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Greatest Actors of the 1980's

By Edited Oct 27, 2013 1 7

Greatest Male Actors of the 1980's

The 1980's brought forth some legendary films. With the 80's soundtracks and clothing. These movies will forever stand out. The 80's seen a major boom in comedy and action movies. Prior, in the 1970's movies were more focused on the drama,adventure, and horror genres. The 80's were the beginning of a new era in film. This art was taken into a new direction and several films of the 80's still hold records in the box office. But, what is a film without it's leading role?
This article will cover the greatest and most memorable male actors that came from the 80's.

John Candy

John Candy
With his jolly laugh, and uncanny ability to make you join along with him. Instantly likable from the first time I saw him on screen. John Candy is one of my all time favorite comic actors. He is one of the only actors who have passed away, that I actually truly miss. The people who knew him said he had a heart of gold and never had a bad thing to say about anyone.

Notable 80's Roles:

Stripes - 1981
Summer Rental - 1985
Brewsters Millions - 1985
Armed and Dangerous - 1986
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles - 1987
SpaceBalls - 1987
Who's Harry Crumb? - 1989
Uncle Buck - 1989

Chevy Chase

Chevy Chase
No comedy collection would be complete without having the Vacation series in your DVD library. Chevy Chase, famously known for his role as Clark Grizwald, a clumsy but motivated dad. Who will go at any length to provide his family with the best darn vacation ever. I've read from several sources that he is actually a jerk in real life. However, in the Vacation movies he took the role of a suburban dad and made a very likable character and a set of movies that you want to watch over and over. Our family watches Christmas Vacation every holiday.

Notable 80's Roles:

Vacation - 1983
Fletch - 1985
Spies Like Us - 1985
European Vacation - 1985
Caddyshack II - 1988
Funny Farm - 1988
Christmas Vacation - 1989

Bill Murray

Bill Murray
In his early career Bill Murray almost always played the loud and sarcastic role. He will be most remembered for his roles in the 80's. He has changed quite a bit over the years and hasn't really took on the types of roles that I love him for in a long time. He now takes on much more serious roles with characters that are usually quite depressing. However, his acting is still phenomenal. He made legendary movies.

Notable 80's Roles:
CaddyShack - 1980
Stripes - 1981
GhostBusters - 1984

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford
Some of the greatest movies from the 80's starred Harrison Ford. Whether it be Han Solo, Indy, or any other character he played. You instantly connected with his character and he fit the roles he chose perfectly. Arguably, the Indiana Jones series owes its success to him. Indian Jones is probably the best Adventure series of movies of all time.

Notable 80's Roles:
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - 1980
Raiders of the lost Ark - 1981
Blade Runner - 1982
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi - 1983
Temple of Doom - 1984
Last Crusade - 1989

Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy
Fast talking, loud, and hilarious. Eddie Murphy did for 80's style comedy; what milk does for cereal. He will always be remembered in his role in Beverly Hills Cop which is a finger print in 80's movie history with its groovy soundtrack and 80's downtown scenes.

Notable 80's Roles:
Beverly Hills Cop - 1984
Golden Child - 1986
Beverly Hills Cop II- 1987
Coming to America - 1988

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone
Action superstar of the 80's. Rocky & Rambo are some of the absolute best action movies that the 80's brought. This dude has one of the most intimidating voices I have ever heard.

Notable 80's Roles:
Rocky III - 1982
First Blood - 1982
First Blood II - 1985
Rocky IV - 1985
Cobra - 1986
Rambo III - 1988

Rick Moranis

R Moranis
Rick Moranis has starred in many of my favorite movies. He is probably most known for his role as Wayne Szalinski, the nerdy dad who shrinks his kids in Honey I shrunk the Kids. He had a very unique way about him amongst many other actors in his genre. Like many other great actors he chose roles that were perfect for him and I couldn't think of any actor that could have done a better job in the movies he acted in.

Notable 80's Roles:
Ghost Busters - 1984
Brewsters Millions - 1985
Club Paradise - 1986
Little Shop of Horrors - 1986
Space Balls - 1987
Ghost Busters II - 1989
Honey I Shrunk the Kids - 1989

Steve Martin

Steve Martin
Steve Martin was at the top of his game in the 80's. Starring in many major comic roles. His on screen presence is always full of laughter and memorable moments.

Notable 80's roles:
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid - 1982
The Man with Two Brains - 1983
The Lonely Guy - 1984
All of Me - 1984
Three Amigos! - 1986
Little Shop Of Horrors - 1986
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles - 1987
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - 1988
Parenthood - 1989

Jim Varney

Jim Varney
Known as Ernest by his fans. I grew up watching Ernest movies. Some might say Ernest movies were mindless. However, those who knew Jim Varney say he was actually a genius and actually wanted to take on more serious roles. He was able to masterfully play a variety of hilarious characters in his movies. I believe we only got to see a grain of his actual talent. He was one of the last true clean comedians and when he passed away a big part of the movie industry died with him.

Notable 80's Roles:
Ernest Character

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks
One of the greatest actors of all time. Tom Hanks has swept the big screen for decades. The 80's would not be the same without Tom Hanks movies.

Notable 80's Roles:
Splash - 1984
Bachelor Party - 1984
The Money Pit - 1986
Dragnet - 1987
Big - 1988
The Burbs - 1989
Turner and Hooch - 1989

So there you have it. A list of the greatest male superstars of the 1980's.



Mar 23, 2009 7:35pm
Oh man... I loved Ernest when I was a kid... RIP Jim Varney
Mar 30, 2009 2:33pm
I loved Steve Martin he was my favorite actor.
Apr 8, 2009 6:19pm
Harrison ford is amazing!!!
Jun 4, 2009 2:56pm
I think this list is great, but missing one critical component, that being Mr. Roy Scheider!
Jun 5, 2009 6:53pm
Dude, HELLOOOO!!! Totally Roy!!! He was in so many movies in the 80's! All That Jazz, Still of the Night, 2010, Cohen & Tate!!! I miss him!!! Totally can't wait for his last movie!!!
Jan 27, 2010 6:56am
I agree with your comments about Tom Hanks.
Mar 27, 2012 11:26am
How good was Eddie Murphy in the 80's?
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