Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

David Cassidy to Richard Armitage, My ever changing taste in men!

A Tiger Beat from 1972 which is probably where I got my poster of David Cassidy
After seeing way too much of Justin Beiber lately, I got thinking about my first love, David Cassidy.  I had a poster of him on my bedroom wall in about 1972 which I had to take down because I was too shy to undress in front of it. True story. I used to hide behind my bed and wiggle out of my clothes, convinced that his eyes were following me. I still watched a lot of The Partridge Family after this but that was the end of my David Cassidy phase, the only remnant of which is my old Partridge Family Album (LP of course).

Pa Ingalls (Michael Landon) was another early crush

Michael Landon was probably my next minor crush, as I watched Little House on the Prairie every week. I loved the books and I adored the television show. I still have my "autographed" photo of the Little House cast as I sent a fan letter to California in the 1970s and they sent me the photo in return. I think I liked Pa Ingalls more as a father figure, but he was rather cute. I wished I was Half-Pint for a good chunk of the 1970s.

As you wish, Westley (Cary Elwes)
The 1980s were a rather quiet time for my crushes as I was in University for most of the decade and too busy for such nonsense. (OK, not true, but not much money for movies, no cable, and VCRs were something you rented from the video store in a big silver case).
However, 1987 brought me not only my future husband, but also Westley (aka Cary Elwes) who are forever united in my mind as The Princess Bride was our first date movie. Ah, Westley. Sigh! As you wish...

Oh, Mr. Darcy! Colin Firth was my 1990s crush
1995 brought me my Mr. Darcy.  Pride and Prejudice came onto Canadian television the winter I was at home on maternity leave with my second son. I was smart enough to tape the entire five episodes on my VCR as I had seen a photo of Colin Firth in a cravat and Jennifer Ehle in a bonnet on the cover of our TV Times that first week and I was hooked. I knew nothing of the actors and I knew nothing of Jane Austen. I know! Gasp in horror if you will, but I had studied science for six years of University with not one literature course on my transcript. I had just started reading the Bronte sisters' works and gleefully started reading all six Austen novels that year. Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility came out later that year as did the film adaptation of Persuasion. Then in 1996, Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma hit the theatres. Wow, the 1990s were really good to me. Lots of lovely leading men in these films too. Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Ciaran Hinds and Jeremy Northam.

Hugh Grant as Edward Ferrars

Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon

Ciaran Hinds as Captain Wentworth

Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley
Yes, the 90s were a very good decade. But this new millennium has brought lots of cuties as well. I have to say the big one for me has been Mr. Thornton, otherwise known as Richard Armitage in the 2004 adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's North & South. For any of you not lucky enough to have seen this one, I am not talking about the 80s Civil War miniseries, I am talking about the BBC miniseries about a man from the industrial North of England and a woman from the bucolic South of England and their story. You know how it goes. Boy sees girl. Boy likes girl. Girl dislikes boy. Boy pursues her anyway and is rebuffed. Girl realizes she is a fool and that she has greatly misjudged this sexy guy. There is a misunderstanding. They are separated. They are reunited. They kiss at a train station. Sigh!
Richard Armitage as Mr. Thornton.
Even my husband aka The Squire, admits that Richard Armitage is a handsome man. He never understood what I saw in Colin Firth however. I can't explain it to him. He has Michelle Pfeiffer, so it's all good!

Of course, I am rather fickle with my "crushes". I have had a few sighs over Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley in the new 2009 version of Emma.

Jonny Lee Miller. Angelina Jolie has good taste in men (except for Billy Bob!)
And I have a few blogging buddies who rather fancy Hugh Bonneville as the Earl of Grantham in Downton Abbey. I can see his appeal although my sister disagrees as she can only picture him as the doltish Mr. Rushworth in Mansfield Park 1999. Personally, I began to find him attractive in Daniel Deronda, even though he played a baddie, he was a sexy baddie. Actually, that film also has the lovely Hugh Dancy in the titular role. And it has Romola Garai wearing some of the most gorgeous Victorian dresses I've ever seen.
Daniel Deronda- two Hughs and some fabulous dresses

Sorry Richard, it looks like I may have to watch either Daniel Deronda this week, or finish watching my DVD of Downton Abbey for the second time. So many leading men, so little time.


  1. Jenny, that's something else we have in common - I only discovered who Jane Austen was in 1995 as well! In my case, it was Emma Thompson's S&S which led to me reading P&P so I could reward myself with watching Firth & Ehle who I had seen in passing and somehow knew that I would love it! (I didn't study English lit either! Math and psychology were my subjects but I never much cared for studying literature anyway for fear of it taking all the fun out of it!)

  2. I think I'm older than you, so I had a crush on Michael Landon when he played Little Joe on Bonanza. I also liked the lead singer for the Monkees and David Cassidy. But my true crushes were on the stars from the 1930s and 1940s like Cary Grant and Tyrone Power. I had no idea how old they were.

  3. P.S. You have excellent taste in men. I really am quite taken with Hugh Bonneville and Brendan Coyle.

  4. Cheryl
    Yes, 1995 was a wonderful year wasn't it? And I agree with you about studying literature. I would rather just read and enjoy. I hated being forced to "compare and contrast" in English class!

  5. Mary
    The singer for The Monkees was Davy Jones and he was English, so of course I loved him too. Did you ever see the episode of The Brady Bunch where Marsha gets Davy Jones to come to her school? He even kissed her on the cheek! Marsha, Marsha, Marsha...she gets all the fun.

    I think both you and Cheryl from Enchanted Serenity of Period Films above were the two blog friends I was thinking about when I referred to fellow Hugh B fanciers. And you both posted comments! Lovely!

  6. Oh my goodness! A kindred spirit. I too took science at University and was unfamiliar with Jane Austen until I saw Sense and Sensibility (1995). I was amazed that such stories existed and also promptly read all of Jane's books and have been a ravenous fan of British period films ever since. I watched North and South last week based of your recommendation, and have a new favourite. My husband has even become a fan of this genre and really enjoyed Downton Abbye and North and South. Thanks so much for this excellent blog.

  7. Hi Olga!
    I'm thrilled to meet another period drama addict who was converted through the combined genius of Jane Austen and Emma Thompson. If they only knew how much happiness they have bestowed on ladies all over the planet!
    So glad you like my blog. I tell my sister that I write this stuff in my head all the time anyway, so I might as well type it out and share it!
    And your husband has excellent taste in film and in women. He's a keeper!

  8. What lovely pictures and leading men! You have good taste, Jenny! Cary Elwes and Jermey Northam would most definitely be on my list too!

  9. Hi Jenny:
    Thanks for the kind words.
    Have you heard of the stage play adaptation of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein that Danny Boyle is putting on in London this coming March? It will star Johnny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch. They will take turns playing Frankenstein and his monster on alternate nights. Are you also familiar with "National Theatre Live?" Once per month Cineplex Odeon Theatres accross Canada (and other countries) live stream British plays. I watched King Lear last week and Pheadra starring Helen Mirren in the fall. They are broadcasting Frankenstein on March 17 with Johnny Lee Miller as the Dr. and then again a week later as the monster.
    Here is a story about the play:

    Here is a link to "National Theatre Live" in case anyone wants to find a participating theatre in their area:

    Also a movie which I didn't see mentioned on your site which I really enjoyed was "Under the Greenwood Tree" starring Keely Hawes. Simply lovely. Here's a link to that also

    Have a great day!

  10. Hi Olga,
    This is great! My Jane Austen Film Club really is becoming a club of like minded individuals, sharing info about great period films.
    I am fascinated with your info about Jonny Lee Miller's latest endeavor although slightly horrified by his bald head in that photo! Gasp! I might have to see him as Dr. Frankenstein if he is going to be made ugly for the monster role.

    Under the Greenwood Tree has been on my wish list for a while but I haven't ordered it yet. I will have to do so on my next Amazon spree. Sounds like a keeper! I hope you will enjoy Keely's sweetheart Matthew Macfadyen in this Sunday's PBS/Masterpiece offering Any Human Heart. I'll be posting my review tomorrow as I was able to see an advance peek at the first episode (of three). It's good! Squee!

  11. Hi Jenny,
    Yes, I agree. I'm most interested in seeing the, Johnny as Victor Frankenstein version as well...although, I'm such a geek, that I will likely see them both just out of curiosity. Ha ha. I suspect the bald head just makes it easier for make-up. I'm in Ottawa, so you might want to make sure they're showing both versions in your area. I suspect they will, but it's always good to check. Cheers.

  12. Hi Olga,

    Yes Frankenstein is showing at the theatre in Waterloo in March. Yay! I would drive to Toronto however as I'm a geek too.
    I sure loved JLM as Mr. Knightley. Swoon!

    Thanks for the info, my Science/Period Drama friend.

  13. Hi Jenny:

    Yes, I too loved JLM in Emma. I like it much better than the 1996 version. I liked Jeremy Northam as Mr. Nightly very much, but not Gweneth. The new version is perfectly cast.
    I first became a big fan of JLM on Eli Stone. I was so disappointed when it was cancelled. One of the best American TV shows I've seen in years. Have you seen him in "The Flying Scotsman?" It's a true story about a Scottish cyclist. Here's a link:

  14. I'm way late to this post but am excited to see I'm not the only one who has crushed on Richard Armitage in "North & South." Love him. Just finished watching it and I was totally riveted. Not sure how I missed it when it first came out.

    I also love Hinds as Captain Wentworth--that version of "Persuasion" is my favorite and makes me bawl my eyes out every time (so I always make sure I'm alone and the door is closed!).

    Your blog is so fun, Jenny! :)

  15. @Julia- I think I called Richard Armitage "Sex in a Cravat" at one point. No offense to David Cassidy but my taste in men has definitely improved! And Ciaran Hinds is heartbreaking isn't he?

    Thanks so much for the lovely compliment. It means so much from the writer of one of my favourite blogs!

  16. Funny, I think I've had a crush on all those men you mentioned, but especially David Cassidy (loved the poster story) and finally Richard Armitage. The last one is the crush of all crushes!




Related Posts with Thumbnails