Jaime’s Top 10 Movie Crushes of the 80s

Ever since my co-hosts Pax and Shawn each posted lists of their top cult film crushes of the 80s (check ‘em out here and here), the pressure’s been on for me to do my own list.

Back in the day, one of my favorite pastimes was to lock myself in my room, put on good music, and fill up composition books with cut-out pictures of celebrities I liked, lovingly curated from the pages of People, Entertainment Weekly, or whatever magazines found their way into my stash. Sometimes it was the latest issue of TigerBeat I pilfered from my older sister’s bedroom, or even mail-order movie catalogs–basically anything likely to contain pictures of hot actors to give me nice daydreams. I’d accompany the clippings with handwritten notes, doodles, movie quotes, or whatever silly thoughts were in my head at the time.

Jaime's Crush Book

I wanted to re-capture a little bit of that experience when I put this list together, so here’s my Top 10 Movie Crushes of the 80s as they might have looked had I torn them from the pages of my “crush” book!

#10 – Marc Singer

Marc Singer

This one shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who listened to the latest episode of Cult Film Club, in which we gush about 1982′s The Beastmaster. In the episode, I profess my undying love for this cult classic, as well as the Beastmaster himself, Marc Singer, who was in his prime when this movie was made. When I first saw it at an early age, I couldn’t tear my eyes from that chiseled, half-naked body and those golden He-Man locks.  Add to that his penchant for saving beautiful damsels in distress and cuddling with cute ferrets, and it’s enough to make a young, inexperienced girl feel awfully funny “down there.”

#9 – Noah Hathaway

Noah Hathaway

Speaking of kids getting “funny feelings” from movies, The Neverending Story is one that introduced many young boys to female anatomy, thanks to that pair of Tit Sphinxes at the Riddle Gate (well what would you call them?). I, on the other hand, had my own reasons to stay glued to the screen–well, just one, really: Noah Hathaway. He plays Atreyu, the hero chosen to save Fantasia, which means he spends most of the movie riding around on his horse or dragon, bare-chested, shaggy hair billowing in the wind. [Insert dreamy sigh here.] After Neverending Story, Hathaway went on to star in 1986′s Troll, a movie I would not at all be surprised to see on Cult Film Club one of these days, even though he’s my only reason for liking it. And while I’m on the subject, I’m ever so thankful I had this excuse to search Google for Troll-related pictures or I’d have never found that glorious photo of Noah Hathaway working out in hot pink nut-huggers.

#8 – Cary Elwes

Cary Elwes

What’s not to love about a farm boy turned pirate turned dashing hero who saves the day? The Princess Bride (1987) is one of my favorite movies of all time, and the one that introduced me to Cary Elwes. He’s an actor I continued to obsess over well into the 90′s when he did Robin Hood: Men in Tights and The Crush, in which we get to see his sweet, sweet, bare naked ass. Well, okay, it was probably a body double, but shut up, I can dream. Oh yes, I can dream. Classic good looks aside, Cary Elwes comes off as witty and charming in most of his roles, but there’s also a dark, almost scary edginess lurking just beneath the surface. I mean, he did go on to play a murderous lunatic in Kiss the Girls… It’s a clash of personalities I find incredibly attractive for some reason. (Not to mention I have a huge thing for British guys.)

#7 – George Newbern

George Newbern

Every girl wants a boyfriend like Dan Lynch in Adventures in Babysitting. He’s handsome, educated, clearly well off, drives a nice Jeep, defends the reputation of a girl he just met AND loans her $50, tells her she’s beautiful, and even goes out of his way to return a roller skate to a little girl he doesn’t know, all in the same night. Jesus, guy, what else ya got? Are you gonna rescue some puppies while you’re at it? My panties can’t drop any lower. That George Newbern, he’s so pretty, too. I really love his combination of dark hair and light eyes. You could call it my “type,” if I had one. He is perfect. I guess it’s no surprise he went on to play Bryan Mackenzie, a.k.a. Mr. Right, in those Father of the Bride movies from the 90s. But to me he’ll always be Dan Lynch, the boyfriend I always wanted and never got.

#6 – Lee Montgomery

Lee Montgomery

Babyfaced good looks, nice body, and to top it all off, the boy can dance! It’s a shame Lee Montgomery never did more stuff. He plays Jeff in Girls Just Want to Have Fun, the free-spirited, motorcycle riding “bad boy” that Janie (Sarah Jessica Parker) gets paired up with for the big D-TV dance contest. He tries to play it cool, but underneath he’s kind and sensitive, and has a smile that can charm a Catholic school girl right out of her uniform.  After Girls Just Want to Have Fun (which is where you’ve most likely seen him) and a couple of made-for-TV movies, he kind of disappeared from acting.  (By the way, if anyone knows what he’s up to these days, I’d love to hear about it.)

#5 – Jonathan Brandis

Jonathan Brandis

I’m cheating a little bit on this one, because Jonathan Brandis was more of a 90′s teen movie star, but he did a crapload of television work in the 80′s, including Kate & Allie, Who’s the Boss, and Full House, which is how I was first introduced to him, so I’m making it count. In 1990 he starred in the made-for-TV mini-series Stephen King’s It, then went on to do a couple of teen films like Ladybugs and Sidekicks (two of my personal favorite forgotten gems) before landing the role of teenage computer genius Lucas on seaQuest DSV, which is probably the role he’s most famous for…or something. Do people today even know who Jonathan Brandis was? I remember a time when his face was plastered throughout every issue of TigerBeat, Bop, and Teen-whatever-the-fuck magazine. He didn’t seem to have as much success in his later career, which may be part of the reason why he committed suicide in 2003. I loved Jonathan fiercely in my young life, and I still can’t believe he’s gone.

#4 – Judd Nelson

Judd Nelson

Though Judd Nelson is  a great actor and I’m sure he’s a lovely person, I’m limiting the scope of my crush to his role as John Bender in The Breakfast Club. For some reason I’m just not as attracted to him in other roles (though his con-artist-disguised-as-a-prep-school-student in Making the Grade comes close. Such an underrated movie, by the way–worth watching for the break dancing scene alone). As John Bender, he’s the ultimate “bad boy” that every girl fantasizes about: hot, funny, rebellious, yet highly intelligent, which is what separates him from common school bullies and puts him more in the category of, say, J.D. from Heathers. There’s just something about a guy who acts all tough on the surface, but deep down is just a scared, hurt little boy dealing with daddy issues. Angst is hot.

 #3 – Corey Feldman

 Corey Feldman

Every young girl in the 1980s had an important choice to make: Corey Haim or Corey Feldman? It was important to know where you stood, if only to avoid wasting an additional 45 cents per minute when calling the Corey & Corey Hotline. As for me, I was always Team Feldman. His combination of geekiness, sharp wit, and unconventional good looks are what draw me in–and of course, that unmistakable voice (which still makes me think of Donatello whenever I hear it). He’s the reason why Mouth is my favorite Goonie. From cute little boy next door in The Gremlins, Feldman has gone on to play a range of interesting characters, including a physically and emotionally scarred adolescent in Stand By Me,  a vampire hunter in The Lost Boys, suspicious neighbor in The Burbs, a swoon-worthy bad ass in Rock and Roll High School Forever, among others. I always enjoy a good movie with Corey Feldman in it. (I can even forgive his weird Michael Jackson phase.)

*Dream a Little Dream 2 does not count as a good movie.

#2 – River Phoenix

River Phoenix

Do I even really need to explain the appeal here? For most girls, River Phoenix was THE teen heartthrob of the 80s. But he wasn’t just a pretty face–the boy had serious acting chops and an attitude to match. He’s another actor who always took on interesting roles, like his tough-kid-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks in Stand By Me and gay street hustler in My Own Private Idaho, which earned him an Oscar nod. As a person, he was unsuperficial, intensely deep, and more than a little mysterious, which only added to his appeal. Despite his meteoric rise to fame, he remained staunchly anti-Hollywood and struggled with both his public image and drug addiction, which tragically took his life in 1993. His life and career ended far too soon, and I always wonder what amazing films he would have gone on to star in.

#1 – Ralph Macchio

Ralph Macchio

According to my parents, I used to watch The Karate Kid and kiss Ralph Macchio on the TV screen. Of course, I was only four or five the first time I saw that movie, so I have no memory of this, but it sounds par for the course considering how much I loved Daniel Larusso–the earliest film crush I can remember. In the mid-eighties, my bedroom walls were covered in Ralph Macchio posters and I wore out my VHS tapes of Karate Kid I and II, which I watched incessantly just to get a glimpse of my “boyfriend.” Though I also love Ralph Macchio in The Outsiders and Crossroads, it’s his Karate Kid charisma that’s like drum technique on my heart.

I’d love to hear some feedback from the ladies! Are there any actors on my list that you used to crush on back in the 80s (or still crush on)? Who would have decorated the pages of your crush book? And fellas, feel free to admit your man crushes, too. You know you want to.

  • http://OldSchool.tblog.com/ OldSchool80s

    Nice work on the photo collages!!! The yellowed scotch tape is a nice touch. I am very impressed.
    Don’t have a whole lot to say about the list, though I always enjoy getting a girl’s perspective on these matters.

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    I’ll respond to this more in-depth in a bit, but for right now I felt I had to share these images…

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      And this…

    • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

      Wow, thanks for sharing those pics. It’s like analog blogging! I wish I had held on to some of my old notebooks, in particular, the one full of Ace of Base clippings and related embarrassing poetry. I would kill to have that as material to make fun of myself with today.

      Re: the Artax death scene–yeah, pretty much. Did you ever see this post I wrote for The League? –> http://shezcrafti.com/i-lost-my-horse-and-my-dignity-in-the-swamp-of-sadness/

      Girls Just Want to Have Fun is soooooo much–ahem–fun to watch. It’s got Sarah Jessica Parker in the prime of her hotness, teenage Helen Hunt who is hilarious in it, pre-teen Shannen Doherty, Jonathan Silverman (Weekend at Bernies!), and Janie’s little brother is the same little brother from The Great Outdoors. It has great music, a couple of spectacularly cheesy montage scenes (which you KNOW I love), and of course, all the dancing. It will make you wish D-TV was a real television program.

      I agree, It was Jonathan Brandis’ best role. Ha! Never realized how red his lips are before. He’s got a purdy mouth.

      So basically you’re telling me your sister married the hottest man on earth? I’m gonna need to see some pics.

      That’s what was so great about the 80′s. Boys could have pin-up posters of male actors in their bedrooms and it was totally okay. Teen stars were sort of marketed as idols for both sexes. Nowadays you’d probably be accused of being gay or something.

      • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

        Yeah, at times he even had that shoulder-length swoon-worthy hair and stuff too…

        • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

          He reminds me of somebody…I can’t figure out who, and it’s driving me nuts! I’ll post back when I think of it.

          • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

            There more pictures of him in here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smurfwreck/sets/72157625423753537/. I always thought of a darker River Phoenix, and when he was a little heavier the bully from 3 O’Clock High…

          • http://twitter.com/paxtonholley Paxton Holley

            Richard Tyson, the bully from 3 O’Clock High? The other thing I remember him from was that softcore skin-e-max movie Two Moon Junction with Sherrilyn Fenn (and Burl Ives and Kristy MacNichol and Milla Jovovich and Herve Villechaiz). Haha, That’s Awesome! And checking out those pics Shawn, you nailed it. He does look like Tyson.

          • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

            Tyson was also the bad guy in Kindergarten Cop.

          • http://twitter.com/paxtonholley Paxton Holley

            Yes, he was. :-)

          • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

            Man I need to brush up on my Richard Tyson. Well, I never needed brass knuckles when dealing with my brother-in-law… ;)

      • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

        Also, re: you’re Deep Thoughts with Ace of Base, when I went to post the pictures from my goofy journal, I took crappy iPad photos on purpose so that I wouldn’t see the test of what I wrote clearly enough to read. I think my head might explode if I read that stuff…

    • http://twitter.com/paxtonholley Paxton Holley

      Thank you for the Sneakers reference, Shawn. It seriously needs to be championed more.

      • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

        That movie is amazing. Ocean’s 11 before Ocean’s 11, and much more fun to revisit. Dan Aykroyd basically playing himself? Genius. Ben Kingsley as a villain that isn’t chewing the scenery? Awesome. That dude from Groundhog’s Day that they tape to get his voice ID print! Love that guy…

        • http://twitter.com/paxtonholley Paxton Holley

          Agreed on all points. While Ben Kingsley didn’t chew the scenery, his ponytail DEVOURED the scenery. As did his weird accent. An odd character that felt like Kingsley came to set one day and said, “This is what I’m doing,” and the director said, “OK.”

          And I really felt Sidney Poitier was sort of wasted in the movie. The character was essentially useless and they got Sidney Poitier to do it. Always thought that was weird.

          • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

            Yeah, I can see that about Poitier, but then I don’t have much to compare it to as I’m seriously lacking in my Poitier exposure…

  • Pingback: River Phoenix and other actors I had a huge crush on in the 80s! | ShezCrafti

  • http://twitter.com/paxtonholley Paxton Holley

    Oh, how did I know Jaime would make an uber-awesome crush list? Fantastic. And I love that you had to add an addendum that Dream a Little Dream 2 wasn’t a good movie (because the first one was?).

    Great choices. Honestly, I’m not a big Judd Nelson fan. I enjoy Breakfast Club but not to the super crazed point that everyone else seems to. If I have to pick a favorite John Hughes movie it’s Sixteen Candles or Ferris Bueller. Bueller? Bueller?

    Anyway, my point I was going to make about Judd was that I did like him in one movie, From the Hip (1987) where he played a lawyer called Robin “Stormy” Weathers. I actually saw it in the theater and it’s surprisingly good.

    Again, excellent list Jaime. What list should we do next?

    • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

      I wouldn’t call the first one “good,” but it’s got plenty of redeeming qualities, like Meredith Salenger being SMOKING hot in it, and Corey Feldman’s embarrassingly awesome Michael Jackson dance.

      • http://twitter.com/paxtonholley Paxton Holley

        I’ll give you Feldman’s embarrassingly awesome…well, ENTIRE MICHAEL JACKSON PHASE.

        I don’t remember Meredith Salenger….hold on…*off to Google*

        Oh yeah, I see what you mean. She’s hot even NOW. Excuse me for a few minutes…… *retreating footsteps*

        • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

          I’d totally do a girlcrush list with Meredith Salenger on it, but I don’t want to give people the wrong idea about me.

      • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

        Don’t forget awkwardly artsy/bohemian Haimster. With a cane and everything…

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      I’ll always have a weird love for Judd Nelson’s voice because of Transformers the Movie. Bah Weep Grana Weep Ninibon…

  • http://twitter.com/soapsite Soap in the Bathroom

    Aw, Jonathan Brandis *sniffles* I loved him! I used to kiss my Teen Beat
    poster of him goodnight every night (this is the female half of
    soapinthebathroom, btw!) I still have one of those posters, and I
    can’t bring myself to throw it away. My first big celebrity crush was
    George Jetson. My love for redheads is still strong and I’ve had a
    healthy (or not so healthy) crush on Conan O’Brien since 1993.

    • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

      For a brief but very awesome time I had bunk beds in my room, and naturally I slept on the top bunk (the bottom was reserved for all my stuffed animals) which was cool because I could hang posters on my ceiling and lay directly underneath them and stare up into the eyes of Jonathan Brandis/River Phoenix/Ralph Macchio.

  • https://twitter.com/WallCrawlinHero Wesley Hampton

    That is quite a list. Karate Kid is a movie I liked growing up, but didn’t watch all that much. Now my wife, on the other hand, apparently watched it constantly and still has a flame burning for Ralph Macchio. She even won a Universal prize pack from some radio station by answering Ralph Macchio trivia questions on his birthday a few years ago. Plus she’s always doing his “I just wanna go home, ma!” line from the beginning of the first one whenever we’re out somewhere and she’s ready to leave.

    • http://twitter.com/paxtonholley Paxton Holley

      Your wife sounds pretty awesome, Wesley. :-)

      • https://twitter.com/WallCrawlinHero Wesley Hampton

        Oh she is. She’s way more awesome than me.

        Honestly, a lot of times I feel like Jaime is some alternate universe combination of me and my wife. I’m big on the Ninja Turtles and video games, but when it comes to things like 80′s music, boy crushes and other pop culture areas, that’s all my wife. There’s some overlap of course, but you get the point.

        • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

          Dude, whoa. It’s like Dream A Little Dream except both of you are still alive.

          • https://twitter.com/WallCrawlinHero Wesley Hampton

            It is EXACTLY like a Corey & Corey movie. Exactly.

          • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

            As it should be…

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      That is pretty rad!

    • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

      The Karate Kid line I quote the shit out of CONSTANTLY is from Part 2. I rip my shirt off and say, “You keep for your correction. I know you rike it.”

      • https://twitter.com/WallCrawlinHero Wesley Hampton

        Ahahahaha oh god. I so hope you do this often and in public. That would be the best headline ever. “Maryland woman arrested for indecent exposure while yelling racist Karate Kid II quote.”

      • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

        I keep thinking that you, Pax and I should find a way to meet up someday and record a show live, but I fear that combining the awe-inspiring hilarity of you two would result in some sort of explosion of Hiroshima-esque proportions…

        • http://twitter.com/paxtonholley Paxton Holley

          That will happen at some point. Belieee dat!

        • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

          There’s always Skype video chat in the meantime.

          • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

            This is true, this should happen. Then maybe we can keep the atomic-hilarity of you two regulated to just destroying Skype…