Whatever Happened to ’70s TV & Broadway Star Sandy Duncan?

Sandy Duncan now and then
Don Ornitz/TV Guide/CBS /Everett Collection; Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

You may not recognize the name Sandy Duncan, but chances are high that you’d recognize her face. In 1970, she was named one of the “most promising faces of tomorrow” by Time. A year later, she made her feature film debut in the Disney film The Million Dollar Duck. The same year she starred as Sandy Stockton in the sitcom Funny Face. While the show did not receive favorable reviews, audiences were captivated by Duncan’s charms. In 1972, CBS gave her The Sandy Duncan Show which replaced Funny Face and aired 13 episodes and also starred in the mega hit miniseries Roots (1977). She is also best known for her role on the show Valerie (AKA Hogans Family), about a working mom raising her three sons while her pilot husband flies around for work. Duncan stepped in as the aunt taking care of the boys when Valerie Harper left the show.

VALERIE, (aka THE HOGAN FAMILY, aka VALERIE'S FAMILY), from left: Jason Bateman, Sandy Duncan, 1986-1991.

]Bonnie Schiffman/TV Guide/NBC /Courtesy Everett Collection


PINOCCHIO, Sandy Duncan, Danny Kaye, 1976

Everett Collection

Duncan was not only a star on the screen but on Broadway. She is best known for her role as Peter Pan on Broadway but also starred in Chicago, The Sound of Music, The King and I, and many more. Not only did she play Peter Pan but Pinocchio in the 1976 TV movie. You could also recognize her voice as she has been a staple in several Scooby-Doo classics and was the voice of Vixey in Disney’s The Fox and the Hound. More recently, she appeared in the Broadway production of Finding Neverland as Madame du Maurier but left in 2016 due to family obligations.

So, what is she doing now? Duncan has returned to her theater roots and recently appeared in the play “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” written by Nora and Delia Ephron. Duncan said about her role, “I’m a big Nora Ephron fan. I have the sort of narrator parts, and she sets up the premise of what this is and how each person has monologues that explain their story about the clothing and growing. As I read through the play, I found that certain meaningful outfits since I was a little kid started popping into my head, and I remembered things that I would wear and things my mother would not let me wear. So, this play is also about a connection to your mother and how the relationship works or doesn’t and the dynamics of what goes on between a mother and a daughter.”

The Sandy Duncan Show Sandy Duncan visits Taylorville, Illinois, where they declare it "Sandy Duncan Day." (Taylorville is Sandy's hometown in the show), May 20, 1972

She added about her long career, “I’ve done it since I was five years old, taking dance lessons and doing dance recitals, so it’s been a part of my life and thread. Somebody just asked me ‘What do you miss most when you don’t perform?’ I said ‘The audiences.’ That communication is unbelievable, and there’s nothing else that touches it. It’s like a secret agreement.” Duncan is now 78 and doesn’t seem to be retiring anytime soon and otherwise enjoys a quiet life were her husband  Don Correia and their grandkids.

1970s Fall TV
Want More?

1970s Fall TV

September 2023

Take a trip back to the ’70s by looking at the TV Guide Magazine Fall Preview primetime lineups.

Buy This Issue