Without a doubt, the 80s gave us great films but most importantly, great TV shows including sitcoms. Many of these actresses have solidified themselves in entertainment history and some of them are even bigger stars today! In this video, we’ll look back at 6 of these 80s actresses and the incredible lives and careers they’ve had! Whether it’s Danica McKellar who you’ll remember from The Wonder Years or Marisa Tomei in As the World Turns – their stories are an inspiration to us all and it’s high time that we tell their stories today.
It’s fascinating to see our favorite stars today. But have you ever wondered about their journey and what life was like when they were just getting started? Today, we’ll tell you such a tale…
Join FactsVerse to learn about some of the most popular 80s actresses and what they’re up to today…
Danica McKellar is an accomplished actress, author, and even a mathematician! But we’ll get to that in just a moment. She’s also one of the best-known 80s actresses and she’s known for her role as Winnie Cooper in “The Wonder Years”.
She was born on January 3rd, 1975, in La Jolla, California. She began her acting career as a child and had small roles on several popular TV series, including “The Twilight Zone,” “The Love Boat,” and “The Hogan Family.”
However, it was her role in “The Wonder Years” that made her a star. The show ran for six seasons from 1988 to 1993 and her character, Winnie Cooper, was the main character, Kevin’s love interest and best friend. For her performance, she won the Young Artist Award in 1990.
She continued to work as an actress when she became an adult. She appeared in popular TV shows such as “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “The West Wing,” and “How I Met Your Mother.” Also, she lent her voice to several animated shows and movies, including “Static Shock,” “Xiaolin Showdown,” and is now the current voice of Judy Jetson.
She is also a published author and an accomplished mathematician. She has written many books that encourage young ladies to pursue higher studies in mathematics. A huge advocate for STEM education and when she’s not on the red carpet, she’s speaking at conferences to discuss the importance of STEM education for American children and especially young girls.
OLIVIA D’ABO 80S ACTRESS
Olivia D’Abo is an English actress and singer known for her prolific career in film, television, and in the music industry. She on January 22nd, 1969, in London but began her career in the United States.
Starting her career as a child actress in the late 1970s. She appeared in several television commercials and had bit parts on shows including “The Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island.” However, while the 70s is when she got her start, she’s solidified her position as one of our favorite 80s actresses.
Like Danica McKellar, she got her big break on “The Wonder Years.” She was cast as Karen Arnold, the older sister of Kevin Arnold. Her portrayal of Karen earned her much praise and a loyal set of fans who still love her to this day.
After “The Wonder Years,” she continued to work mostly in television. She acted in shows such as “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” and “Psych.” She also has had a great movie career and appeared in films such as “Bullies” “Clean Slate” “Live Nude Girls” “Hacks” “The Devil’s Violinist” and her upcoming film “The Nana Project.”
Apart from her work in film and television, she is also a talented singer and songwriter. She released her debut album, “Not TV,” in 2008. She’s performed live and also provided backing vocals for other artists including Julian Lennon. She mostly focuses on film and television today.
80S ACTRESSES: PRISCILLA BARNES
Priscilla Barnes was born on December 7th, 1955, in Fort Dix, New Jersey. She first began her career as a model before trying her hand at acting in the 1970s. But of course, she’s one of our favorite 80s actresses and that’s when she really became a huge hit.
It was in the 1980s when she became a familiar face on television. She made several guest appearances on many of the most popular shows of the decade. One of her earliest major roles was in the sitcom “Taxi.” In this show, she played a love interest of Tony Danza’s character.
But it was her role as Terri Alden on the hit sitcom “Three’s Company” that brought her to stardom. She joined the show in 1981 and replaced Suzanne Sommers. While she had big shoes to fill, she managed to fill them well. She remained with the show until it ended in 1984.
After the show ended, Priscilla Barnes continued to work in television and film. She appeared in shows such as “L.A. Law,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” and “Touched by an Angel.” She also had a prolific film career which continues to this day. Her notable films include “Mumford” “The Devil’s Rejects” and “Helen Alone.”
For newer audiences, she’s most known for her roles in “Jane the Virgin” and the TV movie “Hot for My Name.” Her most recent credit was when she appeared in a short film “Un plan simple” in which she also served as an executive producer.
80S ACTRESSES: GEENA DAVIS
Geena Davis is an American actress – well, actually Geena Davis needs no introduction! She was born on January 21st, 1956, in Wareham, Massachusetts and she was probably born a star. You probably know Geena Davis for her slew of great films from “Tootsie” to “The Fly” “Beetlejuice” and “Thelma and Louise.” But she also deserves a spot on our favorite 80s actresses as that’s where she got her early start and where she first gained fame.
One of her earliest roles was on the popular series “Knight Rider,” where she played Michael Knight’s love interest. She also had a recurring role on “Family Ties,” when she played Alex Keaton’s girlfriend. This was when audiences first became aware of her and opened the door for the acting opportunities she had in the 1990s.
In the 1990s, it was films such as the aforementioned “Thelma and Louise” and “The Long Kiss Goodnight” that made her a star. In the 2000s, it was the Stuart Little films as well as her own short-lived show.
She also received an abundance of praise for appearing in the Australian film “Accidents Happen.” She’s also appeared in The Exorcist TV series. Her most recent film was the 2020 film Ava. She’s got a few more films under her belt coming up and we also expect to see more TV appearances.
SOLEIL MOON FRYE
Soleil Moon Frye was born on August 6th, 1976, in Glendora, California. Like so many others, she began her career as a child actress in the early 1980s.
One of her most popular roles was when she appeared in the titular role in the show “Punky Brewster.” The show ran from 1984 to 1988 and made her a star.
In the show, she played this quirky and hyper young girl who had been abandoned by her parents – only to be adopted by the grumpy Henry!
It was thanks to her work on “Punky Brewster,” that she landed roles on many other popular TV shows during the same decade. She appeared on the shows such as “The Wonder Years,” “Saved by the Bell,” and “Who’s the Boss?”
As an adult, she has continued to work in show business and has been in front of and behind the camera. She has directed episodes of TV shows including “The Proud Family” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”
In 2021, she reprised her role as Punky Brewster in a streaming reboot of the series. In this new show, her character is obviously grown up and she’s now going through life as a single mother.
She’s one of the busiest actresses in television and has had a smaller film career – appearing in films such as “Motel Blue” “The Girls’ Room” and “The Cleaner.”
Marisa Tomei is arguably one of the best actresses of her generation and you probably know her best from her career in cinema. Yet, she actually got her start as an 80s actress and this gave her training for her future career. She was born on December 4th, 1964, in Brooklyn, New York.
One of her earliest television roles was on “As the World Turns.” She also had a recurring role on the sitcom “A Different World” which brought her more attention. While she didn’t quite become a star like her compatriots mentioned in this video, it was in these shows that she got her training and gained a bit of notoriety in the industry. It was because of these roles when she started to get cast in major films.
It was in 1992 when she was cast as Mona Lisa Vito in “My Cousin Vinny” when she became a star – and won an Academy Award for her acting. She went on to star in many great films, including “Untamed Heart,” “The Perez Family,” “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” and “What Women Want.”
In recent times, she’s known for her work on the TV series “Empire” and the Netflix series “Master of None.” She’s one of the few 80s actresses who succeeded in that decade but wasn’t defined by it.
Do you remember watching any of these 80s actresses back in the day? Do you think they’re doing their best work now or was their best work back then?
In fact, here’s what we’d like to hear from you:
Do you think that too much early success can prevent future success for an actress?
Or is success on a great sitcom a stepping stone to future success in film and television?