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Monday, January 16, 2012

They Made Us Sigh

The message posted to our critique group started out being called “Call me Stupid”.  I think the question had something to do with the historical accuracy of a word.  I could go back and check, but it isn’t important.  As with most messages within our critique group, the topic morphed into an entirely different subject until Louisa Cornell posted this within her comment. 

“Cary Grant!! (For those of you youngsters in the group he was the EPITOME of the suave sexy hero onscreen!)” 

To which my response was

 “Gary Grant (followed by the love-struck emoticon)”. 

See, I told you our subjects morphed because really, what does Cary Grant have to do with the historical accuracy of anything?  Well, my comment or Louisa’s was followed by the names of actors who caught the attention, and heart, of my critique partners at one time or another, and apparently held it for some time since none of the actors are in their prime any longer, if even alive. 

We’ve all fallen in love at one point with a character and/or actor on screen.  What was it about that specific person?  So, I posed the question to the group asking the who, the why and have you ever modeled one of your own heroes after him?

Julie Johnstone - I haven't modeled any of my heroes after old actors, but I do so love Cary Grant. I love Indecent and I love Philadelphia Story.

Jerrica Knight-Catania - For me, it's a toss up between Clark Gable and Howard Keel. I grew up on Gone with the Wind and movie-musicals, mostly from the 1950s.

Suzie Grant - For me, and I think it goes for all my heroes, they're loosely based off Clark Gable and James Dean. Two of Hollywood's bad boys. It was that "look" that they had where they would tilt their face down and stare up. Be still my heart. I've loved and watched every film by them both but the two that stand out the most are of course, Gone with the Wind and Rebel Without a Cause. Most of my heroes have the dark hair but I think what draws me the most to these two men are the "bad boy" persona. There is nothing quite like taming a bad boy.

Ella Quinn - Jim Hutton was a hunk. When I first met my husband I thought he looked just like him.

Olivia Kelly - I had a MASSIVE crush on James Dean in high school. I papered my walls with posters and pictures, even hung up a JD t-shirt. Loved him madly.... :)

Sarah Baker- I have a boyfriend in every era, but for me the one who will always trump every other man is Charles Farrell. Now he is too obscure nowadays for most people to know (he was an actor from the 1920s and 1930s) but I did take enough note about him to write an entire book about him! His biography, in fact. :)

Ava Stone - Oh, wow. There really are so many to choose from. In fact, you recently asked me if the hero in my current project was based after Clark Gable. He's not. LOL. Don't get me wrong, I do love Clark Gable, how could you not? BUT my favorite swoon-inducing actor has been and always will be Paul Newman. He was such an amazing dramatic actor, with the face and eyes of a tarnished angel. I think the first old movie I saw him in was Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Elizabeth Taylor. WOW! As the broken down, self-loathing ex-jock, I could NOT take my eyes of Newman. His skills teamed with Tennessee William's dialogue... Well, I don't think that magic has ever been duplicated.

For me, it will always be Cary Grant.  I am not sure when I fell in love with Cary, but he has yet to be replaced in my heart. Like Louisa said, he was Suave and Sexy, but he also had great comedic timing.  A few of my favorites (because it is so hard to limit them a short list) are: An Affair to Remember, Charade, His Girl Friday, To Catch a Thief, My Favorite Wife, The Bishop’s Wife, That Touch of Mink.  I don’t think I have ever consciously written a hero after Cary Grant.   

Your turn.  Who is your favorite actor from days gone by?  What was it about him that made him, as Ava put it, swoon-inducing?  


  1. I'm with Ava. Paul Newman and those sexy blue eyes. Holy Moly!!! James Dean would be a close second.

    Thanks for such a great post, Jane. Though now I have to goggle images of Paul Newman and sigh. ;)

  2. James Garner is a fave that hasn't been mentioned. I liked Cliff Robertson in a few things too, as well as the usual heartthrobs like Cary Grant.

    But truly, I loved the secondary character actors just as much. Tony Randall. Don Knotts. The lovable goofballs!

    Wait--I just had an epiphany. Maybe the reason I love Nathan Fillion is because you get both--the handsome heartthrob and lovable goofball together in one!

  3. Tyrone Power.....so swashbuckley and yummy.

    Paul Newman......so delish.

    Young Jimmy Stewart......so endearingly, achingly all American boy next door and CUTE that it's almost easy to overlook how handsome he really was.

    Young John Wayne: Big. Strong. Ruggedly handsome. I'd take a young Duke over all the rest.

  4. I loved watching Errol Flynn's black and white swashbuckling adventures. Ship Captains and Robin Hood. Sigh.

    Seeing him wield a sword was worth watching older movies with my dad.

  5. Omg I totally forgot Errol Flynn!! How could I forget Errol Flynn. I'm fired! I loved him in Captain Blood and The Sea Hawk! Omg those started my love affair with pirates and the sea! I should be shot!

    Oh James Garner! I loved him, too! So many great suggestions! Great blog, Amy!! It's funny how our conversations spark blog ideas LOL.

  6. I loved Gene Kelly, and Fred Astaire. My favorite actor had to be able to sing, dance and look good while doing it. I also liked David Niven.

  7. I span the decades from Humphrey Bogart to Hugh Jackman, but the two that will always make me sigh are the irreverent bad-boys. The Devils in Disguise...Steve McQueen and James Garner. I can never forget their roles (Steve as the baseball tossing fly-boy, and James as the smooth-talking "I can get that for you" procurer of black market goods) in The Great Escape. A movie that truly showed how brief presences can steal the screen from the classic stars of the show (John Guilgood if I remember correctly) Oh my, I'm feeling the urge to pull out my dvd of the movie as I type. LOL