During the 80s, the majority of actors and actresses that have become big stars in Hollywood became famous for their roles as characters similar to themselves. The 80s was a wonderful time for Hollywood and American culture as a whole, because it was a time of transition between the “old guard” and the up-and-coming new guard.
Actresses that made their big break during this decade include the following:
Sigourney Weaver had been acting in films and television shows since the late 1970s, but it wasn’t until the release of Alien (1979) that she started to receive critical acclaim and recognition for her work.
She rose to the top of the Hollywood A-list and became one of the most popular actresses in the world with her diverse resume that included films like Ghostbusters (1984), Aliens (1986) and Gorillas in The Mist (1988).
Before Meryl Streep became known for her work in the film Sophie’s Choice (1982), though before that she was a relatively unknown actress. Soon after, she began to receive acclaim for her work on A Cry In The Dark (1988), Silkwood (1983), and Out Of Africa (1985).
Even today, she remains to be a steadfast household name in recent films within the last decade or so, like her roles in Death Becomes Her (1992), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), as Margaret Thatcher in the film The Iron Lady (2011) which earned her an Oscar nomination.
Molly Ringwald is mostly known for her work as the lead actress in many of John Hughes’ films, including Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985) and Pretty In Pink (1986). She also starred in other movies during this time, like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), The Pick-Up Artist (1987), and Fresh Horses (1988).
Jessica Lange was a very popular actress back in the 80s, starting from her role in King Kong (1976). She continued being so until even today. She has been in many movies, including Tootsie (1982), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), Frances (1982) and All That Jazz (1979).
Michelle Pfeiffer is another well-known actress in the 80s, having received two nominations at the Golden Globes that decade. Her most popular roles include: Scarface (1983), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). She received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her work on Dangerous Liaisons and Best Actress for The Fabulous Baker Boys, followed by another Best Actress nomination later on for Love Field (1992).
Winona Ryder is known for her work in “Beetlejuice” (1988) and Edward Scissorhands (1990). She also became renowned after the cult classic Heathers (1988), where she played Veronica Sawyer and starred opposite Christian Slater.
Susan Sarandon was a major actress from the start of the decade until its end. Some of her most famous movies include: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), and Thelma & Louise (1991). Her flourishing career continues even until today, she is the star of The Meddler (2015) and Feud: Bette and Joan (2017).