5 posts categorized "JON-ERIK HEXUM"
When I started this little project—which hoped to gather a number of juxtaposed images showing various celebrities' first and last filmed acting performances—I thought it would be easy. I was wrong. While it's easier for some of the most iconic names since so much research exists regarding their early years, I encountered time-sucking troubles, and not only when it came to old-timers (whose first films, as you might expect, were often lost silents).
Along with that challenge, I found that many stars' first appearances were as uncredited extras (therefore hard to ID) in obscure movies (therefore hard to find in any form), and that those whose early-years films I found easily might well have ended their careers in similarly obscure straight-to-video releases or in episodic TV, much of which is not floating around on the Internet.
But I pushed ahead and cooked up 25.
I wanted the group to be fairly random, and I think it is. It's less about icons and more about just seeing the changes of life and of career. It's fascinating to me how difficult it is—in all but a few cases—to guess what heights a career may have hit when only viewing its genesis and its conclusion.
Greta Garbo (1905—1990)
How Not to Dress (advertising film, 1920) & Two-Faced Woman (1941)
Garbo's first film was for a department store, made to instruct viewers on how not to dress. Ironically, she would become a style icon before her final film, a comedy, led to embarrassing reviews and a not-quite-intentional retirement.
Too Many Girls (1940) & Three Days to a Kill (1992)
From an uncredited spot in the chorus of a Lucy & Desi musical, Johnson ended his time on screen as a crusty commander in a Fred Williamson action groaner alongside Chuck Connors. That was also the final performance for Connors. Those two had more in common than just their final movie!
You Came Along (1945) & Pulp (1972)
Thanks to her close association with producer Hal Wallis, this sultry answer to Lauren Bacall was the star of the very first film she did. She sued Confidential Magazine for outing her and by 1972 was making her final appearance, opposite Michael Caine, in a film about an old-time movie star (Mickey Rooney) who hires a pulp-fiction writer to do his memoirs. In that role, Scott's character is told, "I'll bet that was a fairy tale romance," to which she says, "On the contrary, the prince was very hetero."
The Flying Scotsman (1929) & Sherlock Holmes and the Masks of Death (1984)
His first role was a lead in a British part-silent/part-talkie, starring as a fireman aboard a train who falls for the engineer's daughter, running afoul of the fireman he replaced. His last was as the Home Secretary in a made-for-TV Sherlock Holmes installment starring fellow old-timers Peter Cushing and Sir John Mills.
Dorothy Stratten (1960—1980)
Autumn Born (1979) & They All Laughed (1981)
One of the most infamous (for reasons beyond her control) Playboy bunnies of all time kicked things off with a seedy nudie flick and kicked off right after filming her lover Peter Bogdanovich's screwball comedy starring Audrey Hepburn and John Ritter.
What follows is my personal list of History's 50 Hottest TV Actors. Feel free to chime in with the guys you think I left out, the ones I love who you hate and with any corrections. Before freaking out, read Part 2 (#51—#100). And check out list of History's 100 Hottest Movie Actors, too. As a bonus, in the gallery above are 15 extra shirtless shots of some of the hottest of the hot.
#1 Jon-Erik Hexum (1957—1984) An easy pick for favorite is Hexum, who smoldered so deeply in the '80s it hardly mattered whether or not he was straight; his sexuality was superseded by his overall sexual energy. He died tragically, a sort of masculine counterpart to Marilyn Monroe, albeit one who died before he could reach true stardom rather than after having conquered it in every way imaginable. Voyagers! (1982—1983), Making of a Male Model (1983), Cover Up (1984)
#2 Van Williams (1934—) TV's Green Hornet looks like he walked out of 2012 in beefcake shots he posed for 50 years ago. A classically handsome man with a bit of a Thomas Roberts air about him. And still handsome today as a geezer. Bourbon Street Beat (1959—1960), Surfside 6 (1963), The Tycoon (1964—1965), Batman/The Green Hornet (1966—1967), Westwind (1975)
#3 Gregory Harrison (1950—) He always looked like he'd just spent the previous night and early morning romping around with a couple of sex partners on Trapper John, M.D. Also, his self-produced For Ladies Only absolutely, positively wasn't. What I loved about him was a suggestive look he always managed to give the camera. That, and the fact that when I met him and we were about to pose for a photo, he suggested his best side was his backside. Logan's Run (1977—1978), Centennial (1978—1979), Trapper John, M.D. (1979—1986), For Ladies Only (1981), The Fighter (1983), Falcon Crest (1989—1990), The Family Man (1990—1991), Safe Harbor (1999)
#4 Robert Conrad (1929—) The incredibly handsome lead of The Wild Wild West had a sardonic delivery as well as an ass that just would not quit, at least not in those allegedly period Western pants. He was still fuckable as all hell in Black Sheep Squadron, which gave him an excuse to parade about in a Speedo and struggle for male supremacy with guys half his age (he was only 47 or so himself) like Scott Baio on Battle of the Network Stars. Hawaiian Eye (1959—1963), The Wild Wild West (1965—1969), The D.A. (1971—1972), Black Sheep Squadron (1976—1978), Battle of the Network Stars (1976), A Man Called Sloane (1979)
#5 Brian Bloom (1970—) I first fell for him when we were teenagers—he was so smokin' hot on his soap I was surprised he could be broadcast in the daytime. Back then, I never could have imagined that in 20 or 25 years he'd be buck-naked in a prison shower on television. Makes me wonder what we'll be watching during the "family hour" 20 years from now. As the World Turns (1983—1987), 2000 Malibu Road (2000), Oz (2001)
If it's true that dogs pick up on your moods, I feel bad for my normally spunky little Shih Tzu; they must be moping and confused because I'm in one of my manic-depressions (I'm rarely manic or depressive, I'm both at once) that could be S.A.D. but are more likely the result of O.C.D. My whole life has been one compulsion after another.