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80s Stars: Where Are They Now?

Molly Ringwald

Famous for her roles in 80’s brat pack movies like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, Molly disappeared for a long time in the 90’s. More recently, she could be seen on The Secret Life of an American Teenager on ABC Family, but she spends most of her time with her family.

Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John is more than just an actress. She’s also a singer and songwriter that worked hard to create albums throughout the 80s. All that was pushed aside when she had her daughter, Chloe Rose and she was diagnosed with cancer in 1992. From there, she began to fund cancer research and advocate for awareness. Her cancer went into remission, only to reappear in 2017 while she was on tour. 

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Danica McKellar

You might recognize Danica as Winnie from The Wonder Years, but now she’s a bestselling author for her math-centered book series. Her books, including Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind, are written to encourage young girls to excel in math. She was also a contestant on Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars.

Goldie Hawn

Goldie Hawn is one classy woman, but we don’t get to see her in films as much anymore. While she does a little voice work and a movie here and there, Hawn spends a lot of her time with her family. In 2003, she founded The Hawn Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that provides youth education programs. Hawn also put a focus on her health after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

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Emilio Estevez

Emilio was pretty famous in the 80’s for St. Elmo’s Fire, The Breakfast Club, and The Mighty Ducks. He hasn’t seen much fame as of late (unless you count being embarrassed by his little brother, Charlie Sheen), and now owns a winery in California.

Mr. T

 His role as B.A. Baracus in The A-Team brought Mr. T to fame in the 80’s. Most recently he starred in the reality show I Pity the Fool for TV Land, and also provided the voice for the character Earl Devereaux in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Corey Feldman

Corey Feldman was a teen heartthrob in the 80’s for starring in The Goonies and Stand by Me. He’s done a few reality shows, such as The Surreal Life and Celebrity Juice in the last few years, and he released a memoir called Coreyography: A Memoir in 2013.

Tiffany Darwish

Tiffany released top songs like “I Think We’re Alone Now” and did mall tours across the United States throughout the 1980’s. However, she was absent from the Hollywood scene for most of the 90’s and 2000’s. She made a brief return in 2011 when she starred with Debbie Gibson in the satire film Mega Python vs. Gatoroid.

Phoebe Cates

Phoebe’s claim to fame was her bikini scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Since then she married Kevin Kline in 1989 and now owns a clothing boutique called Blue Tree in New York City.

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper really just wants to have fun with her life. She continued touring for years after her 80s hit, but she didn’t just top the Billboard charts. She also won a Tony Award for Best Original Score for the Broadway musical Kinky Boots. Instead of touring, Lauper is focusing on her passion for LGBT rights. She campaigns for quality through various charities and gay pride events. She also launched a True Colors Fund to help LGBT rights.

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Soleil Moon Frye

Soleil Moon Frye started as the cute and spunky kiddo on Punky Brewster  in the mid to late eighties, and spent a few seasons on Sabrina the Teenage Witch in the 1990's. After a slew of vocal parts in cartoons throughout the 2000's, Frye is now spending time working on a children’s clothing line, and blogging about parenting and motherhood at 

Mark Hamill

Hamill’s role as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode IV-VI made him famous but unfortunately caused him to be typecast after playing the iconic role. In recent years he has done voice work for several television shows, including Adventure Time and Batman. However, he's most recently found himself on the big screen again performing as Luke Skywalker in the newer Star Wars films. 

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar was one of the best rockers of her time, but where did she go? Benatar continued singing for years and years, even touring with her husband, Neil Giraldo. She said it was tough touring and raising kids, and now it’s a different ballgame now that her kids are older. Benatar is still writing music, but a new album isn’t going to be rushed.

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Jessica Lange

Tootsie and Frances was a huge hit for Jessica Lange, and the two films skyrocketed her career. She performed in several movies during the 90s and 2000s, but she decided not to release as many movies in the late 2000s…that is, until American Horror Story. She starred in the series for years but quit to retire from acting.

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Bette Midler

Bette Midler had it all. She was an actress and singer throughout the 80s and still continues to do just that. In fact, one of her most recent records released in 2014 and spans seven decades of famous girl groups. As far as acting, she’s appearing on Broadway more than the silver screen.

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Anthony Michael Hall

Anthony Michael Hall was the nerdy kid from The Breakfast Club and also starred in several other films during the 80s. Following the 80s, he starred in The Dead Zone, which was a hit series during the early 2000s. Now, he appears on TV shows every now and then and a few movies. He also assists at-risk youth through his literacy program, The Anthony Michael Hall Literacy Club.  

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Michelle Pfeiffer

Michelle Pfeiffer’s hit Scarface showed Hollywood that she could be a true star. After that, she starred in several other hits, but she wasn’t happy. She began to slow down and only perform in a movie or two each year. Pfeiffer wanted to focus on her kids, but now that they’re older, she’s appeared in more films. Her most recent films include the controversial Mother! film and Ant-Man and the Wasp.   

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John Cusack

It’s hard to forget John Cusack holding up the boombox in Say Anything. He was young and starred in several films throughout the 80s, but he didn’t disappear from the limelight. Cusack continued to come out with films through the 90s and 2000s, but he started slowing down recently. Now, he’d rather work behind the scenes as a writer – that is when he’s not working with the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Cusack has really gotten into politics.

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Diane Lane

Diane Lane may have split with Josh Brolin, but she didn’t go anywhere. She continued to steadily act in movies every year, only taking a break from 2010 to 2013. When she isn’t acting, she’s focusing on her charity work. Lane was even honored for her work with Heifer International in 2014. She says that the charity work has really nurtured her relationship with her daughter.  

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Bill Murray

Bill Murray was a star before the 80s, but Ghostbusters really put him on the map for anyone and everyone. He continued to act a bit through the years, but he’s the type of guy that would rather stay out of the spotlight. It could be that he’s regularly had feuds with people on set or because he was never a fan of being super popular.

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Kathleen Turner

Kathleen Turner took on several iconic roles, including Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and was forced to pass on a lot of roles from Ghost to The Bridges of Madison County. Instead, she began to focus on Broadway, appearing in hit plays like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She hasn’t been doing too much lately, but that doesn’t mean she’s gone for good.

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Michael J. Fox

Back to the Future was one of those movies that defined the 80s, and Michael J. Fox was set to be one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Sadly, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and that put a halt to his career. After the diagnosis, he quit acting and began to focus on being well. While he still appears in a few things here and there, Fox has spent most of his time trying to find a cure for Parkinson’s.  

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Glenn Close

Glenn Close was terrifying in Fatal Attraction, and that was only the start of her career. She even had her own hit TV show, Damages, which lasted from 2007 to 2012. Since then, she’s appeared in smaller films including The Girl with all the Gifts and What Happened to Monday. She also voices Mona Simpson in The Simpsons.

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Rob Lowe

It’s hard to believe that Rob Lowe is in his 50s. While he has appeared in several movies, none of them reached the status of his films through the 80s and 90s. However, he’s made a name for himself on television recently, appearing in hits like Parks and Recreation, Code Black, and more. Most recently, he’s created a reality TV show with his two sons called The Lowe Files.  

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Debra Winger

Debra Winger didn’t have the same type of fame as her costars. She took a hiatus in 1995 for 6 years, only returning to perform in her husband’s movie, Big Bad Love. Winger started acting again but took it very slowly, only appearing in a few movies. She took to television and had a regular role on The Ranch as Maggie Bennett. When Winger wasn’t acting, she got involved in politics and wrote a book. She was also a co-executive for the documentary Gasland and Bel Borba Aqui.  

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Eddie Murphy

What happened to Eddie Murphy? He debuted in the 80s, showing off his skill and America loved him. His most recent movies didn’t do too well at the box office, which could be the reason he completely disappeared, but he may make a comeback. He has a fourth Beverly Hills Cop in the making and a couple of other movies. That being said, Murphy himself stated that he didn’t want to act his entire life. His goal was to stop by 50.

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Rick Moranis

What happened to Rick Moranis? It’s a sad story. After his wife died in 1997, Moranis decided to stop appearing in live action films. His immediate focus became raising his children as a stay-at-home dad. He’s fiercely protective of his children, which is completely understandable.

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Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito is a formidable actor despite his short height. Instead of movies, DeVito has had a recurring role on the FX series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He’s also been working at his marriage. In 2012, he and his wife Rhea Perlman split but soon reunited in 2013.

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Mia Farrow

Mia was popular throughout the 70s and 80s, but she found something else more important in 2000. She became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and a high-profile advocate for human rights in Africa. She spends a lot of her time working with charity work in person and online on her website. In 2008, she was even named one of the most influential people in the world.

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Ally Sheedy

Ally Sheedy was an icon of the 80s, but where did she go? She doesn’t appear in movies much anymore. Well, for a while she took to television and appeared on series like Psych. However, she decided to stop acting after something happened between her and James Franco. It’s unclear what occurred. Ally Sheedy is also active with the #MeToo campaign and TimesUp movement.

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