10+ Strange Facts About '80s Actors Fans Didn't Know

My knowledge of the '80s is mostly through nostalgia. I came into the world at the tail end of the decade, but over time I've come to familiarize myself with the kids of my generation.

The best part of the '80s to me is the seemingly endless supply of classic films and iconic stars. Get to know them better with these 10+ strange facts about '80s actors fans didn't know.

Robert De Niro gained 60 lbs to play the former Middleweight Boxing Champion Jake LaMotta in *Raging Bull*.

Christian Bale likely learned a lot from Robert De Niro. Putting on 60 lbs of weight is no small task and it concerned director Martin Scorcese.

The end result was a career-defining performance from De Niro.

Kirstie Alley was once a contestant on *The Match Game*.

Before her breakout roles in Cheers and Star Trek: The Next Generation, Kirstie was just a simple game show contestant from Wichita, Kansas.

Kirstie appeared on a total of two episodes before being dethroned.

Michael Douglas is the reason that *One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest* was produced.

Michael's father Kirk, a Hollywood legend in his own right, obtained the rights to the novel in the early 1960s. Kirk developed the book into a play and always dreamed to bring it to the silver screen.

Which is precisely what Michael Douglas did.

Sigourney Weaver's first paycheck was incredibly small.

Sigourney is most well-known for playing Ellen Ripley in the Aliens franchise. Her first film was Woody Allen's Annie Hall, in which she had a small walk-on part.

It was so minor that Sigourney took home a meager $50 for her efforts.

Al Pacino could have been in *Star Wars*.

Al once let it slip during an interview that he passed on playing Han Solo!

Supposedly, he had a hard time understanding the script and refused when George Lucas came knocking on his door.

Regina King has a serious crush on Sam Elliot.

Sam is maybe best known these days for playing Beau Bennett on The Ranch.

Regina spilled the tea to Jimmy Kimmel that she's been in love with him ever since she first saw Roadhouse.

Molly Ringwald was fired from her job on *The Facts Of Life*.

Molly was only 12-years-old when it happened. She admits that at the time, it was incredibly difficult for her to deal with.

Ironically, it was her limited time on The Facts of Life that led to her big break in Hollywood.

Joe Pesci is a musician.

Fans of Joe's cult classic My Cousin Vinny — rejoice! You can listen to an entire polka-inspired, jazz-fusion album done in the vein of Vincent Laguardia Gambini.

My personal favorite is Joe's cover of Miles Davis' "What A Wonderful World."

Michelle Pfeiffer is an incredibly talented painter.

Michelle made this post after one of her art classes. The assignment was to paint a self-portrait.

I don't know about you, but I think she nailed it. Especially in the eyes and the subtle shadow on her face.

Whoopi Goldberg had a slightly unnerving job before breaking into comedy.

Did you know that Whoopi is a certified aesthetician?

In fact, one of the first jobs she ever got was working in a funeral parlor applying makeup to the recently departed!

Demi Moore had one of the most rocking wedding officiants of all time.

Throughout most of the '90s and beyond, Demi was romantically linked to Bruce Willis.

The two were wed in a Las Vegas wedding chapel, and their officiant was none other than legendary Rock n' Roll icon — Little Richard.

Christopher Walken was in a Fatboy Slim music video.

Fatboy Slim helped score an entire generation. If you were looking to sum up the '90s in song, they're a few tracks I could think of that would do the trick.

In the video for "Weapon of Choice," Christopher Walken is literally bouncing off the walls.

Pam Grier nearly died while filming in the Phillipines.

Pam contracted a parasite which caused her to temporarily lose her sight for an entire month!

She came extremely close to dying and it took more than a year in order for her to fully recover.

Harrison Ford nearly died after crash-landing in his WWII era plane.

Lucky for Harrison, he'd been a pilot for years and knew what to do when he got into trouble.

If you have ever taken a look at the wreckage, you can see that it could have been a lot worse.

Mel Gibson quit acting for nearly two years and started a cattle ranch.

Mel said that adapting to fame was an incredibly difficult process. So he decided to leave America and returned home to Australia.

He said that working on the ranch allowed him to occupy his mind with things besides work.