10 Best Actors From The '80s
Want to know the 10 best actors from the '80s? These actors from the ‘80s appeared in giant action films and popular teenage coming-of-age stories. The era is best known for "Reagan era," muscle bound action heroes, as well as "every-man", buddy cop dramas, and the sometimes sweet, sometimes angst-driven stories from the mind of John Hughes. Some of the best known actors of the era have grown up to be directors, Oscar winners and governors.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger - Before he became the governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the biggest actor from the ‘80s. He was the prototypical action hero starring in movies like “Conan the Barbarian,” “The Terminator,” “Commando” and “Red Heat.” His best films came in the ‘90s, but he set the template for this success with his roles from the ‘80s.
- Bruce Willis - While Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone created the template for the action hero, former television star Bruce Willis threw a curveball and made the action hero role his own. He perfected the every man hero in “Die Hard,” a role he would relive for the next twenty years. He also appeared as an actor in a number of comedies in the ‘80s like “Blind Date” and “Look Who’s Talking,” proving his versatility as an actor.
- Tom Cruise - In the ‘80s, actor Tom Cruise became the biggest movie star in the world. He starred in blockbusters like “Top Gun” and “Risky Business” as well as critically acclaimed films like “Rain Man” and “Born on the Fourth of July.” “Top Gun” was the highest grossing film of 1986 and Cruise earned an Academy Award nomination in 1989 for “Born on the Fourth of July.”
- Eddie Murphy - The former “Saturday Night Live” actor parlayed his television success into one of the best R-Rated comedy film careers of the ‘80s. While his later career involved kid’s movies, the actor’s ‘80s work included cutting edge films like “48 Hours,” “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Coming to America” and “Harlem Nights.”
- Harrison Ford - Harrison Ford became famous for his portrayal of Han Solo in the ‘70s but the actor became a box office star when he took on the role of Indiana Jones in 1981s “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Throughout the ‘80s, the actor starred in three Indiana Jones movies and two “Star Wars” films as well as “Blade Runner,” “Witness” and “Working Girl.”
- Patrick Swayze - ‘80s actor Patrick Swayze won over the ladies with the classic line “no one puts baby in the corner.” The “Dirty Dancing” star also starred in “The Outsiders,” “Red Dawn” and “Road House” in the ‘80s. Swayze passed away in 2009 at the age of 57.
- Mel Gibson - Mel Gibson starred in the first Mad Max film as an unknown young Australian actor in 1979. In 1981, he starred in the sequel “The Road Warrior” and slowly became a star actor in the ‘80s. In 1987, Gibson became a household name when he starred as an emotionally scarred, suicidal police officer in “Lethal Weapon,” a movie that spawned three sequels.
- Kevin Costner - Kevin Costner started his acting career in small, B-movies before capturing the world’s attention in 1987 when the actor starred as G-Man Eliot Ness in Brian De Palma’s “The Untouchables.” He followed that with two popular baseball movies, “Bull Durham” and “Field of Dreams.”
- Anthony Michael Hall - Before he grew up and starred on the Stephen King TV series “The Dead Zone,” Anthony Michael Hall was the geeky actor in the ‘80s Brat Pack movies. From 1983 to 1985, the young actor starred in “Vacation,” “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club” and “Weird Science.”
- Charlie Sheen - The son of legendary actor Martin Sheen began his career in the ‘80s action movie “Red Dawn.” He caught the eye of director Oliver Stone, who cast him in both “Platoon” and “Wall Street.” He finished off the decade appearing in “Young Guns,” alongside his older brother Emilio Estevez, and in the baseball comedy “Major League.”