Disclaimer: I have omitted the women I have actually dated for fairness to my international audience, who may not be as familiar with the largely non-world-famous women I’ve dated in the real world (CJ – keep working it and you’ll get a disclaimer’s disclaimer), but who would all nonetheless be prominent on this list. (Particularly the one who allows me to write this outside the confines of the homeless shelter.) Hopefully this prevents any unneccesary personal life friction.
Some of you are probably thinking this is a feeble nod to Farrah’s unfortunate passing last Thursday; you’re half correct – she’s on the list, but it’s not a #1 for the entire period 1974-2009, it’s subject to change. My Hottest Woman on Earth ranking is a little bit like the professional tennis rankings – no one’s exactly sure what the exact formula is, and the strong #1’s stay on the perch for a long time. The one key thing that I noticed when collecting my memories to compile this list is that I’m getting fucking old. Old. Some of you young mother fuckers will have to hit the search engines just to figure out who some of these (formerly) young women are. Dammit. Old. Still spry though.
Rest in peace, Farrah.
World’s Hottest Woman, 1974 – 1977: Julie Newmar (Catwoman on Batman)
This name will likely call a little bing.com-ing for those of you who are still in your Goldschläger and Jägermeister phases (and for the sake of the world as we know it, I hope those phases still exist). Or unless you are a big John Leguizamo fan. But for me, true love hit me at five years old. Batman re-runs weren’t even the worst of it – I had an oversized Batman TV show magazine that featured a headshot of Julie Newmar on the inside back cover. My first experience with anguishing love – even at five years old, it seemed like life was hardly worth soldiering through if there was no Julie Newmar to share it with. Sigh. These photos don’t do her justice – trust me on this: holy shit, was she hot.
Since I was only 5-6 years old, these weren’t sexual feelings, of course, more like idealistic longings for the perfect embodiment of beauty and superpowers. And the costume wasn’t too bad either.
Contenders for the crown: None – I was friggin 5-8 years old.
World’s Hottest Woman, 1977 – 1981: Farrah Fawcett-Majors
Given that I hit puberty at age 22, I don’t think I can make the case that I was a quick developer. But I can still vividly recall, to this day, the impact that Farrah had on my nether regions in 1977. Unreal – there is no event in more modern pop culture that I can compare to the debut of Charlie’s Angels. The Britney Spears era of sophomores wearing clothes that would’ve made an 80’s stripper blush comes closest, but still far from the dawn of “jiggle tv.” I can, without my usual dose of propaganda/exaggeration, honestly attest to feeling some kind of weird feelings down below just from seeing her name in the episode description in TV Guide. I was eight years old. I didn’t know what was going on, but something was happening.
Not much I can really add – these pictures tell the story pretty well. Farrah was the quintessential American beauty. And, not to be grotesque at a sad time, but anyone who saw her Playboy spread in 1997 can attest to her eye-poppingly unique endowment (not smuggling erasers, more like smuggling a pair of #2 lead pencils). She was still ultra-fine 20+ years after her heydey – that’s a fucking accomplishment.
Contenders for the crown: While no one got all that close in this era, there started to be more prominent players: Olivia Newton John at the end of Grease, Charlene Tilton of Dallas (she’s, uh, not aged well, but back in the day she could bring it), Bo Derek circa Ten and Tarzan.
World’s Hottest Woman, 1981 – 1988: Veronica Hamel (Joyce Davenport on Hill Street Blues)
This was another case of juvenile infatualion, but for the love of God who could blame me? Joyce Davenport was cathode ray-distributed perfection: hot, smart, defended poor people in court. Probably should mention hot again. She had it all. I didn’t know much about Veronica at the time, but those end of episode scenes with her sitting up reading in bed, in full-body pajamas, were enough for me to go on.
(Note: These rankings were in the moment, I will not go back and reduce someone’s marks due to late-in-life slippage. Veronica may not have aged as well as some of the others on this list, but she definitely firey back in the day).
Contenders for the crown: This may be hard for the youngsters to believe, but there was a brief period where Kathleen Turner was widely considered the sexiest woman in the world. If you only know her as Chandler’s dad on Friends, go ahead and check out Body Heat. That should help clarify things. (Suggestion: don’t watch this with your parents.) Carrie Fisher, based solely on the iconic Return of the Jedi slave girl outfit, was briefly under consideration in 1983. The Heather Wars (Thomas vs. Locklear) were raging during this period; unable to choose a side, I stood idly by as the casualties mounted.
World’s Hottest Woman, 1988 – 1997: Kelly Preston (Marnie Mason in the movie Twins)
I suppose this could be a controversial choice, unless you saw the fucking movie. She was F-I-N-E. Sadly, apparently as a teenage girl she decided she was going to marry John Travolta, and damned if she didn’t pull it off. Since her role in the blockbuster Twins she’s apparently been pretty content taking care of JT, only making a ripple in Jerry Maguire as the title character’s bitchy, cheating girlfriend. A shame, really, the world would have benefited from a little more Kelly Preston.
Contenders for the crown: Jessica Rabbit was close to breaking cultural barriers on this list – she would’ve been the first non-human and the first non-living creature to ascend to the throne. She didn’t quite make it as her body of work wasn’t robust enough. Sharon Stone’s early 90’s run put her in contention, but the fact that she was a murdering bitch in Basic Instinct ultimately served as a black mark against her candidacy. Kim Bassinger did some fine work in this period, as did Priscilla Presley in The Naked Gun flicks, but neither made it to the top for even a flickering moment. Vendela was a strong candidate, but ultimately (and ironically) not well-rounded enough.
World’s Hottest Woman, 1997 – 2007: Heather Graham (Rollergirl, dude, Rollergirl. And that chick in Swingers)
Heather Graham is insanely hot. Good actress? Not really. Great person? Hard to tell from her wooden personality. Insanely hot? Umm, yeah. Insanely hot. She will also get naked at the drop of a hat, which is an added bonus. Just got to see a little unexpected nudity from her in The Hangover, but was disappointed that it was in a breastfeeding context. Rollergirl will never be forgotten though, Heather. Never. Emily’s Reasons Why Not? That has been forgotten, and forgiven. How about a Boogie Nights sequel?
Contenders for the crown: Cameron Diaz had some strong credentials, but her “one of the guys” personality was not considered a positive by the committee of one. Katie Holmes was on the radar briefly, with a provocative dance number when she hosted SNL and her slutty scenes in The Gift. People forget given how weird she’s been since The Annointment, but she was pretty stellar back in the day.
World’s Hottest Woman, 2007 – 2009: Megan Fox (She played that girl in that retardfest Transformers)
See above. Megan’s somewhat bizarre personality will lead to a relatively modest stay at the top of the chart.
Contenders for the crown: Angelina Jolie, that one girl from Beauty and the Geek, Shia LaBeouf’s mom.
World’s Hottest Woman, Current: Heather Graham