Over the last few years of selling teen romance books on ebay and on my website, Sweet Hearts Romance Books, I have spotted a few faces that sort of looked familiar. Some I have worked out who the now famous or almost famous person is, usually a woman who would have been a teen at the time of doing the shoots as a model. Some I found out about recently when researching for this article. And some I found on a wonderful blog that is mostly about books from the 1980s, with a focus on the teen romance genre. Peacherino at Cliquey Pizza 2 is a gem, her knowledge of 80s kids and teen books and other stuff is enormous. I highly recommend her blog.

Many of the teen romance series only featured girls on the covers, which has sort of puzzled me. Surely romance means there should be more than one person on the cover. Or were there just not enough teen boy models around at the time? Maybe they all wanted to be rock stars like Duran Duran or Bon Jovi. Who knows.

Now for the ‘’faces’’.

Courtney Cox

The first cover I realised had a famous person as the cover model is Sweet Dreams #84 The Last Word by Susan Blake. I kinda think she would have been better used on the cover of Sweet Dreams #97 Dancing In The Dark, given that she was ‘’discovered’’ as the girl who danced onstage with Bruce Springsteen in the video for his Dancing In The Dark song. The modelling for this cover would have been around the same time as the music video appearance. Courtney was also on the cover of Windswept A Mystery Romance The Secret Of The Dark by Barbara Steiner. I’ve never found a copy so the photo is from Cliquey Pizza 2 blog.

Courtney Cox on The Last Word

Courtney Cox on The Last Word

Courtney Cox on Secret of the Dark

Courtney Cox on Secret of the Dark

 

Jennifer Connelly

She started modelling at the age of 10. Many of the teen book cover models were quite young, with lots of makeup to make them appear old enough to be representative of the age of the romantic heroine. Jennifer was the model on the cover of Sweet Dreams #65 The Two Of Us by Janet Quin-Harkin, Caprice #4 Terri’s Dream by Margaret Garland and Caprice #40 Rock ‘n’ Roll Romance by Francess Lin Lantz and First Love From Silhouette #112 by Becky Stuart. Again, the best images I found of the last 2 on the web are from Cliquey Pizza.

Jennifer Connelly on The Two of Us

Jennifer Connelly on The Two of Us

Jennifer Connelly on Terri's Dream

Jennifer Connelly on Terri’s Dream

 

Jennifer Connelly on Rock'n'Roll Romance

Jennifer Connelly on Rock’n’Roll Romance

Jennifer Connelly Once in California

Jennifer Connelly Once in California

Yasmine Bleeth

From Baywatch as Caroline Holden and Lee Anne Demerest on the soap opera One Life To Live. Yasmine is on the cover of First Love From Silhouette #37 Love Note by Jessica Howell, First Love From Silhouette #45 A Touch Of Love by Winifred Madison, Caprice #33 Never Say No by Ann Boyle and Windswept’s The Disappearing Teacher by Conrad Nowell (this book was also released as a stand alone teen novel with a different cover photo that, to me, possibly has the same model)

 

Yasmine Bleeth on The Disappearing Teacher

Yasmine Bleeth on The Disappearing Teacher

Yasmine Bleeth on The Disappearing Teacher

Yasmine Bleeth on The Disappearing Teacher

Yasmine Bleeth on Never Say Never

Yasmine Bleeth on Never Say Never

Yasmine Bleeth on Touch of Love

Yasmine Bleeth on Touch of Love

 

 Ally Sheedy

Ally Sheedy is on the cover of Windswept: The Lost Holiday by Elizabeth Olsen.

Ally Sheedy on The Last Holiday

Ally Sheedy on The Last Holiday

 

Brooke Shields

Brooke is on the cover of a non-series teen romance novel, Helene by John Bowers, written in 1976.

Brooke Shields on Helene

Brooke Shields on Helene

 

Lori Loughlin

Lori Loughlin was a popular actress in the 1980s and was in many now classic teen movies of the era. She was also on the covers of a few teen romance books. First Love From Silhouette #54 Picture Perfect by Carrie Enfield, Wildfire –A Funny Girl Like Me by Janey Donnell and a non-series novel Don’t Tell Me That You Love Me by Hila Colman.

Lori Loghlin on A Funny Girl Like Me

Lori Loghlin on A Funny Girl Like Me

Don't Tell Me That You Love Me

Don’t Tell Me That You Love Me

 

Paula Barbieri

Paula, ex wife of O.J. Simpson, was on the cover of Sweet Dreams #101 Wrong For Each Other by Debra Spector. Kind of an apt title, given O.J’s later history.

Paula Barbieri on Wrong For Each Other

Paula Barbieri on Wrong For Each Other

Meredith Salenger

Meredith Salenger from The Journey Of The Natty Gan and Dream A Little Dream movies is on the cover of Sweet Dreams #4 Princess Amy by Melinda Pollowitz.

Meredith Salenger on Princess Amy

Meredith Salenger on Princess Amy

Susan Walters

Susan played Lorna Forbes Perelli on the 1980s soap Loving, was on the cover of First Love From Silhouette #56 by Elaine Harper.

Susan Walters on Romance In Store

Susan Walters on Romance In Store

 

Kristian Alfonso

Kristian Alfonso was a figure skater, model, one of the actors who played Hope on Days Of Our Lives for a few years, an actor on Falcon Crest. She was on the cover of Wishing Star #9 I Don’t Want To Be Your Shadow by Deborah Aydt. Wishing Star started in the late 1970s and was one of the first popular series romance for teens.

Kristian Alfonso on I Don't Want To Be Your Shadow

Kristian Alfonso on I Don’t Want To Be Your Shadow

Lisanne Falk

Lisanne Falk from the Heathers movie is on the cover of Sweet Dreams #15 Thinking Of You by Jeanette Nobile.

Lisanne Falk on Thinking of You

Lisanne Falk on Thinking of You

Pamela Gidley

Pamela Gidley played the robot in Cherry 2000 and was on the cover, albeit the back, of Sweet Dreams #79 Starstruck! ByShannon Blair (aka Marilyn Kaye). Some seller on sites like Abe, Alibris and Amazon wrongly state that Michael Jackson is on the cover of this book. As if MJ needed to do modelling. Insert the eye roll emoticon here. The book was about being dancers in a MJ music video.

Pamela Gidley on Starstruck

Pamela Gidley on Starstruck

Not Michael Jakcson

Not Michael Jakcson

 

Now for a few who are possible before they were famous faces on the covers. With some the dates for the books do match with the age the model would have been at the time, with others it could be a bit of a stretch. See what you think.

 

Reece Witherspoon

Reece Witherspoon is a definite possibility on the cover of Crosswinds Keepsake #1 The Right Kind Of Girl by Dorothy Francis. She would have been about 11 or 12 at the time and with makeup plastered on easily looks around 15 or 16. In the top photo I think the one with short hair is Reece. The second book is a younger childrens one and although the model has dark hair it could be Reece, she started modelling when she was 7 or 8 years old.

The Right Kind Of Girl

The Right Kind Of Girl

The Luck of Pokey Bloom

The Luck of Pokey Bloom

Thora Birch

Thora Birch is a possibility on the cover of Sweet Dreams #63 Kiss Me, Creep by Marian Woodruff.

Kiss Me Creep

Kiss Me Creep

 

Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock‘s name is sometimes used to sell Sweet Dreams #85 The Boy She Left Behind. The dates fit but I couldn’t find any reference online to Sandra ever doing any modelling.

The Boy She Left Behind

The Boy She Left Behind

Sometimes there was product placement on the covers of teen romance books, as in the models wearing well known labels. The model on Sweet Dreams #9 Cover Girl by Yvonne Greene (who also wrote the Kelly Blake Teen Model series) is wearing Jordache jeans, which were one of the jeans labels of the 80s.

Cover Girl

Cover Girl

________

SH_Bite_Me

YA romance collectors can visit my website Sweethearts Romance Books and my new blog over at Sweehearts Blog.

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About The Author

12 Responses

  1. Therese

    fasinating stuff-I remember looking at a cover of a man from u n c l e book and realising it was Ducky from NCIS !

    Reply
  2. Carmel

    I’ve never watched NCIS T but used to love Man From UNCLE when I was a kid. Great 60s show. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Suzie

    Great article, very interesting.

    The Courtney Cox one made me sit up, she was in a small and very silly sci fi series in the 1980s looking very much like the photo on the front cover. It’s called Misfits of Science and is about a mismatched group of people whose only claim to fame is that they have powers such as the ability to throw lightning or telekinesis.

    Reply
    • Carmel

      Can’t say I have. The jeans product placement is something I came across when researching a teen romance series a few months ago. It was part of an essay in an academic study book on girls series books in America. Found it on Google Books,no copies available to buy anywhere & it sounds like a collection of essays by uni students. I have a few bookmarked passages from Google books that have interesting tidbits. That paragraph did mention that there was some product placement but the Jordache jeans was the only one mentioned by name as it was confirmed by a publisher. It could have been that publishers etc were paid to have certain car brands, clothing brands, etc on the covers; brand names could be mentioned as part of the story, as in characters drinking Coke or eating certain cereals or having real pizza shop names but set in the fictional town of the story. Lots of ways to do it I suppose. Could have been done in hundreds of YA books in the 80s & no-one would have been any the wiser.

      Reply
  4. KJ

    Great post, Carmel. I’ve always wondered if Laura San Giacamo (actress – Sex, Lies and Videotape, Just Shoot Me) was the model on one of the Sweet Dreams #: Laurie’s Song ?

    Reply
    • Carmel

      Hard to say Kelly. The only photo of LSG that is a 1985 one from an audition has her with much darker hair & a fringe. The Laurie’s Song model had no fringe & much lighter hair (easily changed I know), her chin looks more triangular, her face is less square than Laura’s.

      From an audition thing for Labyrinth I just found the 1985 photos of the actresses that auditioned for the role that Jennifer Connolly got. To me Mia Sara could be the one on the Laurie’s Song cover. See what you think.
      http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2011/01/29/1291985/

      Reply
  5. nia

    Hey how bout the models that posed on animorphs books 90`s edition?know some of them? *big fans lol

    Reply
  6. Nick

    The “Princess Amy” book cover cannot be Meredith Salenger. The “Princess Amy” (Sweet Dreams #4) book was released in 1981, and Meredith Salenger was born on 14 March 1970. That would make her an 11 year old cover model in the picture on “Princess Amy”. It should be obvious that the female model on the cover is not an 11 year old girl.

    Reply
    • Carmel

      Hi Nick,
      From what I have been able to find out since having my website, many of the cover models on this genre of books were years younger than the heroine in the story. Many started modelling quite young. Reese Witherspoon was about 6 when she started. So it is quite possible the Princess my cover model is Meredith Salenger, 11 year olds can look 14 or 15 with enough makeup plastered on. As it was the eigthies plastering the makeup on was mandatory. We’ll agree to disagree. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Terry

    Kiss Me Creep was published in 1984, Thora Birch was born in 1982.

    Reply

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