No Longer in the Seventies – The Cast of “That 70s Show” Then and Now

Times have certainly changed for all of us. There are no people who understand that any better than the cast of “That 70s Show,” who graced our television sets with the muted colors, crazy fashions, and strange music of that decade.
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How are all those kids and parents doing now, we wonder. Well, if you’re like us and you’re looking for a reason to get back into the show, you can still find the cast on your sets and in our hearts. But what are they up to nowadays? There’s all that and some trivia, too, so read on, man.

Topher Grace as Eric Forman

Seen as the main character of the show, smart-aleck Eric Forman appeared for seven full seasons, and then returned for a cameo in the show’s finale. Actor Topher Grace portrayed this snarky kid who was the self-proclaimed leader of the friends. (Mostly because his basement was where they all hung out.)

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Obsessed with anything Star Wars-related and dedicated to his girlfriend Donna (until they broke up, at least), he displays the Forman rage on a number of occasions. His characterization made him lazier as the show went on when he actually started as a middle of the road everyman.

Topher Grace Now

Grace has had plenty of success after the seventies ended for him. He played the villain Eddie Brock – who becomes Venom – in “Spider-Man 3,” he was in Christopher Nolan’s 2014 movie “Interstellar,” and there are plenty of other credits to his name.

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You can see Grace starring on the ABC sitcom “Home Economics” alongside Karla Souza, the star of “How to Get Away With Murder.” He’s been a part of the science-fiction series “Black Mirror,” and has also appeared on Jordan Peele’s reboot of “The Twilight Zone. He has two children with his wife Ashley Hinshaw.

Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti

The beautiful red-headed girl next door Donna wasn’t just the woman of Eric’s dreams – she became everyone’s dream girl. She has a dominant personality, and gives poor Eric a number of rules to follow during their relationship, even if she doesn’t follow them as well.

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She’s said to be the most muscular and strongest of the group and is pretty smart, too. Her feminist rants sometimes come off as realistic and sometimes they’re played for laughs. Though she usually wears jeans and long-sleeved shirts, she classed up quite nicely during proms or when she attended a Catholic school.

Laura Prepon Now

Laura Prepon’s career surged in 2013 when she became a principal member of the cast of “Orange is the New Black.” Many consider this to be the show she’s best known for over “That 70s Show,” but there are others to add to the list as well. She had a recurring role on “How I Met Your Mother” as Ted’s cheating college girlfriend.

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In case there’s any confusion, her natural hair color is red, with her dying it blonde during “That 70s Show” for a movie role, and dying it black for OitNB. Fittingly.

Ashton Kutcher as Michael Kelso

Though attractive, Kelso isn’t the sharpest crayon in the box. However, his status as a breakout character allowed him more storylines as the show progressed. He went from a foolish himbo to a mature father and police officer. He’s loyal to his friends, though often goes out of his way to make their lives worse, at least in the early seasons.

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Considering some things sacred despite his stoner outlook, Kelso turns out to be a good caretaker for kids, including his own. Though one of the show’s main characters, he only appears for five episodes of the final season.

Ashton Kutcher Now

As soon as “That 70s Show” shuttered, Kutcher’s career bloomed even more. He created, produced, and hosted the prank show “Punk’d,” and was starring in movies before his show even ended. Movies such as “Dude, Where’s My Car” and “The Butterfly Effect.” After the seventies came to a close more roles followed, including in “Jobs,” “Valentine’s Day,” and “Men at Work.”

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He stepped in to fill Charlie Sheen’s sizable shoes in “Two and a Half Men,” and is a star of “The Ranch” with fellow 70s alum Danny Masterson. He and actress Mila Kunis are married with two children.

Mila Kunis as Jackie Burkhart

Jackie may be airheaded, but at least she knows she’s pretty. And she doesn’t let anyone else forget it. At the beginning of the show, Jackie was a beauty-obsessed cheerleader who was condescending and vain, but by the end of it, she had mellowed significantly thanks to her friends and the things that have happened.

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She becomes headstrong, proud of who she is, and less willing to waver just for popularity. She might love herself the most, but a lot of the guys on the show found their way into her heart. In the end, she and Fez got together.

Mila Kunis Now

Kunis was only fifteen when she joined the cast, and actually lied to the producers to get a spot. Her turn as Jackie led to plenty of roles, including the dominant voice of Meg on “Family Guy,” starring in the romantic comedy “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” and having a critical role in “Black Swan.”

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Born in Soviet Union Ukraine in 1983, Kunis and her family moved to the United States after the fall of Communism. She had a few small roles before hitting the big time with “That 70s Show.” She and Ashton Kutcher are married and have two children.

Danny Masterson as Steven Hyde

Likely the smartest character on the show, Steven has no desire, ambition, or motivation. His dysfunctional family and infrequent school attendance don’t help, but at least he has his friends. He’s the king of sarcasm and tends to believe conspiracy theories, such as that Steven Spielberg directed the moon landing.

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Though odd, he’s an upstanding guy even if he doesn’t like to show that side of him. With the name Hyde are you surprised that he doesn’t show everything he has? He’s Eric’s best friend, and later gets control of his life as the manager of his sister’s record store.

Danny Masterson Now

Masterson had some success even before “That 70s Show,” starring in the movie “Beethoven’s 2nd” and the sitcom “Cybill” from 1995 to 1998, but once his breakout role came to a close he didn’t exactly move to stardom.

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He starred in “Men at Work,” a TBS show, from 2012 to 2014, and joined Ashton Kutcher on Netflix’s “The Ranch” until December 2017. It was at that point that a number of allegations came to light, resulting in Netflix and the show distancing themselves from Masterson. Several other projects involving Masterson have been completed, including “Killing Winston Jones” and “In Limbo.”

Wilmer Valderrama as “Fez”

Fez isn’t his real name, but both his ethnicity and his real name are a subject of much mystery. After a lifetime of unpalatable foreign food, he has a love of American junk food, especially candy. This wannabe ladies man was pathetic, and desperate, in love until the final season, when the biggest object of his affections – Jackie – finally returns them.

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He’s weird, he’s strange, and he’s always funny. For most of the time, it was a complete unknown what Fez was going to get up to next, but you could be sure it involved getting women.

Wilmer Valderrama Now

Valderrama won a Teen Choice Award in 2005 for TV Sidekick and won another the next year for TV comedy actor. He’s had roles on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Raising Hope,” “NCIS,” and also in Spielberg’s film “Minority Report.” He’s also provided his voice to a number of roles, including the animated film “Charming,” in which he played the titular prince.

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He was in a relationship with Demi Lovato for several years, and he is now engaged to Amanda Pacheco. The couple welcomed their first child in February of 2021. “That 70s Show” was his very first acting role.

Kurtwood Smith as Reginald “Red” Forman

This man of many memes remains one of the most beloved members of the cast. His frequent threats to put his foot somewhere specific paint him as a stern father to Eric, but ultimately, Red displays fatherly qualities, even if he does do it in his own unique way.

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Red struggles to keep his wife Kitty grounded and mostly succeeds, and he also struggles to give his kids good lives, no matter how much they seem to want to ignore his well-meaning advice. He loves America, the Packers, and you’d better be careful not to disparage either in his presence.

Kurtwood Smith Now

Smith was a screen vet long before “That 70s Show” came calling. Three of his most successful movies even before the show are “RoboCop,” “Rambo III,” and “Dead Poets Society.”

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After the show ended, Smith quickly earned roles on shows like “24,” “Agent Carter,” and the Amazon show “Patriot.” He guest-starred on “The Ranch” and “Future Man,” appeared on the Netflix show “Jupiter’s Legacy,” and is reuniting with his on-screen wife Debra Jo Rupp to be a married couple once again on an ABC comedy pilot. He’s also provided his voice as Gotham police commish Jim Gordon.

Debra Jo Rupp as Katherine “Kitty” Forman

When Kitty and Red met at a USO dance, it was love at first sight. Though Kitty attempts to be as cheerful as possible, her son’s snark, her daughter’s obvious disdain for her, the stress of being a hospital nurse, and having to live with Red (though there are good parts) keeps her high-strung.

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She’s a great cook, and often expresses her emotions by cooking, such as adding lots of liquor when she’s worried about something. Which is often. She’s a kind woman who is a mother to all of Eric’s friends.

Debra Jo Rupp Now

Debra Jo Rupp was already a familiar face on TV when the show began. If you’re a fan of nineties sitcoms, you might recognize her as Phoebe’s sister-in-law on “Friends.” She showed up in the Tom Hanks movie “Big,” as well as “She’s Out of My League.”

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After the show ended, she joined several other cast members on “The Ranch,” played Mrs. Hart on “WandaVision,” had a recurring role on “This Is Us,” and has had oodles of other roles both in film and television. She rejoins Kurtwood Smith on a new ABC comedy pilot, once again as his wife.

Don Stark as Bob Pinciotti

Though fundamentally unsuited to fatherhood, Bob Pinciotti still tries his hardest at raising Donna. In between owning an electronics store, Bob experiments with a wild lifestyle, which frustrates Donna immensely.

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After his wife walks out on him, Bob becomes something of a doormat, even to his daughter, but later dates Jackie’s mother, something neither of the girls likes. He’s a nice guy but can still put his foot down on a few occasions. His white guy afro and clashing clothes could only have made it in the seventies. Maybe even not then, though.

Don Stark Now

Stark bounced from one project to the next as a journeyman actor before he made it big as Donna Pinciotti’s dad. His first acting role, a character in “General Hospital,” came in 1963, more than three decades before “That 70s Show.”

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His resume as an actor is extensive and impressive, with some of his biggest roles including in “Star Trek: First Contact,” “Peggy Sue Got Married,” and “Café Society.” Even since the show ended, his roles have been coming fast and hot, including “American Horror Story,” “The Mentalist,” and “Castle.”

Tanya Roberts as Midge Pinciotti

Even though Midge does care about Donna, she has an odd way of showing it. Despite having no understanding of feminism, she uses the phrases she’s learned as a way to haze her husband and Donna – who is much closer to an actual feminist – into doing all the work around the house.

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Midge left her family in season three, running away to California, stating unhappiness, but the show is pretty clear that Midge was also being quite self-centered. She returns a few times during the show, and her departure sends Donna into a downward spiral with long-running repercussions.

Tanya Roberts Now

Midge was known for being an incredibly hot mom on the show, and Tanya Roberts looked the part. She was a Bond girl in Roger Moore’s final outing as the spy in “A View to a Kill.” She was also part of the first iteration of “Charlie’s Angels,” and there were plenty of other beauty-based roles.

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She actually left the show to take care of her terminally ill husband, who passed away in 2006. After his death, she stepped away from acting for good and spent her time enjoying golf courses until her own death in January of 2021.

Lisa Robin Kelly as Lauren “Laurie” Forman

To her parents, Laurie Forman is the perfect daughter. To her brother and his friends, she’s manipulative, callous, mean, and disrespectful. Her mother Kitty also catches on pretty quickly to her true nature, but she’s always been daddy’s little girl.

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Somewhat of a flat character, her only real traits were her nastiness to Eric and Kitty, sucking up to Red, and sleeping around. Despite none of the friends liking her (even though Kelso dated her for a little while), she often gets wrapped up in whatever shenanigans the characters come up with.

Lisa Robin Kelly Now

Despite having a good start to her career before finding success with “That 70s Show,” Kelly’s career ended up going nowhere. Sadly, she developed an alcohol problem after a medical trauma, resulting in a dependency she couldn’t shake. She started making headlines for the wrong reasons, and dropped out of the show before season six, with actress Christina Moore taking her place.

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Unfortunately, Kelly’s demons got the better of her, and she passed away in 2013, just a little while after she had checked into a rehab center in California. She was forty-three years old.

Tommy Chong as Leo Chingkwake

Originally just Hyde’s goofy boss at the photo hut, Leo Chingkwake quickly evolved into a fan favorite. As an easygoing hippie, he was the only adult allowed into the basement circle without question. He had his head in the clouds often thanks to his smoking habits, which went beyond the soft stuff shown.

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Despite all this, he is a responsible business owner and is the better-off between him and his brother, who often asks for money. For the most part, however, he brought the “stoners are funny” jokes, as Chong so often did during his career in comedy.

Tommy Chong Now

Tommy Chong had to step away from the show for a few years, as he had been found guilty of selling illegal products through his company, and accepted a plea deal so his family would stay out of trouble.

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His absence was widely felt, but after he served his time he returned to reprise the role in seasons seven and eight. This comedy giant has been getting people to laugh since 1962 alongside his frequent collaborator Cheech Marin. He’s written several books, still acts, and even competed on both “Dancing With the Stars” and “The Masked Singer.”

Josh Meyers as Randy Pearson

After Eric and Kelso both left the show, Randy Pearson stepped in to help round out the cast. He established himself as a nice guy, gentle and polite, and he even gets on Red’s good side by showing how handy he is with fixing things. Bringing Eric’s sense of humor and Kelso’s good looks, he and Donna quickly hit it off.

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Still, the fans didn’t exactly take to him. As the eighth season proved to be the final one for the show, he didn’t get a great deal of character development, and so his character didn’t really mean much.

Josh Meyers Now

Best known for his work on “MADtv,” Josh Meyers has a place in the record books thanks to his brother Seth Meyers. Seth was a member of the “MADtv” competition show “SNL” while Josh was on “MADtv,” making it the first and only time in the history of “SNL” that a cast member’s family was on a competing show.

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Josh has also been on “The Awesomes” and “College Road Trip.” He’s appeared a couple of times on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” and had a recurring role on “Red Oaks.”

Bret Harrison as Charlie Richardson

Charlie Richardson joined the cast at the end of season seven but was only present for four episodes. He fell off the town’s water tower in the first episode of season eight, leading the water tower to be renamed in his honor.

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He somehow walks in on Kitty TWICE during his time on the show, much to Red’s displeasure. He’s a bit naive, taking advice from Kelso, and thinking that Red will accept his apology for getting drunk in front of him, at which Eric laughs. He’s still incredibly nice, even if he only had a few memorable moments.

Bret Harrison Now

Best known for “Orange County,” “Mardi Gras Spring Break,” and “Grounded for Life,” Harrison hasn’t been on as many shows as some of the other cast members, but he tends to stick around for longer. “That 70s Show” might actually be the exception. His roles on “The Loop,” “Reaper,” “Breaking In,” “The Astronaut Wives Club” and “El Candidato” were all recurring.

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Along with plenty of the other members of the cast of “That 70s Show,” he showed up on “The Ranch” for eleven episodes. He’s also been in a number of films, with “Orange County” being the most famous.

Megalyn Echikunwoke as Angie Barnett

Introduced in the seventh season, Angie Barnett threw the characters for a loop by disclosing she is Hyde’s half-sister. Apparently, that whole time, Hyde had been half black. She and Hyde end up co-owning a record store, but she only appeared in eight episodes of the show.

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She didn’t get much characterization – she was simply used to fill the cast back up – but she displayed skill at mathematics. Her name comes from the first wife of David Bowie, and the episode she first appears in is named “Angie” as a shout-out to the Rolling Stones song.

Megalyn Echikunwoke Now

Despite only being on the show for a little bit, Echikunwoke didn’t let that stop her. She’s been on “24,” “ER,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and “Veronica Mars,” and that was all before she started acting as Angie. She’s best known as Isabelle Tyler on “The 4400” and Dr. Tara Price on “CSI: Miami.”

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Since 2015 she has been providing both the voice and the acting for the Arrowverse character Mari McCabe (aka Vixen) she’s been in the animated web series for her character, the live-action character on an episode of “Arrow,” and in the fighting video game “Injustice 2.”

Jim Gaffigan as Roy Keene

When Leo Chingkwake disappeared for a few seasons, Roy Keene stepped in to take his place as the laid-back boss of some of the characters. He’s a manager at a hotel where Hyde, Kelso, and Eric work during seasons five and six, and acts as something of a parental substitute to Hyde since the two met through the Big Brother program.

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He was once a police cadet, but he got kicked out of the academy when he accidentally shot a police horse. Though easygoing in the same way Leo was, Roy isn’t a stoner – he’s just laid back.

Jim Gaffigan Now

It’s likely you know Jim more from his standup comedy routines than any acting role he’s ever taken. With mostly self-deprecating humor, Gaffigan has been a well-known comic whose first album dropped in 2001. However, it wasn’t until the later part of the decade when he started to find true fame.

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Despite his comedy routines being his most well-known work, Gaffigan has also been in plenty of films and TV, including “Chappaquiddick,” “American Dreamer,” “Away We Go,” and “Troop Zero.” He’s a recurring character in “Bob’s Burgers,” “Star vs. The Forces of Evil,” and even had his own eponymous show.

Brooke Shields as Pamela Burkhart

Jackie’s mother is a partying gold digger who spends most of her time traveling abroad. Even when her husband is imprisoned, she doesn’t even bother to come home and take care of her daughter. Then, in season six, she unexpectedly appears…and begins dating Donna’s father, Bob, much to the horror of both of their daughters.

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She doesn’t seem too much like acting her age. Despite being an important part of Jackie’s life, it takes years for her to actually appear on the show, but then she starts to make a splash. She eventually moves in with Bob.

Brooke Shields Now

Shields began modeling at eleven months old and continued to do so through her teens, becoming one of the most famous models of the eighties. Best known for her line of Calvin Klein jeans commercials (which were scandalous at the time), she branched out into acting, first playing a controversial role in the 1978 film “Pretty Baby.”

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She had a few other well-known roles before that of Pamela Burkhart, including “Blue Lagoon” and “Endless Love.” Since the show ended, she’s had recurring roles on “Lipstick Jungle, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and was a lead character on “The Middle.”

Tim Reid as William Barnett

A self-made African-American businessman, William Barnett shocked every single one of the characters by finding Hyde and revealing his identity as Hyde’s biological father. Though their relationship is bumpy at first, William and Hyde bond over their dislike of cops and their love of conspiracy theories.

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William is a rich record store owner who started with almost nothing but has now made it big in the business world. He first shows up in the seventh season, and only makes an appearance in nine episodes. He’s accepting of Hyde and is very caring, even doting on him.

Tim Reid Now

Though his role on the show was a relatively minor one, Tim Reid has been a prime time television standard since the seventies, when he acted as Gordon “Venus” Flytrap” on “WKRP in Cincinnati” from 1978 to 1982. He was Lt. Marvel “Downtown” Brown on “Simon & Simon,” and Frank Parrish on “Frank’s Place.”

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Reid was the grown Mike Hanlon on the two-part “IT” miniseries – and all that before the show. Since then, there have been movies, and a number of recurring roles on the tube as well, such as “Greenleaf.”

Katey Sagal as Edna Hyde

Despite only appearing on-screen in a single episode, Edna Hyde is the most important person in Hyde’s life. Not in a good way, certainly. She abandons him during the first season, and her abhorrent parenting is at the core of Hyde’s faults and the reason he has to go through so much character development.

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She’s an uncaring lunch lady at Point Place High School who takes no pride in her job. It’s mentioned she returned to the town, reunited with Bud Hyde, but she is only seen once and presumably abandons Hyde after that, as well.

Katey Sagal Now

Katey Sagal had begun acting long before doing her duty as Hyde’s uncaring mother. She’s been in “Columbo,” “Married… with Children,” and plenty more, and kept building her career after her turn as Edna. She voiced the boot-wearing, one-eyed pilot Turanga Leela in “Futurama,” and played Gemma on “Sons of Anarchy.”

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Even her selected filmography (just the hits) is almost twenty titles long, and there are dozens more that were just for a small part. Recently she’s also had bigger roles in “Rebel” and in “The Connors.” She also played Kaley Cuoco’s mother on “8 Simple Rules.”

Marion Ross as Bernice “Grandma” Forman

If you want to know why Kitty is as messed up as she is, look no further than her mother-in-law. Though a former dancer, she’s now little more than a shrew of a woman who nags Kitty with unreserved spite. On the other hand, she loves Red as well as all of her grandchildren.

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Bernice dies during season one but makes a few appearances in flashbacks during the rest of the series. As a senior citizen, she’s all done with being polite, and has decided to speak her mind – usually about how much she hates Kitty.

Marion Ross Now

After changing her name from “Marian” to “Marion” at the age of thirteen because she thought it would look better on a Marquee, her parents knew she had stars in her eyes. She’s best known for the role of Marion Cunningham on the famous sitcom “Happy Days,” which earned her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

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Long before the show, she was on films such as “The Glenn Miller Story,” “Sabrina,” “Lust for Life,” and “Some Came Running,” as well as plenty more. Roles after “That 70s Show” include Aunt Lucille in “Superhero Movie,” and Mrs. Lopart in “Handy Manny.”

Robert Hays as Bud Hyde

For most of the show, Steven Hyde thought that his father was the man who had been married to his mother – Bud Hyde. It was almost a relief finding that Bud was not Hyde’s biological father. Even after he cleaned himself up he didn’t become much of a better person.

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Bud Hyde had left his son and wife for years and only returned after Hyde had been taken in by the Formans. While he seems to want to mend fences with his son, he doesn’t make much of an effort, and soon departs once more, this time for good.

Robert Hays Now

If you’re a fan of classic comedies, you will undoubtedly recognize Robert Hays as Ted Striker from “Airplane!” and “Airplane II: The Sequel.” Of course, he’s had plenty of other roles during his long acting career.

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He’s even done some directing, just with a single episode of the 1984 “Starman” TV series. He was the patriarch of the Seaver family from the “Homeward Bound” series of movies, appeared on “The Santa Trap,” and showed up in “Superhero Movie” alongside fellow “That 70s Show” cast member Marion Ross. Despite having only two episodes as Bud Hyde, his acting career is strong.

Slipping Under the Radar

It’s common for high schoolers in TV to actually be a bit older, but Mila Kunis threw this common practice for a loop. When she tried out for Jackie, the producers wanted to know how old she was – she was perfect for the character, but they had to cover their bases.

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She told them she would be eighteen on her birthday. This clever line hides that Mila Kunis wasn’t going to be turning eighteen on her NEXT birthday, just…on a birthday. Kunis was actually only fourteen when the show started! Kutcher, Grace, and Masterson were all in their twenties.

Doing What Actors Do Best

Though the show was tightly scripted, there was still some room for ad-libbing and unexpected additions. In “The Best Christmas Ever,” Kelso hops over the couch but slips and crashes his legs against the table. It was a real accident on actor Kutcher’s part, but it was enough in-character for Kelso to leave it in.

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Kitty also got to have a little bit of fun with the hilariously awkward dance she performed at Donna’s bachelorette party, which Debra Jo Rupp improvised entirely. That’s the kind of thing you can do if you’re a veteran actress.

Romance on the Set

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are now married with children, but it wasn’t always that way. Mila Kunis admitted she had a crush on Kutcher during the show, and the kiss they shared on the show was her first. However, they also had problems working together, and while the show was filming they weren’t too fond of each other.

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After the show ended, they rebuilt their friendship, went through a couple of relationships with others, and then realized how much they cared for each other. It might not have been love at first sight, but when does that happen anyway?

The Original Title

The producers were going to call the show “Teenage Wasteland,” a line from the famous The Who song “Baba O’Riley,” but Pete Townshend, the song’s writer, refused to sign off on the idea.

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Another name was brought up, “Feelin’ All Right,” and it was presented as the name of the show to advertisers, but screenwriter and producer Bonnie Turner realized that no matter what they called the show, everybody who watched it would just refer to it as “that 70s show.” They decided to cut out the middleman.

Not Much of a Resume

Despite his strong career now, Topher Grace not only didn’t have any acting experience before landing with the rest of the cast, but the only other place he had worked was a Dunkin Donuts. Somehow he was deemed the right man for the job and appeared on the show for a hundred and seventy-eight episodes.

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He didn’t have a professional headshot when the producers asked him for a picture, so he provided a picture of himself spending time with his friends. He’s now established himself as a top actor, and was the first choice to play Venom in “Spider-Man 3.”

Grace Wanted to be a Tennis Star

Topher Grace now has dozens of acting credits to his name, but before he stepped in front of the camera he had a sports goal. He started playing tennis at a young age and has many racket-holding idols. He was even considered something of a phenom in the field.

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A number of unfortunate sprained ankles prompted doctors to tell him to stay away from the court, and that playing more tennis would just result in more damage. He made the switch to acting, joining his high school’s theater group with “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”

The Cast’s Pre-Episode Ritual

In an interview, Wilmer Valderrama revealed something special about the show. Before filming started for each episode, the main cast (the six kids as well as the Forman parents) would gather around in a circle similar to how sports teams would. They’d motivate each other and get each other amped up to do their best.

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They would also pick a funny word to represent the episode. This detail got more and more ridiculous as time went on, with the words getting crazier and crazier. Wilmer stated that it was one of his favorite parts about working on the show.

Kurtwood Smith’s Inspiration

When Kurtwood Smith read the script, he realized that he had a person in his life that was so much like Red Forman he had the perfect way to do the role justice. His stepfather, who had passed away long before the show started, greatly resembled the character. He used his memories of the man to give his portrayal a little more humanity, taking it to crazy levels now and then.

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Despite being in what could be hundreds of movies and television shows, Smith says that he cherished his role as Red more than most of his others.