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A surprise legend of the '80s

9

March

Ready for this proclamation? Aidan Quinn, who turns 49 this weekend, was a consistently better actor in the '80s than Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Kevin Costner -- just about anybody.

Starting with Daryl Hannah in 1984's Reckless and then vastly improving movies like Desperately Seeking Susan, Quinn appeared in just five big-time movies in the 80s -- Crusoe, The Mission and Stakeout were the others -- with three more for TV. And unlike Cruise, who still gets zinged for "Legend" and "Losin' It," Quinn's work was excellent.

He's probably better known today for his '90s work, when he starred in 18 films including The Handmaid's Tale, Avalon, Legends of the Fall ("I followed all of the rules, man's and God's. And you, you followed none of them. And they all loved you more.") and the vastly underappreciated The Assignment.

What makes him so watchable? His ability to play the good guy and bad guy with equal skill (sometimes in the same movie -- again, see "The Assignment.")

TOP 5 AIDAN QUINN MOVIES -- ALL TIME:

5. AVALON (1990): "He wets the bed. My dad wets the bed."

4. STAKEOUT (1987): "Isn't love great, Chris? One minute you're a god, the next minute you're a scum-suckin' pig."

3. LEGENDS OF THE FALL (1994): "You have won her. I am bringing her home."

2. RECKLESS (1984): "Well, I'm pretty f---in' upset and it's definitely your fault."

1. THE ASSIGNMENT (1997): "I've made you and the children a target because someone out there is going to kill you unless I kill him first. That's my job. And if you don't mind, I'm late for work."

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:31pm]

    

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