Thirty years ago, Bruce Willis became a fan-favorite action star when he played NYPD detective John McClane in 1988's "Die Hard." While the role wasn't his first on the big screen, it helped define his acting career and fueled Bruce's reputation as a Hollywood tough guy. In honor of his 64th birthday on March 19, 2019, Wonderwall.com wanted to see what's happening in his life today — and find out what the other major action stars of the '80s are up to now. Keep reading to see who's still shooting 'em up onscreen and who's faded into obscurity…
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Bruce Willis played a tough guy in multiple movies in 2018 including "Acts of Violence," "Death Wish," "Reprisal" and "Air Strike." But Bruce, who's been married to model Emma Heming since 2009, is more than just a gun-toting hero onscreen. At home, he and Emma are busy parents raising two young daughters, Mabel and Evelyn. Plus, Bruce and ex-wife Demi Moore are still great friends and co-parents to their three adult daughters, Rumer Willis, Scout Willis and Tallulah Willis, who are all stars in their own right. So far in 2019, Bruce has appeared in the flick "Glass," voiced a character in "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" and still has "Motherless Brooklyn" coming up.
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In the 1980s, Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared in a slew of action films but none left a lasting legacy as much as his title role in 1984's "The Terminator" (and its sequels). Arnold's other action films from the decade worth an honorable mention are "Conan the Barbarian," "Commando" and "Predator," which all featured the muscled Austrian actor as the lead.
Arnold Schwarzenegger took a surprising turn away from action films in 2003 when he ran for, and won, California's governorship. Upon leaving office in 2011, Arnold came clean to his wife of 25 years — the mother of his four children, journalist Maria Shriver — confessing that he'd engaged in an extramarital affair with their former maid and had fathered an illegitimate child with her. Not long after, Maria and Arnold officially separated. The Austrian actor eventually made his way back to the big screen, starring in the "The Expendables" franchise and a slew of other films. In 2019, Arnold will star in "The Mystery of Dragon Seal: The Journey to China" alongside Jackie Chan and "Terminator: Dark Fate." He's also revealed that he will star in the sequels for two of his biggest flicks — "The Legend of Conan" and "Triplets," which have no official release dates. Arnold has been dating physical therapist Heather Milligan since 2013.
Sylvester Stallone had already established himself as an action star by the time the '80s rolled around. However, the decade was pivotal in his career and saw him in some of the biggest action films of the time including "First Blood" (seen here), in which he played John Rambo, the iconic former Army Special Forces hero.
It's been a rocky road for action star Sylvester Stallone. After his mega success throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s, Sly experienced a downswing in his career with fewer leading roles in blockbuster hits in the early 2000s. Then, in 2007, Sly was busted by Australian customs officials carrying numerous vials of HGH (human growth hormone), which he used to help his body recuperate as he trained for reboots of both "Rocky" and "Rambo." Things got worse in 2012 when Sylvester's son and former "Rocky" co-star, Sage Stallone, was found dead in his apartment from an apparent heart attack at age 36. To get through the loss, Sly continued to work, saying in 2016 that his role in "Creed" the previous year ultimately helped him deal with the heartbreak of his son's death. More recently, Sly guest starred on the hit NBC series "This Is Us" and filmed 2018's "Escape Plan II: Hades." Up next for the Italian Stallion? "Rambo 5: Last Blood" and "Escape Plan: The Extractors" are in post-production and slated for 2019 release. He's been married to former model Jennifer Flavin since 1997. They share three daughters.
In 1987, Australian actor Mel Gibson starred as LAPD officer Martin Riggs in the action-thriller "Lethal Weapon." Two years earlier, Mel reprised his lead role in the indie sci-fi action-adventure flick "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome," which helped cement his status as an '80s powerhouse.
Mel Gibson's road hasn't been an easy one, despite his massive success as an '80s and '90s action star. The "The Passion of the Christ" writer, director and producer endured legal, marital and personal problems between 2006 and 2011 that left a major stain on his once illustrious Hollywood career. After he made anti-Semitic remarks during a headline-making drunk driving arrest, his wife of 26 years divorced him. He had a daughter with Oksana Grigorieva, who then accused him of domestic abuse (he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge). Many in Hollywood wouldn't work with him for a time. However, in 2016, a bearded Mel made a directorial return with the Oscar-winning historical drama "Hacksaw Ridge" that helped the beleaguered star repair his reputation. In 2017, Mel returned to the big screen in the family comedy "Daddy's Home 2" and welcomed his first child with 26-year-old girlfriend Rosalind Ross (little Lars is Mel's ninth child). Mel has two new films on the horizon in 2019: "Boss Level" and "The Professor and the Madman."
Another action star from the "Lethal Weapon" franchise is Danny Glover, who played LAPD detective Roger Murtaugh. Prior to making the film, Danny was best known for his work as Albert in "The Color Purple."
Danny Glover (who is not related to "Atlanta" creator and star Donald Glover, by the way) has spent nearly 40 years in Hollywood and is still one busy dude. The actor, producer and director has an impressive seven projects slated for 2019, ranging from the sequel to "Jumanji" to "The Last Black Man in San Francisco" to "The Drummer." Since 2009, Danny's been married to Eliane Cavalleiro. He has one adult daughter from a previous marriage.
Harrison Ford was an '80s action icon who starred in some of the biggest films of the decade including "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (seen here) as legendary archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones, as well as the original "Star Wars" trilogy that began in 1976 and the 1982 sci-fi action-drama "Blade Runner."
Now in his 70s, Harrison Ford seems to finally be slowing down a little bit as far as movie-making goes. The Oscar-nominated actor has maintained a busy filming schedule throughout a career that's spanned more than five decades that's seen him star in numerous hit films like "Air Force One" and "The Fugitive" as well as several "Indiana Jones" sequels (and one "Star Wars" sequel!). In 2017, he reprised his '80s character Rick Deckard for the sci-fi mystery-drama "Blade Runner 2049" co-starring Ryan Gosling. Most recently, Harrison helped coach Alden Ehrenreich for his debut as Harrison's former character Han Solo in "Solo: A Star Wars Story." But the most exciting part of Harrison's future career? In 2021, Harrison will return to theaters in the (currently unnamed) fifth "Indiana Jones" movie. Harrison's been married to actress Calista Flockhart since 2010. He has four children from two previous marriages and an adopted son with Calista.
One of the few female action stars of the time was Sigourney Weaver, who proved her bad a–ness in 1979's "Alien" (which led to the 1986 sequel "Aliens," seen here). She also took on a semi-villainous role in the 1984 action-comedy "Ghostbusters" in which she played Dana Barrett, who became possessed by an entity known as Zuul The Gatekeeper.
Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver isn't just a talented actress — she's also timeless. The "Defenders" and "Doc Martin" star looks as flawless in 2018 as she did when she first burst onto the big screen in 1977's "Annie Hall." Although we don't have a release date yet, we do know that Sigourney is reprising her role as action hero Ellen Ripley in the currently untitled "Alien" sequel. She's also locked in to appear in the next four "Avatar" sequels that are due to premiere in theaters from 2020 through 2025. Since 1984, Sigourney's been married to film and theater director Jim Simpson, with whom she has a daughter.
A star since the 1960s, Kurt Russell had numerous credits to his name by the time he landed the role of Jack Burton in the action-adventure flick "Big Trouble in Little China" in 1986 (seen here). In fact, prior to landing the part, Kurt also starred in the 1981 sci-fi action film "Escape from New York" as Snake Plissken, a one-eyed war hero and former member of the Special Forces.
Kurt Russell is still a familiar face in Hollywood. The actor — who's also famous for being Goldie Hawn's longtime partner — began acting when he was 11 and appeared over the years in numerous hits like "Tango & Cash," "Escape from L.A." and "The Hateful Eight." In 2017, we saw Kurt return to his action-film roots with "The Fate of the Furious" and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2." The beloved star has a role in the eagerly anticipated Quentin Tarantino film "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," due out in 2019.
Belgian actor Jean-Claude Van Damme starred in a slew of '80s action films including "No Retreat, No Surrender," "Bloodsport," "Black Eagle" and "Cyborg" (seen here). By the time the '90s rolled around, Jean-Claude's impressive martial arts skills had made him a top-selling action-movie star.
Jean-Claude Van Damme's career went from hot to not after a series of low-budget, unpopular films in the early 2000s stripped away some of the star power he once held in the '80s and '90s. In 2016, the man once known as "the Muscles from Brussels" poked fun of his waning celebrity status by starring on his own comedy series, "Jean-Claude Van Johnson" (also known as "JCVJ"), which focused on an undercover private contractor who's brought back into the business when an old love resurfaces. The series only ran for one season but proved that Jean-Claude could be funny. In 2019, he's starring in the drama "We Die Young." In 1999, Jean-Claude re-married American bodybuilder Gladys Portugues (they were previously wed from 1987 to 1992), with whom he has two children. He also has an adult son from a previous marriage.
The legend of Chuck Norris didn't begin in the 1980s but it was definitely solidified during that decade. That's when Chuck starred in action flicks like "The Octagon," "An Eye for an Eye," "Forced Vengeance" and 1984's "Missing in Action" (seen here), which was so popular, a sequel was made the following year.
On March 10, 2019, legendary bad a– Chuck Norris turned 79 years old. And he still remains one of the most celebrated action heroes of our time. The "Walker, Texas Ranger" star hasn't appeared onscreen since he made a cameo on the comedy series "The Goldbergs" in 2015. Prior to that, Chuck's last film role was in the 2012 action-thriller flick "The Expendables 2." Along with a 50-year career in Hollywood, Chuck's legacy has extended into the world of humor with endless jokes about his Herculean status, such as "When Chuck Norris was born, he drove his mom home from the hospital." The jokes prove that even in 2019, Chuck's reputation for being awesome is still strong (just like he is). The actor has been married to Gena O'Kelley since 1998.
Ponytail-rocking Steven Seagal only starred in one action movie in the '80s — the crime drama "Above the Law" — but his role as Nico Toscani in the film was enough to solidify his status as one of the newest and hottest action stars of 1988, leading to a string of similarly themed movies in the '90s.
Although Steven Seagal's career as an action star didn't really pick up steam until the 1990s, his earlier endeavor in 1988's "Above the Law" proved he was an onscreen hero to watch. The broad-shouldered, long-haired actor spent the next decade starring in films like "Under Siege" and "Exit Wounds." From 2009 to 2014, Steven starred on a reality series, "Steven Seagal: Lawman," which saw him accompany Louisiana police officers on actual raids. In 2011, he came under fire after an 11-month-old puppy and dozens of roosters were killed during a raid to capture a criminal. The bad publicity came just a year after he'd been accused by a former assistant of human trafficking and sexual harassment. Over the years, actresses like Jenny McCarthy, Portia de Rossi and Julianna Margulies have come forward to allege that Steven sexually harassed them during auditions. The beleaguered former star might still continue to make movies, but they're mostly direct-to-DVD and sad reincarnations of earlier heroic flicks. In 2018, Steven had a role in the Thai drama "Attrition." The same year, he confirmed to fans that an "Above the Law" sequel was in development, but there's no release date for it. Since 2009, he's been married to Erdenetuya Seagal. Steven has eight children from various relationships, including one daughter with his current wife.
By 1980, Clint Eastwood had already been acting for more than 25 years, but he was still slinging some of the hottest action roles in Hollywood. The "Dirty Harry" star spent the '80s appearing in action films like "Sudden Impact" (seen here), "Firefox," "City Heat" and "The Dead Pool," proving that even in his 50s, he still had what it took to make our hearts race.
National treasure Clint Eastwood began his Hollywood career in 1955 at the age of 25. After building his legacy as a hero on the big screen, Clint built a reputation as a noted director and producer as well. Some of his biggest films to date include the Oscar-winning drama "Million Dollar Baby" and the critically acclaimed film "Gran Torino," which he starred in, directed and executive produced. Clint's last major onscreen role was in 2018's "The Mule." Even as he nears 90, Clint isn't done with Hollywood yet. In 2018, he premiered his latest historical thriller, "The 15:17 to Paris," which he both produced and directed, and "The Mule," which he also directed and starred in. In 2017, it was reported that Clint had proposed to his 52-year-old girlfriend, Christina Sandera. Clint has eight children, several of them actors, from multiple past relationships.