Movie stars who made a name for themselves in the 80s:

 

  

Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

 

The first time I saw Arnie was in the Terminator and I was so blown away by that movie I had to go to the cinema to see it again a few days later. Ever since then I was always one of the first into the cinemas to see any new movie he came out with.

 

My Favourites: Terminator, Commando

 

 

  

Bill Murray

 

He played a lot of funny characters and the 80s was truly the decade that defined him with film classics like "Stripes", "Caddyshack", "Ghostbusters" and "Scrooged"

 

My Favourites: Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day

 

 

 

  

Brooke Shields

 

 

She became a hit in the Blue Lagoon, but never seemed to get any really great roles in movies after that. Nevertheless, everybody was talking about her and she was a media sensation.

 

Had a successful sitcom with "Suddenly Susan" in the 90s. 

 

 

 

 

Bruce Willis

 

 

Started out as a TV star in the hit show Moonlighting, but then suddenly broke out as a major action movie star in “Die Hard”. He did a lot of action movies in the 80s, most of which were not particularly memorable, but the Die Hard franchise kept him going as a big movie star.

Bud Spencer (RIP) & Terence Hill 

 

These two were an Italian duo who started out doing Spaghetti Westerns, but in the 70s and 80s teamed up regularly to do action comedies. I can still remember every year, eagerly heading to the movies with my dad to see their latest offering. They aren’t that well known around the world, but they did really well down under and in Eastern Europe. The Italians still revere them even though they quit making movies together in the mid 80s, (all except for one reunion movie in the 90s). Bud sadly passed away in 2016.

 

My favourites: Watch out we're mad, Odds & Evens

Charles Bronson (RIP)

 

Yes, Bronson was already a well known movie star well before the 80s, especially when it came to Westerns. One of his biggest hit movies "Death Wish" came in 1974, but it wasn't until the 80s when we got all the sequels to that one and he was in so many thrillers around that time. So that is why he is on my 80s list. 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie Sheen

 

 

Virtually an unknown until the movie “Platoon” came out. His movie career continued and then turned into a TV career.

 

 

Chevy Chase

 

Chevy was another in a bunch of comedians who made a name for themselves in the 80s with classic movies like "Caddyshack", "National Lampoon's Vacation", "Fletch" and "The Three Amigos"

 

 

 

 

 

Christopher Lloyd

 

Started out as a TV star, but hit the big time as a movie star in Back to the Future. 

Chuck Norris

 

Before the 80s, Norris did a few movies and even worked alongside Bruce Lee. In the 80s though, he was bringing out movie after movie and they were so cool. He quickly established himself as a popular action star. My personal favourites are the Missing in Action movies.  Sadly, his movie career quickly faded in the 90s, but he did get a hit TV show. 

 

 Clancy Brown

 

He first really got noticed as the evil Kurrgan in "The Highlander" and has gone on to play some great roles (mainly villains).  He is more known for his television work now and has been hugely successful there. 

 

My Favourites: Highlander, Shawshank Redemption, Carnivale (TV).

 

 

  

Dan Ackroyd

 

Dan joins Chevy and Bill on the lists of American comedians who hit the big time in the 80s with movies like "Ghostbusters", "Blues Brothers" and "Trading Places"

 

 

Danny Devito

 

Another actor who came from a hit TV show and had a successful movie career. He was type cast as the obnoxious and devious villain in most movies he was in. He was absolutely brilliant in one of my favourite comedies of all time "Ruthless People". 

Danny Glover

 

I first noticed Danny as Mal in my favourite western "Silverado". He of course went on to do the Lethal Weapon movies. 

 

This picture shows his character Mal defying the villainous John Cleese by drinking his whisky before having to leave town. 

 

 

 

   

 

 

Daryl Hannah

Dudley Moore (RIP)

 

Duds made a name for himself in the 70s as a comedian and even had a couple of big movies. However in the 80s he had his biggest hit yet with "Arthur" and the was in movies throughout the 80s. His popularity waned in the 90s as well as his health. Sadly he passed away in 2002.

 

My favourites: Arthur 2, Mickie + Maude, Santa Claus - the movie

 

  

Eddy Murphy

 

 

Eddy was noticed pretty much right away when his movie career started, but when he did “Beverly Hills Cop” in 1984, he quickly became a household name. 

 

Jackie Chan

 

 

Who was this Asian guy who was popping up in all these foreign martial arts movies in the mid 80s?  He was Jackie Chan and he’d been doing movies in China for years, but in the 80s he became popular worldwide with movies like the “Cannonball Run”, “The Protector” and “Police Story”. 

 

 

Jamie Leigh Curtis

 

Jamie made a name for herself in the 80s with movies such as "Trading Places", "Halloween" and "A Fish Called Wanda"

 

My Favourites: True Lies, A Fish Called Wanda, Trading Places. 

 

Jennifer Connelly

 

Jen had her big break as a child actress in the movie "Labyrinth" and went on to many other roles. Most of her movies didn't do that well, but she was certainly someone who got noticed. 

 

My favourites: Labyrinth, Career Opportunities, Requiem for a Dream.

John Candy (RIP)

 

John was another brilliant American comedian who made it big in the 80s with many fellow actors. He was in such classics as "Planes Trains & Automobiles", "Stripes", "Brewster's Millions" and "Spaceballs". Sadly he died too soon. 

 

 

  

 

 

Julia Roberts

 

I don't see what people see in her. I just don't get it really and I know other guys who don't either. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathleen Turner

 

Keiffer Sutherland

 

 When you think of Keiffer these days you think of television, specifically “24”, but he started out doing some pretty cool 80s movies when he was younger including the role of a vampire in "The Lost Boys".

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Costner

 

I first noticed Kevin in my favourite Western "Silverado" where he played a young rogue named Jake. 

 

 

 

 

Kurt Russell

 

Kurt was already well known for doing Disney movies before the 80s, but it was the 80s when he became a huge action star.

 

My favourites: Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China.

 

 

 

 

  

Meg Ryan

 

Mel Gibson

 

He had his first big hit, "Mad Max" which started his career off big time. He was a huge action star throughout the 80s and onwards.

 

My favourites:
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Gallipoli, Braveheart

 

 

 

 

  


Michelle Pfeiffer

 

 

 

 

 

Morgan Freeman

 

 

 

    

Nicolas Cage

 

I never saw this guy as a bonifide action star in the 80s, due to the roles he played, but come the 90s and onwards, he was. 

 

 

 

 Robert Downey Jnr

 

Started out playing the parts of teenaged assholes, then just as he was getting more serious roles he had his personal issues, which almost ruined his career. But then he came back proving that his success in the 80s was no fluke. 

Robin Williams (RIP)

 

Another actor that came from a hit TV series (Mork & Mindy) to begin a huge movie career in the 1980s. 

 

Rutgar Hauer

 

He was doing movies in the 70s but really only started to get big roles in the 80s where he was often cast as bad guys, sometimes psychotic.

 

My favourites: Blade runner, The Hitcher, Blind Fury.

 

 

 

Sharon Stone

 

Sharon didn't really make a huge name for herself until the controversial Basic Instinct in the 90s, but she was was certainly being noticed in the 80s too with the King Solomon's Mines and Police Academy franchises. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sigourney Weaver

 

 

  

Steve Martin

 

Steve had done some stuff in the 70s but it was the 80s where he really found popularity with movies like "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" and "The Three Amigos".

 

 

  

Sylvester Stallone

 

 

I never got to see a lot of his earlier movies when they came out, because I was too young. When I was old enough and also thanks to video, I quickly became a fan. I always looking forward to then next Rocky or Rambo movie.

 

Tim Curry

 

Another supurb actor, mainly known for playing villains. Got his first big break with the Rocky Horror Picture Show in the 70s but his biggest success came in the 80s onwards. Does mainly voice acting these days.

 

My favourites: Clue, It, Muppet Treasure Island.

 

 

Tom Cruise

 

 

One of the few 80s stars that still gets to work regularly in big blockbuster action and sci-fi movies today.

 

My favourites: Rainman, Cocktail. 

 

  

Tom Hanks

  

When I first started seeing Tom Hanks in movies, he was doing silly American comedies along with guys like John Candy, Dan Ackroyd, Jim Belushi and others. Next thing he hits it big with “Big” and from then on started to get some really great roles and he still does.

 

My favourites: Forrest Gump, Castaway, Big 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Val Kilmer

 

Played a lot of arrogant characters early in his career. Career faded in the 90s.

 

My favourites: Tombstone, Batman Forever.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Whoopi Goldberg

 

Did quite a few movies in the 80s and 90s and even did well in television on Star Trek - Next Generation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Hurt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Others:

 

Alley Sheedy

C Thomas Howell

Dolf Lungren

John Cusack

John Lithgow

Judd Nelson

Kelly McGillis

Kelly LeBrock

Kenneth Branagh

McCauley Culkin

Matthew Broderick

Martin Short

Michael Keaton

Molly Ringwald

Patrick Swayze

Paul Hogan

Rick Moranus 

Sean Penn  

Willem Dafoe

 

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