As promised, below are the Honorable Mentions to my Top Ten Biggest Childhood Crushes list. These
ladies all received consideration for inclusion in the top ten, but for one reason
or another, didn’t quite make the cut. I still feel like they deserve a little spotlight. There were a couple who were really close to making the Top Ten and I just couldn't pull the trigger and remove, say, Jennifer Connelly from my list.
Here are eleven other celebrities that I had huge crushes on back in the day with a Then
and Now picture.
1—Kelly Preston (Space Camp, Twins): The first time I ever crushed on Kelly Preston
was when she played Tish in Space Camp. Admittedly, I was more focused at the time
on Lea Thompson, but I dug Tish, too. In their only head-to-head matchup, it's true that Kelly
Preston was out-hotted by Lea Thompson in Space Camp. However, that battle was unfair
for two reasons. First, I was biased and all about Lea Thompson going into the film;
I had been watching her for years in Back to the Future and never even heard of
Kelly Preston. Second, and more importantly, Preston had permed hair. I hated perms.
Probably 99% of the girls in my school at the time had perms and I absolutely despised
it. If Lea Thompson had permed hair and Kelly Preston had straight hair in that
movie, then I have to believe that I would have gone with Preston as the hottest—although
both would have easily been crush-worthy. Stupid perms. I was so happy when that
fad ended and all the girls went to straight hair in the early 90’s. It was good.
Then Jennifer Aniston went and ruined women’s hair again in the late 90’s with her
dumb hair cut that everyone copied.
Up until 1988, Kelly Preston was on my list solely for her role in Space Camp,
I was still all about Lea Thompson. Then came the movie, Twins. Kelly Preston’s
hotness hit me a Mike Tyson uppercut in Nintendo’s Punch-Out. Lea Thompson, immediately
and forever, was knocked out of the #1 slot, which Kelly Preston would occupy well
into my college days. I can still watch Twins and have a few “whoa” moments. Hotel
scene, Kelly Preston in lingerie: “Oh no! This bed is lumpy.”
Whoa. Check out
the video clip below.
2—Phoebe Cates (Gremlins, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Drop Dead Fred):
I am incredibly
tempted to lie and say that this is all because of the infamous, bikini-dropping,
pool scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It certainly makes for more titillating
fare. Unfortunately, I’m a terrible liar. Here’s a confession: I never saw Fast Times at Ridgemont High until I got the DVD my junior year in college. Had I seen
that movie at some point as a kid, I am confident that this Biggest Childhood Crushes
List would have Phoebe Cates at #1. Not only does it have the scene mentioned, but
she is completely at her hottest throughout the entire film. Phoebe Cates was never
my #1 crush as a child whereas many already mentioned on this list were at some
point. However, she was #2 for most of my childhood. “The girl from the Gremlins”
was the ace in my sleeve for my friends’ debates of hot chicks. It’s only fitting
that she’s #2 here.
Outside of Annie (1982) and Superman III (1983), one of my earliest memories of
going to a movie theater was seeing Gremlins in 1984. I remember wanting nothing
more than my own personal Gizmo to water and feed KFC to after midnight. As a 6
year old, Gizmo was my primary focus, but I was entranced every time Kate, played
by Phoebe Cates, showed up on screen. I had the tape after it came out on VHS, but
the movie creeped me out for a few years. Still I braved the inevitable nightmares
of Stripe eating me for two reasons: to imagine finding my own pet mogwai and to
eagerly watch for the lovely Phoebe Cates to pop up on the screen.
3—Lea Thompson (Back to the Future, Space Camp, Some Kind of Wonderful,
Jaws 3D): My crush on Lea Thompson began with Back to the Future.
I loved that movie.
Who didn’t? The movie was pure awesomeness and the girl, Lorraine Baines, was stunningly
gorgeous. The first time I watched it, I remember being completely floored by the
hotness of the 1955 Lorraine. I was shocked by the fact that the hideous, worn down,
1985 Lorraine could be so gorgeous 30 years earlier. It goes without saying that
I watched Back to the Future endlessly. I never watched the Back to the Future sequels
as much, however. While the stories in the
Back to the Future sequels were great
and I wasted many hours in toy stores hunting for the fabled Mattel hoverboard,
those films never measured up to the original for one reason: Not enough hot Lea
A couple of years after Back to the Future, I saw Space Camp.
Unfortunately, I never
caught this one in the theater. I had never even heard of the movie when some charitable
friends of the family, who were known to copy a tape or two, gave me the videotape
thinking I would be all about it. Oh, charitable- friends-who-shall-remain-unnamed-so-the-FBI-doesn’t-bust-down-your-door,
how right you were. But for all the wrong reasons. I popped the Space Camp tape
into my VCR and minutes later, there was Lorraine once again on my TV, looking all
80’s modern-like and even hotter than in Back to the Future. I could barely contain
myself. I didn’t think this level of hotness was attainable and, for a year or two,
Lea Thompson was alone atop my personal, Top 10 Hottest Chicks list. For those who
don’t remember, Space Camp was a preposterous movie about a group of misfit NASA
Space Campers who accidently get launched into space (or was it on purpose? The
plot thickens). Even as a kid, I thought the story was ridiculous. The movie sucked
ass. But I still loved it because it involved space, NASA, and Lea Thompson. As
a 9 year old, that was my recipe for an instant classic.
4—Alyssa Milano (Who’s the Boss?): While the previous two lovely ladies were from
personal favorite television shows and movies, Alyssa Milano starred on the absolutely
horrible 80’s sitcom Who’s the Boss?.
Yes, it’s true; Who’s the Boss? sucked and
had nothing on its chief rival: the vastly superior, cooler, and funnier Growing Pains. Wednesday nights in the late 80’s were couch potato awesomeness with Growing
Pains, Head of the Class,
and Wonder Years. Tuesdays, on the other hand, reeked
of raw suckage with
Who’s the Boss? and Roseanne. I could have been playing Nintendo
games, yet I religiously watched Who’s the Boss? every single week. Why? Because
5—Tamlyn Tomita (Karate Kid II): I was, and still am, an avid Karate
fan. To this day, I sit down and take in a Karate Kid movie every few months. As
a kid, that was more like every few days. To me, these films—especially the first
two—are timeless and never get old. I always had one problem with the first Karate Kid, though. I didn’t get what Daniel saw in “Ali with an i.” Oh sure, Elizabeth
Shue somehow went and became all hot by the mid-90’s (Leaving
Las Vegas and The Saint. Whoa!), but in the 80’s she was not that great. I never understood why Daniel
would go through all the pain and agony that came with dating Ali. But the movie
was awesome and watching Johnny get crane kicked in the face never got old, so I
turned a blind eye to the fact that I never bought into Ali. Karate Kid, up until
the release of Part II in 1986, was all about the fighting for me. How things would
In the mid-80’s, I really into fighting, wrestling, and martial arts—still am. I
took Tae Kwon Do classes because of Karate Kid and The Last Dragon.
My friends and
I re-enacted all the fight scenes from the movies. We played with shurikens and
nunchakus and, by some act of God, never seriously hurt ourselves. The holy grail
of my 3rd and 4th grade existence was a full blown ninja outfit. I begged and pleaded
my case, but my parents knew better than to buy me one. To compensate for our lack
of proper attire, my friends and I used to tie black t-shirts over our faces to
look like ninja masks and go wreak havoc in the neighborhood.
6—Danica McKellar (Wonder Years): It was almost obligatory for every guy my age
to have had a crush on Winnie Cooper. She’s an odd choice. Danica McKellar was hardly
the most gorgeous girl on television at the time. However, as boys similar in age
to Kevin Arnold, we all connected with his plight to win the heart of Winnie Cooper.
It’s simple really: because Kevin had such a huge crush on Winnie, we did, too.
As such, any list naming the biggest crushes a child of the 80’s had simply HAS
to include Winnie Cooper—it’s mandatory. If it’s not already a law, it should be.
I make it sound like this is a throwaway entry; as if I am obliged to have Danica
McKellar on the list. Hardly. I had an enormous crush on her, especially when the
series debuted back in 1988. I remember The Wonder Years debut like it was yesterday.
My mom was fast asleep, after becoming bored by the Redskins’ easy victory over
the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII. Following the Super Bowl, ABC aired the first episode
of The Wonder Years. I shared the experience of this debut alone with my dad and
we were absolutely mesmerized by the show.
7—Paula Abdul (pop star): When Paula Abdul appeared on my MTV in the late
80’s, I thought she was crazy hot, but I didn’t develop a crush until later on.
One day, some of my buddies and I were at my house swimming in the pool and shooting
the shit about hot singers. I probably threw out names like Debbie Gibson, Gloria
Estefan, and some random chick from The Jets or The Bangles, but I really had no
go-to singer in my arsenal for such debates. My suggestions were laughed at, derided,
and rejected outright. They saw my Debbie Gibson and raised me a Paula Abdul. The
word from my boys was that Paula was the hottest woman on the planet. Ever! I gave
it some thought, bowed to the peer pressure, and readily accepted their logic. That
short-lived debate was all it took. I saw the "Opposites Attract" video later that
day in a whole new light. My crush on her went, uh, Straight Up! Lame pun. Horrible
attempt, I know. I know. I’m not gifted in the art of Punry, but I had to try.
8—Robin Wright (The Princess Bride, Forest Gump): As a kid, one of my favorite
things in the world was going to Rent-A-Movie and hunting for videotapes to watch
later that night with my parents. One night, my dad picked out a movie called
Princess Bride. I don’t remember what movie I picked out that night, but that’s
really the whole point—it doesn’t matter. The Princess Bride blew me away. I had
never seen anything like it before or since (although the first Pirates of the Caribbean
comes close). The Princess Bride had Andre the Giant, a beautiful princess, Kevin
Arnold, dread pirates, epic sword fights, great jokes, six-fingered villains, and
giant man-eating rats. I was in heaven. It immediately became my favorite movie;
it still remains one of my all-time favorites to this day (check out the even better
novel by William Goldman).
So, who was this princess in The Princess Bride? The stunning Buttercup played by
Robin Wright . Buttercup is the most beautiful woman in all Florin—the kingdom
where she lives—but she is a mere peasant. Upon discovering this beauty, Prince
Humperdinck chooses Buttercup to be his bride. Her long lost lover, Westley, returns
as the Dread Pirate Roberts. In the course of saving Buttercup from kidnappings,
fire-swamps, and a forced marriage, Westley fights, fences, outwits, gets tortured,
mostly dies, swallows a chocolate covered miracle pill, wakes up mostly paralyzed,
and then fights some more. I completely bought into it and fell in love with her,
9—Christina Applegate (Married With Children, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s
Dead): There wasn’t a boy in my 6th grade class that wasn’t totally
in love with Kelly Bundy from Married With Children. Kelly was so completely,
hopelessly, dumb that it only magnified her hotness exponentially. At the time,
ditzy was cool. All the cool girls in our class were like “I duh-no-o-o-o-o.” We
were enamored with airheaded chicks who hairsprayed their way through life—and Kelly
Bundy was the Queen of Vacuous, the Fair Maiden of Aqua-Net. Somehow I don’t think
Kelly Bundy would work today. Ditzy just isn’t hot anymore—or maybe it still is
and I am just getting old and grumpy.
When Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead debuted 1991, my friends and I
were immediately hooked by the trailer. Christina Applegate was there in all her
glorious, early 90’s, fan-haired, shoulderpad wearing hotness. To seal the deal they
threw in one funny ass headbanger who shoots the dishes when he’s asked to finish
them. “Dishes are done, man! eHeh heh heh ehe” That trailer had us totally captivated
and there was nothing that would stop us from seeing it on opening night.