How Many ’70s TV Characters’ Last Names Do You Know?
By: Ian Fortey
Image: Wikicommons by paramount
About This Quiz
Some of the greatest shows in television history were on in the '70s. That decade gave us some of the most memorable characters, from the Fonz to Laverne and Shirley, J.R. from "Dallas," Alice and Flo at the diner, Arnold and Wills, and so many more. But how many of their last names do you really remember? Sure, it's easy with shows like "The Jeffersons" or "The Partridge Family," but what was Mindy's last name on "Mork and Mindy?" And Mary Tyler Moore had her own show, but Moore wasn't her character's last name. Do you remember what it was?
It's weird to think that every fictional character we know and love had a whole back story created for them, with a birthday, a family, and a full name that maybe went for years without ever being mentioned on the show. Or perhaps it was mentioned all the time, and you just don't remember it. If you do feel like you remember some of the most popular characters of the '70s and you're one of those people who can always match a name to a face, then maybe this is the quiz for you. Let's head back in time to the 1970s and see just how many last names you remember.
Do you remember Hawkeye's last name on "M*A*S*H*?"
Alan Alda played Hawkeye, whose real name was Benjamin Franklin Pierce on the show. Alda and Jamie Farr, who played Klinger, were the only two cast members who were actually enlisted in the Armed Forces and served in Korea, though they served after the cease-fire.
Everyone knows "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," but Moore is her real last name. What's the character's name?
Mary Tyler Moore played Mary Richards on her show back in the '70s. The show also featured Valerie Harper as Mary's best friend, and she almost wasn't cast in the part not because she was no good, but because they thought she was too pretty for the character.
One of the biggest cliffhangers in TV was about who shot J.R. What's his last name?
The season finale cliffhanger of "Dallas" that left viewers wondering who shot J.R. Ewing was one of the most iconic moments of TV history. It was so influential even "The Simpsons" did a parody of it decades later.
"All in the Family" featured Carroll O'Connor as Archie who?
Archie Bunker is one of the most iconic sitcom characters of all time, though not necessarily all for good reasons. Especially in modern times, the show and Bunker, in particular, have been called out for racist and offensive jokes.
The family on "Happy Days" were the Cunninghams, and Erin Moran's Joanie was the daughter. Later she'd go on to star in the spin-off "Joanie Loves Chachi" opposite Scott Baio's Chachi. Later, Moran would tell Howard Stern that, off-camera, Henry Winkler used to kiss her and her TV mom all the time.
What was Emily's last name on "The Bob Newhart Show?"
Emily Hartley was the wife of doctor Bob Hartley on the show. Actress Suzanne Pleshette got the job after she appeared on "The Tonight Show," sitting next to Newhart quite by accident. Their chemistry was so good producers asked her to read for his new show.
Before she became Rhoda Gerard, what was Rhoda's last name?
Rhoda Morgenstern moved from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" to her own show, where she changed her last name after getting married. "Rhoda" almost had its own animated spin-off about Carlton the Doorman, but it was never picked up.
What was the last name of Laura on "Little House on the Prairie?"
Laura Ingalls was the character on "Little House on the Prairie." Melissa Gilbert played the character, and years later, she wrote a biography about her experiences, including that nearly everyone on the set abused alcohol during the production.
What was the last name of Charlie from "Charlie's Angels?"
Even though we never actually see the character on the show, Charlie does have the last name of Townsend on the show. The character was voiced by John Forsythe, who never once visited the set because he said it would cost a lot more money to get him there in person.
On "Laverne and Shirley," what was Laverne's full name?
Laverne DeFazio was the full name of Penny Marshall's character on "Laverne and Shirley." Laverne wore the letter "L" on all of her shirts because Penny Marshall hated how often characters referred to each other by name on TV. She thought that wearing the initial would fix it, but it did not.
J.J. on "Good Times" gave the world "Dy-no-Mite!" What was his last name?
"Good Times" was about the Evans family, including J.J., Florida, and Michael. John Amos played J.J. Walker's father in the show, but in real life, there was only a seven-year age difference between the two actors.
The Jeffersons had a sassy maid named Florence. Do you remember her full name?
Marla Gibbs played the character Florence Johnston on "The Jeffersons." Unlike some shows, "The Jeffersons" never had a finale; it was canceled by surprise. The cast was furious about it, and star Sherman Helmsley said he learned of the cancellation by reading about it in the paper.
Radar was one of the most popular characters on "M*A*S*H*," but do you remember his last name?
Corporal Walter "Radar" Reilly was the most child-like character on the show, and, in fact, he even had a teddy bear. The prop bear used to be displayed at the Smithsonian museum and later sold at auction for $11,800.
Howard Hesseman had a pretty memorable name on "WKRP in Cincinnati." His first name was Johnny, but what was his last name?
Howard Hesseman played Dr. Johnny Fever on "WKRP in Cincinnati." The character was supposed to use a lot of names, with Johnny Fever being just one of them as his job was to be different characters depending on the time of day since the station couldn't afford other on-air personalities. Some of his other names were Johnny Sunshine, Johnny Style, and Johnny Duke.
Obviously every main character on "The Brady Bunch" was named Brady, except for one. What was Alice's last name?
Alice Nelson was the housekeeper on "The Brady Bunch," though you rarely hear her last name used. Alice's character was famously in one of the only scenes edited out of the show for content reasons. In one episode, Bobby and Cindy want to go skinny dipping, and Alice forbids it, saying no Brady will go to an X-rated party on her watch. The scene is usually edited out when broadcast for being too racy.
On the TV show "Alice," what was Alice's last name?
Alice Hyatt was the lead character on the show "Alice," but most people remember it better for her co-worker Flo. In fact, Flo was so popular that they spun her off into her own show. Unfortunately, it was a group dynamic that made it work, and Flo did not last on her own.
John Ritter became famous thanks to his role as Jack Tripper on "Three's Company." Though everyone had great chemistry on screen, behind the scenes, there was a lot of tension after Suzanne Somers asked for a pay raise, but John Ritter has a clause in his contract saying he would always be the highest-paid actor.
Before she was on the big screen, Wonder Woman was on TV. What's her character's last name?
Wonder Woman's alter ego is Diana Prince. In the original TV show, she was played by Lynda Carter. Rumor has it Carter and co-star Lyle Waggoner hated being together so much that they were barely in any scenes together towards the end of the series. Carter has denied any tension, though.
Roscoe was the sheriff on "Dukes of Hazzard" and his last name was what?
Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane always had it in for those Duke boys. James best played the character, and according to the storyline, he was supposed to have been an honest cop for 30 years until the budget was gutted, and he lost his retirement.
Can you remember what Ponch's last name on "CHiPS" was?
The character's full and somewhat lengthy name is Francis (Frank) Llewelyn "Ponch" Poncherello. Behind the scenes, the actors on the show were said not to get along very well at all, and even when Larry Wilcox left, Erik Estrada didn't get along with his replacement, either.
Isaac the bartender had a last name on "The Love Boat." What was it?
Ted Lange played bartender Isaac Washington in "The Love Boat." The show has an interesting place in history as the last of its era to make use of a laugh track rather than a studio audience to provide the laughter in the background.
Do you remember the name of that sleazy repairman on "One Day at a Time?"
Dwayne Schneider, mostly just known as Schneider, was played by Pat Harrington Jr. He actually quit the show once over a pay dispute, and it lasted just one month. Once the producers realized how important he was to the show's success, they gave him a raise.
Dick Van Patten was the head of the family on "Eight is Enough." His character's first name was Tom, but what was the last name?
Tom Bradford was the head of the Bradford clan on "Eight is Enough." Grant Goodeve played his son David Bradford on the show, but Mark Hamill, best known as Luke Skywalker, was originally cast in the role.
Squiggy was a popular "Laverne and Shirley" character; what was his last name?
Squiggy was obviously a nickname, and the character's real name was Andrew Squiggman. David Lander, who played Squiggy, was hired as a writer on the show, and, along with Michael McKean, who played Lenny, wrote himself as a character.
Suzanne Somers played Chrissy who on "Three's Company?"
Suzanne Somers played Christmas "Chrissy" Snow on "Three's Company." She was fired from the show after several seasons because she refused to work without getting a raise, and the other actors grew to hate her so much they wouldn't be on set with her.
"The Partridge Family" featured a manager named Reuben what?
Dave Madden played the musical family's manager Reuben Kincaid in "The Partridge Family." Weirdly enough, in the very first episode, even though Madden appears as Kincaid, an actor named Gordon Jump is credited with the role.
What was the name of Ricardo Montalban's mysterious "Fantasy Island" character?
Mr. Roarke was the main character on "Fantasy Island," and he didn't actually have a first name. Montalban filmed the movie "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" playing Khan at the same as he was working on the show.
Do you remember the last name of the "Six Million Dollar Man"?
Steve Austin was the Six Million Dollar Man, at least in most countries. The show went by different names in different countries, including "Thee Nuclear Man" in Spanish-speaking countries and "The Man Who Is Worth Millions" in Israel.
On "Emergency!" what was the last name of John the paramedic?
Johnny Gage was the main character on the show "Emergency!" Randolph Mantooth played the role and initially turned it down because he felt he was an up and coming star who didn't want to get stuck on TV.
Stan Wojciehowicz, also known as Wojo, was played by Max Gail. When Gail auditioned for the role, he had hair, but as filming progressed, he started to go bald, so the actor used a hairpiece for most of the production.
Remember Arnold on "Diff'rent Strokes?" What was his last name?
Gary Coleman played Arnold Jackson on the show. "Diff'rent Strokes" has one of the most memorable theme songs in TV history, and not a lot of people know that Alan Thicke, the star of "Growing Pains," was the singer.
What was the last name of Jack Lord's character on "Hawaii Five-O?"
Jack Lord played detective Steve McGarrett on the show. Lord was a last-minute addition to the show, and he read for the part on a Wednesday in Beverly Hills, flew to Hawaii on Friday, and was at work on camera by Monday.
Before she was on "The Golden Girls," Bea Arthur starred as Maude Findlay. Series creator Norman Lear, who was famous for the many shows he had a hand in creating back in the day, based the character Maude on his wife.
Mork's last name may have been "from Ork," but what was Mindy's?
Mindy McConnell was the Mindy of "Mork and Mindy," acting opposite Robin Williams. Williams famously improvised much of the humor on the show to the point that eventually, the screenwriters would just write notes telling him to do whatever he wanted in some scenes.