Rare Photos from the 1980s
By | March 20, 2020
You may think you know the ‘80s… but this collection of never before seen photos will surely change your mind. These rare photos from the 1980s capture a lot more than we expected!
We are warning you, these photos are not suitable for all eyes. Unedited photos of Phoebe Cates, Demi Moore, Farrah Fawcett, and Jamie Lee Curtis...need we say more?
Prepare yourself to get lost in 58 nostalgic photos, and the never before told stories of the most alluring icons from the 1980s…try not to gasp!
Before she was a red bathing suit wearing life guard with a penchant for running in slow motion down the beach Pamela Anderson was just a lucky young sports fan. Her first modeling gig for LaBatt Blue was snagged after she was seen on the big screen at a football game wearing a shirt for the beer company. She explained:
The cameraman zoomed in on me and everyone screamed and yelled, so they brought me down to the 50-yard line. I was wearing a Labatt Blue T-shirt, and Labatt ended up giving me a commercial.
You can't make this kind of thing up.
The 1980s were a whirlwind for Demi Moore. After getting into acting through her early modeling she quickly rose from the low tier TV movies in which she was immediately offered to the height of the Brat Pack, a cadre of young movie stars in the 1980s. Even though her life was a bit of a soap opera, she told The Guardian that she never wanted to give it up:
Once you've tasted a bit of success, it's more challenging. We have to continue to be willing to take a risk so that we don't get too safe. Unwillingness to risk failure is always there, but it gets harder when you feel you have more to lose. So the better place to keep yourself in is out of your comfort zone, willing to try even at the risk of failing. And that's not natural to me at all.
After Fast Times At Ridgemont High was released in 1982 all audiences could talk about was Phoebe Cates - the drop dead gorgeous actress who took part in one of the most memorable scenes in film history. Even though she was a young actress she’d already appeared without clothes in multiple films something she was okay with since the set of Fast Times was a friendly atmosphere:
I was only 17 when I did my nude scenes in Paradise. They were serious and more difficult because they were not easily justified. But the topless scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High was funny, which made it easy.
Long before Cameron Diaz picked up the mantle of Charlie’s Angels in the 2000s this fresh faced young woman was a cheerleader at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, a place that also had the honor of hosting Snoop Dogg. Instead of going to college Diaz signed a contract with the Elite Model Management at the age of 16 - her fellow students must have been jealous. She appeared in ads for Calvin Klein, Levi’s Jeans and Coca Cola. That was only a stepping stone for Diaz who went onto star in The Mask in 1994 before garnering critical acclaim in Being John Malkovich.
In the 1980s you had to go out of your way to avoid Heather Locklear, this blonde star was a series regular on TJ Hooker and a beloved presence on Dynasty where she got to be as wicked as she wanted to be. She totally ruled the ‘80s with her poofy hair and suggestive eyes, and aside from appearing on some of the most watched shows of the decade she also got into the hair metal scene when she married Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee. She truly was an ‘80s queen and proved that she could rock just as hard as the boys. Heather Locklear will always tubular in our book.
In the 1980s Sharon Stone was doing everything she could to make it in the film industry but she couldn’t break out of the b-movies for which she was continually cast. She says that everyone wanted to take advantage of her looks, but she wanted to be a serious actress. She says that she finally decided to use her intelligence to be sexy. She explained:
I decided because I was a very bookworm person that I had to use my intelligence of how to be sexy. So I was very good friends with the woman who was photo-editor of Playboy magazine and she was always saying that Hugh Hefner wanted me to be in Playboy. I thought, ‘you know what, this would be an intelligent step for me because if I tell people that I’m sexy, they’ll think I’m sexy’. So I showed her some black and white pictures that Man Ray had taken of his wife and said, ‘something like this’. And I got Basic Instinct, like five minutes later.
If there was one familiar face that could be found on the bedroom walls of every teenage boy in America it was Kathy Ireland, the forever youthful looking brunette who appeared on Sports Illustrated as well as in film and television roles. She started modeling at the age of 16 after she was poached by Elite Model Management and she went on to appear on the covers of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Forbes, and Mademoiselle. Her Sports Illustrated cover from 1989 is considered to be the greatest swimsuit edition cover of all time by the magazine’s publisher. You'll be hard pressed to find anyone who disagrees.
The 1980s saw Jamie Lee Curtis take a new step in her career as she transitioned from scream queen to beauty icon. In the 1985 film Perfect she spends most of her time in tiny leotards while she acts out extremely saucy work out scenes. She told the Chicago Times:
They`re supposed to be substitute love scenes, but in a way the scenes are almost more pornographic than if I were naked. It`s my big disappointment [about the picture]. I think the scenes are held on too long. And because the point of them is held on and drilled home so hard, I think maybe if you saw [me] making love, it might be a little softer. When I asked about having them cut down, I was told that they already had been cut down.
There’s nothing like a day at the beach, unless of course you’re stuck wearing a bikini that’s prone to rust. While filming 1983’s Return of the Jedi Carrie Fisher had to wear a metal bikini for much of the early scenes at Jabba’s palace and as good as it looked it wasn’t so easy to get around in. Fisher explained:
When [director George Lucas] showed me the outfit, I thought he was kidding and it made me very nervous. I had to sit very straight because I couldn't have lines on my sides, like little creases. No creases were allowed, so I had to sit very, very rigid straight.
That's Incredible hostess Cathy Lee Crosby in 1980s aerobic wear, including leg warmers!
Whoever said there are no second acts in America never met Cathy Lee Crosby. This delightful young woman began her career as a professional tennis player. She was so radical at the sport that she played at Wimbledon twice between 1967 and 1970 before retiring from the sport to act throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s. She even appeared as a guest commentator for the televised special advertising WrestleMania 2. When she wasn’t commentating she was popping up on Kolchak: The Night Stalker and Wonder Woman. This multifaceted star showed young women across the world that they could do anything they wanted.
Tanya Roberts in the movie The Beastmaster (1982)
There are two things that we remember from Beastmaster, the fact that the titular master of beasts has a pseudo magical power to control animals and Tanya Roberts. As the queen of b-movies in the 1980s Roberts was a teen boy’s dream and she says that she chose to appear in Beastmaster because there wasn’t as much focus on her. She told Fangoria:
I chose The Beastmaster because it gave me the chance to slip into movies without getting the whole book thrown at me. The movie wasn’t built around me. I was just an actor in it, and it was a good chance for me to be seen.
Christie Brinkley modeling a swimsuit in the 1980s
Christie Brinkley was one of the most sought after models of the 1980s. She was all over Sports Illustrated and created the modern ideal of what we think of as a super model. However, she wasn’t just some model - she created art and even came up with ideas to help young women. She told the New York Times:
In the late 1980s, I had the idea to create a Real Model doll collection. I thought, Supermodels fly around the world, speak multiple languages, and the dolls could teach girls a variety of things. We had dolls for Paulina, Cheryl Tiegs and me, among others.
Dolly Parton rocking the red carpet in the late 1980s
Dolly Parton is one of the hardest working people in show business and in the 1980s she transitioned from simply being a country singer to a movie star and pop idol with the ease that someone has walking to the fridge. When Roger Ebert asked Parton if it bothered her when people made fun of her famous bust she countered:
I don't. It don't bother me so much unless people dwell on it. Get tacky and all. It's part of the act. If someone gets really carried away, well, I sort of pity him. Cause it's his problem, not mine. Other than that, I'm a good sport. I know some of the best Dolly Parton jokes. I made 'em up myself.
Bo Derek back in 1980
If there’s one thing that we all remember about Bo Derek is the way she ran down the beach in a wet, skin tight bathing suit with a set of cornrows in the 1979 film 10. She only appeared in the film for a minute but she made a major impression on viewers. The film held Derek up as a dream woman, the ideal everyone strives for - and she hardly spoke a word. Born in 1959 in Long Beach, Derek was named Mary Cathleen Collins by her parents. She says that she just kind of made up the name “Bo” on the spot before appearing in the movie Fantasies at the age of 16. It’s amazing that her split second decision formed the rest of her life.
Lynda Carter during the aerobic craze in the 1980s.
It’s impossible to think of Lynda Carter as anything but Wonder Woman so it’s hard to imagine that she doesn’t just look like Princess Diana. In an interview with Palm Springs Life in 1981 Carter said that she wasn’t born with the bod of Wonder Woman and that it takes a lot of work. In order to stay in shape she committed herself to doing intense aerobics and strenuous ballet every day while she ate a lot of fresh vegetables without going on any specific fad diets. It's clear that she’s seriously committed to staying in shape and it shows.
Sean Connery and Kim Basinger in the 1983 spy movie Never Say Never Again.
Throughout the 1980s Kim Basinger appeared in films with stars like Sean Connery and Michael Keaton but even though she was stuck between all of these stars she always managed to shine on her own like a pin up from World War II. Her role in Never Say Never Again was of the titular Bond girl even though it’s not a full on 007 movie. Basinger says that she’d never seen a Bond movie before that so she threw herself into research. She told Interview Magazine:
I did a lot of research. I remember going to that meeting with the producer. It was Micheline, Sean’s wife, who had suggested me for this role. I had a meeting with these people, and I sat there and suggested a lot of other girls in the business for the part because I said, ‘I do not look like that, okay?’ But the producer said, ‘No, Sean wants to meet you in London.’
Model-actress Kelly LeBrock, 1980s.
Kelly LeBrock was already known worldwide thanks to her modeling career, but thanks to her role in Weird Science she became an legit icon. Here’s the thing, she never even wanted to be in front of the camera. LeBrock says that she wanted to work with animals before her modeling career took off. She explained:
I actually never wanted to be a model, I wanted to always be a veterinarian. I always have had acting in my heart, and it was something I had done since grade school. When I moved to LA and met my first husband, we produced Woman in Red, which was my first film. I really love creating characters and getting the chance to be someone else.
Jamie Lee Curtis, 1980. "I'm uninterested in superheroes. I am only interested in real stories, real people, real connection." ~Jamie Lee Curtis
In 1980 Jamie Lee Curtis was only a couple of years removed from her breakout role in Halloween, and to hear her tell it that role came to her completely by accident. Had it not been for her getting fired from her first major television role she wouldn’t have been free to work with John Carpenter. She told the New York Times:
My mother was protecting me from being a child in the movie business. Later, I got a part on the ABC sitcom Operation Petticoat. I was fired, and I was devastated. Had I not been fired, I wouldn’t have been available for Halloween. As my Jewish family would say, it was bashert — meant to be. I didn’t give it a second thought that it was a horror movie, and my mom had been in a horror movie.
A young Christie Brinkley during the '80s.
Christie Brinkley is one of the most well known supermodels on the planet. She’s appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated eight times - including three consecutive Sports Illustrated Swimsuit covers in 1979, 1980 and 1981. At that point in time no model had ever graced the cover of the swimsuit issue that many times. As one of the most in demand models of the era Brinkley toured the world and was photographed in some of the most exotic locations. She finally retired from the game in 2004 but we still love thinking about her timeless looks from the gnarliest decade.
Actress Jane Leeves ('Daphne' on Frasier) was a 'Hill's Angel' on The Benny Hill Show in 1985.
Before she was a fixture of our television screens in the ‘90s Jane Leeves was a mainstay on the Benny Hill Show as one of “Hill’s Angels,” his all woman all the time comedy and dance troupe that appeared in many of the British funnyman’s televised sketches. Not one to rest on her laurels, Leeves quickly moved to the stage before transitioning to regular television work. Even though she didn’t get a lot of lines on the Benny Hill Show it’s obvious that she was able to learn a thing or two about comedy from her saucy British boss.
Heather Locklear and drummer for Motley Crue, Tommy Lee, 1980s
Tommy Lee and Heather Lockelear were one of the hottest couples of the 1980s. He was playing drums in Motley Crue and she was on TJ Hooker and Dynasty. Even though she was a goodie two shoes she couldn’t help fall for his boyish charms. According to Lee he almost blew his chance with Locklear because he confused her for another Heather. He explained:
I go 'You're on TV right now.’ And she's quiet for a second and then she goes ‘Tommy, that's Heather Thomas, that's not me.' … And I'm like, oh my God, I'm an idiot.
Model actress Sofía Vergara, 1989
Growing up in Barranquilla, Colombia Sofia Vergara never thought that she would be the highest paid actress on television. In the ‘80s acting wasn’t even on her radar, but after she was scouted for a Pepsi commercial at the age of 17 she realized that she was camera ready. Although, as she told Harper’s Bazaar she didn’t want to be an artist, just funny:
I never thought I could act, or acting was for me. I've never been artistic. I always knew I was funny; I was the class clown, but I never thought to make money out of it or to be professional.
Cyndi Lauper on stage, 1984
Cyndi Lauper burst onto the music scene in the 1980s as a brash young singer who just wanted to have fun. Before long she became the face of the MTV generation, a new wave princess who pop punk queen essentially forced her way into the mainstream. She says that when it came time to title her debut album “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” that it was just a joke. She told the Independent:
Somebody said it of me as a joke. I knew it was the kind of joke that would stick, but you know what? I didn’t care. I was like, fine, go with it.
The record went on to sell 22 million copies worldwide with four Top 5 singles.
Phoebe Cates posing for a swimsuit photoshoot on the beach in 1983.
Phoebe Cates is one of those stars that you can’t look away from. Her otherworldly beauty is simply mesmerizing, but according to everyone who’s worked with her she’s as chill as can be. Gremlins co-star Zack Galligan explained:
There was a certain amount of hysteria around her after that very charged scene, and it made a very lasting impression; people still talk about it 30 years later. Guys would sort of react to her with awe, and they were completely intimidated, which was so funny because she is one of the nicest, most approachable, down-to-earth, cool [people].
Christina Applegate played Kelly Bundy during her time on the television series Married with Children, that aired from 1987 to 1997.
If you were watching Fox at the tail end of the ‘80s then you couldn’t ignore Married With Children and its break out star Christina Applegate. As gorgeous as she is she also had amazing comedic timing. One thing that’s always stuck out from the show is the raucous response by the audience. Applegate says that was all natural and had nothing to do with an applause sign. She said:
This was all real. In fact, most of the time, we had to tell them to stop, because it would go on for too long ... and it would actually start to kind of mess up the timing of the scenes. So we would actually have to ask the audiences to cool it. We didn't have a laugh track, none of that. This was all, like, those 200 people, at a sporting event, basically.
Catherine Bach and Larry Wilcox on The Love Boat 1980
While she’s most famous for playing Daisy Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard Catherine Bach was all over our television sets in the ‘70s and ‘80s. All in all she appeared on almost 200 episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard and as multiple characters on The Love Boat while popping up on various programs. Bach has managed to stick around on television long after the rest of the Duke boys stopped acting - but does that really surprise you? She’s one of the most recognizable and lovable stars of the ‘80s, there’s no way that we’re going to let her get away.
Rebecca De Mornay as 'Lana' in Risky Business (1983)
Rebecca De Mornay turned heads in Risky Business, the 1983 comedy that made Tom Cruise a star. While De Mornay didn’t become as famous as Cruise she did establish herself as a sultry leading lady at the young age of 19. Visually arresting and with a voice that we can’t forget, De Mornay says that she won the part after less than a year of auditioning. She told the LA Times:
I had only been auditioning for six months--which is nothing--when I got the female lead in a feature film that went on to become a monster hit. got a nine-year ride on one film.
Jamie Lee Curtis from the drama romance movie Perfect, 1985
It’s crazy to think that Jamie Lee Curtis would be embarrassed to meet anyone, but while speaking with the New Yorker she said that she was so bashful to meet her future husband Christopher Guest that if he hadn’t gotten her number from their mutual agency she never would have made the first move. Even though they had a great first date he left to do Saturday Night Live for a year shortly afterwards. She explained how they made it work:
He did try to get out of his contract. I didn’t know that then, but he did. They did not let him out of his contract. He went to New York. I was in L.A., and we went back and forth every weekend. We got engaged in September, and we got married in December of that year.
Fall Guy beauty Heather Thomas in the 1980s
Even though she’s the consummate California girl Heather Thomas was born in Greenwich, Connecticut. She ended up moving to SoCal with her family while she was still in school and graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1975. She studied at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television after high school and earned her degree before going off to make appearances in B.J. and the Bear before nailing the role of Jody Banks on The Fall Guy. The role made her a household name and she appeared more than 100 episodes and five seasons of this Lee Majors series.
Cheryl Tiegs in yellow for the 1983 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
One of the queens of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues was Cheryl Tiegs - she graced the cover of the magazine multiple times before launching her own line of clothing for Sears. By 1989 she helped turn around the fortunes of failing store and brought in an estimated $1 billion in sales. Tiegs is one of the few models and actresses of the era who understood the importance of transitioning from the page to a full blown mogul. When she first launched her line with Sears people thought she was ridiculous, but by the end of the decade she was a millionaire and only had to model when she felt like it.
Sarah Jessica Parker during the '80s
America’s sweetheart Sarah Jessica Parker popped up in the ‘80s with films like Girls Just Want To Have Fun, and even though she was labeled a bit of a teeny bopper at the time she says that she studied ballet and other forms of dance in order to better prep herself for her roles. She explained:
[Ballet] allowed me to be physical in my work — and that's not something everybody wants to do, or can do, or thinks of integrating. But I think even for L.A. Story, I think being a dancer was helpful in sorting out that role. Especially because Steve Martin had written that part — and he was such a physical performer — I thought: Oh, well, I can be physical, because he might write imagining a physical performance as well.
Michelle Pfeiffer in a scene from the film Scarface (1983)
Long before she was one of the most sought after actresses in Hollywood Michelle Peiffer was cutting her teeth in one of the biggest films of the 1980s - Scarface. According to Pfeiffer it was an intense shoot made all the more tough by the testosterone flowing on set. She told Entertainment Weekly:
I was terrified. And it was a six-month shoot I think. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and I were really the only females. It was a boys’ club. And it was also the nature of the relationship, for Tony Montana to be very dismissive of my character. So I would go to sleep some nights crying.
Kelly LeBrock with typical 80's hair in Weird Science, 1985
Every nerd who loves Weird Science knows that Kelly LeBrock was the queen of the ‘80s but according to the actress she almost didn’t appear in the film. Initially when the producers asked her to be in the movie she turned them down:
I was in the south of France, horseback riding with Sting. So, do I want to work or do I want to keep having fun with Sting? So about six weeks into filming, they fired the other girl due to creative differences. They called me in France, which is where I was, and they said, ‘We’ll give you anything.’ I got on a plane, and I was on the set the next day, again, having had no lines, no idea of what I was going in for, and just showed up on the set of a film that had been filming for six weeks. There wasn’t even time to give me a new wardrobe.
Pretty photo of the lovely Dolly Parton, 1980s
They don’t make stars like Dolly Parton anymore. By the time the ‘80s rolled around she’d already had an amazing career in country music, first as a songwriter and then as a singer on tracks with Porter Wagner and her own singles. In the ‘70s she was a mainstay on the country charts and television but she never saw a ceiling for success. In the 1980s she took her countrified charms and applied them to pop music and acting. She scored big with movies like 9 to 5 and songs like “Islands in the Stream.” With this decade she cemented herself as true pop royalty.
Bette Midler and her back-up singers The Harlettes in the early 1980s
We may know her as an actress and funny woman, but before she was the star of screens big and small Bette Midler fronted a lounge act in Manhattan that draw huge crowds thanks to her big voice and over the top humor. As her fame grew so did her show. She brought in a group of backup singers as well as choreographer Toni Basil to help her create a routine that Rolling Stone compared to Tina Turner. The experience was so intense that former Harlette Linda Hart said that providing backup for Midler was like “show business boot camp.”
Model singer actress Apollonia Kotero, 1985
Apollonia was one of the brightest faces of the ‘80s thanks to her performance in Purple Rain, but it wasn’t just her co-starring role with the Purple one that made her so endearing, it was the way she sang. It wasn’t all fun and games on the set of Purple Rain, during the most famous scene in the film - you know the one - she nearly froze in the ice waters of what we’re told is Lake Minnetonka. She explained:
The first take that you see that was printed, that was the first take that came out in the movie. I jumped in, and I kicked [the stuntman], I panicked. It was freezing—I actually broke a little sheet of ice. And I forgot the dialog. So everything was kind of backwards. He fed me the lines, and then the dialog. I just remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is really cold.’ So we did it three more times, and then, I’ve told this before, when people look at the scene they think it’s irony and it’s funny and they laugh, but after I did it for the fourth time they put me in a little tent, and they said ok that’s it, cut, we’re wrapped.
Actress Daryl Hannah in the 1980s.
This blonde bombshell made a huge splash in the 1980s thanks to her roles as a cybernetic life form in Blade Runner and the Tom Hanks loving mermaid in well… Splash. Even though she doesn’t seem like the kind of actress who would be drawn to fantasy roles she says that she’s drawn to being transported to another reality and that’s why she’d rather be a strange creature than a normal character any time - he told The Guardian:
When I did Blade Runner, I was completely transported to another world. The whole thing was perfect. It was just what I wanted. I wanted to become another person. I wanted to live in another reality.
Debra Winger in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
As one of the most sought after actresses of the 1980s Debra Winger starred in groundbreaking films like Terms of Endearment and An Officer and a Gentleman, earning three Oscar nominations and millions of dollars. Supposedly during the filming of An Officer and a Gentleman she and Richard Gere butted heads quite often and she even made some cracks about him to the press, but according to Winger things have been smoothed out between them. She told The Guardian:
I run in to Richard Gere quite a lot and he half jokes: 'Are you still saying terrible things about me?' We had a moment in our life which was not good, but everyone has to get it into perspective.
Elisabeth Shue as Ali Mills in the flick The Karate Kid, 1984
Even though Elisabeth Shue was the fresh faced standout of Karate Kid - or at least one them - she says that she didn’t think that the film about warring karate students in Southern California would have the impact that it did. She told The Metro:
Because it was my first movie and I was still pretty starry-eyed about it all. What was so extraordinary about The Karate Kid is that I don't think anyone involved felt like we were making a culturally important 1980s movie. I remember thinking that the title felt pretty insubstantial and I wondered about Ralph Macchio's karate skills...
Elvira and Cheech Marin getting cozy, 1980s
We may not think of them as running in the same cultural circles, but both Cassandra Peterson (the spooky chick behind Elvira) and Cheech Maron came up in the comedy scene of 1970s Los Angeles. The two joined forces in 1985 when Elvira appeared in the music video for “Born In East L.A.,” Cheech Maron’s hit comedy track from the album “Get out Of My Room.” It’s clear that the two definitely got along like gangbusters, after all they managed to work their way out of cult obscurity into legitimate mainstream success stories. That’s Hollywood for you.
Farrah Fawcett looking great out and about back in 1982
Farah Fawcett was one of the most iconic stars of the 1980s So much so that every one of her moves was heavily scrutinized. While speaking with Steve Rubell Fawcett explained that she wished she could be more of an indie star who wasn’t so scrutinized:
You know what I would love? I would love to be one of those actresses who can come out with a film or come out with a new commercial without the world knowing about it. I would like to do commercials that just air, and people say, ‘Oh, interesting,’ or ‘Not interesting,’ or ‘Sexy,’ or ‘Shouldn’t this be censored?’ – you know, have a reaction. But by the time I get something on, there’s been so much advance publicity.
Groovy biker photo was taken in New Jersey by Pulsating Paula in the 1980s
Some of the grooviest biker photography of the ‘70s and ‘80s was taken by Pulsating Paula, a woman with an eye for amazing photos who covered everything from events for Easy Rider to tattoo events. Her pictures have captured the imagination of riders and admirers of the biker way of life for decades. Born Paula Jeanne, she captured the authentic look of the biker scene with raw pictures that showed how these hog riding outlaws really lived. Born in Jersey City, she first started taking photos of biker parties and tattoo events that she submitted to a magazine called Biker Lifestyle. And from there things shot into the stratosphere.
Italian actress, Ornella Muti, 1980s
Ornella Muti was voted to be the most beautiful woman in the world at one point and it’s clear why. She’s absolutely stunning. Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s she appeared in a ton of Italian films and continued to pop up in movies throughout the ‘90s and 2000s but the thing that most people know her from is the French language commercials for Giovanni Panzani pasta. Not one to wait around and let things come to her, Muti has gone on to have her own line of jewelry as well as plenty of real estate, which makes her incredibly wealthy as well as beautiful.
Lea Thompson as 'Lorraine Baines McFly' in Back to the Future (1985)
Lea Thompson did double duty (or technically triple duty) in Back to the Future when she played Lorraine, Marty’s mother who falls in love with her son. While some actresses most be put off by this, Thompson says that the plot was right up her alley. She told The Hollywood Reporter:
I appreciated the sort of odd, off-kilter subversive nature of the craziness of your mom falling in love with you and if you don't get your mom and dad to kiss and have sex you'll never be born. The idea that mom and dad have to get it on, I think we can all kind of get that. So it appealed to my sense of humor.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Al Pacino's character's sister, 'Gina Montana' in the film Scarface (1983)
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio had to go toe to toe with Al Pacino in Scarface which is no easy task. Even though we think she’s absolutely amazing a lot of viewers in the ‘80s didn’t know who she was. While speaking with the New York Times in 1989 Mastrantonio explained how she emotionally handled people not recognizing her in public:
People say, 'You're Amy Irving!' Well, it's the same hair. One cab driver said to me, 'You look just like that girl in Scarface - Geena Davis,' I guess it's that Geena and I have the same wide-set eyes.'
Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice (1982)
Meryl Streep tugged at our heart strings when she played the tragic figure of a Polish Catholic who manages to get out of Auschwitz and find a home in a Brooklyn rooming house in 1947 in Sophie's Choice. Streep had to put herself through gut-wrenching turmoil while working on the film but she says that it wasn’t all bad, but that it was a very emotionally charged set. While speaking with the New York Times she explained:
That's how the story goes. It's very high contrast day to day. Some days are very happy, and some days are like a descent into hell.
Heather Locklear smiling for the camera in the 1980s
As a young beauty icon in the 1980s there was no star who was more of a sweetheart than Heather Locklear. Even though she was a villain on Dynasty Locklear was actually a fairly sheltered person which is why it was so shocking that she married hard rocker Tommy lee. The two wed on May 10, 1986, in a gazebo at the Marriott Santa Barbara Biltmore Hotel in California. She wore an off-the-shoulder lace dress with a floor length veil throughout their nearly hour long ceremony. She was only 24 at the time which makes their union even more surprising. Their marriage only lasted for seven years.
Model/singer/actress Apollonia Kotero in the 1980s.
Acting across from Prince in Purple Rain changed Apollonia’s life and she says that even though she knew they were making something great while they were filming, Prince was aware of exactly how popular the film would be. She explained:
We were watching the dailies. And I remember watching his performances on stage, and I got chicken skin. And then you know, he drove me back to the hotel and he dropped me off, and he walked me to my room. And I remember I sat on the bed and he sat on this little couch. And I said, 'You’re going to win the Oscar, but not as an actor,' I said, 'for your music.' And he kind of pretended that he slid off and he jumped on his feet and said, 'You think so?' I said, 'Yes. Remember when I’m telling you this, because you’re going to win.' And then, you know, fast forward and we’re walking the red carpet at the Oscars, and he won.
MTV Hedonism Weekend in Jamaica with British pop star Samantha Fox and rocker Jon Bon Jovi in 1987.
Was there anything better than when MTV went to the beach for Spring Break? In 1987 they brought down some of the hottest stars of the day - Bon Jovi and Samantha Fox - to get hedonistic in Jamaica. Unfortunately the artists didn’t get to party as much as they wanted, they were promoting their albums and had to run from shoot to shoot to earn their keep. VJ Alan Hunter explained:
Once we got down there the band had a lot of work to do - when MTV said jump they jumped. They’re kazillionaires now, but back then, they were just a bunch of mooks from New Jersey.
Real-life 'Rapunzel' Crystal Gayle in 1982
As the singer of “Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue” Crystal Gayle managed to cross over from the country charts to the pop charts - and she did it without cutting her floor length hair. As the sister of Loretta Lynn you’d think that she would try to piggyback off that success but that’s not what she wanted to do. Instead, Gayle went about it on her own and had her own hits. Gayle began singing professionally just out of high school so by the 1980s she was well equipped for the status as a pop star that she gained. And yes, her hair is still pretty long.
Rock vixen Bobbie Brown in a perfume ad from the late 1980s
Whether you know her from her work as a print model or as the “Cherry Pie” girl you know Bobbi Brown. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana she got her start as a beauty pageant contender and in 1987 she came in second place in the Miss Teen USA pageant. After that she went onto win the spokesmodel competition on Star Search a record thirteen times. Aside from her print ads she modeled for Budweiser and appeared in a ton of music videos before writing an autobiography about her time as a hair metal chick on the Sunset Strip in the ‘80s.
Sigourney Weaver looking groovy in the 1980s
When you think about it Sigourney Weaver low key ran the 1980s. Not only was she in genre blockbusters like Ghostbusters and Aliens but she took on dramatic roles in Working Girl and Gorillas in the Mist. Rather than just grabbing a good script and going for it Weaver says that she puts in a lot of work when she takes a role and doesn’t stop carving out the character until the film wraps. She explained:
I work so hard, and out of the raw material that is the script and talks I have with the director, the writer, I create, I hope, a very specific person who wouldn’t have otherwise existed. However, do I then attach and hang on to the finished product? No. The experience of the creation of the character is what feeds me, what excites me, challenges me.
Supermodel Brooke Shields even had a doll that had her famous Calvin Kleins on.
Brooke Shields was one of the most famous people on Earth in the 1980s and definitely the most famous teenager of the decade. She modeled for Calvin Klein and appeared in Blue Lagoon while partying with the best of them. What would you have done as a teen star in the ‘80s. Even before she was modeling jeans she was selling shampoo by 11 months and by 1981 she was on the cover of 30 magazines - a record for someone her age. Known for her jutting cheekbones and mane of hair she blew everyone away when she started acting as an adult.
Kelly McGillis in Top Gun (1986)
Everyone who spent the ‘80s marveling at Top Gun remembers Tom Cruise’s love scene with Kelly McGillis after she rides off with him on his motorcycle. The scene begins with her dressed oddly like one of Maverick’s pilot buddies in a look that’s honestly very attractive. The reason for this masculine look? These scenes were added during a re-shoot and Kelly couldn’t cut her hair. She told Yahoo:
I was doing another movie and I wouldn't cut my hair. So, in the elevator scene, which we shot at that time as well, they put me in a baseball cap. And then [in the love scene] it was all silhouette because I had dark brown hair.
Groovy band in the 1980s, The Bangles.
Out of all the bands of the 1980s The Bangles were one of the coolest. With hit singles like “Walk Like An Egyptian” and “Manic Monday” they went to the top of the charts and inspired young women to pick up guitars and write their own songs. The band had highs and lows but they managed to ride it out, as bassist Michelle Steele explains:
It was like being a surfer, a wave came up and you had to ride it for as along as you could and then you wiped out and you got Maytagged, as we say on the west coast.
Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future (1985)
No other movie has captured the hearts and minds of ‘80s kids the same way as Back to the Future and much of that is because of the energy that Michael J. Fox brings to the movie. Initially Eric Stoltz was cast as Marty McFly but the producers felt that he was far too grim for the role. A deal was worked with out Fox that allowed him to film Family Ties and Back to the Future at the same time and while that must have been exhausting you can’t see it on the screen. Every scene in which Fox appears is pure joy and it’s no surprise that the film is as fun to watch today as it was in 1985.
The pretty Heather Locklear in the '80s
Throughout the 1980s Heather Locklear was known for her hard work and shining personality on shows like TJ Hooker and Dynasty. She was attached at the hip with producer Aaron Spelling who brought her along from series to series because he knew she had star power. Because of her good looks she knew that she needed to work harder than most to pop onscreen and she wasn’t afraid to say what everyone in the industry was thinking. She said:
I don't want to be one more [blonde], I want to stick out differently. It's very easy to typecast a blonde…
Dolly Parton glamour photo from the 1980s
Dolly Parton is a true icon of the 1980s. When she transitioned from country singer to full blown pop and movie star much of it was because of the hit film 9 to 5, which Parton says was so popular because it happened at the right and place and the right time. She told EW:
Through the years, I think that it stayed popular because it was very entertaining and it was well done. It had the comedy, but it also had great subject matter… and women trying harder to stand up for who they are and their rights, it seemed to be the perfect time to do it. You know how some things just happen at the right time?