Sexual Icons Of My Youth: Leif Garrett

He may have been many people's teen idol of choice in the late 1970s, but I confess that I never exactly went insane over Leif Garrett. He was awfully pretty and all, and goodness knows that he was never afraid to put himself on display, but he was missing something, some vital pop that would have put him in the top tier of boys I lusted over.

 Put it this way: he is in The Outsiders, a movie that I watched practically daily for a six month period, and I never minded much when his character was killed at the end of the first act, and not just because he was good at portraying asshat soc Bob, but because, meh, who cares about Leif Garrett when you've got the likes of Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, and my ultimate 80s dreamboat C. Thomas Howell?  But, as I said before, he was super pretty, and if his music, acting, and personality never set my soul on fire, if I happened to see a picture of him on the cover of a magazine wearing nothing but teeny running shorts, there was a good chance that I might hold that image in my mind for quiet time later that evening.   I certainly paid attention when he spent nearly all of Peter Lundy and the Medicine Hat Stallion with his blousy shirt unbuttoned to the naval. 


Anonymous said…
He certainly was pretty but Ralph M was always my favourite. Still love the original Karate Kid. (Stupid remake with Will Smith's brat). Sadly, LG is nothing to look at these days. Not even a handsome man. - Ian
Pitbullshark said…
For some reason, Leif Garrett never moved me at all. I can't even think of ever hearing his music, or if I did, it just went in one ear and out the other. And I had forgotten that he was even in "The Outsiders"! To me, the three brightest lights in that movie were C. Thomas Howell (my particular number one in that movie), Matt Dillon, and Ralph Macchio (whose character I liked better than I liked his looks). Rob Lowe I began to like better as he got older.

It's very fun seeing these, though; I like it when you present these "Sexual Icons Of My Youth".
Anonymous said…
Vera, I recently saw the young Lief pop up on an episode of 'Wonder Woman.' But definitely he did look rather amazing in the Peter Lundy film. But I wonder if the film's director was manipulating him. As you said, in almost every scene his shirt was undone in a teasing way, perhaps to tease those nipple hunters out there. And almost in a similar way when straight men are trying to look down a beautiful girls teasingly open blouse. But would anyone recognize the Lief Garrett of today.

I did see a full side on nude pic of Lief. He was lying on one of those deep fluffy floor rugs and he only looked around 12 or 13. He looked just like your second pic down (b/w). I don't think that could be done these days

So as Tom mentioned 'Sexual Icons Of My Youth.' I wonder if that could become a regular blogging idea. Which reminds me. I caught a late night movie last week featuring late 70's/ 80's blonde bombshell Lance Kerwin. Hint hint!
Pitbullshark said…
Dee--Lance Kerwin--a GREAT idea! He was definitely another very strong stand-out in the "bombshell" department!
Vera said…
Ian- You are correct that Leif today is no longer a beauty, and displays more than the usual wear and tear for a man his age. He is very slightly older than me. I don't consider myself to be good looking or well-preserved, but I don't think I'd trade places with him.

Pitbullshark- Not surprising to me that we have the same reaction to the cast of The Outsiders. For me, although there was plenty of male pulchritude to be seen in that movie, Tommy Howell shined so bright that I barely noticed the others.

Deejohn- I believe that Leif was sexually exploited as a child. If you look at the pictures of him in teen magazines from when he was 12 or 13, they are highly sexualized in every way. In fact, I doubt that they could appear in today's mainstream media without all kinds of alarm bells going off. In films and TV shows he was presented in, as you mention, a deliberately teasing way. If you had asked at the time they would have said it was to attract girls, but I think they had another demographic in mind as well.

Funny that you should mention Lance Kerwin, because I almost wrote about him in this post. I was going to mention that even though Lance was not the kind of classic beauty that Leif was, Lance had exactly the "pop" I was talking about, and I was always on the lookout for anything he was in.
Anonymous said…
Leif's life went horribly down, another bad example for a teen star who fell from stardom. Look out, Justin!!

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