The Biggest ’80s Teen Idols, Then and Now


Between the style (bodacious and radical), the films (intense and deep), and the music (solely the perfect ever), the ’80s have been a time ripe for teen stars. Some have been identified for artfully representing the adolescent expertise on the film display screen, whereas others have been packing malls with followers who needed to listen to their hits. And a lot of them are nonetheless working simply as onerous as we speak. So preserve studying to see what all your favourite ’80s teen idols are so far. And for all of the lingo you sadly have to depart prior to now, try 20 Slang Terms From the ’80s No One Uses Anymore.

New Kids on the Block
Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

Boy band New Kids on the Block—Jonathan KnightJordan KnightJoey McIntyreDonnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood—did not discover success with their 1986 debut album, however their 1988 album Hangin’ Tough yielded hit singles like “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever),” and the title observe, making them bonafide teen idols.

And for the most well-liked celeb who shares your beginning 12 months, try The Biggest Star Who’s the Same Age as You.

New Kids on the Block 2019
Shutterstock/Tony Norkus

After a 14-year break, the band reunited and launched their comeback album, The Block. They’ve been touring and recording since getting again collectively in 2008 and even quickly teamed up with latter-day boy band the Backstreet Boys as supergroup NKOTBSB.

Molly Ringwald
Ronald Grant Archive/Alamy Stock Photo

Molly Ringwald captured the creativeness and the envy of teenybopper ladies all over the place within the coming-of-age film Sixteen Candles and was mainly the princess of the Brat Pack, starring in a handful of John Hughes flicks.

And for the star you really liked essentially the most if you have been in highschool, This Was the Most Popular Teen Idol the Year You Graduated.

Molly Ringwald 2019
Shutterstock/lev radin

While most of as we speak’s teenagers most likely know her as Archie’s mother, Mary Andrews, on Riverdale, Ringwald has not solely continued performing but in addition written books and essays and recorded a few albums, together with a jazz report.

Back to the Future Michael J. Fox red vest cool 1980s style
YouTube/Universal Pictures

Michael J. Fox grew to become a teen idol due to enjoying the conservative child of progressive dad and mom within the sitcom Family Ties, beginning in 1982. But the character of Marty McFly and the Back to the Future trilogy would take his fame to a different stage.

To see how essentially the most well-known younger faces of the subsequent decade fared, try The Biggest ’90s TV Teen Idols, Then and Now.

Michael J Fox 2019
Shutterstock/Ovidiu Hrubaru

While persevering with to behave (his most up-to-date function was on the authorized drama The Good Fight), Fox raises money and consciousness for the illness he was identified with within the early ’90s by way of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. He additionally has another memoir popping out this 12 months.

MediaPunch Inc/Alamy Stock Photo

Singer Tiffany had an enormous hit in 1987 along with her cowl of “I Think We’re Alone Now,” and additionally singlehandedly established “the mall tour” as a manner of hyping up teen-focused artists to their potential followers.

For the songs you continue to know each phrase to, try 20 One-Hit Wonders Every ’80s Kid Remembers.

Tiffany 2019

In 2019, Tiffany carried out throughout the nation as a part of the Mixtape Tour, a multi-act present headlined by New Kids on the Block, who’ve credited her for helping them find an audience of their early profession by having them open for her. Her most up-to-date studio album got here out in 2018.

Rob Lowe
Moviestore Collection Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

Rob Lowe was a teen idol from the second he got here onscreen within the 1983 film adaptation of The Outsiders. His function as a saxophone-playing women man in St. Elmo‘s Fire solidified that truth.

And for extra celeb nostalgia despatched proper to your inbox, join our every day e-newsletter.

Rob Lowe 2019
Shutterstock/Kathy Hutchins

Lowe presently stars within the spinoff sequence 9-1-1: Lone Star, which is coming again for one more season, and is reprising his function of presidential speech author Sam Seaborn within the HBO Max particular A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, airing this fall.

Kirk Cameron 1985
AF archive/Alamy Stock Photo

Kirk Cameron performed charming troublemaker Mike Seaver on Growing Pains (1985-1992) and his poster graced many a bed room wall.

Kirk Cameron in Fuller House 2019
Michael Yarish/Netflix

These days, Cameron acts virtually completely in films with an Evangelical Christian theme, and additionally runs a ministry he co-founded. However, he did drop by the most recent season of Fuller House, which stars his sister, Candace Cameron Bure.

Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club
Universal Pictures

Yes, Ally Sheedy starred in WarGames and St. Elmo’s Fire, however her most iconic teen function needs to be Allison Reynolds, the “weird girl” trapped in Saturday detention with the remainder of the Breakfast Club.

Ally Sheedy 2016
YouTube/Today Show

Sheedy nonetheless takes on an performing function now and then. Her most up-to-date credit score is one episode of the Showtime sequence SMILF.

Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid
Columbia Pictures

From Eight Is Enough to The Outsiders to the Karate Kid films, Ralph Macchio related with younger audiences all through the Eighties.

Ralph Macchio 2019

He’s continued to behave in films, TV, and on stage, however what’s most enjoyable for OG Macchio followers is that the Karate Kid universe has been revived into the sequence Cobra Kai, wherein he returns to the function of Daniel LaRusso. It’s already been renewed for a 3rd season on Netflix.

New Edition 1984
Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill, and Ralph Tresvant made up the R&B group New Edition, whose clean harmonies and slick choreography stole lots of hearts within the ’80s.

New Edition 2017
YouTube/Steve TV Show

New Edition has remained lively as a gaggle, albeit with a fluctuating lineup. Though their final studio album was launched in 2004, they went on the Greatest Hits Tour as not too long ago as 2016. They have been additionally again within the information when the miniseries The New Edition Story premiered on BET in 2017.

Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Paramount Pictures

Matthew Broderick grew to become the patron saint of likable slackers when he starred within the 1986 fantasy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Matthew Broderick 2019
Shutterstock/lev radin

Now identified for his stage work as a lot as anything, Broderick was set to return to Broadway alongside spouse Sarah Jessica Parker in a revival of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite. Given the pandemic, the production has been delayed till 2021.

Emilio Estevez in The Breakfast Club
AF archive/Alamy Stock Photo

To ’90s youngsters, he is Gordon Bombay, coach of the Mighty Ducks. But to ’80s youngsters, he is one of the crucial distinguished Brat Pack members, with memorable roles in The OutsidersThe Breakfast Club, and St. Elmo’s Fire.

emilio estevez

In current years, Estevez has appeared in a handful of movies that he additionally wrote and directed, together with BobbyThe Way, and The Public.

Lisa Bonet A Different World
PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive/Alamy Stock Photo

Lisa Bonet appeared like simply in regards to the coolest massive sister on the planet throughout her run as Denise on The Cosby Show, so audiences have been completely satisfied to comply with her character off to school on the spinoff A Different World.

lisa bonet on the red carpet

Bonet’s most up-to-date credit score is a 2016 recurring function on the drama Ray Donovan. You might even see her extra regularly on crimson carpets along with her actor daughter Zoë Kravitz and DC superhero husband, Jason Momoa.

Elisabeth Shue in Adventures in Babysitting
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Elisabeth Shue starred reverse Macchio in The Karate Kid, however her most fondly remembered ’80s function is that of Chris Parker in Adventures in Babysitting. I imply: She retains the youngsters secure, foils a legal plot, and will get a school boy to fall in love along with her, multi functional night time!

Elisabeth Shue 2019
Shutterstock/Ovidiu Hrubaru

As for current roles, Shue may be seen on the Amazon Prime authentic sequence The Boys, and she additionally costarred with Tom Hanks within the 2020 movie Greyhound.

Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club
RGR Collection/Alamy Stock Photo

Is there a extra iconic Judd Nelson function than that of Bender, the anarchic unhealthy boy who woos Ringwald’s wealthy lady in The Breakfast Club?

Judd Nelson
Shutterstock/Kathy Hutchins

Recently, Nelson had a recurring function on the Shakespearean music enterprise drama Empire and he additionally does voice work, often within the animated Transformers universe.

Debbie Gibson 1988
Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

Pop singer Debbie Gibson made a splash along with her 1987 debut, Out of the Blue, which included the large hit “Foolish Beat.”

Debbie Gibson 2019
Shutterstock/Featureflash Photo Agency

Gibson was additionally on the 2019 Mixtape Tour with Tiffany, the New Kids, and others. That summer season, she launched a tune known as “Girls Night Out” that made it to the Billboard Dance Chart.


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