I was thinking the other day that most of the male heroes in Hollywood, especially after the 50’s, had dark hair. The prototypical hero is handsome and has dark eyes and hair, it seems, in the manner of James Bond. I’m trying to think of good guys with blond hair, and the only ones that come to mind are Hutch from Starsky and Hutch and Luke Skywalker. I’m sure there are others, but my point is it’s hard to think of them.
I have a theory about this: that after World War II, blonde came to mean “Germanic,” which of course meant NAZI. Furthermore, during and after the Cold War, blonde also meant “Russian.”
This train of thought was spurred by a discussion with friends about the much-maligned choice of Daniel Craig to play James Bond, a choice which I think is very poor. Not only is Craig not handsome, I said, he’s blonde! Bond can’t be blonde!
Can anyone think of some examples of blonde-haired heroes?
Funny you should mention James Bond. IIRC, there are people who are upset because they feel that having pale blond (or white haired) villians is furthering a social stigma on people who suffer from ablinoism and things of that nature. Pardon me if I did not use the correct terms, I mean no offense.
It’s the tall-dark-and-handsome cliche, writ large. Virility and masculinity, rather than paleness (=weakness). Look at old movies: the sparkly blond hair of Leslie Howard just seem iconically more feminine than Clark Gable’s sable helmet, due largely I think to the feminity associated with the platinum blonde starlet. Blond is a chick’s color; darker is manlier.
There may be a handful of cases that reference the Nazis, such as the main henchman in Tomorrow Never Dies. In general I can’t put much truck in this theory, because Hollywood hasn’t exactly suffered a shortage of blonde females during the past sixty years.
There have been blonde heroes, such as the guy who rode the motorcycle in The Great Escape. (The name escapes me at the moment.) If they’re rare, maybe it’s because real blondes are rare. Only a tiny number of people remain blonde past the age of twenty-five.
Charlton Heston, James Franciscus, Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, Matt Damon, Lloyd Bridges, Buster Crabbe, Martin Milner, Guy Madison, Alan Ladd, Chuck Connors, Ron Ely, Doug McClure, Brad Pitt, Jon Voight, Nelson Eddy.