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Teen Idols of the 80’s

26 Mar

Christopher Atkins, Blue Lagoon 1980

Teen Idols were not the sole domain of the 80’s, they have existed ever since  teens were invented.  The 80’s  probably did not have more teen  idols than other decades just an increase in ones with little talent fuelled by music videos, similar to any of  todays reality TV personalities.  A New medium always needs new content.

Christopher Atkins

Chris is an easy target as he is a two time winner of the Golden Raspberry Awards for worst

Christopher Atkins Playgirl

 actor in 1983 and worst supporting actor in 1989.   He did get his fair share of the spotlight in the early 80’s beginning with the Blue Lagoon starring alongside a teen Brooke Shields.  The plot as thin as Brooke’s string bikini has the two shipwrecked on a tropical island from childhood and eventually falling in love as they reach adolescents.  The topless, semi nude and nude scenes of both actors earned the movie an R rating, nonetheless it went on to do $58 million at the box office.

Other Gigs

Atkins went on to do a few more movies The Pirate Movie 1982 with Kristy MacNichol another teen star best remembered from her days on the TV show Family.  Despite her acting talent the movie flopped.  He posed for playboy twice in 82, did a full season 83-84 of the TV show Dallas as the young stud having an affair with an older woman and so the roles went.  Another movie playing a college student stripping his way through college; he was unable to find an acting gig where he kept his shirt and sometimes pants on.

After the 80’s

The curly blond hair, the result of a perm went darker and straighter. Numerous cameos on TV and bit parts kept him busy along with a few TV commercials.  A review of his acting bio claims over 50 acting gigs and reveals he is set to appear in 7 movies or TV shows in 2011.  DVD’s of his movies and autographed photos are available from his official website.   Only die hard fans should bother to click.

Who You Gonna Call?

10 Mar

Summer of 84 saw Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray team up once again with producer/director Ivan Reiteman along with Annie Pots, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis and Ernie Hudson make the 32 nd biggest grossing  film of all time. (adjusted for inflation)  The movie ran for 7 weeks at number one, being displaced by Prince’s Purple Rain after a week it regained top spot and held the number 1 position for another 6 weeks.

The Music

Gohstbusters was true 80’s phenomenon being  the first film to officially reach #1 at the box office, MTV video and the  Billboard music chart.   Ray Parker Jr. earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.   The theme   song “Who You Gonna Call”  was reported to be worth an extra $20 million to the box office take.   Despite the success and popularity of the song  Huey Lewis sued Parker  for plagiarism claiming the melody was stolen from his “I Want A New Drug”  hit, recorded in 83.  Lewis was originally asked  to write the title song but declined as he was working on the music for Back to The Future at the time.  There was a settlement reached out of court with an agreement not to mention the suit.  Lewis  breached the agreement on the VH1 show ” Behind the Music” years later.

Hunky Men of the 80’s

5 Mar

Adrian Zmed

Adrian Zmed, teen heart-throb almost at 30.

It is only fitting that I balance Sexy Women of the 80’s with Hunky Men.  Adrian Zmed gets first post as he was a staple of the very late 70’s and all over television in the 80’s appearing in episodic series Starsky and Hutch, Love Boat, Empty Nest, Bosom Buddies, Goodtime Girls, Murder She Wrote and the list goes on.  Like so many actors, a high school sports star he suffered a severe injury to his knee playing football and thus turned to acting and singing.   It was  in 1982 when he appeared in both Grease 2 with Michelle Pfeifer and TJ Hooker (82-85) playing the character Vince Roman alongside William Shatner and Heather Locklear did he rise to the top of the Handsome Hunk heap.

Zmed, shirtless as he often was on TJ Hooker


Zmed  and Locklear were constantly being scripted into situations that called for shirtless or skimpy outfits as they often did police duty undercover even tough they were uniformed officers.  Adrian went on to minor success on the large screen with Bachelor Party starring a young Tom Hanks and Tawny Kitaen.  His big screen career never rose higher than this and he returned to TV series and specials. In 85 he departed TJ hooker and became the host of Dance Fever for 2 years and has kept active with numerous TV appearances.  Zmed can be found performing Adrian Zmed In Concert on  the Princess cruise ship line.  Adrian turns 57, March 4, 2011.


Sexy Women of the 80’s

5 Mar

Pheobe Cates Fast Times at Ridgemont High 1982

Phoebe Cates

Cates acting debut was not in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, this was her most remembered movies as it had one of the greatest bikini drop scenes ever on film but rather Paradise with Willie Ames.   The two movies with lots of topless and partial nudity put Cates into the teen sex romp category.  She went on to do Private School another along the likes of Fast Times, Steven Spielberg’s Gremlins, the forgotten Shag and  Michael J Fox’s model wife in Bright Lights Big City.  As a daughter of a well-known broadway and television  producer, Cates attended Julliard for dance and turned to acting/modeling  only after a knee injury at the age of 15.  This led to numerous TV commercials and appearances on the cover of  Tiger and Teen Beat magazines. 

Cates, then and now

 In 1989 Cates met her future husband actor Kevin Kline, 17 years her senior while auditioning for the Big Chill; the part went to Meg Tilly.  Cates took the 90’s off to raise her and Klines 2 children.  Despite distancing herself from her acting and nude scenes in Paradise she stated “In this business, if a girl wants a career, she has to be willing to strip. If you’ve got a good bod, then why not show it?”  Cates placed 14th in Harper’s Bazzar  Sexiest women of the 80’s.

She’s A Maniac!

17 Feb

This is how I remember Jennifer Beals in Flashdance 1983.

I’m sure there was more to the movie than this but at the age of 17 there wasn’t much else about the movie I can remember.       

Maybe for this also!


The movie spawned the fashion of over sized sweat shirts and leg warmers with a bit of help from Jane Fonda and the Aerobercise fad.  Hot on the heels of “Fame” 1980, Flashdance helped  to popularize the dance movie genre. Foot Loose, Heavenly Bodies, Breakin and Dirty Dancing  and many more were to follow.  The soundtrack had 2 hits: She’s A Maniac and Irene Cara’s What A Feeling.

Only 20 at the time of the movie,  Beals plays 18 year old Alex  who welds by day and dreams of dancing at a prestigous academy, while working as an exotic dancer but not the kind that actually strips.  As most dance movies there is not a lot of plot.  Still it was the 3rd highest grossing movie of 83.  Beals has continuously worked throughout the years, best known for her work on the L Word and starring in a new Police Drama entitled Chicago Code, premiering February 2011.

Jennifer Beals Chicago Code 2011

Jennifer Beals Chicago Code 2011


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