The Greatest '80s Teen Stars
Vote up the best actors based on their work as teens between 1980 and 1989.
The greatest teen stars of the '80s are well-remembered on this countdown. They were everywhere - they ruled the box office. They kept butts on the couch, and they took over the radio. But which were the greatest 1980s teens?
The 80s actors and actresses that appeared on your locker door, your lunch box, and even as dolls are recognized for the lasting impact they left on America. So, who's your favorite teen star from the 80s? Michael J. Fox tops our list for 1980s teens, having appeared in popular TV series like Family Ties and cult classics like Back to the Future. Other famous 80s actors who happened to be teens include Johnny Depp, Ralph Macchio, and River Phoenix.
From Molly Ringwald to Matthew Broderick, this list of top 80s teen stars features everyone we've all come to love so much. Whether you're talking hit TV shows or classic 80s movies, these 80s celebrities - and teens! - truly ruled the decade. Check out these young 1980s celebrities below and vote up your favorites.
- Birthplace: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Credits: Back to the Future, Teen Wolf, Family Ties
In the 1980s, Michael J. Fox was a teen sensation, captivating audiences with his natural charm and relatable humor. Perhaps best known for his portrayal of Marty McFly in the iconic Back to the Future film series, Fox solidified himself as a household name during this decade. Before time-traveling fame, he won hearts as Alex P. Keaton on the hit sitcom Family Ties. His magnetic performances left an indelible mark on pop culture and shaped a generation's idea of cool.
- Birthplace: USA, California, Roseville
- Credits: The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink
The queen of 80s teen cinema, Molly Ringwald became a symbol of adolescent angst and vulnerability through her collaboration with director John Hughes. As Samantha Baker in Sixteen Candles, Andie Walsh in Pretty in Pink, and Claire Standish in The Breakfast Club, Ringwald gave voice to countless teenagers' experiences while cementing her place in cinematic history. Her red hair and expressive eyes made her an unforgettable presence on screen, shaping trends and expectations for years to come.
- Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
- Credits: The Matrix, Speed, John Wick, The Devil's Advocate
Before becoming an action superstar, Keanu Reeves was an endearing 1980s teen star who brought both humor and heart to his roles. With films like Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Parenthood under his belt during this era, Reeves displayed remarkable range as he moved from playing lovable slacker Ted "Theodore" Logan to portraying more nuanced characters dealing with real-life issues. This early versatility laid the foundation for his enduring career.
- Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York
- Credits: The Breakfast Club, The Outsiders, St. Elmo's Fire
As part of the Brat Pack – a group of young actors who dominated 1980s Hollywood – Emilio Estevez was a prominent figure among teen stars at the time. From playing rebel Andrew Clark in The Breakfast Club to leading man Otto Maddox in Repo Man, Estevez showcased his talent for capturing complex characters dealing with teenage issues like identity and belongingness. He also directed, produced, and starred in the cult classic Wisdom, further demonstrating his creative prowess.
- Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
- Credits: National Lampoon's Animal House, Friday the 13th, Footloose
Footloose made Kevin Bacon a teenage heartthrob when it hit theaters in 1984. His portrayal of Ren McCormack, a rebellious high schooler who challenges authority and leads a small town to rediscover the joy of dance, became an 80s pop culture staple. From this breakout performance to roles in films like Diner and She's Having a Baby, Bacon's charisma and on-screen energy helped earn him a lasting place among memorable teen actors of the era.
- Birthplace: Owensboro, USA, Kentucky
- Credits: A Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon
Before becoming one of Hollywood's most versatile actors, Johnny Depp began his career as a quintessential 1980s teen star. Stepping into Tommy Hanson's undercover cop shoes on TV series 21 Jump Street catapulted him to heartthrob status overnight. His role as Glen Lantz in A Nightmare on Elm Street established Depp as both talented and adaptable – qualities that he carried throughout his extensive career.