Archive for the ‘Top 10 Actresses of the 70′s’ category

#1 ~ Sally Field in Norma Rae

December 4, 2006

Sally Field’s acting in this movie is impeccable. She becomes Norma Rae. We can see her fear when she realizes what could happen if she fails. We can see her disgust when she reveals what the mill is doing and not doing for their employees and their families. And throughout the entire film we can see her passion. The passion she has for what she believes in, not just for herself, but for her family and the families of those co-workers. Some think the most powerful and memorable from the movie is her standing at the mill with the “Union” sign, I believe the most memorable scene is towards the end when she talks to her children, telling them what to expect. The movie tends to turn away from her children, but this scene focuses in on her relationship with them and the focus of why she did what she did, for her family.
Even though this film was released in 1979, Sally Field received her Oscar for Best Actress in 1980, but this was still a 1979 film, with an actress that would be remembered for decades to come. She would win a second Oscar in 1985 for another memorable role in Places in the Heart.

#2 ~ Diane Keaton in Annie Hall

December 2, 2006

Diane Keaton seemed to have exploded in Hollywood in the 70′s. With films like Play It Again Sam, The Godfather I & II, Looking For Mr. Goodbar she was everywhere. As Woody Allen’s girlfriend for a large part of the decade, Diane Keaton had made a name for herself as a talented, easy to work with young actress with ability for comedy as well as hard hitting drama.

Some say her Oscar should have came from her role in Looking For Mr. Goodbar, which was propelling, but her Oscar for Annie Hall was deserved. This role was written for her. She WAS Annie Hall. Her real name was Diane Hall and was nicknamed by many as Annie. She was somewhat shy and reserved and dated a very opinionated, open brash Woody Allen. Yes, she was Annie Hall. But what she brought to the screen was more than just a reflection of herself, but an open honest riveting portrayal of relationships in the 1970′s

#3 Meryl Streep in Kramer vs. Kramer

November 26, 2006

The performances in Kramer vs. Kramer are what drive the story to great drama. Both Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep won Academy Awards for their portrayals of the dueling Kramer’s. Streep plays a woman who has grown cold and distant from the family she once loved. Like many women, her troubles may lie in that she married too young; or, as she states, the fact that Ben’s love of his work is what dominates his life, not his love for his wife and child. Her assertiveness to leave is a sad fact among many married couples today—they don’t feel like working things out. On the flipside of that coin, Ben seems blinded to Joanna’s needs and feelings. His world revolves around making it to the top of the corporate ladder. Even when Joanna is trying to tell Ben she’s leaving him, his reaction is for her to wait one minute while he finishes up a task brought home from the office.

Streep is very good as Joanna, though she’s off-screen so much that her character almost seems to be even lower than supporting. Some say this Oscar was given due to the fact that she SHOULD have won the year before for her role in Deer Hunter. Regardless as to why, Meryl gave her all, as she always does.

#4 Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver

November 25, 2006

One of the saddest by-products of the Hollywood fame game is the Teenage Burn-Out. Once puberty robs them of their angelic looks and innate cuteness, child stars traditionally have a terrible time keeping their feet on the ladder. In a time when image and box office records mean everything, they’ve not only become another person but also carry the burden of not being able to provide what they once did. Think Macaulay Culkin, or the awful fall of Drew Barrymore. It should have happened to Jodie Foster, too. In fact, many people think it did. Popular wisdom has it that she broke precociously through as a 12-year-old whore in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, enjoyed a brief spell of success then disappeared, only to struggle heroically back with her Oscar-winning performance, ten years later, in The Accused.

But this is far from the truth. Jodie had actually been a Face from the age of 3, starring in TV commercials. Then came many TV and film roles, meaning that, come Taxi Driver she was already a seasoned veteran. After that burst of teen stardom, she chose college over a short-term career, then returned in a series of deliberately chosen “interesting” roles, as she studied techniques on both sides of the camera. And now, due to these efforts, she’s a producer, director, double Oscar-winner AND, as 2002′s hit Panic Room proved, a $10 million-a-picture actress, capable of carrying a Number One movie on her own.

#5 Louise Fletcher in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

November 20, 2006

Louise Fletcher accepted the casting call for the role of Nurse Ratched only a week before filming began. This role was her film debut, and a debut it was. Nurse Ratched role was turned down by the likes of Anne Bancroft, Colleen Dehurst, Geraldine Page, Ellen Burstyn and Angela Landsbury. Louise played the part of the domineering and sexually depressed Ratched with pure excellence. She is a tyrant that has controlled her patients with an iron hand. To her, correct behavior from her patients means they are sane; any other kind of behavior deems them insane. When McMurphy enters the ward, a battle begins between the patient and the Ward Nurse.
She knows she has the power and wields it like a magic wand and she begins her battle with this enemy knowing that she will do what she must to ensure he will not defeat her. Fletcher came onto the screen in a role of a lifetime and proved to Hollywood that she was an actress to be reckoned with, and history has proven she has what it takes. She walked away with an Academy Award for Best Actress that year and continued a long and lucrative career.

#6 Ingrid Bergman in Murder on the Orient Express

November 19, 2006

Her role as shy, nervous, repressed Swedish missionary Greta Ohlsson awarded Ingrid Bergman her third Oscar win in a career that spanned six decades. Some say this was not her best role, and not even an award winning performance; that she won the Oscar due to her long career. Apparently those have never seen her performance.

She enlivened the screen with her appearance, and her introverted Greta was one of the best performances in this star studded ensemble. Many of the other roles were over acted, almost to the point of comedic, but not Bergman. She delivered a true and heartfelt performance and worthy of her Oscar.

#7 Liza Minnelli in Cabaret

November 13, 2006

Liza Minnelli, the daughter of actress Judy Garland and film director Vincente Minnelli had already made a name for herself in 1965 for being the youngest actress to have ever won a Tony Award in the show, Flora, the Red Menace.

When coming to the big screen critics were ready to pounce, but Liza suprised them all. Her role as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, as an American singer in 1930s Berlin. She falls in love with a bi-sexual man and the story goes on. (Sounds very famillar to her life story)

Liza wooed audiences and critics alike with her raw performance, dance and song. She also went on to win the Oscar for Best Actress that year.

#8 Linda Blair in The Exorcist

November 12, 2006

Even today thirty three years later, Linda Blair is recognized as the blasphemous, vomit-spewing little girl from in the William Friedkin horror movie, The Exorcist.

“The Exorcist” was the zenith of Blair’s Hollywood career: She was nominated for an Oscar, and won a best supporting actress Golden Globe award for the role of Regan.

Even though her portrayl of the possessed little girl was phenomenal, her career since then has languished. It was downhill from there. Blair went on to star in such B flicks as “Roller Boogie” (1979) “Red Heat” (1985), “Repossessed” (1990) and “Bedroom Eyes II” (1990).

#9 Talia Shire – Rocky & Godfather

November 3, 2006


Coming into the eye of Hollywood in 1972 with her role of Connie Corleone, Talia Shire was destined for greatness. Sister of Director Francis Ford Coppola, she shined in The Godfather as the sister of the Corleone brothers and the abused wife of her husband Carlo.

Then in 1976 she reappeared as the reserved and quiet Adrianna “Adrian” Pennino who fell for Rocky. Her intense passion for him is seen in the first moments they finally go on thier date and continues throughout the film to the final scene as Rocky cries out her name. She was nominated for an Oscar for that role as a supporting actress.

These were to become two of her greatest roles. She would play Connie in the next two Godfather movies, and her legacy lives on today in her children, Jason & Robert Schwartzman.

#10 Lily Tomlin – Nashville

November 2, 2006

There were not as many juicy roles in the 70′s for the women as there were for the men in Hollywood. But however there were some fantastic performances by the up and coming female stars in that decade that was dubbed the “New Hollywood”. One of those new names and rising stars is my pick to start off my top 10 Actresses of the 1970′s;

Lily Tomlin in Nashville (1975)
Out of all the actresses that had a role in that motion picture only Lily and Ronee Blakely were nominated for an Academy Awards for acting. After playing Ernestine (the telephone operator) on TV’s Laugh In, Lily got her break in pictures with Robert Altman’s classic and from there as they say, the rest is history. Linnea Reese, her character was a gospel singer in a black choir, and also a mother of two deaf children.

Her presence is felt throughout the movie and the last scene as her husband (played by Ned Beatty) pulls her from the stage to take her home you know a star is born.


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