TV Guide has published another of its 50th anniversary lists
that leave something to be desired. This time they’ve presented what
they consider the 50 sexiest tv stars. The list can be found at http://www.tvguide.com
Click on 50th anniversary then on sexiest stars.
The list has two problems. First it attempts
to place both men and women on the same list. Second, whoever chose the
women favors skinny women, ignoring some much sexier full-figured gals
like “WKRP’s” sexy receptionist, Jennifer Marlowe( Loni Anderson).
Many of the sexiest women on television over the last 50 years were left
off the list in favor of unsexy women like Peggy Lipton, Julie Barnes on
“Mod Squad”, and Jennifer Aniston, Rachel Green on “Friends”(the
90's series rather than the short-lived 1979 series). The list also seems
lacking in sexy nonwhite women other than Diahann Carroll.
Jennifer Garner made the list, but I saw
her and “Laugh In” go-go girl Goldie Hawn on the “Tonight Show”
within a few days of each other. Hawn was not only sexier then than Garner
is, she is sexier now.
Placing men and women on the same list
makes no sense because there is no way to compare the two. For example,
I agree with their assessment that Mary Ann(Dawn Wells) is sexier than
Ginger(Tina Louise), but I don’t understand how to determine if Bo Duke(John
Schneider) is sexier than Mary Ann. But, then I’ve never understood why
Burt Reynolds is considered sexy.
The lists really should have been printed
as the 25 sexiest women and the 25 sexiest men, or maybe they should have
printed separate issues with one containing the 50 sexiest women and the
other the 50 sexiest men. I don’t know whether such men as “The Saint[ly]”
James Bond, Roger Moore, are sexier than any of the men on the list, but
I would have expected him to be on a list of the tv’s sexiest men along
with one of the premier Latin lovers, the proprietor of “Fantasy Island”
Mr Roarke (Ricardo Montalbon).
I agree with the choice of “The Avenger’s”
Mrs. Emma Peel(Diana Rigg) as the sexiest woman, but I believe there are
a couple of women who should be between her and one of LA’s sexiest detectives
“Policewoman” Pepper Anderson(Angie Dickinson). The receptionist at
“WKRP in Cincinnati” Jennifer Marlowe(Loni Anderson) and vivacious
student Blair Warner(Lisa Whelchel) on “The Facts of Life” are the
type of women the average man doesn’t even consider asking out for a
date because he figures they would only go out with someone on the list
of sexiest men like Burt Reynolds.
While on the subject of sexy cops, another
sexy female detective premiered in September, 1974, Teresa Graves who played
the title role in “Get Christie Love” is more deserving of being on
the list than a half dozen or more who made the list. I’m not sure if
I would rank Christie Love above Pepper Anderson. They were both sexy cops.
“Mod Squad’s” Julie Barnes(Peggy Lipton) wasn’t. In the magazine
explanations of the reasons for the selection, they suggest that Julie
Barnes had a “smoldering sexyness”. “Mod Squad” was one of my favorite
shows. I always thought she looked more spaced out than sexy.
“T. J. Hooker” wasn’t formally about
the LAPD, but it featured a very sexy cop named Stacy Sheridan(Heather
Lochlear) who did more to make the show worth watching than Hooker’s(
William Shatner) bad driving. People are probably more familiar with Lochlear’s
performances on “Melrose Place” as Amanda Woodward.
Incidentally, “Melrose Place” also
featured another sexy woman, former Miss America Vanessa Williams. I didn’t
watch the program so I don’t know if her character Rhonda Blair was sexy
or not, but based on other observations of her I would rank her above many
on the list. I mention her name because I find it hard to believe that
there is only one black woman who ranks among the sexiest women in the
first 50 years of television. I know black woman haven’t always gotten
their fair share of tv roles, but certainly there should be more than one
who could make the list, particularly considering the limited sex appeal
of some of the stars on the list like Peggy Lipton, Jennifer Garner and
Jennifer Aniston. Teresa Graves as Christie Love on “Get Christie Love”
would be one obvious choice.
I also find it hard to believe there aren’t
any sexy Latin women on the list. Rita Moreno is one such woman who comes
to mind, although I’m not sure she has had roles that portray her as
sexy. There is one “hispanic” woman who definitely should be high on
the list, although Mrs. Xavier Cugat is Spanish rather than Latin. She
played Raul’s Aunt Charo on “Chico and the Man”. Charo also played
the recurring role of April Lopez on “The Love Boat”. I don’t understand
how she could have missed the list, unless it’s because she doesn’t
have the right(slender) body type.
Most men would agree that the two most
visible assets of the star of “Dolly”(Dolly Parton) qualifies her as
a very sexy woman. She certainly is sexier than Cher of “The Sonny and
Cher Show” who made the TV Guide list. I might include Cher, but I would
place her below Dolly Parton.
Jill Monroe(Farrah Fawcett) isn’t the
only one of “Charlie’s Angels” who belongs on the list of sexiest
women. Jill’s sister Kris(Cheryl Ladd) beats most of the women on TV
Guide’s list as does Kelly Garrett(Jacklyn Smith).
The Angels weren’t the only sexy tv PI’s.
TV Guide was correct to choose PI “Honey West”(Anne Francis). However,
they ignored the sexy proprietor of the Blue Moon Detective agency on “Moonlighting”
Maddie Hayes(Cybil Shepherd).
“Sam” wasn’t a detective, but she
forwarded phone messages to “Richard Diamond, Private Detective”. Viewers
only saw the mystery woman’s sexy legs and heard her sexy voice. Her
real name wasn’t even listed in the credits.
The most well known of the two women who
played “Sam” later was involved in a controversy about the display
of her legs as Laura Petrie on “The Dick Van Dyke Show”. CBS wasn’t
enthusiastic about Mary Tyler Moore showing the sexy shape of her legs
by wearing tight fitting capri pants, but allowed her to do so part of
the time. Roxanne Brooks was the other “Sam”.
Jennifer Hart(Stefanie Powers) wasn’t
a detective either, but she and husband Jonathan(Robert Wagner) solved
murders on “Hart to Hart”. I don’t think she was particularly sexy
as spy April Dancer on “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.”
Lisa Casey(Linda Day George) was a much
sexier American 60's era spy on “Mission Impossible”. “Get Smart”
Agent 99(Barbara Feldon) was also very sexy at times, although her partner
Maxwell Smart was too dense to recognize it. Diana Prince(Linda Carter)
aka “Wonder Woman”, who also worked for a fictional government agency,
was sexier than either of them.
Capt. Frank Furillo’s(Daniel J. Travanti)
bunk mate Joyce Davenport(Veronica Hamel) defended accused criminals instead
of arresting them on “Hill Street Blues”, but she was sexier than many
female crime fighters and sexier than most of the women on TV Guide’s
Julie Newmar perpetuated crimes as “Batman”
nemesis Catwoman instead of fighting them. I would agree with TV Guide
on this selection. Daisy Duke(Catherine Bach) of the “Dukes of Hazzard”
is another selection I agree with. Daisy was occasionally accused of crimes
by Boss Hogg(Sorrell Booke). Bach would have been sexy even without the
skimpy clothes and spike heels Daisy Duke wore most of the time.
Crime fighters and spies certainly weren’t
the only sexy women on tv. It’s just that women in such roles were more
encouraged to emphasize their sexuality. The other common female role of
mom didn’t provide women much opportunity to appear sexy. Laura Petrie
was about as sexy as a mom could be in the early years of television.
Viewers had to wait until 1981 for a really
sexy mom, the mini-skirted Stella Johnson(Barbara Eden) on “Harper Valley
P.T.A.”. Eden made TV Guide’s list for her title role in “I Dream
of Jeanie”. Eden, like Moore, generated controversy over the display
of her body except Eden’s problem area was her navel, which the network
required to be covered. Eden had previously appeared in the Marilyn Monroe
role of Loco Jones on the tv version of “How to Marry a Millionaire”
I suspect that there have been some sexy
women on daytime soap operas, but TV Guide didn’t name any to its list.
I’m not familiar enough with soap operas to suggest any characters from
them. Susan Lucci might be one possibility.
TV Guide avoided the difficulty of choosing
among the different women of “Baywatch” by naming them collectively
to the list. They should have done the same thing with the “Hee Haw”
TV Guide recognized the sexiness of Andra
Barkley(Linda Evans) of “Big Valley”. Another western star deserves
at least an honorable mention. Miss Kitty Russell( Amanda Blake) of “Gunsmoke”
may not meet today’s standards for sexiness. Miss Kitty might appear
overly made-up by today’s standards, but her appearance would have marked
her as a real woman of the world in her day and time. She had seen and
done things most “good women” of the day were not supposed to know
Miss Kitty had likely been a “soiled
dove”, as members of the world’s oldest profession were then known,
and a “madam”. Even if she hadn’t had a tall boyfriend who wore a
badge on his chest and a “big iron on his hip”, her favors would have
been reserved for men with much more status than the average cowhand.
Another woman deserving of at least honorable
mention is the woman the singer’s “heart is on fire for”, Elvira
Mistress of the Dark the horror movie hostess. “Xena: Warrior Princess”(Lucy
Lawless) is another unconventional sex symbol.
I have mixed feelings about the inclusion
of Dobie Gillis’s dream girl, Thalia Menninger(Tuesday Weld). I’m not
sure the young and innocent look is sexy. At the time I could see why Dobie
was interested in her even though to me she was an “older woman”. If
high school age girls are to be considered than Annette Funicello is another
possibility. A better choice would be Nicole Chapman(Nia Peeples) of “Fame”.
The nurse with the hottest lips in Korea,
Maj. Margaret Houlihan(Loretta Swit) of “M*A*S*H”“ 4077 is more deserving
of being on the list than many of those suggested by TV Guide.
This list has the same problem of TV Guide’s other lists. They seem to feel the need to include many current stars who may be better known, but don’t really belong on the list. There were sexy women on 90's programs. Heather Lochlear is one. “Baywatch” woman Pamela Anderson, more recently of “V.I.P.” is another.
I also write at Mediard
You can support this site through PayPal.