Most stars from the eighties peter out after a while or manage to keep themselves afloat through one venture or another. Emmanuel Lewis, on the other hand, was the hit of the sitcom “Webster” and then pretty much disappeared. He’s done little else, and most of his television appearances have been as himself.
He’s popped up here and there, but as of 2007, he hasn’t been in anything – his last performance was as himself in “Kickin’ It Old Skool.” However, he’s made a few reality TV and talk show appearances, including “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.” Fans of “Webster” will have to go back to the show to see Lewis showing off his acting chops.
Lea Thompson gave us all kinds of confused feelings thanks to playing Marty McFly's mother in “Back to the Future,” and she still acts in movies and TV. Even before the eighties ended, she appeared in the other films in the “Back to the Future” series, “Howard the Duck,” and “Some Kind of Wonderful.”
She was the lead in “Caroline in the City,” which ran for five seasons, and has been busy during the new teens acting in “Switched at Birth” as Katheryn Kennish. She was in the “Little Women” movie that came out in 2018 and has plenty of roles that are still forthcoming. She might not be the kind of name everybody knows, but nothing beats getting steady work for thirty years.
Soleil Moon Frye
For five years, Soleil Moon Frye was the title character of “Punky Brewster,” and her other claims to the movie and TV fame include “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” “Wild Horses,” and “Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings.” Not the most sparkling items. Yet Frye has been doing well for herself even up to this day – apparently, there is a “Punky Brewster” revival in the works, and Frye is again showing up as the main character.
She's done a good amount of voice work for shows like “Robot Chicken,” “Planet Sheen,” and “Bratz,” and she also hosted the show “Home Made Simple” in 2013 and 2014. Finally, she even founded her own company, which sells party decoration kits.
The thing that most people remember Tawny Kitaen for is as the girl in the music video for Whitesnake's “Here I Go Again.” She's actually been in a few different Whitesnake videos, but she had other claims to fame as well, including “Bachelor Party,” “Gwendoline,” and even “Hercules: The Legendary Journey.” She acted alongside Richard Greico in “After Midnight” in 2014 and played the character, Rachel, in “Moms Anonymous” from 2017 to 2018.
Unfortunately, someone who climbed to stardom thanks to appearing in a music video for a hair metal band isn't going to have a very stable platform to continue her fame. She hasn't appeared on any screens, big or small (or music videos), since “Moms Anonymous” ended.
Jennifer Jason Leigh
She had plenty of fun with the rest of the cast on “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” and there was no stopping her from then on. Jennifer Jason Leigh went on to have tons of roles, including Selena St. George in “Dolores Claiborne,” Hedra Carlson in “Single White Female,” and Lisa Hesselman in “Anomalisa.”
She appears in the forthcoming adaptation of the Stephen King book “Lisey's Story” and has appeared in thirty episodes of “Atypical.” Her biggest role in recent history was as Daisy Domergue in the Tarantino film “The Hateful Eight.” She's also in the revival of “Twin Peaks” and was even a celebrity caller on “Frasier,” the highest honor for anybody.