Vintage Hunk: Steve Guttenberg

By: Mike McCrann

"He has established himself as one of his generation's most likeable actors."
Playgirl, October 1986

I will personally defend all the Vintage Hunks I have profiled for the past two years, but even I am a bit ashamed to state that I had a huge crush on Steve Guttenberg back in the day. I mean, who can forget hunky, sexy Steve in those shorts and roller skates in the gay camp classic Can't Stop the Music? And what about that chest! This guy was the boy next door who was cute and built. Unfortunately, I never lived on his block!

Guttenberg might be the most under-appreciated actor of his day. He wasn't Olivier. He was not itching to do the classics. But Guttenberg starred in so many hit films during the 1980s that attention must be paid. He was in pop hits like the Police Academy series, Short Circuit and Three Men and a Baby. He was also in some really good films like Cocoon, Diner and The Bedroom Window. Guttenberg was arguably one of the 1980's busiest hunks.

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1958, Guttenberg attended several universities and appeared in a number of plays before he hit the movies. A good part in The Boys from Brazil was followed by Can't Stop the Music, the wonderfully dreadful movie about The Village People that featured singing, dancing, roller skating, and men in short shorts. His first great film was Diner, and this wonderful period piece showed that Guttenberg could deliver the goods with a first rate script and director. In the wildly popular Police Academy series (working alongside future Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall), the goods delivered were basically a hot body and a winning, self-deprecating comedy style that also served him well in Cocoon and its sequel.

Sadly, by the end of the decade Guttenberg was suddenly passe in Hollywood. As he matured he was not getting any projects that would have kept his career going in A circles. But Guttenberg will always have a nostalgic place in my hunkdom pantheon. My own favorite film of his is the Hitchcock wannabe The Bedroom Window. He is the star and central character, and he handles the assignment in exemplary fashion.

What makes Guttenberg even more endearing is that he has always been self-effacing and humble in his interviews. In his 1986 Playgirl (no, unfortunately, he was clothed) he candidly stated: "I still want everyone to like me, but I am trying to care about one-millionth less. I get criticized for not having a certain coolness associated with an antihero. It has hurt me enough to make part of me think I should change and become a prick... But I am not like that, and I have decided instead to just do the best job I can with all the equipment that has been given to me."

And speaking of his equipment, Guttenberg's half naked 2008 jog in Central Park caused a sensation. As he ran naked from the waist down, you could see in the uncensored footage that all of Mr. Guttenberg's equipment is holding up quite well these days. We have the SFW version below.