An ancient Greek saying that has been passed down to our day is that a beautiful woman can have 'The face that launches a thousand ships.'
Thus comparing her to Aphrodite or Helen of Troy. Well, late actor Jon-Erik Hexum is the male equivalent to the phrase. He has been described as a regular 'Adonis' in both features and physique.
It is no small wonder then, that despite his very brief time in the Entertainment industry, Jon-Erik managed to inspire a few creative talents. And that his image, however masked/altered as you will see, has popped up in the mass media...video and book covers, full novels, cartoons and even tidbits of his life have made it to the small screen. I and other fans have been doing careful searches and have come across some blatant references and some not so blatant, but I wanted to share them here.
1. Many months ago I had the pleasure of having an accomplished author, Yvonne Jocks, post comments on my fan fiction...and she actually liked them! She has published many romance novels of different genres. In one of her past novels, she created a hero by the name of Jon Erikson and posted on her website the following~
As I may have mentioned elsewhere, I rarely reuse character inspirations. However, there's one actor who shows up more than once in my work. He was in the first romance I ever completed, which still isn't published, as a medieval knight. He was the basis for Guy Poitiers in BENEATH THE SURFACE. I used him more obviously than ever before in GRACIE, because the actor is the late Jon-Erik Hexum, and I named my hero Jon Erikson!
I was even inspired by the relationship between his character and that of young Meeno Peluce in VOYAGERS! (one of my favorite shows ever) when I created the character of Gio, although Gio is younger than the character of Jeffrey in the TV show.I can fully understand why she would be so inspired, even his name emotes strength, bravery and handsomeness. Plus, the relationship of Bogg and Jeff in Voyagers is so sweet. For more information on the author and her work, check out, 'Say Goodnight, Gracie.'
2. In the mid 80's the popular 'Twilight Zone' got a reboot, and a new series was aired called, 'The new Twilight Zone.' The writers very loosely based tidbits of Jon's life, his disc jockey days, fame and becoming overwhelmed by it all, perhaps a put-upon girlfriend? Late actor, Antony Hamilton, was cast in the lead role. Hamilton, also an acquaintance of Jon from acting classes, was Jon's replacement in his last series, 'Cover Up.'
In the TZ episode, 'Nightsong', a pretty disc Jockey has been haunted by the sudden disappearance of her love, who was a popular up and coming rock singer. The truth is at once frightening, disarming, and heartbreaking. Rather than give away the plot, why don't you watch it here? Hopefully you can get past the ads.
'The New Twilight Zone: Night Song'
3. This is the original 1986 movie poster for the teen comedy/horror film 'Night of the creeps.' with the tag, "The good news is, your dates are here, the bad news is...they're dead!"
Take a look at the inspiration for this sorry zombie. It was brought to my attention by another Hexum fan. The artist may have saw an image of Jon and thought, 'Wow, he looks like a hot prom date, let's make him look dead and disgusting!' Little did they realize that Jon had died so tragically from a blank bullet wound to the head less than two years earlier. Despite giving them the benefit of the doubt, I wouldn't be surprised if they knew very well the impact this cover would have on those who remembered Jon. Sometimes feelings are pushed into the dust for the sake of 'artistic freedom.' I say it was a very tacky thing to do.
4. One day as I was happily shelving books at my job in the local library, I happened upon a paperback novel. It was old, worn and about ready for 'deletion.' I would have barely looked if not for the striking cover.
It was then I did an enormous double take. I checked the book out for myself scanned the cover and returned it the next day. I am not a fan of the Romance genre so it wasn't my intention to read it, but I had to share my findings with other fans. The title of the book is 'The Conqueror's Kiss' with a publish date from 1991. I'll let you figure out the author's name. ;) Jon-Erik fever was hitting a new high then. The Fan Club was getting back on its legs and people still recalled Jon fondly. When I saw the face of the hero I was immediately struck with an image of Jon from a Voyagers! Publicity shot. So, I leave it up to you, give or take a few features on the character (They can't be sued now!)I firmly believe that once again, good old Jack was the inspiration!
In season 1, there was a 3-episode arch that featured Jem as a movie star. Her co-star is the handsomest man in Hollywood...do you want to take a guess who he looks exactly like?
5. This was so fun for me! Anyone remember the cool cartoon of the 80's 'Jem and the Holograms'? It was every little girl's fantasy to sing, dress and look like her with her wild pink hair and makeup. We wanted her special earrings that could project holograms and get her and the band out of danger. We wanted to be loved and admired the world over for our philanthropic deeds like running an orphanage for wayward girls and feeding starving children. And most of all, we wanted a boyfriend named Rio, a Latin hunk with a fiery temper and purple hair!
Aside from the features and deep voice, the character is nothing like Jon in his personality. He's arrogant, mean to fans, and dripping with conceit...although Jon has been noted to say that he's amazed at his own 'confidence,' he coupled that with hard work, humility and graciousness for his chance at stardom.
Watch the Jem scenes I posted on Youtube!
That's all the references I can come up with for now, but I'll keep searching! If you know of any more please feel free to comment on it. I'm not necessarily talking about where they use Jon's name as a celebrity or reference for 'What not to do' on a movie set. I'm talking about those gut basic instincts you get when you see a certain character or photo, etc. and just get the feeling that they are channeling Jon's image. Things that leave you with a 'hum?' notion and make you feel like you've seen this guy before!
This is VoyagerG leaving you with one of my most favorite pictures Jon ever took...before the glitz, before the hunk...there was Jack.For the best resource to learn about Jon-Erik Hexum and his life...plus see intimate photos from his early years before Hollywood, and read various articles, visit the Jon-Erik Hexum Fan Club Website. Consider joining the Fan Club and you can have access to ordering everything there is to get from pictures, and video clips of all his appearances. Tell them VoyagerG sent ya!