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?


CJ Srullowitz said...

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.

PsychoToddler said...

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

Stacey said...

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

Anonymous said...

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

Jack Steiner said...


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.

MC Aryeh said...

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

Stacey said...

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

-Ann said...

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.)

Jack Steiner said...

Craig Sheffer was in The Program with James Caan,Halle Berry and Omar Epps. I actually saw that in the theater.

Turner's best work was in Romancing the Stone.

I love Bill Murray and Harrison Ford.

I should have qualified that I was looking at actors and actresses who starred in movies that were targeted towards younger people, but that is not a big deal.

It is kind of fun to just run through them.

PsychoToddler said...

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.

dorothy rothschild said...

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?

Jack Steiner said...

Rob Lowe- Too busy making movies with underage girls.

Andrew McCarty has been in some bit roles.

Tootie and Blair and the entire Facts of Life gang. I like it.

Pragmatician said...

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

Jack Steiner said...

Travolta is a good addition.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen Turner has been suffering from crippling rheumatoid arthritis for years. The drugs used to contain her condition contribute to weight gain.

Not Quite Abandoned

I didn't think it had been as many months away from here as it has clearly been. I was certain I had updated this place in December and ...