While some teen idols from the 1980s faded into obscurity, others are still household names.
"Brat Pack" member Andrew McCarthy still acts, but he's also a director and award-winning writer.
Eddie Murphy, who got his start in the '80s, is still a successful comedian.
Mark Hamill shot to fame after playing Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars."
Hamill played Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy. His first appearance was in 1977 in "Star Wars," also known as "Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope." He returned to the iconic role in the 1980 movie "The Empire Strikes Back" and again in 1983 for "Return of the Jedi."
Before "Star Wars," he had mostly appeared in small roles on TV shows, such as "The Partridge Family" and "The Bill Cosby Show." Just 25 when he took on the first "Star Wars" movie, Hamill quickly became a household name and won the hearts of teens around the globe.
Hamill continues to act and even appeared in "The Mandalorian" in his original role as Luke Skywalker.
He also acted in "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens," "Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi," and "Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker," among other films in the iconic franchise.
In recent years, Hamill has also been an outspoken supporter of the Democratic party. In 2017, the actor mocked Donald Trump's tweets by reading them in the voice of The Joker, whom Hamill voiced in several TV series and movies.
Molly Ringwald was already one of the most famous young actresses when "Pretty in Pink" hit screens in 1986.
Combined with her previous roles in "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club," Ringwald was the object of adoration for many teens in the 1980s.
She also continues to act, but she has no desire to star in any potential reboots of her previous projects.
Ringwald has acted in quite a few major series, including "Secret Life of the American Teenager" and "Riverdale."
It was recently announced that a "Sixteen Candles"-inspired television series is in development. The series, titled "15 Candles," follows four Latina girls in a coming-of-age story.
"I am so happy about that," Ringwald said, according to Deadline. "I really do feel like when people always ask me about rebooting my movies, I am like, 'No those movies were wonderful,' but what they should do is take inspiration from them and do something completely different but inspired, so that just sounds fantastic."
Rob Lowe's boyish good looks won hearts in the early 1980s.
Lowe became a household name after starring in "St. Elmo's Fire" in 1985. However, he'd already started stealing hearts a few years prior after playing Sodapop Curtis in 1983's "The Outsiders."
When asked about his newfound fame and role as a teen heartthrob, 19-year-old Lowe told Entertainment Tonight that it was "something he didn't have much control over."
"I've never had any negative things happen. I mean, other than people will find [my] phone number and call, and call ... but that's not that bad. We haven't had people running down our driveway," he said in the 1983 interview.
Lowe is still a verified heartthrob well into his 50s.
His career stalled amid a sex-tape scandal in 1988, and it only regained momentum in the 2000s after he scored starring roles on popular shows like "The West Wing," which earned him an Emmy nomination and two Golden Globe nominations.
He then appeared on "Brothers & Sisters" and "Parks and Recreation." More recently, he's starred as Owen Strand on "9-1-1: Lone Star."
Many have pointed out that the actor appears to never age, cementing his status as a teen idol and forever heartthrob.
Andrew McCarthy's sincere smile and adorable personality won the hearts of many when he starred as Blane in "Pretty in Pink" alongside Molly Ringwald.
However, McCarthy later admitted he was an unlikely choice for the role — Blane was described as a "hunk" and a "star quarterback type."
Writer and producer John Hughes reportedly wasn't enthused by McCarthy's audition — it was Ringwald who convinced him to cast the actor, who was also about to star in "St. Elmo's Fire."
"Once the door was shut, Molly apparently turned to John and said, 'That's the kind of guy I would fall for,'" McCarthy wrote in an essay published on Literary Hub in 2021.
"'THAT wimpy guy?' John said. 'He's sensitive, poetic,' Molly said. John wasn't convinced, but over the next few days the calls to my agent went from 'He did a nice job' to 'We like him a lot for this,'" the actor continued.
"It was testament to John [Hughes]' belief in Molly that he got behind the idea and cast me. It was another example of what I believe was the key to John's success in his youth films. Not only on-screen did John give young people credit for being full human beings with opinions worth listening to; he carried this line of thinking through in all areas."
Andrew McCarthy continues to act but mostly directs TV episodes. He's also an award-winning travel writer.
His most recent credits include recurring roles in "Good Girls" and "The Family." He also directed episodes of "Orange Is the New Black," "The Blacklist," and "Grace and Frankie."
He has also written travel books and articles for publications including The New York Times and Time magazine. He was named the travel journalist of the year by the Society of American Travel Writers in 2010. He's published other books too, including a young-adult novel in 2017, "Just Fly Away," and a memoir in 2021, "Brat: An '80s Story."
Brooke Shields was adored by many when she shot to stardom in the 1980s.
While Shields was already an established actress and model, her breakthrough role in "Blue Lagoon" at just 15 years old made her a true teen idol. Famous for her bold eyebrows and controversial Calvin Klein ads, Shields became a household name.
Shields went on to star in shows like "That '70s Show," Law & Order: SVU," and "Jane the Virgin." Last year, she starred in the Netflix holiday movie "A Castle for Christmas."
Shields continues to act and has been outspoken about the way she was treated by the press as a young actress and model.
In a 2021 interview with Dax Shepard, the actress called an interview she did with Barbara Walters when she was just 15 years old "practically criminal." In the interview, Shields was asked questions ranging from her body measurements to if she kept any secrets from her mother, as well as targeted questions about the Calvin Klein campaign that some called sexually charged.
"I feel like the controversy backfired," Shields told Vogue in October about the criticism over the Calvin Klein ads at the time. "The campaign was extremely successful."
Michael J. Fox rose to fame after starring in '80s sitcom "Family Ties."
He starred in the show from 1982 to 1989. His teen heartthrob status only continued to climb after he starred as Marty McFly in "Back to the Future" in 1985 and "Back to the Future Part II" in 1989. Fox frequently appeared on the cover of teen magazines of the day.
Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991.
Fox was just 29 years old when he received his diagnosis but continued to work steadily throughout the '90s, including in "Spin City." He publicly shared his diagnosis in 1998 and, in 2000, he retired from acting temporarily.
Following his diagnosis, he also launched The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
On returning to acting, he starred in shows ranging from "Boston Legal" to "The Good Wife" and "The Good Fight."
Fox officially retired from acting in 2020 but continues to be involved in his foundation and advocacy for those with Parkinson's disease.
"I reached the point where I couldn't rely on my ability to speak on any given day, which meant I couldn't act comfortably at all anymore. So, last year I gave it up," he told AARP the Magazine.
Eddie Murphy shot to fame in the 1980s as a cast member on "Saturday Night Live."
Commercial success in the 1980s skewed heavily towards white actors, but Murphy broke that mold with successful comedy films like "Trading Places" and "Coming to America," as well as his series "Beverly Hills Cop."
Murphy is still one of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Following his success as a voice actor as Mushu in "Mulan" and the Donkey in the "Shrek" film franchise, Murphy starred in "Coming 2 America," "Dreamgirls," and "Norbit."
Throughout his lengthy career, Murphy has won one Golden Globe award, a Primetime Emmy, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. In 2007, he was nominated for best support actor at the Academy Awards for his role in "Dreamgirls." In 2015, he received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
John Stamos cemented his teen-idol status when "Full House" hit television screens in 1987.
Stamos got his start in acting in the role of Blackie Parrish on the soap opera "General Hospital" in late January 1982. He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for the role in 1984.
However, 24-year-old Stamos got his big break when he landed the role of Uncle Jessie on the popular sitcom "Full House." The actor became famous for his rock 'n' roll, "bad boy" persona on the show, as well as his musical chops as a singer and guitar player.
Today, Stamos is still a beloved actor and heartthrob.
Stamos has starred in a number of recent TV series and movies, including Netflix's smash-hit thriller series "You," "Big Shot," "Scream Queens," "Glee," and the "Full House" reboot "Fuller House."
In 2020, the "Full House" alum was chosen by People readers as the "Sexiest Zaddy," which Dictionary.com defines as "an attractive man who is also stylish, charming, and self-confident."
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