Scifibabes of the 1970s
Ahh the 1970s.... one of the most important decades for Sci-fi and therefore for it's babes. Here we see the continuation of the Planet of the Apes films, meet Star Wars and Close Encounters for the first time, not to mention the incredible icons of Alien, Superman and Star Trek. The decade started slowly, but by the time we reached the 1980s, sci-fi was back in business as one of the major genres in film and that continues up to today.
Lets start at the beginning then. We already met Linda Harrison, as Nova in Planet of the Apes, but she also starred in the sequel, Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970). I see no valid reason why we shouldn't have another picture of her, so here's a publicity still from my favourite film from the original series...
Now I make absolutely no apologies for the next babe - Olivia Newton John. Even though the film itself, Toomorrow (1970) may not suit the sci-fi purists, it is a pleasure to have this English-born beauty gracing our pages. It makes the sci-fi genre on a very tenuous basis - aliens hear the band's songs and need the tunes to survive... Whatever the excuse, Olivia (yes, that's the name of the character she plays, how original) is an incredibly sexy babe with some of the best legs in the business!
It seems that Italian women feature quite strongly in Sci-fi films, as the country supports the genre strongly. Or is it that the country in question simply produces gorgeous babes? Anna Maria Pierangeli is a Sicilian born actress who happened to feature in an awful film called Octoman (1971) as Susan Lowry. Yes you guessed it, the man looked like an octopus!
Now, I could have included the beautiful Joan Collins earlier, when she played the character Edith Keeler, in one of my favourite Star Trek episodes, the award-winning City in the Edge of Forever, but I found her to be unsexy in that episode, to say the least, which is just how the character was supposed to be portrayed. However, in Quest for love (1971), she plays two characters in alternative worlds, Ottilie and Tracey Fletcher, where you simply cannot dismiss her charms. Here she is as Ottillie...
Missing from the wiki list, Creatures the World Forgot (1971) featured stone-age scantily-clad woman (mainly). It starred Penthouse and Norwegian beauty, Julie Ege as Nala, the chiefs daughter. That's basically the plot covered, let's see the babe in question...
Phase IV (1972) was one of those 1950s ants-suddenly-got-a-lot-bigger films. It did, however star Lynne Fredericks as Kendra Eldridge, even though it was a total flop and the director's only film. Lynn Fredericks, you may remember, was married to Peter Sellers and inherited his estate when he suddenly died. I think she's a real looker - shame she died early of alcoholism - ohh well there you go - that's show business!
I remember Rollerball (1975) as a great film, but mostly for it's mindless violence, which seemed to be pretty normal for films in the 1970s (e.g. Death Race 2000 in 1975, Deathsport in 1978). The game itself stands out for most of the film, but there was one shining light, an actress more known for her James Bond roles than others, Maud Adams, who played Ella.
The Stepford Wives (1975) was a good opportunity to feast the eye on a number of babes in a sci-fi film. The film was remade in 2004 but this is a much better, darker version. The lovely Katherine Ross plays the probing Joanna Eberhart, who finally succumbs to life as a robot at the end of the film.
Now as a young man, there is one babe I can recall more than others from the 1970s. This was Caroline Munro, in the Golden Voyage of Sinbad, but technically it doesn't qualify as sci-fi so I can't include it here. Oh how I wish I could, but then I would never get this site finished if I didn't stick to the rules. No matter, because there is always At the Earth's Core (1976), where this voluptuous and leggy babe played Princess Dia. The film was truly awful, with people dressed up in rubber suits pretending to be dinosaurs (one even explodes when it falls down a chasm - now why is that?), although there is a good working model of a mechanical mole reminiscent of Thunderbirds fame. I digress - take a look at this publicity still from the film...
You see my point? Well, let's not stop there then and go straight on to her next qualifying film, Starcrash (1979), where she played Stella Star, a space pirate, in what is basically a Star Wars rip-off! Actually the film gets a lot of bad publicity for being low-budget and it's (blatant) copying of some Star Wars themes (uhh light sabres!), but its well worth a watch and could well fall into the cult category if more people watched it. Luckily for us, Caroline was as scantily dressed as in most of her films and provides enough eye candy to make it enjoyable.
It's hard to ignore the sci-fi super classic, Star Wars: episode IV - A New Hope (1977), and like most similar sites, I will include Princess Leia Organa, acted by Carrie Fisher, although for some reason she just doesn't do it for me. However the character of Leia as a feisty and somewhat spoiled princess who chills out later in the series, is quite alluring in her bikini costume, and she did kill Jabba later on, so she must be tough too.. There are literally hundreds of pictures of Leia out there (and an awful lot of hotties dressed up in the character's costume too!), but I find this one the sexiest.
Now I'm not really sure if this counts (sure it does - it's MY website), but Camie Loneozner, a friend of Luke's, was played by Koo Stark. The scenes were never put into the final film, but are available somewhere if you search long enough. I think it's a shame - she would have brought a bit more babe-appeal to the franchise, don't you think?
For the same reason as Star Wars, I am including Alien (1979), but I really don't get how Sigourney Weaver is supposed to be sexy. Please don't get me wrong, she is transformed in my view, in Galaxy Quest and she is as sexy as they get in that film, but like Carrie Fisher in Star Wars, I think the wrong actress played the part. This opens up a whole can of worms, so should i include a web page entitled "She would have been better if X played her"?. We'll see - but I believe there are sites out there in the big WWW that do just that with some clever digital effects, but I'm not that skilled I'm afraid. Anyway - lets see the two characters, Ripley and Glen DeMarco side-by-side to show what I mean..
By the way, if you haven't seen Galaxy Quest (yeah I know we aren't in that decade yet) please see it - probably the best spoof film there is, if you are a sci-fi fan.
Now, rarely does the James Bond franchise enter the realm of sci-fi, so when it does, we need to grab it with both hands, because the films are full of babes, some of whom we have managed to squeeze in, but sadly some we miss. Moonraker (1979) boasts the very gorgeous Lois Chiles as Dr. Holly Goodhead (how did they get away with those character names I will never know!), a space scientist who accompanies Bond to the space station. Lois lost her brother, to whom she was very close, and ceased her acting career for 3 years to look after him, but it never took off again and she continues to campaign for the disease. In my view she is wrongly dubbed as one of the most wooden Bond girls, and I for one am delighted to include her in the list.
Whilst on the subject of Bond girls, Barbara Bach appeared in a little-known sci-fi flick called Island of Mutations (and sometimes Island of the Fishmen) (1979). In it she played Amanda Marvin, the captive daughter of a famous biologist who learned how to turn men into - well fishy things! The film has been remade by adding different openings and other scenes, but still a pretty awful film, with a very pretty actress, as I am sure you will agree.
We'll sort of finish the 1970s with my favourite sci-fi series - Star Trek, where the eagerly-awaited Motion Picture (1979) kicked off the hugely successful series of films - all of them sprouting lovely ladies for us to gawk at and admire. One of the most unusual was lieutenant Ilia, a Deltan who was transformed into a robot by a machine originally sent out from earth to explore the galaxy (in fact it is still out there exploring the edges of our solar system!). Played by the Indian-born Persis Khambatta, a former Miss India, she was notorious for having no hair. Unusual but definitely sexy, with short skirts and long legs to match, but for now lets focus on that shaven head.
The birth of the home computer, the first test-tube baby, video recorders, watches with liquid crystal displays and the first space shuttle flight took the 1970s one step further scientifically. At a similarly prolific rate, we find that the number of sci-fi TV series almost doubled in number over this decade. Here the babes started to build on their independence from the 60s and took on more serious roles, equalling the roles of their male counterparts, and in some cases surpassing them.
One of my favourite TV shows ever, and not just for the babes, although we have plenty of them to show. Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, creators of Thunderbirds, made this live action TV series about the constant threat from aliens in the 1980s (far thinking, eh?). We had moonbase, interceptors, great special effects for TV at the time and iconic cars and spaceships. We also had tight outfits, purple hair and lots of silver materials.
For me at least, the sexiest babe was Lt Gay Ellis, played by Gabrielle Drake, a Pakistan-born English actress. Is it the purple hair, the sexy costume of that cute face that does it?
Higher in rank was Col. Virginia Lake, played by Wanda Ventham. She only appeared in a handful of episodes which was a great shame. She played a romantic interest in the series, but also had the serious roles of leader of moonbase and first officer of SHADO, the acronym for the secret agency.
If it wasn't for the fact that she was based on the submarine, Georgina Moon would have been aptly named in this TV series. However, if she wasn't on the sub, then she wouldn't have to wear the standard underwater uniform. Here is Georgina as Lt Sylvia Howell.
Strangely, the IMDb lists Wonder Woman (1974) as Fantasy rather than Sci-fi, but the New Adventures does make it under sub-genres. I think with an invisible spaceship, it qualifies as sci-fi anyway. Lucky for us, too, because we can feast on the curvy Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, as played by Lynda Carter.
As a matter of interest, the idea for a TV series started in 1967, when a pilot called "Who's afraid of Diana Prince?" was filmed, or at least a 5 minute section. It was made by the makers of Batman and was a camp programme, with an unattractive Diana Prince, who saw herself as an attractive Wonder Woman in the mirror. The lovely Linda Harrision, of Planet of the Apes fame, starred as mirror image Wonder Woman. The pilot was never broadcast, quite rightly because it didn't do the character any credit, but Linda or Lynda as Wonder Woman? Hmmmm.. The video is on the internet but rather poor quality, but here's a picture of the mirror image version.
Hoping to follow on from the success of the earlier film, this TV series featured Heather Menzies-Urich as Jessica. Weird that we should be fantasising over someone from the von Trapp family (Yes you got it - she played Louisa in The Sound of Music). Personally I didn't really enjoy the TV series, but then it's up to you at the end of the day...
We met babes from Buck Rogers back in the 1930s, and 40 years on they have become a whole lot sexier. The character Wilma Deering was played by Erin Gray in the pilot Movie and returned to co-star in the TV series, even though she wasn't originally cast for it. Described as "Wonder Woman with brains", she was sexy, spunky and often came to Buck's rescue rather than the other way round.
Princess Ardala Of Draconia was Buck's arch enemy and the main villainess of the film and TV series, here played by Pamela Hensley.
Whilst Wilma appeared in most episodes and Ardala in 4, there were many babes to be seen throughout the TV series, feel free to use the links above for more.
One worthy mention is Miss Cosmos, who appeared in the last episode of 1979, "Cruise ship to the Stars". She was a genetically-engineered woman designed to be the perfect beauty queen. She was played by Dorothy Stratton, who, herself, was a playmate of the month for 1979 and for the year in 1980. She was murdered at the age of 20 by her estranged husband, and only appeared a few times on our screens. Luckily for us we will meet her once again in 1980, and you won't be disappointed, I promise you.
The original Jaimie Sommers was played by the beautiful Lindsay Wagner. Half woman-half cyborg, she worked for the US government after they paid to fix her body following an horrific accident. She has always had that girl-next-door look that I find so charming. Because of that she only just makes it as a "babe", but boy could she kiss ass! An offshoot from the six million dollar man, her value was never mentioned, though in the German version, she was said to be worth seven million dollars - a whole million more!
The original series was such a Star Wars rip-off that it led to many battles in court. The makers counterclaimed that Star Wars had ripped off ideas from them as early as Buck Rogers in the 1930s and the two companies spent many years (and much money) in court. There has been a cult following ever since, and a much bigger section on babes since the reimagined 2003 series was created.
Serina, played by English rose Jane Seymour, was a news reporter-turned pilot. She only appeared in 4 episodes and unfortunately didn't reappear as a character in the later series.
Lt. Athena, played by Maren Jensen, was the only daughter of Commander Adama and sister to Apollo. Her character was both as a bridge officer and pilot. She had few appearances elsewhere and is best known for Battlestar.
Two more characters worthy of mention are Lt. Sheba, played by Anne Lockhart (daughter of June Lockhart of Lost in Space fame) and Cassiopeia, played by Laurette Spang. Sheba was the daughter of the commander of the Pegasus, and following its destruction, she transferred to Galactica as a viper pilot. Cassie, as she was often called, was originally a prostitute who turned into a medtech later in the series and was the romantic link with Starbuck. Since Starbuck became female in the reimagined series, the character didn't survive. I'm sure you will agree that they both look hot in this picture.
It's not often we get a successful sci-fi comedy TV series, but this certainly was. I liked Mindy McConnell, played by Pam Dawber in this show, and found her character to be full of fun. Sure, Robin Williams was the star, and he didn't let you forget that at any time, but Mindy was just sweet - a bit like an older sister, so I'm not sure I can include her.
However, it does give us an opportunity to see the lovely Raquel Welch again. Here she is as the Queen of the Necrotons.
Now I never saw this series, but after researching it, found out that it starred the famous Barnstable twins, Patricia and Cyb. They played Betty and her clone. There are plenty of clips available on the WWW if you want to see more, but I think this picture is pretty sexy anyway (sorry don't know which is which).
In 1977 the Doctor was joined by a new companion, a native barbarian woman called Leela, who has been banished from her tribe. Played by Louise Jameson, Leela helped the Doctor and decided to remain with him where he became her mentor. She was a native warrior with very simple ideas but a willingness to learn and underlying intelligence. Oh..she went around dressed in animal skins...
Probably better known for her role in Dempsey and Makepeace, Glynnis Barber played Soolin, later in the series. She grew up on a lawless planet and killed her parents' murderers at the age of 17. A mix of beauty and ruthlessness, and a sharpshooter trained by the best guns in the galaxy. The only babe I can think of from the series, but if you disagree, please let me know.
This was a classic English TV series with the typically English Joanna Lumley starring as Sapphire, a non-human being with the ability to manipulate time. I remember it being quite radical at the time, but the very gorgeous Joanna, with her English public school accent blew me away. Probably better known for her comedy role or even her support for the Ghurkas, she played this character with confidence and style. Sapphire was an "element" from a different dimension who travelled through corridors of time to ensure that time remains intact. There is something incredibly sexy about her voice that makes her a particular favourite of mine.
Gosh - I can just about remember this TV series, but recall James Doohan (aka Scotty from Star Trek) being in it and that's about it. After some research I rediscovered the lovely Captain Nicole Davidoff, played by Susan Pratt. For all those like me who can only just remember it, feast on this clip from the first episode...
Along similar lines, this is a distant memory, but the starring chimpanzee did ring a bell. A group of scientists travelling to the planet after a terrible eco-disaster due to excessive pollution, oh and of course, nuclear war, aimed to seek out pockets of survivors and help them out. One of these scientists was Ruth, played by Jean Marie Hon.
Time to say farewell to the very busy 1970s. As a young man growing up in the 1970s this was my favourite decade and I am sure that this section can be added to, so I will continue my research when I have free time to make this even bigger and better....