When I was a kid, pre-teen, I loved watching old movies. I don't know how I got into this, but I grew up watching Ingrid Bergman, Bette Davis, Spencer Tracy and a whole constellation of actors unknown to most of my peers.
[Retro aside: If you're a certain age and grew up in the New York metro area, you watched the "Million Dollar Movie" on WWOR, non-network Channel 9. The open was a montage of New York City images played to "Tara's Theme" from "Gone with the Wind". There's a version of it on YouTube, but it's a later incarnation. A 1970s image of the Broadway TKTS booth has been substituted for the clip I remember most: a woman going up an escalator, seen from behind. I can't find the original anywhere.]
In those days, my favourite actor, hands-down, was Humphrey Bogart. I would scan the TV listings for any movie he was in, and knew many of them - classics and duds alike - backwards and forwards. Recently I read a review of a new biography of Bogart, and I had a minor revelation: he was my first celebrity crush. And I started to think about who else has held that category in my life.
So this list is your celebrity crushes over the course of your life. Three elements:
- We'll define celebrity as someone widely Google-able, and known by fans of the person's milieu. Readers not into music or baseball may not know some of my crushes, but rock fans and baseball fans will. So, not Betsy Klein from your Grade 7 Algebra class.
- Crush is more difficult to define. It's not just someone you think is hot. There are lots good-looking people out there, but you don't crush on all of them. This is someone you have a "thing" for. You'll see any movie she's in, no matter how stupid. When you were younger (or maybe even now) you taped a picture of him to your desk or had a poster of her in your bedroom. It's not only about looks. This person has something that makes them magnetic in your eyes. I haven't found an adequate definition for this word anywhere; perhaps it's indefinable.
- And here's a very important part of this list: lifetime. I'm asking you to delve into your past - your childhood, your teen years, your 20s - and follow the thread all the way to the present, if you still form crushes.
I'm posting mine roughly in chronological order. I'm also linking to pics from the crush era, which you can do or not.
I've wanted to do this list for a while, but I thought it might be a little weird. I'm really curious to see if it resonates with anyone.
1. Humphrey Bogart.
2. Paul Newman.
3. Janis Joplin.
4. Keith Richards.
5. Rick Danko.
6. Thurman Munson. (Sorry! First baseball crush.)
6a. Late addition: Bruce Springsteen.
7. Chrissie Hynde.
8. Alex Rodriguez, circa 1996. (Please note year! Mariners!)
9. Jacoby Ellsbury.