8 Stars Of The '80s Who Made Headlines For The Wrong Reasons

We’re used to seeing celebrities at the top of their game -- rich, famous, rubbing shoulders with their fellow elite -- but every once in a while we witness a fall from grace so spectacular, it completely obliterates their entire career in one fell swoop (or Tweet, rather) -- just ask Roseanne Barr.

The below (former) A-listers of the ‘80s have managed to tarnish their reputations through various means, whether it’s been a drug-addled rant, a racist Tweet, or more serious allegations and criminal convictions that have only come to light years after the fact.

And while some will undoubtedly never work in tinsel town again, others managed to patch up their tainted image in the public eye, despite some gross missteps.


Roseanne Barr

Kicking off the list of disgraced celebs comes our latest addition, Roseanne Barr. Once loved by millions for her hit sitcom Roseanne, the actress was even fortunate enough to experience a second surge in popularity thanks to her show’s recent revival, which swiftly became ABC’s most successful comedy in years. That is, until she threw all sense of reason out the window by making a racist ‘joke,’ which saw ABC immediately cancel the series and all other networks (including Ten) pull the show as well as any re-runs.


Charlie Sheen

Unless you were living under a rock back in 2011, you’d no doubt remember Charlie Sheen’s erratic rants about everything from #winning to Tiger Blood. After halting production of Two and a Half Men for the third time and making a bunch of anti-Semitic comments about the show’s creator, Chuck Lorre, Sheen -- who at the time was the highest paid actor in TV at a whopping $US 1.8 million an episode --  had his contract immediately terminated and his character replaced by Ashton Kutcher.


Bill Cosby

When countless women came forward accusing Bill Cosby of various sexual allegations spanning from the ‘60s to 2008, the entertainer went from one of the world’s most beloved TV dads of the ‘80s, to disgraced sexual offender. After he was convicted of three counts of sexual assault on April 26, 2018, he was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and stripped of numerous awards, degrees and accolades he had received over his 50-year career.


Rolf Harris

He was an iconic Australian children’s entertainer whose career came to a crashing halt after he was accused, and later convicted of, multiple cases of indecent assault relating to girls aged between 13 and 16 in the 1970s and 1980s. The 88-year-old served three years behind bars for the crime and was released in 2017, after which he allegedly planned a TV comeback to change the public’s perception of him. Good luck with that...


Hugh Grant

The early ‘90s were a fabulous time for actor Hugh Grant, who shot to stardom playing the delightfully awkward love interest in Four Weddings and a Funeral.  But on June 27, 1995, in what the Brit described as a “moment of insanity,” he was busted in the back of a car with sex worker Divine Brown and charged with lewd conduct in a public place. Despite the public embarrassment of having his sheepish mugshot circulated across the globe, Grant’s indiscretion did little to sour his career as he went on to star in blockbusters such as Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Love Actually.


Winona Ryder

Back in December 12, 2001, the world was shocked when Winona Ryder was caught shoplifting over $5500 worth of designer gear from Saks Fifth Avenue. After finding fame in the ‘90s in flicks Girl, Interrupted; Beetlejuice and Little Women, fans were baffled as to why a Hollywood starlet of her stature would feel the need to steal from a department store. After she took a break from the limelight following the incident, her career later saw a considerable resurgence thanks to her role as Joyce in the hugely popular Netflix series Stranger Things.


Rob Lowe

He was the heartthrob of the ‘80s following his breakthrough role as Sodapop Curtis in The Outsiders, but as famous teenagers under the glare of the spotlight often do, he soon succumbed to the lure of sex, drugs and rock n roll. The severity of his party lifestyle was realised in 1988, when a sex tape featuring Lowe with an underage girl he met in a nightclub was released to the media. After committing to a life of sobriety, his career eventually bounced back, with the star even poking fun of the scandal on a 2016 episode of Saturday Night Live.


Robert Hughes

He was the lead star in the late ‘80s Aussie sitcom Hey Dad!, but in 2014 actor Rob Hughes was brought to justice and jailed for a minimum of six years after being found guilty of child sex abuse. One of the victims was his co-star Sarah Monahan, who was only 10-years-old when the on-set abuse from her TV father began. He currently remains incarcerated and will be eligible for release in April 2020 when he’s 71 years old.