Have you ever thought about the old TV shows that you used to watch when growing up and wondered what happened to those 80s stars? We certainly have, and we thought it was about time we took a walk through all those childhood memories and caught up with the stars. Who knows what happened to the actors who were famous during a time when hair was big and clothing was bright? The 80s were definitely a decade to remember, and when it came to TV shows, the 80s had a great lineup for them. It’s always fun to see where our favorite stars ended up and if they’re still in the industry after all these years. It’s always sad to see a celebrity disappear into obscurity especially when they were a fan favorite back in the day.
Many child stars don’t make it as actors when they’re adults due to typecasting, but there are also many others that are able to break through. Some go off to have children, others get into a completely different industry, while others still completely fall off the planet. We don’t know why this is; sometimes, it has a lot to do with fame itself. It’s a tricky business, and some actors survive while others get crushed beneath it.
These are the actors that were popular during a time when Madonna was just gaining popularity, and we had a much different president, the honorable Ronald Reagan. If you want to see where your favorite 80s stars are now, then stay tuned.
16. Neil Patrick Harris – Doogie Howser
Remember when Neil Patrick Harris was just a lovable genius on Doogie Howser? He’s certainly come a long way since then. At the time, Harris wasn’t even old enough to drive a car. So, what’s he doing now? Well, we all know he was on the ever popular show How I Met Your Mother, playing a womanizer, but he’s been a busy bee all over Hollywood. He played in Gone Girl alongside Ben Affleck and appeared in many TV shows throughout the years such as American Horror Story, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Penguins of Madagascar and Adventure Time. So, for Harris, his career has done well and so has his private life. He came out as gay in 2006 and became engaged to David Burtka in 2011 after the Marriage Equality Act was passed in New York. The two were married in September of 2014; Harris announced on Twitter that they married over one weekend in Italy.
15. Catherine Bach – Dukes of Hazzard
Catherine Bach was an 80s pin-up girl due to her fame in the hugely popular show The Dukes of Hazzard. She also inspired girls all over the world to wear short shorts with their Daisy Dukes. Men all over the world have been thanking her ever since. She’s now 63 and doesn’t look like the hottie she once was, but she’s had a decent but quiet career in Hollywood. She once told People magazine, “I’ve put on a little weight, but so what? I wasn’t skinny from dieting; I was an athlete.” She’s been in a few movies throughout the years and starred in TV shows such as African Skies, Hawaii Five-0, and most recently, The Young and the Restless. Good for you, Catherine!
14. Tom Selleck – Magnum P.I.
Who didn’t love Magnum P.I. in the 80s, with Tom showing off his great legs in those short shorts! It’s a wonder how those shorts never made a comeback. He was the star of the popular show, and when it sadly ended, he went on to appear in many TV shows including Friends where he played Monica’s boyfriend, Richard. He’s been in countless TV movies as well as movies such as Meet the Robinsons and Killers. He’s also been in TV shows such as Las Vegas and, most recently, Blue Bloods. He recently broke down in an interview because his character in Blue Bloods was experiencing a personal matter that mimicked his own life. “‘I just read it and said, I have to play this guy,’ says Selleck, whose ‘wonderfully flawed’ character is based on the Robert B. Parker detective novels. ‘The bust-up was the worst thing that ever happened to me,’ said Selleck. ‘I thought I’d be married for always.’”
13. Keshia Knight Pulliam – The Cosby Show
We all remember the cutie pie Rudy Huxtable from The Cosby Show. The little girl was only five years old when she started on the show, but she had all the attitude she needed to be remembered. So what happened to the girl after The Cosby Show ended? Well, I’m glad you asked! Pulliam turned into a full-blown hottie after the show as is evidenced here and even went on to model lingerie for Lad’s magazine in 2004. She’s appeared in a few TV shows such as Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Guys With Kids. She starred in the 2009 movie Madea Goes to Jail as well, but for the most part, Pulliam has appeared in TV movies and is laying low in Hollywood. This former cutie pie turned into a beautiful woman and has done fairly well for herself.
12. Kirstie Alley – Cheers
Everyone’s favorite Jenny Craig spokesperson makes it onto the list! We all know and love Kirstie Alley for her role on the sitcom Cheers. Alley played Rebecca Howe from 1987 until 1993. In fact, she won Outstanding Lead Actress for the role! Yes, she was talented…
Alley followed her 80s stardom with your run of the mill, generic movies in the 90s no one talks about today. She sort’ve faded into oblivion until pictures of a large Kirstie Alley surfaced in the 2000s. She admitted on an episode of the Dr. Oz Show that she began gaining weight in 2003. Alley lost an amazing 75 pounds thanks to the Jenny Craig weight loss program.
11. Lark Voorhies – Saved By The Bell
She played Lisa Turtle on the very popular series Saved By The Bell; she was the one who had all the cheesy one-liners. So, where did she go after the show? When the show ended, Voorhies went on to get a few gigs on Days of Our Lives as well as The Bold and the Beautiful. It started looking like she was going to be the next soap opera star. That was until she decided in the 90s to get out of acting and start her own production company. That decision came right after she appeared in a Boyz II Men video “On Bended Knee.” Things seemed to be going great for the actress-turned-producer until she had a PR incident in 2012 where she showed up to an event wearing makeup so bizarre that people feared for her well-being.
10. Kim Fields – Facts of Life
We knew Kim Fields as Tootie on the hit show The Facts of Life. It seems like a million years ago since we saw that show, and sometimes, it’s easy to forget it was even there. After the show had ended, Fields had no problem getting work in various TV movies and shows, even appearing on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In 2012, she was part of the cast of the movie What to Expect When You’re Expecting. She’s married now with a child, but that doesn’t seem to have slowed her down one bit. In 2015, she got a gig in reality TV as she was made part of the cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. In 2016, she also appeared on Season 22 of Dancing With the Stars. (It’s really hard to believe that show has been on that long.) Things seem to be going well for Fields.
9. Joey Lawrence – Blossom
Joey Lawrence had the famous role on Blossom as the stupid, hot guy. He became a regular on the show after starring in Gimme a Break. When the show ended, he went on to appear in the ABC series Melissa & Joey with Melissa Joan Hart from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. The two had a good run for five years before the show was canceled. Lawrence’s career took a shocking turn when he started working as a Chippendales dancer in 2012 in Las Vegas. Well, we know he has the body for the job; that’s for sure. In 2013, he went on to co-host a reality diving show called Splash and appeared as a contestant on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, where he was chosen as the runner-up in 2016. Lawrence is married these days to Chandie Yawn-Nelson and has two beautiful children.
8. Linda Gray – Dallas
Linda Gray played Sue Ellen on the insanely popular show Dallas in the 80s. She was the rich b!tch that was married to J.R. Ewing. She had an up-and-down marriage to the man who was not just wealthy but a little slutty as well. So, what’s Gray been up to since the show? Not too much, apparently. She mostly appeared in made-for-TV movies until she starred in the 2008 remake of 90210. She hasn’t been in anything that’s warranted her much attention in years. She’s looking great these days, but she’s been through the emotion mill after she finally left her emotionally abusive husband after two decades. She had an emotional breakdown during an interview where she told Daily Mail, “My life has been good, bad, painful and tragic.” We hope that Gray will get back into the swing of things and get back on TV.
7. Henry Winkler – Happy Days
Henry Winkler got his big break in Hollywood when he played The Fonz on Happy Days; he was the guy that always got the ladies. He was the cool dude that wore the leather jacket and did the thumbs-up sign for ‘looking good.’ So what happened to him after Happy Days? Winkler has done pretty well for himself since those days, appearing in many movies and TV shows. He died a tragic death in the original Scream movie and had cameos in Arrested Development, South Park, and Family Guy. He even found time to write a children’s series in 2008 about a dyslexic boy called Hank Zipzer. His book got turned into a TV series of the same title and which aired for two years in 2014. Most recently, he’ll be appearing in a TV movie to be released in 2018 called Barry. We can definitely say that Winkler has had quite the career since those Happy Days.
6. Michael Fishman – Roseanne
We know Michael Fishman as D.J. on the popular 80s show Roseanne. He played the small son of Roseanne, and he was cute as a button. After the show had ended, Fishman decided to go back to school at the Orange County High School of the Arts. It wasn’t long though before Fishman wanted to get back into acting. He ended up behind the scenes as a producer for two years. With regard to acting in the industry, aside from a role in A.I. Artificial Intelligence, he’s pretty much been a ghost in the industry. He had cameo appearances on both Seinfeld and Walker, Texas Ranger. He has a role in Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets, which is still in post-production for this year. Fishman has two children, and he continues to take on small roles and writes for Hollywood as well.
5. Erin Moran – Happy Days
Erin Moran was the pretty girl that played Joanie Cunningham on Happy Days as well as the spin-off series Joanie Loves Chachi. After the shows ended, however, she certainly had a rough patch in her life. She did appear in many TV series over the years such as Murder She Wrote, The Bold and the Beautiful, and The Love Boat. But in 2010, the actress was evicted from her home due to foreclosure, and she and her husband had to move into the trailer park home of her mother-in-law. She did get a windfall of money in 2012 when a lawsuit against CBC went through from future royalties from Happy Days, resulting in five cast members, including Moran, receiving $65,000 plus future royalties. She wasn’t seen in anything after 2010, and sadly, in April of this year, she died due to complications from cancer.
4. Jeremy Miller – Growing Pains
That blonde boy that stole our hearts on Growing Pains as Ben Seaver was played by Jeremy Miller. He’s certainly had an interesting life after the show and not one that you would expect. We haven’t seen much of him in the industry over the years, but he has endured some rather terrifying ordeals. He had a stalker at one point that was so relentless that she had to be apprehended by the FBI. He also returned to school at the University of Southern California but didn’t come back to Hollywood until the 2000s when he starred in Never Have I Ever and Milk and Fashion. You may not be aware that Miller was the voice of Linus from Charlie Brown in many The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show episodes as well as Happy New Year, Charlie Brown and This is America, Charlie Brown!
3. Olivia D’Abo – Wonder Years
Olivia D’Abo has had a decent career since her days of playing the rebellious girl, Karen Arnold, on Wonder Years. She starred in movies such as Wayne’s World 2, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars as well as TV shows such as Law & Order: Criminal Intent. She’s had a good career considering she’s still acting as of this year. She has a few TV movies coming out such as The Circuit, Unbelievable!!!, Blue Weekend and Secs & Execs. Her personal life is nothing to sneeze at either; she’s been in relationships with some big names over the years such as Thomas Jane and Julian Lennon, both of whom she was engaged to. Why she never married either of them is a shady area. D’Abo even released her own album at one point, and it got good reviews. So all in all, she’s done alright for herself.
2. Scott Baio – Joanie Loves Chachi
Scott Baio was always seen as a teen heartthrob in the 80s when he got his big break in shows such as Joanie Loves Chachi and Charles in Charge. But for some reason, after those shows ended, so did his career as it completely plateaued for him. He had several cameo roles on shows like Touched By An Angel, The Nanny, Veronica’s Closet, and even Arrested Development. His most recent TV series was See Dad Run in 2014. He also had his own show in 2007 called Scott Baio is 45… and Single and continued with that theme in reality world with Scott Baio is 46… and Pregnant and Scott Baio is 47… and a Dad. His wife was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015, which was a huge blow to the family. Aside from that, the only newsworthy event happened in 2016 when Baio accused Nancy Mark, the wife of the drummer for Red Hot Chili Peppers, of assault. Apparently, she assaulted him at a children’s elementary function.
1. Ricky Schroder – Silver Spoons
Since he appeared on Silver Spoons as a child, the cute blonde has done well for himself in Hollywood. He has been a star in popular shows such as 24 and NYPD Blue. He was married to interior designer Andrea Bernard with whom he had four children. The two were married for 20 years, but as of last year, the two have filed for divorce. Schroder definitely makes sure that he enjoys his life; in 2009, he moved his whole family to Spain for a year to give them a different perspective on life — now that’s pretty cool. He started his own production company called Ricky Schroder Productions, and Our Wild Hearts was one of the fruits of that labor. Throughout the past 15 years, Schroder has been in many made-for-TV movies and most recently starred in Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love in 2016.