Fame is a difficult road to navigate, and once an actor’s star has faded it’s difficult to adjust to the real world. Child actors are often the most susceptible to post-stardom meltdowns, but those that do manage to come away unscathed can find that a life outside of the spotlight is actually better than one in it.

Following appearances in the Harry Potter franchise that made them international stars, these 10 child actors have taken their lives outside of the wizarding world in stride. Not only will some of the things your favorite former witches and wizards are up to surprise you, but when you see how unrecognizable they look, you’ll swear some of them swallowed a Polyjuice potion!

1. Tom Felton: Though his character Draco was known for being one of Harry’s biggest adversaries, Felton and Daniel Radcliffe were actually close friends. But perhaps even more shocking, Emma Watson – whose character Hermione equally despised Draco – actually admitted that Felton was her first love!


Today, Felton continues to land consistent roles in both film and television, having recently starred in the first season of the YouTube sci-fi series Origin. Grown-up Draco is also an established musician, having released four EP albums since 2008. Talk about talented!

2. Bonnie Wright: Before being cast as Ginny Weasley, Wright never had any prior professional acting experience. Her brother had mentioned that she reminded him of Ginny, so when casting calls for the part were put out, Wright decided to give it a shot. The rest, as we know, is history.

Eight years removed from her days at Hogwarts, Wright remains at the forefront of British entertainment. Not only has she starred in a fleet of films and television episodes since 2011, but she also owns her own production company – Bon Bon Lumiere – and is an established model.

3. Joshua Herdman: After getting his start as Draco’s sidekick Goyle in Sorcerer’s Stone, Herdman went on to reprise the role in the next seven films. He still acts today, his most recent role being that of Righteous in 2018’s Robin Hood.

But perhaps most surprising of all is Herdman’s new passion: mixed martial arts. The once-pudgy Goyle is currently 2-0 in amateur MMA and hopes to one day join the professional circuit. After all: why use a wand when you can just use your fists instead?

4. Harry Melling: Reviled as Harry’s spoiled cousin Dudley Dursley, Melling actually lost so much weight between Order of the Phoenix and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 that the role was almost recast. Fortunately, Melling wasn’t made to give up the part and instead wore a fat suit for his scenes.

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The new-and-improved Harry Melling credits his dramatic weight loss as the reason he hasn’t been typecast as Dudley when auditioning for other roles. Melling recently starred as the Artist in the Coen brother’s 2018 Netflix film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a performance for which he received critical acclaim.

5. Evanna Lynch: Though Luna Lovegood was created before Lynch debuted as the character in 2007’s Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling cites her portrayal of Luna as her major inspiration for the character’s development in later novels. “[She] got in my head,” Rowling said of Lynch. “I even heard her voice when I was writing Luna.”

The Mary Sue

Lynch remains a draw both on the screen and on the stage, having starred in a handful of independent films and dozens of stage productions since 2011. She was also featured on season 27 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and even made it to the finale where she and her partner placed third overall.

6. Matthew Lewis: Given that his character Neville is known for his constant bad luck, it’s no surprise that Lewis experienced a similar slew of hardships while shooting some of his scenes. The early films saw him wear uncomfortable fake teeth and plastic pads behind his ears, and during the filming of Order of the Phoenix actress Helena Bonham Carter accidentally ruptured his eardrum!

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Like Melling, Lewis’ physical transformation over the years has also helped him to avoid the typecasting that some of his co-stars have fallen victim to. He continues to appear regularly in a number of UK television series and even had a supporting role in the popular 2016 rom-com Me Before You.


7. James & Oliver Phelps: In the same spirit of the characters they’d go on to play, the 14-year-old Phelps brothers skipped school exams to attend a 2000 casting call for the roles of Fred and George Weasley. Despite having no prior acting experience, the twins landed the part after a total of six auditions.

Though Fred & George were well-known mischief makers, James & Oliver have a passion for philanthropy and devote a good portion of their free time to charity work. The twins also remain active in promoting the Harry Potter franchise and are well-known supporters of music and sports in the UK.

8. Stanislav Ianevski: Unlike the other stars on this list, Ianevski had virtually no interest in acting prior to playing Viktor Krum in Goblet of Fire. It wasn’t until he was spotted by a casting director and prompted to take acting classes that Ianevski decided to audition, beating out 650 other actors for the role.

The hulking Bulgarian continues to pop up in films from time to time, typically playing characters that fit his intimidating presence. He is currently slated to star as Boris the Hammer in the upcoming action-thriller The Cloaking.

9. Luke Youngblood: Following his minor role as the Quidditch play-by-play announcer Lee Jordan in the first two films, not many would’ve expected Youngblood to put together the successful career he’s made for himself thus far. After earning bit parts on shows like Glee and Lie to Me, Youngblood landed the recurring role of Magnitude on the hit comedy Community.

Youngblood also went on to play the part of Sid in the fantasy-comedy Galavant. The 32-year-old British actor is currently scheduled to play Agent Rabbit in a future Alice in Wonderland short-film spinoff called Hollywoodland.

10. Hugh Mitchell: Who could forget Collin Creevey, the eager young photographer that was petrified after glimpsing the dreaded basilisk through the lens of his own camera? Mitchell’s memorable role in Chamber of Secrets subsequently landed him a part in Nicholas Nickleby, where he played a younger version of the titular character.

Up until 2015, Mitchell was featured in a number of film and television roles, the most notable of which being appearances in The Da Vinci Code and The White Queen. He has since stepped away from acting to pursue interests in music and – coincidentally – photography.

Life has a way of going by quicker than we have time to realize, even for non-wizards. Before you know it, we’re older, and the movies and pop culture we grew up with are now things of the past. Nothing proves this more than seeing our favorite muggle child stars all grown up.

Zoe Roth from the “disaster girl meme”: If you’ve surfed any recent social media, there’s a good chance you’ve come across this smug little girl standing in front of a burning home. People have long been entranced by her relaxed demeanor during such a dire situation…

But if you took a look at Roth these days, you probably wouldn’t even recognize her—unless she was carrying around a cutout copy of herself as a meme—like she is below. There is, however, some resemblance in the overall emotion of the picture.

Freddie Highmore, aka Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: As the lead actor in the Tim Burton remake of this classic film, Highmore captured the genuine innocence of the poor protagonist—and audiences fell in love with him.

Freddie Highmore grew up, and the acting bug continued to bit. With his talent, it’s a good thing it did! He has since starred as the lead in the AMC series Bates Motel and is currently staring in the ABC drama series The Good Doctor.

Annasophia Robb, aka Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Fans of the Tim Burton remake of this film noted this young actress for her sassy delivery and inquisitive gaze. But where did she end up afterward?

Since starring in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Robb has gone on to have a very successful career in film. Some of her credits include the movies Because of Winn-Dixie, Soul Surfer, Race to Witch Mountain, and Bridge to Terabithia.

Georgie Henley, aka Lucy in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: Henley was first bitten by the acting bug at a young age, and she starred in this massive blockbuster fantasy film series.

Now, Henley has gone on to star in several off-Broadway productions of such plays as Babes in the Wood, We Will Rock You, and Jane Eyre. Additionally, she was cast in the 2014 Canadian crime TV series Perfect Sisters.

Jonathan Lipnicki, aka George in Stuart Little and Ray in Jerry Maguire: Almost everyone from the 1990s remembers this child actor from his role in the Tom Cruise film Jerry Maguire. His face was practically on every screen around that era!

Since starring in the iconic ’90s film, Lipnicki has gone on to have quite an illustrious acting career. He’s done guest voice work on the animated series Family Guy, and he’s featured in the upcoming films Andover, A Second Chance, and Circus Kane.

Ivana Baquero, aka Ofelia in Pan’s Labyrinth: Baquero first captured mass audience attention with a starring role in the 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film Pan’s Labyrinth. For her role, she was critically acclaimed and won an award for Best New Actress.

Baquero’s love for acting continued into her adult life. Since Pan’s Labyrinth, she has gone on to star in a horror film by John Connelly called The New Daughter. She was also cast in the MTV production of the Shannara book series.

Nate Richert, aka Harvey on the teen TV series Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Richert first garnered national attention while starring as the dopey, but likable, Harvey alongside fellow teen actress Melissa Joan Hart.

Since Sabrina ended, Nate Richert has had little success with acting. His last role was in the 2006 short film H-E-N-R-Y. Nowadays, he performs as a musician and participates in various forms of social media.

Daveigh Chase, aka Samara in The Ring: Not exactly recognized for her name, this young actress scared the living daylights out of audiences worldwide when she starred as the girl with the hair in her face in the 2002 horror film The Ring.

Since scaring people as Samara, Chase has gone on to star in several films. Some of them include The Ring 2, Beethoven’s 5th, In Between Days, Jack Goes Home, American Romance, Little Red Wagon, and Stitch! The Movie.

Jacob Pitts, aka Cooper in EuroTrip: Pitts first charmed audiences in the United States with his portrayal of Cooper in the teen comedy adventure. He was noted for his comedic acting chops and landed an appearance on Comedy Central’s Strangers with Candy.

In 2006, he discussed his inspiration to act: “Money. Very, very occasionally a piece of writing comes along that I personally connect with, that really twists something in me, that I will have nothing but the most fervent dedication to. In that case, I do it just for the gratification of being involved with the piece, just to say I was there. But like I said, that’s about .01 percent of the time. Not that I’m complaining—when it’s otherwise, I’m very well overpaid.”

Malcolm David Kelley, aka Walt on the TV series Lost: Kelley began acting at a very young age. Before long, he landed guest appearances in such productions as Malcolm in the Middle and Judging Amy.

Since starring in these TV programs, Kelley has gone on to enjoy a successful hip-hop career, though he does continue to act here and there. As a musician, he’s part of a duet known as MKTO, who have since been signed to Columbia records.

Susan Olsen, aka Cindy Brady on The Brady Bunch: Popularized as the youngest of the daughters on the 1970s family comedy series, she was practically impossible to separate from the innocent pigtails and sweet smile we all saw on screen.

Since starring in The Brady Bunch, Susan has gone on to act sporadically. She’s appeared in such productions as Divorce Court, Pacific Blue, Halloween Puppy, and Holiday Road Trip. She’s also had a side career as an artist, as well.

Since starring in The Brady Bunch, Susan has gone on to act sporadically. She’s appeared in such productions as Divorce Court, Pacific Blue, Halloween Puppy, and Holiday Road Trip. She’s also had a side career as an artist, as well.

Devin Ratray, aka Buzz in the children’s Christmas comedy Home Alone: Cast as the bully older brother of Kevin McAllister in the Christmas classic (as well as in its sequel), Ratray burst onto the acting scene with other similar roles to follow.

Since his days as a child actor, Devin Ratray has gone on to star in several films, including Dennis the Menace, Strong Island Boys, The Prince and Me, Slippery Slope, The Cake Eaters, The Winning Season, Agent Carter, and R.I.P.D.

Amanda Bynes, aka Viola in She’s The Man and other Nickelodeon series: Fans of this child actress were rather impressed by her serious comedic chops from a young age. She had a promising career until it suddenly came to a halt. She’s not the only “next big thing” who completely fell off the map.

1. Kerri Green: The beautiful ’80s child star who warmed hearts in flicks like The Goonies and Lucas gained an “it girl” status that seemed permanent at the time. Though Kerri chose to have a more humble life with her husband and kids, she still writes Hollywood screenplays!

20th Century Studios

2. Taylor Lautner: Another Twilight hunk, who once upon a time had washboard abs, graces our list. After portraying werewolf Jacob Black for years, Taylor starred in forgettable movies like Abduction and The Ridiculous 6. He hasn’t done much since his short-lived role in British series Cuckoo.

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3. Chad Michael Murray: Whether you remember him as the motorcycle-riding bad boy from 2003’s Freaky Friday remake, or as One Tree Hill‘s designated basketball-playing hottie with abandonment issues, he was downright swoon-worthy in the early 2000s. These days you can catch him in his recurring role in Riverdale!

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4. Lori Petty: She owned the ’90s as Point Break‘s sweet surfer gal, and as Geena Davis’ scrappy kid sister in A League Of Their Own, but the 2000s saw very little of Petty. She made a fantastic comeback as a schizophrenic inmate in Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, however.

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5. Shiloh Fernandez: The indie and horror star almost played Twilight‘s famous teen vampire, Edward Cullen, and has worked alongside the likes of Shailene Woodley and Rosamund Pike. Shiloh’s real big break hasn’t come yet. His role in 2019’s gas station thriller Burn was fun!

Why Not Productions

6. Fairuza Balk: You know her as the tough-girl witch from 1996’s cult classic The Craft, or perhaps for her wild portrayal of Stacey in 1998’s American History X. These stellar performances earned Fairuza fame, but for whatever reason, her notoriety eventually fizzled.

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7. Alex Pettyfer: With a “boy next door” face and perfectly messy blonde locks, everyone thought Alex would be the next Hollywood heartthrob. After starring in films like Beastly, I am Number Four, and Magic Mike, you’d think he kept climbing the Hollywood ladder, but several cocky interviews ruined that pipe dream.

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8. Sam Worthington: Considering he starred in one of the highest-grossing films of all time, you’d think Sam would go down in history as a leading man legend; not even Avatar could secure that spot for him. At least there are a few more Avatar films in the works!

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9. Rick Moranis: He’s the goofball who wowed in ’80s movies like Ghostbusters and Spaceballs. Sadly, Rick stopped acting in 1997 to focus on being a present father after his wife tragically passed. But you can see him again in a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids reboot!

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10. Eric Bana: He wowed audiences as a handsome, charismatic librarian in The Time Traveler’s Wife alongside Rachel McAdams, but Eric disappeared from the spotlight after several flops. But more recently, he stunned audiences as the downright chilling John Meehan in Bravo’s Dirty John.

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11. Megan Fox: We’ll admit, Meg is still a household name; but after feuding with Transformers director Michael Bay and playing the high school boy-eating succubus in Jennifer’s Body (which is criminally underrated), she vanished. However, she’ll be starring in upcoming thriller Till Death!

Fox Atomic

12. Minnie Driver: With an Oscar nomination for Good Will Hunting and an Emmy nomination for her role in the short-lived crime comedy series The Riches under her belt, Minnie was once widely praised. Though she’s no longer an A-lister, you can still catch her in smaller TV roles.


13. Thora Birch: After exhibiting her talented quirks in American Beauty and Ghost World, people thought she’d become a renowned Hollywood leading lady. But Thora told the Guardian that seeking thought provoking roles and refusing to wear frilly costumes wasn’t exactly cute to executives back in the day.

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14. Kellan Lutz: Though he played one of the Twilight franchise’s vampires, and even nabbed the lead in 2014’s The Legend of Hercules (which flopped), Kellan’s name doesn’t ring synonymous with, perhaps, Robert Pattinson. He still finds roles, but in nothing that critics rave over.

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15. Josh Hutcherson: After showing off his freckle face in 2007’s Bridge to Terabithia adaptation, people couldn’t get enough of Josh, as he later starred in The Hunger Games franchise. Though he doesn’t act in mainstream films anymore, you can catch him in Hulu’s Future Man series.


16. Piper Perabo: The raving beauty sparkled in early 2000s mainstream films like Coyote Ugly and Cheaper by the Dozen, as well as the cult classic Imagine Me & You. All signs pointed to superstardom, but Piper slowly transitioned to accepting low-profile roles.

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17. Topher Grace: There’s no doubt Topher made you laugh as the snide Eric Forman on the hit sitcom That ’70s Show. Though Topher later proved he could carry both comedic and dramatic roles in hits like Interstellar and Predators, he never became Hollywood’s bona fide leading man.

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18. Jeanne Tripplehorn: She killed it as Dr. Beth Garner in 1992’s hit erotic crime film Basic Instinct and even earned herself an Emmy nomination for portraying Jackie O. in 2009’s adaptation of Grey Gardens. But since she often played side characters, audiences couldn’t remember her name!

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19. Mischa Barton: You know that tale of stars prematurely leaving a hit TV show, only to self-sabotage their entire career. That’s exactly what happened when “it girl” Mischa left her iconic role as Marrisa Cooper on The O.C. She later became a reality television sell-out on The Hills.

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20. Taylor Kitsch: After Taylor wowed as Tim Riggins in all five seasons of critically acclaimed football drama Friday Night Lights, he landed himself the role of Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But after that, his resume consisted of roles in box office bombs like 2012’s Battleship. Whoops.

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21. Jack Gleeson: Game of Thrones‘ Jack Gleeson grew to dislike the business side of acting and retired in order to finish his education. Gleeson currently owns his own theater company, whose debut puppet show premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2014.


22. Amanda Bynes: A few years after her well-publicized meltdown, former Nickelodeon star Amanda Bynes announced that she was leaving show business altogether to pursue a career in fashion. In 2018 interview with Paper Magazine, however, Bynes announced her intention to return to acting.

Paper Magazine

23. Taylor Momsen: Known for her roles as Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Jenny Humphrey on Gossip Girl, Momsen quit acting in 2011 in order to focus on her music career. She’s since served as the frontwoman of The Pretty Reckless, who are currently recording their fourth album.

Rolling Stone

24. Meg Ryan: After finding her stride in rom-coms like When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, Ryan’s affair with Russell Crowe and subsequent divorce from Dennis Quaid in 2001 marked the first of many setbacks that would ultimately end her career. Her latest attempt at a comeback was in 2015’s Ithaca, which was a box-office failure.

25. Emilio Estevez: A core member of the 1980’s “Brat Pack,” Estevez enjoyed massive success in coming-of-age films like The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire before years of hit-and-miss roles caused him to fade from the public eye. In 2018, Estevez returned to film in the moderately successful The Public.

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26. Geena Davis: The Massachusetts native was once a huge box-office draw, starring in films like A League of Their Own and Thelma and Louise. She’s more or less dropped out of the public eye to focus her energy on social activism, but she does continue to make appearances in media from time to time.

Hollywood Reporter

27. Freddie Prinze Jr.: Once a household name, Prinze Jr.’s time in the spotlight came to an end in the mid 2000s after starring in a number of box-office flops. He continues to lend his voice to animated films and has appeared in small television roles over the years, but Prinze Jr.’s star status has all but faded.


28. Jonathan Taylor Thomas: After rising to fame as Tim Allen’s son on Home Improvement, Thomas left Hollywood to pursue degrees from both Harvard and Columbia. He’s since returned to acting in a number of small TV roles, including appearances on Allen’s newest sitcom, Last Man Standing.


29. Elizabeth Hurley: Following her performances in the Austin Powers series and in the film Bedazzled, Hurley took a hiatus from acting from 2004 to 2010 in order to raise her son. Though she’s returned with starring roles in shows like Gossip Girl and The Royals, Hurley has more or less remained under the radar.

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30. Molly Ringwald: The teen star to top all other teen stars, Molly Ringwald’s performance in John Hughes movies like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club made her an overnight sensation. She still acts, notably as Archie Andrews’ mom on Riverdale. 

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31. Mia Sara: This actress was made famous for her role as Sloane in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and though she’s more focused on her family these days, Mia Sara still acts from time to time. She was most recently in the 2013 film Pretty Pretty.

32. Kelly McGillis: This actress avoided the stereotypical “dumb blonde” roles in movies like Witness, Top Gun, and The Accused. She’s putting her years of acting experience to good use as a teacher in North Carolina.

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33. C. Thomas Howell: After roles in E.T. and The Outsiders, C. Thomas Howell has acted steadily in both the film and television industries. He’s mainly guest starred on TV recently, in shows like The Walking Dead, The Blacklist, and The Terror.

34. Mindy Cohn: You knew her as the adorable Natalie on The Facts of Life, but Mindy Cohn is more than that these days. Besides being the recent voice behind Velma in Scooby Doo, she’s also worked on reality TV and in guest roles.

35. Jenilee Harrison: The ‘80s were all about leggy blondes and ditzy sitcom tropes, and Jenilee Harrison’s character Chrissy on Three’s Company (replacing Suzanne Somers) successfully checked these boxes. Though Jenilee hasn’t done much acting recently, she’s probably beloved in the infomercial world! 

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36. Judd Nelson: Who could forget Judd Nelson’s star turn as Bender in The Breakfast Club? After another “Brat Pack” role in St. Elmo’s Fire, he pretty much disappeared from Hollywood. Now he focuses on writing and has released four books on Kindle. 

Universal Pictures

37. Lea Thompson: After playing Marty’s mom in the Back to the Future films, Lea Thompson became a staple in ’80s Hollywood (Howard the Duck, anyone?). She’s since had a successful TV career in shows like Caroline in the City and Switched at Birth.

38. David Lee Roth: As the original singer of Van Halen, David Lee Roth left the band in 1985 to pursue a solo career. It paid off, and he ended up earning RIAA-certified Gold and Platinum albums. You can catch him in Vegas in 2020!

39. Jami Gertz: She became a household name in the ‘80s with her roles in films like The Lost Boys and Quicksilver, and Gertz has had a busy TV career ever since. She’s also co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks, so clearly she’s doing well for herself!

Columbia Pictures

40. Andrew McCarthy: A member of the ’80s Brat Pack, McCarthy has laid low since his roles in Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo’s Fire. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t been around, however: He’s known for his work as a director on Orange Is the New Black.

41. Lisa Whelchel: This actress began her career as your favorite Mouseketeer in The Mickey Mouse Club before having a role on The Facts of Life. Nowadays, she focuses primarily on her faith and is a regular speaker with Women of Faith Christian conferences. 

42. Mickey Rourke: After making a name for himself as a leading man in the ’80s, Rourke left acting to become a professional boxer. He returned to acting in a big way with 2008’s The Wrestler, for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

43. Kirk Cameron: The boy-next-door himself was quite the heartthrob back in the ‘80s on Growing Pains! Since then, he left Hollywood behind in favor of raising six kids, is an active anti-gay Evangelical minister

44. Kirstie Alley: Successfully filling in as Ted Danson’s love interest on Cheers is no easy task, but Kirstie Alley did just that as Rebecca Howe in 1987. She had a successful film career over the next two decades and now appears on some reality shows. 

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45. Jerry Hall: After spending the ’70s as a model, Jerry Hall acted in iconic ’80s films like Urban Cowboy and Batman. She’s equally as known for her famous husband, Mick Jagger, whom she was with from 1977 to 1999.

46. Fred Savage: Fred Savage owned the ‘80s with his endearing role in The Wonder Years. He’s had more TV success since then, and now hosts a parody series called What Just Happened??! With Fred Savage. 

The Black-Marlens Company/New World Television/ABC

47. Jennifer Grey: Her debut in 1984’s Red Dawn was only the beginning for Jennifer Grey. Roles in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Dirty Dancing catapulted the actress to mainstream fame, and she’s still prominent on TV, where she’s often in guest roles.

48. Patrick Dempsey: Patrick Dempsey played the nerdy protagonist in movies like Loverboy and Can’t Buy Me Love, but now he’s best known as McDreamy on Grey’s Anatomy and for his love of race car driving. Talk about a glow-up!

49. Lisa Bonet: There wasn’t a bigger show in the 1980s than The Cosby Show, and there wasn’t a more fashionable actress than Lisa Bonet, AKA Denise Huxtable. Bonet is now most famous for her occasional television roles and marriage to Jason Momoa.

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