No one on this list has quite a comeback story quite like Billy Zabka. Of course, this talented actor is best known for his role as the opponent of Daniel LaRusso, Johnny Lawrence, in the classic ‘80s coming-of-age movie, “The Karate Kid.” It’s safe to say though that Zabka’s career fell off the face of the earth after that, and he was a forgotten man, for the most part.
However, he stepped back into the limelight after playing a sensationalized version of himself in “How I Met Your Mother.” And his resurgence led to the creation of “Cobra Kai,” a sequel series to “The Karate Kid” franchise, where Daniel-San and Johnny teach Karate to kids all over the valley.
Has an ‘80s star ever been more remembered for just one thing? Rick Astley surely has to take the crown for that. While there is no denying he has a great voice, the British performer will always be best remembered for his song “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
While his song “Together Forever” also performed decently in the charts, it was basically a copy-and-paste of his original hit. Sure enough, Astley has continued to record music up until the present day. But “Never Gonna Give You Up” took on a life of its own, spawning an infinite number of memes during the era of social media.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Kim Wilde is best known for her hit song “Kids in America,” which peaked at number 2 in the UK charts. She also performed a pretty impressive cover of The Supremes’ classic song “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” which also reached number 2 in the charts.
The British singer has had a steady career throughout the years, even appearing in musicals such as “Tommy.” During her time on the West End, Wilde married her co-star Hal Fowler, whom she had two kids with. In 2022 though, Wilde announced her separation from Fowler on social media.
Truth be told, it is a bit of a stretch to call Diana Ross an ‘80s star. After all, she was the lead singer of one of the most successful groups in the history of soul – The Supremes. And they were at the height of their powers back in the ‘60s!
Eventually, though, Ross had a successful solo career, and her album “Diana” (which included classic singles such as “I’m Coming Out” and “Upside Down”) ended up going Platinum. Amazingly, Ross released her 25 th studio album, “Thank You,” in 2021, proving that she has no interest in ending her illustrious career.
In many ways, it’s impossible to think of romantic comedies without thinking of Meg Ryan. The talented actress took this genre to dizzy new heights when she starred alongside Billy Crystal in the 1989 flick “When Harry Met Sally.”
She continued her romantic reputation into the ‘90s, starring in movies such as “Sleepless in Seattle,” “City of Angels,” and “You’ve Got Mail.” But after a highly publicized entanglement with Russell Crowe, Ryan’s career took a bit of a hit and her work has since dried up over the last few decades. Her son, Jack Quaid, has since emerged as one of the finest young actors of his generation.