Famous Women Of The 1980's 30 Years Later

Some of them are still just as big today than they were back then, and some have appeared to have disappeared of the face of the planet.
Harriet King September 13th 2018 Entertainment
Was there any decade that even came close to being as wacky as the 80s? It really seemed like anything could happen in this crazy time. Giant hair, even more giant shoulder pads, and don't forget giant high heels. They went big in the 80s, that's one thing we know for sure!
The good thing about the 80s is that the fashion, music, and entertainment is pretty much impossible to forget. If you need proof, just take this article as an example. Here we are, 30 years later, about to regale you with information about the biggest female stars of the era and where they are now.
We've got singers, actresses, and everything in between. We've got divas, massive successes, and one-hit-wonders. They're all here in their wonderful 80s glory. Some of them are still just as big today (or even bigger) than they were back then, and some have appeared to have disappeared of the face of the planet. Enjoy the walk down memory lane!
Dianne Wiest
The 1980s were a great time for Dianne Wiest. She won two Oscars for her work in 'Hannah and her Sisters' and 'Bullets over Broadway'. She may be better recognized, though, for appearances in cult classic 'The Lost Boys' and the ever popular 'Footloose'. She was a talented and in demand actress who was never short of work.
Even though Wiest is at the point where she could retire if she wanted to, she's showing no signs of slowing down. She has a starring role in 'Life in Pieces' and has two Primetime Emmy Awards to go with her Academy Awards. She nearly ended up missing out on an on-screen career altogether; her original ambition was to be a ballet dancer, only changing her mind and focusing on theater in her senior year at high school.
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Jennifer Grey
Nobody puts Baby in the corner! Jennifer Grey's performance with Patrick Swayze in 'Dirty Dancing' made her a household name, and she'll be forever known for the part. It should have been the start of a long and glittering career, but it wasn't quite to be.
Although she continued working in acting afterwards, and still does, she never hit the same level of fame again. She partially blames this on a decision to get plastic surgery on her nose, which she felt was too big. The surgery was successful - and Grey is still beautiful - but it changed her appearance dramatically, and producers felt she was no longer as recognizable. She also credits an appearance on 'Dancing With the Stars' in 2010 with saving her life - a medical she was required to attend as part of appearing on the show detected early stage cancer on her thyroid, which was then removed before it became a problem.
Jamie-Lee Curtis
There aren't many movie roles as memorable or iconic as the one Jamie-Lee Curtis played in 'Halloween' as Laurie Strode. She's reprised the role no less than four times on the big screen, with the most recent installment coming in 2018, a full forty years after the original movie. She isn't exclusively a horror movie actor though, and she also had a memorable turn as the titular character in 'A Fish Called Wanda', remembered fondly by admirers of quirky comedy.
Her career since then has seen her share screen time with Arnie in 'True Lies' during the 1990s, and a knowing performance on TV's 'Scream Queens' in more recent years. Away from her work, Curtis is married to fellow movie star Christopher Guest, and has a keen interest in the 'World of Warcraft' gaming series, often surprising fans by turning up at conventions.
Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow is probably just as well known for her life away from the big screen as she is for her performances on it, although just about everyone associates her with 'Rosemary's Baby'. She was a darling of the Hollywood scene in her youth, briefly married to Frank Sinatra, but it was Woody Allen who she'd go on to settle down with. They had children, but to say that their relationship became acrimonious after their divorce would be putting it mildly.
Farrow was absolutely prolific during the 1980s, racking up no less than fourteen movie credits including 'New York Stories', 'Hannah and her Sisters' and 'The Purple Rose of Cairo'. She's more or less retired from acting work now, choosing instead to spend her time promoting humanitarian causes in association with UNICEF. Farrow has always had a strong interest in nurturing the development of children, having adopted no less than ten over the course of her life.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
If you love a good gangster movie, you know who Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is without us having to tell you. For the uninitiated, she played Gina in 1983's 'Scarface'- the sister of Al Pacino's legendary title character. It was her first major role, and opened the Hollywood doors for her, leading on to 'The Color of Money' the following year, for which she received Academy Award nominations. By the time the 1990s arrived she was a solid and reliable female lead actor and played Maid Marian in the Kevin Costner led 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves'.
It seemed like she had the world at her feet and could go on to achieve anything from there, but instead her acting career seemed to slow down. She married Pat O'Connor in 1990, a director whom she'd worked with on 'The January Man', and the couple had two children. It's possible she chose to step away from her career and concentrate of her family instead.
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Sigourney Weaver
There is nothing that screams 'that's the 1980s!' more than Sigourney Weaver's performance in 'Ghostbusters'. The hair. The makeup. The wardrobe. The insane amounts of dry ice. The film was one of the decade's greatest hits and still enjoys massive popularity today, meaning Weaver always has a fresh supply of fans. When she played the part, though, it was quite the break with the image most people had of her. Weaver was, and still is, strongly associated with the hard-as-nails space marine Ripley from the 'Alien' series of films.
'Alien' turned into a franchise that brought Weaver work consistently across three decades, with persistent rumors that she may still play the part once again if presented with a script she likes the look of. She's hardly relying on that to keep her busy, though - she has an eye for a good franchise and is currently in the process of making two sequels to the smash hit 'Avatar', in which she also appeared.
Geena Davis
Geena Davis is an actor who's worked consistently in a number of major roles from the 1980s right up to the present day, but it's in the 80s that she achieved her most notable successes and beloved roles. A good way to ensure long lasting popularity is to get yourself cast in a movie that goes on to become a cult favorite. Davis has managed that not just once, but three times in the 80s alone with 'The Fly', 'Beetlejuice' and 'Earth Girls Are Easy'. Not content with that, she also won an Oscar for 1988's 'The Accidental Tourist'.
Now we'd like to tell you the most surprising thing you'll hear all day. Davis very nearly represented the United States at the Olympics in Sydney, Australia in the year 2000. She reached the semifinals of a tournament which decided who would go on to represent the nation at archery, with a final place of 24th out of 300.
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Kelly McGillis
We know we just crowned Sigourney Weaver the Queen of 80s style, but we're going to create a joint position here so Kelly McGillis can share it with her. If you don't' recognize the name immediately, just think 'Top Gun', where she played Tom Cruise's love interest 'Charlie', setting many men's pulses racing in the process. It wasn't McGillis' first major role, though - that would be 'Witness' with Harrison Ford the previous year, for which she won a Golden Globe nomination. She achieved similar acclaim for her performance with Jodie Foster in legal drama 'The Accused', showing that there was more to her than just good looks.
Although she still works in acting occasionally, McGillis re-prioritized her life after coming out as gay in 2009, choosing to work full time in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Bridgeton, New Jersey for a time.
Joanna Cassidy
Joanna Cassidy was already a well-established star of both screen and television when the 1980s rolled around, but the decade saw her take on arguably her most well-known work. In a further example of cult hits turning actors into star names forever, Cassidy will always be known for placing replicant Zhora Salome in Ridley Scott's seminal 1982 film 'Blade Runner'. A few years later, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' enhanced her star power even further.
Cassidy continued acting in film and television as the years went on, spending five years in TV's 'Six Feet Under' as the 20th century gave way to the 21st. Other than that instance, she seems to prefer varying her screen work instead of committing to doing full series, having managed to fit in appearances in everything from 'Star Trek: Enterprise' to 'Desperate Housewives' in the past couple of decades, and most recently seen on the Hallmark Channel in drama 'The Reading Room'.
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Sissy Spacek
If you instinctively backed away from your screen as soon as your saw her name, or the picture, it's probably because she scared you to death in her career defining performance in 'Carrie'. The role saw her propelled to star status overnight, earning her an Oscar nomination in the process. She'd get her hands on an Oscar at the second time of asking in 1980 for her work in 'Coal Miner's Daughter', and as the decade progressed she'd be nominated twice more without winning the award, for 'The River' and 'Crimes of the Heart'.
Although time has aged her, as it does all of us, she still looks remarkably similar today, with the striking features and the familiar red hair. Despite her prolific volume of work - which continues on both film and television - Spacek shuns the trappings of celebrity, rarely giving interviews and staying out of the newspapers. As one reporter put it, she lives a private life in the public eye.
Kathleen Turner
It's difficult to know what's earned Kathleen Turner more acclaim down the years - her acting performances, or just her voice. She's definitely known in her own right, and is a recognizable face, but there are many people who will know her best as the sexy, husky voice of Jessica Rabbit from 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' in 1988. She was already well known by that point, having won a Golden Globe for her part in 'Romancing the Stone' four years earlier.
Turner hasn't been afraid to let her age show naturally instead of rebelling against it like her contemporaries, and that's allowed her to take on new parts and stay relevant, including playing middle aged, sex crazed talent agent Sue Collini in ten episodes of 'Californication'. Turner is an outspoken supporter of Planned Parenthood, and also volunteers her time for Amnesty International.
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Carrie Fisher
Was there ever an actor as complicated or beloved as Carrie Fisher? The daughter of Debbie Reynolds will forever and always be in our hearts and minds as Princess Leia Organa from the famous 'Star Wars' series of movies, which took her from 1975 to 1983 before reprising the role two more times in the 2010s. Her other 80s hits included 'The Blues Brothers', 'When Harry Met Sally', 'Hannah and Her Sisters' (seems like everyone was in that film, doesn't it?), and 'The Burbs'.
Fisher struggled with drink and drug addiction for her whole life, suffering her first drug related hospitalization in 1985. The experience inspired her to write the critically acclaimed 'Postcards from the Edge', which was adapted into a movie in 1990. Fisher declined to play the lead role herself, feeling that it was too close to home. Her often frank admissions of mental health and drug problems have been credited with breaking down the stigmas around both issues.
Lori Singer
If you're quietly singing 'Footloose' to yourself right now, we totally feel you. If you've just started doing so because we mentioned it, we're really sorry. Lori Singer and 'Footloose' will always be inextricably linked in many people's minds, although her (some would say similar) performance as Julie Miller in 'Fame' won her just as many admirers. She had several other film roles during the 1980s, including 'Summer Heat' and 'Warlock', but her career seemed to fade away a little after that. She only has three credits after the year 2000.
Singer has a talent most people don't know about; she's a highly accomplished cellist and has performed as a soloist at both the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall. You don't get to play venues like that without a serious amount of talent, although it won't have hurt that she had a famous name and has largely retained her film star looks.
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Jessica Lange
The word 'legend' gets tossed around a lot in entertainment circles and is sometimes given away too easily. In the case of Jessica Lange, she absolutely deserves the term. She is one of only a handful of actors who've achieved the elusive 'triple crown', winning a Tony Award, an Emmy Award and an Oscar, meaning she's been recognized as an outstanding performer on television, cinema and theater.
It was her Oscar winning performance that really put her on the map in 1982's 'Tootsie', and all of her success flowed from there. In more recent years she's completely reinvented herself as a horror actor, appearing in several series of the popular FX/Netflix production 'American Horror Story', which has introduced her to a whole new audience. She's also a gifted photographer, having had collections published in both 2008 and 2010, and has even written a children's book. Is there no end to her talents?
Elizabeth McGovern
As the 1980s began, so did the big time career of Elizabeth McGovern. She put herself on the map in 1981's 'Ragtime', for which she received an Oscar nomination. She'd also appeared in 'Once Upon A Time in America' and 'She's Having A Baby' before the decade was out, rounding off her first ten years in showbiz nicely with a major part in a film adaptation of 'The Handmaid's Tale', a subsequent re-telling of which is currently taking the world by storm.
Although she worked consistently for all the years in between, it was being cast in a British period drama that really put her back on the map in the 21st Century. She stared as Cora Grantham in 52 episodes of the internationally syndicated BBC show 'Downton Abbey', and audiences were amazed by how little she'd changed since they last saw her.
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Linda Hamilton
If someone asks you to name an actor associated with the 'Terminator' franchise, you'd almost certainly answer 'Arnold Schwarzenegger'. If that same person then asked you to name another one, Linda Hamilton is probably the next name that would enter your mind. As Sarah Connor, Hamilton starred in 1984's 'Terminator' and the 1991 sequel 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day', as a kick ass female action hero. That kind of part wasn't largely available to women during those days, and it made Hamilton into an icon - so much so that she's reprising the part yet again for another 'Terminator' movie due out in 2019.
Hamilton has her own permanent memento of her 'Terminator' work - during the making of the second film, she fired a gun inside an elevator without wearing hearing plugs and suffered permanent hearing damage. During an appearance on 'Larry King Live', she spoke of suffering with depression and bi-polar disorder, which she blames for the breakdown of both of her marriages.
Sybil Danning
Sybil Danning was a poster on many a teenage boy's and young man's wall, having established herself as something of a B Movie legend. Australian by birth, she started her career in low budget German films before moving to Hollywood to see if she could make it into the big time. An appearance on the cover of Playboy helped her ambitions in this respect, and she started getting more credible work on titles like 'Hercules' and 'Chained Heat', although both performances earned her the dreaded Golden Raspberry. She may have been about to progress to higher levels when a serious accident on the set of 'Pale Blood' left her with a spinal disc herniation.
The effects were severe, and Danning completely abandoned her acting career to focus on her recovery. Eventually, seventeen years later, she was persuaded to end her prolonged hiatus after repeated requests from her fans, who had never forgotten her. She appeared in Rob Zombie's 'Halloween' remake.
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Lea Thompson
Anybody who's seen the 'Back To The Future' movies (and that's everyone, right?) will recognize Lea Thompson straight away as the actor who played Marty's mother Lorraine. It was just one of several great roles for Thompson during the decade which also saw her appear in 'Some Kind of Wonderful', 'Howard the Duck' and 'Red Dawn'.
She took most of the 1990s off after getting married and having two daughters - both of whom have grown up to become actors in their own right - before returning to television with a long running role in 'Switched at Birth'. She also still looks incredible, with an appearance far younger than a woman in her early 50s. It was perhaps those legs that convinced producers she'd be an ideal candidate to appear in 'Dancing with the Stars', where she finished 6th during the 2014 series.
Beverly D'Angelo
It's 'National Lampoon's' Beverley D'Angelo! And we say that because she's so strongly associated with the franchise, having appeared in 'National Lampoon's Vacation', 'National Lampoon's European Vacation' and 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' as Ellen Griswold. That family really did like to go on vacation a lot. You'd have thought they'd have learned not to do it after the events of the first movie.
D'Angelo's talents are far more expansive than comedy roles, and she's had the chance to demonstrate this with her portrayal of Patsy Cline in 'Coal Miner's Daughter', and her very gritty role as Doris Vinyard in 'American History X'. A lengthy stint on 'Entourage' followed, and she's as active today as she's ever been. A brief marriage to Al Pacino in the late 1990s saw her give birth to twins in 2001 at nearly 50 years old.
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Helen Slater
Helen Slater's life in the entertainment industry has come full circle. She's best known to audiences of a certain age as the fresh-faced star of 'Supergirl' in 1984. The film was not a success, but hardcore fans of superhero tales never forgot her or her performance, and despite appearing in a number of other shows and films in the years in between, the franchise always seemed to find its way back to her.
Her Supergirl connection first brought her back to the DC Comics universe in Superman prequel 'Smallville', where she made three appearances as Superman's biological mother between 2007 and 2010. Then, when 'Supergirl' was resurrected for the small screen, Slater was contracted in to play Eliza Danvers - Supergirl's stepmother. Happy to be associated with the part, Slater wrote 'A Hero's Journey', a Supergirl tale which appeared in the fiftieth edition of the fifth volume of the official 'Supergirl' comic series.
Cyndi Lauper
Are we allowed to change our mind on who's the number 1 80s icon from this list again? We're going to do it anyway. Cyndi Lauper is the ultimate 80s icon, transcending music to become a cultural icon for the era'. 'Girls just wanna have fun' is still an iconic anthem for liberated women in the 21st century, and 'True Colors' is a real tearjerker of a track which was later coveted by Phil Collins. Lauper's star shone so brightly that she ended up appearing in the ring during the main event of WWE's first ever 'WrestleMania' event in 1985.
Lauper, who looks remarkably unchanged from her heyday, has never stopped working. She served as the composer for the smash hit musical 'Kinky Boots', for which she received a Tony Award in 2013, and the cast recording from the production went on to win her a Grammy to go with it.
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Glenn Close
We know that there are a whole load of you staring at this picture who can't think of anything but Cruella de Vil, but try to believe us when we say that there's a whole lot more to the career of Glenn Close. In fact, that movie didn't even happen until the mid-1990s, by which time Close was already world famous in her field.
Close holds the unusual distinction of being Oscar nominated for the first three movies she ever appeared in. She was in the running for the 'Best Supporting Actress' award for 'The World According to Garp', 'The Big Chill' and 'The Natural'. Sadly, she didn't win any of them. Scandalously, she's still never won an Oscar even though the nominations kept coming. She was last nominated in 2011 as a contender for 'Best Actress' in 'Albert Nobbs', only to see Meryl Streep walk away with the award. Close used to be known for keeping every costume she ever wore, from every part she'd ever played, but in 2017 donated the entire collection to Indiana University Bloomington.
Olivia Newton-John
We don't know if it's even possible for anybody reading this to be unaware of 'Grease', but just in case you are, Australian actor Olivia Newton-John played the co-lead role of Sandy, and it made her a global icon. The world had fallen in love with the original high school musical tale and its leading actors Newton-John and John Travolta, even though both of them were much, much older than the characters they were playing. Newton-John was already 30 when the film came out and had actually made her movie debut thirteen years earlier in 'Funny Things Happen Down Under'.
Newton-John has never seemed able to decide whether she prefers singing or acting as a career, and it's possible that her refusal to focus on either one has led to the detriment of both, but the 80s was the peak era for her musical career. The title track from her 1981 album 'Physical' was banned from some radio stations for being too risqué.
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Daryl Hannah
Blonde hair. Blue eyes. Supermodel looks. And acting talent to go with it! The young Daryl Hannah was a director's dream, and in the 1980s she was in high demand. Some of us can't shake off the idea that she's a mermaid after seeing her in Ron Howard's quirky 1984 film 'Splash', and she also featured prominently in 'Blade Runner' and 'Wall Street', as well as landing the title role in 'Roxanne'.
Some female actors struggle to find work as they grow older, but Hannah simply reinvented herself as Ellie Driver in the two 'Kill Bill' movies in 2003 and 2004 and kept things rolling. You can find her today playing the lead role in hit sci fi series 'Sense8' on Netflix. Still absolutely stunning at 57, Hannah is a passionate campaigner on environmental issues, having invested a great deal of her time and money in the cause. We have no idea whether her experience as a mermaid inspired her in this regard!
Anjelica Huston
There are some strong genes in the Huston family. Anjelica Huston's father was an Oscar winning actor. His father, Walter, was an Oscar winning actor, too. Her brother Tony is an actor, as is her half brother Danny and her nephew Jack. When Huston won an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress in in 1985's 'Prizzi's Honor', she was the third generation of her family to carry home a trophy from the awards. Now that's a lineage.
Tall and striking, and capable of giving an unsettling performance, Huston's career has been closely linked to horror movies, particularly 'The Addams Family' in 1991 and its 1993 sequel, as well the Grand High Witch in 1990's 'The Witches'. In more recent years she does more voice acting work than appearing in front of the camera, having portrayed Queen Clarion in a number of Disney movies from 2008 onwards.
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Helen Mirren
All Hail The Queen. And we're not just saying that because Dame Helen Mirren has portrayed both Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II in film (although that should be a good enough reason on its own). We're saying it because she is indisputably acting royalty. She is one of the true all-time greats.
Mirren is a striking woman, with an electric presence and a sexual allure that she maintains to this day, despite her advancing years. Classically trained, she began her career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, for whom she still occasionally appears. She's won an Oscar, a Tony Award and an Olivier Award, as well as having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Listing all of her achievements would keep us here all day, but the real Queen saw fit to make her a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, in recognition of her services to the acting profession. That'll do for us.
Kylie Minogue
It took until the 21st Century for America to really come to understand something that Britain and Australia had understood since the 1980s; Kylie Minogue is all kinds of amazing. She won hearts all across her homeland and the UK for her appearances a Charlene in popular soap opera 'Neighbors' and used that as a platform to launch a music career that's lasted three decades. She signed her first recording contract in 1987, and 'I Should Be So Lucky' and 'The Locomotion' were dance floor fillers and massive sellers.
Her attempts to make it big as an actor never really took hold, although she had roles in the 1990's 'Street Fighter' title and appeared as a fairy in 'Moulin Rouge'. Her musical career seemed to stall in the 1990s, with her style sounding old fashioned, but she reinvented herself and came back bigger than ever before. Kylie Minogue, we just can't get you out of our head.
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Jennifer Connelly
Although she had a couple of minor roles beforehand, it was her starring role opposite David Bowie in the classic 1985 movie 'The Labyrinth' that made a child star out of a fifteen-year-old Jennifer Connelly. Child stars are almost expected to go off the rails at some point, and probably more so if they spend a great deal of time surrounded by puppets and an androgynous Bowie singing 'Magic Dance'. Connelly should be commended for keeping it real.
Now in her mid-40s, Connelly could pass for someone 20 years younger, and has a whole string of major roles to her name. 'A Beautiful Mind' brought her a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and an Oscar, which has been the peak of her success thus far. In 2005, Connelly was named as the Amnesty International Ambassador for Human Rights Education.
Ally Sheedy
Ally Sheedy was a core member of 'The Brat Pack' a gang of young actors who lived the high life in Hollywood during the 1980s, often appearing together in teenage 'coming of age' stories and reveling in the party lifestyle. At one point, Sheedy was dating Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora. 80s classics that Sheedy can count among her credits include 'The Breakfast Club', 'Bad Boys', 'St Elmo's Fire' and 'Short Circuit'.
The major movie roles started dropping away somewhere around the mid-90s, and her most recent big screen appearance was as a cameo in 'X-Men: Apocalypse'. She's stayed busy on television, with a recurring role in 'Psyche' among other work. She married in 1992 and had a daughter who later identified as male. Because of this, she learned a great deal about transgender issues, resulting in her becoming a campaigner for transgender rights and awareness.
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Molly Ringwald
Speaking of the 'Brat Pack', here's the name most people agree was the leader: Molly Ringwald. She struck up a great working partnership with director John Hughes, who seemed to make her his go-to casting appointment whenever he needed a female lead and worked with her on 'The Breakfast Club', 'Pretty in Pink' and 'Sixteen Candles' to name just three.
Like Ally Sheedy, she found film work seemed to dry up after a certain age, although she's experienced a career revival in recent years with titles like 'Jem and the Holograms' and 'Siberia', as well as a recurring role in popular TV show 'Riverdale'. Ringwald, still just about recognizable from her days as a teenage screen queen, has been vocal about never wanting to take on a role which would imply that pregnancy or motherhood is easy. She should know; she's a mother of three including a set of twins!
Susan Dey
Depending on your age, your response to this name and picture will cause one of three responses. Older readers may instantly recognize her as the star of 'The Partridge Family' in the 1970s. Those in between will also instantly recognize her as the star of 'L.A. Law' in the 1980s. Younger viewers may have no idea who she is at all.
Susan Dey was already a star when the 80s rolled around because of the aforementioned 'Partridge Family' series, but 'L.A. Law' won greater critical acclaim, making the decade the peak of her career. She was Emmy nominated for her performances on the show three years running in 1987, 1988 and 1989. She did some work on smaller movies during the 1990s - and reprised her 'L.A. Law' role for a movie version in 2002, and then pretty much disappeared from acting altogether. She was last heard of serving on the board of the Rape Treatment Center of the UCLA Medical Center.
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Kristy McNichol
The beautiful Kristy McNichol was one of the most prolific actors of the 1970s and 1980s, appearing in no less than 19 movies during the two decades and holding down long-running parts on major TV shows like 'Apple's Way' and 'Family'. She also made over 100 appearances in the sitcom 'Empty Nest'. She was everywhere. And then in 1992 she suddenly, at the age of 29, just disappeared completely. She would return to make one appearance in the final episode of 'Empty Nest' in 1995, and never appeared in front of a camera again.
Years of speculation followed, and eventually in 2001 she released a statement confirming she had retired from acting, citing that it was the best decision for her personal wellbeing. It later emerged she'd had a breakdown on the set of 'Just The Way You Are' way back in 1985, and that the pressures of being a child star had taken their toll on her.
Debbie Gibson
Debbie Gibson's success literally came 'Out of the Blue' - that was the name of her debut album, which took the Billboard Charts by storm on its release in 1987, going triple platinum. Some in the media were quick to dismiss her as just another bubblegum pop star with a pretty face, but they were completely wrong - Gibson was a serious songwriting talent. Her single 'Foolish Beat' made her the youngest person ever to write, produce and perform a Hot-100 Number 1 single. When she released her second album, 'Electric Youth' in 1989, she was named by ASCAP as joint songwriter of the year, sharing the award with Bruce Springsteen. There was nothing bubblegum about Gibson.
Subsequent releases failed to achieve the same heights of success, and Reynolds tuned her attention to the world of musical theater, landing leading roles in 'Grease' in London's West End, and 'Les Miserables' on Broadway.
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Janet Jackson
Of all the members of the Jackson family, the only one who even got close to Michael in terms of performance quality, social impact and iconic status was Janet, and she remains a revered figure within the world of music, even if that role has come with some controversy down the years. The 1980s were really the launching pad for Jackson, as she released the albums 'Control' and 'Rhythm Nation', establishing her as a star in her own right with a real eye for a great video - Billboard magazine credit her videos with helping MTV move away from rock orientated focus to a broader appeal.
It was the 1990s that saw Jackson reach her zenith; the albums 'Janet' and 'Velvet Rope' sold millions of copies, with content that saw Jackson push boundaries with provocatively sexual content. Her mid-90s duet with her brother wasn't him doing her a favor, it was a partnership of performers who were now equals.
Marie Osmond
We don't know what they put in the water of the Osmond kids when they were growing up, but we wish they'd share it with the rest of the world. Look at the picture of Marie Osmond on the right and tell us she's nearly 60 years old. She looks barely different now to the way she did 30 years ago.
Osmond is a member of the famous singing family but chose to make her own way in the world instead of formally joining the band - although she did spend two years co-presenting the variety show 'Donny and Marie'. Her style is more country than the rest of her family, and her 1985 album 'There's No Stopping Your Heart' gave her two number 1 singles on the country chart. She still releases music to this day, although you may also find her retailing her line of sewing machines or promoting her fitness products on QVC.
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Valerie Bertinelli
Valerie Bertinelli has had quite an interesting life since most of us saw her first in 'One Day At A Time'. Her fresh-faced appearance and habit of making wisecracks made her a star of the show, and she stayed with it for its full run from 1975 to 1984. For years afterwards, she struggled to find regular acting work, but stayed in the headlines.
She married rock and roll legend Eddie van Halen during her time on 'One Day At A Time', having a son with him in 1991, but separating from him ten years later. Around this time, her career underwent a revival. She spent three years starring in 'Touched by an Angel', and five years in the lead role in 'Hot in Cleveland', as well as presenting her own cookery shows and promoting diet products, having struggled with her weight in the early part of the 21st century. Bertinelli has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, awarded to her in 2012.
Patty Duke
Looking at these two pictures, at first it's hard to believe they're of the same person, but she has the same sparkle in her eyes. Patty Duke was a big deal way before the 1980s - she won an Oscar at just 16 years old for her compelling performance as Helen Keller in 'The Miracle Worker'. By 1985, not yet even 40 years old, she was named as President of the Screen Actors Guild.
It was in 1982 that Duke was first diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. There is still stigma attached to speaking out on mental health issues today, and virtually nobody admitted to them in the 80s. Patty Duke did, in the hope of reassuring others that they weren't alone. She campaigned for mental health related causes for the rest of her life and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004, before passing away aged 69 in 2014 due to complications arising from sepsis.
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Tiffany
Tiffany was an absolute teen icon of the 1980s. She was the Britney Spears of her day, with her debut album spawning the song 'I Think We're Alone Now' which was a number 1 single all over the world and is still a regular on radio to this day. At the time she album was released she was only sixteen years old, and most people didn't realize that the song was actually a cover of a song originally recorded some twenty years earlier by Tommy James and the Shondells. She released a second album only a year later, but it didn't achieve the same levels of success. By the 1990s musical tastes were changing, and Tiffany's soft pop style didn't resonate the same way.
She revived interest in her - particularly from men - by posing nude for Playboy in 2002, a move that many didn't approve of given that her fan base had been traditionally made up of children.
Maureen McCormick
Fans of 'The Brady Bunch' got to watch Maureen McCormick grow from a thirteen-year-old when the series began in 1969, to a confident, attractive 32-year-old by the time the final movie, 'A Very Brady Christmas' was released in 1988. McCormick was a child star before 'The Brady Bunch' started, having secured a number of acting roles, but her fame from the series opened a lot of doors for her, and a number of TV and movie credits followed.
Unfortunately, and as with many child stars, McCormick didn't find fame easy to handle. She developed a serious eating disorder, and this coupled with a drug addiction made her difficult to work with, impacting her career badly in the late 80s and 90s. She eventually overcame her problems and published a frank, tell-all autobiography in 2008, which was a number one bestseller. Since then she's gone on to appear in a number of reality TV shows.
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Madonna
Everybody knows who Madonna is. From the moment she emerged as the darling of the New York club scene in the mid-1980s, with a style that was part teen icon and part Marilyn Monroe, Madonna has captivated and entertained audiences for decades. A chameleon, she's managed to stay ahead of trends and change styles as the years have gone by, giving her an enduring appeal that most of her peers would kill for.
Intentionally provocative, Madonna has always known the value of controversy and how to use it. From her prejudice challenging video 'Like A Prayer' to her self-published book of nude photos, entitled simply 'Sex', Madonna has reveled in the spotlight and enjoyed the money and fame that its brought her. She may have come to prominence in the 1980s, but Madonna's is a legacy that will last forever.
Demi Moore
Demi Moore is one of the most likable and bankable movie stars of the past thirty years. 'St. Elmo's Fire' really put her on the map in 1985, and she followed it up with 'Wisdom' and 'About Last Night' a year later. 'Ghost', in 1990, launched her into the Hollywood stratosphere.
Her name established, Moore was in hot demand and could almost name her own price to those who wanted to cast her. She was a bona fide sex siren on screen, a status helped by her performances in 'A Few Good Men', 'Indecent Proposal' and 'Disclosure'. By 1996, the producers of 'Striptease' parted with a then-record sum of $12.5m for her to dance topless in the movie, although the film was a box office disaster. The poor performance of 'G.I. Jane' a year later damaged her reputation further, and it took some years to recover.
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Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields owes a lot of her fame to a hugely controversial film she appeared in at just twelve years old. She had a leading role in 'Pretty Baby' in 1978, in which she played a child prostitute. The notoriety made her a big name, and she was in the perfect position to capitalize on it as a teenager and young woman in the 1980s, both as a model and an actor.
'The Blue Lagoon' and 'Endless Love', still her two best known films, also brought controversy as they contained nude scenes which Shields was forced to testify were performed by body doubles. In 2005 she got into a spat with Tom Cruise, after he criticized her for admitting to using medication to overcome postnatal depression. Cruise later apologized to her for his outburst. Shields also spoke at the funeral of Michael Jackson in 2009, where she revealed she'd had a close friendship with Jackson, although she seemed to contradict herself about whether they'd ever been in a relationship.
Mia Sara
When you've worked in a prominent role with Tom Cruise, that's usually the part that most people remember you from best. Not so for Mia Sara, and that's largely because of her memorable part in comedy classic 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'. Fans of cult sci fi, and/or Jean Claude Van Damme, may also recognize her from 'Timecop', although she probably wishes they didn't.
She worked solidly during the 80s and 90s, but seemed to lose interest in the profession sometime around the turn of the century, having no credits at all for a number of years until her love of 'The Wizard of Oz' convinced her to accept a TV role in 'The Witches of Oz', which led on to the movie 'Dorothy and the Witches of Oz'. These days she's married to Brian Henson (son of Muppets creator Jim), and holds a pilot's license, having developed an interest in aviation.
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Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder, do you even age? Ever since she became a star after appearing as a goth teenager in 1988's 'Beetlejuice', Ryder has been a household name. She appeared in controversial cult classic 'Heathers' a year later, which established her as an actor with range. By the time 'Edward Scissorhands' came out in 1990 she was at the elite level. A role in 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' followed a couple of years later, and maybe it was whilst studying vampires she learned how to hold back the aging process? She takes her profession seriously, opting for the 'method' approach, which saw her arrested in 2001 for shoplifting as she attempted to get into character for a part.
Her relationship with Johnny Depp in the early 1990s made her a point of fascination for tabloids and the paparazzi. In more recent times, she's been on our screens in Netflix smash hit 'Stranger Things', playing the traumatized Joyce Byers.
Diane Lane
Diane Lane's fierce ambition to get into the acting world nearly saw her removed from it completely. Believing in her ability, and wanting to get ahead, she ran away from home, to Los Angeles, aged 15 in 1980 with her actor friend Christopher Atkins. She had been staying with her father, who had full custody of her after her mother ran away. Hearing of this, her mother kidnapped her and took her back home to Georgia. Lane took her mother to court to get her freedom, and eventually ended up in New York. It would be three years before she and her mother spoke again.
Having fought to chase her dream, she pressed ahead with it, and has worked solidly in TV and film ever since. She's probably best known for 2002's 'Unfaithful' which got her an Oscar nomination, but it was her 80s work which put her on the map - particularly 'The Outsides' in 1986.
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Pat Benatar
Four time Grammy Award winner Pat Benatar had a great time in the 1980s, kicking off the decade with the smash hit 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot', and following it up with 'Invincible', 'Love is a Battlefield' and 'We Belong' as the decade continued, but the success had been a long time coming for Benatar. She'd been working on it for almost an entire decade before she got her big break.
Benatar quit her job and devoted her whole life to becoming a singer after seeing Liza Minnelli in concert in 1971. The next nine years she was working the circuit, including a stint as a singing waitress, and regular spots at 'Catch A Rising Star' venues. It was at one of these performances, where she turned up still wearing her Halloween costume from the night before, that she was eventually spotted in 1978. Having got her opportunity, she released music constantly for well over the next decade before slowing down in 1997, having released only one album since.
Gloria Estefan
The appeal of Gloria Estefan has been as appealing as her looks, which still don't seem to be fading even after all these years. The iconic, legendary performer first broke through to the big time with her band Miami Sound Machine in 1977. They were dominant throughout the 1980s, although it was Estefan's voice and look as the lead vocals that was largely responsible for her success. The band eventually became 'Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine', before the band's name was dropped entirely after the release of multi-platinum album 'Cuts Both Ways' in 1989.
Whilst touring to support the album's release, Estefan's tour bus crashed into a semi-truck during a snowstorm. She suffered a fractured spine and was unable to tour or perform for almost an entire year while she rehabilitated the injury. Fortunately, she was able to make a full recovery, and although she hasn't released any music since 2013, she writes children's books, and has a minor ownership stake in the Miami Dolphins!
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Belinda Carlisle
If you mostly know Belinda Carlisle for her pop classics like 'Heaven is a Place on Earth', it may surprise you to know that she wasn't originally interested in making pop music. It may surprise you further to know that she wasn't even originally a singer. Carlisle's early foray into the world of music was as a drummer for the punk rock band the Germs, under the pseudonym 'Dottie Danger'. Had she not been forced to quit the band due to a bout of glandular fever occurring at an inconvenient time, she may never have changed style at all!
Almost as soon as she recovered, she co-founded The Go-Go's, who would go on to achieve mainstream success throughout the 80s and are credited with helping to popularize new wave music in the USA. Their 1981 album 'Beauty and the Beat' was the first Billboard #1 to be completely written and performed by an all-female band. Her most recent release came in 2017.
Bonnie Tyler
If you've never lost your voice whilst drunkenly screaming along to Bonnie Tyler's legendary hit 'Total Eclipse of the Heart', have you even lived? The song, complete with its weird ghostly video of children with headlights for eyes, is a classic. For Tyler, whose raw, smoky vocals really sell the song, it was a total change in style. She'd released a previous album in 1977 to some success, but it was through meeting and working with Jim Steinman - best known for writing Meatloaf hits - that she moved into rock ballads. 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' and 'Holding Out For A Hero' were the fruits of this labor, and made Tyler a star.
Tyler remains most popular in Germany, where all of her records enjoy great success, and in 2018 she started out on a 22-date tour of Germany and Austria to give her legions of European fans the chance to see her perform.
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Kate Bush
Kate Bush was the British darling of the 1980s, achieving worldwide success with her debut single 'Wuthering Heights' in 1979. She was a mere 19 years old, and from nothing she was propelled to a global star and a sex symbol. Bush seemed to take it in her stride with her high-concept music and performances, which sometimes threatened to move away from pop into the realms of musical theater and performance art. 'Running Up That Hill' and 'Hounds of Love' in particular were classics that belied her young age.
Unfortunately, it was all too much for Bush. Having felt that she'd done too much, too young, she retreated from the world's glare after the release of 'The Red Shoes' in 1993. It would be twelve years until she re-emerged with 'Aerial' in 2005, and with nothing released since, it's currently unknown if we'll ever hear new music from the hugely influential artist again.

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