Heartwarming Heroes

Good Morning!  Do you believe I learned to attach a photo?!  Anything is possible today, Ladies!

Okay.  Heroes.  After Karen's post yesterday got us all thinking about favorite Hollywood kisses in honor of Valentine's Day and our Heartwarming efforts, the progression to favorite Hollywood heroes seems very natural.  (And I didn't know what else to talk about.  You're all so smart and well-informed, that I have nothing to share that you don't already know!)

What kind of a hero inspires you as a writer and a woman?

Personally, I don't get the bad-boy hero; my savvy mother taught me to be smart and self-protective.  I know there's lots of drama in his possible redemption, but I can't write that kind of hero because I can't love him while I'm writing him.  And I have to.  Do you?  Many editors over the years have told me that I create characters who are 'too nice.'  I have trouble relating to characters who aren't.  I was taught that your rights end at your elbow and you have to be considerate of everyone within bumping distance.

My heroes are always good guys who love to argue with the heroine, but would never deliberately  hurt her - physically or emotionally

So, here's a list of some of my favorite movie and tv heroes.  Would love to know which heroes become part of your books and why.

2.  Joe Fox in YOU'VE GOT MAIL
4.  Graham in THE HOLIDAY
5.  Jake in MUST LOVE DOGS
6.  Sam in GHOST
7.  Edward Lewis in PRETTY WOMAN
8.  Nick Marshall in WHAT WOMEN WANT
9.  David in LOVE, ACTUALLY (and Mark, too, who finally lets go of his love for Juliet)
10. Rick Castle in CASTLE

Happy day after Valentine's Day, Everyone.


  1. I like all sorts of guys. The rebel in me is attracted to bad boys, but my softer side loves the guy who is the nicest.

    Some of my very favorites from books or movies (there is a whole other list for musicians):
    1. Lloyd Dobbler from Say Anything
    2. Rochester from Jane Eyre
    3. Professor Bhear from Little Women
    4. Hunter Brown from Second Nature by Nora Roberts
    5. Cade Parris from Hidden Star by Nora Roberts
    6. James Bond (as portrayed by Daniel Craig)
    7. John Cusack in basically anything
    8. Gomez Addams (don't judge)
    9. Charles Ingalls (from Little House on the Prairie series)
    10. Johnny Martin (James McAvoy) from Penelope

    1. Ruby - I agree with you on John Cusack. Just gets better with maturity. I also love anyone in anything by Nora Roberts. Gomez Addams as portrayed by Raoul Julia? He was so appealing and died way too young! Don't know who played him in the newer movies. Thanks for weighing in - So that's a vote for the bad boy, and one for the good guy. Ambivalence is perfectly acceptable!

    2. Yes, the Raoul Julia version. Anyone who can tango like that and so obviously adores Morticia... Je t'adore!

  2. Muriel, What a great blog post. Our mothers must have been related, because her teachings were the same as yours. I like nice, caring men. I worked with, and disliked, too many arrogant, self-important types. As for "bad boys" in books, I like the ones who have clearly been reformed. Not quite tamed, but trending more to selfless and caring. Ruby mentioned some of Nora Roberts' heroes, and most of her men are rooted in goodness. I salute writers who can make me like their bad-to-the-bone male characters.

    1. I do, too, Roz, but I can't write the bad boys to save my soul. As I recall, I liked dating them, but it never turned out well. :-)

    2. Roz and Liz - maybe the bad boy and the good guy show some of the differences between romances that are a true fantasy adventure and those that are an everyday-life journey. The bad boy is great if you don't really have to deal with him, but the good guy is the promise of happily ever after. (Some women love that wild adventure and I get that - just not for me.) Thanks, Roz. Did you get that arm tied down so you'll stop volunteering for things? Thanks for visiting, Liz. I know you're swamped.

  3. I agree about the heroes, Muriel--my favorite hero is almost always the guy next door, and what you said about loving him while writing him is perfect.

    Some of mine from books, etc. (at least one that I stole from Ruby because I didn't think of it myself.)

    1. John Walton from The Waltons (also his father, the "old fool."
    2. Professor Bhaer--thank you, Ruby.
    3. Mike Rafferty from A Carol Christmas--one of your best, Muriel!
    4. Daniel in Love, Actually, whose love for his dead wife's son brought me to tears.
    5. Sam Elliot, simply because he lives, breathes, and--thank you, God--talks.
    6. James Stewart as Jeff Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
    7. Frank Gilbreth in the original Cheaper by the Dozen--he was all bluster and love.
    8. Jack Sheridan in Robyn Carr's Virgin River.
    9. Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice (preferably portrayed by Colin Firth)
    10. Col. Brandon in Sense and Sensibility, or Alan Rickman in any other disguise.

    1. Liz! I heartily endorse all of those! Sam Elliot - Swoon! Thank you for including Mike Rafferty! I still love him, even though those kids all have children of their own now, and he and Carol are retired and visiting Cooperstown. (Their lives do go on after we leave them, right?) Thanks again, Liz.

  4. Yay! Nice guys finish first at Heartwarming! Great post, Muriel. My parents also taught me- esp by example- how a man should treat a woman. Ego is not attractive to me,although confidence, humor, sensitivity and intelligence are. Those are the heroes I write and the kinds of men in books, shows. and movies. I loved both Jude Law and Jack Black in The Holiday, Colin Firth in Bridget Jones Diary, Toby McGuire in Spider-Man and Steve Carell in Crazy, Stupid Love :)

    1. Yes! Love THE HOLIDAY! And the part in Bridget Jones' Diary where Darcy set up the interview for her. That was a serious rescue! I don't think the old adage that "Nice guys finish last," is true. It's "Nice guys last to the finish." Thanks for checking in. You must be pooped on a Friday afternoon after work.

  5. Ian in My Big Fat Greek Wedding
    Kevin Costner's character in Dances with Wolves

  6. I loved Ian! He even conversted to using Windex on everything! Dances With Wolves was such a long, hard journey and he did come through in true heroic fashion. And how wonderful that he and Mary McConnell (is that right?) rode off together. Thanks, Pam.

  7. I know I'm late in responding, but I had to chime in. I've always been a sucker for the class clown. A guy that can make me laugh is tops in my book.

    That said, some of the best heroes in my opinion, come from the television show, "Lost". They weren't all good guys or bad boys, but a lovely combination of both. Jack Shepherd was a reluctant hero with a savior complex. Sawyer was a determined anit-hero who had a soft side and a need to protect those he loved. Charlie was a drug addict who found redemption in self-sacrifice. Even the villain, Ben, showed a soft side and devotion for his daughter but whose thirst for power ultimately lead to his destruction. They were all mean, both good and bad. And I learned a lot about characterization by studying the show.


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