It’s time once again for another Top 5 list, and since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, this week we are looking back at our Top 5 Retro Crushes! Once again, you not only get my opinion, but the opinions of several other retro luminaries from around the web. On the esteemed panel this week we have Hoju Koolander of the SequelQuest Podcast, Jason Gross from Rediscover the 80’s, Eric Vardeman from right here at Retro Ramblings as well as Eric V Music, and first-timer Jannet Hadden from Eighties Grooves! And as always, I’m your host with the most, The Retro Rambler. Let’s get to the list and see who was crushing on who back in the day…..
Biggest crush? If we’re talking junior high, might have to say Mary Lou Retton. I fell head over heels for that little spitfire during the ’84 Olympic games. She may very well be what lit the spark that is now my undying love for the Olympics. Overall, though, I’d have to say my biggest crush from the 80’s was MTV’s Carolyne Heldman. She was on from 1986-88 and was part of the second wave of VJ’s to hit the air. She was typically on in the mid afternoon just about I was getting out of school. I even remember the first video I saw her intro. It was Kyrie by Mr. Mister. BAM…I was smitten. I don’t know if it was the big hair or the fact that she resembled my high school crush but I would sit through video after video just to catch her in between. Carolyne Heldman, ladies and gentlemen: https://youtu.be/jJjSj_kKlx0
– Eric Vardeman
Give Eric a follow on Twitter at @Eric_Vardeman, and you can find his retro memories right here on Retro Ramblings! His article on being a music pirate back in the day is a great look back at the 80’s. He’s also a talented singer/songwriter, and you should check out his music at EricVMusic. Definitely check out his cover of King of Wishful Thinking while you’re there. It’s excellent.
You could say that the summer of 1981 was the summer of Rick Springfield. He played hot new doctor Noah Drake on the popular soap opera General Hospital, and his single Jessie’s Girl, from his fifth studio album Working Class Dog, was climbing up the Billboard Hot 100, eventually reaching No. 1 that August. For a boy crazy girl like myself, it was the perfect storm for a full-blown celebrity crush. I would rush home every day to make sure I was in front of the TV at promptly 3 p.m. for the next episode of GH, just so I could swoon over the playboy doc. And all of my allowance money was spent on Rick’s records and issues of magazines like Tiger Beat with his face plastered on the cover.
Years later, in 2010, I was lucky enough to meet my long-time crush while he was promoting his autobiography, Late, Late at Night. He was very nice in person and, aside from the fact that I had trouble forming complete sentences and he didn’t whisk me off to a private island, it was everything the 80s me would have wanted.
– Janet Hadden
I had no shortage of celebrity crushes growing up, but I think it’s only fair that I focus on the pretty face who became my waking obsession as I entered puberty. It was around 1995 that I was allowed to go to the movies unchaperoned and it was at a screening of Adam’s Sandler’s back to school comedy Billy Madison that I first laid eyes on the lovely Bridgette Wilson. I was definitely “hot for teacher” when this blonde goddess graced the screen as Miss Vaughn and I saw the film multiple times as a result. I was so enamored that I clipped ads for the movie out of newspapers and even brought a camera to take pictures of her on the big screen (crazy, but true). You can imagine my excitement when that same summer she re-appeared at the cinema kicking butt as Sonya Blade in Mortal Kombat. Comedy and video game inspired action? It’s really no surprise she won my 13 year old heart. Eventually I realized I had actually seen her previously playing Arnold Schwarzenneger’s judo-chopping daughter in Last Action Hero as well as the ditzy, Ginger during the last season of Saved By The Bell (you know, the weird episodes with Tori?). Given that (ahem) body of work, it’s no wonder that Bridgette Wilson is my Retro Crush this Valentine’s Day.
– Hoju Koolander
You can follow along with all of Hoju’s retro shenanigans on his twitter feed, @hojukoolander, read a lot of his his fine writing on a variety of retro topics at Retro-Daze, keep up with him at PopGeeks, and listen to his awesomely fun pod cast at SequelQuest Podcast where he and his cohorts craft sequels that we never got to movies that we loved! And if you haven’t seen it, check out Hoju’s very cool Review of Grunt! The Wrestling Movie right here on Retro Ramblings.
One of the earliest crushes I remember is Elisabeth Shue in The Karate Kid. I’ve always liked the classic story of the girl who is with the popular guy and finally comes to her senses to leave him to be with the new guy in town. It’s probably the most often used trope in movies but somehow it works for me. I was always jealous of Daniel when they are on their date at the arcade and mini amusement park. Shue would later woo me in my teenage years through Adventures in Babysitting and then as the new Jennifer in the Back to the Future sequels.
My childhood crush has lasted beyond the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Shue is one of the reasons why I’ve always enjoyed the 1997 movie “The Saint” even though I’m a sucker for spy movies. She is also why I circled back to the tv show “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” for a while after I quit watching when William Peterson left the show. But I’ll always remember her as Daniel’s love interest in The Karate Kid and cheering for him at the All Valley Tournament. I never wooed a girl away from the popular guy but was lucky enough to have a girl cheering for me on the sidelines in high school when I played basketball. I think having that experience is probably why I hold The Karate Kid as one of my favorite ‘80s movies and still have that childhood crush on Elisabeth Shue.
– Jason Gross
Jason is the chief bottle washer over at Rediscover the 80’s and is always posting some of the best retro content you’ll find anywhere on the web. His twitter feed is a heavenly slice of the 80’s, so you should give him a follow there at @rd80s. He and I collaborated last year to compile out list of our ten favorite episodes of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Check out his five here, and then give my five favorites a look too!
My retro crush wasn’t so much on the person as it was the character she played. Catherine Bach is one attractive lady for sure, but when she put on those short shorts, and tied up that shirt, turned on the southern drawl and became Daisy Duke is when she really did it for me. She was the epitome of what I find attractive in a woman even today. The charm, the flirtatiousness, and the good looks. As a kid when the Dukes of Hazzard was on the air, I would tell everyone who would listen that Daisy Duke was my girlfriend. I had her poster on my wall at a time when my Mom didn’t go for that kind of thing. She was such a big deal to me, that after much pleading and begging, my Mom relented and let me put a poster up. As I’ve gotten older, my taste in women hasn’t changed, and I STILL crush hard on Daisy Duke.
– Retro Rambler
I want to thank our contributing guests again this week. They took time out of their very busy schedules to take part in this post, and I hope you show your thanks by giving them a visit at their homes on the web. But we certainly aren’t the only ones who had crushes back in the day. So I want to hear from you. Who did you crush on way back when? Drop me a line in the comments below and let me know!
Next week’s Top 5 is going to be a big one. We’ll be taking a look back at our Favorite Albums From the 80’s. With 80’s music being much adored, I’m sure you’ll want to check that out. And if you missed last week’s list, you missed a lot of fun. Go ahead and check it out now while you’re already here: Top 5 Favorite Stores at the Mall