The 1970s have often been called the funniest decade in television history. Trends from that decade included family sitcoms and the rise of female lead characters and comic book character shows, but perhaps the most important change was the transition to colored television. Many of those shows have either been revived sometime after they were canceled or they were the basis for several spin-offs and the inspiration for newer shows as well as movies.
Some of the most popular shows from that decade include sitcoms like "Laverne & Shirley," "Three's Company" and "The Brady Bunch," medical themed shows like "M*A*S*H," "Emergency," and "Trapper John, M.D.," police dramas like "CHiPs" and "Columbo," as well as a host of other television shows.
How well do you know your 1970s television shows and the actors who starred in them? If you were given pictures of these characters, would you be able to match them to the show that they appeared in? Well, there's only one way to find out, and that is by taking this quiz!
Eric Estrada (1949- ) is an American actor who is best known for the role that he played on the television drama series CHiPs from 1977 to 1983. He took on the part of California Highway Patrol officer Francis “Fran” Poncherello alongside Larry Wilcox.
Barry Williams (1954 - ) is an American actor and singer who is well remembered for playing the role of Greg Brady, the eldest of the blended family, on ABC’s television sitcom The Brady Bunch which aired from 1969 to 1974.
Theodore “Ted” Lange is an American actor, screenwriter, and director who played the role of bartender Isaac Washington in the 1970’s television drama series "The Love Boat." In 1999, he directed two episodes of the revival series "Love Boat: The New Wave."
Robert Wagner (1930- ) is an American actor who has starred in several television shows throughout the 1960s to the early 2000s, one of which was an adventure detective series called "Switch." Inspired by the 1973 movie "The Sting," it followed a pair of men who opened a Los Angeles detective agency.
Sherman Alexander Hemsley (1938 – 2012) was an American actor and comedian who is best remembered for playing the role of George Jefferson on the CBS television series "All in the Family" and the spinoff "The Jeffersons."
Paul Michael Glaser (1943 - ) is an American actor and director who played the role of Detective David Starsky on the television series "Starsky & Hutch" alongside David Soul. The popular series was broadcasted on ABC for four seasons from 1975 to 1979.
James Garner (1928 – 2014) was an American actor who starred in several television shows over throughout his five decades in the business. One of those shows included "The Rockford Files" which aired from 1974 to 1980. Garner starred as a wrongfully convicted man who became a private investigator.
Gregory Neale Harrison (1950 - ) is an American actor who is well-known for starring on the television series "Trapper John, M.D." Airing on CBS from 1979 to 1986, he played the role of the lead character’s (Dr. Trapper John MacIntyre) assistant.
John Carroll O'Connor (1924 – 2001) was an American actor, director, and producer whose career in television lasted over four decades. One of his most famous roles includes that of Archie Justice on the show "All in the Family," which aired on CBS from 1971 to 1979.
James Brolin (1940- ) is an American actor, director, and producer who starred in many sitcoms, films and soap operas including Marcus Welby, M.D. where he played the role of Steven Kiley – a part that won him two Golden Globes Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award.
Randolph Mantooth (1945 - ) is an American actor whose 40 years in the industry includes numerous television shows, several films as well as documentaries. He is very well known for starring in the 1970s hit medical drama series "Emergency!" as the paramedic John Gage.
Alan Alda (1936 - ) is an American actor, screenwriter, director and author who is best known for playing the role of Hawkeye Pierce in the comedy war television series "M*A*S*H," which aired on CBS from 1972 – 1986. The show was based on the 1986 novel "MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors."
Richard Hatch (1945 – 2017) was an American actor, producer, and writer whose most popular role was that of Captain Apollo in the "Battlestar Galactica" television series which only ran from 1978 to 1979 before being canceled.
Patrick Duffy (1949 - ) is an American actor who starred in many television shows including the show "Dallas," which aired on CBS from 1978 to 1991. He played the role of Bobby Ewing, a member of a wealthy family who owned an oil company and cattle ranch.
Red Foxx, whose real name was John Elroy Sanford (1922 - 1991), was an American actor and comedian best known for starring in the 1970s sitcom "Sanford and Sons." On the show, he starred as the widower and junk dealer living in an apartment with his son Lamont.
Michael Landon (1936 – 1991) was an American actor, director, and producer who is known for starring on many television shows, one of which was "Little House on the Praire" from 1974 to 1983. On the show, he took on the role of Charles Ingalls, the father of the family.
David Soul (1943 - ) is an American-British singer and actor who played the role of Detective Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson on the television series "Starsky & Hutch" from 1975 to 1979. The series went on to inspire a film and a video game.
Judd Hirsch (1935 - ) is an American actor who is well remembered for playing the role of Alex Rieger on the 1970 television sitcom "Taxi," which aired on NBC from 1978 to 1983. The role of the cab driver won him two Primetime Emmy Awards and several more nominations.
Jack Klugman (1922 – 2012) was an American stage and film actor whose role on the sitcom, "The Odd Couple as Oscar Madison" won him two Primetime Emmy Awards. The show ran from 1970 to 1975 and was based on a 1965 Broadway show with the same name.
John Schneider (1960 - ) is an American actor and country music artist who is best known for playing the role of Beauregard “Bo” Duke in the television comedy series "The Dukes of Hazzard" alongside Catherine Bach, James Best and Tom Wopat.
Shaun Cassidy (1958 - ) is an American television producer and former actor who starred in the television series "The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries" for three seasons from 1977 to 1979. The series was based on and often followed the storylines of "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew" mystery novels.
Richard Earl Thomas (1951 - ) is an American actor who is best remembered for playing the role of John-Boy Walton on the CBS drama series "The Waltons," a part that won him an Emmy Award. The series was based on a novel called "Spencer’s Mountain" by Earl Hamner Jr.
Wilfred “Bill” Bixby III (1934 – 1993) was an American actor, producer, director and game-show panelist whose most successful role was that of the Marvel character, Dr. David Banner from the CBS drama series "The Incredible Hulk."
Robin Williams (1951 – 2014) was an award-winning American actor and comedian who rose to fame as the alien Mork first on an episode of the 1970s "Happy Days" and then on the spin-off sitcom "Mork & Mindy" a few years later.
Bill Macy (1922 - ) is an American actor who is best known for starring on the 1970s television sitcom "Maude" alongside Beatrice Arthur, the title character. He played the role of Walter Findlay, the appliance store owner and fourth husband of Maude’s.
Gavin MacLeod (1931 - ) is an American film and television actor, author and activist whose career on television lasted over six decades. He played the role of Murray Slaughter on the television show "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" from 1970 to 1977.
James Carter Walker Jr. (1947 - ) is an American actor and comedian who is known for playing the role of James “J.J.” Evans Jr., a character from the television series "Good Times" which aired on CBS from 1974 to 1979. The role earned him two Golden Globe nominations in 1975 and 1979.
Henry Franklin Winkler (1945 - ) is an American actor, director, and author who starred in a series of television series and films during his career. One of his earliest roles was that of Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli, a character from the 1970s sitcom "Happy Days."
Lee Majors (1939 - ) is an American television and voice actor who is best known for starring as Colonel Steve Austin, an ex-astronaut who has bionic implants, in the science fiction television series "The Six Million Dollar Man."
Pat Harrington Jr. (1929 – 2016) was an American voice and television actor whose most successful role was as Dwayne Schneider. The show titled "One Day at a Time," which aired on CBS, was a sitcom that followed a divorced mother raising two teen daughters in Indianapolis.
John Ritter (1948 – 2003) was an American actor who played the role of Jack Tripper on the ABS sitcom "Three’s Company," which aired from 1977 to 1984. The part won him a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award. He also appeared on the spin-off - "Three’s a Crowd."
Peter Falk (1927 – 2011) was an American actor whose most prominent role was that of Lieutenant Colombo on the over three-decade long-running television series "Columbo." The part won the actor four Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.
John Travolta (1954 - ) is an American producer, dancer, and singer who is also one of Hollywood’s most successful actors. One of his first roles was that of Vincent “Vinnie” Barbarino in the 1970s show "Welcome Back, Kotter," which aired from 1975 to 1979.
Hal Linden (1931 - ) is an American actor, director, and musician who, after joining the US Army, landed the role of Barney Miller, the title character of a 1974 television comedy series. The role earned him several Primetime Emmy Awards.
Gary Sandy (1954 - ) is an American actor who is well remembered for the role that he played as the program director, Andy Travis, on the 1970s television series "WKRP in Cincinnati." His character is the subject of the show’s theme song and was meant to be the lead character.
David Doyle (1929 – 1997) was an American actor whose most successful role was playing John Bosely, a man who worked alongside the angels on the 1970s television series "Charlie’s Angels."
David Leonard Lander (1947 - ) is an American actor, comedian, and musician, and one of his many roles was playing Andrew “Squiggy” Squiggman on the 1970s television series "Laverne & Shirley" and for one episode on "Happy Days."
Ricardo Montalbán (1920 – 2009) was a Mexican actor whose career lasted over seven decades. One of his most popular roles in the television realm was that of Mr. Roark on the television series "Fantasy Island," which aired on ABC from 1977 to 1984.
George “Bob” Newhart (1929 - ) is an American actor and comedian who played the role of Dr. Robert Hartley on the 1970s television series "The Bob Newhart Show" – a role that was said to skyrocket the actor’s career.
Robert Reed (1932 – 1992) was an American actor who had many successful roles in his acting career, one of which being Mike Brady on the 1970s ABC sitcom "The Brady Bunch." He went on the reprise the role in several of their reunion shows and programs.