1970s Bombshells, Then And Now


6. Raquel Welch

1970s bomshells
Flickr / Admedia/IMAGECOLLECT

When you get cast in a movie as a character named Lust Incarnate, as Raquel Welch was in the 1967 film Bedazzled, you know you’re well on your way to achieving bombshell status. Welch burst onto the scene a year earlier in the movie One Million Years B.C. Sporting a now-infamous fur bikini and fighting off monsters, Welch had people all over the U.S. swooning. While most beauties of the day were cookie-cutter blondes, the Hispanic Welch – born Jo Raquel Tejada – stood out from the crowd. After becoming a prehistoric sex symbol, Welch continued to act, appearing in Kansas City Bomber and the star-studded 1973 film Three Musketeers.

In 1982, however, Welch was fired from the film Cannery Row and replaced with a woman 15 years her junior. After successfully suing the studio for age discrimination, and winning 10 million dollars, Welch’s movie career was effectively over as she was shunned from Hollywood. This forced Welch to shift to the small screen, where she would appear in various movies and series for the next several decades, culminating in the short-lived show Date My Dad in 2017. But the world won’t soon forget the woman that Playboy Magazine named the most desirable woman of the 1970s. Bombshell status indeed. 


7. Debbie Harry

then and now
Wikimedia Commons / Landmark-Media/IMAGECOLLECT

With her bleach blonde hair, smoky eyes, and punk aesthetic, new-wave goddess Debbie Harry might represent a slight departure from other ladies on this list, but that doesn’t make her any less of a bombshell.

Harry was the charismatic lead singer for the popular band Blondie, whose hits include “Heart of Glass” and “Call Me.” The band was actually named after a catcall Harry would receive while walking the streets of New York, and her signature look was so arresting that Andy Warhol used her as the subject for one of his famous pop art portraits. Outside of the band, Harry also acted, appearing alongside Sonny Bono in the 1988 movie Hairspray.


Sidebar, if you are a music junkie, definitely check out our deep dive into the rise and fall of Sonny and Cher. Blondie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 and continues to be active to this day. So, thankfully it’s still possible to see blonde bombshell Debbie Harry strut her stuff across the stage. 

8. Jaclyn Smith

then and now
Globe-Photos / Carrie-nelson / IMAGECOLLECT

Another absolute “Angel,” next up we have Jaclyn Smith. Starring alongside Farrah Fawcett in the TV smash Charlie’s Angels, Smith came into our living rooms every week to solve crimes while looking stunning. However, she almost wasn’t cast as angel Kelly Garrett.

The show’s producers wanted the angels to be one blonde, one brunette, and one redhead, but after Smith auditioned, her almost regal beauty and elegant good looks carried the day, and all of America fell in love. Smith was the only character to stay for the whole run of Charlie’s Angels and continued to act in small roles after the show ended. 

However, her most famous post-Angel role is probably best known as that of a designer. Smith was one of the first celebrities to have her own fashion line, and not just endorse the products of someone else. In fact, her Jaclyn Smith line is still super popular to this day, and can be found in K-Marts all across the country! Smith continues to act, even appearing as her original character in the 2019 reboot of Charlie’s Angels

9. Bo Derek

then and now
Globe-Photos / Carrie-nelson / IMAGECOLLECT

The term “one-hit wonder” gets used all the time in music, but less so in other arts. But that might be how you describe the film career of our next bombshell, Bo Derek. After several movie flops, Derek burst onto the scene in 1979 in the romantic comedy 10, in which she played a man’s ideal form of a woman. And with her long blonde braids, blue eyes, and a face as if carved from marble, you can see why! 

A dream sequence in which she ran down the beach in a skimpy flesh-colored bathing suit cemented her status as a sex symbol, and she appeared in Playboy more than five times over the next several years. However, Derek’s movie career would never hit these heights again, and she would go on to be nominated for six Golden Raspberries for her poor acting in films like Bolero, Ghosts Can’t Do It, and of course the sexily nefarious stepmom in Tommy Boy. Derek’s string of non-hits culminated when, at the age of 64, she starred in the made for tv movie The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time. Despite this, Bo Derek will forever be fixed in our minds as one of the most beautiful women of the 1970s.


10. Catherine Bach

1970s bombshells
Wikipedia / Carrie-nelson /IMAGECOLLECT

And last, but certainly not least on our list, who could ever forget the beautiful bombshell, Catherine Bach? In the mid-’70s Bach starred as Daisy Duke on the TV hit Dukes of Hazzard. The show’s producers initially wanted her character to be a Dolly Parton look-alike, but as soon as Bach walked into her audition, with her silky brunette locks and legs that went on for miles, she was hired on the spot.

Bach’s look for the show was so iconic that super short denim cut-offs are still referred to as “Daisy Dukes” to this day. And those legs that the “Dukes” showed off – they were insured throughout the run of the show for a mere $1,000,000. After Dukes of Hazzard ended, Bach continued to act in small roles in Hollywood, until she joined the cast of The Young and the Restless in 2012, where you can still see her today. 

Whew. What a list! Irresistibly beautiful and outrageously talented, these ladies had it all. Whether we watched them on the screen, listened to their music, or had their posters hanging on our walls, these stunners were some of the biggest stars and sexiest bombshells of the 1970s. 

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