Matinee idol

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For the boxer nicknamed "Matinee Idol", see Bobby Czyz
Matinée idol is a term used mainly to describe film or theatre stars who are adored to the point of adulation by their fans.

The term almost exclusively refers to male actors. Invariably the adulation was fixated on the actor's looks rather than performance. It differs from "sex symbol" (and is also faintly derogatory) in that it suggests the star's popularity came from the afternoon Matinée performances rather than the "big picture" evenings and, hence, a less discriminating audience.

Now a somewhat old-fashioned term, the phenomenon reached its height during the period from the 1930s to around the 1960s, a period extending from the beginning of the "talkies" to the development of pop culture. As a concept it was supplanted by the more music-led term, "teen idol".

Television and film

The Matinee Idol is also the title of a 1928 Frank Capra film, a 1933 UK film and a Rufus Wainwright song, which is supposed to have been written about River Phoenix, as well as countless articles and biographies concerning film and theatre actors.Idol Worship: A Shameless Celebration of Male Beauty in the Movies by Michael Ferguson (2003)

Sports


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