Top 10 Best Actresses of the 1980s

The Top Ten
1 Michelle Pfeiffer Michelle Marie Pfeiffer is an American actress and producer. One of the most popular actresses of the 1980s and 1990s, she has received international acclaim and many accolades for her work in both comedic and dramatic films.

Michelle Pfeiffer wasn't just one of the best, if not THE best, actresses of the '80s, but she is still one of the best actresses today. She is multitalented: an oil painter, singer, and she can fix things around the house. She is stunningly beautiful, a loving mother and wife, and a classy and inspiring woman. She doesn't hog the spotlight or use her children or sex appeal to make headlines, and she is extremely modest. Did I mention her potential for humor? Michelle Pfeiffer is timeless.

The Hollywood Knights (1980), Falling in Love Again (1980), Callie & Son (1981), Splendor in the Grass (1981), Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981), Grease 2 (1982), Scarface (1983), Into the Night (1985), Ladyhawke (1985), Sweet Liberty (1986), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Amazon Women on the Moon (1987), Married to the Mob (1988), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), Tequila Sunrise (1988), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989).

I totally agree with the other comment. Besides her overwhelming beauty, talent, intelligence, and humor, she is so deliciously humble. I so love and adore her.

2 Glenn Close Glenn Close is an American actress, singer and film producer. With an acting career spanning over 40 years, she has been consistently acclaimed for her versatility and is widely regarded as one of the finest actresses of her generation.

Did any of you see "Dangerous Liaisons" or "Fatal Attraction"?
She was absolutely amazing in both of these movies!

3 Sissy Spacek Mary Elizabeth "Sissy" Spacek is an American actress and singer. She began her career in the early 1970s and first gained attention for her role in the film Badlands.

Carrie is amazing.

4 Meryl Streep Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep is an American actress. Cited in the media as the "best actress of her generation", Streep is particularly known for her versatility in her roles, transformation into the characters she plays, and her accent adaptation.

She has been in films such as Holocaust, Julia, The Deer Hunter, Manhattan, The Seduction of Joe Tynan, Kramer vs. Kramer, The French Lieutenant's Woman, Alice at the Palace, Still of the Night, Sophie's Choice, Silkwood, Falling in Love, Plenty, Out of Africa, Heartburn, Ironweed, A Cry in the Dark (aka Evil Angels), and She-Devil. And that's only the '70s and '80s, plus all the work on stage in the '60s and '70s. Ha!

Sophie's Choice was a tour de force and established her as the most accomplished actor of her generation.

She later won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Sophie's Choice (1982)... the best Meryl.

5 Sally Field Sally Margaret Field is an American actress and director. Field began her career on television, starring on the sitcoms Gidget, The Flying Nun, and The Girl with Something Extra.

Hmm, Sally is a small-built woman who could really wear tight jeans well! (Ask Burt.) Very nice.

6 Jessica Lange Jessica Phyllis Lange (born April 20, 1949) is an American actress who has received worldwide acclaim for her work in film, theater, and television. She made her professional film debut in the 1976 remake of the 1933 action-adventure classic King Kong, for which she won her first Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year.

The recipient of several awards, including two Academy Awards, one Tony Award, three Emmy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, one Screen Actors Guild Award, and three Dorian Awards; in 1998, Entertainment Weekly listed Lange among the 25 Greatest Actresses of the 1990s. In 2016, Lange became the twenty-second thespian in history to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting. ...read more.

Gorgeous and a great actress.

7 Sigourney Weaver Susan Alexandra "Sigourney" Weaver is an American actress and film producer. Following her film debut as a minor character in Annie Hall, she quickly came to prominence in 1979 with her first lead role as Ellen Ripley in Alien.

Eyewitness (1981), The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), Deal of the Century (1983), Ghostbusters (1984), One Woman or Two (1985), Aliens (1986), Half Moon Street (1986), Working Girl (1988), Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey (1988), Ghostbusters II (1989).

Ghostbusters and Aliens - enough said.

The best actress in 1982.

8 Diane Lane Diane Lane is an Oscar nominated American actress. Born and raised in New York City, Lane made her screen debut in George Roy Hill's 1979 film A Little Romance, starring opposite Sir Laurence Olivier.

Every character played by Diane Lane reminds me of, oh my gosh, Diane Lane. There are plenty of scenes where her efforts don't quite cut it. For the overwhelming majority of her scenes, however, she manages to convince me that Diane Lane is the character.

Either she's just that good, or I'm in love with her and can't tell the difference - or both.

Touched by Love (1980), Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1981), Cattle Annie and Little Britches (1981), Child Bride of Short Creek (1981), National Lampoon's Movie Madness (1982), Six Pack (1982), Miss All-American Beauty (1982), The Outsiders (1983), Rumble Fish (1983), Streets of Fire (1984), The Cotton Club (1984), Lady Beware (1987), The Big Town (1987), Love Dream (1988).

Diane Lane was and is a beautiful actress. She is funny, lovely, and most of all, a great actress.

9 Geena Davis Virginia Elizabeth "Geena" Davis is an American actress, film producer, writer, voice actress, former model, and former archer.

In her prime, she was a super sexy Amazon-type woman. She can eat cookies in my bed anytime!

She is very good in Beetlejuice and Stuart Little.

One of the most attractive.

10 Debra Winger

An Australian actress and director. She was absolutely gorgeous in "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid," where her acting talents and her deadpan comic ability shone.

Sexy, but not overwhelmingly so. Looks great in tight jeans (Urban Cowboy mechanical bull scene). She's hot enough.

Terms of Endearment was my favorite, along with Urban Cowboy.

The Contenders
11 Jennifer Jason Leigh

If we are talking about the '80s and greatest actresses, she has to be in the top 3. Too many movies to name.

One of her generation's great actresses.

12 Whoopi Goldberg Caryn Elaine Johnson, known professionally by her stage name Whoopi Goldberg, is an American actress, comedian, and television host.

In every movie she played, she showcased the complexities and wonders, or sadness, of life. Truly an icon.

Funny, all-around entertainer.

She helped Sam in Ghost.

13 Lesley Ann Warren
14 Winona Ryder Winona Ryder is an American actress. One of the most profitable and iconic 1990s actresses, she made her film debut in the 1986 film Lucas.
15 Molly Ringwald Molly Kathleen Ringwald is an American actress, singer, dancer, and author. Her first major role was in The Facts of Life before making her motion picture debut in the independent film Tempest, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club are two of the greatest films of all time, partly thanks to the greatness of Molly Ringwald. It's a shame that you don't hear of her anymore.

Top 5 reasons: She is a wonderful actress, she is talented, she is beautiful, she is unique, and she has feeling as an actress.

Molly is the greatest. I love her. She is also probably one of the most beautiful people I've ever seen.

16 Kim Basinger Kimila Ann Basinger is an American actress, singer and former fashion model. Following a successful modeling career in New York during the 1970s, Basinger moved to Los Angeles where she began her acting career on television in 1976.

She is the sexiest woman. I would love to buy her lunch.
And I'm 74 years old. I just love the lady.

I loved your acting in the November sex scene.

Can't beat those lips.

17 Kathleen Turner Mary Kathleen Turner, better known as Kathleen Turner, is an American film and stage actress and director.

Childhood classics like Jewel of the Nile and Romancing the Stone were practically one with my VCR! And she was the epitome of natural beauty in the era of breast enlargement, liposuction, and plastic surgery.

Body Heat (1981), The Man with Two Brains (1983), Romancing the Stone (1984), A Breed Apart (1984), Crimes of Passion (1984), Prizzi's Honor (1985), The Jewel of the Nile (1985), Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Julia and Julia (1987), The Accidental Tourist (1988), Switching Channels (1988), The War of the Roses (1989).

Kathleen Turner in her prime had a natural, vibrant femininity that could be breathtaking.

18 Jodie Foster Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster is an American actress, director and producer who has worked in films and on television. She has often been cited as one of the best actresses of her generation.
19 Phoebe Cates Phoebe Cates Kline, better known as Phoebe Cates, is an American retired film actress, model and singer.

Phoebe Cates was not only beautiful but also a very good actress. She didn't always get the really good roles and was never really taken seriously by Hollywood. They only considered her as a sex symbol, which she was, of course, but she definitely had acting talent besides beauty!

Phoebe Cates is a versatile actress. She can sing, dance, and she can make people cry in dramatic roles. She was just underrated. They could have given her more serious movie roles.

Phoebe, Phoebe, Phoebe! Damn, she is the essence of natural beauty. Just fabulous, inside and out!

20 Kristy McNichol
21 Diane Keaton Diane Keaton, born Diane Hall (January 5, 1946) is an American film actress, director and producer. She began her career on stage and made her screen debut in 1970. ...read more.
22 Mia Farrow
23 Holly Hunter Holly Hunter is an American actress and producer. For her performance as Ada McGrath in the 1993 drama film The Piano, she won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, and Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress.
24 Helen Mirren Dame Helen Lydia Mirren, is an English actor. Mirren began her acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1967, and is one of the few performers who have achieved the Triple Crown of Acting, having won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2007, after two previous nominations, for her performance ...read more.
25 Barbara Hershey
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