That Smokin’ Hot Season of Love

“Hart to Hart” ‘s Stephanie Powers and co-star Robert Wagner appeared in this husband/wife detective series that ran in the early 80’s.

Do you remember, in elementary school, when we anxiously awaited the last hour of school, to get the cards from classmates who’d deposited them all week in the Valentine Box? The excitement mounted, as the teacher opened the container decorated with red crepe paper and white doilies.  She dumped the contents onto her desk, and then disbursed them. A few kids got a ton of cards and some kids got almost none. If you were in the former group, you let them mount in a visible spot on your desk, testament to your popularity. It was before the day schools set up policies, mandating: “If students give out cards, they must give them to everyone.” No such protection existed in our day, and we all learned where we stood on the “attractiveness meter.”

The other night, CNN’s Piers Morgan, the British host of the CNN program by the same name, quizzed former glamour queen actresses of their day as to what makes a man “attractive.” His guests were: Linda Evans (John Forsythe’s wife in “Dallas”), “Hart to Hart” wife Stephanie Powers whose 9-year love affair with actor William Holden was a smoldering legend, sexy Angie Dickinson, of “Police Woman,” and “Ocean’s Eleven” fame,  Star Trek’s Lt. Uhura, of the USS Enterprise, Nichelle Nichols.

Interestingly enough, none of the women named George Clooney, Johnny Depp, or any of the regulars in the “Hot Males” category.  Oh, I know…You’re thinking:  “C’mon, these babes are way past their prime…They probably don’t even know these guys exist.” 

“Not true.”…These women are all in the Hollywood mainstream, working professionally. After all, they’re younger than Betty White who’s hit a career crescendo as result of a Super Bowl ad, a guest-host gig on Saturday Night Live, and the success of her weekly show, “Hot in Cleveland.”

They’ve had considerable experience on the Love Train, too.

So, when Piers asked this panel of women which men they’d most like to “be with,” we listened with rapt attention. Seventy-nine-year-old Angie Dickinson said she’d like to spend significant time with Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of England in WW II.  Why Churchill?  She suspects the man who held Great Britain together during the German air raids, the one who pressed his countrymen to persevere, would be  wonderfully interesting.

Why did she find the short, rotund man with ever-present cigar so attractive? She felt he had marvelous stories to tell… stories she wanted to hear. She admitted she’d lie, curled up, listening to him as he spun his tales recounting events or fascinating characters he’d met on the world stage. His gruffness never deterred her.

Ironically, she didn’t want a reconnect with former sex symbol, Frank Sinatra (he used to croon to her). Angie’s choice confirmed for this older woman what I’ve noted:  In later years, we all seem to finally “Get it” and evaluate our mates differently.

Oh, I’ve jokingly told contemporaries:  “All a man has to do (to attract a mate) at 55+ is breathe.” They don’t have to be physically handsome, run marathons, know how to fix things, make a boatload of money, pepper their conversations with wit.

No, they don’t have to be these…but we want them to have other traits.

Mature women look for kindness, sense of humor, compatibility (shared interests), generosity (of time and energy) and reasonably good health in a mate… maybe even in that order. Oh, she considers her prospective partner’s financial situation (I’m talking ‘adequate’), since she knows there’ll be big expenses ahead with fewer opportunities to replenish.

Looks and swagger no longer impress…We’ve seen how those play out.

And what of Angie Dickinson’s preference for the mate who’s a storyteller? If a man has the other requisite qualities (listed above), I can think of no better way to spend time than with a colorful character who can spin yarns on life.

Biddy offers:  In the love game, we get smarter with age and learn what really matters.  So, if you’ve not found your ideal mate yet, keep looking and remember that Betty White (turned 89 on January 17) and Winston Churchill have become the new standard for “Who’s Hot?”

That’s encouragement for us all.

Now, I ask:  What’s your idea of ‘hot’?  Click on “Leave a Comment” or “Comments”–below–and tell us. Your e-mail address is never given out.  Promise.

About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog,, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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