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Stars of the 80s: Then & Now

It takes a lot to forge a successful career in a town nicknamed 'The Land of Broken Dreams' but these 15 starlets went on to have illustrious careers that, over time, cemented their reputations as icons. Sometimes kind can be cruel and sometimes it can be kind but you may find yourself remembering stars of yesteryear and wondering 'what ever happened to them?'

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Chronicling their careers of over 30 years, here we look at where stars of the 80s are now.


1. Tiffany

Then: Tiffany burst onto the music scene with just one name and one hit which was 'I Think We're Alone Now'. The song rapidly became a teen anthem and she an idol and her second album yielded another top 10 single for her but interest died down.

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Now: Continuing to release music with minor critical success, she's not really bothered the charts since her second album. Foraying into film, she has appeared in various TV shows and short films but mostly crops up on reality shows such as Celebrity Wife Swap and Celebrity Close Call.


2. Rebecca De Mornay

Then: The film actress first came to notice in Risky Business  and then that led to roles in Runaway Train, The Trip To Bountiful and The Hand That Rocks The Cradle.

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Now: Still in the movie business throughout the 90s and 2000s with relative success, she has recently appeared in Marvel's TV show Jessica Jones.


3. Emilio Estevez

Then: Famously part of the 'Brat Pack' as one of the young, upcoming actors of 1980s cinema, Emilio starred in many smash hits of the decade including The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire, Young Guns and Repo Man. Part of the Estevez/Sheen acting dynasty with his father being Martin Sheen and his brother being Charlie Sheen, you would have thought you'd have seen more of Emilio.

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Now: The 90s were also good to Emilio as he starred in The Mighty Ducks series of films and the parts kept rolling in as he sustained a longevity in his career that many other brat pack members couldn't hold. By the 00s, Estevez was starting to move more behind the screen and although he occasionally acts and appears in cameo roles, he is more likely to be directing your favorite TV show or film than starring in it.


4. Shelley Long

Then: Shooting to fame with her role as Diane Chambers in the sitcom Cheers, Shelley used this as a platform to launch her career in film as she starred in  Night ShiftIrreconcilable Differences, The Money PitOutrageous FortuneHello AgainTroop Beverly HillsHijinks,The Brady Bunch MovieA Very Brady Sequel and Dr. T & the Women.

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Now: Still acting, Shelley went on to reprise her role as Diana Chambers in the spinoff sitcom Frasier and has guest starred in many shows down the years. Now she can be seen in her recurring role on Modern Family as DeDe Pritchett and has recently moved into production.


5. Lisa Bonet

Then: Coming to the fore in The Cosby Show as  Denise Huxtable–Kendall, Lisa Bonet went on to star in the spin-off show A Different World. Her first film role came opposite Mikey Rourke in Angel Heart.

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Now: Getting a few movie parts in films like Enemy of The State, High Fidelity and Biker Boyz. In the early 90s, she married musician Lenny Kravitz and their daughter is model, actress and singer Zoe Kravitz. Still appearing on TV shows such as Girls and Life On Mars, Bonet is a TV regular.


6. Jeremy Miller

Then: After appearing in a few commercials, Jeremy landed the role of Ben Seaver on Growing Pains. He also got some voice work as Linus Van Pelt in the Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show!

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Now: Continuing to get voiceover work, Jeremy appeared in a few films such as Milk and Fashion and Ditching Party but he had fallen into alcoholism problems and sort rehabilitation. In 2011, he became a spokesperson for Fresh Start Private Management Inc., the rehabilitation company that administered his treatment.


7. Jami Gertz

Then: The 80s were incredibly good to Jami Gertz who was seen in films such as  Sixteen CandlesCrossroadsThe Lost BoysLess Than Zero and Quicksilver alongside the TV sitcom Square Pegs. 

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Now: As the 90s rolled around, Jami got a role in the disaster film Twister and appeared in a season of E.R. before landing a role in 00s sitcom Still Standing and then went on to appear in Entourage and The Neighbors.


8. Scott Baio

Then: Playing the lead role in the feature film Bugsy Malone, Baio beat out over 2,000 other kids to get the role before then moving into television, where he starred alongside Ron Howard in Happy Days as Chachi. A part that would make him a teen heartthrob.

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Now: The spin-off show from Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi  kept Baio in his iconic roles for a few more years as he also went on to star in films such as  Skatetown USAFoxes, Zapped and a few more. Recently starring in his own reality show, he is also a registered Republican and appears at many political events and rallies.


9. Nicole Eggert

Then: Starring in both Charles In Charge and Baywatch, Nicole was one of the most recognizable faces on television in the 1980s

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Now: Going on to guest star in Boy Meets World, Nicole has mostly appeared on reality shows in recent years such as Celebrity Fit Club and Splash!


10. Kelly Lebrock

Then: Starting out as a model, the actress made her debut in the film Lady In Red  that was written by its star Gene Wilder. This got her enough attention to land roles in Weird Science and Hard To Kill.

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Now: Going on to appear in other films like  Wrongfully AccusedThe Sorcerer's ApprenticeZerophilia, and Gamers: The Movie. However, in recent years she has been seen more on reality TV such as Celebrity Fit Club and Hell's Kitchen but has always stated her intention to get back into acting.


11. Mia Sara

Then: Playing Sloane Peterson in the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off made her a household name and she landed roles in Legend and Timecop because of it.

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Now: Staying in the film industry, she didn't receive many blockbuster offers after those but still had consistent work and has appeared on TV in things such as Birds of Prey Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story, Lost in Oz, The Witches of Oz and… Dorthy and the Witches of Oz.


12. Alyssa Milano

Then: Starring in Who's The Boss? Alyssa Milano went on to have an incredibly successful acting career appearing in  Melrose Place.

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Now: Having consistent and high profile work from starting out as a child, Alyssa has been seen on Charmed, My Name Is Earl, Romantically Challenged, and Castle and is one of the few child actors who has managed to have a massive career well into adulthood.


13. Jennifer Beals

Then: Her part as  Alexandra "Alex" Owens in the 1983 romantic drama film Flashdance, made her a star and she went on to crop up in Vampire's Kiss and Devil In A Blue Dress.

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Now: Taking on more indie roles and serious drama, she can be seen in such things as The L Word and Lie To Me.


14. Michael Schoeffling

Then: A collegiate wrestler and male model who appeared in such films as  Sixteen Candles, Let’s Get Harry and Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken.

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Now: Michael had a growing family and lack of roles as the 90s rolled around and so quit the profession to find something with a more steady pay. He now owns and works in a woodworking shop in Pennsylvania.


15. Phoebe Cates

Then: Starting out as a model, Phoebe Cates landed high-profile roles in many hit 80s films such as  Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Gremlins and went on to appear in TV mini-series such as Lace.

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Now: Despite still being in relative demand, Cates retired from acting in 1994 to raise her family but returned in 2001 or one film, The Anniversary Party, as a favor to her best friend, and former Fast Times At Ridgemont High cast-mate, Jennifer Jason Leigh, who directed the film. In 2005, Cates opened her own boutique, called Blue Tree, on New York's Madison Avenue.

 


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