‘80s Hollywood Stars In Memorable Music Videos

‘80s Hollywood Stars In Memorable Music Videos

Winona Ryder Carrie Fisher Johnny Depp

L: Winona Ryder, 1989 (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images). C: Carrie Fisher, 1983 (Photo by Aaron Rapoport/Corbis via Getty Images). R: Johnny Depp, 1988 (Photo by Barry King/WireImage/Getty Images).

When they weren’t starring in blockbuster films, Hollywood’s hunks and hotties of the 1980s were appearing in a plethora of music videos. We aren’t just talking about film scenes spliced into songs from an accompanying soundtrack (eg Tom Cruise in The Beach Boys’ "Kokomo", Tom Cruise in The Belle Stars’ "Iko Iko" or Tom Cruise in Kenny Loggins’ "Danger Zone") – here is the cream of ‘80s. cinema popping up in 12 pop promos. Lights, camera, action!

Starship - "Sara"

Hollywood Star: Rebecca De Mornay

Following her breakout role as a prostitute who wins the affections of a young Tom Cruise in 1983’s Risky Business, Rebecca De Mornay popped up on the small screen swaying to the schmaltzy soft rock sounds of Starship’s "Sara" in 1985. True to type, De Mornay plays a glam ‘80s saucepot alongside lead vocalist Mickey Thomas, with singer Grace Slick reduced to backing vocals. The song went top 10 in the Australian singles chart.

Jackson Browne - "Tender Is The Night"

Hollywood Star: Daryl Hannah

Jackson Browne was still serving up fine music in the ‘80s, but commercially he appeared to fall between the cracks while Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty cornered a market he had a rightful claim on. While his singles weren’t setting Aussie charts on fire, Browne spent much of the ‘80s dating Blade Runner and Splash! actor Daryl Hannah. The blonde star played Browne’s (ex?) love interest in this 1983 single from the Lawyers In Love album. She also appeared in the video for his collaboration with The E Street Band’s Clarence Clemons two years later, "You’re A Friend Of Mine". Hannah is now married to Browne’s fellow 2017 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Neil Young.

Jermaine Jackson – "(Closest Thing) To Perfect"

Hollywood Star: Jamie Lee Curtis

Now they are filmed on phones for viewing on TikTok, it might be difficult for kids to understand the concept of million-dollar budgets for music clips. In the cash-rich entertainment industry of the ‘80s and ‘90s, a number of Hollywood films even paid for their lead actors to make cameos in the clips for soundtrack singles (and not just featuring scenes from the film). Here’s one such example, with Michael Jackson’s big brother Jermaine joined by Jamie Lee Curtis (and ‘70s hottie) John Travolta to film a video to accompany their aerobics film Perfect. The 1985 single and the movie were both flops, but the gym instructor role mythologised 24-year-old Curtis. “I looked really good in a leotard, I’ll say that,” she acknowledged in 2003.

Billy Ocean - "When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going"

Hollywood Stars: Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas

As with the above song, the stars of 1985’s hit adventure comedy film The Jewel Of The Nile were brought in to ham it up in the video for Billy Ocean’s accompanying soundtrack hit. Ocean’s video finds him performing ‘live’ with the eye-candy of Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas acting as the singer’s backing vocalists (alongside their stumpy co-star Danny DeVito, who even mimes a saxophone solo). Not only was The Jewel Of The Nile, a sequel to 1984’s impressively successful romantic adventure comedy Romancing The Stone, a box office hit, When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going was also a number one smash here in Australia.

The Pogues - "Fairytale Of New York"

Hollywood Star: Matt Dillon

As a fan of The Pogues who had attended their first ever New York performance, rising star Matt Dillon was honoured to be part of the band’s 1987 video for "Fairytale Of New York". Frontman Shane MacGowan recalled meeting Dillon backstage after their 1986 show, with the star of The Outsiders and Rumble Fish kissing his hand and saying "I dig your shit, man, I love your shit!" In the video for "Fairytale Of New York", shot in a frigid Thanksgiving week in New York, Dillon plays a cop arresting MacGowan for drunken behaviour and throwing him in the drunk tank. Dillon also later appeared briefly in Madonna’s video for "Bad Girl".

Sting - "All This Time"

Hollywood Star: Melanie Griffith

It’s a blink and you’ll miss it appearance, but Body Double (1984) and Something Wild (1986) actress Melanie Griffith appears in the 1991 video for Sting's single "All This Time". The slapstick video, which seems at odds with the song’s subject matter (Sting’s father’s death), finds Golden Globe winner Griffith briefly playing the musician’s manicurist on a sinking ship. While it might be a bit harsh to blame Sting, Griffith has rarely appeared in a film hit since appearing alongside The Police’s bassist…

Moby - "We Are All Made Of Stars"

Hollywood Star: Corey Feldman

Alongside his pal Corey Haim, Corey Feldman was such a teenage pin-up in the ‘80s The Simpsons satirised their popularity in their second season.  While this celebrity-laden video was made well after Feldman’s golden run of films such as Gremlins (1984), The Goonies (1985), Stand By Me (1986) and The Lost Boys (1987), he retains his smart-arse swagger in his brief appearance here, licking his flip-top mobile phone while lying on a bed in a cheap hotel room. "We Are All Made Of Stars"’ glossy production betrays a sense of sadness at the plight of the washed up celebrity, with the video winning Best Cinematography at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards.

Ringo Starr - "You’re Sixteen, You’re Beautiful (And You’re Mine)"

Hollywood Star: Carrie Fisher

You can file this one under ‘Song titles you wouldn’t get away with today’, but the video is memorable for starring a Jedi princess and a former Beatle. Half a decade before she donned the Jabba The Hutt-approved slave girl bikini which sent Return Of The Jedi fans into a spin in 1983, Carrie Fisher appeared in Ringo Starr’s "You’re Sixteen, You’re Beautiful (And You’re Mine)" clip. The track was lifted from Starr’s 1973 album Ringo and was a top 10 hit in Australia, but it seems an official video didn’t appear until 1978. Fisher was by then a veteran of the first Star Wars film and a categorically legal 21 years old. Fun fact: the track was written by Robert and Richard Sherman, the brothers behind Mary Poppins’ songs. Fisher later appeared in the music video "Rene And Georgette Magritte" with her husband at the time, Paul Simon.

Faith No More – "Last Cup Of Sorrow"

Hollywood Star: Jennifer Jason Leigh

Breaking out of TV roles with a memorable appearance in 1982’s cult classic Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Jennifer Jason Leigh also notched up successes with ‘80s films The Hitcher and Last Exit To Brooklyn. Having played plenty of damaged victims on the big screen, the "Last Cup Of Sorrow" video found Leigh switching it up to also play the femme fatale. Faith No More’s 1997 tribute to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo found Leigh starring as both a demure, troubled blonde and a raven-haired, leather panted sado-masochist. Just the way Mike Patton likes it.

The Killers – "Here With Me"

Hollywood Star: Winona Ryder

To a new generation she’s better known as the put-upon mum in hit Netflix series Stranger Things, but to ‘80s fans Winona Ryder’s the cool AF star of Heathers (1989) and Beetlejuice (1988). After dancing with Cher in the video for the massively successful Mermaids tie-in "The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)" in 1990, Ryder reunited with her Beetlejuice director Tim Burton on a 2012 music clip for Las Vegas group The Killers. Typical of Burton, this strange little video begins with a fanboy dreaming of a date with the unattainable Ryder, then ends with him enjoying a candlelit dinner with her… where her bald head is the candle! Underrated video, underrated song.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – "Mary Jane’s Last Dance"

Hollywood Star: Kim Basinger

If you thought Winona Ryder as a bald candle was weird, it gets better. Kim Basinger’s role in Tom Petty’s 1993 music video "Mary Jane’s Last Dance" was a little less glamorous than her performances in 9 ½ Weeks (1986) and Batman (1989): the macabre clip finds her playing a corpse Petty steals from the mortician’s slab. In a script that sounds like it’s from the grotesque mind of Jimmy Savile, Petty races off with his stunning victim, marries her by the beach then drops her body in the sea. Basinger makes a beautiful stiff, but she wasn’t the lead Heartbreaker’s first choice: Sharon Stone didn’t return his calls.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – "Into The Great Wide Open"

Hollywood Star: Johnny Depp

Basinger wasn’t the only Hollywood star Petty worked with over his career, with the late performer’s music clips also involving actors including Sean Penn, Anthony Hopkins and, in 1991’s "Into The Great Wide Open", Hollywood bad boy Johnny Depp. Depp had by this point become a pin-up via 21 Jump Street, earned critical plaudits for John Waters’ Cry Baby and starred in Tim Burton’s askew hit Edward Scissorhands, with his career in the ascendant. Petty’s video took the rising star on a road trip through "Into The Great Wide Open"’s lyrics, playing a hitchhiker named Eddie who heads to Hollywood, becomes a celebrated rock star and then blows it. Fellow actor Faye Dunaway played Depp’s manager.

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