It’s no coincidence that many of my favorite movies and television shows from my childhood feature women that I was head-over-heels infatuated with. As much as I enjoyed watching Daniel-san drum punch Chozen’s ass into the pavement (and likewise despised him for just honking Chozen's nose instead of finishing him), I loved seeing the drop dead gorgeous Kumiko fawn all over our hero. Every time I watched Karate Kid II, which was easily over a hundred times, I fell completely in love with Kumiko again and again. I was smitten. And this same scenario repeated itself with many girls, in many shows, throughout my childhood. These crushes were all a complete secret to my parents who thought I just loved watching movies over and over again because I was weird. Well, there’s that, too.
Upon buying the just released, and in all ways awesome, Karate Kid I/IIBlu-ray set, I found myself pondering the question, “What happened to all those hot chicks I had crushes on when I was a kid?” For the purposes of this article, I will consider the childhood celebrity crushes that I had between 1985 and 1991. I considered including 1992 just to get Rosie Perez from White Men Can’t Jump on the list, but that was 8th grade, and I felt I was stretching it by including 7th. To Hell with it, give Rosie Perez honorable mention!
10—Jennifer Connelly (Labyrinth, Career Opportunities): In 1987, I caught the movie Labyrinth at a friend’s house and immediately fell in love with Sarah as played by Jennifer Connelly. Beautiful, intelligent, plays well with puppets. Try as I might, I could never find the Labyrinth videotape at our local Rent-A-Movie. For some reason, this movie also never seemed to air on TV. Defeated, my attention was diverted to other babes of the time, and poor Jennifer Connelly became nothing more than “the hot chick in that puppet movie.”
Then, about four years later, I found her once again. I saw Jennifer Connelly in a movie trailer for Career Opportunities. My jaw hit the floor. I immediately recognized her as the long, lost, hot chick from the puppet movie. I went to see the movie at the theater with some friends and again a few months later on pay-per-view. For good measure, I had my VHS deck ready record the day Career Opportunities first aired. I claimed it was for the rich comedy; Career Opportunities, thankfully, was funny enough to justify my alibi. However, my true ulterior motive was to rekindle my crush on Jennifer Connelly. Lacking a blank tape, I recorded over one of my dad’s prized Emmitt Smith Gator games just to get Jennifer Connelly on tape. Desperate times called for desperate measures.
Where is she now?
After a strong year in 1991 in which she starred in Career Opportunities and The Rocketeer—both of which I caught on opening day, she once again disappeared off my map. That was until her ridiculously hot performances in Inventing the Abbots and Dark City in the late 90’s. She has since starred in movies such as Requiem for a Dream, Pollock, A Beautiful Mind, Hulk, Blood Diamond, and The Day the Earth Stood Still. She won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her performance in A Beautiful Mind and she has been nominated for numerous awards for Requiem for a Dream and House of Sand and Fog. Yeah, she has had a very successful acting career from her teenage years through today. And she’s still hot. Way hot! So hot that she has made my Hottest Celebrity Chicks list twice: in August 2006 and in July 2007.