Hollywood’s Hunky Men

In the about section of this blog I promised Friday to be miscellaneous day. Hollywood fun facts and what not. Well, since time is scarce this week and rushing by all too easily, I decided to have a Hollywood fun question day.

So this is what happened: upon re-watching Perry Mason, I began to wonder about something, and my most recent TV classics post on Family Affair only added to that. I mean, I may be the only one who wonders about the question I’m about to ask, and only for the most innocent of reasons of course, but seriously: where did all the hunky men go?!

You know who I’m talking about: Raymond Burr, Bill Hopper, Brian Keith, Curd Juergens, Rock Hudson… That type of guy. Broad shoulders, tall, gentlemanly and handsome in a handy way. Totally serving the cliches of their time, on screen that is – rough charm but teddy bear qualities. I know!

But where is that mixture?! Where did it go?!

Did it really vanish because the times have changed?! And if it did, how come that in spite of these “old school” characteristics, I can’t even think of a current actor who is remotely built that way?!

Well, maybe it’s like the myth of the curvy, practical yet glamorous lady – a bygone image Hollywood has discarded and replaced with a skinny replica to serve the supposed demands of our time. Not that this would be a recent development, I mean Twiggy and Jane Fonda are appreciated silver-agers these days.

But here’s why I began wondering about this in the first place: I have so much fun watching those classic movies and shows with people who aged all right, who were adults and looked like them. Who did not fit themselves in ridiculously short miniskirts and dieted non-stop to pass as forty although they had well reached fifty-five. It’s all of that, with women and men, and mind you, I am aware of the beauty tricks and the pressures Hollywood has put on its stars early on. The nipping and tucking. But maybe it just feels more genuine to see people age on screen, to see men looking good without brushing their hair incessantly or women working out as if they wanted to make the Olympics team.

Fashion has changed, standards and likes – so I guess my hunky men just aren’t in vogue in our times. So I’ll stick to my classics in-between enjoying some of what this millennium has to offer. After all, old school escapism still works its wonders and may be revived eventually.


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