The Cast of 1983’s ‘Flashdance’ Then & Now
Just last year, the iconic ‘80s film Flashdance celebrated its 40th anniversary. In the film, Jennifer Beals stars as 18-year-old Alex Owens, who has a dream of being a professional dancer. You may remember her audition scene, which has been recreated many, many times in pop culture over the years, including during the recent Super Bowl commercials.
The film was a hit in 1983 and many of its songs had success too including “Flashdance… What A Feeling” and “Maniac.” Let’s find out where the cast is today, but first, let’s pay tribute to some of the stars who have since passed away. Sunny Johnson (Jeanie Szabo) passed away just a year later in 1984 at the age of 30 after suffering a brain hemorrhage. Lilia Skala (Hanna Long) passed away in 1994 at the age of 98 and Ron Karabatsos (Jake Mawby) passed away in 2012 at 78.
Jennifer Beals (Alex Owens)
Flashdance was Beals’ debut as a lead actress and she received a Golden Globe nomination for her role. Before Flashdance, she had only been a minor character in the film My Bodyguard. In the ‘80s, Beals balanced her acting career while studying at Yale University. When she graduated in 1987 with a B.A. in American Literature, she began working more steadily, appearing in Sons, Split Decisions, and Vampire’s Kiss.
Some of her most notable roles throughout the ‘90s, 2000s, and beyond were in films and television shows such as The L Word, The Grudge 2, Law & Order, The Book of Eli, and The Chicago Code. More recently, she starred in the Disney+ series The Book of Boba Fett, Law & Order: Organized Crime, and reprised her role as Bette Porter in The L Word reboot, The L Word: Generation Q. Beals has been married twice and has been with Ken Dixon since 1998. They have one daughter together. In her personal life, she enjoys being active and practices kung fu and kickboxing, and has done triathlons. She is also a photographer and her work is under Jennifer Dixon.
Michael Nouri (Nick Hurley)
Before appearing in Flashdance, Nouri was mainly a stage actor. He went on to appear in several TV movies including Star Fairies and Between Two Women. In 1986, he got a starring role in Downtown. Afterward, he continued to work in television, film, and on Broadway. In 1995, he starred in the musical Victor/Victoria with Julie Andrews.
He has had several stints in soap operas including All My Children and more recently appeared in the popular series Yellowstone and The Watcher. Nouri has been married and divorced twice and has two daughters. He works with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society because one of his ex-wives is affected by MS.
Kyle T. Heffner (Richie Blazik)
Before landing the role in Flashdance, he appeared on The Facts of Life. After, it boosted his career and he starred in films such as When Harry Met Sally and appeared on sitcoms such as Who’s the Boss?, Seinfeld, and The Golden Girls.
He continued acting in the 2000s and beyond, appearing in shows such as Parenthood, General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, and more. His most recent role was in the Perry Mason reboot as well as some voice work in shows such as Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia and DreamWorks Dragons. He is married and has two children.
Lee Ving (Johnny C)
Before Flashdance, Ving was known as the lead singer of the punk band Fear. After being featured in a documentary called The Decline of Western Civilization, Saturday Night Live cast member John Belushi convinced executives to feature the band on SNL. However, things didn’t go to plan. Fans formed a mosh pit and one fan yelled curse words on live television and damaged some production equipment, causing Fear to be banned from the show.
The whole incident led to the band struggling to find gigs and they broke up in 1987. Since then, they have reunited and Ving continued to focus on acting appearing in Clue, Fast Times, Who’s the Boss?, and more. Fear went on tour in 2023 and released their first new studio album in 11 years, as well as the first new studio album with all original content in 23 years. Rock on!
Cynthia Rhodes (Tina Tech)
Rhodes appeared in several other dancing films after Flashdance including the Saturday Night Fever sequel Staying Alive and Dirty Dancing. She retired from acting after the 1991 film Curse of the Crystal Eye to focus on her family.
Rhodes was married to singer-songwriter Richard Marx from 1983 until 2014. They have three sons together.
Tell us, who was your favorite character in Flashdance? What television show or movie would you like to see us write about next?