The 1980s were an exciting time for everyone – full of sexy Spandex, big hair, wacky fashion and actresses who could rock all three of those things. These stunning leading ladies, for example, saw in the era of the blockbuster and starred in movies that are still well remembered and well-loved even now. But how much have they changed in the three decades since?
40. Jane Seymour
Television star Jane Seymour was considered to be one of the most gorgeous women of the 1980s. And these days she’s still looking mighty good. In February 2020 Fox News asked her what her secret was, and she answered, “I know nobody believes it, but it’s true… I’m eating sensibly, but not on some crazy diet.”
39. Demi Moore
Demi Moore was in the headlines a lot during the 1980s. She was a member of the Brat Pack, she was Mrs Bruce Willis, and she was reportedly a massive diva. Things seem to have calmed down around her now however. She’s still an actress, and still very attractive, but she’s not headlining movies anymore.
38. Kirstie Alley
Kirstie Alley became famous when she was cast as Rebecca Howe in the iconic sitcom Cheers. Some popular movies, including Shoot to Kill and Look Who’s Talking, followed. But things changed. These days she’s better known for reality television such as Kirstie Alley’s Big Life, which follows the ups and downs of her dieting… and for courting controversy on Twitter.
37. Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand has had a spotlight on her for decades, but it was particularly big in the 1980s. In that era she released her highest-selling album, Guilty, and also both directed and performed in the award-winning movie Yentl. She’s barely slowed down in the years since, but it doesn’t show on her face.
36. Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver was a big action star in the 1980s thanks to Aliens. Her role as Ripley in that movie actually earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination. And she followed that up with two further movie Academy Award nods, one for Gorillas in the Mist and one for Working Girl. These days she’s still extremely successful, and has aged gracefully to boot.
35. Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton was in many popular movies of the 1980s, including Reds and Baby Boom. And, of course, she was beautiful. But she decided not to have plastic surgery to maintain her looks. In 2017 she said to People magazine, “My feeling is that everybody has their hands and their hands are always at the face, so if the hands don’t match the face it’s a little weird.”
34. Goldie Hawn
In 2020 Goldie Hawn told The Guardian newspaper that for her the 1980s had been “a great period of abandonment, great music, great fun. A lot of the movies that we made then were feel-good movies. They don’t make them much anymore.” Despite her sadness over that period coming to an end, she remains a successful and beautiful actress.
33. Annie Potts
A generation of young people know Annie Potts from the Toy Story movie franchise and TV spin-off hit Young Sheldon, but she was famous before that. Potts starred in a lot of big movies during the 1980s, including of course the iconic Ghostbusters. Since then she’s aged very well indeed, and looks a lot younger than her 67 years.
32. Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston was a beguiling beauty back in the 1980s. During that era she appeared in films which have stood the test of time, including The Postman Always Rings Twice, This Is Spinal Tap and Prizzi’s Honor. And she cares not one bit that she looks older now. In 2014 she told Vogue magazine, “There’s a few nice things about [aging], don’t let them kid you.”
The world-famous singer and actress Madonna appeared in several films during the 1980s, including Who’s That Girl and Desperately Seeking Susan. Her acting career may not have gone so well in recent years – she’s been nominated for a few Razzies in her time – but her voice and her good looks remain.
30. Jacqueline Bisset
Jacqueline Bisset first came to public attention after a sexy scene in the 1977 movie The Deep. She hated that she had been portrayed that way, but she continued to act throughout the next decade and beyond. During the 1980s she starred in Class and Under the Volcano among others. And in 2018, unsurprisingly, she became an advocate for #MeToo.
29. Justine Bateman
Justine Bateman (the sister of Jason Bateman) made a name for herself as a teenage star in the 1980s. As well as doing several TV movies, she played Mallory on the popular show Family Ties. These days, though, she’s turned her hand to directing and writing; one of her books is called Fame and it deals with some of her own experiences.
28. Heather Locklear
Model Heather Locklear found fame as an actress after being cast on the soap opera Dynasty. After that, her star rose until she was the only actor of the time to star in two prime-time shows simultaneously: Dynasty and T.J. Hooker. Though she’s faded away in recent years, her good looks haven’t changed much, so maybe it’s time for a comeback.
27. Cheryl Ladd
Cheryl Ladd is still most famous for Charlie’s Angels – she joined the show in 1977 and didn’t leave until it finished in 1981. Her role as Kris Munroe made her a sex symbol and naturally she aged out of that. But she always loved what Charlie’s Angels did for her. In 2019 she told CNN, “It gave me a 40-year career, so I have nothing but fond memories.”
While Oprah is still best known as a chat show host, back in the 1980s she was a movie star as well. She conquered the worlds of both television and cinema when she starred in 1985’s The Color Purple, which earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. Oprah is still a huge name in entertainment, and her looks have barely changed.
25. Candice Bergen
Candice Bergen was a big star in the 1980s: not only was she in the show Murphy Brown, she was also in the eight-Oscar-winning 1983 film Gandhi. And she may be getting older now, but she’s still going strong. In 2018 she told the website Mindfood, “I believe 70 may be the new 50.”
24. Lisa Bonet
Lisa Bonet’s acting in The Cosby Show, her spectacular fashion sense and her marriage to rocker Lenny Kravitz made her a shining star in the 1980s. Now she’s a poster girl for aging gracefully. She’s credited coconut oil, African dance classes and Dayle Breault products for her seemingly never-changing beauty.
23. Joan Collins
Joan Collins is the woman credited with saving the TV soap Dynasty. In 1981 she was cast as Alexis Carrington Colby and suddenly ratings were no longer struggling. Despite the actress moving on to other work Colby continues to be the character with whom Collins is most often associated, and she still looks like her too.
22. Dyan Cannon
Dyan Cannon was once married to Cary Grant, and she gave birth to his daughter Jennifer. However, she’s much more than just Grant’s ex-wife. She appeared in many TV miniseries and television movies throughout the 1980s, and to this day is the only woman to have won an Oscar both for acting and for movie-making. Cannon still acts, and still looks great.
21. Kelly McGillis
Kelly McGillis dazzled as Charlie in the 1986 movie blockbuster Top Gun. But when the long-awaited sequel got under way, McGillis said she wasn’t asked to return. She told TV’s Entertainment Tonight in 2019, “I’m old and I’m fat and I look age-appropriate for what my age is…I’d much rather feel absolutely secure in my skin and who and what I am at my age as opposed to placing a value on all that other stuff.”
20. Linda Hamilton
Linda Hamilton achieved massive fame playing Sarah Connor in the popular Terminator franchise, but behind the scenes she was suffering terribly from bipolar disorder. And as the decade ended, work began to dry up for the actress. However, she bounced back after a hiatus and appeared to have aged very gracefully in the interim. Now, she’s very much back on our TV screens in shows like Defiance and Chuck.
19. Daryl Hannah
Splash star Daryl Hannah quickly established herself as one of Hollywood’s most gorgeous leading women back in the ’80s. But did the actress-turned-activist try too hard to cling on to her youth? People still speculate that she had plastic surgery, even though in 2010 she insisted that she never would.
18. Ally Sheedy
Ally Sheedy, the basket case of The Breakfast Club, revealed in a 2015 interview with Elle that she didn’t actually like her character’s makeover scene in the iconic 1985 movie. And so it’s no surprise that she looks perfectly down-to-earth and normal 30 years on, even if she’s only working sporadically as an actress.
17. Grace Jones
Grace Jones was huge in the ’80s, conquering both the film and music scenes and even re-popularizing the flattop hairstyle. These days, she’s slightly less famous but still very much respected in both industries. Plus, she still looks completely fabulous.
16. Michelle Pfeiffer
Michelle Pfeiffer only became a movie actress in 1980, but she quickly conquered the whole scene. She racked up hit after hit in the ’80s: Scarface, The Witches of Eastwick, Dangerous Liaisons and The Fabulous Baker Boys to name but a few. Indeed, she received Oscar nominations for the last two. And over the years she’s kept her good looks incredibly well.
15. Brigitte Nielsen
Films like Red Sonja and Rocky IV – not to mention her high-profile marriage to Sylvester Stallone – ensured that Brigitte Nielsen was a very public figure in the 1980s. Now, though, the former actress and model sticks to reality TV and has had quite a lot of success with it. And Nielsen hasn’t been shy about undergoing plastic surgery to maintain those model good looks, either.
14. Glenn Close
Although Glenn Close had been acting on stage since 1974, she didn’t make her film breakthrough until 1982 when she appeared in The World According to Garp. Of course after that, she became one of the most respected Hollywood stars in the business, as well as perhaps the poster image for graceful aging.
13. Molly Ringwald
After teaming up with director John Hughes, Pretty in Pink and Breakfast Club star Molly Ringwald became something of a sensation in the ’80s. But she dealt with her fame very well, retreating from the spotlight after a while and taking up music and writing. Now, 48-year-old Ringwald is back on the stage and the screen and she looks positively radiant.
12. Kelly Le Brock
Kelly Le Brock was a major sex symbol in the ’80s, but life as a sex symbol isn’t always fun. Le Brock’s marriage to Steven Seagal was reportedly abusive, for example, and drug abuse also played a role in her exit from the spotlight. Now the former actress is no longer a pin-up… but hopefully she’s a lot happier.
11. Lea Thompson
Lea Thompson is best remembered for her role as Lorraine in Back to the Future, and although she continued to be successful she never starred in anything quite as iconic again. Now, though, Thompson looks fantastic and definitely younger than her years. In fact, it’s almost as if she too owns a time machine…
10. Elizabeth McGovern
Elizabeth McGovern shot to fame in 1981 when she received an Oscar nomination for the film Ragtime. She followed that up with 1984’s Once Upon a Time in America and, more recently, by playing Cora on the hit drama Downton Abbey. And to top it all off, she’s also aged amazingly.
9. Karen Allen
Karen Allen will forever be known as Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark, although she’s done other things too. Moreover, when she reprised the role of Marion in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it almost seemed like she’d barely aged at all.
8. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
After appearing in Scarface as Gina Montana, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio went on to achieve massive success in the ’80s and was constantly being nominated for awards. However, gradually she wound down the film roles and began to take on TV and stage roles instead. Now she’s 57… and has barely aged a day.
7. Linda Kozlowski
Linda Kozlowski’s life was changed forever by 1986’s Crocodile Dundee: not only did it establish her as a leading actress, but she also ended up marrying her co-star Paul Hogan. Unfortunately that union ended in divorce and, frustrated by the lack of serious roles available to her, Kozlowski eventually left acting behind her, too. She’s still every bit as gorgeous today, though, and credits her continued good looks to daily workouts.
6. Phoebe Cates
Gremlins star Phoebe Cates was huge in the ’80s, but then she essentially gave it all up to marry Kevin Kline and raise their children. Now, she runs a boutique in New York. And so while Cates still has a pretty face, it probably won’t be seen on the big screen anytime soon.
5. Lori Singer
Lori Singer beat out loads of famous names, including Madonna and Jodie Foster, for the role of Ariel in Footloose. Unfortunately, though, her own stardom didn’t last quite as long. Now, Singer looks older, but she’s an award-winning producer and champion cellist so she almost certainly doesn’t care.
4. Jennifer Grey
Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey blames plastic surgery for the decline of her career. “I went in the operating theatre a celebrity and came out anonymous,” she later admitted to The Express. I’ll always be this once-famous actress nobody recognizes… because of a nose job.” Recognizable or not, Grey does still act, most recently making an appearance in 2014’s Red Oaks.
3. Robin Wright
Robin Wright has it all. She got her start in the ’80s with the soap Santa Barbara and the classic 1987 comedy The Princess Bride, but she continued to be famous and successful long after the decade was over. And she got to keep her good looks, too.
2. Kathleen Turner
Kathleen Turner, the star of Romancing the Stone, sadly had to retreat from Hollywood due to severe arthritis. But she remained very much in demand as a stage actress, and she seemingly doesn’t care that she looks different now. “I don’t look like I did 30 years ago,” she told the Daily Mail in 2014. “Get over it.”
1. Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger was one of the biggest sex symbols of the 1980s, captivating audiences with erotic movies like 9½ Weeks. But her attractiveness didn’t go away once she got older. In fact at 60, Basinger signed a new contract with the exact same model agency as her daughter, Ireland Baldwin.