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14 Hollywood Male Actors From The 80s And 90s: Then And Now

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Like photography, video and film have become a method for us to travel back in time and explore various eras, settings, and stories. It’s the screen that allows us to watch great actors and leading men who defined an era not only in the past, but also in the present, with the changes that time and the passage of time have brought about in their appearance.

Daily Highlight would like to take a trip down memory lane to see how the top men of the 1980s and 1990s have evolved.

1. John Travolta

John Travolta, as multifaceted as they come, has delighted audiences with his on-screen performances, as well as his dances, shows, and even songs. He came to stardom in the 1980s, appearing in films such as Blow Out and Staying Alive, after leaving millions of people dumbfounded with his performance in Grease. Travolta has remained relevant on the big screen thanks to roles in films such as Trading Paint and Pulp Fiction.

2. Richard Gere

Source: © American Gigolo / Paramount Pictures and co-producers, © Invision / Invision / East News

Richard Gere is a well-known actor who has established a reputation on the big screen. He began performing in films in the 1970s, but it was in the 1980s that he rose to prominence thanks to his appearance in the film American Gigolo. That film’s success was only the beginning of a lengthy list of achievements that he would acquire over the years. In the 1990s, he left no one untouched with films like Pretty Woman and, more recently, The Dinner.

3. Christopher Lambert

In the 1980s, many films starring Christopher Lambert, a French actor who rose to notoriety in Hollywood blockbusters, were shown in theaters. Greystoke, The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, and Highlander were among his most well-known performances during that time, and later blockbusters like Resurrection and Ghost Rider followed.

4. Kurt Russell

Kurt Russell began his acting career in the 1960s after being born into a family of dancers and actors. Russell went on to become one of the most well-known faces in action movies. In the 1980s, he starred in films including Big Trouble in Little China and Tango & Cash, and more recently, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Christmas Chronicles, and Fast and Furious 9.

5. Rob Lowe

Source: © The Outsiders / Zoetrope Studios and co-producers, © roblowe / Instagram

Rob Lowe started out as a model, but after appearing in several plays, he got more interested in acting. In the 1980s, he appeared in a number of films, but it was The Outsiders, in which he co-starred with Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, and Ralph Macchio, that solidified his international renown. He recently appeared in a number of films, including Super Troopers 2 and How to Be a Latin Lover.

6. Tom Selleck

Selleck began his acting career in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He is a man who is known for his elegance and, of course, his iconic mustache. His most well-known performances include the 1980s series’ private investigator protagonist Magnum, P.I. and his part in Three Men and a Baby. He is still active today, and you may catch him on the television show Blue Bloods.

7. Harrison Ford

Despite the fact that he had been playing for a long time, it was only in the late 1970s and early 1980s that he achieved international reputation and success. The acclaimed creative director George Lucas gave him the opportunity to participate in some of his most well-known and remembered films, including Star Wars. As a result, Harrison Ford took on the roles of Han Solo and Indiana Jones. As they say in Hollywood, the rest is history.

8. Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas, the talented son of famed actor Kirk Douglas, followed in his father’s footsteps and rose to stardom. He established that he was a natural born actor with parts in important films from the 1980s and 1990s, such as Basic Instinct. That might explain why, despite his advanced age, he continues to feature in blockbuster films like as Ant-Man and the Wasp and Avengers: Endgame, as well as TV programs such as The Kominsky Method.

9. Matt Dillon

Source: © My Bodyguard / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producers, © mattdillon / Instagram

In the 1980s and 1990s, another prominent leading man was Matt Dillon, an actor and film and television producer. His roles in films like The Outsiders, Him Die For, and There’s Something About Mary cemented his status as a critically and generally acclaimed actor.

10. Matthew Broderick

Source: © WarGames / United Artists and co-producers, © Lev Radin / Pacific Press / SIPA / SIPA / East News

Matthew Broderick inherited his parents’ passion for art and performing, and as a result, he is in high demand as an actor. He performed in films such as Godzilla and Inspector Gadget in the 1990s, and more recently, he appeared in Lazy Susan.

11. Devon Sawa

Source: © Wild America / Morgan Creek Entertainment and co-producers, © d.sawa / Instagram

He rose to fame in 1995 as the human counterpart of Casper, the charming little ghost. In the year 2000, he had further success, and he resumed his career with the film Final Destination. Devon Sawa starred opposite Bruce Willis and Luke Wilson in the 2022 film Gasoline Alley.

12. John Cusack

Source: © Class / Orion Pictures, © Pursuit / Cartouche and co-producers

John Cusack is another name from that era that is still recognized today. Cusack was able to reach millions of people with films like Being John Malkovich, earning him a well-deserved position among Hollywood’s stars.

13. James Spader

Source: © Tuff Turf / New World Pictures and co-producers, © The Blacklist / Sony Pictures Television and co-producers

This actor is most known for his role as Raymond Reddington in the blockbuster television drama The Blacklist. On the other hand, his acting career has a long and renowned history. In the 1980s, James Spader starred in Stargate and Crash.

14. Alan Ruck

Source: © Ferris Bueller’s Day Off / Paramount Pictures, © Succession / Project Zeus and co-producers

Ferry’s Bueller’s Day Off, Star Trek: Next Generation, and Speed have all featured this legendary actor. He most recently appeared in the film The Dropout, in which he co-starred alongside Amanda Seyfried.

Any other leading men from the 1980s and 1990s come to mind? What is your favorite movie from this era?

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