Unforgettable Images from the 80s That Leave A Lasting Impression
By | February 23, 2023
Rebecca De Mornay as 'Lana' in Risky Business (1983)
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 these nostalgic photos, and the never before told stories of the most alluring icons from the 1980s…try not to gasp!
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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...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.
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.
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.
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.