The Day the 1970s Died

With the news today that iconic actress Farrah Fawcett had finally lost her brave struggle with cancer, it seems like a good part of the 1970s decade died as well. Her easily identifiable mane of golden cascading hair may have been the most recognizable symbol of that decade.

I first took notice of Farrah when I was a young teenager. She was on a Noxema commercial and I instantly fell in love with her. Later she starred in the first season of Charlie’s Angels and married Lee Majors, all big deals back then.  Several pinup posters of her were available, the most famous, of course, was her in a red bathing suit, the imprint of her nipples clearly visible. Every teenage male growing up at that time had that poster on his bedroom wall. Even some grown men owned it (such as my band director).

As the 1970s drew to a close, Farrah became a serious actress, giving compelling performances in several movies that would be Lifetime Movies of the Week these days. She earned rave reviews for her acting skills, which seemed to come out of nowhere. And she started a well publicized relationship with actor Ryan O’Neal, having earlier divorced Lee Majors.

Lately she has been known for being sick with cancer. The tabloids and even the legitimate news media have covered her every move for the last three months. And of course today she died, the icon of the 1970s.

All this talk about Farrah and the 1970s has kind of  made me think back to the decade that I grew up in. Much tackier and gaudier than the 60s (which for all the excess at least had an element of honesty and concern attached to it.) the 1970s became labelled the “Me Generation”.

Here are a few things I remember well about the 1970s in no particular order of importance.

  • Happy Days and the Fonz
  • Evel Knievel
  • Secretariat winning the Triple Crown
  • Watergate
  • KISS
  • Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman
  • Mood Rings
  • Leisure Suits (has there even been anything tackier than the polyester leisure suit?)
  • Hank Aaron passing Babe Ruth on the all time home run list
  • Olga Korbut
  • Nadia Komeninci
  • Gerald Ford
  • The Energy Crisis
  • Charlie’s Angels
  • Battle of the Network Stars
  • Donnie and Marie
  • Sonny and Cher
  • the Captain and Tenille
  • Carol Burnette
  • Star Wars
  • Disco
  • platform heels
  • shag hairdos
  • Battle of the Sexes (Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs)
  • All in the Family
  • M*A*S*H
  • CB Radios
  • Kung Fu movies
  • Miami Dolphins 17-0
  • (and last but not least, everything was Dyn-O-Mite!!)

2 Responses to “The Day the 1970s Died”

  1. That list sounds like part of a Billy Joel song…oh, it is.

  2. debeyepps Says:

    * Sitting in Gas Lines
    * Celebrity Bowling
    * Match Game
    * Slip and Slide
    * Tube Tops
    * Mini-Skirts
    * Platform Shoes

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