The 1980s was truly a wild decade. The fashion style, the music, and the movies that came out of the ’80s were all groundbreaking. Here are some candid (and crazy) photos of the biggest ’80s stars getting wild!
Riding the NYC subway
Michael Jackson was one of the biggest music superstars in the 1980s, releasing iconic songs such as “Thriller,” “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” and “Bad” during the ’80s. Here we see a picture of Jackson filming the music video for his song “Bad” on the New York City subway in 1986. This music video was directed by Martin Scorsese.
Unlike Michael Jackson, actress Meryl Streep rode the New York City subway for actual transportation purposes. Interestingly enough, the New York City subway system was the most dangerous mass transit system in the world, with over 250 felonies committed on trains or in stations every week.
Strike a pose!
Here we see the it-girls of the 1980s, swimsuit model Christine Brinkley and actress/model Brooke Shields, strike a funny face at a premiere party in New York City in 1987. In 2013, the pair recreated this iconic photo.
Here are two absolute legends – singer Stevie Wonder and comedian/actor Eddie Murphy hanging out at a party after Stevie Wonder’s concert at Radio City Music Hall on October 18, 1983. Wonder was one of the biggest artists of the ’80s, and Murphy was in the middle of dominating Saturday Night Live.
Michael J. Fox and Molly Ringwald ruled teenage coming of age films in the 1980s. Most notably, Fox starred in Back to the Future (1985) and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), while Molly Ringwald starred in iconic films including Sixteen Candles (1984) and The Breakfast Club (1985). It was only a matter of time before these two ran into each other!
Dancing up a storm at Studio 54
Here we see an iconic comedian dancing at an iconic club. According to Mark Fleischman, who bought Studio 54 from original owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager and reopened the club in the ’80s, Robin Williams would frequent the club “all the time” throughout the decade.
Speaking of Studio 54, here we see a nine-year-old Drew Barrymore partying it up at the NYC nightclub. Drew Barrymore was one of the most famous child stars of the ’80s, but sadly, struggled with substance abuse. Drew herself called herself a “party girl” from the age of eight onwards. By the age of 12, Drew had already gone to rehab. Despite everything, she would bounce back and she continues to star in movies today.
These guys dress up nicely
Here we see actors Sylvester Stallone and John Travolta at the world premiere of Staying Alive in July, 1983. Staying Alive was the sequel to the 1977 hit movie, Saturday Night Fever. Travolta starred in the sequel while Stallone produced it. However, despite performing well in the box office, the movie received primarily negative reviews and is the oldest film to hold a score of 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. Although the movie didn’t get great reviews, these two stars sure dress up well!
After the movie premiere, it’s time to party! Here we see the star of Staying Alive partying with singer Diana Ross. This photo came three years after Ross released one of her most iconic music records, Diana, which includes iconic eighties songs such as “Upside Down,” and “I’m Coming Out.”
Madonna was the queen of the ’80s
Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and Madonna dated in the early 1980s when they were both establishing themselves. Jean-Michel Basquiat was at the center of the oppressed art movement of street art while Madonna was still an up-and-coming singer. Interestingly enough, Madonna used to perform at the Mudd Club, where the pair are pictured dancing here, before she was selling sold-out stadium tours. Basquiat’s heroin addiction ultimately led to the pair’s split. Basquiat passed away on August 12, 1988, from a heroin overdose.
On April 10, 1985, Madonna embarked on her first tour for the Like A Virgin album that came out in late 1984. Her opening act was the Beastie Boys – a seemingly interesting choice for stadiums that were presumably filled with young girls and their parents. In fact, after the first few concert dates, Madonna’s management wanted to kick the Beastie Boys off the tour, but Madonna stood up for them and they were ultimately kept on.
They were so little!
In 1981, Tom Cruise and Sean Penn starred in the military film, Taps, together. This was both Penn and Cruise’s first major role in a film. In this photo, Tom Cruise was only 19 and Sean Penn was 21!
Here we see actress Phoebe Cates and singer Whitney Houston splashing around during a photo shoot for Seventeen magazine in 1981. Before she was a singer, Whitney Houston was a teen model. After this photoshoot with Cates, Houston would go on to be one of the first Black women to appear on the cover of Seventeen.
Taking mirror selfies before they were cool
Is this the most iconic mirror selfie of all time? Here we see director Stanley Kubrick pretending to take a photo of actor Jack Nicholson on the set of The Shining. In reality, he is taking a mirror selfie with his daughter, Vivian Kubrick.
This is maybe the most ’80s photo ever! Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Franco Columbu hit a workout sesh while giving an interview to a female journalist in Venice Beach. Check out those workout outfits – it’s eighties fashion to the max!
Girls just want to have fun!
Girls just want to have fun, and we’re sure that Madonna and Cyndi Lauper had a great time at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards! These two powerhouses have been friends for years, and in 2018 Cyndi Lauper took the stage for a surprise tribute performance in Cher’s honor.