1. PHOEBE CATES
Then: There’s a Calvin Klein cologne for every teen fucking spirit and a classic bathing suit film scene for every adolescent generation. Cameron Crowe nails it in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) with Phoebe Cates’ high cut red bikini. Cates hauls herself out of a backyard pool and strides in slow mo through some kind of sprinkler mist, putting her smack in the middle of a string of late 70s, early 80s standouts. Think: Bo Derek’s Perfect 10 skin-colored one-piece, or Carrie Fisher in her Return of the Jedi gold bikini—i.e: You had me at half-naked.
Now: The lady took her doe eyes to ball-and-chain-coupledom. She hooked up with Kevin Kline, had a couple of kids and opened a gift shop in Manhattan. Meh.
2. DARYL HANNAH
Then: Hannah’s hardcore in Blade Runner (1982) as a goth-doll clone slash gymnast warrior. The way she scissors Harrison Ford’s neck between her thighs makes you choke up a bit, out of empathy, jealousy, whatever. Flip to her fish out of water siren screams in Splash (1984), which, coupled with her shameless nudity (and why would a fish wear clothes?) are a weird, but compelling combo. If she seems a little vapid, remember no one ever said fish were smart. And you can’t hate her for it when the rest of her is so fin. Er, fine.
Now: She likes horses. She gets arrested for environmental acts. She works a mean pole in Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000). No need to cry over spilled MILF.
3. ELISABETH SHUE
Then: Elisabeth Shue plays all grown up alongside Mister T. Cruise in Cocktail (1988). Their Jamaica waterfall skinny dipping hump scene makes us go: Hubba-Hubbard who? Side-boob action and steel drum soundtrack to their doing it is classic holiday sunset adventure wish fulfillment scenario. Credit where credit is due: Before dude was couch-bouncing Tom-Kat or crazy-talking religion (“I’d like to go on vacation. I’d like to go and flaunt and play and do that—”), Tom Cruise circa 80s was pretty much the shit. And Elisabeth Shue as his secretly rich artist girlfriend who brings him back to his senses, even though she gets knocked-up with twins post Jamaica tryst (repercussions = def less sexy).
Now: What’s Shue in now? She showed up in Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2009. Stay tuned: Shue’s been cast in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. That’s why they call it Prime Time.
4. IONE SKYE
Then: Before stalking was considered romantic—thank you, Twilight—John Cusack, in Say Anything (1989), made a dude wanting nothing but to be with his lady the hottest ambition in small towns across the nation. Forget Jacob versus Edward—in a battle between do-it-for-the-first-timers Bella Swan (Kirsten Stewart) and Diane Court (Ione Skye) the win is clear. Ione Skye, type-A baby-face, all trussed up in her frothy party dress and collegial dreams, is plenty meatier than mopey Bella. And whatever you think of Peter Gabriel now, the ghetto blaster scene is way less creepy than Edward watching Bella sleep.
Now: More of a groupie than an actor, Skye’s hooked up with Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis, married Beastie Boys’ Adam Horovitz and Austrialian musician Ben Lee. Who’s the prettiest soccer mom down unda?