Stale Beefcake: '70s Hunks Selling Things to Your Mom

1/30/74 Henry Winkler  (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images
Have you ever wondered what happened to the great heartthrobs of the 1970s and 1980s? In some cases, it's an easy question to answer, as they managed to stay in the public eye, making the transition from hot young hero to mature TV father figure. In other cases, they disappeared, taking their TV residuals and riding off into the sunset.

Over the last few years, though, a third option has emerged: TV pitchman. After all, while casting agents might have forgotten yesterday's hunks, the women of America haven't: The young women who once tuned in to watch "Dallas" and "Hart to Hart" every week are still out there, still buying things, and still looking for a glimpse of the men who stole their hearts all those years ago.

So, in honor of Mother's Day, we're rolling back the clock to see who's trading on '70s stardom to sell things to Mom in 2013. Here are a few of our favorites:

Stale Beefcake: '70s Hunks Have Something to Sell to Your Mom
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Stale Beefcake: '70s Hunks Selling Things to Your Mom
In 1974, it wasn't hard for Henry Winkler's character, "the Fonz" to make motorcycles, leather jackets and pompadours look cool. Today, he's got a harder task: selling reverse mortgages for Quicken Loans.
On "Dallas," Patrick Duffy's character, Bobby Ewing, whispered sweet nothings in the ear of Pamela Barnes. Today, he's turning up the volume with Miracle Ear.
With his deep voice and classic good looks, Robert Wagner was a natural heartthrob on shows like "Hart to Hart" and "It Takes a Thief." Today, that warm voice and weathered face aren't selling women on the latest line, but rather on reverse mortgages.
In the '60s, Pat Boone made a living by copying Little Richard's songs. Today, he -- and his famous white buck shoes -- are selling "step tubs" to former fans who now suffer from limited mobility.
Think the High Plains Drifter would never stoop to taking a buck for doing ads? Sure he would: Remember "Halftime in America," his pitch for Chrysler?
Forget "When I'm 64". When he was 63, Sir Paul sold out to Fidelity investments, letting them use his likeness and life history to sell customers on estate planning.
"Mom's in the basement, mixin' up the medicine, I'm on the pavement, tuggin' on a bra strap..." Did you ever think Mr. Tambourine Man would be selling skivvies? Better question: Do you think that this 2004 TV ad with his lined, weathered visage actually convinced anybody to go to Victoria's Secret?
From his turn as Nick Carraway in "The Great Gatsby" to his years on "I'll Fly Away," Sam Waterston has spent decades trading on his reassuring warmth and trustworthy good looks. Today, he's using them to cash in with online broker TD Ameritrade.
Whether you fell in love with Sal Tessio in "The Godfather" or lost your heart to Detective Fish on "Barney Miller," one thing's for certain: There isn't anyone hotter than Abe Vigoda. And, in 2010, the classically handsome actor, still spry at 92, used his undeniable sexual magnetism to sell America on the rejuvenating power of Snickers candy bars.

See the commercials below:

Bruce Watson is DailyFinance's Savings editor. You can reach him by e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.
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