You might have caught the furore this week when the world’s largest sperm bank called a halt to donations from redheads because supply exceeded demand. In the public interest (and for those in the market for donor sperm) we’d like to remind you all of the finer qualities of the red of hair. Special thanks to Popshifter‘s flame-haired correspondent, Julz Clark Finley, who helped me research this terribly academic article on famous hotties with coppery tresses.
I’m envious: the redhead gene skipped a generation and I have to dye mine cute plum from boring brown (though it did used to go a bit auburn in summer), instead of naturally sparkling like my carrot-haired cousins. Redheads are lucky – naturally exotic in an understated way, like having dark hair and blue eyes. So without further ado (and in no particular order), here’s a reminder why redhead genes are a great idea.
1. Seth Green (Buffy)
The star of most things labelled “cult”, from Buffy to Mass Effect (via Family Guy), Seth Green is one of the coolest people on Earth.
2. Karen Gillan (Doctor Who)
I’m going to take a wild guess that viewing figures went through the roof when the Doctor brought Amy Pond out on his adventures.
3. Eric Stoltz (Caprica)
He first came to prominence as a disfigured teen in Mask, but is probably best remembered as the long-haired dealer with the adrenaline shot in Pulp Fiction.
4. Isla Fisher (The Wedding Crashers)
Remembered by most from Home and Away, Isla got her Hollywood break in the Scooby Doo movie, and is married to Borat.
5. Dave Mustaine (Megadeth)
Cute. As. F***.
6. Bryce Dallas Howard (The Village)
Ron Howard’s daughter dyed her hair blonde for Spider-Man 3, whereas co-star Kirsten Dunst dyed her golden locks red.
7. Robert Redford (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid)
Yeah, that was news to me too, but it turns out the Horse Whisperer‘s natural colour is strawberry blonde.
8. Clara Bow (It)
The original It Girl and Betty Boop inspiration, Clara Bow was one of the biggest movie stars of the 1920s. In 1931, a tabloid newspaper spread vicious rumours as part of a blackmail attempt, starting a number of lingering urban myths about her sex life. The publisher was arrested and sentenced to eight years in jail. Bow retired from acting in 1933 and became a rancher in Nevada.
9. Toby Stephens (Die Another Day)
Mr Rochester in the BBC version of Jane Eyre, Toby is the son of Dame Maggie Smith (Harry Potter) and Sir Robert Stephens (Cleopatra).
10. Nicole Kidman (The Others)
Hard to believe she looked like that once.
11. JG Thirlwell (Foetus)
Like we’re not going to include our favourite music artist!
12. Julianne Moore (Magnolia)
She’s done a lot of great acting in a lot of good films, but my favourite is still the first Jurassic Park sequel.
13. Jimmy Somerville (Bronski Beat)
Yes, I was “WTF” at this suggestion, too, but gay boys like him, so that’s for you guys.
14. Tina Louise (Gilligan’s Island)
I’m going to have to plead ignorance on this one, because Gilligan’s Island never really “happened” over here.
15. Prince Adam (Disney’s Beauty & The Beast)
I had a lengthy conversation with the man who worked in the video shop in Deptford once about our strangest film star crushes. Mine was Prince Adam, AKA “Beast”, whereas he had a thing for Pocahontas.
16. Anita Morris (Nine)
This broadway star was also Danny DeVito’s mistress in Ruthless People.
17. Conan O’Brien
I have to admit that I don’t really “get” this one, either, but the former Saturday Night Live comedian got himself a cult following on The Tonight Show. After some headline-grabbing wranglings, he got himself his own TV show, simply titled Conan.
18. Maureen O’Hara (Miracle on 34th Street)
She might be most famous for Sinbad the Sailor and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but I’ll always know her best as twin Hayley Mills’ mum in The Parent Trap.
19. Ginger Baker (Cream)
Another “WTF” entry, he is at least a rock legend. Baker is best known for his work in Cream and Blind Faith. A self-described jazz drummer, he was cited as an influence on Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason and Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham.
20. Tilda Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin)
The White Witch from the Narnia saga, Swinton has long played on her unusual, androgynous looks to play some pretty memorable roles. She was a great Gabriel in the underrated Constantine, nabbed an Oscar for Michael Clayton, and played characters of both genders in Orlando.
21. Andy Bell (Erasure)
*Looks at list* Are you sure? Another one for the boys-who-like-boys, presumably.
22. Anita Lane (The Birthday Party)
Nick Cave’s ex-girlfriend and muse, this singer-songwriter had an influence on early 80s post-punk music. She wrote three songs for The Birthday Party, but only actually appears on their cover of Death Is Not The End from Cave’s Murder Ballads (not 100% sure on the accuracy of that). Lane has also worked with Einstürzende Neubauten and Die Haut.
23. Daryl Hall (Hall & Oates)
If the mere mention of his name doesn’t trigger the memory of catchy-but-cheesy tunes from the 80s … you’re obviously younger than I am.
24. Mylène Farmer
She’s sold 30 million records in France, apparently.
25. Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind)
Known to most as Mr Jennifer Connelly, Bettany starred in period drama Master and Commander, romcom Wimbledon, and was the voice of Jarvis in the Iron Man films.
I would have included Damian Lewis, but he’s practically indistinguishable from Toby Stephens. I also had Josh Homme, John Waite, and Shaun White on the list, but didn’t think they quite made the grade. I forgot about Nicola Roberts – but featured her recently anyway, so she shouldn’t feel too bad.
Of course, the Harry Potter cast has a fine list of great-looking redheads, but having watching them grow up should make anyone feel like one of those freaky pervert Twilight women for crushing on them. Still, for our younger readers for whom they are totally not off-limits, here are Rupert Grint and Bonnie Wright.
and for us grown-ups, we’re “allowed” Domnhall Gleeson, who played older brother Bill Weasley.
Added in by special request. That game of strip billiards certainly didn’t harm his popularity with the ladies.
and Rita Hayworth
are/were not natural redheads, so had to come off the list. There was also some debate about Lulu, so I left her off, too. Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Florence Welch also dye their hair – as does Patrick Wolf.