Elvis Presley was my first and most enduring celebrity crush. What began when I first watched him on The Tommy Dorsey Show and then on Ed Sullivan was signed, sealed and delivered when I saw him in Love Me Tender, Jailhouse Rock and King Creole at the Saturday matinée in the fifties. By the time G.I. Blues and Blue Hawaii came out in the sixties, my feelings for Elvis were enshrined for eternity. I knew the words to all his music, including pauses to take a breath and those little vocal riffs that made his music special. The first LP I ever purchased was Elvis’ Golden Hits which cost four weeks’ allowance. I still have it, and all his other records. Even though his later movies were dreadful and embarrassing, I remained loyal and faithful. When he kissed Hope Lange or Juliette Prowse in a movie, it was really me he was kissing.
When The Beatles came on the scene, I was as crazy a Beatles fan as anyone and had their posters up all over my room. But I still kept a special place in my heart for Elvis. My favourite Beatle was not the popular and overtly cute Paul or cerebral John, but I preferred dog-faced Ringo. A definite pattern in my celebrity worship was taking shape. I seemed to prefer the guys who were not conventionally pretty boys. I was attracted to the ones who were a little bit bad, a bit off.
For that reason, Frankie Avalon and Fabian were not my choices of heartthrob. Ronnie Hawkins, Eric Burdon and Burton Cummings were much more appealing. Mick Jagger was never my cup of tea either (too effeminate) and I preferred Phil over Don of The Everley Brothers. Michael Caine’s east-end London working-class accent canceled out his pretty blond looks and I kept a large black and white poster of his Harry Palmer character hanging over my single bed for more than a year in the sixties.
As the years went on, my crushes evolved. Musicians were replaced by movie stars and other high-profile celebs. For the same reason I didn’t fancy Frankie Avalon and Fabian, I never had crushes on Robert Redford or Brad Pitt. Too pretty.
Then, I saw Liam Neeson swinging his kilt in the 1995 movie Rob Roy and I fell in love forever. I think he’s still my most enduring crush. Gerard Butler rings my chimes and I’ve even developed a taste for younger men after watching Jason Bateman starring in Identity Thief with Melissa McCarthy. I also enjoyed him in the HBO series Ozark, and can confidently confirm no one wears jeans better than Jason Bateman.
Now that I’m “of a certain age”, I’ve noticed my fancies are less about looks and more about brains. Bill Maher will likely always have a little piece of my heart and one of his guest panelists, Van Jones makes my pulse go pitter-pat. Gorgeous smile and a fine mind. Despite the 22-year age difference, I’m pretty sure we could make it work. I’ve had a little crush on Corey Booker, not only because of his looks but mainly because of his integrity. And what boomer broad doesn’t love Daniel Craig and those gorgeous blue eyes? He’s my friend Margaret’s favourite. Prince Harry is awfully darned cute too.
In canvassing my boomer gal pals, my friend Perry confessed her love for Kris Kristoffersen and I have to wholeheartedly agree. Brains and beautiful blue eyes but a bit of a bad boy. It’s too bad Anderson Cooper is gay as I think we’d make a great couple.
In the age of #metoo we’re now dealing with the issue of having to separate the man from his music/art. I was never a great Michael Jackson fan but those who were and still are must be struggling with the moral dilemma of supporting a musical genius who was also a predator.
We’ve always known that men have ‘romantic’ thoughts about female celebrities but I was surprised when my friend Mike named Katy Perry has his special girl. Obviously he has a discerning eye. My husband and another friend Keith have a thing for JLo which was slammed home when they saw her pole dance in the Superbowl half-time show. They’re still recovering. She seems to be in a class all her own and captures all men’s hearts and other parts.
Celebrity crushes are harmless and probably even a bit healthy. Many years ago a friend commented, “It doesn’t matter where you get your appetite as long as you come home for meals,” and based on my informal survey of friends, it seems we still have a healthy appetite for fantasy love interests and different tastes. That’s normal. We’re not dead yet. Do you have an old lady celebrity crush? Care to share?