Are you pining for the 1980s? Pegged jeans may not be coming back any time soon (thank goodness), but some of our favorite films are making a resurgence. The return may be in the form of sequels like with Terminator Genisys and Indiana Jones 5, or a complete reboot with this weekend’s (July 15) premiere of the female-driven Ghostbusters.
We know what the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, Demi Moore, Eddie Murphy, and Bill Murray are up to, but what about other movie stars from the ’80s?
1. Steve Guttenberg
Steve Guttenberg kicked off the ’80s with the buddy film film Diner in 1982. The film was directed by Barry Levinson, also starring Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Tim Daly, Daniel Stern and Paul Reiser. He rounded out the decade with the Police Academy franchise (1984-1987) and the instant classic Three Men and a Baby (1987), opposite Tom Selleck and Ted Danson.
You may have spotted him in 2010 as himself on the Starz series Party Down. The episode was actually named “Steve Gutenberg’s Birthday.” He also swung by the sitcom Community in 2015 to make a guest appearance. We can look for him in the TV movie Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens, premiering on July 31, 2016.
2. Ralph Macchio
Ralph Macchio’s first feature film role was as Johnny in 1983’s The Outsiders. Macchio was 20 when making the movie, but he portrayed a teenager, easily passing for 14 or 15. He continued a long career being known as the actor who never aged, or at least appeared not to. He starred in the original Karate Kid in 1984 as a bullied high school student, making the phrase, “Wax on, wax off,” famous, per Mr. Miyagi’s (Pat Morita) directions. He also starred in Karate Kid, Part II (1986) and III (1989).
In the 2000’s you may have spotted Macchio in TV series like Ugly Betty (2008-2009), Law and Order: Criminal Intent (2010), How I Met Your Mother (2013) and Psych (2010-2014). He also starred in the feature film Hitchcock, opposite Anthony Hopkins in 2012. In 2016 we can look for him in the family film A Dog and Pony Show, opposite Mae Whitman and Mira Sorvino.
3. Judge Reinhold
Judge Reinhold portrayed the guy who always kept his head on straight in films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) and Beverly Hills Cop (1984) and its sequels in 1987 and 1994. In Ruthless People, which premiered in 1986, he and Helen Slater portrayed a couple desperate for money, kidnapping a wealthy woman (Bette Midler), but even then, he was kind of the straight-laced guy. He played the nicest kidnapper ever.
He reprised his role as Detective Billy Rosewood in the Beverly Hills Cop TV pilot in 2013 (unfortunately the series didn’t get picked up). He starred in the first season of the 2016 TV series The Detour. In 2016 we can look for him in three feature films, including My Many Sons, Highly Functional and Grandmothers Murder Club.
4. Julian Sands
Julian Sands took on the title role in 1989’s Warlock and starred in its follow-up Warlock: The Armageddon in 1993. Other memorable films from the ’80s include The Killing Fields (1984) and A Room with a View (1985).
If you’ve been missing Sands, you can catch him in the 2015 season of Gotham as Gerald Crane. Or look for him in forthcoming releases like 2016’s The Chosen and The Toy Gun. He will be loaning his voice to the animated film I Am Khama, due out in 2018.
5. Richard E. Grant
Richard E. Grant starred along side Sands in Warlock in 1989. He had other standout roles in the ’80s including Withnail & I (1987), Hidden City (1987) and How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989).
You may have caught Grant in season five of Downton Abbey as Simon Bricker or spotted him when he popped up on season three of Girls as Jessa’s (Jemima Kirke) bad influence drinking buddy. He continued his work in TV portraying Sir Roger Bulstrode in Jekyll & Hyde in 2015, and he lent his voice to Game of Thrones for the role of Izembaro in 2016. He is currently working on the untitled Wolverine sequel, set for 2017.
6. Molly Ringwald
Molly Ringwald was the “It” girl in the 1980s, starring in back-to-back hits like Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), Pretty in Pink (1986) and The Pick-Up Artist (1987).
Ringwald took on a more mature role as matriarch in the family series The Secret Life of an American Teenager (2008-2013). In 2013 she released a jazz album called Except Sometimes, which included a cover of the song “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. And just this past year we saw her in the series Raising Expectations as Paige Wayney. You can look for her in the 2016 release King Cobra, also starring James Franco and ’90s icon Alicia Silverstone.
7. Rebecca De Mornay
Rebecca De Mornay helped save the day in 1983’s Risky Business as a kind-hearted prostitute, opposite Tom Cruise playing an irresponsible teen. In 1985 she took on the title role in The Slugger’s Wife, opposite Michael O’Keefe. She freaked out parents worldwide (and non-parents too) as an extremely intense nanny in The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (yes, that was in 1992, but we still wanted to mention it).
We just saw De Mornay in the superhero series Jessica Jones as Dorothy Walker. She also appeared in the 2016 series Lucifer, starring Miranda‘s Tom Ellis. De Mornay starred opposite John Travolta in the 2016 crime thriller I Am Wrath. She’s signed on to star in the recently announced Periphery, about a dying woman “who wishes to see her family through the good times and the bad times she will miss.” It’s meant to be a family comedy.
8. Robert Townsend
Robert Townsend brought us The Hollywood Shuffle in 1987 as an actor whose roles were limited due to typecasting in show business. Townsend wrote, produced, directed and starred in the film. He also directed 1987’s Eddie Murphy: Raw. In 1989 he starred opposite Denzel Washington in The Mighty Quinn.
Townsend went on to create and star in the series The Parent ‘Hood airing on the WB (1995-1999). He executive produced the TV series Los Americans (2011) and Diary of a Single Mom (2009-2011), which he also directed. In 2013 he starred on stage in the production of Next to Normal. Also in 2013 he took on the role of Coach Banks in the feature film Playin’ for Love.
9. Jennifer Beals
Jennifer Beals’ first major film role was as the tomboyish Alex Owens in 1983’s Flashdance. She worked in construction during the day and danced at night. She also starred in 1985’s The Bride and 1988’s The Gamble.
More recently she starred as the buttoned-up art museum director Bette Porter in the cutting edge series The L Word (2004-2009). She’s starred in several series since then, including The Chicago Code (2011), Proof (2015) and The Night Shift (2016). She’s set to star in the recently announced film The Rocking Horsemen, opposite Billy Zane and Sean Astin. She’s completed filming on White Orchid, also starring Olivia Thirlby.
10. Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger was the go-to leading lady in the ’80s, starring in films like Never Say Never Again (1983), The Natural (1984), 9 1/2 Weeks (1986), Blind Date (1987) and Batman (1989).
And she’s not done. She recently starred in The Nice Guys, opposite Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. You can look for her in the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, called Fifty Shades Darker out in 2017. She’s set to play Elena Lincoln, Christian Grey’s (Jamie Dornan) former business partner and lover.
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