What Leading Ladies Of The ’80s Look Like Four Decades Later
When people think about the 1980s, they may well picture big hair, sexy Spandex and wacky outfits – and, of course, beautiful actresses rocking all three. That was the era that saw Lori Singer win our hearts in Footloose and had everyone dirty dancing along with Jennifer Grey, after all. So, let’s take a look at the decade’s most memorable leading ladies – and how much they’ve changed in the years since.
40. Jane Seymour
Glamorous star Jane Seymour was widely considered one of the most gorgeous actresses of the ’80s. And these days, the former Bond girl is still looking mighty good. In February 2020 Fox News asked Seymour how she maintains her youthful appearance, to which she replied, “I know nobody believes it, but it’s true… I’m eating sensibly but not on some crazy diet.”
39. Demi Moore
It’s fair to say that Demi Moore was no stranger to the tabloids during the 1980s. After all, the actress was not only among the stars of the Brat Pack, but she was also Mrs. Bruce Willis. She was apparently known for the odd diva moment, too. But while the beautiful Blame It on Rio star is still making headlines today, she’s not headlining movies anymore.
38. Kirstie Alley
As most fans will know, Kirstie Alley shot to fame after she was cast as Rebecca Howe in the iconic sitcom Cheers. Subsequent roles in popular movies including Shoot to Kill and Look Who’s Talking brought the star even bigger success, too. But these days, Alley is probably better known for reality TV shows – such as Kirstie Alley’s Big Life, which follows the ups and downs of her dieting – and courting controversy on Twitter.
37. Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand may have been in the spotlight for decades, but her star was especially bright in the 1980s. During that era, the actress and singer released her highest-selling album, Guilty, and both directed and performed in the award-winning musical movie Yentl. And Streisand has barely slowed down in the years since – although it doesn’t show on her face one bit.
36. Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver was a big action star in the ’80s thanks to her role as Ripley in the iconic movie Aliens. That performance actually earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination, which she followed up in turn with two more Academy Award nods: one for 1988’s Gorillas in the Mist and another for Working Girl the same year. These days, Weaver is still keeping busy, having since appeared in blockbusters Avatar and Ghostbusters, and she’s aged gracefully to boot.
35. Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton’s acting skills shone in many popular movies of the 1980s, including Reds and Baby Boom. Her stunning looks earned her attention, too. And even in her seventies, Keaton is just as gorgeous without apparently ever having resorted to surgery. In 2017 she explained to People, “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 a 2020 interview with The Guardian, Goldie Hawn said of the 1980s, "A lot of the movies that we made then were feel-good movies; they don’t make them much anymore.” We’re just as nostalgic about the era, which saw Hawn shine in flicks such as Private Benjamin, but at least the iconic actress is still a regular feature on our screens. And her beautiful looks have by no means faded, either.
33. Annie Potts
Millennials may know Annie Potts from the Toy Story movie franchise or hit TV spin-off Young Sheldon, but she found fame long before that. Yes, Potts actually starred in a lot of big movies during the 1980s, including the iconic Ghostbusters. And since then, the actress has aged very well indeed, making it hard to believe that she’s in her sixties now.
32. Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston was a beguiling beauty back in the 1980s. And during that era, she appeared in films that have undeniably stood the test of time, including The Postman Always Rings Twice, This Is Spinal Tap and Prizzi’s Honor. But the iconic actress cares not one bit that she looks older. In 2014 Huston explained to Vogue, “There [are] a few nice things about [aging]; don’t let them kid you.”
While Madonna is famous all around the world for her music, during the ’80s she actually appeared in several movies, including Who’s That Girl and Desperately Seeking Susan. And while the “Like a Prayer” singer’s on-screen career may not have gone so well in recent years – she’s even been nominated for a few Razzies – both her voice and her good looks have certainly stood the test of time.
30. Jacqueline Bisset
It was the very memorable wet T-shirt scene in 1977’s The Deep that firmly solidified Jacqueline Bisset as a Hollywood icon. And while the legendary actress had mixed feelings about the attention the movie brought her, she continued to act throughout the next decade and beyond. During the 1980s, for instance she starred in Class and Under the Volcano, with the second of these films earning her a Golden Globe nod. These days, Bisset is still bagging roles – and she’s just as beautiful, too.
29. Justine Bateman
Justine Bateman – sister of fellow actor Jason – made a name for herself as a teenage star in the 1980s. As well as landing several TV movie roles, she played Mallory on the popular show Family Ties. Nowadays, though, the natural beauty has turned her hand to directing and writing, with her book Fame relating some of her own experiences of life in the public eye.
28. Heather Locklear
Model Heather Locklear found the limelight after being cast on Dynasty in the early ’80s. After that, she went from strength to strength, even becoming the only woman at the time to simultaneously star in two prime time shows: Dynasty and T.J. Hooker. Yet while Locklear’s career has 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’s stint on Charlie’s Angels from 1977 to ’81 turned her into a sex symbol. And even four decades later, the stunning actress has still got it. It’s no surprise, either, that her role as Kris Munroe holds a special place in her heart. In 2019 Ladd told CNN, “It gave me a 40-year career, so I have nothing but fond memories.”
26. Oprah Winfrey
While Oprah Winfrey is still best known as a chat show host, back in the 1980s she was also a movie star. Most notably, she won acclaim – including a Best Supporting Actress nod at the Oscars – for her performance in 1985’s The Color Purple. And over 30 years on, Oprah is still a huge name in entertainment, with her stunning looks having barely changed during that time.
25. Candice Bergen
Without any doubt, Candice Bergen was huge back in the 1980s. Not only did she steal the show as the titular character on Murphy Brown, but she also shone in the multiple-Oscar-winning film Gandhi in 1983. And while the former model may be getting older now, 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 hugely popular sitcom The Cosby Show, her spectacular fashion sense and her marriage to rocker Lenny Kravitz made her a shining star in the 1980s. And now she’s a poster girl for aging gracefully. Bonet has credited coconut oil, African dance classes and Dayle Breault’s skincare line for her seemingly never-changing beauty.
23. Joan Collins
When Joan Collins joined Dynasty as Alexis Carrington in 1981, the show finally began to soar in the ratings. And while the British actress has appeared in numerous roles in the decades since, Alexis continues to be the character with whom she is most often associated. Even in her eighties, she still looks like the iconic soap queen, too.
22. Dyan Cannon
Dyan Cannon was once married to Cary Grant, and together they welcomed daughter Jennifer. But she’s much more than just Grant’s ex-wife. The beautiful actress appeared in many TV miniseries and movies throughout the 1980s, and to this day she’s the only woman to have earned Oscar nods for both acting and movie-making. Decades later, Cannon still acts and looks great to boot.
21. Kelly McGillis
Kelly McGillis dazzled as Charlie in the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun. But when the long-awaited sequel got under way, McGillis said that she hadn’t been asked to return. In 2019 she told Entertainment Tonight, “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 ’80s fame playing Sarah Connor in the popular Terminator franchise, but behind the scenes she was suffering from bipolar disorder. And while work began to dry up for the actress as the decade ended, she managed to bounce back after a hiatus – and appeared to have aged very gracefully in the interim. Now, she’s very much on our TV screens again in shows such as 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. Since then, however, some have criticized the actress-turned-activist for trying too hard to cling on to her youth. Yes, onlookers still speculate that Hannah has undergone plastic surgery – even though in 2010 she insisted that she never would.
18. Ally Sheedy
Ally Sheedy – a.k.a. 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 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, while the actress is slightly less in the public eye, she’s still very much respected in both industries. Plus, she looks completely fabulous.
16. Michelle Pfeiffer
Michelle Pfeiffer only became a movie actress in 1980, but she quickly made her mark on the big screen. She racked up hit after hit during the decade, including Scarface, The Witches of Eastwick, Dangerous Liaisons and The Fabulous Baker Boys – even receiving Oscar nominations for the latter two films. And over the years, the striking actress has kept her good looks incredibly well.
15. Brigitte Nielsen
Action movies Red Sonja and Rocky IV – not to mention a high-profile marriage to Sylvester Stallone – thrust Brigitte Nielsen into the spotlight in the 1980s. Now, though, the former actress sticks to reality TV, where she has enjoyed quite a lot of success. 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 big-screen debut until 1982’s The World According to Garp. After that, of course, Close became one of the most respected Hollywood stars in the business – as well as arguably the poster woman 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 seemingly dealt with her fame very well, even retreating from the spotlight after a while and taking up music and writing. Nowadays, Ringwald is back on the stage and the screen – and she looks positively radiant.
12. Kelly LeBrock
Kelly LeBrock became a major sex symbol in the ’80s, but that alone didn’t make her life smooth sailing. The Woman in Red star’s marriage to Steven Seagal was reportedly abusive, for example, while drug addiction is also thought to have played a role in her exit from the spotlight. So, although LeBrock is no longer a pin-up these days, 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. Maybe she got her hands on Marty’s time machine…
10. Elizabeth McGovern
Elizabeth McGovern shot to fame in 1981 after receiving an Oscar nomination for the film Ragtime. The Illinois-born actress followed that up with 1984’s gangster movie Once Upon a Time in America and coming-of-age drama Racing with the Moon. More recently, though, TV fans may recognize McGovern from her role as Cora on hit drama Downton Abbey. And to top it all off, she’s aged amazingly.
9. Karen Allen
Karen Allen will forever be known as Marion Ravenwood from 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, although she’s worked on a few other projects since. And when she reprised the iconic role 27 years later in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it looked as though she’d hardly changed at all.
8. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
After appearing in 1983’s Scarface as Gina Montana, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio went on to achieve massive success in the ’80s – including being nominated for several awards. Gradually, though, her movie appearances slowed down, and she began to take on TV and stage roles instead. And even if the actress is now in her sixties, it seems that she’s barely aged a day.
7. Linda Kozlowski
Linda Kozlowski’s life was changed forever by 1986’s Crocodile Dundee. Not only did the flick establish her as a leading actress, but she also ended up marrying co-star Paul Hogan. Unfortunately, though, their union ended in divorce, and frustrated by the lack of serious roles available to her, the actress eventually left Hollywood behind as well. Today, Kozlowski is still every bit as gorgeous as in her heyday, and she credits her continued good looks to daily workouts.
6. Phoebe Cates
Phoebe Cates was huge in the ’80s – notably for her appearances in Gremlins and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. But then she turned her back on Hollywood to marry actor Kevin Kline and raise their children before going on to run a boutique in New York. So, while Cates still has a pretty face, it probably won’t be seen on the big screen anytime soon.
5. Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger was one of the biggest sex symbols of the 1980s, captivating audiences with her turn in the erotic thriller 9½ Weeks. But her looks didn’t fade as she got older. In fact, at 60 years old, Basinger signed a new contract with the exact same model agency as daughter Ireland Baldwin.
4. Jennifer Grey
Jennifer Grey, who shot to fame after 1987’s Dirty Dancing, blames plastic surgery for the decline of her career. “I went in the operating theater a celebrity and came out anonymous,” she admitted to the Daily Mirror in 2012. “I’ll always be this once-famous actress nobody recognizes... because of a nose job.” Recognizable or not, though, Grey does still act, having recently made appearances in Grey’s Anatomy and The Conners.
3. Robin Wright
You could say that Robin Wright has it all. The beautiful actress got her start in the ’80s with the soap Santa Barbara and classic 1987 comedy The Princess Bride, but her fame and success continued 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 her appearance has changed over the decades. “I don’t look like I did 30 years ago,” she told the Daily Mail in 2014. “Get over it.”
1. 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 as it did for many of her contemporaries. And while Singer does look older than she did back, she’s both an award-winning producer and champion cellist – meaning she almost certainly doesn’t care.