9 Rising 80s Stars Who’ve Basically Disappeared Into Thin Air

March 21, 2014

1. Jay Underwood


Now a pastor at the First Baptist Church of Weaverville, Jay Underwood played the role of Eric in “The Boy Who Could Fly.” Beginning his career in the 1980’s, Jay only starred in a few movies including “Not Quite Humans” and “The Invisible Kid.”

2. Deborah Foreman


Named Most Promising New Star by ShoWest in 1986, Deborah played the valley girl in 1983’s “Valley Girl” with Nicolas Cage. Cage went on to win Oscars while Deborah now owns an online graphics house and teaches yoga.

3. Ilan Mitchell-Smith


Ilan co starred in 1985’s popular “Weird Science.” After failing to get a desirable amount of recognition in his later films, Ilan decided to leave acting in 1991. He is now a professor at Texas A&M University.

4. Amanda Peterson


Amanda played the typical blond cheerleader role in 1987’s “Can’t buy me love” with Patrick Dempsey. In 1986, Amanda was awarded the Young Artist Award in the category of Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Drama Series.

After 15 years in Hollywood, Amanda Peterson walked away from the movie industry. Whether by choice or because there were no more jobs, few people know. While Patrick managed to make a comeback with “Grey’s Anatomy,” Amanda now lives in the Napa Valley, happily married.

5. Zach Galligan


Zach Starred in the 1984 hit “Gremlins.” Not achieving the same degree of success with the sequel “Gremlins 2,” Zach graduated from the University of Columbia and works as an acting teacher in New York City.

6. Joyce Hyser


Transforming into a boy in order to win a high school contest, Joyce played Terry in 1985’s “Just one of the guys.” Joyce apparently wanted to play the role of Dr. Melfi in “The Sopranos,” but the role went to Lorraine Bracco.

She’s nowhere to be seen after her “Karate Kid” role, but rumor has it that she dated Bruce Springsteen.

7. Ralph Macchio


Before Gabriel Jarret was making unidentifiable character parts within “The Karate Kid” trilogy, Ralph Macchio ascended to stardom as Daniel LaRusso. He may have been a bit clumsy with a ridiculous Jersey accent but the kid had courage.

Also known among TV audiences for his role in the fifth season of “Eight is enough” Ralph is now seen doing small roles in popular sitcoms.

8. Val Kilmer


Before Val Kilmer starred as Iceman in “Top Gun,” he was Chris Knight in 1985’s “Real Genius.” Apart from a small role in “The Karate Kid Part 3,” his only other prominent role was in the recent Oscar nominated film “Frost/Nixon.”

9. Kelly McGillis


Fading away into obscurity after the blockbuster hit “Top Gun”, Kelly was expected to become an award winning Oscar actress rather than just vanishing into thin air. Recently, it was discovered that she’s a lesbian which raised questions, not about where she’d been but about what actually happened to her.

At 56, the former actress is content living in the countryside. “I’m exceedingly happy. I have a very quiet, little normal life, and I love it.”