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Where Are The Biggest Action Stars Of The 1980s Now?

Madeline Hiltz
(Photo Credits: MovieStills DB)

Action movies in the 1980s were truly in a league of their own. With many of these original ’80s action movies being remade, it’s easy to wonder what the original stars are up to. Here are how 10 of the most famous tough guys in Hollywood stood the test of time.

1. Chuck Norris

Church Norris in Delta Force, 1986. (Photo Credit: MovieStills DB)

Church Norris in Delta Force, 1986. (Photo Credit: MovieStills DB)

Chuck Norris was Major Scott McCoy in the 1986 movie Delta Force, which was based on the American military’s elite tactical unit with the same name. Chuck Norris, who is a celebrated martial arts fighter, retired from professional acting in 2018.

Chuck Norris at German Comic Con, 2018. (Photo Credit: Markus Wissmann/ Shutterstock)

Chuck Norris at German Comic Con, 2018. (Photo Credit: Markus Wissmann/ Shutterstock)

2. Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone in the first Rocky, 1976. (Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, United Artists/ MovieStills DB)

Sylvester Stallone in the first Rocky, 1976. (Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, United Artists/ MovieStills DB)

Sylvester Stallone acted in a slew of action movies in the 1980s, including the Rocky franchise, Rambo (1982), and Cobra (1986). Stallone, who is 74, continues to act and has a number of films still in the works.

Sylvester Stallone at the premiere of “One Night: Joshua Vs. Ruiz,” in July 2019. (Photo Credit: Leon Bennett/ Stringer/ Getty Images)

Sylvester Stallone at the premiere of “One Night: Joshua Vs. Ruiz,” in July 2019. (Photo Credit: Leon Bennett/ Stringer/ Getty Images)

3. Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom, 1984. (Photo Credit: Lucasfilm/ Paramount/ MovieStills DB)

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom, 1984. (Photo Credit: Lucasfilm/ Paramount/ MovieStills DB)

Harrison Ford was one of the top movie stars throughout the 1980s, not only in his role as Indiana Jones, but also as Han Solo in the Star Wars franchise. Harrison, who continues to act, reprised his role in Blade Runner 2049, which came out in 2017. He will also return as Indiana Jones in the fifth and final installment of the Indiana Jones franchise.

Harrison Ford, 2017. (Photo Credit: Desiree Navarro/ Getty Images)

Harrison Ford, 2017. (Photo Credit: Desiree Navarro/ Getty Images)

4. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator, 1984. (Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/ MovieStillsDB)

Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator, 1984. (Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/ MovieStillsDB)

Arnold Schwarzenegger has truly done it all — he has been Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia, has been a world-class actor, and even stuck his foot into politics, serving as the Governor of California from 2003–2011. After his time as the governor of California, he returned to acting and most recently appeared in a reboot of the Terminator franchise.

Arnold Schwarzenegger at the premiere of “Terminator: Dark Fate” in Tokyo, Japan, 2019. (Photo Credit: Jun Sato/ Getty Images)

Arnold Schwarzenegger at the premiere of “Terminator: Dark Fate” in Tokyo, Japan, 2019. (Photo Credit: Jun Sato/ Getty Images)

5. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise in the 1986 film “Top Gun.” (Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures/ MovieStills DB)

Tom Cruise in the 1986 film “Top Gun.” (Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures/ MovieStills DB)

Tom Cruise started his action career with the movie Top Gun and since then, he has not looked back once. Cruise continues to act — primarily in action films — even today. Although he is best known for his acting in numerous action-packed films, he is also credited with performing the majority of his own stunts.

Tom Cruise filming “Mission Impossible 7” in Rome, 2020. (Photo Credit: Gennaro Leonardi/ Shutterstock)

Tom Cruise filming “Mission Impossible 7” in Rome, 2020. (Photo Credit: Gennaro Leonardi/ Shutterstock)

6. Carl Weathers

Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed, Rocky III (1982). (Photo Credit: United Artists/ MovieStills DB)

Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed, Rocky III (1982). (Photo Credit: United Artists/ MovieStills DB)

Carl Weathers is best known for his role as Apollo Creed in the first four Rocky films, but did you also know he was once a world-class football player? Weathers continues to act in both television shows and movies, but also has a knack for voice acting, most recently appearing as “Combat Carl” in Toy Story 4 (2019).

Carl Weathers at the Toy Story 4 premiere in Los Angeles, June 2019. (Photo Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency/ Shutterstock)

Carl Weathers at the Toy Story 4 premiere in Los Angeles, June 2019. (Photo Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency/ Shutterstock)

7. Peter Weller

Peter Weller in RoboCop, 1987.(Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox/ MovieStills DB)

Peter Weller in RoboCop, 1987.
(Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox/ MovieStills DB)

Peter Weller might be most recognizable from his role in RoboCop, but did you know he is also an art historian with a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles? At age 57, he went back to school to earn his Master’s degree in Roman and Renaissance Art at Syracuse University followed by his PhD in Renaissance art history at UCLA. Talk about a jack of all trades!

Peter Weller at the Emmy’s Golf Classic, 2019. (Photo Credit: Michael Tullberg/ Getty Images)

Peter Weller at the Emmy’s Golf Classic, 2019. (Photo Credit: Michael Tullberg/ Getty Images)

8. Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis in Die Hard, 1988. (Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox/ MovieStills DB)

Bruce Willis in Die Hard, 1988. (Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox/ MovieStills DB)

Bruce Willis is best known for his action-packed movies and his portrayal of John McClane in the Die Hard franchise, but he is also an accredited singer and theater actor. He has released three albums and appeared in the Broadway adaption of Misery in 2015.

Bruce Willis om Shanghai, China, 2019. (Photo Credit: VCG / Getty Images)

Bruce Willis om Shanghai, China, 2019. (Photo Credit: VCG / Getty Images)

9. Kurt Russell

Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China, 1986. (Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox/ MovieStills DB)

Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China, 1986. (Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox/ MovieStills DB)

Kurt Russell started his acting career as a child and hasn’t stopped yet. Russell is still acting and starring in films, but did you know he is also a pilot? In fact, he was the first person to report the infamous Phoenix Lights UFO Sightings in 1997. Russell’s star power truly is out of this world.

Kurt Russell arriving at “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in November, 2018. (Photo Credit: BG017/ Bauer-Griffin/ Getty Images)

Kurt Russell arriving at “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in November, 2018. (Photo Credit: BG017/ Bauer-Griffin/ Getty Images)

10. Danny Glover and Mel Gibson

Danny Glover (left) and Mel Gibson (right) in Lethal Weapon, 1987. (Photo Credit: Warner Bros/ MovieStills DB)

Danny Glover (left) and Mel Gibson (right) in Lethal Weapon, 1987. (Photo Credit: Warner Bros/ MovieStills DB)

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover were a dynamic duo for Hollywood action films in the 1980s, most famously starring in the 1987 film Lethal Weapon together. In fact, Glover has agreed to come out of retirement to costar with Gibson in the fifth and final installment of the Lethal Weapon franchise.

Danny Glover (left) and Mel Gibson (right) in 2017. (Photo Credit: Joshua Blanchard/ Stringer/ Getty Images)

Danny Glover (left) and Mel Gibson (right) in 2017. (Photo Credit: Joshua Blanchard/ Stringer/ Getty Images)

More from us: Surprising Things We Didn’t Know About Action Movie Icon Dolph Lundgren

The release date for this fifth film is still up in the air, but it will be great to see Gibson and Glover on the big screen together again.

Madeline Hiltz

Madeline Hiltz is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News