The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
Stars of the '80s
Steve Guttenberg

Born 24 August 1958 in Brooklyn, New York, Steve Guttenberg grew up in Massapequa, Long Island, and attended New York's High School for the Performing Arts, as well as Julliard and the Actors Studio. Still a teenager, he made his off-Broadway debut in The Lion in Winter. He first appeared on the small screen in the 1976 made-for-TV movie Something for Joey, and debuted on the big screen the following year in The Chicken Chronicles. In 1979 he was starring in a television series, Billy, even as he scored critical acclaim for his roles in feature films like The Boys from Brazil (1978) and Diner (1982).
In the Eighties, Guttenberg was perhaps best known for his role as Officer Carey Mahoney in the hit comedy Police Academy (1984). He subsequently appeared in three sequels -- Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), and Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987). At the same time, he landed roles in serious dramas such as Cocoon (1985) and The Bedroom Window (1987). For the most part, though, his films under-utilized his considerable acting skill; he gained a reputation as an amiable and competent star of lightweight comedies.
In 1991, Guttenberg made his Broadway debut in Prelude to a Kiss, and also starred in The Boys Next Door at The Comedy in London's West End. He made several children's films, such as Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997) and Zeus and Roxanne (1997). His interest in the welfare of children led the Entertainment Industry Foundation to name him Ambassador for Children's Issues. He was instrumental in the Sight for Students program, which provided glasses for over 50,000 visually impaired school children. He is associated with other charitable organizations -- The Starlight Foundation and Friends of the Children, among them. He was executive producer of a CBS School Break Special entitled Gangs and made his directorial debut with Love Off Limits (1993), another School Break Special.
Recently, Guttenberg has not only starred and directed, but also produced and co-wrote the screenplay for an adaptation of a classic Broadway hit, P.S.Your Cat Is Dead, and won critical acclaim for appearing in Furthest From the Sun, directed and co-authored by Woody Harrelson.

1980s Filmography
Can't Stop the Music (1980)
Diner (1982)
The Man Who Wasn't There (1983)
The Day After (TV-1983)
Police Academy (1984)
Police Academy 2 (1985)
Cocoon (1985)
Bad Medicine (1985)
Police Academy 3 (1986)
Short Circuit (1986)
Police Academy 4 (1987)
Bedroom Window (1987)
Three Men and A Baby (1987)
Surrender (1987)
Amazon Women on the Moon (1987)
Cocoon: The Return (1988)
High Spirits (1988)


Critics' Comments
Police Academy (1984)
"The police cadets--they include Steve Guttenberg and Kim Cattrall--are ciphers with just enough personality to irritate; the director--TV veteran Hugh Wilson--doesn't even try to bring them to life, but instead drags them through a series of locker-room jokes that must have seemed stale when grandpa was in diapers."
 -- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986)
"All that stands between this movie and nonexistence is the variegated appeal of its cast, still more or less intact from the original....But director Jerry (TV's 'Happy Days') Paris and screenwriter Gene (King Solomon's Mines) Quintano offer them almost no support. The only chances for laughs in the film come from Guttenberg's ingratiating womanizing."
-- People Weely

The Bedroom Window (1987)
"Guttenberg is miscast as the lead here, as he can't quite shake his Carey Mahoney / Police Academy mindset. He plays his role with a constant smirk on his face, seemingly never taking the matters at hand seriously. He's not bad here mind you, but he's just not completely conveying the emotions of someone in the situation his character is in."
-- Chuck Dowling, Daily-Reviews

Three Men and A Baby (1988)
"The three stars, in case you don't watch television or notice newspaper ads, are Tom 'Magnum' Selleck, Steve 'Police Academies Ad Infinitum' Guttenberg and Ted 'I Am Not Gary Hart' Danson. They are three oh-so-cute, oh-so-Manhattan, oh-so-wild and crazy bachelors....And if you like these people, you really should read Donald Trump's book."
-- Desson Howe, Washington Post

High Spirits (1988)
"Aside from the glorious production design (by Anton Furst) and beautiful cinematography (courtesy of Alex Thomson), High Spirits most clearly resembles a disturbingly hollow combination of Ghostbusters, Police Academy, and every loud noise you’ve ever heard."
 -- Scott Weinberg, Apollo Guide