Older Men Who Could Get it Back in the Day
When asked to come up with a list of much older men, still breathing, who were fine in their heyday, it was immediately clear that I couldn’t do it alone.
I was interested to know who my mother, now in her ’60s, was checking for way back when during her camel and mash potato-dancing days. We went back and forth, me naming names I had only seen in blaxploitation films and on Motown infomercials that come on late at night. She of course shut many of them down. Laughing at my suggestions of the guys from “Cooley High” and debating with me about why O.J. Simpson automatically disqualified himself from the list. So after flipping through album sleeves, recalling every black television show from the past and going through a ton of Google image pages, here is a list of living actors, musicians, athletes and more who may not be your cup of tea now (probably because they could be your grandpappy), but had all your mommas and grandmamas, swooning. If you don’t agree with the choices, you’ll have to take your issues up with moms.
Billy Dee Williams
This list would be totally incomplete without everyone’s favorite Colt-45 enthusiast. One of the biggest sex symbols in all of black Hollywood, if not all of Hollywood in general, Billy Dee created swag. Put a patent on it and everything. From the voice, to the eyes and that thick head of hair, all the way to that mysteriously shaped mustache, Billy Dee was, still is, and always will be a stone cold fox. To see more of his ageless macking abilities, check him out schooling Martin on the suave words of love.
Clifton Davis is the only recommendation that I offered to my mother that she actually thoroughly agreed with. I’m sure you remember the actor, ordained minister (that’s right) and songwriter (he wrote “Never Can Say Goodbye” for the Jackson 5!) from the show “Amen,” and many other TV guest appearances. But what really got him out there was his role on shows like “A World Apart,” and my personal favorite, “That’s My Mama.” Blame a lack of cable for my knowledge of this sitcom. Davis had a lovable personality as the clipper-toting barber and commitment-phobe son on the latter series. And his eyes were just dreamy. If any of your single mothers were wondering, yes, even in his ‘60s, he’s still a fox. But sorry, he’s taken.
“The Greatest” as most call him, Muhammad Ali had the talent to make men respect him, and the looks to make the women want him. Maybe that’s why he was married four different times? The self-proclaimed “pretty” boxer didn’t have too many people that disagreed with that opinion. He indeed walked the walk and most definitely talked the talk. His trash talk lines were almost as prolific as his matches! Louisville’s finest had a brooding appearance when staring in the face of his poor opponents, but also a beguiling smile to show off when he was getting ready to embarrass them with some lyrical…something. And that fade cut stayed too clean! No boxer since has ever made Everlast shorts and a big mouth look so good.
Before Michael was old enough for the grown women to freak out about, during his Jackson 5 days, brother Jackie was considered all that. Not only did my mother and her girlfriends back in Austin, Texas think so, but so did Oprah Winfrey herself. She invited the legendary brother onto her couch during her final season to confess her massive teenage crush on him. The two even went out on a date, and she admitted that she wrote him letters as a young girl, and at one point even wanted to marry the man. And that’s probably because he had it going on in those overly-colorful and eclectic outfits they wore. He was toting a lethal fro, as well as some rock-hard abs and, may I add, his original nose. Shouts out to the man for keeping it real. Jackie was indeed the hottest tambourine toting tenor out there.
One of the greatest actors to ever walk the earth, Sidney Poitier was also one of the most debonair. The way the smooth chocolate brother recited his lines in films like Lilies of the Field as well as A Raisin in the Sun, you had no choice but to be engulfed, intrigued and enticed. Baby boo had attitude and knew how to use it. But he also had a very charming smile and the kind of powerful voice meant to convince you that you were not watching Poitier, but whatever character he was embodying at the time. There’s nothing nicer than a man that’s incredibly good at what he does, and good looking while doing it, and that he definitely was.
A former football stud and blaxploitation player in popular movies like Black Caesar and Hell Up in Harlem, Fred Williamson was one of the first and best looking athletes to make a successful jump into acting. What proceeded was a new definition of hardcore masculinity with his tough sideburns, random karate kicks that could immediately knock recipients out and tailored suits resting on those bourgeoning defensive back-built muscles. The man could tote a handgun the size of a forearm and was one of the few people that could get away with taco meat hair on his chiseled pectorals. If you need a reason to watch a blaxploitation film other than to evaluate the sketchy screenwriting, a young Fred “The Hammer” Williamson is a yummy reason to check one out.
The green-eyed wonder, also known as the “King of Motown,” Smokey Robinson is as known for the songs he wrote as the ones he sang with The Miracles. With his light and ever-mellow voice and kind-hearted smile, Smokey Robinson was and still is considered a cutie. And a man that has a way with words is always going to succeed in getting someone’s draws. To this day, Smokey still gets swoons (seriously), walking the streets with those icy-green peepers, but trading in the tightly crafted bouffant of his early Motown days for some well-oiled and very dope twists. The man hasn’t aged! Thank great genes or an amazing surgeon, either way, we’re not mad at him…