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8 Things You Didn’t Know About 80s Stars

Did you know that the Oscar-winning actress from 2022, Jamie Lee Curtis, designed and patented a modification to diapers in 1987?

Martyna Janasik

16 April 2024

8 Things You Didn't Know About 80s Stars

Here are 8 things you didn’t know about 80s stars. The list includes stars who are still cinema icons today.

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg

Although many movie buffs associate Whoopi Goldberg with 90s hits like Ghost, The Associate, or Sister Act, this American actress gained star status as early as the 1980s. It was during this time that Steven Spielberg’s employees noticed her on Broadway and offered her a role in the film The Color Purple, for which Goldberg won a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination. I’m curious if you know what Whoopi Goldberg did before she became a movie star for good? One of the first jobs she had was working in a funeral home, where she applied makeup to the deceased. She was also a certified cosmetologist.

Mel Gibson and cattle farming

Edge of Darkness Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson is a renowned actor and director. He has made his mark in cinema history with films such as the Mad Max series, Lethal Weapon, and his directed works like The Passion of the Christ and the production of Braveheart. Although the actor won the hearts of the audience in the 1980s with his roles in the Mad Max series and later Lethal Weapon, at one point he left America. In one interview, he said that adjusting to fame was an incredibly difficult process. Therefore, he decided to leave America and return to Australia, where he spent most of his childhood and youth. There, he engaged in cattle farming. Reflecting on that period, he stated that working on the ranch was a great way to clear his mind.

Carrie Fisher and cow tongue

carrie fisher

Carrie Fisher is famous for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars series. The actress was equally known for her role in Star Wars as well as her struggles with alcohol and drug addiction, and her strong personality. Pay attention, please, especially to the fact that I mentioned her strong personality. Then you might be less surprised to learn that Carrie Fisher once sent a cow tongue to a producer as a threat. Allegedly, when Heather Ross told the actress that she had been taken advantage of by a film producer, Fisher decided to send him a warning. Ross said she put the tongue in a Tiffany box and personally delivered it to the man, knowing he would be in his office. Along with the tongue was a message that read: “If you ever touch my beloved Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be with your body part, and in a much smaller box!”

Michael J. Fox and the lunchbox

Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox’s career gained momentum after he played Alex P. Keaton in the TV show Family Ties, but he almost didn’t get the role. It was all because of Brandon Tartikoff, who believed that Michael J. Fox was too short to play the role — he stands at 5’7″ (170 cm). What’s more, legend has it that Tartikoff once said that the actor’s face wasn’t the kind of face you’d see on a lunchbox. However, the man was mistaken. Fox remains an icon of Hollywood to this day, and his face adorns many fan gadgets and clothing. His image has even appeared on a lunchbox. Fox ordered a lunchbox specially for Tartikoff with the inscription: “To Brandon: this is for you to put your crow in. Love me.” Tartikoff kept the lunchbox in his office until the end of his career. Fox confirmed the story of the lunchbox in his book Lucky Man: A Memoir.

Jamie Lee Curtis and modified diapers

Jamie Lee Curtis Ana de Armas

Jamie Lee Curtis became a star after starring in a series of horror films in the 1980s. During that time, she also found the time to design and patent a modification to diapers in 1987. This modification involved adding a moisture-resistant pocket to the diaper, where wipes could be stored for easy access during diaper changes for infants. She refused to sell her invention, insisting that companies sell biodegradable diapers before making her modification available.

John Travolta and airplanes

Carrie john travolta

John Travolta wasn’t a star in the 1980s because his exceptional success came with Saturday Night Fever in 1977. However, the 1980s were a weak professional period for him, and it wasn’t until Pulp Fiction that he returned to the top. In the meantime, he continued to pursue his greatest hobby — flying airplanes. The actor has held a pilot’s license since he was 22 years old and owns four airplanes. On November 24, 1992, he piloted a Gulfstream N728T airplane with his family when the electrical generator failed. Travolta had to make an emergency landing, relying only on a magnetic compass and the city lights of Washington.

Tom Cruise and Top Gun sunglasses

cruise hunt

Do you remember Tom Cruise’s sunglasses from the first Top Gun movie? Today, those frames, known as aviators, are absolutely iconic. Moreover, Ray-Ban reports that after these sunglasses appeared in Top Gun, their sales increased by 40 percent.

Patrick Swayze and amputation

road house patrick swayze

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Patrick Swayze quickly gained the affection of fans and the attention of critics — between 1987 and 1997, he received three Golden Globe nominations — so much so that he was set to receive his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997. However, it almost didn’t happen because in his youth, Swayze suffered a serious knee injury that threatened amputation of his leg. The actor underwent a series of complicated surgeries and eventually learned to walk again. Dance classes, including ballet, helped him in this process. That’s why in later years, the actor excelled in roles such as a dance instructor in Dirty Dancing and a ballet dancer in The Last Dance.

Martyna Janasik

Martyna Janasik

Cultural studies scholar and writer. Enthusiast of food, cinema, and sports. Probably that's why some of her favorite movies are "Rocky" and "Julie and Julia". She always wanted to write, so she will always write. In her free time, she loves watching movies and playing tennis.

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