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Children of the 80s and 90s shocked to see beloved stars of cult films looking like old men’

While their youthful faces have been preserved for future generations on the silver screen, even Hollywood actors can’t halt the passage of time. 

Stars of fan-favourite films from the 80s and 90s are now in their twilight years – and some are now unrecognisable. 

From Oscar-winning thespians to the two halves of a comedy duo, MailOnline takes a look at some familiar faces and how they’ve changed.  

Harvey Keitel

Fans said the actor still looks 'fabulous' at 83

Fans of Harvey Keitel, 83, say he still looks ‘fabulous’ as he did in the popular films he made in his youth, including Mean Streets (left)

American actor Harvey Keitel, 83, made his film debut in 1968 in Who’s That Knocking at My Door?, the first feature film directed by famous director Martin Scorsese.

The New York star went on to star in a range of films throughout his career, including Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, and Bugsy, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for his performance as Mickey Cohen in 1991.

He has also worked with Quentin Tarantino on his film about a corrupt copper drowning in gambling debt in Bad Lieutenant in 1992. 

He later featured in another of Tarantino’s films, the iconic Pulp Fiction in 1994.

Some of his most recent works includes Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2012 and the Irishman in 2019 where he was reunited with Scorsese and featured alongside Robert De Niro. 

In 2021, Mr Keitel worked on Lansky, a biopic about the gangster Meyer Lansky.

The actor has captured the hearts of many fans over the years, who were more than happy to comment on how well the actor is looking at 83. One person said: ‘Great actor, great man. He looks fabulous’.

Another added: ‘Harvey Keitel still looks good’.

A third person commented: ‘He looks fantastic.’

Chevy Chase

Pictured during his time on Saturday Night Live between 1975 and 1976

The former Saturday Night Live regular who is now 79

The former Saturday Night Live regular – who is now 79 – became a household name with his catchphrase, ‘I’m Chevy Chase… and you’re not’

Chevy Chase, 79, is an American comedian, actor and writer who became a well-known name as a result of his Weekend Update segment on Saturday Night Live from 1975 to 1976. 

He was one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live, a late night television show which began in 1975.

Soon he became a household name with his infamous catchphrase introduction, ‘I’m Chevy Chase… and you’re not’. He received two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award for his comedy writing and live comic acting on the show.

In late 1976, Mr Chase became the first member of the original cast to leave the show.

His film career soon took off and he featured in titles including Tunnel Vision, Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation and Three Amigos.

Towards the later part of his career, he appeared in the film Hot Tub Time Machine in 2010 and in 2015, Mr Chase reprised his role as Clark Griswold in the fifth Vacation instalment, titled Vacation.

The Hollywood actor continues to star in films today, however, less frequently than in his youth. 

Fans of his work have shared their continued admiration for the veteran actor, one person said: ‘Love Chevy!! His movies were very funny, with good plots yet light and a joy to watch. I am so glad to see him, he looks great!’

Another said: ‘Looks very good for his age.’

‘He was so popular in the 80s.’ a third person commented.

A fourth added: ‘He’s lookin good for almost 80.. fab funny guy!

Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal pictured in 1977

Pictured in April 2022, on Broadway in Mister Saturday Night, a stage adaptation of his 1992 film of the same name

‘You look mahvellous’: Billy Crystal pictured in 1977 (left) and in April 2022, on Broadway in Mister Saturday Night, a stage adaptation of his 1992 film of the same name

The When Harry Met Sally actor, who recently recreated a famous outfit from the successful romantic comedy, made his start as a stand-up coming at the age of 16. 

But the youngest of three boys born to concert promoter Jack Crystal and Helen Gabler had dreams far away from the showbiz world – he wanted to be a baseball player. 

He studied at NYU under Martin Scorsese before embarking on a comedy career, opening for musicians including Barry Manilow.  

He got screen time in television shows including as a gay character in the ABC sitcom Soap before becoming a Saturday Night Live regular.   

His roles in blockbusters like When Harry Met Sally and City Slickers cemented him as a household name. Crystal’s nine times as Oscar host are the second most in history, behind Bob Hope’s record 19 times between 1940 and 1978. 

Recent: The actor took to Twitter on Tuesday, sharing two images - a recent snap of him wearing a white cable knit sweater, blue jeans and white sneakers

Inspo: He also shared the shot that inspired it from When Harry Met Sally

Inspo: The 5″6 New Yorker recently shared an iconic shot from When Harry Met Sally – which he recreated to mark his 75th birthday

Full snap: The full shot from When Harry Met Sally with Meg Ryan

Full snap: The full shot from When Harry Met Sally with Meg Ryan

The comedy legend was last seen on the big screen in 2021’s Here Today, and he also appeared in an episode of Never Have I Ever.

He returned to Broadway in 2022 with Mister Saturday Night, a stage adaptation of his 1992 film of the same name.

Crystal most recently surfaced in a humorous trailer for Jimmy Kimmel hosting the Oscars, which parodied Top Gun: Maverick. 

Top Gun: Maverick stars Jon Hamm and Charles Parnell reprised their characters for the trailer, joking that they asked several other stars to host the Oscars before him.

Crystal then appeared as an ‘admiral,’ as Hamm and Parnell asked him to reconsider and host again, though he insisted he had a dentist appointment that night.

‘Listen I’ve hosted this thing nine times and I say give this kid a shot,’ Crystal said, though Kimmel reminded him he hosted twice before.

The beloved funnyman will also return to voice Mike Wasowski in the second season of the animated series Monsters at Work, arriving later this year.

He is married to Janice Crystal and they have two daughters, Jennifer Crystal Foley and Lindsay Crystal.  

‘I never realised he was 74. I still think of him as Harry,’ one person said. 

One commentator was shocked by the marked change in the actor’s appearance: ‘Why does he suddenly look 100?!’

But others thought he was doing well: ‘He looks great! Would’ve never guessed he’s 75.’

Gene Hackman

The actor starred in hits including The French Connection, for which he won an Oscar

Gene Hackman, 93, was seen out and about near his home in March 2023

Gene Hackman, 93, was seen out and about near his home in March 2023 (right). The actor starred in hits including The French Connection, for which he won an Oscar (left)

Gene Hackman, 93, began his acting career through a number of summer stock and Off-Broadway plays in New York during the 1950s and 1960s.

He landed his first Broadway role in 1964 as a young suitor in Muriel Resnick’s Any Wednesday where he soon caught the attention of Hollywood agents and was cast in the film Lilith. 

By the late 1960s he established his place as a household name and appeared in Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde in 1967 for which Hackman was nominated for an Academy Award as best supporting actor.

He also featured in films such as The French Connection, which won him the Academy Award for best actor. 

Hackman then went on to be cast in The Conversation, Young Frankenstein, and Superman. 

Hackman also won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his portrayal of Little Bill Daggett in Clint Eastwood’s revisionist western Unforgiven in 1992.

His later works include the Runaway Jury in 2003 and Welcome To Mooseport in 2004. 

In 2008, while promoting his novel, he confirmed that he had officially retired from acting. Having appeared enjoying his retirement, many were happy to see the actor doing well.

One person said: ‘What a FANTASTIC actor, in so many films. It’s actually terrific to see him, and to see that he’s doing great at 93 – driving, out to a quick lunch on his own, filling up his car himself…’

While another person said: ‘Great age and keeping well. Unforgettable actor.’

A third added: ‘The ageing process is very harsh, but he’s also doing well for 93!’

Cheech and Chong

As comedy duo Cheech and Chong

Pictured together at a Comic Con event in 2022

Comedy duo Cheech and Chong (left) became famous for a number of albums and films during the 70s and 80s (pictured right in 2022)

Comedy duo Cheech and Chong became famous for a number of albums and films during the 70s and 80s before disbanding in 1985. 

Tommy Chong, 84, and Cheech Marin, 76, met in Vancouver, in Canada, after Cheech Marin moved there to avoid the draft at the height of the Vietnam war. 

Some of their best known works include Earache My Eye and Santa Claus And His Old Lady and their first feature film, Up In Smoke, was released in 1976. 

After the two parted ways, Tommy Chong struggled, selling some pilot series to networks but not acting again until he scored a recurring role on That 

He was absent from the fifth and sixth series of the shows as he was serving time in prison for drug-related offences, becoming the cell-mate of Jordan Belfort, of The Wolf Of Wall Street fame. 

Chong was the voice of Yax in Zootopia and appeared on Dancing With The Stars in 2014 before competing in The Masked Singer in 2019.  

Cheech Marin, 76, went on to voice many beloved Disney characters, including Ramone from Cars and Banzai the hyena from Lion King. He also featured in the Spy Kids movies, a popular series. 

He also won Celebrity Jeopardy in 2010, beating journalist Anderson Cooper.  

The comedians reunited in New York earlier this week – but are virtually unrecognisable from their comic duo. 

Robert Downey Jr.

Pictured in 1992, before the series of arrests that derailed his career

Making an appearance in November 2022, Downey Jr. shocked fans with his aged appearance

Robert Downey Jr., 57, made his acting debut aged just five – and the change in his appearance has shocked some fans

The Iron Man actor started out in film at a very young age – leaving some fans shocked when pictures from November 2022 saw a markedly older Downey Jr. 

His actor father first put him in films at five but encouraged a drug addiction that would later derail his entire career. 

He scored early success in films including The Pick-up Artist and as a drug-addicted rich kid in Less Than Zero. 

In 1992 he learned to play tennis left-handed and to play the violin to play Charlie Chaplin, a role that would earn him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. 

A run of popular films followed before controversy caught up with the actor. After missing a court-ordered drugs test in 1997, he spent six months in LA County jail. 

He would spend more time in correctional facilities and would be fired from Ally McBeal in April 2001 after another series of arrests on suspicion of drug-related offences. 

His stepmother, Rosemary, told People Magazine that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which she believed made his recovery harder.  

Downey Jr. got his first post-rehabilitation job lip-syncing for an Elton John video after being unable to join other projects after insurance companies refused to cover him. 

Mel Gibson gambled on the actor and paved the way for his comeback, by bankrolling him to appear in The Singing Detective in 2003.

By 2007, his career was back on track and he appeared in the critically acclaimed Zodiac alongside Mark Ruffalo. 

He would eventually star alongside Ruffalo in the incredibly successful Marvel films featuring the Avengers, after premiering his Iron Man character Tony Stark in 2008. 

A Sherlock Holmes spin-off with Jude Law saw him win a Golden Globe for best actor – a win which he failed to prepare a speech for, as his wife told him Matt Damon would take home the gong. 

He retired from the Marvel universe in 2019 after his character was killed off in Avengers Endgame and while a second Sherlock movie was made, the franchise did not continue.  

An Alfred Hitchcock remake is said to be in the works for the 57-year-old blockbuster actor and it was announced in March 2023 that Downey Jr. will appear alongside Robert Pattinson in a political comedy from Adam McKay.