Barry Williams, who will forever be Greg “Johnny Bravo” Brady to the now-grown ’70s kids who crushed on him back in the day, turns 60 on Tuesday.
To put that in perspective, in just one year, he’ll be as old as Vincent Price was when he played the creepily paranoid archaeologist who held the “Brady Bunch” boys hostage in Hawaii. But aging is only natural, and as the Bradys sang, “when it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange.”
Now we’ve got to admit: Williams hasn’t really rearranged that much. Just look at how similar he still looks to young Barry, sporting a full head of dark curls, twinkling blue eyes, and that exact same friendly smile. We might still have a little bit of a crush.
Here’s a look at six more 1970s teen idols, then and now.
If you met him on a Monday and your heart stood still, chances are good his name wasn’t actually Bill, but Shaun. Shaun Cassidy was not just a singer (his cover of “Da Doo Ron Ron” hit No. 1 in 1977), but he played feathery-haired Joe Hardy to Parker Stevenson’s brother Frank on “The Hardy Boys Mysteries.” (And he wore some mighty tight pants — just check out that photo.) Plus he’s got a great Hollywood pedigree: His mom is Shirley Jones, aka Mrs. Partridge on “The Partridge Family,” and his half-brother David played her son, Keith.
Leif Garrett was as well-known to 1970s schoolgirls as Justin Bieber is today. His floppy, messy mane of hair put him on the cover of every teen magazine, and songs like 1979’s “I Was Made for Dancin'” helped, too. He’s battled various legal issues and drug arrests in recent years, but just mention that name to a certain group of fortysomething women and watch for the spark of recognition.
Book ’em, Ponch! Larry Wilcox’s Jon Baker was the strait-laced cowboy type, but Frank “Ponch” Poncherello was the “CHiPs” patrolman who had fans’ hearts doing 100 in a 55-mph zone. His dark good looks and rebel character had every high schooler longing to get pulled over, and he was voted one of People’s 10 Sexiest Bachelors in 1979.
You were either a David Cassidy girl or a Shaun Cassidy girl, or maybe you saw the appeal of both. Shaun had the more boyish face and lighter hair, while David sported darker locks, and served as everyone’s dream older brother as Keith Partridge on “The Partridge Family.” The two Cassidys were half-brothers, sharing dad Jack Cassidy, but things were a bit muddled because Shaun’s real mom, Shirley Jones, played David’s pretend mom on “Partridge.” And Seventies girls screamed for “I Think I Love You” much as their older sisters shrieked through “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
His sister Marie was a little bit country, but Donny Osmond himself was a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. Not hard rock, mind you — he mostly stuck to gentle bubblegum songs like “Puppy Love” — but his audience didn’t mind. They were too busy falling into puppy love with Donny himself, by far the cutest and most personable of the nine Osmond kids. And he wasn’t just a flash in the teen-idol pan, Donny later delighted audiences on Broadway with “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and won the ninth season of “Dancing With the Stars.”
How many 1970s girls learned basketball or ice skating thanks to dark-haired Robby Benson’s acting in “One on One” and “Ice Castles”? Yeah, more than a few. Benson was also seen throwin’ something off the Tallahatchie Bridge in the movie version of “Ode to Billy Joe,” and starred as Danny Saunders in the 1981 film version of Chaim Potok’s “The Chosen.” But younger generations may know his voice better than his face: Benson voiced The Beast in the 1991 Disney blockbuster “Beauty and the Beast.” And judging by more recent shots, he’s let his once closely cropped hair now hang loose, like that of his famed animated character.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is the co-author of “Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?” and “The Totally Sweet ’90s.” Follow her on Google+.