In the eighties, there were some women in movies who had such memorable performances that they endeared themselves to men everywhere. This is the list of the top twenty eighties vixens.
#20 – Darryl Hannah
Darryl Hannah had a few good vixen-y moments during the eighties. In 1984’s Splash, she spent half the movie topless with long curly locks. In 1986’s Legal Eagles, she played the naïve blonde role while seducing Robert Redford. There was also 1981’s Blade Runner which got her on the map, albeit with some funky makeup.
In any of those roles, she earns her way onto this list.
#19 – Shannon Tweed
If you were a skier in the eighties, you might have gone to see Hot Dog, The Movie when it was in the theaters. If so, you were treated to some steamy scenes with Shannon Tweed. Tweed was a Playmate of the Month in 1981 and then Playboy Playmate of the Year in 1982. Hot Dog was one of her first forays into film, and boy was it memorable.
She made an entrance in a skin-tight blue ski suit early in the film. Her scenes shortly after that at the party her character hosts in the bedroom and then the hot tub demanded that she be a part of this list.
#18 – Monique Gabrielle
Who? You might ask. Once you see the photo off to the right, it’s hard to forget Tracy from the movie Bachelor Party in 1984. Gabrielle was another of Playboy’s Pet of the Month fame. She appeared in the film as the girl that everyone wished they had slept with in the old days. Everyone has one, so to see this play out as fantasy hits home on so many levels for viewers.
The fact that she was gorgeous certainly didn’t hurt to immortalize her as what every man wants to see on the night of his bachelor party. A mule on cocaine is definitely a distant second.
#17 – Betsy Russell
If we were truly being honest, this one should be a bit higher on the list. Russell had many memorable scenes in 1983’s Private School that she easily could have been in the top ten. But with a decade long hiatus from any recognizable mainstream movies until Saw III-VI, she just doesn’t have the name recognition of some of her contemporaries.
No one rode horses quite like she did in the eighties though, that’s for sure.
#16 – Rachel Ward
Rachel Ward had a string of hits in the eighties that included Sharky’s Machine (1981), Against All Odds (1984), and Fortress (1986). Aside from her good looks, her voice and accent allure her to people everywhere.
She was also one of those rare beauties that looks extremely gorgeous with short hair. Not everyone can pull that off, but she does it as well as anyone.
#15 – Tawny Kitaen
Another starlet from the Bachelor Party movie, Kitaen was known more for dating David Coverdale of Whitesnake than her acting. But her string of appearances in the band’s music videos, she was a must add to this list.
While she was good in 1984’s Bachelor Party, it was her role in 1986’s Witchboard that endeared her to this list.
#14 – Cindy Morgan
In 1980, Morgan took on the role of Lacey Underall in the movie Caddyshack. That was likely the first and last time that a woman went bra-less on a public golf course. She probably did as much to promote golf as Jack Nicklaus.
She followed up her success opposite Chevy Chase with a role in 1982’s Tron. After that, it was into television for appearances and a few shows. But it will be her 1980 role that we remember best.
#13 – Kelly Preston
Kelly Preston jumped onto the movie scene in the eighties with roles in 1983’s Christine and 1986’s Spacecamp. But it was her 1985 role as the vixen of Jonathan Bellah in 1985’s Mischief that earns her a spot on this list.
Now married to John Travolta, we all might have forgotten what a vixen she once was back in the eighties.
#12 – Nicole Kidman
She barely makes the eighties cut, but her beginning was pretty memorable in 1989’s Dead Calm with Sam Neill and Billy Zane. This one was the warning to what could happen to you if you decide to sail around the world.
She followed up her eighties success with a whole string of movies in the nineties such as Days of Thunder, Far and Away, and The Peacemaker.
#11 – Sean Young
Sean Young had a bunch of movies that drew us to her in the eighties. She led it off in 1981 with Stripes, playing a sexy female Military Policewoman, then coming right back with Bladerunner in 1982. She was equally alluring in both 1984’s Dune and 1987’s No Way Out.
We kind of faded in the nineties after the whole Ace Ventura Ray Finkle role. It was hard to look at her the same after Mr. Winky humor.
#10 – Uma Thurman
Cool and sweet, sexy and manipulative. That’s what drew us to Uma Thurman in 1988’s Johnny Be Good. One of her first movie roles, this one set her up for her epic string of ninety’s hits that include Pulp Fiction, Beautiful Girls, Batman & Robin, and Gattaca.
Still one of the most bankable actresses in Hollywood. But it was Georgia Elkans that got it all started back in the eighties.
#9 – Mia Sara
Talk about arriving on the scene with a bang. Her first motion picture put her opposite a young Tom Cruise in 1985’s Legend. Her follow up was a little movie in 1986 called Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. That’s a pretty impressive career opening.
Her amazing looks and good-girl appearance made Ferris the envy of people everywhere and assured her a spot on this list.
#8 – Kathleen Turner
Kathleen Turner is another vixen that we were drawn to not only because of her physical beauty. She has one of the more interesting voices out there and that can add to a person’s attractiveness. She kicked things off with 1981’s Body Heat, but it was the 1983 hit Romancing the Stone with Michael Douglas that really drew us in.
In it, she played Joan Wilder, a repressed best-selling author trying to save her sister from treasure hunters. By the end of the movie, she’s opened up and adventurous, as well as a little more scantily clad.
#7 – Vanity (Denise Matthews)
Vanity would have been lower on the list, but she took the lead vixen role in one of our favorite martial arts flicks of the 1980s, The Last Dragon in 1985. One-named vixens also get a bump for originality. She took a downward turn after 1988’s Action Jackson, but will always be in our hearts as Laura Charles.
She also gets a bump up the list for being associated with Prince. Because let’s be real, the man doesn’t date anything less than an eleven on a ten-point scale. Don’t believe me, check out the list here.
#6 – Farrah Fawcett
Already a big television star after a role on the show Charlie’s Angels, Fawcett got roles in two big eighties films. The first, 1981’s Cannonball Run, put her in a mega-cast with big names such as Burt Reynolds, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and others. She stood out in her role as ‘Beauty.’ Or at least that’s what Burt Reynolds’ character called her. We felt that like that was pretty appropriate.
Fawcett followed up her Cannonball role with a critically-acclaimed turn in the movie Extremities in 1986, earning her a Golden Globe nomination in the process. Model, TV star, successful movie actress – definitely in our top ten.
#5 – Kelly LeBrock
Springboarding onto the scene in 1984 was Kelly LeBrock in The Woman in Red. She played the object of Gene Wilder’s infatuation, and our’s too if we’re being really honest. But it was her follow-up movie, 1985’s Weird Science, that immortalized her to young men of the eighties. In that role, she played Lisa, the woman that Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create during a night of boredom at home. Anyone who grew up in the eighties can empathize with having one of those nights. If only we had that kind of technology for real.
#4 – Rebecca DeMornay
DeMornay’s second feature film, 1984’s Risky Business, introduced her to movie goers everywhere. Her role as Lana, a high-end prostitute and mentor to Tom Cruise’s Joel, was epic. The train scene might have been one of the first of its kind to highlight and sensualize sex in public places.
She would have been lower on the list, but in 1988, she came back with And God Created Woman. There was another sultry scene in that one that entrenched her in 1980s vixenhood forever.
#3 – Kim Basinger
She first came on the movie scene in the early eighties with Hard Country and one of my personal favorites, Mother Lode in 1982. But it was 1986 that really got her a spot in our top three. 9 1/2 Weeks was like the prequel to Fifty Shades of Grey thirty years later. In it, Mickey Rourke and Basinger are entwined in a sophisticated relationship of power and lust. The scene set to Joe Cocker’s You Can Leave Your Hat On is worth watching, as is the blindfold and food scene moment.
She followed that up with a turn in the steamy thriller No Mercy in that same year, opposite a young Richard Gere. Their chemistry only added to her already smoldering attraction.
#2 – Christie Brinkley
The girl in the red Ferrari. That’s how she is credited with her role in 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation. Starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, the movie follows the Griswolds on their cross-country trek.
During the long highway drive, Brinkley’s character makes her memorable appearance. I don’t think there are many men on the planet that would have passed up skinny dipping with Brinkley in the hotel pool later on in the movie.
#1 – Phoebe Cates
She participated in one of the most memorable scenes of the eighties. In 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Cates played senior Linda Barrett, best friend of one of the lead characters. It’s Judge Reinhold’s Brad that immortalizes her in the minds of all men from that decade as he envisions her climbing out of the pool and then out of her bathing suit.
Cates would go on to have more successful roles in 1983’s Private School and the 1984 hit, Gremlins. But it’s her role in Fast Times that puts her number one on the 1980s vixens list.