on the same day as their first blind date. That marriage lasted 16 years. He is now married to Amy Railsback, 23 years his junior.

Via gonetworth

On March 9th, 1990, Danny was arrested while trying to buy cocaine, which happened while he was in Florida to hold an event for D.A.R.E. to help children fight against drugs. He was a popular radio host at the time but was suspended due to the arrest and wen’t into therapy and rehab.

Now he hosts a popular radio show, wrestles and boxes. He has turned everything around and is healthier and in better shape than at any other point in his life.

Diana Rigg-The Avengers

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Dame Enid Diana Rigg was the popular and beautiful Emma Peel on the 60s TV show The Avengers. After her time on the show she moved on to work in the theatre. Through the years she has had big screen roles and appearances or other roles on different shows, but she is likely best know as the Bond girl in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Via Wired

Today, Dame Riggs is likely best know to a whole new generation as the character Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones on HBO. She also stars alongside her daughter, Rachel Stirling, in the show Detectorists. While her personal life is not news worthy like many others on this list, she has had a career that has spanned over 50 years with memorable roles in each decade. Truly deserving of the Dame title.

Jerry Mathers-Leave it to Beaver

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It would be hard to find someone that could not identify the above picture. The Beave is one of the most well known characters in television history and you would think that Jerry Mathers would have had a long and illustrious career in acting after Leave it to Beaver ended. In reality he left acting to concentrate on high school and join the United States Air Force Reserve in 1966. After making the rank of Sergeant a rumor started that he was killed in action in the Vietnam War. The truth is he never saw military action.

He eventually earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley and worked as a commercial loan officer. Shortly there after he used his invested savings from his acting career to become a real estate developer.

Via Biography

Shortly after, he moved back into acting starting in the comedy play Boeing, Boeing, which ran for 10 weeks. He also appeared with Bill Murray on SNL’s Weekend Update making fun of the previous rumor of his death.

In 1983, he played his titular role again on the reunion film Still the Beaver which was able to cast most of the original actors. The film lead to a sequel by the same name which eventually ended up on TBS and ran for 5 years with a name change to The New Leave it to Beaver.

Much like his original role, Mathers has kept his nose clean all these years. With a few divorces in his past, he has lived a fairly normal and rewarding life. In 1996 he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. This lead to him enrolling in Jenny Craig and losing 40 pounds. He became the first male spokesman for jenny Craig because of this.

Lynda Carter-Wonder Woman

Via Express

A poster on many a young boys wall in the 70s, Lynda Carter is a bit of a cheat on this list. While most of her career saw its popularity through the decade following the 60s she started her career in 1968. It was in the late 1970s that she was cast as Wonder Woman for the shows three seasons.

Not much is known about her career in the 60s, other than the fact that she was a working actress trying to land roles. She has stayed popular throughout her career based on those three seasons of her most popular role.

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Later in life she made appearances at shows and ceremonies but is more well known for her activism. In 2003, she revealed that her mother suffered from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for 30 years and toured the country as a spokeswoman and advocate. She is also a well-known supporter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. In addition, she works on Pro-Choice rights for women and legal rights for the LGBT community. In 2011 she was the Grand Marshal of the Phoenix and New York Pride Parades as well as another showing in 2013 in the Washington, DC based Capital Pride Parade.

In 2008 she admitted in an interview with People that she had entered a rehab clinic for alcoholism and had been sober for 10 years. When asked what she learned from her recovery she simply answered the the best measure of a human being is “how we treat the people who love us, and the people that we love.” Technically she fits this list, but she seems fair to cheat in, right?

Barbara Eden-I Dream of Jeannie

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Oh, Jeanjie – one of my favorite characters of all time. I Dream of Jeannie was a perfect show for me growing up because it gave a female a new type of role. She wasn’t the helpless damsel in distress or the mother or caretaker, she was the mastermind of the show. She always had a plan and played off her ignorance to just what she was doing perfectly.

I dream of Jeannie is still a popular show on television today because it transcended the tropes of a traditional 1960s era show. Truly one of the great performances to come out of that time period. But Barbara wasn’t just Jeannie, she had a myriad of other roles throughout her career and stayed active in television and film. Still, she will always be remembered as that manipulative and lovable character from her big break.

Via NBCNews

Eden also wrote a memoir titled Jeannie Out of the Bottle which was released in April 2011. While the book covered her 50 year career in Hollywood it is a typical story of what you would hope your favorite stars would experience. A few failed marriages and constant work. Unfortunately, she did have an emotional breakdown after the death of her only child, Matthew, which she talks about in the memoir.

In 1988 Eden was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and two years later she was given an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law.

Ron Howard-The Andy Griffith Show

Via Cinemablography

Opie is one of those characters that defined a generation. As the son of the walking moral compass, Andy Griffin, he was the trouble maker that needed guidance, but was good-hearted and always there to help. It was a difficult character for an actor of such a young age to play, but Ron Howard pulled if off perfectly.

It is no surprise that he moved on to be on to be the star of Happy Days for seven seasons. The turn came when he stepped behind the camera and directed films such as Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind and Cocoon. His honors and rewards are too numerous to mention.

He wasn’t just known for his movie magic though, as he was the narrator for Arrested Development. On the show he also became a producer and even had a part as a semi-fictionalized version of himself.

Via Collider

In 1975, Ron Howard married Cheryl Alley. They have four children together and have been married since. Ron Howard, without a doubt, is a person to look up to. He was hugely famous and popular in his youth and continued to grow in his career. He lived a good clean life with little to no drama and raised four children, two of which, Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard are now following in his footsteps.

News these days seems to focus more on the negatives of a persons life and the mistakes they made – it makes for more entertaining reading for some reason – so Ron Howard has only been in the news when a new movie comes out or he gets another award. Other than that, things are quiet on the Howard front.

With that said, Ron Howard’s action speak much louder than any words that could be written about him. And for that, he is a role model for many, regardless of their path in life.

Jaclyn Smith-Charlies Angels

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For me, there was only one Angel in Charlie’s Angels. Kelly Garrett, or Jaclyn Smith. While she didn’t have a big start in the 60s, she was staring in television commercials which lead to her eventually landing the role on the show. She may not have been one of our biggest stars of the 60s, but she started her career in that decade and went on to have a successful acting career after Charlie’s Angels ended. In the 60s she was offered a role as Victoria Winters on the ABC daytime drama Dark Shadows but declined the offer and stuck to commercials.

Her career wasn’t limited to television though as she turned to women’s apparel for Kmart in 1985. From there she later allowed a documentary crew to profile her home life in 2009. This lead to a relationship with Kmart in which she launched a line of home furnishings called Jaclyn Smith Today.

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Smith married four times, each of which seemed to be a fairly short marriage for the most part. Her son, Joe Cole, whom she kept a relationship with even after her divorce was murdered in 1991 during a robbery which is unsolved to this day. In 1997 she married Brad Allen and has been with him since.

In 2003 Smith started a battle with breast cancer. This lead her to be featured in 1 a Minute, which is a documentary about the terrible cancer.

Jay North-Dennis the Menace

Via Dennis!

Via Dennis!

Jay North was a household name and is even popular on television to this day. As the title character of Dennis the Menace he had a wonderful run in the 60s as the well-meaning trouble maker. He continued working as an actor, especially taking on voice over roles, such as a teenage Bamm-Bamm Rubble on The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show.

North left acting for a while and told about his troubled childhood as an actor. Working with fellow former child star Paul Petersen, he joined an organization called A Minor Consideration. The goal is to help child stars deal with the entertainment industry and still have a healthy childhood.

Via pdxretro

Via pdxretro

Later in his life, he was the center of many hoaxes in which people would claim to be him and use his fame to get into Hollywood parties and rent limousines. This was not a one time deal. In 1999 news broke that North had died in a doctors office. This was not true, but the rumors swirled through the United Press International and other bodies as well.

In 1990, North spoke with Paul Petersen and told him that their former co-child star Rusty Hamer from The Danny Thomas Show had killed himself. With the help of other friends from his youth, Petersen got North in touch with a therapist. This was partly due to the fact that North was still dealing with anger about his early career. This is the reason he joined A Minor Consideration.

He spent some time as a correctional officer to help troubled youth in Florida’s juvenile justice system as as of 2011 he is still working for the Florida Department of Corrections. He did see a resurgence in those interested in him after the release of the 1993 film Dennis the Menace which led him to attend shows and reconnect with fans.

Dawn Wells-Gilligan’s Island

Via Quotesgram

Via Quotesgram

Dawn Wells is a constant point of argument for fans of Gilligan’s Island. While some think she was the more beautiful “girl next door” and others argue that Ginger was the stunner, she has always held her own as one of the most charming characters on the island, and possibly on television at the time. She even represented Nevada in the Miss America 1960 pageant.

While she had a busy television and film career, she also found time to become a writer. She worked with Jim Clark and Ken Beck, with a foreword by Bob Denver on her popular Mary Ann’s Gilligan’s Island Cookbook. 

Her relationships with the cast of Gilligan’s Island were a foundation of her career. She never lost touch. In fact, one story goes that Bob Denver (Gilligan) was arrested in 1998 for having marijuana delivered to his home. He said that he thought Dawn Wells sent it for him, but would not testify in court. Other relationships, such as that with the Skipper seemed to mean a great deal to her. She was very close to Alan Hale, Jr. (Skipper) saying:

“Alan could not have been kinder to a young actress. He was a real peach.”

Via Robert Feder

Via Robert Feder

Wells actually lost a speaking job due to an arrest in 2007. She was observed swerving across the roadway and marijuana was found in her car. A third party claimed that the majiauana was theirs and took full responsibility, but she plead guilty to reckless driving, was find and served six month’s unsupervised probation. What she had to say about the whole incedent speaks a great deal about our obsession with seeing our favorite stars fall:

“I think it is so hysterical that people went nuts over it. I am what, now, 102 years old? I get booked for the first time in my life and suddenly I am a drug-using bum? I have told people the facts, but facts don’t interest people or the media. They only trust headlines. The only reason I even cared was because it negatively affected my film festival and film school, and my sponsors were concerned. If I did not own a not-for-profit school, I would be on Saturday Night Live making fun of it!”

Tina Louise-Gilligan’s Island

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The other beauty on Gilligan’s Island, Tina Louise played the sultry actress Ginger, for whom many had a lustful crush. While she is best known for that role, she had a busy early career with appearances in films such as The Wrecking Crew and The Stepford Wives. 

Via Gonetworth

Beyond being an actress Louise also recorded one record album and has done a great deal as an author. While she has only published three books, she has spent a great deal of money and time increasing child literacy. She is 82 in 2016 and it seems she is trying to fight the aging process and keep the beauty she had in her youth. But her physical features never defined her, it was her character as a person.

Butch Patrick-The Munsters

Via Fox News

Butch Patrick, born Patrick Alan Caples, was the loveable werewolf child on on The Munsters. The show had a cast of memorable characters, yet Patrick stood out to many for his charm and acting chops. He also had guest-starring roles on a number of television shows such as My Favorite Martian, Bonanza, Rawhide and Mr. Ed.

When asked how he got started in acting, he had this to say, “I owe my career to my sister. She was the one who got me started and gave me all the encouragement. She always wanted to be an actress and was on the casting call sheet one day. She was asked if there were any other children at home. She told them about me, and I got some small roles, then some bigger ones…”

Via Seth Kushner

After his time on The Munsters he continued guest starring roles and eventually turned to Music and occasional film work. He also co-hosted the Macabre Theatre from 2002 to 2012.

While he has done some outreach for the community, such as a motorcycle ride for the blind community, he makes most of his appearances at comic conventions. In 2010 he married long time fan of The Munsters Donna McCall. While the causes are unknown, in 2010, he entered a drug rehab facility.

A year later he announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was caught early and he knows his odds of survival,  “If you catch it early, there’s a good chance of survival. I’m told I have a 90 percent chance of recovery and of living another 20 years.” He also found irony in the diagnosis while also giving a little more insight into what he had been doing over the years,  “I went 41 years trying to kill myself. And then finally got to the point when I want to live I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My first thought when I was told this was ‘Isn’t this a kicker?’ I get clean, my life is together, and now God is going to punch my ticket.”

Julie Newmar-Batman

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Julie Newmar was the iconic Catwoman from Batman 66′. But from that staring role she moved on to other film work until eventually turning to entrepreneurship. There she received two US patents for pantyhose and one for a brassiere.

Her pantyhose were called the “Nudemar” and were described as having “cheeky derriere relief.” The brassiere was unique in that it was all but invisible mimicking the style of Marilyn Monroe.

Via 13thdimension

Newmar also turned to real estate investment in the 1980s and was credited, according to an unnamed magazine, for improving the area in which she worked:  “Newmar is partly responsible for improving the Los Angeles neighborhoods on La Brea Avenue and Fairfax Avenue near the Grove.”

A legal battle with neigbor Jim Belushi ended on a high note as she was invited onto his show According to Jim as a co-star in an episode called “The Grumpy Guy” which made fun of their spat. Newmar did get a temporary ban on leaf blowers from the Los Angeles City Council though. She also appeared on The Home and Family Show where she met Gotham actress Camren Bicondova who plays the younger Selina Kyle (Catwoman).

Mary Tyler Moore-The Dick Van Dyke Show

Via Biography

When trying to decide which of the two big stars from The Dick Van Dyke Show to put on this list I went with Mary Tyler Moore for a number of reasons. As much as I love Dick van Dyke, it was the breakout role that Mary Tyler Moore played and her impact on the world that gave her the edge. That, and growing up, I was the weird kid with posters of her on my wall (I always thought she was a stunning woman).

While she could have followed the same path as many of the stars on this list, she actually went into planning for the long run by creating MTM Enterprises with her husband at the time Grant Tinker.

She had one son, Richard Jr. with her first husband Richard Carleton meeker. Unfortunately, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot would to the head from a shotgun which was later recalled due to its hair trigger.

Via InStyle

At 33, Moore was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes which eventually lead her to becoming the International Chairman of the JDRF (formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). She has used her fame to help raise funds and awareness of the disease.

In 2007, the foundation created the “Forever Moore” research initiative which will help in JDRF’s Academic Research and Development as well as Clinical Development Program. This was created for her as a sign of appreciation for everything she has done for the foundation.

She is also a long-time animal rights activist and worked with Farm Sanctuary to help raise awareness about factory farming and promoting humane and compassionate treatment of farm animals.

She never lost touch with her roots though. In 1995 she donated funds to help acquire an historic structure in Shepherdstown, West Virginia to be used as a Civil War studies center for Shepherd University in honor of her father George Tyler Moore. He was a Civil War buff. She also helped donate funds to the renovation of the house which Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson used as a headquarters from 1861-62.

Florence Henderson-The Brady Bunch

Via metv

As of this writing, Florence Henderson passed at the age of 82 less than a month ago. It was a sad loss as she was an entire generation’s mother as Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch. The great thing about her is that she was able to break away from being Carol after she moved on and started to work more in the business.

While the list of credits to her name is astonishingly long, a few of the big notes included The Florence Henderson Show which was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2010 and an appearance as the guest host on WWE Raw on July 12, 2010. She also reunited with her TV family for many Brady Bunch gatherings.

Via Vegas News

She also had a big heart as she gave back to those that helped her in her youth. She was educated by the Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand, Indiana and she named them as benefactors for a number of game show appearances as well as promotional videos and fundraising events.

Only married twice, first to Ira Bernstein from 1956 to 1985, and then to Dr. John George Kappas from 1987 until his death in 2002. She won an Individual Achievement Award and Outstanding host at the 33rd Gracie Awards Gala in 2008 and an award for Outstanding Host in the 37th Gracie Awards Gala in 2012.