FILMS and TV… Lovely Leading Ladies (and Their Toyboys)

#1970s #1980s #1990s #2010s #2020s


Four TV romances between older women and younger men…


So guys, for Valentine’s Day, it’s time for a little romance. 



Here’s a wee list centering around those roles where the lead female character’s love interest is a younger man.  Of course, many age-gap romances have been captured in the movies –  such as Harold and Maude (1971), Class (1983) and The Graduate (1967) – but today’s list is looking at some of those from the telly…


Dallas’ Sue Ellen Ewing and Peter Richards

Dallas Sue Ellen and Peter, jade4257,

Dallas (1978-91) of course has to get a mention.  In the 1980s,  poor little John Ross isn’t coping due to the stress of recent dramas – a fire at Southfork and his parents’ fighting – so parents Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) and JR (Larry Hagman) are recommended that he needs to go to a children’s camp to help him. So on his dispatch to camp, the Ewing parents are introduced to young camp counsellor Peter – otherwise known as Peeder in our household – played by Chris Atkins.

He has an obvious attraction between himself and the delightful Sue Ellen. Chris Atkins was previously known for his part in the Blue Lagoon (1980) where his character was deserted on a desert island with Brooke Shields and wore very little. And for singing in The Pirate Movie (1982) As Peeder Peter in Dallas, a good friend remembers his little shorts far too vividly.

But personally, it was a blow to me seeing him with Sue Ellen as their relationship became that of lovers. I personally loved it when JR and Sue Ellen were together. I believe this couple had much more chemistry than the bland Ray and Donna – also in Dallas –  and indeed the Harts in Hart to Hart (1979-84).


Outlander‘s Claire and Jamie Fraser

Outlander – The wedding of Jamie and Claire, Sunbury Celebrant Catherine Mueller

Another more current famous age difference couple, giving women hope for a younger man has to be the time-travelling Claire and her Scotsman, Jamie in Outlander (2014-). Caitriona Balfe as Claire has to endure the affections of this loyal and almost too trusting Highlander. To prove this he often fights for Claire’s honour against dastardly Englishmen.

It obviously helps as Jamie’s played by the Tartan Tottie, Sam Heughan. Heughan’s soft Scottish accent helps after seeing the travesty of too many actors who do awful accents in their craft. Sadly, this list now includes Anthony Hopkins in his Welsh/Dutch hybrid accent in Dracula (1992) almost eclipsing Keanu Reeves’s “English accent” in the same film.

There is of course in the second series – in an almost subplot to their romance – of stopping the Battle of Culloden but in the meantime, we ladies have to watch Jamie in a kilt, Jamie without a shirt and Jamie both without a shirt and a kilt. Hard job but someone’s gotta do it.


Dynasty‘s Alexis and Dex Dexter

Dynasty – Season 4 – Episode 16 – Alexis and Dex talk business and pleasure, DynastyMoments

Be wrong not to mention more on the Queen of the Cougars, the lovely Joan Collins as Alexis in Dynasty (1981-89). Darlin Husband also showed me her turn in Footballers Wives (2002-) where she hypnotises a young footballer to be her lover. However, in the 1980s, Alexis was the envy of millions when she married for the third time. This time to the handsome, younger Dex Dexter (Michael Nader) in Dynasty.

Dex sadly had an affair with her daughter Amanda leading to their divorce, despite his initial loyalty to Alexis. Alexis and Dex would often fight like cat and dog, but their passion for each other was evident. He even helped save the day at the well-remembered Moldavian wedding massacre. By the end of the series, Dex had hooked up with another older woman, Alexis’s cousin, Sable Colby (Stephanie Beacham) who to add insult to injury to Alexis was pregnant with his child.


EastEnders‘ Grant Mitchell and wife Tiffany’s mum Louise Raymond

Grant Sleeps with Tiffany’s mother Louise part 2 – EastEnders – BBC, EastEnders

Shortly before Paul Finch had a fling with his friend, Stifler’s mum in American Pie (1999), the British East London soap EastEnders (1985-),  ‘ard man Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp) in his younger days married pretty brunette, Tiffany (Martine McCutcheon). However, his straying eye was met by a then-unknown redhead who was later revealed as Tiffany’s mother, Louise Raymond (Carol Harrison).

Of course, initially, she disliked him but this grew to more passionate scenes cumulating with them sleeping together. Tiffany found out in dramatic fashion overhearing them arguing over their fling in the pub over the baby monitor. Leaving the Queen Vic pub in a state of distress Tiffany was promptly run over and killed by Frank Butcher (Mike Read). Frank, who was Grant’s stepfather married to Peggy.

Also keeping it in the family, Grant also had an affair with his brother Phil’s wife Kathy, another cougar, but Phil had also a fling with Grant’s wife Sharon. Which was seen as awight in ‘Enders as after the tears fights, the warring brothers reunited, as blood is thicker than water innit?

So after reading this list doesn’t it make you wish that instead of Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016) we got the adaptation of the book, Mad About the Boy (2013) instead of where Bridget hooks up with a toyboy..  who would you – or for that matter Renee Zellweger – want in that role?




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