What is it About Blondes?

The world is filled with sayings. And lots of those sayings form part of our collective wisdom, accepted as common knowledge, right or wrong. One of those sayings, a dated one, is “Blondes have more fun.” Whether blonde haired women gain more enjoyment out of life than the rest of us, it certainly seems they attract lots of attention.

Through the years, golden and platinum haired movie stars have garnered plenty of notice; think Jean Harlow, Mae West and Marilyn Monroe, as well as Ms. Monroe’s less famous contemporaries like the late Jayne Mansfield – mother of Law and Order star, Mariska Hargitay and wife of the late Mickey Hargitay, a Mr. Universe and actor – and Mamie Van Doren, who is still alive and by all appearances living la-vida-blonde-bombshell.

In the 1960s, the image of the voluptuous blonde was further promoted, particularly by television actresses like Donna Douglas who played Elly Mae Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, Melody Patterson known for her role as Wrangler Jane on F Troop, the late Sigrid Valdis – wife of the late Bob Crane – as Hilda on Hogan’s Heroes and none other than Barbara Eden on I Dream of Jeannie, to name a few.

The ‘60s also gave us Elizabeth Montgomery playing Samantha Stevens in Bewitched, Beverly Owen as Marilyn Munster in The Munsters and Goldie Hawn, of Private Benjamin and The First Wives Club fame, in Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. Oh, and Ms. Hawn is the mother of talented blonde actress, Kate Hudson.

Not to be forgotten, from that period, is blonde “sex kitten” of French cinema renown, Brigitte Bardot. Other famous, foreign blondes would come along in later years. Two “Bri-blondes,” blonde haired women with names beginning with “Bri” are Britt Ekland and Brigitte Nielson.

Ms. Ekland, born in Sweden, is most famous as a Bond girl. She was in 1974’s 007 film, The Man With the Golden Gun, starring Roger Moore as James Bond. She was married to actor Peter Sellers, with whom she had a daughter, Victoria Sellers, and was later romantically involved with rock star Rod Stewart. She wrote a book, True Brit.

Brigitte Nielson, born in Denmark, starred in the 1980s in Red Sonja with Arnold Schwarzenegger. She would marry Sylvester Stallone and appear with him in two films, Rocky IV and Cobra. Nielson divorced Stallone and has been noted for relationships with former New York Jet Mark Gastineau and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy fame.

Each passing decade has presented us with blondes who’ve been looked to for their aesthetic appeal. The 1970s gave us Farrah Fawcett, as Jill Munroe, in the first incarnation of Charlie’s Angels, a then popular television show. Fans of Ms. Fawcett will recall she died at a relatively young age, on June 25th, 2009, the same day as King of Pop Michael Jackson and a couple of weeks before venerable, CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite. (What a sad time that was!) It’s worth mentioning that The Gloved One was married, for a while, to blonde Debbie Rowe.

The 1970s’ Charlie’s Angels also included blondes Cheryl Ladd, as Kris Munroe, and Shelley Hack, as Tiffany Welles. Tanya Roberts, another angel, was not blonde in the show but eventually went that way, making a film outing as a golden haired gal in 1984’s Sheena and then as Bond girl, Stacey Sutton in 1985’s A View to A Kill, starring Roger Moore as 007, and Christopher Walken as villain Max Zoren. Roberts would go on, in later years, to a recurring role, as Midge Pinciotti, in That 70s Show.

Contemporary Charlie’s Angels fans will remember the gorgeous Cameron Diaz as blonde hottie, Natalie Cook, in both 2000s Angels movies. Rachael Taylor is the presumptive blonde cutie for the latest Charlie’s Angels flick, in her role as Abby Sampson, which according to IMDB.com is currently filming.

The 1980s gave us such blonde glamour gals as Heather Locklear, who was on the small screen simultaneously in Dynasty and T.J. Hooker and another, but no lesser blonde Heather, in Heather Thomas, who worked opposite Lee Majors in The Fall Guy.

Dabbling in a game of six degrees of blonde separation connects some extraordinary light haired women. Heather Locklear played opposite the stunning Linda Evans in Dynasty. Linda Evans was married to John Derek who had been married to the sultry, blonde Ursula Andress – who played Honey Rider in the 007 film Dr. No opposite Bond Sean Connery.

John Derek was also married to blonde Bo Derek, who was in the aptly named film 10, starring Dudley Moore. Oh and Linda Evans was in the TV show The Big Valley, which featured Lee Majors in the role of Heath Barkley. Mr. Majors played in the Six Million Dollar Man, a show resulting in a spin off, The Bionic Woman, which starred Lindsay Wagner.

Lee Majors was married to Farrah Fawcett and starred in the television show The Fall Guy with previously mentioned blonde stunner Heather Thomas. Heather Thomas shares a name with Heather Locklear who was friends of blonde Denise Richards who was married to Charlie Sheen. Charlie Sheen starred in Two and a Half Men, where Jenny McCarthy guest starred. The blonde hits just keep on coming.

Of course, looking at blondes in pop culture and the impact they’ve had, via the big or small screen, no list could be complete without the inclusion of perennial blonde vixen and Playboy cover gal, the always fun Pamela Anderson. Ms. Anderson first claimed television fame on Home Improvement, opposite Tim Allen, as Lisa, the “Tool Time” girl and most famously as C.J. Parker on Baywatch.

The music industry has been home, over the years, to any number of women who were natural blondes or took a blonde turn, presumably to capture the imagination of the public.

Blonde, gone blonde or part time blonde singers include Joey Heatherton, Susan Anton, Pia Zadora, Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, Debbie Harry of, yes that’s right, Blondie, the late Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics, Dolly Parton, Madonna – remember the Blonde Ambition tour – Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera – Spears and a brunette Aguilera shared a kiss with Madonna on the MTV Music Awards in 2003 – Jessica Simpson, Avril Lavigne, Stefani Germanotta – the inimitable, Lady Gaga – and Latinas, Charo, Thalía, Paulina Rubio ( “rubio” means blond in Spanish,) Shakira – whose hips don’t lie – and Gloria Trevi.

There have been movies celebrating blondeness. Marilyn Monroe’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes comes to mind. But more recently, Legally Blonde and Legally Blonde 2 starring Reese Witherspoon, worked to debunk the dumb blonde stereotype.

Even pro-wrestling fans are not left out when it comes to the blonde bombshell sweepstakes. Their most famous winning ticket was none other than Rena Mero, who appeared as Sable in the WWE in the 1990s and 2000s, was married to pro-wrestler Marc Mero, divorced him and later married pro-wrestling ring king, pro-football wannabe and UFC former champ, Brock Lesnar. And lest we forget, she’s had a few Playboy magazine covers to boot.

Then there’s the late Anna Nicole Smith, who to many, particularly when she was at her best, personified the big, beautiful blonde. She like Marilyn Monroe, Farrah Fawcett, Pamela Anderson, Rena Mero and others, appeared in Playboy Magazine.

Indeed, Playboy has done a lot to promote blonde-appeal. There are Playboy blondes Jenny McCarthy and Shannon Tweed who came to prominence through the magazine. More recently, there’s the trifecta of blonde-dom from E Entertainment’s The Girls Next Door: Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson. The show was cancelled but those gals still get attention.

Holly Madison currently stars in the production, Peep Show, at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Unsurprisingly, the adult entertainment industry is no stranger to blonde starlets. There’s Marilyn Chambers – who was reputed to be an Ivory Snow girl and passed away in her 50s – blonder than blonde Seka, Amber Lynn, Janine Lindemulder – who along with Julia Ann went on to form Blondage, a traveling strip club act – and Jenna Jameson, to name but a few blondes who’ve gained notoriety through naughtiness.

And the beautiful blonde hit parade continues right up until today, including someone who’s became famous by way of reality television. The Hills’ Heidi Montag – also now a Playboy alumna – is a somewhat controversial blonde, calling to mind, at least partially, the essence of a Barbie doll while providing fodder for dialog and debate over plastic surgery. She’s not the only blonde who has come to prominence via reality television. Can you say Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie?

We should not overlook the fact that actress Lindsay Lohan, who garners quite a bit of tabloid attention, is a sometimes blonde.

Years ago, sensationalist reporting was referred to as “yellow journalism.” Today, in the age of image, some television news outlets have caught on to the allure of blondes and might be performing what some consider “yellow-haired journalism,” having a preponderance of blonde haired woman as on air news personalities.

Is it only a matter of time until the glowing power of golden locks is injected into the United States’ national debt and deficit dialog? Will President Obama face off against Speaker of the House John Boehner and debate ways in which plastic surgery bills can be cut down, by instead leaving overhauls of looks to a change of hair color and resolving aesthetics deficits through a bottle of peroxide?

Just to be fair, we’ll toss in a token male blond – by the way, when it’s a guy there is no “e” as in blonde. Who could forget former Mr. Universe, “The Blond Bomber” Dave Draper. Dave guest starred in The Beverly Hillbillies opposite Donna Douglas. Uh oh! Back to six degrees of blonde separation.

In closing, whether it’s because their blonde locks work as a visual beacon or because they’ve dared break out the peroxide bottle, attractive blonde haired women garner our attention and will continue to do so.

Then again, the expression, “Blondes have more fun, but brunettes get things done,” comes to mind. Hmmm, smoldering brunettes; that’s a topic that will have to wait for another day, but the list is sure to be long as well.

Image: luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You can reach me with your questions and comments at Jay@CYinterview.com Like today’s column? Check back frequently.

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