My fascination with redheads, while not as powerful as that special bond between the British and Prince Harry, has been around since childhood. There is just something about lustrous red hair – kissed by fire! Instead of waxing creepily about it, I thought I’d share with you a list of some of my favorite fictional redheads. Most of these are characters from my childhood, so more recent ginger-haired icons like Joan from Mad Men or Ygritte from A Song of Ice and Fire are not included.
I don’t even know where to start with Anne Shirley of Green Gables, P.E. Island, but this list must begin with her. Anne and I have been kindred spirits since I was nine, thus making her one of my longest standing red haired favorites. My affection was sealed forevermore after the infamous “carrots” incident involving a slate and Gilbert Blythe’s head. While Anne’s hair never did miraculously turn raven black (although it was green for a while), I’m quite sure she must have been lovely to behold with her auburn hair and gray eyes.
Pepper Ann, Pepper Ann, much too cool for seventh grade; Pepper Ann she’s like one in a million! Who wouldn’t love this spunky, awkward (not that she’d admit it), confident redhead with an androgynous younger sibling and second-wave feminist mother? Pepper Ann made my Saturday mornings so much brighter and better with her indomitable spunk, scratchy voice, and slightly clueless antics. Remember when she flashed her gym class because she thought that “support” meant bra?
Fine, it’s not officially known if Judy Funnie is an actual redhead, but Google image search makes it seem so. (Her Wiki and IMDB yield nothing). As a mean older sister to a softhearted younger brother, Judy Funnie definitely speaks to my sisterly teasing and how we fit into our family dynamic: theatrics, eye-rolling, and attention-milking performances for our parents, included.
Come on, any “favorite redhead” list would not be complete without FBI agent Dana Scully. My admiration for the beautiful, intelligent, and butt-kicking Scully is well known and documented. The ice-cold queen of logic is a departure from the “feisty redhead” trope, with her calm and collected demeanor, and that withering stare. It’s laughable to think that Gillian Anderson almost wasn’t cast in this iconic role because she wasn’t considered “bombshell” or “hot” enough. (The original casting called for a tall blonde – what?)
While we’re talking trivia: according to IMDB, Gillian Anderson was in the running for the role of Agent Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs, but her X-Files contract stipulated that she couldn’t portray another FBI agent during the show’s tenure.
Poison Ivy is one of my favorite people in the Batverse, and I love her even more when she’s paired off with that darling Harley Quinn, although HQ is not part of this list. In addition to a healthy dislike of men, a wicked green thumb, and that adorable stint with Gotham’s orphans, Poison Ivy’s cynical and jaded demeanor give another layer of badass to her persona. That she’s never fazed by Batman just really adds to all there is to love about her.
MYSTIQUE, or RAVEN DARKHOLME
Love her or hate her, Mystique is definitely an iconic character. She’s one of my favorite X-Women, ranking right up there with Storm (my queen forever). As morally bankrupt people may decry her to be, Mystique is definitely not one to shirk from getting her hands dirty in order to get what she wants, although some of her actions could be fueled by the sheer will to survive and best her situation.
This is where fellow editor Moxie would clobber me, but I’m a bit of a Rogue fan. Sure, she can be hardheaded and has a tendency to react without thinking, and maybe she is a bit selfish, as many allege, but her powers are super cool, she was clearly in the sexy cahoots with Gambit, and just maybe, I identified with her inability to physically touch another person.
The only man on this list owns a very good portion of my heart. You might be wondering why his twin George isn’t also listed. Everyone has a favorite of the twins and mine is Fred, possibly because he was the first to vocally acknowledge his appreciation of the amazing Angelina Johnson. George has his merits, but let’s be honest, Fred is the show stopper. He’s the mouth of the operation (and I love a man who’s good with his words), and you can just tell how slick and sly he can be, the flirty rascal. That being said, I’ll forever mourn the beauty of the could-have-been that was Fred and Angelina.
No, not the annoying special snowflake urchin from Disney’s Peter Pan. I’m talking about Wendy from the fast food chain. Sure she’s not an icon from literature, film, or television, but Wendy’s been with me and my appetite for a very long time.
LOIS, DO YOU HAVE ANY REDHEADS YOU DON’T LIKE?
As a matter of fact, yes, I do… None for Ariel! Bye! No really, she’s the worst.