5 of the Best Action Stars of the 80s

First Blood (1982) - Trailer (HD) - YouTube

credit: Rambo: First Blood

The 80s was a great decade for movies, especially when it came to action movies. Some folks might look back and rip into the movies for the effects, the dialogue, and even the way things come together, but the fact remains that the 80s ended up setting a new pace for action movies that was built off of the decades that came before.  The over-the-top action scenes and the characters that were created during this time have lasted for decades now, and a few have even managed to last for several movies. A few of those on this list have seen their fame last for years now, while others have gone the more dramatic route and switched things up a bit. Still, the action heroes that were created back in the day are still remembered with a great deal of respect since they ended up continuing and creating a legacy that others have followed to this day. 

Here are five of the best action stars from the 80s. 

5. Kurt Russell

The Legacy of John Carpenter's Escape From New York | Den of Geek

credit: Escape from New York

Despite being one of the best characters of the 80s, Snake Plissken didn’t exactly translate well to the decades that followed. Kurt Russell on the other hand has been a great action star for a while now, and Snake is only one of his many roles. But back in the 80s, Snake was one of the most well-respected roles he’d ever played in terms of action, and the fact that people still remember this character to this day is impressive. Kurt has taken on a lot of other roles over the years, some dramatic, some comedic, and yet he’s never fully stepped away from action, at least until recent years. Age does a lot to tame an action star, and the best of the 80s have grown old and slowed down quite a bit. But a lot of them are still legends. 

4. Sigourney Weaver

Bursting for a return: could Sigourney Weaver resurrect the Alien  franchise? | Movies | The Guardian

credit: Aliens

Sigourney Weaver was never really known as an action star until her stint in the Alien franchise since, to be fair, she’s been far more prominent in everything other than action movies. But when she took on the role of Ellen Ripley, she created a character that people loved and believed in almost immediately since she wasn’t an immediate badass. She had to earn her spot on lists such as this, and she did so in a manner that made her immediately memorable. Ripley had to take one of the nastiest creatures in the known universe, and she ended up sacrificing herself at one point, only to be brought back by artificial means. Despite the overuse of this character, Sigourney still managed to secure her place in the history of action movies. 

3. Harrison Ford

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credit: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Between the Indiana Jones movies and the other stories that he took part in, Harrison Ford is another name that has been added to the history books as a great action character. Like others, he’s gone on to do other things during the length of his career, but the action roles he took on have immortalized him in a few ways since he’s become an inspiration to a lot of people, and his characters have been emulated more than once in the past few decades. Out of all the names to be looked up to in the 80s, Ford’s was one that has endured for a long, long time now, and along with a few others, he’s still at it. 

2. Sylvester Stallone

First Blood: The Original Rambo Movie Is As Important Today As Ever - IGN

credit: Rambo: First Blood

Out of all the action stars from the 80s, one of them that’s still going the strongest is Sylvester Stallone, despite the fact that he’s currently in his 70s and should be thinking about retirement after all the punishment his body has taken. His time as Rocky, Rambo, and the many other roles he’s taken on over the years have immortalized the guy in ways that won’t easily fade as the years continue to move forward, especially since there’s usually talk of bringing back one character or another back now and then. Stallone is the kind of guy that just keeps going it would appear, whether people think he should retire or not. 

1. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Conan the Barbarian (1982) - IMDb

credit: Conan the Barbarian

It’s kind of amazing to think that Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t famous at one point since he did have to wait a while until the role of Conan was given to him, and before that, there wasn’t much buzz surrounding his name outside the world of bodybuilding. Once he picked up a sword and started swinging, though he became one of the most well-known action stars around. His roles as Conan, the Terminator, Dutch in Predator, and many others cemented his place in cinematic history. When asking around, it’s easy to hear that Arnold is by far one of the most loved action heroes of all time. 

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