FILMS and TV… A Few of My 1980s Adored American Actors



Confession time, 5 of my 1980s crushes…


For a belated Valentine’s Day offering, here’s a list of 5 lovely leading men who stole my teenage heart in the 1980s.



80s Reboot Overdrive’s latest post request was for the 80s League to write about our loves near or far from the 1980s. He suggested writing about who we pined for in History classes, which unbeknownst to him, was a fact a History teacher had joked about with me and the boy I fancied in class way back then.

This boy had he read the front of my History folder would have found it to be true. But as my mum always says “What’s for you, won’t go by you..” with True Love hitting me much much later in the form of the lovely man who ended up being my Darlin Husband. Obviously had boyfriends before this, but they were most definitely not the ones, with those stories for another day. Perhaps.

So apologies if you are hoping for my adolescent longings of the true life kind. This is an entertainment site, and I don’t want you crying into your breakfast over those particular adolescent yearnings. Equally, if you want to read more about more conventional hunks from the 80s of the Tom Selleck, Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford ilk, read elsewhere.

These are just 5 of the men I cried over then as a teen… I have confessed to a few more while writing in this blog. So if you want to know more, read more posts. As for the loves of the other 80s League members,  read these fantastic posts!


Michael J Fox

Family Ties Theme Song, ThemeSongVideos

OK, Fox was born in Canada, but he has American citizenship so I am bending the title a wee bit. Michael J Fox was first spotted by me in Back to the Future (1985) as time traveller Marty McFly. I totally enjoyed only this film from the trilogy. I was disappointed in the sequel, and didn’t watch the third one till recently (and cried at it) – as wasn’t fond of Western films back then.  

Fox was my first pin-up actor, I loved the fact he was tiny like me at only 5ft 4, believing true love would find a way with him as I was shorter than him. As I believed then, no actor would possibly date a taller actress could they Tom Cruise.?

Anyway, this also meant I was an avid fan of his comedy show, Family Ties (1982-89). Despite having a schmaltzy theme tune, storylines and family, it meant I had a weekly dose of seeing Fox. This comedy centres on the Keaton family had Michael as their yuppy son, Alex and a nauseating storyline moral to every episode. And a 1985 TV Movie, which I find out only now for some reason…


Michael Douglas

Fatal Attraction – Trailer, Paramount Movies

Michael Douglas was another love. First saw him in Fatal Attraction (1987) on a day with 2 firsts, my first date (ever!) and my first time getting in to see a 15 film. As I leant over to get a better look at Douglas in that kitchen sink scene, my date thought I was getting romantic. But I was only trying to get a better view of Douglas. I also loved Douglas in Romancing the Stone (1984), a film I always cry at without fail. Every time, all of the time.

Also fancied him in A Chorus Line (1985), which he didn’t sing in. Not sure if I should have been relieved or not to this day. And he also starred in War of the Roses (1989), which Darlin Husband refers to as a third part of the Romancing the Stone trilogy.

It also starred Danny DeVito and Kathleen Turner – which it isn’t – the romance and the ending to this film made me sob. Much later found out he directed my favourite film, One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest (1975). But back then, I had family reminding me just how much like his dad – Kurt Douglas – he was…


Tom Berenger

The Big Chill trailer 1983, video detective

Platoon (1986) wasn’t the reason, it was the 1980s miniseries If Tomorrow Comes (1986). Based on the Sidney Sheldon bonkbuster blockbuster and also starring Madolyn Smith, Jeffrey Jones and Liam Neeson. The appearance of Neeson, which I only discovered now is a good excuse to hunt this down to see his particular set of 80s acting skills. Loved Berenger in his lead role, Jeff Stevens so much that I bought the book.

Primarily, as Berenger never seemed to get even a mention let alone a photo in my adolescent magazine reading matter. Possibly due to the fact, that he did war films, and girls like romance.. right? The book had a tiny, pin-sized photo of Berenger on the cover. Buying the book, meant I could visualise him in my head easier, and me as his love interest.

Also adored Berenger in The Big Chill (1983), where his character as actor Sam Weber meets up with his university friends for a funeral. In this film (which has one of my all-time fave soundtracks), his friends insisted on watching Sam’s TV show which now looks like a parody of cop shows of the T.J. Hooker type at the time.

And it’s the funniest bit of this drama comedy – now more famous as being the film Kevin Costner (another 1980s crush) – got cut out from. Ok, Berenger had a rather dodgy looking moustache in the film, but I forgave him for that…


Bruce Willis

Blind Date Trailer 1987, Video Detective

I had a bit of a crush on Bruce Willis, way back when he started his career as the wise-cracking David Addison in Moonlighting. Starring alongside Cybil Shepherd, the duo were detectives of the Blue Moon Detective Agency.  Of course, they had chemistry and yes, they did end up together. But by then I’d stopped watching.

I also saw him in Blind Date (1987) his first leading role in a movie opposite Kim Basinger, which tbh I didn’t enjoy as much as Moonlighting (1985-89). Years later after telling Darling Husband about this crush, he let go of a major bombshell that Curtis Armstrong playing Herbert Viola in the show played Tom Cruise’s best friend in Risky Business (1983)!

Anyway back to Bruce, I also was one of his music groupies having bought his single Under The Boardwalk. In the 1980s I also entered a then friend’s photo into a Bruce Willis look-alike competition in a magazine. At the time, I was the only one who saw this resemblance,  so was super happy when I won a runner up’s prize of a box of chocolates and Bruce’s Album The Return of Bruno.


Larry Hagman

Dallas: Who shot J.R.?, Storm

I’ve already gittered on about my adoration for J.R. Ewing in another post (as found HERE). But equally fancied the socks off the actor himself, Larry Hagman. I loved him as J.R. in Dallas (1978-91), and was close to if not in tears every time J.R. got shot (including reruns) or divorced Sue Ellen.

In two films, I saw for the first time in the 80s, in one he sported a dodgy 80s moustache in The Eagle Has Landed (1976), which led to another major sob moment when his character also got shot. And of course, Superman (1978), which on its first viewing on the telly in the 1980s knowing about this meant the added bonus of more Hagman, in a cameo which made my dad chuckle.

But luckily, no bullets were fired this time. Earlier on in the decade, I’d spent all night watching some of Britain’s direst comedians and musicians in The Royal Variety Performance (1980), waiting for Hagman’s top-billed appearance. As my mum predicted Larry featured in the final segment and was worth the wait. Despite the poor man fluffing his lines.

So here’s my somewhat unconventional lineup of 80s American Hunks from the 1980s – my teenage years. Of course, there were a lot more, British actors mainly including EastEnders heartthrobs (remember male Scottish nurse Andy played Ross Davidson?), British sit-com stars (Paul Nicholas had a smile to die for which eclipsed his 80s perm) and Aussie Neighbours (1985-92) soap stars (Stefan Dennis, so sad as a friend even bought me his one shit hit wonder). But if you are reading this post, shaking your head in horror, just be glad it wasn’t a 1970s list…



13 thoughts on “FILMS and TV… A Few of My 1980s Adored American Actors

  1. Between our podcast and your blog, there is a lot of love for Mr. Michael J. Fox this month. Douglas, Berenger, and Hagman, huh? Guessing like my wife you have an appreciation for older men. My wife is into Harrison Ford so if she wrote a blog you might see him mentioned. Great choices here. Question for you consideration, was Bruce more of a heartthrob as David Addison in Moonlighting or John McClain in Die Hard? I was also a fan of Return of Bruno. “Secret Agent Man” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adored him in Moonlighting until I stopped watching it, but Alan Rickman stole his thunder (for me anyway) in Die Hard. Have a wee appreciation for older men now, but have a soft spot for Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm and Leonardo Di Caprio!!


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