The celebrity crushes I’ve had in my life

Pop culture is fun, because you can have crushes on celebrities and, unless you’re really crazy (John Hinckley, I’m looking at you!), they’re fine. You spouse can’t really get too upset about them, because she/he has them, too! So I thought I’d write about the various celebrity crushes I’ve had over the years. Then you can join in with your own!

1. Catherine Bach (1979-1980). The first celebrity crush I remember was Daisy Duke during the first season of The Dukes of Hazzard. I was eight years old when the show came on in the fall of 1979, and prior to that, I hadn’t consumed much popular culture, so I didn’t really have any crushes. I loved The Dukes of Hazzard, and I even watched during the “gas leak” season – when Coy and Vance replaced Bo and Luke – but when Tom Wopat and John Schneider came back, I had largely moved on from the show (although I still watched it) and my crush. But those first few years … damn, Catherine Bach looked good in tiny shorts and swim suits, didn’t she? My eight-year-old brain didn’t quite understand what was going on, but that didn’t mean I didn’t appreciate it!

2. Jan Smithers (c. 1980). I think every nerd in the world had a crush on Bailey Quarters on WKRP in Cincinnati. I don’t know when I started watching the show, but it was during its network run, even though I missed the first and probably part of the second seasons. It was re-run a lot in the 1980s, so everything kind of blends together. I know Loni Anderson played the sexpot in the show, and it was interesting how they made her far smarter than you’d think, but come on, Bailey was super-sexy: smart, sarcastic, funny, and gorgeous. She was perfect on the show (to be honest, the entire cast was perfect), and it’s too bad she’s not better known. Apparently she was in a pretty serious car accident a decade ago, but she’s out there living life now, so good for her! I also find it very interesting that she made the cover of Newsweek in 1966, when she was 16.

3. Sarah Purcell (early 1980s). This is an odd addition to the list, perhaps, as Sarah Purcell is not terribly well known and she was a bit older than the first two ladies on my list (Bach was 25 when The Dukes premiered, Smithers was 28 when WKRP premiered, while Purcell was 31 in early 1980 – those extra few years mean a lot to an eight/nine-year-old, people!). But in the early 1980s, she was one of the hosts of Real People, which I watched religiously. Real People was a show about, well, real people, meaning much like later concepts, we saw Americans doing weird shit. I suppose you could say I had crushes on the entire cast, as Purcell was joined by Fred Willard, Byron Allen, Mark Russell, and even Peter Billingsley. But I just dug Sarah Purcell. So sue me.

4. Phoebe Cates (1980s). I didn’t see Fast Times at Ridgemont High in the theaters (I was 11, whattagonnado?), but, come on, I mean, duh:

Honestly, my crush on Cates probably began in 1984 with Gremlins and culminated with Gremlins 2, after which she retired from acting. Those three movies, however, are enough to put her in the Nerds’ Crushes Hall of Fame.

5. Simon MacCorkindale (1983). I’m not sure if loving Manimal and everything it stands for counts as a crush on the main character, but I’ll allow it. I’m actually terrified to re-watch Manimal, now that it’s on DVD (although my daughter has now heard of it and has decided she wants to see it, so I might have to break down and get it), because I know it will be terrible and I don’t want my memories ruined. You might think I had a crush on Melody Anderson, who played the detective MacCorkindale helps solve cases, but I don’t really remember her all that much (I remember her much better as Dale Arden in Flash Gordon) because MacCorkindale was so suave and debonair, and then he would turn into a freakin’ panther! MacCorkindale worked steadily for years (he was eaten whole in Jaws 3-D, in which you see his point of view from within the shark’s mouth), but when he died in 2010, every obituary should have led with his work on Manimal. Pour one out for Simon MacCorkindale!

6. Jennifer Jason Leigh (c. 1982-1994). I absolutely adore Jennifer Jason Leigh, and I think it’s a goddamned shame she hasn’t won an Oscar yet (she’s been nominated once – ONCE – for an Academy Award, for Best Supporting Actress in The Hateful Eight – which I haven’t seen – which means she was in movies for 35 years – 1981-2016 – before she was even nominated). We can date my crush retroactively to Fast Times at Ridgemont High, even though, as I noted, I didn’t see it in 1982. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, she starred in a bunch of movies that I either saw in the theater or soon after on video, and she was usually the best thing in the movie, even the ones that were good (and some sucked, don’t get me wrong). She was excellent in Flesh + Blood, which apparently has a terrible reputation but which I love, she was terrific in The Hitcher, even though she didn’t get to do too much and suffered a horrific fate, and she was excellent in Miami Blues, which ought to be a better-loved movie because it’s really, really good (and is probably Alec Baldwin’s best long role – Glengarry Glenn Ross doesn’t count – although he’s incredible in Malice, as well). She was by far the best thing in Backdraft, because she was smart and incredibly sexy (and I really like Backdraft, even though it’s kind of goofy). She was great in Rush (an obvious and failed attempt at an Oscar, but she was still great), creepy as hell in Single White Female, hilarious in The Hudsucker Proxy, and amazing as Dorothy Parker in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. My ardor for her cooled after that, as I missed some of her movies (I only saw Dolores Claiborne later, and she was great in that), but she was still great in something like eXistenZ, which is super-weird. She’s still a great actor, naturally, but crushes don’t last – that’s why they’re crushes! – and now I just appreciate her work. I hope she does win an Oscar, but there are plenty of great actors who haven’t won one, so it’s not the worst thing in the world.

7. Perry King and Joe Penny (1984-1986). I watched a lot of action shows in the 1980s, the Golden Age of Stephen J. Cannell, and while Riptide certainly wasn’t my favorite, I retain a nostalgic affection for its goofiness, at the center of which were King and Penny as private investigators who lived on a yacht. It wasn’t The A-Team or Magnum, P.I., it wasn’t Scarecrow and Mrs. King or Remington Steele, but it was better than Hunter, Hardcastle and McCormick, or The Fall Guy. You know it’s true!

8. Heather Thomas (mid-1980s). Speaking of The Fall Guy, I mean, duh:

9. Amanda Peterson (1987). Can’t Buy Me Love is a superb movie, with a dorky Patrick Dempsey (who’s definitely good-looking, but he was only 20/21 during filming, and he was definitely more nerdy back then than he was later) trying to move into the “cool” circle by dating Amanda Peterson, the head cheerleader, who needs his money to replace a dress she ruined. So they work out an arrangement where she just goes on a few dates with him, because he’s convinced that the cool people are so shallow they’ll think he’s cool even if he’s just seen with her. Of course he’s right, but it goes to his head, and it turns out that Peterson’s Cindy has a lot more depth than he thought, so he ends up breaking her heart before being finding redemption. The best part of the movie doesn’t even concern them – it’s when Dempsey makes the point that all of them grew up together and were friends, but as they grew up they began to coalesce into different social strata, which is so depressing because it’s so true. Anyway, Peterson is luminous in this movie, and she never really did much more in the business, quitting in the mid-1990s. She died in 2015 of a drug overdose, and it just sounds like she was a deeply unhappy woman. But she’s gorgeous in this movie, and it’s a wonderful teen romantic comedy.

10. Winona Ryder (1988). Heathers Winona Ryder is the best Winona Ryder, followed closely by Beetlejuice Winona Ryder, but Heathers is about as perfectly cast a movie as you can get, and she’s both amazing and scorching in it. I dare you not to have a crush on her in that movie!

11. Keanu Reeves (1989-1999). Reeves is a very good actor, and it’s a shame people denigrate his skills so much, because he doesn’t deserve it, as he seems like a swell guy. I first started getting a crush on him when I saw Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which is still a comedic classic. I eventually saw him in River’s Edge, which is a great movie and he’s great in it, and he followed Bill and Ted’s with several crush-worthy roles: Parenthood, in which he appears to be a stoner (I know, shocking) but turns out to be more mature than a lot of the adults; I Love You To Death, where he’s part of a really bad hitman team (with a hilarious William Hurt) that River Phoenix hires to kill Tracey Ullman’s cheating husband, Kevin Kline (I Love You To Death is packed with talent – Joan Plowright is in it, Victoria Jackson is in it, Heather Graham is in it, and Phoebe Cates has a cameo); Point Break, where he played Johnny Utah with the right balance of confidence, dickishness, righteousness, and naïveté; Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, which isn’t quite as classic as the first one but is actually a little bit deeper (plus, William Sadler as Death will never not be funny); and My Own Private Idaho, in which he proved he could act, holding his own alongside River Phoenix and making this one of the most brilliant underseen movies I’ve ever seen (yeah, that’s right, I worded it that way). That was all, I should note, from 1988-1991. Reeves refuses to be pigeonholed, so when he was close to being typecast as the stoner dude, he made Point Break and then Speed (where, of course, he’s great). He did Shakespeare in Much Ado About Nothing (not well, but still). He was unintentionally hilarious in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but at least he seemed in on the joke, unlike Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder. He played a ramrod straight lawyer in The Devil’s Advocate, holding his own against a ridiculously scenery-chewing Al Pacino (The Devil’s Advocate is a great movie, y’all). And then he played a grown-up stoner Messiah in The Matrix. Plus, he’s easy on the eyes. How can you not have a crush on him? His Neo schtick wore thin by the third movie, and in the new millennium I don’t see as many movies as I used to, but he’s constantly pushing himself and reinventing himself, and I think my crush might be coming back because of John Wick and its sequel. Damn, those are fun movies. Keanu: underestimate him at your peril!

12. Sherilyn Fenn (1990-1993). Man, Sherilyn Fenn should have been a classic movie star. She’s not the best actor, but she’s not the worst, either, but she had such classic movie star looks, and if she had been active 50 years earlier, she would have been huge because those directors back then knew how to make women look glamorous. I have never watched Twin Peaks, but when that became a big thing, she became a star for a time. I always liked her a lot more than Mädchen Amick and Lara Flynn Boyle, but they became a bit more famous. I’m not really a fan of Fenn’s movies from that time – I haven’t seen Two Moon Junction, but I’ve heard it sucks; I’ve seen Meridian, which is terrible but she does, you know, get naked; and Boxing Helena is okay, but nothing special. It’s fun now seeing her in Just One of the Guys (which is a terrific movie, by the way), and I still feel a twinge of nostalgia whenever I see her today. But for those few years in the early 1990s, she was the hottest woman on the planet. It would have been nice to see her in some noir movies, because she would have killed as a femme fatale who lures John Garfield or Fred MacMurray into murky ethical waters.

13. Emma Thompson (1991-1994). Thompson remains a marvelous actor, but she’s not really crush-worthy anymore, not because of her age (she looks great), but because I don’t see as many movies and honestly, she doesn’t make as many, and she doesn’t really need to be in big movies anymore, so she’s been doing weird stuff more often than not. I’m honestly not sure when I first saw Thompson – I’ve seen Henry V, which was her break-out (unless you count her role in The Tall Guy!), but I don’t think I saw it in the theater and she’s really not that crush-worthy anyway, as she plays Princess Katherine as kind of stuffy. It must have been Dead Again, the wildly underrated noir movie she did with new beau Kenneth Branagh in 1991. She’s great in the movie and she looks wonderful, and I probably went full-on crush after that. It’s a keen murder mystery, and Branagh miscasts himself as a tough-guy private detective, but I have a soft spot for Branagh, so I’ll allow it (he’s much better as Roman Strauss, the haughty 1940s dude – the movie’s about reincarnation, okay?). I did see Howards End, but I’m not sure when (I don’t think I saw it in the theater), but she’s great in that, too. She is excellent in In the Name of the Father, in a smaller role than Daniel Day-Lewis and Pete Postlethwaite (who are both great), but her speech to the judge when she discovers that the prosecution withheld evidence is terrific. And she’s gorgeous in Much Ado About Nothing, Branagh’s wonderful adaptation, where pretty much the entire cast hangs out being gorgeous (including Keanu, even though he’s the villain – he’s a stylish villain!). After that she was in some movies I just didn’t care about or actively dislike (she’s wonderful in Love, Actually, but the movie is a shitshow), and she’s the only reason to spend any more than 30 seconds watching Nanny McPhee, but she’s still a great actor. But I had other crushes to get to!

14. Michelle Yeoh (1993-2000). I first saw Yeoh in Supercop with Jackie Chan, which is a ridiculously fun movie (my wife and I still occasionally look at each other and say “We’re going to need some kind of supercop!” because we’re weird), and Yeoh is terrific in it. She keeps up with Chan, performs some of her own stunts, and basically kicks ass. Apparently she was retired before this, but she got divorced and presumably needed some money, and the world is better for it. She was the best thing about the best Brosnan Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies, kicking even more ass (although she did end up having sex with Brosnan, which is annoying but, I suppose, necessary in a Bond movie, and at least she waited until all the asses had been kicked) and of course, she was magnificent in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. She’s kind of graduated out of ass-kicking movies, which is why my crush on her has cooled a bit, but she’s still a great actor.

15. Maggie Cheung (1993-2002). Speaking of Supercop, Chan’s girlfriend in that movie is played by Maggie Cheung, and although she’s a bit annoying in it, she’s also adorable, so I crushed on her a bit. I next saw her in Irma Vep, in which she plays herself, and considering that she spends a good deal of time in the movie in a catsuit, you could say she was totally crush-worthy. She’s very good in Chinese Box, even though she takes a back seat to Jeremy Irons and Gong Li, and she’s terrific in Hero, a marvelous movie about ancient China. She doesn’t seem to work very much anymore, which is too bad, but if you’re keen to check her out, seriously, see Irma Vep. It’s … something, all right.

16. Brad Pitt (1995-2001). How can you not have a crush on Brad Pitt, especially late-1990s Brad Pitt? I first saw him, I think, in Thelma and Louise, but he didn’t make too much of an impression on me. I did NOT see him in Cool World until years later, which was probably for the best as that movie is … well, not good. I also didn’t see Legends of the Fall until years later and I’ve never seen A River Runs Through It and he was kind of ineffectual in Interview With The Vampire, so really, my first Brad Pitt experience is Se7en, which is an absolutely brilliant movie and he’s great in it. That same year (1995), he was wonderfully unhinged in 12 Monkeys, but I think my crush reached its peak in 1999, when Fight Club came out. Fight Club is one of my favorite movies, and Pitt is superb in it (plus I would love to have his wardrobe, because it’s awesome). He was fantastic in Snatch, he was the best thing in The Mexican (okay, James Gandolfini was okay, too), and I really dug Spy Game, in which he was quite good. Then he did Ocean’s Eleven, and everyone is good in that movie, plus his wardrobe is once again spectacular. All crushes must fade, I guess, and while Pitt is still one of my favorite actors and he’s done some amazing work, he’s no longer on my crush list. Such is life.

17. A.J. Langer (1999-2001). Langer was 20 when she starred in My So-Called Life, so I could have had a crush on her then, because that’s one of my favorite television shows, but she wasn’t really that crush-worthy back then, although Rayanne Graff, like everyone else on the show, was excellent. I really didn’t get a crush on her until she starred in It’s Like, You Know … in 1999, because she was absolutely adorable in that show. Like far too many shows I like, It’s Like, You Know … didn’t last very long, but it was very funny and had a great cast (including Jennifer Grey in her greatest role, playing herself). Langer then married the son of the Earl of Devon and later became the Countess of Devon, so she basically retired, but she does show up in things occasionally. But she was very crush-worthy around the turn of the millennium!

18. Elisha Cuthbert (2001-2013). As dumb as Kim Bauer’s character was on 24, Elisha Cuthbert was scorchingly hot in it, so I could forgive the plots the writers placed her in. I actually watched The Girl Next Door because Cuthbert was in it (and, honestly, despite some blatant ripping off of Risky Business, it’s a fairly underrated movie), but I refuse to watch House of Wax, so I have limits! Then, in 2011, Cuthbert starred in Happy Endings, yet another show I love that didn’t last long (it made it to 57 episodes, which is longer than some great shows, but it was always struggling in the ratings), and she showed what a comedic genius she is playing Alex, the lovable dimwit. The entire cast is great, but Cuthbert shines, as she’s probably the second-best character on the show behind Eliza Coupe, playing her Type-A sister. Cuthbert is still working, but she’s not as high-profile as she once was, and I haven’t seen her in much recently. But you should all watch Happy Endings, because it’s hilarious.

19. Timothy Olyphant (2004-2016). Timothy Olyphant has managed to be the absolute coolest character on three very different television shows, ones absolutely stacked with great actors. He’s the coolest character in Deadwood despite the presence of Ian McShane, Brad Dourif, John Hawkes, Robin Weigert, Jim Beaver, Kim Dickens, Powers Boothe, Titus Welliver, Garret Dillahunt … dang, Deadwood had awesome actors in it. He’s terrifically menacing in The Girl Next Door as Elisha Cuthbert’s “producer” and he’s also, I would argue, the best Die Hard villain besides Alan Rickman. Then he’s the coolest character in Justified despite the presence of Walton Goggins, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter, Natalie Zea, Jere Burns, Erica Tazel, Jeremy Davies, Mykelti Williamson, Margo Martindale, Kaitlyn Dever, Neal McDonough, Garret Dillahunt (again), and Jacob Pitts (who, let’s be honest, is cooler than Raylan, but isn’t in the show enough to overcome Raylan’s coolness). (There are a lot of other cool actors in Justified, too, because it’s one of the coolest shows of the past 20 years or so.) Then, unbelievably, he was the coolest character on The Grinder, yet another gone-too-soon comedy, even though he began as kind of a gag character replacing Rob Lowe on Lowe’s lawyer show, and despite the presence of Lowe, Fred Savage, William Devane, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Natalie Morales, and Odette Annabelle, and despite the fact that he was only in four episodes. Plus, he’s easy on the eyes and seems like a fun guy in real life. What’s not to crush on?

20. Brit Morgan (2008-). Most people who watched The Middleman (all eight of us!) would probably say they were crushing on Natalie Morales, and she totally deserves it. But something about her art-warrior roommate, Brit Morgan, made me crush on her. Lacey was just so confrontational about art and so bad at relationships and so into Matt Keeslar and so cute that I just fell in love with her. She hasn’t done much that I’ve seen since that late, lamented show went off the air (the hype is real!), but a few years ago she showed up as Livewire on Supergirl, and she’s as awesome as ever. I missed the second season of Riverdale (I loved the first season but never got around to watching the second), but apparently she was guest-starring for a while, so now I have to watch them!

21. Andrea Anders (2009-2010). As I’ve gotten older, I haven’t had as many crushes as I used to – I still think a lot of women are hot, naturally, but there’s a difference between thinking Evangeline Lilly is really hot in Lost and actually having a crush on her. In fact, someone like Andrea Anders isn’t the hottest woman on Better Off Ted, a wonderful comedy that lasted only 26 episodes in 2009-2010 – that would be Portia de Rossi. But Anders is totally crush-worthy as Jay Harrington’s sort-of love interest – she’s gorgeous, of course, but she’s also very, very funny, mainly because she’s kind of dorky, which makes her even more adorable. Anders has been in other stuff since Better Off Ted, but she’s never been cuter.

22. Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, and Madelaine Petsch (2016-). If you haven’t watched the first season of Riverdale, you’re missing one of the most bonkers soap opera in history, and you’re missing these three ladies, who play Betty, Veronica, and Cheryl Blossom, respectively. All three of them are gorgeous, of course, but what makes them awesome is that they all play amazingly complex and powerful women in completely different ways. The men are quite good in the show, too, but these three dominate in such interesting ways that you just can’t take your eyes off of them when they’re on screen. As I noted above, I haven’t watched Season Two yet, but I’m hoping to catch up, because this is a weird, wacky show, anchored by stellar performances by these three young actors.

23. Mina Kimes (2017-). I first became aware of Mina Kimes last year sometime (possibly in 2016?), and I was almost instantly smitten. Kimes, for those of you who don’t know, is a reporter for ESPN, and she writes some very impressive pieces for the conglomerate. As I don’t work, I watch some of the afternoon shows on ESPN (they’re on in the late afternoon on the East Coast, but the middle of the afternoon in Arizona), and she’s often on Highly Questionable (which is hilarious), Around the Horn, and Pardon the Interruption. She’s absolutely adorable. She’s cute as all heck, she snorts when she laughs too hard (and Dan Le Batard always calls her on it), and she stans hard for her Seahawks, which is why it’s hilarious when Le Batard’s dad always shows the ending of Super Bowl XLIX, in which Seattle’s quarterback, Russell Wilson, threw an interception on the goal line when the Seahawks were about to score the game-winning touchdown, and Kimes always gets upset about it. Kimes is smart, attractive, funny, and she knows a lot about sports. What’s not to love about her?

So those are the celebrity crushes I’ve had over the years. Of course, there are also retroactive crushes, of people that were famous before I was born and whom I didn’t know about until years later. One is Marcia Strassman, who played Julie Kotter in Welcome Back, Kotter. I never watched Welcome Back, Kotter when it first ran and have only seen some episodes over the years, but I always dug Strassman’s Kotter, who seemed like she tolerated her husband’s antics as if he were a toddler, but she always loved him despite all that. She perfectly deflated him over the years and provided a necessary tempering of his goofiness. Strassman died in 2014, but Julie Kotter will live on. I’ve always had a crush on Suzanne Pleshette, but I was too young to watch The Bob Newhart Show when it first aired, and she was wonderful on it. I, like everyone else, love the finale of Newhart, where she shows up in bed with Bob, making the entire show a dream. Of course, years after the fact, I had a huge crush on 1960s Diana Rigg, because she was just gorgeous, and Rigg is still killing it these days on both Game of Thrones and Victoria. I also had a huge crush on Julie Newmar, the best Catwoman, because she’s freaking Julie Newmar! I was always a Ginger man, so while both Tina Louise and Dawn Wells were crush-worthy, I gravitated toward Ginger. And of all the Bond girls (except Rigg, who’s in a class by her own), my favorite is Daniela Bianchi, who was terrific in From Russia With Love, a movie I didn’t see until the 1990s. There are others, but those ladies are the main ones.

Let’s hear about yours! Don’t be shy!

34 Comments

  1. M-Wolverine

    Wow, when you said make your own suggestions at the top I thought that’s impossible, it would take pages and pages. And then I saw you took pages and pages. lol But not in a bad way. It’s a great list. And amazing how many criss cover over each other. (Don’t get dirty minds….)

    I’d say this article isn’t “woke” enough for a certain crowd, but some of the male objectification articles I see on sites by the same people who would probably freak at this just makes me roll my eyes. Some beefcake doesn’t bother me, but it should work both ways, whichever way you want it to work.

    Anyway, I gave up on notes and am just going to have to comment item by item. Note omissions don’t mean I disagree with you. It’s a great list and well thought out. Just that these stood out to me.

    Phoebe Cates is an all timer. That last gif is such a tease. But I actually prefer sweet Phoebe in Gremlins (even with the most gruesome Christmas story monologue ever). But don’t say she left after that! Drop Dead Fred and Princess Caraboo are….well, ok, you can say she retired after that. (Though the latter is probably to blame, as she’s still married to Kevin Kline. I’d have more objection but they seem cute together).

    Real People wasn’t the first, but what a step to the Reality TV we have today. Sure there was Candid Camera and Kids do the Craziest Things type shows, but this was a big step in that direction.

    Thank you for introducing me to Hitler/Manimal. Manimal and Automan I think were the same show, just one nature and one tech. Both glorious. I watched Riptide, though I don’t know if I think it was better than some of your “better than” shows. But definitely not as good as your “better than” shows.

    I know Heather Locklear gets more hype, but I’d take Thomas any day. And Bach probably before her. I do find it funny that all these bikini poster babes pre-big time plastic surgery who were super curvy then are more…normal looking now. But Fall Guy had a secret weapon. Markie Post, who always played the all business lady, but they got her in a bikini once in that show, and she turned heads! Also great when young in Buck Rogers…which is a show full of crushes. Wilma Dearing in that space suit (and the strange telekinetic stripping midgets), but the Princess was…amazing.

    Wyonna not a Heather might have them all beat though. Went through the crazy years but came out ok. Stranger Things must watch.

    1. Greg Burgas

      M-Wolverine: Yeah, I worded the thing about Cates’s retirement awkwardly. She certainly didn’t retire right after Gremlins 2, but maybe she should have, based on some of the movies she made after it!

      I completely forgot that Markie Post was in The Fall Guy. I’ll have to re-watch some episodes …

      And yes, Erin Gray in Buck Rogers was awesome. I loved that show.

  2. M-Wolverine

    I didn’t know there was a posting limit…lol…continued-

    Hollywood relationships are fleeting, but some just seem to work. Until they fall apart. Emma and Kenneth was one of those. Geena Davis-Jeff Goldblum level fit. But alas. Emma was in the second biggest movie of the year last year. But she does seem to limit her on screen time in her 4 movies a year. And Much Ado including all these actors also had young Kate Beckinsale!

    The next two almost go together for me. Going to see Michelle Yeoh again this week in Crazy Rich Asians, and I’m guessing she’ll still out stun the younger ones. And hey, technically she doesn’t sleep with Bond! I mean, after the credit roll, sure, they’re snogging, but not in the movie!! She’s usually the best thing about any movie she’s in, whether it’s Bond, making the it the best of the Police Story movies, or just the greatest thing of greatness in the great Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

    I used to go back and forth between her and Maggie, 2 of the Heroic Trio (and if you’ve only seen Rumble in the Bronx catch the 3rd in her true sexy glory). They’re so different, yet both so charming. Though with her, if you want art, In the Mood for Love is a director’s love letter, but at her most adorable, if you can find a copy (VHS probably) of Comrades, a Love Story, that’s the one Maggie Cheung movie I could watch over and over.

    Mina Kimes is probably a current one for me. I have no idea if we’d get along in real life, because who ever really knows, but she’s an on screen charmer.

    Bond girls could be a list and article alone. Luciana, Akiko, Diana, the previous article mentioned Jane, had a big crush on Maryam, thought Talisa was stunning (hmmm was she my Talia casting?) Tomorrow Never Dies with Michelle and Teri Hatcher (Lois and Clark era Hatcher is an all timer), Eva’s continued magnificence.

    As for just mine? My list could be as long or longer and overlap. Currently Lucy Liu still charms as cute and sexy and smart, never seeming to age. (Asian genes FTW) Salma Hayek and Shakira continue to stun. But to not make this any longer than it is, there was always one who stood out above all others, and probably always will. And that was Nia Peeples. Ten years older than me, but that somehow didn’t seem insurmountable when she was playing a high schooler on Fame. She had the trifecta. Gorgeous, cute, and sexy. And as she’s about the only one of the kids on the show to ever do anything, talented. I’ve seen a list of really bad movies and TV shows with her. And actually she seems to get better roles as she gets older. Oh and albums. Even Celebrity Wife Swap. But she seems so sweet; if she had just liked younger men that she never ever met decades ago she might still be on husband one. Though if I am ever looking for wife #2, I’d gladly be husband #5.

    1. Greg Burgas

      M-Wolverine: Beckinsale is in the photograph with Thompson! She’s quite the dish, you’re right.

      I’ve seen Rumble in the Bronx, but I’m not sure to whom you’re referring. Help me out! And I’ve not seen In the Mood for Love, but I’ve heard it’s superb. And now I have to see Comrades, A Love Story!

      I’ve never been into Nia Peeples that much. She’s certainly attractive, but I guess I’ve just never seen enough of her (I never watched Fame), so she didn’t have much of an impact on me!

      1. M-Wolverine

        Anita Mui, who played the mousey shop keeper, but was actually the most glamorous of the Heroic Trio. Against type in Rumble, she was actually the Madonna of Asia. Francois Yip was the “hot one” but even in the Bronx you could tell she was sneaky sexy. Sadly she died of cancer pretty young. They built a statue of her outside the concert hall.

        Mood for Love is artsy, but lives up to it. Comrades is when Asia was doing romantic comedy better than the US, see the original Shall We Dance?, and is full Maggie charm rather than artsy melancholy. She’s never as annoying as she is in Police Story movies.

        And I understand how Nia is a unique taste, because if you weren’t following her you’d have to be looking for her. But she’s had supporting roles in a lot of series since and always seems to be working. I think her last consistent role was as the mother (MILF?) of one of the girls on Pretty Little Liars.

        1. Greg Burgas

          M-Wolverine: Thanks, sir. I haven’t seen Rumble in the Bronx in a long time, so it’s probably time to re-watch it (and Supercop, for that matter). My daughter would probably like both.

          I love the original Shall We Dance?, but by the time In the Mood for Love came out, we weren’t seeing as many movies in the theater. Kids will do that to you every time!

    2. Fun fact: Nia Peeples and I went to the same high school. She was a freshman the year after I graduated. I did sometimes visit my former drama class and assist on some of the plays, but she was in the music department and didn’t do any of the shows I helped out on, so I never met her.

      I did see her perform once with the Chamber Singers in an inter-school competition at the community college where I was attending, and she blew the place away, Star quality all over the place, and I was not the least bit surprised when she later made it to the big leagues. According to her classmates that I know, she was always a really genuine and down-to-earth person, still very popular on the alumni page at Facebook.

      1. M-Wolverine

        I think you mentioned that before here, or Slack, or the other site. And yes I’m still jealous. But this is some interesting new details. Can never get too many stories about her. Funny thing is, I can’t even remember what I was looking for, but I thought I saw a video tribute or interview that was produced by her-your high school. Now I have to remember what it was.

  3. Edo Bosnar

    Man, I think I have more to say about some of the movies and shows you mentioned than the actual crushes. Case in point: I think Dead Again is a friggin’ awesome movie. Yes, Thompson was great in it, but so were Branagh and, esp., Robin Williams. And Better Off Ted was a brilliant show that definitely deserved a few more seasons.
    And while I never had a crush on her, I definitely agree that Jennifer Jason Leigh is a fantastic – and underrated, I think – actress.

    Some of my crushes? I won’t do an exhaustive list, but a few notable ones when I was still a pre-teen are Joanna Cameron – who played Isis on the Saturday morning show, and Jack Lord I guess, because I *really* loved Hawaii 5-0 from kindergarten through roughly the second grade.
    Interesting that you mentioned Fall Guy – I really liked that show for while during its first run, and I’ve occasionally been watching episodes on YouTube recently (near as I can tell, they’re pretty much all there). I have to say, Thomas was certainly a knock-out, but I always preferred Markie Post, and I definitely had a crush on her back then.

    1. Greg Burgas

      Edo: I do like Branagh in Dead Again, but he tries a bit too hard to be a tough guy in the present, and he can’t quite pull it off. When he’s not trying that, he’s quite good, and he’s great as Roman.

      I never watched Isis, so I don’t know Joanna Cameron, but Jack Lord is a good one. A nice chiseled stoic dude!

      As I noted above, I completely forgot Markie Post was on The Fall Guy. Off to YouTube! 🙂

      1. M-Wolverine

        Yeah I really like the movie but he took his shot at playing a pulp Bogey like detective to mixed results. He must be close with the director. 😉 But he was good in it and I still try and throw in “this is far from over” in conversations.

    2. Oh my, Joanna Cameron. Yes. Also Markie Post and Jan Smithers. I liked Heather Locklear on T.J. Hooker, hated her on Dynasty. Heather Thomas always seemed like she’d be full of herself, and I always went more for cute than hot anyway, so she didn’t do a lot for me.

      An early one for me: Caroline Ellis, who played Joy on “The Bugaloos.” Super cute.

    3. Edo Bosnar

      And another one I can’t believe I forgot, that sort of bridged my pre-teen to teen years (thanks to syndicated reruns): Bern Nadette Stanis, who played the much put-upon daughter/sister Thelma in Good Times. So incredibly cute, but also stunning. I remember during the show’s first run, when I was still pretty little, I always got a bit angry at Jimmie Walker’s character, J.J., whenever he dissed her, which was pretty much every time they were in a scene together.

  4. First crush: Diana Rigg. Like you in your youth, I was too young to quite grasp my reaction, but it was there. So disappointed I was too sick to watch the original broadcast of “A Touch of Brimstone” because Emma as the Queen of Sin sounded very interesting.
    Second crush: Karen Valentine of the early 1970s sitcom Room 222. Very cute, very sweet.
    Yes on Ms. Smithers. Adorable.
    I think Katharine McKinnon as Holzman in Ghostbusters was the closest I’ve come to a crush lately. I have the unsettling feeling she could talk me into robbing graves for her experiments in reanimating dead tissue. I also had a big but brief crush on Maggie Gyllenhaal in Stranger Than Fiction.
    From before my time, Barbara Stanwyck (Big Valley was my time, but the movie Barbara blows me away).
    Manimal was a blast. I presume you saw the follow-up of sorts in Night Man?
    I tried Riverdale but cannot get into it.

  5. Greg Burgas

    frasersherman: I don’t know Karen Valentine, but a quick Google search is helpful – she was definitely crush-worthy!

    I liked McKinnon quite a bit in Ghostbusters, and she’s very funny in Office Christmas Party, too.

    I did not see the Manimal “follow-up.” It sounds awesome, though.

  6. Okay, let’s see…

    Crush #1, surprisingly, was not Yvonne Craig, AKA Batgirl. She was #2. Number 1 was the amazing Barbara Feldon on Get Smart. Those eyes, that voice.

    I was always much more of a Mary Ann than a Ginger, so Dawn Wells made the list.

    Even under chimp makeup, I adored Kim Hunter in the 1968 ‘Planet of the Apes’, even more than Linda Harrison as Nova. That probably says something about me….

    In 1970, my little brother played Danny Thomas’ grandson on the short-lived “Make Room for Granddaddy,” a sequel to his ’50s-’60s show. The adorable Angela Cartwright played Danny’s daughter in the original, and she made sporadic appearances in the new show as my brother’s teenaged aunt. It was therefore a tragedy that the one time I visited the set was an episode in which “Aunt Linda” did not appear. I didn’t get to meet her until about 2 years ago.

    Susan Dey on The Partridge Family was cute, but somehow I knew she would sneer at me, so there was no crush there, but oh, Karen Valentine on Room 222.

    Jane Seymour in ‘The Golden Voyage of Sinbad’ and ‘Live and Let Die’ was a revelation.

    Closer to my own age, I thought poor late Erin Moran (whom my brother knew from crossing paths at auditions) was incredibly cute.

    Naturally, I found Erin Gray incredibly attractive on the otherwise awful Buck Rogers.

    The two women that I just thought were the epitome of sex were Lola Falana (guesting on an episode of the Sha-Na-Na show) and Julie Newmar (not as Catwoman, but in a late-night broadcast of ‘Li’l Abner’ in which she played “Stupefyin’ Jones” and earns the name.)

    But my real true everlasting celebrity crush remains Jessica Harper in ‘Phantom of the Paradise’ and ‘My Favorite Year.”

      1. M-Wolverine

        Not till the 1980’s?!?! Didn’t they have syndication where you were at? 🙂 I’m not sure I’d have a love for all things this site if not for that TV show. There were some good cartoons, but that was a kid’s dream. (Then of course you hate it as a teenager then love it again as an adult).

        1. Greg Burgas

          M-Wolverine: You jest, but I lived in Germany from 1975-1979, and they didn’t have much on television. So whenever I mention that I never watched the great geeky shows of the 1970s, it’s partly because I was young (I was born in 1971, after all), but partly because I didn’t know they existed. So yeah, I didn’t see Batman until the 1980s, when I finally got to see stuff in syndication! 🙂

    1. Edo Bosnar

      *Ahem* Buck Rogers is not awful. Well, not the first season anyway – it’s campy fun, almost like the Batman TV show. Also, not only do you get to see Erin Grey in every episode, but also frequent guest appearances by Pamela Hensley and many others (including the aforementioned Markie Post) – usually wearing spandex, or in Hensley’s case, hardly anything at all. What’s not to like?

      1. M-Wolverine

        I’m sure it probably looks bad to today’s eyes, but it seemed like a natural of the Star Wars rip off of the time, no worse than Battlestar Galactica that was fondly enough remembered to get a fancy remake. In fact same producer who used a lot of the prop and concepts from BG in BR. And had about the same tone as the great Flash Gordon movie that followed it. The pilot that was shown as a movie is even a bit melancholy and dark.

        Sure it got silly with the robot (but Mel Blanc’s voice!) and the big first season battle with the Princess was way better than season 2 somehow the world is at peace so we’re going to be Star Trek light. And got even more silly. (Hey dwarfs committing telekinetic sexual assault is fun for the family!). But it did have Hawk and his cool hawk ship. But no Pamela Hensley. But we’ll always have Matt Houston.

        1. Edo Bosnar

          To be quite honest, I’d rather watch any given episode of season-1 Buck Rogers now than the original BSG. The latter may have had a better cast, better production values and whatnot, but so many episodes were kind of lame. When I have watched them later, I thought they didn’t age well. Buck Rogers, on the other hand, has a sort of goofy charm. Again – season 1 only. I didn’t find season 2 silly, I just found it mostly dull – and yes, I remember the dwarves trying to telekinetically undress Col. Deering. Very cringeworthy. Hawk’s cool-looking ship was about the only thing good about that season.

          1. M-Wolverine

            I think the different is, robo dogs aside, BG took itself pretty seriously, so when you look at the bad production values now it stands out more. BR was a bit more tongue in cheek then, so it is more fun now.

            And yes cringeworthy today as an adult, but as a kid it was an exciting commercial break…completely glossed over with the leap to a PG ending. But ages really badly. Unlike the Hawk ship, which is still really cool. Would have been better in season 1 when they actually had people to fight though.

            (Tying the two together, sexism and lame season, season 2 Deering uniform had nothing on the jump suit).

      2. Remember, I’m old as hell. I was out of high school when that show came out. They released it in theaters as a feature film, then split the film into the first two episodes. The first half was pretty solid (well, the opening credit sequence where he spends 500 years dreaming about blondes in polyester mini-dresses lounging on giant chrome cutouts of his name was cheesy), but you can spot the exact point in the movie where they decided it was going to be a TV series instead. It was right when Twiki stops going biddibiddi-biddi and starts cracking one-liners like “I’m freezing my ball-bearings off.” Naturally I did watch the show — Erin Gray, and Pamela Hensley carried the day.

  7. tomfitz1

    Mr. Burgas:

    Jennifer Jason Leigh: She was also in TWIN PEAKS season 3: as a hit-person with Tim Roth.

    Brad Pitt: He also starred in Kalifornia with David Duchovny, Michele Forbes and Juliette Lewis. (about serial killers)

    Sherilyn Fenn: She was in Shameless being William C. Macy’s shag buddy.

    Timothy Olyphant: May be reprising his role in Deadwood film upcoming from HBO.

    I used to have a crush on Scarlet Johanssen when I first saw her in The Man Who Wasn’t There with Billy Bob Thornton.

    Now, I just adore Zazie Beetz as Domino in DP 2. The best super-heroine EVER!!!! 🙂

    1. Greg Burgas

      Tom: I’ve never watched Twin Peaks, so I didn’t know that.

      I knew Pitt was in Kalifornia, but I’ve never seen it.

      I saw the news about Deadwood, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

      I haven’t seen Deadpool 2 yet, but I heard she was awesome.

  8. Jeff Nettleton

    Well, for me, my first big celebrity crush was Meredith MacRae of Petticoat Junction. I soon found that I had a thing for redheads and women with lower, sexy voices; and, she had both! I also liked Tina Louise for that; but, prefered Mary Ann to Ginger (especially if ginger was doing her poor Marilyn Monroe imitation). I liked both Elizabeth Montgomery and Barbara Eden; but, preferred them as brunettes, when they’d play their evil twins/cousins. Susan Sarandon is another and Bull Durham really upped my crush on her. Suzanne Pleshette fell into the sexy voice contingent and I did watch bob newhart (occasionally), as a kid. I also had a big crush on Vicky Lawrence, on the Carol Burnett Show. Dina rigg came later, when I finally saw the Avengers and Bailey Quarters/Jan Smithers was a given. Jane Seymour was one, on Battlestar Galactica, more than Live and Let Die (though Lassiter added quite a bit to that crush).

    Irma Vep is a great, if surreal film. I rented it, from Netflix, thinking it was a remake of Louis Fuellaide’s Les Vampyres; rather than a film about the filming of a remake. It has that pulpy, atmospheric feel, while also a bit of New Wave touches.

    Michelle Yeoh is just a stunning actress and a fine one, in both physical and dramatic roles. The trio of Yeoh, Anita Mui and Maggie Chung, in The Heroic Trio (and to a lesser extent, The Executioners) is amazing and stunning. pretty darn good superhero/martial arts/action film, to boot.

    I found myself kind of crushing on Lithuanian actress Severija Janusauskaite, while watching babylon berlin (she is Countess Svetlana Sorokina/Nikoros, the singer and schemer). Again, there is the voice; but, she was just brilliant in the series, as both the femme fatale and fanatic, playing all sides against each other.

  9. Eric van Schaik

    A quick message out of Holland. Still on vacation camping in the tent.
    What a funny post.

    The first one that comes to mind is Lea Thompson starring in the masterpiece Howard the Duck (1986). She lookwd really hot imo.

    Another one is not familiar to you state guys. Also from 1986, the movie Flodder, and the hot actress: Tatjana Simic. Look her up and see why Titjana could be her first name 😉

    From tv Joanna Lumley from the second Avengers serie.

    That’s all for now. When I’m back home I’ll go through my movie collection and see who I have missed.

    1. Edo Bosnar

      Eric, I’m a bit familiar with Simic, since she’s originally from Croatia, but only because she’s sometimes mentioned in the entertainment press here. Haven’t seen any of her movies (or music videos for that matter), but yeah, she is a cutie.

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