Mare Winningham

Mare WinninghamIt feels like Mare Winningham should be in the Brat Pack due to her role in St Elmo’s Fire as Wendy Beamish. This was however her only role in a Brat Pack movie and she never really associated herself with the party scene of the other Brat Packers. Like her character in St Elmo’s, she was possibly the sensible one in real life too! Winningham was never really an 80s teen idol either but she has continued to work steadily in film and TV right up to the present day.

Born on May 6, 1959 in Phoenix, Arizona, Mare Winningham grew up in California. She took a number of acting courses at a young age and by the time she graduated college had already landed an agent and a role in the television movie Young Pioneers in 1976. Various TV roles followed for Winningham including an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Marlene Burkhardt in the movie Amber Waves.

Mare Winningham’s big break came in 1985 she was cast as the introverted Wendy in St. Elmo’s Fire, directed by Joel Schumacher. The film revolved around a group of friends who had just graduated from Georgetown University and it showed the difficulties they had adjusting to adult life. The success of St Elmo’s never really had the knock on effect for Winningham’s career and she quickly went back to TV work.

In 1995 Mare was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the movie Georgia. In 1998, she was honoured again, winning her second Emmy Award for her role as Lurleen Wallace in the television movie, Wallace. The number of award nominations and wins for Mare Winningham shows just how talented an actress she, even though she is one of the less well known faces from the Brat Pack era.

Mare Winningham Trivia

Went to Chatsworth High School in Los Angeles with Val Kilmer and Kevin Spacey.

Is the only St Elmo’s Fire cast member to ever be nominated for an Academy Award.

Mare Winningham Links

Mare Winningham at IMDB

Ralph Macchio

Ralph MacchioRalph Macchio was born 4th November 1961 in Huntingdon, New York. He began his acting career in American TV commercials before landing his first movie role in Up The Academy in 1980 before going on to appear in TV series Eight is Enough about a family with eight kids. Macchio’s real breakthrough role came in the Brat Pack movie The Outsiders alongside a number of big 80s stars including Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise. He received positive reviews for his portrayal of Johnny Cade.

It was in 1984 that Ralph Macchio really hit the big time when he took on the part of Daniel LaRusso in the worldwide smash The Karate Kid. His fame rose to amazing heights after this but he was never able to repeat the phenomenal success of The Karate Kid with any of his other roles.

Macchio’s most successful movies after this were Crossroads in 1986, My Cousin Vinny alongside Joe Pesci in 1992 as well as the two Karate Kid sequels. It is only in recent years that Macchio has appeared on screen with any regularity. He showed up in Entourage in 2005 playing himself and he also had a recurring role in Ugly Betty.

Short online video ‘Wax on, F*ck off ‘ is in my opinion hilarious and although only brief, showcases how talented he is as a comic actor (link below).

Ralph Macchio most recently competed in Dancing With The Stars.

Ralph Macchio Trivia

Macchio first appeared in commercials for Dr Pepper in the late 1970s.

Is a big fan of songwriter/singer Bruce Springsteen.

Ralph Macchio Links

Follow Ralph on Twitter

Wax on, f*ck off

James Spader

James SpaderJames Spader was born on 7th February 1960. Before breaking into acting, he bused tables, shoveled manure, and taught yoga. He began his career in TV movies before graduating to a host of classic 80s movies including Brat Pack’s Pretty In Pink alongside Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy. His role in 1989’s Sex Lies and Videotape was critically acclaimed.

Spader’s other hits during the 80’s include Less Than Zero, Wall Street and Mannequin and although not having the lead role in any of these movies, the part he did play was always pivotal.

While a lot of his work during the 90s was very hit and miss including the obscure Crash where he played a car-accident fetishist as well as guest starring in an episode of Seinfeld, it was in 2004 when Spader’s career truly flourished. In Boston Legal, a spin off of The Practice, Spader played the role of Alan Shore for five seasons. His chemistry with William Shatner was electric and it landed him three Emmy Awards.

Married twice with three children, James Spader is an actor who has managed to continue his success in the 80s throughout his career.

James Spader Quotes

“I’ve had a lazy career, sometimes one film a year, sometimes none. I’m walking around in the street and doing this other thing, living, that I’m much more interested in. I just do some acting on the side.”

“You just want to work. I like playing character roles and I do not mind being a real son-of-a-bitch, or embarrassing myself. But as you go along you begin to realize that the work has a criterion and as your choices get broader you start cutting out the things that are not worth the time. On the whole I have been lucky; I do not look back with a huge amount of distaste for the work I have done.”

James Spader Links

James Spader dot com

Robert Downey Jr

Robert Downey Jr

Robert Downey Jr

Robert John Downey Jr. was born in Greenwich Village, New York City at 1.10 pm. He’s the son of underground filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. His first part in a movie was in his father’s Pound, where 5-year-old Downey played a puppy. When he was 20 years old, he joined Saturday Night Live for one season. After that, he went to Hollywood.

In 1987, he got the leading role in director James Toback’s film The Pick-Up Artist, where he was up against Molly Ringwald. The same year, he played drug addict Julian Wells in the movie Less Than Zero. In 1992 he played Charlie Chaplin in Sir Richard Attenborough’s film Chaplin (1992). For that astonishing performance, he received an Oscar nomination for best actor which he unfortunately did not win.

In the year 2000, he got to guest star in comedy series Ally McBeal, where he portrayed the attorney Larry Paul who became Ally’s love interest. For that performance he won the Golden Globe for best supporting actor in a comedy series.

Robert married Deborah Falconer in April 1992 but they have recently divorced (April 2004). He has had many well documented drug problems but has now been clean for the past few years and is back in some big Hollywood productions after a few years in the wilderness.

2008’s Iron Man was a huge hit with both moviegoers and critics. Downey Jr’s performance was nothing short of remarkable and he is already signed up to star in the sequel. Robert is also starring in the forthcoming Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes project.

It is a fact that drug rehabilitation centers have been instrumental in turning around the lives of countless drug addicts.

Robert Downey Jr Quotes

“I know very little about acting. I’m just an incredibly gifted faker.”

“With a terrible script you hustle and try to make it better. But with a good script it can be trouble because you rest on your laurels, so to speak, you think it’s going to translate easily.”

Robert Downey Jr Links

Downey Unlimited – Robert Downey Jr fan site.

Robert Downey Jr Music – Robert’s official music site.

John Cusack

John Cusack shot to fame in the 80’s playing the unconventional hero in a number of movies. He has always avoided the Hollywood spotlight and has built a successful career playing underdogs and odd men out.

Show business runs in the Cusack clan with all bar John’s mother being involved with acting in one way or another. His sister Joan has appeared in a number of movies with him including Sixteen Candles, High Fidelity and Say Anything.

It’s not only his sister Joan that John likes to make movies with. Close friends Tim Robbins and Jeremy Piven also share the screen with him on a number of occasions.

John’s main claim to being a Brat Packer would be 1983’s Class alongside Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy as well as Sixteen Candles with Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall. He was also originally chosen to play John Bender in The Breakfast Club but the role ended up going to Judd nelson.

His biggest hits of the 80’s were The Sure Thing, Better Off Dead and Say Anything. He played the leading male actor in all three of these movies and has carried his success on into the 90’s and 00’s, something a lot of his fellow stars from the 80’s have failed to do.

Cusack has an amazing ability to make you feel comfortable when watching him, meaning all his films are easy to watch, even the ones that aren’t so great. He has a very unique style.

John Cusack Quotes

“Celebrity is the worst thing that can happen to an actor”.

“I’ve made 10 good films. The ones that suck I tend to blank out. It’s like I never even made them. Well, there aren’t 40 that are great, put it that way. But that’s fine. Ten is a good batting average”.

John Cusack Links – John Cusack fan site.

Huffington Post – Blog posts from John Cusack