Ran across a thread on www.moviefanfare.com yesterday where guest blogger Peter Eramo, Jr shared his own personal top five celebrity crushes - stars who, to use his own words, "are simply hot, hot, hot!"

It was an interesting list to say the least. Not surprisingly it included three current celebrities - Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel and Christina Hendricks - two of which I have to admit have never done much for me. (I'll leave it to others to figure out which two.) I was impressed t find that he listed Ingrid Bergman as his top choice, but somewhat dumbfounded to see that as his number five pick he listed Diane Keaton. Now don't get me wrong, Miss Keaton is a fine actress and an attractive woman, but I've never really considered her as a sex symbol. (Some would probably argue that my opinion in this matter is colored by the three-decades old grudge I've held against the movie "Annie Hall" for having won the 1977 Best Picture Oscar instead of "Star Wars." I'll admit I do still feel that to be a travesty, but that has nothing to do with whether or not Diane Keaton in a sex symbol.)

Everyone has had celebrity crushes, and anyone who would claim that they have not is either lying or for whatever reason in denial. When my wife Melissa and I were dating in high school she had a crush on singer-actor Shaun Cassidy, the teen idol who was starring in the 1970s TV version of "The Hardy Boys" and the younger half-brother of "Partridge Family" star David Cassidy. He had a hit single at the time with his remake of the 1960s pop classic "Da Do Run Run," which provided me with some ammunition for teasing her about the crush. (I often referred to him as "that guy who's trying to figure out how fast his da doo da runs," which never failed to get a rise out of her.) 

The fact that she had a crush on a TV star never bothered me; I figured the chances of his stealing her from me were less than nil, and since we're still together I guess I called that one right. And as far as I know Melissa never had a problem with a couple of the celebrity crushes I had at the time. Of course in that instance it could have been because she knew my crushes were on actresses familiar because their old TV shows had been in syndicated reruns for years and the actresses in question were all old enough to be my mother. I still remember how surprised I was back in 1995 to learn that Barbara Eden had turned 61. I mean, by that time I'd been married for nearly a decade, we had one son and another soon on the way, and suddenly there I was having trouble accepting the fact that an actress who was so much older than me at the time I'd had my crush on her was old enough to be my grandmother. Maybe if she had looked like a grandmother at the time it wouldn't have bothered me nearly so much; my grandmother, sweet lady that she still is, never looked like Barbara Eden when she was young, let alone after she became a grandmother.


Mr. Eramo's top five list the other day got me thinking about putting together such a list of my own. And as soon as I did I realized (not for the first time in my life, I hasten to add) that I sometimes think I was born into the wrong generation. Just like my tastes in books, music, TV shows and movies all tend to skew towards stuff that had to some extent fallen out of fashion by the time I was old enough to notice them, so too do my celebrity crushes reveal a greater appreciation for the talented actresses of generations past than I have for any of the so-called "stars" who are all the rage with celebrity watchers these days. 

To be fair, I will admit without hesitation that there are are a handful of modern actresses who are definitely easy on the eyes. But they just don't seem to grab my attention the same way these older actresses did and still do. For one thing, by and large I haven't cared much for the work of the current crop of sex symbols, and as crazy as it may sound that for me generally plays as much of a factor as the way they look in a bathing suit or a sexy dress. If I don't think she can act, I'm not going to pay that much attention to her no matter how good she looks; I know it's silly, but it's true all the same.

In any event, after a wee bit (and ONLY a wee bit) of consideration I managed to compile not one but two lists of my top five celebrity crushes: one for movies and the other for TV. Tell me what you think:


1. Maureen O'Sullivan - Anyone who looks that good in jungle togs AND can hold her own with the Marx Brothers is tops in my book!

2. Raquel Welch - "One Million Years BC" and "Fantastic Voyage." Nuff said (1966 was a good year...)

3. Linda Darnell - I never had any problem understanding why Tyrone Power fight for her love in "The Mark of Zorro."

4. Ingrid Bergman - If I had been Humphrey Bogart's character, "Casablanca" would have had a much different ending...

5. Maureen O'Hara - She was great in "The Quiet Man" and "McLintock!", but she also made a mighty fine Lady Godiva and was a swashbuckler's dream in movies like "The Black Swan" and "At Sword's Point."


1. Mary Tyler Moore - Especially during the "Dick Van Dyke Show" years. A number of historians have pointed out that this was the first sitcom where you could believe the lead characters had an actual sex life; watch the way Laura Petrie takes off her pearl necklace as she walks off in the last scene of the pilot episode and you'll understand what they mean.

2. Barbara Eden - Come on, have you seen that harem costume she wore? Grandmother or no, THAT'S smokin... (Plus she was a good actress and a pretty decent singer into the bargain.)

3. Yvonne Craig - Her Batgirl costume had much the same effect on me as a youngster as Barbara Eden's "Jeannie" outfit. (Which only goes to show that real sexiness depends as much on what is hidden as it does on what is revealed.)

4. Eve Plumb - Middle sister Jan grew into a really sexy looking teenager during the last couple of years of "The Brady Bunch." She always seemed a little more like the "girl next door" type than her TV older sister, which is a quality that has always appealed to me and was a big part of what attracted me to Melissa when I first met her. (It was also why I always preferred Betty to Veronica and Mary Ann to Ginger, but that's a discussion for another day...) In any event, I'll take down to earth Jan over stuck-up Marcia any day.

5. Pam Dawber - She was just so cute as Mindy. Na-nu Na-nu, indeed!!! (But, again, how odd is it that this should be the most "contemporary" name on either of my lists? Oh, well...)