Hollywood is filled with beauties to put in movies. It has been like that since day one. It didn’t take long for filmmakers to realize that a sexy woman can make even the worst of movies watchable. During the '80s there were plenty of sexy ladies that starred in movies and most of them have gone onto pretty good careers. Today we will take a look at fifteen of the hottest women on screen from that decade.
The only problem is that there were a lot more than just fifteen sexy ladies from those days. There just isn’t enough time to name them all. So we did the best we could here in terms of finding the ones that people want to know about. But we have to give honorable mention to Kelly McGillis, Bo Derek, Shannon Tweed and Elizabeth Shue. All of those ladies were sexy actresses from the '80s and they deserve credit for being so.
So here are fifteen of the hottest women in movies from the '80s and what they look like now, in no particular order. After all, how can you say one was hotter than the other when they were all extremely sexy?
15 Phoebe Cates
Phoebe Cates will never be forgotten after her scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Some people refer to it as the single best nude scene of the '80s. Judge Reinhold’s character has a sister that is friends with Cates in the movie. His life sucks and the only thing he wants out of it is some alone time with Cates.
So he finally decides to take matters into his own hands and while he is imagining her dropping her bikini, she actually walks in and catches him. It was an iconic scene in movie history and every bit as funny too.
Her girl next door looks got her parts in several other movies including a memorable role in Gremlins. She was discovered for roles on the silver screen during the modeling career she was trying to get established at the time.
She retired from acting in the '90s after she married Kevin Kline and the couple has three kids. Cates opened up a fashion boutique in New York in 2005. It’s called Blue Tree and it’s located right on Madison Avenue.
The now 52-year-old sports a shorter hair style now and you might not recognize her if you ran into her.
14 Mia Sara
Another hot actress from the '80s, Mia Sara, made her biggest splash in the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The 1986 movie was about a typical nerdy kid that decided to skip school and found himself getting into jam after jam, almost resulting in his getting caught. While his adventures were funny, more people were paying attention to Sara who played his girlfriend Sloane Peterson. More importantly, people were left wondering how he was able to get her in the first place. Bueller was adventurous sure, but he wasn’t all that smart and he certainly wasn’t a stud that the ladies chased down.
She also had a memorable role with Tom Cruise back then in Legend as Princess Lily and she went on to play several other sexy roles in great movies throughout the decade. Sara played Harley Quinn in the 2002 television series Birds of Prey but her career has seen more time off than actually on screen since then. You can call the now 49-year-old semi-retired and she spends a lot of her free time writing poetry.
Sara has married a couple of famous Hollywood sons and she has two kids. She first married Jason Connery, who has a famous dad in Sean and then married Brian Henson who has a father named Jim, the guy who created the Muppets.
13 Jami Gertz
Jami Gertz made a living during the '80s playing the damsel in distress role and there was never a shortage of men trying to help the beautiful actress out of trouble. Her most known role back then was in the movie The Lost Boys when she worked with Kiefer Sutherland and Corey Feldman to bring a magical movie to the public.
She went on to a pretty solid career and you have seen her on Still Standing, Keeping Up with the Steins, Entourage, ER, Ally McBeal and Modern Family. The now 50-year-old is still a sexy woman and you can see why she was chosen for all those roles in the '80s and '90s.
She also made appearances in Sixteen Candles, Crossroads, Less Than Zero and Quicksilver. Some other television appearances included Square Pegs, Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.
She took several years off from acting and worked as a designer in Paris before returning home to take on a major role in the blockbuster hit Twister. Most recently she was on the TV show Neighbors from 2012-2014.
Gertz did make one major mistake in her career. When Friends was casting she was offered the role of Rachel but she turned it down. It was a monumental error for her but it launched the career of Jennifer Aniston. We're sure Aniston was pretty happy she turned it down!
12 Rebecca De Mornay
Rebecca De Mornay got her big break while playing the prostitute alongside Tom Cruise in Risky Business. In 1983 she played the part of Lana, a stone-hearted hooker that every boy in the area wanted but none had the nerve to call her. That is until Cruise made the call and the pair got together for one of the hottest sex scenes of the '80s.
She went on to a pretty solid career but she was never able to become the type of mega star that Cruise went on to become. You have seen her in Runaway Train, The Trip to Bountiful, Flipped, Wedding Crashers, and Lords of Dogtown.
As her career has continued De Mornay has played a lot of roles as older women now. Most of which are “used to be hotter, but are still hot, even though they are past their prime” parts. A perfect example of that would be in the former HBO series John from Cincinnati. She is 57 years old now and it’s easy to see how she can get those parts that we just mentioned. She definitely fits the role perfectly. While she may be past her prime she was once really hot and she is still hot now.
11 Daryl Hannah
Daryl Hannah became a household name in the '80s by starring in movies such as Wall Street, Blade Runner, Steel Magnolias and of course, the smash hit Splash. Nobody will ever forget her role of a mermaid when she was topless and then when she got legs, she walked out of the water nude. If you wonder why that movie was a box-office smash that’s all the information you need to know.
The 90’s didn’t bring her the same success but it wasn’t all that bad. She played roles in the funny Grumpy Old Men movies, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, and Addams Family Reunion. Later she tried to recapture that 80’s fame by starring in the Kill Bill movies and while she was good, they weren’t good enough to bring her back to the type of success that she has previously enjoyed.
The now 55-year-old Hannah currently makes more lists of actresses that got arrested and had bad plastic surgeries than anything else. She has been part of several protests against the Keystone Oil Pipeline and has been arrested several times for trespassing. She has also had several plastic surgeries that did nothing to help her appearance. She’s come a long way since the days of that mermaid, and they haven’t been good days.
10 Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher was an iconic beauty during the '80s on the silver screen and she starred in several hit movies. But none were as big as the original Star Wars series of films. She was also in When Harry Met Sally, Blues Brothers, and Hannah and Her Sisters. Those were all pretty good flicks but nobody will ever forget Princess Leia in that gold bikini.
The third installment of the box office smash hit, Return of the Jedi, saw Fisher in a different light. The first two movies didn’t really have any sexy scenes with her involved but that changed with this one. The Princess was a slave and carried out her duties in that gold bikini. Plenty thought that Fisher was hot before that but after that movie it was confirmed.
Off screen, Fisher’s life hasn’t been all that glamorous. She never got too far away from her acting career but her roles diminished as her drinking increased. People have seen her in her one-woman show called “Wishful Drinking” where she tells stories about the not so good times in her life.
More recently she has been a spokesperson for Jenny Craig and she appeared on an episode of The Big Bang Theory with James Earl Jones (Darth Vader).
9 Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields became a mega star during the '80s because of her roles in Endless Love and The Blue Lagoon. Nobody will ever forget the roles that she played in those movies and it didn’t take long for every boy in the world to want her. She put the success to good use as in the late 80’s she stopped modeling and acting and went to Princeton. She left with a degree in French Literature and she used that education to go on to a very successful life. She returned to acting and modeling but also became a very successful businesswoman.
When she returned to acting she seemed to pick up right where she left off, minus all of the sexy scenes. She had the starring role in the award-winning sitcom Suddenly Susan and she went on to play parts in Hannah Montana, Lipstick Jungle, and The Michael J. Fox Show.
Shields is now 51 years old and she has her good days and bad days just like all of us do. On some days it’s easy to see the beauty that she was back in the '80s but on other days it’s hard to find any shade of that sexy woman.
8 Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger used the '80s and the '90s to propel herself to super stardom as one of the sexiest women in each decade. You first saw her as another hot “Bond Girl” in the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again. Everyone wanted to know who she was after that movie came out and they soon found out in 9 1/2 Weeks and Batman Returns.
9 ½ Weeks came out in 1986 and it was a typical Mickey Rourke sex-filled movie that showed the world all of Basinger’s beauty. She was certainly hot in the movie but it is more known for the sex scenes than actually being a good movie. Her roles in Batman, No Mercy, and Blind Date saw her looking just as good minus all of the sex romps.
Basinger doesn’t really do a lot of acting anymore and she is probably just kicking back and enjoying all of the money that she brought in during that twenty-year stretch. The 62-year-old had a small part in The Informers but you really don’t hear her name very often anymore. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. She had her time in the spotlight and she used it well.
7 Christie Brinkley
Christie Brinkley was absolutely one of the hottest women on the silver screen during the '80s. Her appearance in National Lampoon’s Vacation elevated her to immediate star status. During the movie, Chevy Chase is taking his family on a cross-country vacation in the family station wagon. In the passenger seat is Chase’s wife in the film, played by Beverly D’Angelo (who is also on this list), but she was asleep. As Chase’s thoughts start to wander a red Ferrari pulls up to pass him and it turns out that Christie Brinkley is the driver. They play a cat and mouse game on the road and later on meet up at a roadside motel. Brinkley entices Chase into the freezing cold water of the swimming pool by getting naked. Of course, he jumped in to join her. Who wouldn’t?
Brinkley appeared in several other movies and on countless magazine covers over the course of her career. Even now at 62 years old she still looks great and she has made several appearances on the show Parks and Recreation. She does a lot of activism work and the word is that she owns a good chunk of the Hamptons in Long Island. Billy Joel was a fool to let her get away.
6 Demi Moore
Demi Moore has had a long and very successful career. She hit stardom in the '80s as one of the hottest women on screen during the decade. She became a worldwide hotty in St. Elmo’s Fire and of course in About Last Night. In the latter film her sex scene with Rob Lowe was one of the highlights of the '80s and nobody will forget when she went into the kitchen to grab some orange juice in the nude.
She went on to star in countless great movies like Striptease, Charlie’s Angels, Ghost and A Few Good Men.
Her career has slowed down some in recent years but the now 53-year-old still looks fantastic. As a matter of fact, she looks good enough to be able to get Ashton Kutcher to marry her for several years. Prior to that, she was married to bad boy Bruce Willis for about thirteen years. She is never lacking in attention from men young and old and it probably won’t be long before she ties the knot once again.
Not many people realize that she is just as talented behind the camera as she is in front of it. She was an executive producer in all three of the Austin Powers movies.
5 Jennifer Jason Leigh
Jennifer Jason Leigh is another cast member from Fast Times at Ridgemont High that went on to fame. That movie was her breakout role as she played the very sexy Stacy Hamilton but it wouldn’t be until the '90s when she reached true stardom. That doesn’t mean that people did not know who she in the 80's then because they certainly did. That movie brought out some of the sexiest women of the '80s.
She continued to gather a solid fan base with her appearances in Flesh & Blood, The Hitcher, and Heart of Midnight. She went on to star in Dolores Claiborne, Georgia, Greenberg and Synecdoche New York. She also had a reoccurring role in the television series Weeds.
She once talked about her love of the smaller roles as opposed to the box office smash hits, saying "I'd much rather be in a movie that people have really strong feelings about than one that makes a hundred million dollars but you can't remember because it's just like all the others."
She was nominated for several awards in 2015 for her work in the films The Hateful Eight and Anomalisa. Those movies showed that the now 54-year-old is still not looking all that bad at all. She is making a return to television in 2017 on the show Twin Peaks.
4 Sybil Danning
You may not know Sybil Danning by name but there is no doubt that you know her face and body from all of the B type movies she did in the '80s. She made a living back then by being beautiful and not being afraid to shed any clothing for her roles. She appeared in countless movies like The Howling II, Your Sister is a Werewolf, Chained Heat, Reform School Girls, Battle Beyond the Stars, Hercules, Warrior Queen, Malibu Express and Young Lady Chatterley II. Basically, if there was a low budget film being made and they needed a sexy woman to get topless or fully nude, Danning got the phone call.
In 1990 she suffered a serious back injury while practicing for a stunt in a film and she was out of action for nearly three years. She eventually returned to acting but now at 64 years old her career has slowed down. But that hasn’t stopped her from becoming pretty good at business. From 2002 until 2003 Danning was a shareholder for the German hockey team SC Riessersee. She was the first ever female to co-own a German team and she played a major role in the team playing for the Vice Championship. Now she is looking to become an owner or co-owner of a soccer team in England.
3 Beverly D’Angelo
Beverly D’Angelo has played roles in countless movies over her career but her part as Ellen Griswold in the '80s hit National Lampoon’s Vacation, is where she hit the big time. The beginning of the movie shows her in the shower while her husband (Chevy Chase) plays a Norman Bates joke on her trying to scare her. She easily takes care of the problem and a star was born.
D’Angelo isn’t one that just gets by on her looks. Sure she was hot back then but eventually, talent wins out. When you see that she has been in over sixty movies you can see that she is just as blessed with talent as she was with looks in her younger days. More recently the now 64-year-old was known for her role in Entourage. She appeared on the show from 2005 until 2011 as Barbara Miller.
Some of her other well-known roles were in Coal Miner’s Daughter, Every Which Way But Loose, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
D’Angelo started a relationship in the late 90’s with Al Pacino that lasted for about seven years. They have twins together, a boy and a girl.
She has also gotten together with Chevy Chase for several other National Lampoon Vacation continuations but nothing will ever top that very first shower scene to begin the franchise!
2 Tanya Roberts
Tanya Roberts has been around for a long time and she has put together a very nice career. She got started in the late '70s but it wasn’t until 1982 when she became very well known. Nude scenes by a hot woman will tend to get that done. That year she was in Beastmaster and Sheena and both featured her bathing nude in the nearby lake. I guess neither place had a bathroom but who cares right?
Over the years she was in several movies like A View to a Kill, Forced Entry, Fingers, Tourist Trap, Night Eyes and Body Slam among others. Roberts also made her mark on television on shows such as Charlie’s Angels and That ‘70s Show. She appeared in 76 episodes of the latter from 1998 through 2004 but she actually left the show in 2001. She played the role of Midge Pinciotti, a ditzy blonde that was the mother of Donna Pinciotti, who was Eric Foreman’s girlfriend.
She was a regular on the show until her husband became terminally ill. She switched over to a part-time role when the show accommodated her request to cut down her time so she could be with her husband. She made the occasional appearance until 2004. Even now at 61 years old she still looks great!
1 Lea Thompson
Lea Thompson is another one of the sexiest women in Hollywood back in the '80s. Who can forget her part in the 1985 classic Back to the Future? Michael J. Fox travels back in time to meet his mother when she was young and in her prime. What he comes across is a very sexy Lea Thompson that thinks he is cute. The entire situation is hilarious and there aren’t many that could have made it as good as it was. Fox and Thompson were a perfect pairing.
She played parts in several other great movies as well like The Beverly Hillbillies, All the Right Moves, Jaws 3-D, Some Kind of Wonderful and the great flick Red Dawn.
Thompson also did some television time in the shows Caroline in the City (NBC sitcom) and Switched at Birth (ABC Family).
The Jaws movie was her first and she said that she lied to get the role. When asked about it, Thompson said "The very first movie I ever got, (was Jaws 3-D) but I lied and said I had done a couple of other movies, so when I showed up, I really knew absolutely nothing. Also, I had said that I knew how to water-ski. And I did not. So I had, like, five days to learn really, really complicated water-skiing things, because I had to fit into the Sea World water-skiing show. I don’t even know how to swim.”
We aren’t going to hold it against her and even now at 55 years old she still looks fantastic!
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