Friday, February 10, 2012

My '80s Crush: Leslie Hunter

For me, the '80s were the heart of adolescence. Crushes were like pimples, popping up all over the place. For the Tumble 4 Ya Blogfest, the hard part was coming up with just one. Leslie Hunter, Ally Sheedy's character in St. Elmo's Fire, came to mind first so she wins top billing.


Photo via Tee Shirt Soup

My choice of the character rather than the actress is deliberate. At the time, I would have said that my crush was on Sheedy but thinking back now, she never did much for me in her other films. I tried. The Breakfast Club is outstanding, of course, and she deserves a lot of credit for creating a believable character. I knew girls like that in high school, the ones who worked a little too hard at being invisible. But Allison Reynolds wasn't exactly crush-worthy. Stephanie Speck in Short Circuit? The whole film was a bit too precious and Sheedy's character especially.

So, why Leslie Hunter? Well, she was darn cute for starters. The eyes, the hair and the impish smile just made you want to gather her up in a blanket for the evening. I suppose, too, the protector within me wanted to save her from her womanizing boyfriend, Alec (Judd Nelson). In fact, I suspect that my crush on Leslie may have had its roots in my sympathy for Kevin, Andrew McCarthy's character. He was her trusted confidant, secretly in love with her. That's a role I knew well at that age.

There are many others worthy of honorable mention. Watts, Mary Stuart Masterson's character in Some Kind of Wonderful, was a big one.


Photo via Trespass Magazine

Masterson was also great in Heaven Help Us, another Andrew McCarthy picture and an under-appreciated film if you've never seen it.

Among athletes, East German figure skater Katarnia Witt was without equal, on the ice or in my heart.


Photo via Nick Verreos

I had a Sports Illustrated subscription for most of that decade and the arrival of the swimsuit issue was a deeply spiritual annual event. Now, I recognize that the issue is completely gratuitous, though far from the most objectifying rag on the newsstand. But at the time, pictures of scantily-clad supermodels delivered to my mailbox were like manna from heaven. I believe Ric Ocasek when he says he's the luckiest man alive for being married to Paulina Porizkova (cover model in '84 and '85). My favorite SI model, though, was Kathy Ireland ('89, '92 and '94).


Photo via My Fashion


Curious about other '80s crushes? Take a stroll through the participating blogs listed below.


35 comments:

  1. Ally Sheedy was total 80s. I loved Short Circuit.
    lol
    And Some Kind of WOnderful was awesome.

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  2. Excellent choice...and rationalization! I can relate.

    And I totally missed Kathy Ireland. *sigh* :)

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  3. Every guy was in love with Kathy Ireland. *shakes head* Damn those Sports Illustrated models!

    :PP

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  4. I was 10 at the end of the 80s, so my "crushes" didn't really start until early 90s... but I had a think for Markie Post from Night Court... So that Technically counts, I believe!

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    2. Of course, it counts! The childhood crushes were certainly of a different nature than those of adolescence but still meaningful in their way. Going back to the '70s for me, it would have to be Marcia Brady.

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  5. Mary Stuart Masterson has always been one of my favorite actresses. Being the tomboy that I was/am, I can totally relate to her character in Some Kind of Wonderful

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  6. I loved Some Kind of Wonderful. And, I totally wanted to BE Ally Sheedy after I saw St. Elmo's Fire. It seems ridiculous now, but I so wanted to wear those long pearl necklaces her character wore LOL. Great post! :)

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  7. I love St Elmo's Fire. I even tried to die my black hair red.

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  8. I was hoping someone would mention Some Kind of Wonderful. I had a huge crush on both ladies, but definitely preferred Mary's character.

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  9. Look how tan Kathy Ireland is!

    "gather her up in a blanket for the evening" - that has to be about the cutest think I've ever heard a guy say about a girl.

    Mary Stuart Masterson...I have to admit to a girl crush on her. Don't tell.

    Thanks so much for this look in to the 80s guy brain---I've been very curious about who you fellas would pick.

    P.S. Ally Sheedy makes a really creepy reappearance in the show Psych (which is loaded w/ delightful 80s references)

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  10. Hi, Squid.

    I love the way you articulated your reasons for choosing a character rather than an actress (did Sheedy do it for you in 'War Games?') and then brought it back round to why you identified with her male best friend. A surprisingly-nuanced post.

    (I also like that you picked an ice skater.)

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    1. War Games - I always forget that she was in that. My family went to see War Games only because we were too late to get into something else - a great instance of serendipity as we all really enjoyed it. Sheedy was cute enough, I suppose. I think it says a lot for Matthew Broderick's talent, though, that even at that young age, he managed to be THE screen presence for all of his films. I don't really remember much about the love interest part of the story.

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  11. I liked Mary Stuart Masterson a lot, too, and Ally Sheedy.

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  12. Oop. Forgot to mention I dig the Huxley quote, too.

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  13. I thought Mary Stuart Masterson was great in Some Kind of Wonderful - I'll have to add Heaven Help Us to my Netflix queue.

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  14. Mary Stuart Masterson was/is great. I saw that movie a dozen times because she was in it.

    Great choice!

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  15. Great choices! I loved watching Katerina on the ice. Beauty and grace.

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  16. Good picks. LOL: manna from heaven.

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  17. Ocasek was skinnier than his wife! That should never happen to a dude.

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  18. Some Kind of Wonderful is one of the best movies of the 80's. As a girl-drummer, I so wanted to be Mary Stuart Masterson cool, and she got the boy in the end! I love the line where Eric Stolz's character says "You knew you were going to get them(the earrings) and she said "I hoped." It was one of those "awww" moments teenage girls dream of!

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  19. "the arrival of the swimsuit issue was a deeply spiritual annual event"

    Ha ha! I really enjoyed Some Kind of Wonderful. That's a good question Suze asked--how'd you like Ally in War Games? At first I thought you had an autographed photo of your crush. :D

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    1. Apologies for repeating some from my comment above...

      Sheedy was cute enough, I suppose. I think it says a lot for Matthew Broderick's talent, though, that even at that young age, he managed to be THE screen presence for all of his films. I don't really remember much about the love interest part of the story.

      Alas, I don't have a signed photo. I had a tough time finding a screen shot with just her. The headshot-style photo above was the best option. It captures the cute, but not so much the cuddly that I found so endearing.

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  20. Sports Illustrated was a deeply spiritual experience--good one! It's so funny hearing guys talk about crushes. Very cute. I'm #57 in the bloghop.

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  21. Never saw ST.Elmo's fire....but she looks a bit like Princess Di to me. And I loved that you included the figure skater...I used love watching Olympics and World championships once upon a time especially gymnastics and Skating

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  22. Ireland... love that place... 'nuff said :)

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  23. Kathy Ireland was very hot! I think she's stood the test of time. Many SI models are the flavor of the month and come and go, but Kathy Ireland remains one of the most beautiful women.

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  24. I've heard of all of these ladies but don't know much about any of them.


    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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  25. I like the idea of a crush on a character rather than the actress! I have a huge crush now on Jude Law but only in Cold Mountain! I tried and failed to like him in The Holiday - I think it was the side-parting that put me off... Nice to meet you and thanks for the follow :-)

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  26. A character crush! How lovely & unexpected! I have a character crush on the late Andy Whitfield's Spartacus. *blushes* Whoa, that Kathy Ireland...she was hot. BTW - thanks for the follow. I'm trying to follow back but Blogger is is being a butthead. I'll keep trying though.

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  27. Nice post, and your crushes were definitely cute and/or sexy! hehe

    I also know what you mean about having character crushes - I love Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, but most of his other roles don't really do it for me. ;)

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  28. Ally Sheedy was great in The Breakfast Club.

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  29. I'm late but I couldn't help but chime in - esp. when my first reaction was Leslie Hunter? Who's she? That's Ally Sheedy! But I totally get crushing on a character instead of an actress.

    Now I haven't thought of Katerina Witt in ages!!! I liked her because she seemed above all the shenanigans of the other ice skaters.

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  30. Ally Sheedy has something over Mary Stuart Masterson in that she's published books of poetry http://www.theawl.com/2012/02/the-poetry-of-ally-sheedy

    Sample -
    New Jersey

    Silver Lake
    float away my dreams
    slicing through your waters
    in a conscious jet-ski stream
    rolling toward your ocean
    on the swells of movie themes
    my mind has come apart
    finding liberation in extreme

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