The 7 Greatest Mustaches of the ’70s

Cheech Marin in ‘Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie.’

Silver Screen/Getty

updated 11/14/2013 AT 1:30 PM ET

originally published 11/11/2013 AT 1:50 PM ET

In honor of Movember, we’ve chosen the best mustaches from the decade that made ‘em famous.

It’s a stacked deck, so let’s get moving.

7. David Crosby

Though David Crosby started out looking positively cherubic in Buffalo Springfield, by the 1970s, his mustache had kept pace with his musical output. Sprawling, curly, and usually standing watch over a joint, Crosby’s walrus ‘stache is still with us today, just as – however improbably – the man himself is.

6. Mark Spitz

Until Michael Phelps won eight gold medals in 2008 and beat Spitz’s record, we were fairly certain that mustache volume was the key to Olympic success. The iconic poster of Spitz wearing his medals and beaming out over that follicular magnificence was sort of a male antecedent to Farrah Fawcett’s best-selling pin-up girl poster.

5. Billy Dee Williams

Brian’s Song and Lady Sings the Blues made Williams a household name in the 1970s, and he carried that charisma – and that mustache – to the role of Lando Calrissian, probably the only Star Wars character to even come close to out-charming (and out-smirking) Harrison Ford’s Han Solo.

4. John Waters

Waters’ thin, barely-there mustache lurks above his upper lip the way he lurks behind the camera, casting arch gazes at the seamier side of life. “It’s okay,” it seems to whisper, and beckon. “No matter how strange, how bizarre you are, I accept you. You’re among friends now.”

3. Cheech Marin

Beware: You could probably get a contact high from this mustache. Cheech’s bushy, twitching ‘stache was likely being watched by the DEA well into the ’80s, and while the “red-suspenders-over-yellow-tank-top” portion of his Up In Smoke look hasn’t aged quite as well, that mustache will live forever.

2. Frank Zappa

While Zappa’s mustache is inextricably linked to his goatee, we’d be remiss if we didn’t put at least one hirsute guitar virtuoso on this list. Throughout the 1970s, Frank Zappa was king of two things: Irreverent prog-rock, and facial hair your older brother was probably trying to emulate.

1. Burt Reynolds

Whether it was outrunning the police or lounging on a bear-skin rug, Burt’s mustache called the shots like none other in the ’70s. You can keep your Deliverance-era Burt; a clean-shaven Reynolds is not the Reynolds for us.

Check back in next Monday, when we dive into the best mustaches of the 1980s!


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