What do you remember most from the 60s? The moon landing? The Beatles? Flares and free love? For us, it has to be the many great sitcoms and TV shows that dominated our telly boxes. But the 60s was a long time ago – so where are those TV stars now?
The littlest member of America’s First Family of Fright, The Munsters, cute little Eddie Munster really was a sweetie-pie. With his slicked-back hair, big eyebrows and cheeky smile, you could almost forget that he was actually a werewolf with a penchant for sleeping in a wooden coffin and howling at the moon. The all-American werewolf was played by Butch Cassidy, who admitted that the fact his own teeth looked like fangs might have been one of the reasons he was given the part in the first place!
Butch was just 11 years old when he landed the role of Eddie Munster, which he played for two years from 1964 until the show ended in 1966. But that wasn’t the last time Butch would play Eddie… he’s been clinging on to the character for dear life ever since, playing him in numerous shows and movies including Scary Movie and Here Come The Munsters.
Dame Diana Rigg was one of the fiercest women on the telly in the 60’s. Playing the role of Emma Peel in the spy-fi TV show The Avengers, Dame Diana’s character was one hell of a woman, and her genius brain coupled with some mad martial arts skills made Ms Peel a force to be reckoned with. She was one of TV’s first strong female characters and was bringing the sass way before Beyonce and Destiny’s Child started bigging up independent women.
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan then you might have spotted Dame Diana in her most recent role as the fabulously sassy Lady Olenna Tyrell. She’s had an illustrious career since leaving The Avengers in 1968, with roles spanning both TV and film, as well as a successful stage career. Oh, and did we mention she’s got a handful of Emmy nominations to her name too? Someone get this lady on the Iron Throne!
Nerys Hughs played the softly-spoken Sandra Hutchinson in The Liver Birds, which was billed as the ‘female equivalent of The Likely Lads’. The show followed the lives and loves of Liverpuddlian lasses Sandra and Beryl as they navigated their way through the dating scene.
In 1985 Nerys had a song written about her… entitled I Hate Nerys Hughs. Not quite what you’d want a song about you to be called but hey, having a song written about you is a pretty big deal. Aside from the somewhat dodgy song title, life has been pretty sweet for Nerys since The Liver Birds ended in 1979. She went on to star in the hugely successful drama The District Nurse in the mid to late 80’s and has more recently appeared in shows such as Torchwood, The Queens Nose and Dr Who.
“Danger… excitement… and adventure shared by a small boy and a huge bear in the Florida Everglades!” The shows tag line explains it all. Gentle Ben was kind of like Lassie but with a bear instead of a dog. Gentle Ben followed the Wedlow family and the friendly 650-pound American black bear named Ben in the Florida Everglades. Clint Howard played the role of Mark Wedlow, who together with Gentle Ben, got into all sorts of mischief and mayhem.
Life hasn’t been too kind to Clint after Gentle Ben. He’s had a rather unremarkable acting career, with small parts in films such as Parenthood and Little Nicky, but the thing that really makes us cry into our coffee is that he was once voted one of the ‘100 Unsexiest Men in the World’ by readers of a Boston newspaper. How mean. He’s not that bad… Maybe he should set his bear on them!
Henry Darrow played charming heartthrob Manolita Montoya in classic 60’s Western, The High Chaparral. The show followed the lives of two strong local families who were brought together by marriage. Sauve, smart and incredibly confident, Manolita was a dashing rogue who loved the ladies - almost as much as he loved whiskey and gambling.
Henry Darrow played Manolito from 1967 for four seasons. He then became the first Latino actor to play Zorro on TV and went on to appear in Magnum PI, Star Trek and The Waltons. He's also been a regular face in soap operas including Dallas and General Hospital.
Who’d have thought a bit of belly button would cause controversy… but Barbara Eden did just that in 1965 when she graced our screens for the first time as a 2,000 year old genie called Jeannie, in the American fantasy comedy I Dream of Jeannie. Dressed in her famous pink harem outfit, the irresistible Jeannie could control the world with the blink of an eye – and caused mayhem and mischief for her ‘Master’, Captain Nelson, who she eventually married later in the series.
Jeannie made Barbara an international superstar and she went on to star in countless TV shows, including a stint in Dallas, as well as a host of made-for-TV movies. In 2011, Barbara released her memoirs, Jeannie Out of the Bottle, which made it to number 14 on the New York Times Best Seller List.
With his blonde floppy hair and sunkissed skin, Luke Halpin was loved the world over by teenage girls. The show focused on the Ricks family – brothers Sandy and Bud and their father Porter – and their adorable wild pet dolphin Flipper, but it was Sandy’s special relationship with Flipper that really tugged at the viewer’s heart strings. The fact Flipper was also a particularly intelligent dolphin with a knack for catching criminals also made it a pretty fun show to watch.
Famed for his low-slung jeans and his frequently bare chest, by the time Flipper ended in 1967, Luke was a certified teen idol. But his star quickly waned once the show was off air. He made appearances in a couple of different films and TV shows, but never enjoyed the same kind of success as when he was in Flipper. He now works as a pilot and marine technician for a film production company.
Forget about McDreamy and Seattle Grace – the original sexy doctor was Dr James Kildare, an intern at Blair General hospital in the coming-of-age medical drama, Dr Kildare. Richard Chamberlain played the title character, and the show saw him graduate through the ranks of the hospital while focusing on his relationship with his surgeon mentor, Dr Leonard Gillespie. Even when he was dressed in scrubs, Dr Kildare had the winning combination of intelligence, charm and lovely hair that could make even the biggest hypochondriac forget their symptoms.
Following Dr Kildare, Richard appeared in numerous films but failed to make much of an impact. Craving a reputation as a serious actor, he turned his back on Hollywood and instead focused his attention on the theatre before returning the silver screen in classics such as Julius Caesar. More recently, he’s appeared in Will & Grace, Desperate Housewives and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.
Bobby was the youngest member of The Brady Bunch. He spent much of his time daydreaming about adventurous careers and wanted to be an astronaut and a cowboy (not sure how those two would work together – space wrangler, maybe?). In a later series he did become a racing driver but crashed and ended up in a wheelchair. Should have aimed for the stars instead, Bobby.
Mike Lookinland played Bobby from 1969 to 1974, and has never been able to step away from the role. Even as recently as 1990 he appeared as Bobby in the revival show, The Bradys. Like many child stars he's pretty much stuck as his child character in the eyes of the public. A poor fate for our favourite Brady!
Olive was the dull and dowdy sister of Stan in the popular sitcom, and spent most of her time moaning and whining about lazy husband Arthur, who was every inch the layabout. She would later divorce Arthur in the final series – striking a blow for all put-upon wives the world over.
Anna Karen went on to appear in the movie versions of On the Buses, and reprised her role as Olive in the ITV sitcom The Rag Trade. She's since appeared in EastEnders as Peggy Mitchell's sister 'Aunt Sal'. As a former striptease artist (I know, we were surprised too!), Anna once appeared as a judge on Channel 4's Faking It. Good on ya Olive!
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