Here Is What Happened To Some Of The Most Famous Female Teen Stars Of The ’80s

We can all agree that the 80’s were the best decade. The amazing music, memorable fashion, the nostalgic TV shows, the high school movies and way too much blue eyeshadow. But, most importantly the iconic actresses and performers who left a mark on this decade when they were just teenagers.

Here is what some of them are up to now, as compiled by Ranker.


1. Molly Ringwald – Then


Considered by some as the greatest teen star of all time, she appeared in the iconic movie that encapsulated adolescence in the ’80s – The Breakfast Club. Before getting roles in teen-oriented movies, the Roseville-born had a role in the sitcom Diff’rent Strokes but was later fired. Molly even had a short singing career, performing with her pianist father and his Fulton Street Jazz Band when she was three. She was also singing on some Disney produced albums.

Molly Ringwald – Now


The 49-year-old actress continues with her acting career as she portrayed Anne Juergens in the drama series The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She also wrote two books, Getting the Pretty Back and When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories. The Roseville-born even released a jazz compilation in 2013.

2. Susan Dey – Then

The actress most famous for her television roles as Laurie Partridge in the sitcom The Partridge Family and Grace Van Owen on the drama series L.A. Law started off as a child model. It all began when her stepmother sent a picture of the 15-year-old Susan to a modeling agency.

Susan Dey – now


After the 65-year-old actress won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy three times, she quit acting and reinvented herself as a public servant at the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Medical Center.

3. Kristy McNichol – Then


The Little Darlings actress got her start in commercials as a child actress. Soon after she became famous for her role as Letitia “Buddy” Lawrence on the hit show Family. She even received two Emmys for this role. After Family went off the air the actress kept working on films but none of them were successful. Being cast on the sitcom Empty Nest is what made her popular again, but she left the show after being diagnosed with a bipolar disorder.

Kristy McNichol – Now


Now the 55-year-old actress teaches acting herself, and after coming out as a lesbian she became an advocate for gay rights.

4. Debbie Gibson – Then


The 47-year-old singer-songwriter started writing songs way before she was a teenager and started performing them in her teens. Her debut album Out Of The Blue went platinum in the ’80s. After that, she released another album, Electric Youth, that went double platinum.

Debbie Gibson – Now


After her insane success in the 80’s, she kept releasing albums but they only sold decently. The Brooklyn-born even performed on American Idol and she never stopped touring.

5. Janet Jackson – Then


The 51-year-old singer known for her sonically innovative and provocative records was born in a talented and successful family. She appeared in popular TV shows like Good Times and Diff’rent Strokes. She released her debut album on September 21, 1982, but didn’t become instantly popular. However, her album Control released a few years later got her many awards and made her the superstar she is today.

Janet Jackson – Now


The Indiana-born singer and actress appeared in movies, such as Poetic Justice and The Nutty Professor II and kept releasing platinum albums. She even wrote a book called True You: A Journey To Finding And Loving Yourself.

6. Marie Osmond – Then


The Osmonds are a family music group with a long career but Marie was never part of her family’s singing group. She released her own album back in ’73. However, the 58-year-old singer became popular only after paring with her younger brother and starring in the show, Donny & Marie, which aired on ABC from January 1976 to January 1979. After the show went off the air, Marie gained success as a solo country music artist.

Marie Osmond – Now

In the 90’s she appeared on a few TV shows and wrote three bestsellers. She has eight kids — three biological and five adopted and has become a spokesperson for Nutrisystem weight loss meals and even hosts her own talk show, Marie, on the Reelz Channel.

7. Valerie Bertinelli – Then


The two-time Golden Globe Award-winning actress is best known for her role as Barbara Cooper Royer on the sitcom One Day at a Time. But, after the show ended in 1984, even though she continued acting, her marriage with rocker Eddie Van Halen in 1981 was what was mostly covered by the media.

Valerie Bertinelli – Now


The New York Times best-selling author gained some weight and wrote two books about it. She separated with Eddie Van Halen in 2007 and portrayed Valerie Bertinelli in the sitcom Hot in Cleveland.

8. Patty Duke – Then


The Valley of the Dolls actress first became known as a teen star, and she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at age 16 for her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. She even had her own TV show that was specially created and written for her.

Patty Duke – Now


She continued to act in film and television throughout her life and after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder she became an advocate for mental health issues. Patty died on March 29, 2016, when she was 69 years old.

9. Tiffany – Then


The 46-year-old singer released her debut album in 1987 at the age of fifteen. The album sold over four million copies and she became one of the most famous singers of the ’80s.

Tiffany – Now


The Dreams Never Die singer kept making music and performing but now she prefers “small venues when people just sing and really connect with an audience”

10. Maureen McCormick – Then


The 61-year-old actress is best known for her portrayal of Marcia Brady on the ABC television sitcom The Brady Bunch. After the show was canceled, she appeared on other famous shows such as Happy Days and Love Boat.

Maureen McCormick – Now


The actress who played the eldest daughter on the long-running sit-com released a memoir titled Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, writing about the behind-the-scenes life.

Source: ranker