Actors From The 80s

A good friend is in town for the weekend so last night a group of us assembled for a little shinding at his mother’s house. It has been close to year since he was last in LA so it was nice to see him and everyone else. I may blog about that a little later, but right now I want to touch upon a related topic called actors from the 80s.

This arose because during the course of conversation we realized that it is 20 years since we were in Israel together and more than 20 years since a number of the films that marked high school came out.

So the question came up as what actors from that time period have survived the test of time and are still fun to watch now. Here is an incomplete list of those who made it followed by those who did not. Please note that most if not all of them have made some very bad movies, but they include some very good ones too.

  1. Tom Hanks
  2. John Cusack
  3. Kevin Bacon
  4. Clancy Brown- Ok, more of a bit player but he was the Kurgan. 😉
  5. Sean Penn- Don’t like his politics but I love Spicoli.
  6. Nicholas Cage
  7. Tom Cruise- Pre-wackout days.

And now off the top of my head a list of actors/actresses whose careers have totally tanked or are very close to it.

  1. Bill Paxton
  2. Charlie Sheen
  3. Emilio Estevez
  4. Jon Cryer
  5. Judd Nelson
  6. Molly Ringwald
  7. Rob Lowe
  8. Ally Sheedy
  9. Paul Gleason- Ok, he at best was a bit actor.

These lists may be adjusted or reworked. What do you think. Do you have anything to add to this?

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  1. Jack's Shack December 7, 2005 at 7:02 am

    Travolta is a good addition.

  2. Pragmatician December 6, 2005 at 10:11 am

    The most interesting career I think is John Travolta’s, Top-forgotten top-forgotten, in one word The come back kid!

  3. dorothy rothschild December 5, 2005 at 7:11 pm

    How about Andrew McCarthy? What happened to him? I mean, I’ve seen him in smaller roles here and there in films and on t.v., but he seemed poised back in the 80’s to be a leading man.

    How’s about the entire cast of The Facts of Life?

  4. PsychoToddler December 5, 2005 at 6:33 pm

    Rob Lowe should really fall into the “what was he thinking??” category for leaving the West Wing. He was amazing on that show. I actually thought he was smart.

  5. -Ann December 5, 2005 at 5:43 am

    Twenty years ago? Geez, you are old. 😉 Funny you should post about this. I rented “Some Kind of Wonderful” on Saturday night and was thinking “Jeez that Craig Sheffer was cute, I guess, but did he ever work again after the 80s?” (According to IMDB, the answer is yes- but not in anything you’ve actually seen unless you have cable and insomnia.)

  6. Stacey December 5, 2005 at 4:35 am

    Kathleen Turner looks and sounds like shit these days. She really ought to lay off the cigs (and the Twinkies).

  7. MC Aryeh December 5, 2005 at 2:39 am

    Mercedes Ruehl, Marisa Tomei and Rosie Perez were all nominated for oscars in the 90s, not the 80s, and Tomei was nominated again in 2002.

    Others to add to the list:

    Escaped the 80s intact:
    Bill Murray
    Meryl Streep

    80s Casualties:
    Kathleen Turner
    William Hurt
    Mickey Rourke
    Glenn Close
    Jessica Lange
    Sylvester Sytallone
    Melanie Griffith
    Michelle Pfeiffer
    Harrison Ford

  8. Jack's Shack December 5, 2005 at 2:15 am


    I am calling Charlie Sheen out because well, I can. He has a show but what is his role on it other than to act like a cheap caricature.

    Hadn’t heard that Phoebe Cates quit. That seen in Fast Times made my little junior high heart pump.


    You must not have read the list, try again. 😉


    Demi wasn’t forced out, she left. Anthony Michael Hall has a show on FX, but I have never seen it.


    Hard to say.

  9. anne arkham December 5, 2005 at 12:46 am

    Demi Moore? Although I’m not sure which list she belongs on.

  10. Stacey December 4, 2005 at 9:01 pm

    What about the guy who played the geek in Breakfast Club? (Anthony Michael Hall)? Demi Moore is pretty much a has-been, too.

  11. PsychoToddler December 4, 2005 at 8:38 pm

    You just named the entire cast of The Breakfast Club. Did you watch anything other than Brat Pack movies?

  12. ClooJew December 4, 2005 at 7:53 pm

    You can’t count Charlie Sheen anymore because he stars in the no. 1 sitcom right now. Rob Lowe had made a comeback with the West Wing, but then when right back into obscurity.

    The women have a much shorter shelf life. Right on with Molly Ringwald (is there a 37-yr-old male alive who didn’t have a crush on her?) and Ally Sheedy. Jennifer Jason Leigh. Helen “Supergirl” Slater. Phoebe Cates (well she actually quit acting. Smart move.) And even Oscar nominiees–Mercedes Ruhle? Marissa Tomme? Rosie (“Isuzu Twoopah!”) Perez?

    Lindsey Lohan ought to be taking copious notes.

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