The China Syndrome (1979)
Michael produced and starred in this thriller about a reporter and cameraman who discover a safety cover-up at a nuclear power plant. The part of cameraman Richard Adams was one of Michael's earliest movie roles, despite producing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1975. The film also starred Jack Lemmon and Jane Fonda, both of whom earned Oscar® nominations for their performances.
Romancing the Stone (1984)
This action-adventure romantic comedy catapulted Michael to superstardom, along with his co-star Kathleen Turner. Michael plays an American bird exporter and soldier of fortune in Colombia, who's hired to help a New York romance novelist uncover the secrets behind her sister's kidnapping. Adventure—and, of course, a love affair—ensues. The film was such a huge box-office hit that Michael and Kathleen reprised their roles a year later in the sequel, The Jewel of the Nile.
Wall Street (1987)
Michael won an Oscar for his portrayal of greedy stockbroker Gordon Gekko in this hit dramatic film, which co-starred Charlie Sheen and Daryl Hannah. The character of Gordon Gekko eventually grew larger than the film itself, often referenced as the quintessential example of '80s excess. Director Oliver Stone also helmed the 2010 sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, in which Michael reprised his role opposite Shia LeBeouf, Josh Brolin and Carey Mulligan. The role earned Michael a Best Actor in a Supporting Role Golden Globe® nomination.