Monday, April 11, 2016

Movie Stars


This is the title of a new Jack Pendarvis collection of stories, which I don't yet own. But it got me to thinking about the importance of movie stars for me in my childhood. I sent away for their photos and they were sent back properly machine autographed. I spent most of my allowance on magazines such as PHOTOPLAY and MODERN SCREEN. I was especially enamored of (with?) Clark Gable, who was exactly my grandfather's age. More suitable candidates (but still the age of my father) were Tony Curtis, George Maharis, Richard Chamberlain and Troy Donahue. (Notice the prevalence of men who turned out to be gay)
I spent a lot of time fantasizing about how we might meet up when I was old enough to take off for Hollywood.

I know you are mostly male, but who was your teen fantasy figure.


42 comments:

George said...

My first favorite movie star was Sean Connery as James Bond. I had to convince my parents that it was "okay" to see GOLDFINGER. When I walked out of the theater at the end of GOLDFINGER, the world was a different place. I think that's the power of movie stars: they have the power to change the world inside our minds.

Charles Gramlich said...

I never really thought of the stars themselves. I thought of the characters they played. I didn't want to meet Leonard Nimoy. I wanted to meet Spock. I wanted to meet Matt Dillon, not James Arness, or Heath Barkley, not Lee Majors

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Jackie says hers was Ricky Nelson.

I don't remember having a "fantasy figure" as such.

MP said...

Tuesday Weld, and it's not even close.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I might say Tuesday too. I was obsessed with her as a role model.

Anonymous said...

Sybil Danning, Sandahl Bergman, and Laurene Landon, even though their movies were all lousy. Linda Hamilton was awesome as Sarah Connor. Cynthia Rothrock is still cute.

Other than that, I was into rock singers and TV stars more than movie stars.

Stevie Nicks, Terri Nunn, Patty Smyth, Susannah Hoffs, Sandy Stewart, and Aimee Mann.

Shannen Doherty, Yancy Butler, Hudson Leick, Holly Marie Combs, and Heather Locklear.

Walter Egan did a song about his teenage crush on Tuesday Weld. It was available on YouTube the last time I checked.

pattinase (abbott) said...

An impressive list. I will look for the Walter Egan song on you tube. Thanks!

Ed Gorman said...

I'm a old dude. Always had (and still do) a crush on Teresa Wright. And second...Tuesday Weld.

J F Norris said...

Dare I admit this? I dreamed about Robert Conrad as James West. And there is a long list of other movie hunks I was having very adult dreams about when I was a gay teen. That was probably my most closely guarded secret as a boy. I was an utter movie nerd. I practically worshipped every movie actor I saw -- men and women alike. To give you an idea of the pathetic movie nerd I was by the time I was in high school I used to do impressions of all the old time actors that none of my peers had ever heard of: Claude Rains, Henry Daniels, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, and of course Bela Lugosi, among many others, some of them actresses. While most boys were outside playing Little League baseball and football and other sports I was inside watching movies on TV. From age 12 to 17 I was completely obsessed with Roddy McDowall. When he showed up as Eunice's brother Philip on the "Carol Burnett Show" (she was my female idol) I was ecstatic.

pattinase (abbott) said...

You and I must be twins.

My cousin looked so much like Roddy McDowell I had a crush on him for that alone. I will see if I can find the picture I have.

Men and women alike seem to have had a crush on Tuesday. Theresa Wright was gorgeous, wasn't she?

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

OK, yes, Tuesday was pretty special.

J F Norris said...

Roddy McDowall and Tuesday Weld appeared together in one of his oddest movies - LORD LOVE A DUCK. I probably wouldn't even know who Tuesday Weld was if not for that movie!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Love that movie. It is weirdness personified.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

You need to see a 13 year old Tuesday, complete with baby fat, in her first film, the forgettable ROCK, ROCK, ROCK. I believe her "songs" were actually sung by Connie Francis. It does have music by Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers (including "I Am Not a Juvenile Deliquent"), The Moonglows ("Over and Over Again"), The Flamingos, and Chuck Berry, but is otherwise pretty bad.

I first remember her as Thalia Menninger in THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS. then as Comfort Goodpasture in RALLY ROUND THE FLAG, BOYS. Most memorable, however, were LORD LOVE A DUCK and PRETTY POISON.

Joanne Walpole said...

It's always been Clint Eastwood for me. When I was at school, I used to write stories with him as the hero. 20 years later, I was contacted by an old school friend on Friends Reunited and her first questions were: do you still write westerns? Are you still in to Clint Eastwood? Not the worst things I could be remembered for. :) I also wrote a few stories about Christopher Lee and playing tennis with his daughter at his home (which I never did, of course). They're the two who stick out in my mind.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Clint seemed too dangerous to me. Although Steve McQueen seemed about right.

Mathew Paust said...

Saw Tuesday in person when our family visited a filming session of Dobie Gillis in 1959. We'd driven out from Wisconsin for the Rose Bowl game. The only member of the cast we actually spoke with was Bob Denver, who rode up on a bicycle as we were waiting for an escort onto the set. He took us in. Friendly, unassuming--just like his characters were.

My first movie crush was on Debra Paget. Not sure what the movie was that hooked me, but I can still see her photo on the cover of one of my mother's movie magazines. True love.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

We just had our annual viewing of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956) and Debra Paget was pretty hopt in that.

Cap'n Bob said...

Amanda Blake as Miss Kitty.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Growing up in the 1970s I had the biggest successive crushes on Lee Remick, Natalie Wood and Marietta Hartley - what strikes me now is that they were so much older than I was. I don't think there was anyone at the time who I identified with on-screen of my own age. How weird ... Thanks for that Patti (I think ...)

Al Tucher said...

Definitely Natalie Wood. Also Diana Rigg in kickass Emma Peel mode.

Who reminds me of another kickass Diana in my life, and I never made the connection until this moment.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, Emma Peele. She was the first TV actress that really exuded sex appeal to my mind.

Richard S. Wheeler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick said...

I was 6 when I saw this and fell in love with the lady in green...Cyd Charisse

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YWBOfsXsDA

Richard S. Wheeler said...

Greer Garson, who was a gracious presence always; Jean Simmons, whose tenderness and vulnerability evoked some protective male instinct in me; and Gene Tierney, who had a thread of sadness running through her that evoked the same thread in me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

These three share a remoteness IMHO. Or maybe it was the makeup they used in their time. Glamorous, yes, but untouchable. Few stars before 1965 looked real to me. Max Factor may be to blame. They had faces then because he created them.
Cyd was fabulous,

Todd Mason said...

Well, Patti, more's the pity that Curtis might've taken you up on it. And I don't know for sure, but Eastwood's dangerousness probably isn't a gloss on what turned out to be McQueen's dangerousness. And, Joh, I can see Robert Conrad, who was about as pretty an action man in the early seasons of WILD, WILD as I can recall.

Mitt Romney might have binders of women, but I certainly instead have a brainful of women as remembered on whom media crushes and strong attractions were in place, though it's hard to glean which were most in force in adolescence v. later...certainly in youngest adolescence, my age-appropriates included Jodie Foster (particularly after THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVED DOWN THE LANE) and Tatum O'Neill, particularly after THE BAD NEWS BEARS; Bern Nadette Stanis played a bit younger than she was on GOOD TIMES, and definitely caught my young eye; Susan Dey, despite how dire THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY seemed to me early on, likewise in every way. The merely pretty (I never understood why anyone preferred Farah Fawcett-Majors to Jaclyn Smith back when) don't quite rate on the same level, though the first big hormonal surges at 9 and 10 were the period that PLAYBOY bunnies held the most erotic fascination, as the first relatively real-seeming nudes I would see. Jean Seberg after I saw BREATHLESS, Virginia Ann Lee (though she was even pre-adol, mostly from M*A*S*H...after the '60s, there was a really heavy cutting back on the number of Asian-American actors on US television...even M*A*S*H and HAWAII FIVE-O seemed not to feature very many, considering their settings), France Nuyen (mostly from repeats!), Teresa Graves, Jan Smithers, certainly Jacqueline Bisset. Catherine O'Hara. Elaine May. Louise Jameson (after DOCTOR WHO).

Among musicians, Jane Wieldin, Vicki Peterson (who among the Bangles looked a Lot like a young Jane Fonda)(Jane Fonda, btw)(though Debbi Peterson smiling at me from the stage in 1984 did nothing to discourage me), Whitney Houston (only a little older than me, and impressive from early on...moreso early on, really, sadly), Deborah Harry, Teri Nunn and Stevie Nicks indeed;. Abbey Lincoln, Carly Simon, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Terre Roche, Michelle Phillips. Michelle Pfeiffer I would've caught up with just after my teens, with INTO THE NIGHT. Carole Bouquet lounging and pitching Chanel No. 5 while Nina Simone played on the soundtrack on tv ads (directed by Ridley Scott, perhaps)--Bouquet rather age-appropriate, though in the ads she seemed to radiate mature glamor to me as a teen. And there was certainly nothing wrong with Diana Rigg and Cyd Charisse and Tuesday Weld, nor (particularly young) Lauren Bacall. Or Lauren Hutton. Or.

Todd Mason said...

...and I knew Penny Johnson was familiar when I saw her on THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW and the STAR TREK series she did, but until now I couldn't place why...she'd been on the tv version of THE PAPER CHASE...

Todd Mason said...

And I'm wrong, the Bouquet ads for Chanel didn't start till '87, apparently. The campaigns did tend to run together in the memory.

Richard S. Wheeler said...

Ms Abbott,

Yes, these three are reserved and less accessible. That may be the reason they live on forever, while thousands upon thousands of more accessible young actresses vanish forever after their fifteen minutes in the sun.

RSW

Mathew Paust said...

Oh, moicy! Whilst reading thru Todd's list of femmes fantastique, many of whom aroused my...spiritual fascination as well, the name and frizzy-haired image of Linda Kelsey popped up. I was a newspaper reporter at the time of Lou Grant's august reign, and I strode briskly into the news room each day the series ran hoping upon hope that "Billie Newman" would somehow be there, occupying the desk directly across from mine. Alas...

Todd Mason said...

"Billie" was certainly cute and spunky, and Adrienne Barbeau didn't escape my eye, but I shouldn't forget the dynamic duo from BATMAN repeats, either: Julie Newmar and Yvonne Craig, two of my earliest media crushes on woman rather older...somehow it was a mild surprise that Craig was my parents' age.

R. T. (Tim) said...

I was head-over-heels "in love" with Natalie Wood. That was after my crushes on Anna Maria Albrigetti (sp?) and Sheri Lewis (whom I remember via, I think, the Ed Sullivan Show). And I also had a thing for Annette Funicello on the Mickey Mouse Club. Egads!

Richard S. Wheeler said...

It's odd. We live in a swamp of artifice. Taylor Swift remakes herself weekly. Gaga sullies her natural beauty and great voice. Others, by the score, tattoo themselves, employ Botox, resort to plastic surgery, get new and impossibly white teeth, plaster they eyes with shadow, get boob jobs, butt jobs, belly jobs, hair jobs. Yet people seem to prefer these wooden horrors. I prefer the graciously groomed women of another time. There's no explaining current tastes, but it says something about the scummy nature of our times. I was lucky to live when I did.

Richard Robinson said...

Well, there was Annette, on the Mickey Mouse Club, and Marcia on The Partridge Family. More grown up, I fell hard for Natalie Wood when I saw Rebel Without A Cause.

Todd Mason said...

Well, Richard, not all people prefer flagrantly artificial woman, surgically defaced or otherwise mutilated now nor dowsed in Max Factor products then.

Rare is the woman who actually looks better rather than different in makeup, but encouraging that line of thought doesn't move product.

Maureen McCormick was Marcia on THE BRADY BUNCH, Rick...

And I forgot a writer I definitely crushed on when I was 13...Doris Baumgardt, who published as Leslie Perri...

Richard S. Wheeler said...

Mr. Mason

Here are some Gene Tierney images. I am at a loss to understand why anyone considers them artificial compared to the grotesque remodeling done by wretched wannabe actresses now.

https://www.google.com/search?q=gene+tierney+pix&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Naomi Johnson said...

Yeah, Richard Chamberlain. Wow. Also Michael Landon and Lee Majors. David McCallum. Of course, it was hard for any film/tv star to top Paul McCartney as dream fodder for me.

Cap'n Bob said...

I should clarify, Amanda Blake was a boyhood heartthrob. As a teen it ran closer to Glynnis Johns or Caroline Munro.

Todd Mason said...

Tierney was pretty. And some today still age gracefully...Sarita Choudhury, Irene Bedard...Diane Lane might be going under the needle if not the knife, and that's too bad, but not to a disfiguring extent.

Seamus O`Reilly said...

Pauline Hickey from 1985 when she was 17, that bird was THE most amazing babe i`ve ever seen.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Charles' is an interesting take and I think it comes from the sort of movies/shows he watched, which centered especially strong characters.