Top Box Office Actors of the 1980's

Posted on 20 Jun 00:00

The decade of eighties is one of the brightest epochs of Hollywood in which many young and talented actors and filmmakers emerged. The trends changed and high-concept movies are the output of this era. The more refined action, romantic, thriller and horror movies came in this era by which some of the movies go with decades in the form of their sequels. Some great actors of this era are listed below who contributed in the great success of Hollywood.  

1)  Harrison Ford (July 13, 1942 - )

Harrison Ford, an American actor born on July 13, 1942 in Chicago. Ford actually earned his name by his intense hard work and consistency. He is working in show business for six decades; in fact he started his career from bit roles when he signed a contract with Columbia pictures at $ 150 per week. The first film of Harrison was “Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round” (1966), in which he was given the role of bellboy.

Ford was desperate for the roles he was offered, he even worked as professional carpenter to earn a living. Then “American Graffiti” (1973)  provided a huge boost to Harrison Ford and put him on the path to his many classic roles. Some of his most famous movies are “Star Wars” (1977), “Apocalypse Now” (1979) and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981). He has starred in a large number of action adventure movies.

Harrison Ford married three times and has five children. He is in fact, a licensed pilot of both aircrafts and helicopters. He carries principled political opinions and is currently very active as an environmentalist. Currently, Ford is the vice chairman of a non-profit US environmental organization which is headquartered in Virginia.

2)  Eddie Murphy (April 3, 1961 - )

Edward Regan Murphy, an American actor and comedian born on April 3, 1961 in New York City. Murphy was born into a middle class family. His father died when Murphy was eight years old. Murphy attained his initial acclaim from “Saturday Night Live” in which he was a cast member.

Murphy's first film was  “48 Hrs” (1982), which became his very successful big screen debut, and basically skyrocketed his film career. His first film proved a classic hit of 1982 and was also nominated for Golden Globe award for “48 Hrs”. In 80's, Murphy contributed to the success of Hollywood. His major hits in 80's are “48 Hrs” (1982), “Beverly Hills Cop” (1984) and “The Golden Child” (1986). “Beverly Hills Cop” (1984)  became the highest grossing film of 1984 with $ 230 million at Box office.

Murphy had numerous relationships throughout his career, and married Nicole Mitchell in 1993, they divorced in 2006. He is proud father of 10 children ages 1 to 30 years old. Murphy is also very active in social and charity causes and regularly donates huge amounts to charitable organizations.

3)  Carrie Fisher (October 21, 1956 t0 December 27, 2016)

Carrie Frances Fisher, an American actress and comedian born on October 21, 1956 in California. She earned a huge fan following in the 80's because of her intellect, talent and colorful personality. Carrie Fisher has also nominated for many awards throughout her career.

Fisher actually started her film career in the movie, Shampoo (1975), when she was only 17 years old. Fisher's break out role (and most memorable) was playing Princess Leia in “Star Wars” (1977) for which she was also nominated for Saturn Award. Some of her other popular films from 80's are “The Blues Brothers” (1980), “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986) and “When Harry Met Sally” (1989).  

Carrie Fisher had many affairs throughout her career including a three month affair with Harrison Ford during the making of “Star Wars” which she included in her autobiography in 2016. Fisher had one daughter. She also suffered from psychological issues, she publicly discussed her bipolar disorder diagnosis. Sadly, she was long term addicted  to drugs including cocaine.

On December 23, 2016, Fisher, while travelling on a commercial flight from London to Los Angles suffered from a medical emergency just before landing. She remained in ICU for four days and finally died on December 27, 2016 due to cardiac arrest. 

4)  Bill Murray

William James Murray also known as Bill Murray, an American actor, comedian and filmmaker born on September 21, 1950.  Murray's father died earlier when Bill was only 17 years old. 

Murray began his career at “The Second City” which is re-known to be famous for improvisational comedy theater. “Saturday Night Live” (1975) was his first on-screen project for which he won his first Emmy Award. Because of his continuous success on the small screen, he was featured in his first on screen role in Meatballs (1979), he played a leading role.

Some of the famous 80's movies of Bill Murray include Stripes (1981), Scrooged (1988) and Ghostbusters II (1989). Murray has been nominated for many awards throughout his career including Academy awards, Emmy awards and golden globe awards. Recently, Murray received the  Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. He married two times, and has 6 children.

5)  Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Enzio Stallone, a screenwriter, producer and director was born on July 6, 1946 in New York City. Stallone began his career in minor movie roles.

He first appeared in “Downhill Racer” (1969), a sports drama. He also infamously starred in “The Party at Kitty and Stud's” (1970) which was a pornographic feature film.     

Later in his career, he appeared in many classic hits which helped boost his career.  Some of the classic iconic hits of Stallone from 80's are Rocky series (1976–2018), Rambo films (1982–2019) and Cobra (1986).

Stallone nominated for several awards throughout his career including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1984).

Stallone married three times, and has 5 children. Stallone had numerous affairs throughout his career as well as some allegations of sexual assault.  

6)  Tom Cruise

Thomas Cruise Mapother was born on July 3, 1962. Tom Cruise is an iconic actor who has an intensely loyal fan following throughout the world. Tom has won several nominations and awards including golden globe awards and academy awards. He officially started his career in 80's.

Tom Cruise first appeared in “Endless Love” (1981) and got his big career breakthrough in “Risky Business” (1983), which was a comedy. Tom has numerous classic hits throughout his career, some of the 80s hits of Tom include “Legend” (1985), “Top Gun” (1986) and “Born on the Fourth of July” (1989).

Tom was involved in numerous affairs and scandals from beginning of his career. He regularly dated older women. Tom married three times, and has three children.

7)  Jack Nicholson

John Joseph Nicholson, an American actor and filmmaker who was born on April 22, 1937. His career has spanned over six decades and he is still active. Jack Nicholson played multi-dimensional roles throughout his career including romantic, comedy, and both starring and supporting roles.

Jack had success in numerous films; some of his famous films of the 80's include “The Shining” (1980), “The Witches of Eastwick” (1987) and “Batman” (1989) as the Joker. Jack has been nominated for several awards in his career. In fact, 12 nominations at the Academy Awards which make him the most nominated actor in the history of Academy Awards.

Jack was married once, and divorced after nearly two years. He has had numerous affairs and relationships throughout his career, his most enduring relationship was with Angelica Huston. He has five children, one daughter with his ex-wife.


The decade of eighties proved to be the foundation of new trends of movies which are still part and concept of the modern films of Hollywood.

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