The dreamy 18th century poet was one of the first "celebrities" to receive fan mail. A lot of fan mail. One amorous fan wrote, "Why, did my breast with rapture glow?/ Thy talents to admire? Why, as I read, my bosom felt?/ Enthusiastic fire." Girl's putting it all on the table.
Born 1780, Beau was a famous male fashion icon and a real "dandy." A man of high society, he was thought of as the most handsome man in London (especially according to himself). Though full of himself, the ladies still swooned.
The 19th-century composer was eccentric and beautiful. Naturally, women loved him. They flocked to his shows, threw clothes on the stage (no, really) and fainted. It was literally called "Lisztomania."
John Wilkes Booth's brother Edwin was actually the more famous one at the time. Probably because he focused on acting instead of murdering presidents?
After his Shakespearean performances, women would wait around to see him leave the theater. That's a common practice now, but at the time it was brand new. One fan, Annie L. Van Ness, wrote in her diary: “We met Edwin Booth and I feel dead in love with him immediately. He has such magnificent eyes.”
Yes, the same John Wilkes Booth who assassinated President Lincoln. But before that, he was an accomplished actor from a family of actors. John Wilkes Booth had his share of female admirers and is the first recorded actor to have his clothes ripped off by crazy fans.
The famous escape artist did a lot of his stunts shirtless, which set the ladies of the late 19th century's hearts a flutter. Houdini received hundreds of letters from his fans, many of which he kept until his dying day.
Hayakawa was a silent film star, the first Asian actor to be cast as a leading man and Hollywood's first male sex symbol. According to the Center for Asian American Media, "His fan base—white and female—were fascinated by his good looks and dangerous, forbidden, allure."
Bieber has the "Beliebers," but Frank Sinatra had the "bobby-soxers." On Columbus Day, 1944, 30,000 bobby-soxers flooded Time Square. Sinatra was opening his new season at New York's Paramount, and his fanbase had the school day off. Imagine 30,000 young girls screaming "Oh, Frankie!" and you kind of get the idea.
They call it "Beatlemania" because it was, well, a mania. Singer Bob Geldof recounted his experience around Beatles fangirls withQ Magazine: "I remember looking down at the cinema floor and seeing these rivulets of piss in the aisles. The girls were literally pissing themselves with excitement. So what I associate most with The Beatles is the smell of girls' urine."
Everyone knows that Elvis had a hoard of screaming fans, but at the time it was especially alarming to parents. Convinced that Elvis was making their teenaged daughters sex-maniacs, some parents threw out their daughter's Elvis records and even destroyed their record players.
He only starred in three movies before his tragic death, but James Dean made an impression. After his first film, East of Eden, was released, Dean received an average of 400 fan letters a week. The night Dean died, fans broke into his apartment to steal any souvenir that they could get.
Barry Williams, who played the oldest brother Greg Brady on The Brady Bunch, successfully avoided some crazy fan encounters. One group of Brady fans tipped over a mobile dressing room, but he wasn't in it at the time. It was all the benefits of having passionate fans with none of the pesky confrontation.
The Twilight fandom hit Robert Pattinson...hard. He's been assaulted on the street and been turned into tattoos, all because he played a sparkly vampire. Oh, and then there's that woman who tried to cut off some of his hair to turn into a doll. You know, normal things!
Imagine being so famous that people burst into tears when they see you. That's Daniel Radcliffe's bizarre reality:
"The worst is when people cry. It's an awful feeling, particularly when they are 13 or 14-year-old girls. I feel horrible that they're crying. It's not worth crying about. Please! They are mostly crying out of excitement, but I still don't know how to deal with that." (People)