The 1980s was an iconic age which must not be overlooked. So let us turn the clocks back those years in anticipation and prepare to compile a list of the ultimate actors of the 80s.
First appearing in 1982’s Tootsie (which coincidently sees Dustin Hoffman dabbling cross dressing) Geena Davis made the leap from TV stardom to the big screen in the 1980’s. Starring in varying films that ranged between cult classic Earth Girls are Easy (1988) and Beetlejuice (1988), Davis is perhaps most famous for giving birth to the mutated child of Jeff Goldblum’s Brundle Fly in cult classic The Fly (1986) which later spawned The Fly II (1989).
Eddie Murphy emerged in the 1980’s and has seen his career flourish since. Cast in a number of flamboyant roles, Murphy began the Beverly Hills Cop (the film that would later generate the noughties’ Axel F ‘Crazy Frog’ smash) trilogy in 1984 whilst also appearing in Coming To America (1988), The Golden Child (1986) and Trading Places (1983) with our number eight, Dan Aykroyd.
Dan Aykroyd makes the list after writing and starring in three truly iconic 80’s films. 1980’s The Blues Brothers (1980), 1984’s Ghostbusters and subsequent sequel Ghostbusters II (1989) all share Ackroyd’s unique humour. Add to these his comedic appearances in films such as My Stepmother Is An Alien (1988) (which stars a young Alison Hannigan as his daughter) and The Great Outdoors (1988).
Michael J Fox
Michael J Fox speeds in at number six on the strength of the popularity of the Back To The Future (1985) series. Also appearing in films such as Teen Wolf (1985), Fox shot to fame as Marty McFly alongside Christopher Lloyd’s quirky Doc and his flux capacitor.
Although he may not have an acting history that includes hundreds of blockbusters, Corey Feldman is iconic nonetheless. Starring in films that have become cult favourites as well as films that make a regular appearance on the television channels, Feldman can lay claim to The Lost Boys (1987), Gremlins (1984), Stand By Me (1986), The Goonies (1985) and The ‘Burbs (1989).
Arnold Schwarzenegger once starred in a spate of pioneering and iconic films. Before following a more comedic route in the 1990’s (which included the likes of Kindergarten Cop (1990), True Lies (1994) and Last Action Hero (1993)), Arnie personified the scary stalker robot that was The Terminator (1984), the soldier who defeated Predator (1987) whilst also being Conan from both Conan the Barbarian (1982) and Conan the Destroyer (1984). Add to this list The Running Man (1987) and Commando (1985) and you get a man who has huge blockbusters to his name.
Sigourney Weaver made memorable appearances in the 1980’s. Making the role of Ripley her very own in Alien (1979) she reprised her role seven years later in the 1986 film Aliens. Starring in Oscar-nominated Gorillas in the Mist (1988) as well as Eyewitness (1981), she is perhaps better known as being Dana Barrett in the Ghostbuster films of the decade.
Bill Murray has had continued fortune in his acting career in more recent years and a firm favourite of director Wes Anderson, but it is his 80’s achievements that perhaps gave him the opportunity to have such a varied career. Starring alongside Dan Ackroyd in Ghostbusters (1984) and its sequel he also featured in festive frolic Scrooged (1988), Tootsie (1982), Caddyshack (1980) and Little Shop of Horrors (1986). He breathes life into distinctive characters and audiences are immediately at ease with his on screen personas.
Believe it or not, there was a time when Tom Hanks was not a household name. Before this time he starred in a host of films which have become firm favourites with audiences. Appearing as a boy who is granted his wish to be ‘big’ in Big (1988), a distraught nosey neighbour in 1989’s The ‘Burbs and an unfortunate home-buyer in The Money Pit (1986), Hanks gave us unforgettable characters. Abandoning the advice to never work alongside animals he starred with a dog in Turner and Hooch (1989) and a mermaid in Splash (1984).
There are two reasons why Harrison Ford tops the list and two reasons alone; Star Wars Episodes V and VI (1980 and 1983) and the Indiana Jones trilogy (1981 – 1989). Starring in the two biggest movie franchises of the decade (and arguably the century), Ford secured his top position. To be both the rogue Han Solo and the academic whip-wielding Indiana Jones, Ford is instantly deserving of the credit being number one here provides. Add to this the fact he also starred in the films Witness (1985) and Blade Runner (1982) Ford created a more impressive catalogue in one decade than many can wish to achieve in a lifetime.
A whole host of great names just missed out on the top ten. We are indebted to the likes of Steve Martin, John Candy and Leslie Nielsen for classics such as Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982), Uncle Buck (1989) and Airplane! (1980) as well as the Brat Pack for the Breakfast Club (1985) and St. Elmo’s Fire (1985).
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