Find out what 'Saturday Night Live' stars of the '70s are up to (and look like) now

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Live from New York, it’s… the show that’s been bringing the late-night laughs since 1975! That’s when a young group of comedians with names like Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner and Jane Curtin changed TV comedy forever and paved the way for future talents like Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey and many more. Join Wonderwall.com as we celebrate the “Saturday Night Live” season, by checking in with the ’70s-era stars of the iconic comedy show…

Keep reading to find out what happened to “SNL” cast members from the ’70s…

RELATED: “SNL” stars of the ’80s: Where are they now?

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Jane Curtin often played the straight woman against her co-stars’ more zany characters, though she memorably portrayed Prymaat Conehead, the matriarch of the alien family from the planet Remulak. She was the first female anchor of the “Weekend Update” segment and sat at the news desk for three seasons.

RELATED: The cast of “The Breakfast Club”: Where are they now?

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After Jane Curtin left “SNL,” she won back-to-back Emmys for her work on the sitcom “Kate & Allie,” which aired for six seasons starting in 1984. She followed that up with another hit show, “3rd Rock from the Sun,” and reprised her role as Prymaat in the 1993 film “Coneheads.” Jane, sometimes referred to as the “Queen of Deadpan,” more recently appeared in the comedy films “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” “The Heat” and “Queen Bees” and in the ABC sitcom “United We Fall” (pictured). The actress wed TV producer Patrick Lynch in 1975; they had daughter Tess in 1983.

RELATED: “SNL” stars of the 2000s: Where are they now?

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Dan Aykroyd initially was hired — at $278 a week — as an “SNL” writer. He became a cast member before the show debuted and is widely considered one of its greatest stars of of all time, thanks to his flawless impersonations of celebs ranging from Richard Nixon to Julia Child and unforgettable characters like Coneheads family patriarch Beldar; one of “Two Wild and Crazy Guys” with Steve Martin; and of course half of the Blues Brothers with the late, great John Belushi.

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Dan Aykroyd left the show in 1979 and snagged a string of unforgettable roles in films like “Trading Places,” “The Blues Brothers,” “Ghostbusters” and “Driving Miss Daisy,” for which he received an Oscar nod. Over the years, he’s continued to occasionally perform as Elwood Blues and honed his entrepreneurial side, co-founding businesses including the House of Blues music venue chain and Crystal Head Vodka. The actor, who reprised his role as Raymond Stantz in the 2021 sequel “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” married actress Donna Dixon in 1983. The pair raised three daughters and announced in April 2022 that they’d separated after 39 years of marriage but would remain legally wed.

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Laraine Newman, who famously portrayed Valley girl Sherry and Connie Conehead (pictured on the far right with Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd), tried to avoid repeating characters and didn’t develop as much widespread recognition as her castmates. But Rolling Stone once called the talented writer and actress the “most underrated member of the original cast.”

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Laraine Newman struggled with substance abuse during her run on “Saturday Night Live” and got sober in 1987. She went on to find success in voice acting, appearing in dozens of animated projects including “Shrek 2,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Inside Out,” Spongebob Squarepants” and as Ginger’s mother in “As Told by Ginger.” In March 2021, Laraine published her audio memoir, “May You Live in Interesting Times.” She and her actor-writer-director husband, Chad Einbinder, split in 2006 after 25 years of marriage. They had two kids, son Spike and daughter Hannah, an actor and comedian who’s found fame as the star of the acclaimed HBO Max series “Hacks.”

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Garrett Morris, a prolific playwright and singer before he joined the original “SNL” cast, counted among his most memorable characters Dominican baseball player Chico Escuela (pictured), who had the catchphrase “Baseball bin berra berra good to me.”

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Garrett Morris went on to act steadily on TV, playing Jimmy on “The Jeffersons” in the ’80s and later starring in shows including “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “Martin” and “2 Broke Girls.” The funnyman and wife Freda have been married since 1996.

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Bill Murray auditioned for the original “Saturday Night Live” cast but didn’t make the cut. When Chevy Chase decided to leave after the first season, the famously deadpan comedic actor got the call… and quickly became an “SNL” legend. He won an Emmy in 1977 for his work on the show.

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After “SNL,” Bill Murray starred in ’80s comedy classics including “Ghostbusters,” “Caddyshack” and “Tootsie.” He switched gears to direct the well-received 1990 crime comedy “Quick Change” but after 1993’s “Groundhog Day,” he was largely quiet for a decade. He made a big comeback in 2003’s “Lost In Translation,” earning a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination, and has since become a pop culture icon doing everything from cameoing as himself in “Zombieland” to hosting the Netflix special “A Very Murray Christmas.” A frequent collaborator with Wes Anderson, he’s starred in nine of the director’s quirky films, most recently “The French Dispatch” in 2021. In 2022, the Aziz Ansari-directed film “Being Mortal” suspended production after Bill was accused of “inappropriate behavior” on the set. The actor later told CNBC he’d had a “difference of opinion” with an unnamed woman he was working with on the film, saying, “I did something I thought was funny and it wasn’t taken that way.”

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Gilda Radner was the wildly talented and universally beloved cast member who brought life to iconic characters including Roseanne Roseannadanna and Emily Litella, nerdy girl Lisa Loopner and the Barbara Walters spoof Baba Wawa. During her five years on the show, she earned an Emmy and also starred in a one-woman Broadway show called “Gilda Radner — Live from New York.”

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After Gilda Radner left the show, she starred in the 1982 movie “Hanky Panky,” where she met her future husband, Gene Wilder. The two (pictured in January 1986) co-starred in two more films, “The Woman in Red” and “Haunted Honeymoon.” In 1986, the actress was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After a brief remission, she died on May 20, 1989, at 42. It was a Saturday, and news of Gilda’s death broke while that night’s host Steve Martin was preparing his opening monologue. He ended up scrapping the monologue and instead tearfully introduced a sketch the two had filmed in 1978.

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Chevy Chase, the first big star to come out of “Saturday Night Live,” anchored the “Weekend Update” segment and typically called out the “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night” greeting to open each show during its first season. He earned five Emmy nods for his work as an “SNL” writer and performer and won three times. He stuck around for only two seasons, leaving the cast in 1976.

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Chevy Chase starred in classics like “Caddyshack,” “National Lampoon’s Vacation” and its sequels, “Three Amigos” and “Fletch” after his short run on “SNL.” In 1993, he hosted the ill-fated “Chevy Chase Show,” a late-night program that was canceled after just five weeks. But he fared much better on the small screen 16 years later in the NBC comedy “Community,” enjoying a career resurgence playing an aging moist towelette tycoon who refuses to graduate from community college. Chevy — who went to rehab for a painkiller addiction in 1986 and returned to treatment in 2016 to deal with an alcohol-related issue — married third wife Jayni Luke in 1982; they have three daughters.

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Don Novello famously played chain-smoking priest Father Guido Sarducci on “Saturday Night Live” after debuting the character on “The Smothers Brothers” show in 1975. He also wrote for “SNL” from 1978 to 1980 and during the 1985-1986 season.

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Don Novello went on to play Father Guido Sarducci on other shows including “Square Pegs,” “Blossom,” “Married… with Children,” “Unhappily Ever After” and “The Colbert Report.” He appeared in the 1989 anthology film “New York Stories,” had supporting roles in “The Godfather III” and “Gilda Live!” and voiced Vinny Santorini in the 2001 Disney film “Atlantis: The Lost Empire.” The writer-actor, who never married, has kept his personal life largely out of the spotlight.

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George Coe was the oldest cast member and a Broadway veteran when he joined the show in 1975. He only was credited for the very first episode on Oct. 11, 1975 (and is pictured here, at far left, with John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner and Michael O’Donoghue during the “Bee Hospital” skit on that inaugural show). But he appeared sporadically throughout the season and returned in 1986 for a sketch with William Shatner.

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George Coe went on to enjoy a long career as a character actor in popular TV shows including “Murder, She Wrote,” “Max Headroom,” “The Golden Girls,” “The West Wing” and “Bones.” He specialized in voice-over work, appearing in animated series like “The Legend of Korra,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and in four seasons of “Archer” as the title character’s valet. The actor — seen here at an “Archer” screening January 2011 — died on July 18, 2015, at 86 after a long illness.

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Al Franken was with “Saturday Night Live” from its debut — as a writer — and began appearing in sketches in 1977. In the ’70s, he typically appeared alongside his writing partner, Tom Davis. He left the show in 1980 but returned in 1985, when he debuted memorable characters like self-help guru Stuart Smalley.

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Al Franken continued working as a comedian until February 2007, when he announced he was running for the U.S. Senate. He won, representing Minnesota until December 2017, when he resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct. The writer-actor-politician now hosts a podcast and a SiriusXM show, “The Al Franken Show,” and in 2021 he kicked off his “The Only Former US Senator Currently on Tour Tour.” Al has two kids, daughter Thomasin and son Joseph, with wife Franni Bryson, whom he met when they were students at Harvard.

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Tom Davis was best known for his “Saturday Night Live” partnership with Al Franken, as half of the comedy duo Franken & Davis. But his biggest contribution to the show was as a writer during three different stints between 1975 and 2003. He created characters and sketches including Steve Martin’s “Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber,” Bill Murray’s “Nick the Lounge Singer” and “Coneheads” with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin.

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Tom Davis followed up his long tenure on “Saturday Night Live” by publishing a book about the experience, “Tom Davis’ Thirty-Nine Years of Short Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL from Someone Who Was There,” in 2009. He died of throat and neck cancer on July 19, 2012, at 59. He was survived by wife Mimi Raleigh, a veterinarian whom he married in 1991. They’d separated in 1999 but reconciled before his death.

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Michael O’Donoghue was the show’s first head writer and holds the distinction of being the first performer ever to utter a line on “Saturday Night Live.” He also appeared in sketches from time to time, including as Mr. Mike, a deadpan storyteller who loved to tell classic bedtime stories with a dark spin, like “The Little Engine that Died.” He was known as much for his questionable workplace behavior as for his talent and was fired after writing a sketch comparing NBC President Fred Silverman to Adolf Hitler.

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Michael O’Donoghue was a renaissance man who kept writing after “SNL,” authoring a wide variety of projects including the movie “Scrooged,” several country music songs and the graphic novel “Phoebe Zeit-Geist.” Michael — pictured with Margot Kidder at the Washington, D.C., premiere of “Superman” in December 1978 — married second wife Cheryl Hardwick, then the “Saturday Night Live” musical director, in 1986. He died at 54 on Nov. 8, 1994, after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.

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When Rolling Stone ranked all then-145 cast members of “SNL” in 2015, it gave John Belushi the No. 1 spot, calling him “the first rock & roll star of comedy.” The Chicago native was best known for one-of-a-kind characters including a traditional samurai who takes on odd jobs (as seen here in a “Samurai General Practitioner” skit alongside Kris Kristofferson in 1976) and half of the Blues Brothers R&B duo, along with his impressions of pop culture figures like Beethoven, Marlon Brando and Captain Kirk from “Star Trek.” He became the show’s first enduring icon thanks to his live-wire energy, enormous talent and tragic death. For more on that, keep reading…

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After John Belushi exited the show in 1979, he starred in the 1980 “Blues Brothers” movie with his friend and frequent collaborator Dan Aykroyd, who reportedly wrote “Ghostbusters” with John in mind as one of the four leads. But before the script for the 1984 classic was finished, John was gone. The actor — seen here at Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman’s wedding in February 1982 — died just weeks later, on March 5, 1982, of a drug overdose at Los Angeles’s Chateau Marmont hotel. He was 33.

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Paul Shaffer went from member of the “Saturday Night Live” house band to cast member in 1979. He frequently appeared alongside Bill Murray in the comedian’s “Nick the Lounge Singer” sketches, did impressions of artists like Boy George and Marvin Hamlisch, and played characters including Andrew Mazelle (seen here in a 1979 skit).

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Paul Shaffer left the show 1980 and ended up as David Letterman’s musical director, band leader and sidekick on “Late Night” and then “The Late Show.” He’s kept making music ever since and also appeared over the years on shows like “How I Met Your Mother” and “Schitt’s Creek.” In 2009, Paul published his memoir, “We’ll Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives: A Swingin’ Show-biz Saga,” and in 2019 hosted “Paul Shaffer Plus One,” a monthly SiriusXM talk show on which he interviewed fellow musicians like Graham Nash and Sammy Hagar. The Canada native has two children with wife Cathy Vasapoli, whom he married in 1990.






























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