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See '80s Heartthrob Maxwell Caulfield Now at 62

Heres what the Grease 2 star has been doing ever since.

Maxwell Caulfield was a virtually unknown actor when he was cast as Michael in the 1982 Grease sequel opposite Michelle Pfeiffer. At the box office, Grease 2 was a flop, but Caulfield was still catapulted to crush status as the hunky leading man. His career hit highs and lows in the years that followed, but his second big break came in the '90s in yet another box office bomb-turned-fan favorite. Read on to see the '80s heartthrob now at 62, and to hear where his fascinating career has taken him since his days at Rydell High.

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Maxwell Caulfield starred in Grease 2 alongside Michelle Pfeiffer.

Michelle Pfeiffer Maxwell Caulfield Grease 2
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

When Grease 2 failed to woo fans of the original film, Caulfield says it was a tough pill to swallow. He admits that seeing his co-star succeed despite the film's poor reception added salt to the wound. "It was, psychologically, quite a kick in the pants," Caulfield told Page Six in 2021, saying Pfeiffer's career "rose like a phoenix" after the film crashed and burned.

Pfeiffer immediately landed the role of Tony Montana's wife in the 1983 classic film Scarface, acting opposite Al Pacino. She went on to earn three Oscar nominations over the course of her career, an achievement that seemed unlikely after Grease 2's unfavorable reviews.

Caulfield says that while he struggled not to compare careers, he's now happy for his co-star's achievements. "Every actor has his and her own path," he told Page Six. "She delivers and she defines Hollywood beauty… But as I said, simultaneously, it makes it that much tougher to see that you've been benched."

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He landed comeback roles on Dynasty and in Empire Records.

Maxwell Caulfield at SiriusXM
Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

After Grease 2's dismal box office reception, Caulfield struggled to find his footing. But in 1985, he joined the cast of the popular daytime soap Dynasty and later was featured on the show's spinoff, The Colbys, playing Charlton Heston's onscreen son. That same year, he acted alongside Charlie Sheen in the film The Boys Next Door. "I took a long wait time to come back," Caulfield told Page Six of the years following Grease 2's release.

In 1995, Caulfield grabbed headlines once again—this time for his role as the aging music idol Rex Manning in Empire Records. To this day, fans of the film still celebrate "Rex Manning Day" on April 8. "It's titled Rex Manning Day, but it might as well be called Empire Records Day," Caulfield told The Hollywood Reporter in 2021. "It initially eluded me because the film had been such a box office disappointment, so I didn't give it the credence that it has developed over the years. It just won't go away. It's one of those showbiz oddities."

Caulfield continues to act in film and television, and has recently landed smaller roles in several high profile projects. Among these are Pam & Tommy, American Horror Story, Castle, NCIS, and Modern Family.

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Caulfield got his start in Hollywood by acting on the stage.

Maxwell Caulfield
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Caulfield emigrated from his native England to New York City in the late '70s when he was just 18 years old. "I got lucky pretty quick," he said in a 2011 interview for Show People with Paul Wontorek, explaining that he was quickly cast in an off-Broadway show called Class Enemy.

"I was pretty precocious, insofar as I was ambitious. Of course you need to be in this game. You have to have a clear sense of your, not so much your destiny, but of what you feel you've got to offer—and then seek out those roles," he told Wontorek.

The star credits his success to this combination of ambition and luck, explaining that he was scouted by Paramount Studios while acting on stage, and cast in Grease 2 as a result. "I caught a wave—I was very fortunate—and some really neat people took a shine to me. Taste-makers like Andy Warhol and Robert Stigwood, and I got photographed by fabulous talents. And as a result an image got created, and I just rode along with it," he shared on Show People.

He's married to the Tony Award-winning actor Juliet Mills.

Maxwell Caulfield and wife Juliet Mills
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Two years before the release of Grease 2, Caulfield tied the knot with the established British actor Juliet Mills. The daughter of actor Sir John Mills, Juliet Mills got an early start in the world of acting, and earned a Tony Award at the age of 18 for her role as Pamela Harrington in the Peter Shaffer play Five Finger Exercise. From there, she moved to Hollywood to work in film and television, and became the beloved star of the '70s sitcom Nanny and the Professor. (She's also the older sister of original Parent Trap star Hayley Mills.)

The celebrity pair have an 18-year age gap between them—his senior, Mills is now 80. Today, the couple has enjoyed over four decades of romance and partnership. Caulfield shared what he believes is the key to their enduring relationship success while speaking with Studio 10 in 2020. "You mustn't go to bed at night still royally pissed off with each other," the actor said. "Every year is a blessing—we go to sleep holding hands," Caulfield added, his wide nodding in agreement.

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Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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