“Star Struck”

Thinking about puppy love and school crushes led me to reflect on falling for men on the big screen. My two favorite were and remain Paul Newman and Denzel Washington. I fell for Paul in high school. I didn’t fall for Denzel until, as a single mother, I began to watch the television series “St. Elsewhere.” I never fantasized about singers while my friends screamed for Elvis and decorated their rooms with his posters. Even the Beatles failed to engage my interest, though, when pushed, I would say I liked John–the moody one–the best. My sister had a monumental crush on Paul(McCartney, not Newman!)But oh those men on those gigantic movie screens!(I quickly found Denzel in the movies. The TV Denzel was just too small to really captivate me.)

I was fond of joking that I would watch either man in an advertisement for rutabagas, so enamored I was by each. Paul lived in Connecticut between our house and New York City. Something about his actual proximity to me in Connecticut fed my secret life. When I would drive through Westport on my way to the City, I would always give him a shout out. Even now that he is gone I toot and say hello to his memory as I drive by.

In 1959, my parents went to Hawaii on a Matson Line ship courtesy of the company since my father did legal work for them. The highlight of the trip for my mother was not the beach, not the sun, not the exotic volcano. She was beyond excited by spotting William Holden(her screen love) on the beach at Waikiki. She didn’t need to talk to him; it was enough to be actually sharing the same stretch of sand.

I have no idea if young girls still fall for movie stars. I have no idea of boys of my generation fell for movie stars. All I know for sure is that when either Paul or Denzel leaned in for a kiss, it was me he was aiming for!

21 thoughts on ““Star Struck”

  1. Because I was taken to the cinema from a very young age, I certainly fell for film stars. At the time, it was all about curvy women, with generous bosoms and sultry looks. I remember being fascinated by Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, and Jayne Mansfield. When watching older films, I looked out for Jane Russell, who became my favourite for some years.
    I watched Jayne Mansfield again recently, in the film ‘She’s Gotta Have It’, on TV. I still like her.
    A lot. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. My first adolescent celebrity crush was Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys. That was swiftly followed by the complete opposite, Benji Madden from Good Charlotte (tatted rock star with dyed hair and piercings). I also really liked Sonny Moore, now known as Skrillex (rock start turned DJ). These days I like British accents and curly hair. Kit Harington is my beau. 😍


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