Even those of us who didn’t grow up in the 1980s, grew up with some great movies from the era. Whether you were raised on Star Wars, Ghostbusters or Adventures in Babysitting – chances are, the movies of the 80s were fundamental to your childhood. That also likely means that maybe your first crush was on a hot actress from the 1980s.
Even if you didn’t grow up on the cinema of the 1980s, the decade is full of so many great films and so many hot chicks, that you’ve likely crushed on at least some of these beautiful actresses. The aesthetic of the 1980s was all about tall model-types with high cheek bones and smashing bodies. It was the golden era of the girl next door, and the beginning of more exotic beauties hitting the mainstream. Amazingly, a number of these actresses are still very much hotties to this day – a miracle of science and biology. This is our choice for the hottest actresses of the 1980s, but we’d love to hear who you think we’re missing!
15. Kirstie Alley
If you aren’t really familiar with movies from the 1980s, you probably don’t have a glowing view of Kirstie Alley – assuming you even know who she is. These days she’s best known for her failed weight-loss regimens, brief reality television show and her endorsement of Donald Trump. Once upon a time, Kirstie Alley was smoking hot and funny, too. Alley seemed to be the full package and basically put out hit after hit in the cinemas. Her first major role was in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (to this date, the best Star Trek film), where she played a red coat. It’s really in the latter part of the decade that her star really took off though, in films like Shoot to Kill, Summer School and most famously, Look Who’s Talking. Alley had that perfect smoldering gaze and one of the most amazing bodies we’d ever seen.
14. Jennifer Jason Leigh
Still looking good as of 2016, Jennifer Jason Leigh captured the attention of the world and teenage boys due to her appearance in the iconic teen classic, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Often overshadowed by Phoebe Cates‘ red bikini, Leigh was button down and adorable as Stacy Hamilton. Her blonde hair, coy smile and cute waitress uniform won her a permanent spot in our hearts. She is just the kind of girl we all fantasized about in high school. Over the decade Jennifer Jason Leigh would appear in a number of other iconic roles as well, such as her very sensual appearance in the underseen and underrated Heart of Midnight, where she plays a nightclub owner. A few years later, she was ready to break into more adult worlds, and really came into her own!
13. Sean Young
The prequel to Blade Runner goes into production early next year, a perfect opportunity to revisit the classic film directed by Ridley Scott. There are literally countless reasons why this film is so damn good, and Sean Young is one of them. At the time of Blade Runner‘s release, Harrison Ford was the biggest movie star in the world thanks to Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Having him play an old-school detective in a futuristic Los Angeles was a stroke of genius. While a lot of the film’s appeal is the blurred lines between man and machine, the film’s central romance is also bewildering. Sean Young looks like no other woman we’ve ever seen, and we can see why Ford fell head over heels for her – knowing full well she was less than human. Blending strength and vulnerability, with a retro sensibility Sean Young has done a good job invading our dreams. While best known for Blade Runner, Sean Young also appeared in Stripes, starring Bill Murray and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
12. Mia Sara
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of those movies that feels like it was made yesterday. Fresh in every sense of the word, it has a timeless appeal. One of the most underrated appeals of the film is actually Ferris’ girlfriend played by adorable actress, Mia Sara. Effortlessly cool, even Ferris seems to take for granted that he basically has the most understanding and absolute coolest girlfriend of all time. Mia as Sloane (which is also just a cool name) brings so much energy to the role that you really forget that she’s acting. Sara’s brown hair frames her cute face and we especially love her smile. The actress was just seventeen when she starred in the film and to this day – it was her biggest role. Fantasy fans may also remember her from Legend, as she starred alongside Tom Cruise.
11. Daryl Hannah
Daryl Hannah was the ultimate nerd dream girl of the 1980s. While she’s probably most famous for her performance in Blade Runner, she also starred as the mermaid in Splash, alongside Tom Hanks. Sure the logistics of actually making love to a traditional mermaid may haunt our dreams – don’t blame us for fantasizing. Daryl Hannah is the blonde bombshell of the decade and she seems to literally drip lust from her pores. Something about her presence makes jaws drop and inspires some pretty great fantasies. Hannah doesn’t quite look like anyone else, and that’s maybe why she is so hot. She literally looks like someone out of this world.
10. Lisa Bonet
Unfortunately for Lisa Bonet, the charges put against Bill Cosby means that no network dares air reruns of The Cosby Show – which in fact means that the cast of the show has stopped receiving their royalty checks. For those among us who grew up watching The Cosby Show, Lisa Bonet was one of our first major crushes. We kinda grew up with her, and she very much became the girl of our dreams. For those of us who were more or less her age on the show, we have to admit that our fantasies surrounding the show were anything but the wholesome entertainment it was advertised as. Lisa Bonet’s hotness can similarly be attested to by the fact that she has since dated and married some of the hottest men alive. While still doing the show, she eloped with singer Lenny Kravitz in 1987. Clearly having an eye for handsome men, she dated and wed Jason Momoa nearly five years before Game of Thrones even started. Gotta give it to her, she knows how hot she is, and won’t settle for anything less.
9. Elisabeth Shue
You can never go wrong with Elisabeth Shue. Maybe the first time we became aware of her was when she appeared in The Karate Kid. Blonde, sun-kissed and adorable, she won over Ralph Macchio‘s heart and ours with her perfect smile. What really cemented her as one of our biggest crushes of the 1980s though, was in the action-adventure-comedy Adventures in Babysitting, where she played Chris, the titular babysitter. Shue was always the kind of girl who looked good but also seemed like so much fun to hang out with. She has the best laugh and seems down to do anything. As evidenced by some of her riskier roles like her performances in Cocktail and Leaving Las Vegas, she could also get down and dirty when it was called for, and be ridiculously hot. Shue is pretty much as beautiful as ever in 2016, keeping our fantasy of being with a hot older woman alive and well.
8. Winona Ryder
Ally Sheedy gets a little too much credit as the alternative girl crush of the 1980s. Saying anything from The Breakfast Club is edgy is like saying Nickelback is hardcore. Winona Ryder who came into her own even more come the 1990s, was already establishing herself as a huge crush for the love-lorn weirdos of the decade. In movies like Beetlejuice and Heathers, Winona Ryder was actually kinda scary in a cute kind of way. Honestly, the first crush we ever had was on her when she appeared as Lydia. Ryder really embodied that kind of cute but weird girl in school. She had big brown eyes and a devilish smile. Looking back now, she was officially jailbait, but at the time she was our age – and it just seemed right. It was always the innocent kind of crush anyway, one inspired by finding a girl who dared to be herself and would be a perfect partner in crime.
7. Rebecca De Mornay
We have two words for you: Risky Business. In 1983 when Risky Business was released as a big hit that helped launch Tom Cruise as a major star, all we could really pay attention to was Rebecca De Mornay as the painfully incredibly sexy call-girl. Perfect in every way imaginable Rebecca De Mornay, in one single role, graced herself into a lifetime of fantasies. To this day, we’re not sure if an actress has ever had a more smashing body than Rebecca De Mornay. Fit, curvy and just wow… While she maybe has never achieved the star status that we would have imagined, amazingly Rebecca De Mornay is very attractive even in 2016. She has perfectly encapsulated that hot older woman role, and still gives us a lot to dream about. Honestly, with all the questions about Tom Cruises’ sexuality persisting to this day, we’re not sure he was ever really worthy of Rebecca’s incredible hotness.
6. Kelly LeBrock
Should you ever doubt how hot Kelly LeBrock was considered in the 1980s, her two most famous roles were literally her cast as the “perfect woman”; in both Weird Science and The Woman in Red. There were two casting agents at the time, who did a casting call for a role that probably said something like: “You literally embody the ideal woman” and two different people cast Kelly LeBrock. Never really known for her acting skills, Kelly nonetheless lived up to her casting and her image has literally been burned into our subconscious. Notably as a model, she was also the spokesperson for Pantene and infamously made the phrase “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”, famous. While LeBrock never really became a household name and her film career never quite took off, she is still kicking around in Hollywood circles – working mostly in philanthropy to help the terminally ill.
Vanity (aka Denise Katrina Matthews) is a Canadian born singer who had a brief career in cinema. While not very well known, she should be, not only due to her incredible good looks, but for her unique charisma. In the cult musical The Last Dragon (one of her first roles), she showed off her musical talents. Later on she would star opposite John Stamos in a pre-Full House role, in Never Too Young to Die. Vanity also guest starred on a number of TV shows like Miami Vice, Highlander and Tales from the Crypt. Vanity was always the full package and could sing, dance and act. She had a face that could launch a thousand ships and an attitude to match. She perhaps most famously dated Prince for a number of years, and when she died prematurely a few years ago, Prince dedicated parts of his Australian tour to their love affair. In an autobiography written by Vanity, she wrote that Prince was the only man she had ever truly loved.
4. Diane Lane
Without a doubt, Diane Lane is one of the most beautiful actresses to ever grace our screens. With flowing brown hair, blue eyes, a button nose and a perfect smile, she won a permanent place in our hearts. To this day we would bet that countless teens around the country fall in love with her over again, just because of her performance in The Outsiders, which is still a part of a large number of high school curriculums. Lane always embodied that girl next door look. She was sexy not because she flaunted it, but because she always seemed a little shy. Her beauty seemed out of this world, and she miraculously looks amazing to this day. While The Outsiders is where most of us recognize her from, it’s worth tracking down the cult hit The Fabulous Stains, where Lane stars as the singer of an all-girls rock band.
3. Susan Sarandon
In the late 1970s, the world was introduced to Susan Sarandon‘s fabulous bust thanks to a little known midnight classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In the 1980s though, the world finally got to see everything in films like The Hunger, where Sarandon engages in a lesbian relationship with a thousand year old vampire. Sarandon is still smoking hot, in spite of being in her early 70s, but she was maybe at the height of her appeal sometime in the 80s. Beyond The Hunger, Sarandon made very sexy waves in movies like Bull Durham, Atlantic City and The Witches of Eastwick. Her career enviable to just about any man or woman, she not only gave a handful of some of the best performances ever by an actress, she looked damn good doing it. Sarandon’s hotness has bridged over generations, something to be proud of.
2. Michelle Pfeiffer
The ubiquity of Scarface more or less means every man between the ages of 14 and 65 is well aware of how hot Michelle Pfeiffer was in the 1980s. Her performance which was equally terrifying and sexy, is among the hottest screen presences of all time, and even if that was the only film Pfeiffer had ever done, she would forever be talked about as one of the most beautiful women of all time. Let’s be real, only two actresses in the past 30 years have come close to achieving Pfeiffer levels of hotness: Margot Robbie in The Wolf of Wall Street and Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. Pfeiffer was also making waves in a number of other films during the decade including: The Witches of Eastwick, Ladyhawke and Dangerous Liaisons. Of course, she would carry on her incredible hotness into the 1990s, injecting new life into Catwoman. Pfeiffer, now in her 60s, still looks pretty hot.
1. Nastassja Kinski
If you haven’t seen Cat People, stop reading this list and go. The movie is weird and it will likely make you feel very uncomfortable (about the deed, among other things) but it’s worth seeing for the fact that Nastassja Kinski might very well be the sexiest woman to ever live. We’re not just talking in terms of actresses, we’re literally saying, among all singers, models, and beautiful people, Kinski might be better looking than all of them and she was at the height of her powers in the 1980s. Even those who may have never heard of her are still very familiar with her image, as she is the subject of the photo of the beautiful naked woman wrapped around by a python. Her body was beyond incredible but so was her face, which was the perfect mix of conventionally attractive and exotic. Above all else though, Kinski brought an incredible presence to the screen that is really unmatched.
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