All the Popular 1980s Actors Who Appeared in ‘Stranger Things’
stranger things, which debuted on Netflix in the summer of 2016, quickly became a pop culture hit for the streaming network. Created by Matt and Ross Dufferthe series’ 1980s setting in small town Indiana appealed to audiences, as well as its charming cast of characters.
The show is also well known for its ability to constantly reference various popular movies from the 80s, such as The thing, Fighting spirit, AND the extra-terrestrialand even Halloween and other horror series. Along with these references, the show’s ’80s setting translates into storylines dealing with government conspiracies, supernatural occurrences, and evil scientists. Additionally, the cast of various beloved stars of the 80s throughout the four seasons of the show lends the show its credibility and continued popularity.
winona ryder starred in the 1986 film Lucashis big-screen debut alongside Charlie Sheen and Corey Haim. Since then, Ryder has starred in films such as beetle juice (with Michael Keaton, Catherine O’Hara, Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin), as good as Heathers. In the 90s, Ryder also performed with Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhandsand in Bram Stoker’s Dracula next to Keanu Reeves; who both realized years later that the wedding they had photographed was a real ceremony.
On stranger thingsRyder plays Joyce Byers, Jonathan’s mother (Charlie Heaton) and go (Noah Schnapp) Byers. Joyce is a single mother who works at a dead end to support her boys. When Will disappears in the first season, Ryder’s performance as Joyce is impeccable, his emotions ranging from frenzied and frenzied to his tenacity to bring his son home.
In Season 3 of the series, Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) compares his girlfriend to Phoebe Cateswho played with Matthew Modine in Private schoola 1983 teen comedy. Modine also starred in Married to the Mafia (1988) as well as vision quest (1985), among others. In 1987, Modine appeared in Stanley Kubrickit is Full Metal Jacketwhich is considered his most famous role.
Modine first appears in stranger things in the first season as Dr. Martin Brenner, who works at Hawkins Lab. When eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) escapes from the lab, there is a manhunt to recapture her. Modine, as Dr. Brenner, behaves sympathetically towards Eleven, but the show makes it clear that Eleven was being used for experiments at the lab against her will. In Season Four (Volumes 1 and 2, released May 27, 2022 and July 1, 2022 respectively), Modine is reintroduced and attempts to convince Eleven to trust him to help her regain her powers.
Robert Englund no need for an introduction to the 80s or stranger things Fans. Englund’s very first film role was in the 1974 film Buster and Billie. However, Englund achieved international fame in the 1984 horror classic freddiewhere he portrayed horror villain Freddy Krueger alongside Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, and Depp. As Freddy Krueger, Englund appeared in all ‘Elm Street’ movies, aside from the 2010 remake, which starred Jackie Earl Haley as the titular villain.
Englund appears on stranger things fourth season as Victor Creel, a mental patient accused of murdering his family in the 1950s. Talking to Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Robin (Maya Hawk) at the mental hospital, Victor tells them what really happened the night his family was killed. Although Englund only appears in one episode, the character marks the season in an impactful way and rightly pays homage to his ‘Elm Street’ roots.
Sean Astin is known to 80s moviegoers for his performance in the 1985 film The Goonies. Astin starred in the film alongside the other “Goonies” which include Josh Brolin, Jonathan Ke Huy Quan, Corey Feldmanand Jeff Cohen. In the early 2000s, Astin portrayed Samwise Gamgee in the ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy consisting of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The two towers (2002), and The king’s return (2003).
Astin appeared in the second season of stranger things like Bob Newby, a cheerful, upbeat guy who also works at Radio Shack. Bob also dates Joyce and helps stabilize her home life. Bob is also able to bond with Will when he tells him to be brave in the face of anything that scares him. Bob’s infectious, optimistic personality and earnest seriousness make his death incredibly tragic as Joyce stands by, helpless to help him.
Although Cary Elwes made his film debut in 1979, The princess to be married (1987) catapulted Elwes and the rest of the cast to fame. Elwes starred in the film as Westley, a Buttercup-loving stable boy (Robin Wright). The film also featured Fred Savage, Chris Sarandon, Wallace Shawn, carole kaneand billy crystal. The princess to be married remains a beloved classic to this day. Most recently, Elwes appeared in the 2019 remake of black christmasa second remake of the 1974 original.
Elwes joined stranger things in his third season as Hawkins Mayor Larry Kline. Elwes portrays the mayor as a corrupt villain oblivious to the impending danger to the city, rendering him virtually incompetent.
Paul Reiser is best known for his role in Crazy of youwhich ran for seven seasons in the 90s, and which also starred Helen Hunt. Reiser also appeared in several 80s films, including dinner (1982), Beverly Hills Cop (1984), and aliens (1986).
Reiser appears for the first time on stranger things in his second season as Dr. Sam Owens, who attempted to contain the events that unfolded in the city during the show’s first season. At the end of the second season, Dr. Owens aided Chief Jim Hopper (David Harborlisten)) by arranging for the adoption of Eleven as his daughter. Dr. Owens appears in the fourth season and participates in the experimental procedure to help Eleven regain her powers.
NEXT: The Best ’80s Song From Every ‘Stranger Things 4’ Episode