matinée idol

(redirected from a matinee idol)

matinée idol

old-fashioned A film, theater, or television star, especially a male actor, who is adored by their fans to the point of worship or adulation. Usually said of someone who is particularly good looking. Though he rose to fame in the 1940s as a matinée idol, his mediocre acting skills saw him stuck in the same sorts of roles for a number of years, until he eventually faded from the public eye.
See also: idol

matinee idol

A handsome male movie actor whose screen presence excites female audiences. Although we now associate “matinee” with the legitimate theater, the word also applied to afternoon movie shows. Perhaps because housewives and young women constituted the largest audience segment at such screenings, any actor whose appearance evoked sighs and other expressions of female approval became known as a matinee idol, regardless of his acting ability. That is not to say that a matinee idol was necessarily a bad actor, but his looks were the defining characteristic.
See also: idol