Hotness Retrospectfug: Josh Charles

Talking about Alicia Florrick’s bangs the other day inspired me to take a look at her partner in hotness on The Good Wife, Will Gardner, AKA Josh Charles, AKA OMG Josh Charles I’ve Loved You Since Dead Poet’s Society. Join me for a dip in the hotness pool, why don’t you?

Leave a reply

Comments (103):

  1. Kathleen Trail

    “Charlie, tell me why they swoon?!?!” Oh, Knox… i think we all know that YOU’RE why women swoon.

  2. Tamdog

    Egads! That there in the first Emmy picture is Sophie Flack, a writer/ballerina/gal about town I went to elementary school with. Hi, Sophie!!

  3. Edith

    He was BRILLIANT on Sports Night, and oh-so-cute, and it’s streaming on Netflix so you have no further excuse….

  4. Fawn

    You should’ve watched Sports Night. It’s one of my favorite shows that no one ever watched. Plus, Josh Charles as great in it (as well as Peter Krause)!

    • Kate

      Yes. SPORTS NIGHT. A thousand times, yes.

      • Miranda

        And another thousand!

      • mhorv4

        I forgot about Sports Night, I loved that show.

      • Kimberli

        I don’t know why, but I just find Aaron Sorkin’s writing insufferable. I never liked that show or The West Wing. I realize I’m in the minorty, especially among my friends.

  5. Carrie

    He also looks great in a Clown Dog uniform. I love you, Josh Charles.

  6. Jennifer

    I’m with you: why don’t i ever get to quaff a beverage with Josh Charles and Peter Dinklage??? Why does the Universe treat me so unfairly???

    • Kimberli

      Seriously. I’ve had a crush (yes, a crush because I’m 11 again) on Peter Dinklage for yeeeaaaars. He’s so handsome!

      I actually got to meet Josh Charles when he was doing a play (not a good one) at Steppenwolf here in Chicago maybe 6 years ago or so. It wasn’t a great experience, though, because my friend and I were stage-dooring it with two guys who didn’t even see the show. They were just waiting outside to get him to sign photos of JC in S.W.A.T. so that they could sell them on eBay He knew it, we knew it, they knew it, but he still signed them. When he got to us, he was pissy, so it sort of marred the experience for us.

  7. cathy

    awww, i always had a soft spot for him – he looks like one of my dearest friends. handosme, handsome man <3

  8. taylor

    Ahhh, Knox Overstreet! He’s (still!) such a cutie.

  9. What what

    A) How is it that Ethan Hawke is now the least attractive of the DPS gang?

    B) I just rewatched Sports Night (thanks Netflix streaming!) and it is still great. You should give it a chance Jessica!

    C) Thank you for the eye candy!

    • Jade

      A) Ethan Hawke was always the least attractive of the DPS gang.

      Josh Charles surely is eye candy. Well done

      • Penny

        I’ve never been able to see anyone past Robert Sean Leonard in Dead Poets Society. (swoon)

  10. Nicola

    Oh how I love you Knox! That reminds me that I haven’t watched DPS in a long, long time. Might be time to pull out the old VHS! :)

  11. TTBelle

    Certainly has aged a helluva lot better than ol’ skin & bones Hawke.

  12. Squirrel!

    Three-piece suit? I spy two pieces and a closely matching tie.

    Rewatched parts of Dead Poets’ Society recently and thought that Knox Overstreet dude looked awfully familiar. Couldn’t place him, though, until my husband (who never knows celebrities’ real names) yelled out, “Will Gardner!”

    • floretbroccoli

      Yes. Two-piece suit.

      Thanks for this public service of Josh Charles through the years. I am sad to report that I couldn’t find any pictures of him in the original Hairspray, filmed in his native Baltimore, of course.

  13. namidu

    Yes, yes, Knox Overstreet. I am in full agreement. But I have to join the chorus and tell you that you NEED to watch Sports Night IMMEDIATELY. If you loved him as Knox, you will *swoon* for Dan Rydell. Help us help you.

    • DanerKebab

      Truer words have never been spoken. Dan Rydell is why they swoon!

    • Karen

      Joining in on the Sports Night chorus. Dan Rydell will have you crushing HARDCORE.

      Oh my god, did I love him in Sports Night.

      And with Everwood following sharply on its heels, I formulated my theory that Gregory Smith was Josh Charles’ love-child.

  14. Allison

    Aaaahhhhhh! Knox Overstreet! How I loved and adored you. And yes, I watched Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead expressly because Josh was in it, and no, I don’t regret it. I don’t regret it one bit.

    One thing that you should regret, however, is making it this far in your life without having seen Sports Night. I’d offer to lend you my DVDs but I don’t lend out my Sports Night DVDs to anyone, lest I be seized with an overwhelming need to watch “The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee” and find that I don’t have my DVDs at hand. (The horror.) But you should definitely get on that. To know Dan Rydell is to love him. For he is Dan.

    • filmcricket

      Doer of great things where women are concerned.

      I know what you mean about the DVDs, I’m currently re-watching Deadwood but just reading your comment made me think “Huh, I haven’t watched ‘Dear Louise’ in FAR too long.” May be time to pull them out again.

  15. Cathy

    Sorry, just not seeing it…. must be getting old.

  16. honeychurch

    And then there was the time he dumped Jennifer Connelly just before the Oscars and she showed up looking utterly miserable in the Saddest Dress Ever to collect her Academy Award. Talk about bad timing, dude.

    Also: Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead. Yum, despite the 1990s clothes.

  17. Anna Lawrence

    Josh Charles: perfect in every possible way.

  18. Amanda

    I’ve loved him since Dead Poets Society… this post has made my day. :)

  19. Kris

    Just saw Josh Charles on CSN (Comcast Sports Net, I believe) on Sunday night before the Ravens game. He is one cool dude and a HUGE Baltimore sports fan – which is awesome, seeing how he’s from here. I never watched Sports Night either, for the same reasons – I could never find it! Perhaps I will be watching it online in the near future…

    Agreed – Ethan Hawke was always the skeeviest of the DPS bunch!

  20. philad128

    1. While JC IS extremely hot, the benefit of watching him on TGW is that he has to shave. For heaven’s sake, it’s called a razor. In some of these, where he genuinely has a facial hair IDEA, it’s fine. In others, he’s just scruffy.
    2. Good grief woman! Sports Night! Now! Felicity Huffman is surprisingly lovable (especially in Shoe Money Tonight), and both her and Natalie’s story lines about why they are women in sports are excellent. Also, Dan Rydell was ALL kinds of hot, but so was Peter Krause. There were many scenes without pants. And then there was the secret hotness that was Jeremy (AKA Josh Malina) until season 2. So yes. Sports Night.

    • Kendra

      No way I love the scruff! So rough-and-tumble. Like he just woke up. In bed. With me. WHAT?

    • Breda

      Man, I LOVED Felicity Huffman in Sports Night. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her in anything else so I have no basis for comparison, but she’s absolutely adorable on that show. Especially season 1. In season 2, everyone got a lot less fun and a lot more depressing.

  21. dee

    Sports Night! Watch it. It has Josh Malina too. The Aaron Sorkin dictionary vomiting dialog is stupendous. Felicity Huffman’s character IS annoying in it so you can pretend that it’s her character that is getting on your last nerve instead of Felicity the person.

    Some channel has a show called Sports Night (probably ESPN) and I always get a abnormally excited for a second when I am flipping channels and see the little title scroll from the cable company. “Yeah! Someone is showing Sports Night reruns. Awwww, it’s the other Sports Night. Boo.”

    Oh yeah. Josh Charles. Weirdly hot. I sense that he could be high maintenance. He seems a little angsty.

  22. Lisa D

    Oh gosh, Knox Overstreet. I love him. And I absolutely ADORE The Good Wife but lately I’ve been thinking that Josh is looking a little . . . beak-y. The nose tends to overpower him at times. (Don’t be mad, Josh, I still think you and Julianna Margulies have the best chemistry on TV right now. Just saying.)

  23. Jessica

    I kind of like the scruff…and I am not a fan of it in general….

    • jean

      I think it’s because he still looks like he bathed. He’s just so WASPy and New England looking still, so the scruff isn’t gross. Whereas Affleck always looks like he’s had a hard night of gambling or whatever when he doesn’t shave. Of course he’s probably working on a script. I shouldn’t read Lainey anymore.

  24. vandalfan

    Could use a comb, hot towel, and a close shave. Then he can date my granddaughter.

  25. GigiNYC

    Knox Overstreet forever! Oh captain, my captain. :)

  26. jean

    I love you Jessica just for the Peter Dinklage shot. How often does he get featured on a fashion site? LOVE. Plus they looked like they were having an awesome time with all those beers, probably talking shit about all their various co-stars. B-list actors probably have the best gossip.

  27. Sharon

    I’ll see you your “loved him since ‘Dead Poets Society’ with “I’ve loved him ever since the original, and FAR superior, ‘Hairspray’, circa 1988, set and filmed in his hometown of Baltimore. He was Iggy.” I’ll second and third and fourth all the “Sports Night” love…I still mourn that cancellation!

  28. filmcricket

    Vote for what’s most distracting on The Good Wife: his hairpiece, Julianna’s wigs, Archie Panjabi’s accent, or Alan Cumming’s accent? I go with AP pretty much every time, but I wish there wasn’t so much stuff pulling focus from the generally excellent storylines.

    I’ve never found Charles all that attractive, to be honest, but I will chime in here to say you must watch at least the first season of Sports Night. The whole thing goes off the rails in S2, but he and Krause have excellent chemistry in it and the ensemble is terrific.

    • BigNoise

      Not being snarky or rude, what irritates you about Archie and Alan’s accents? (Not mentioning Josh’s hairpiece because, frankly, I never noticed, and I kind of agree about Julianna’s wig — but I understand why she wears it).

      • filmcricket

        Not irritated by them, just distracted. Kalinda’s background is mysterious, so I suppose one could argue her muddled accent is part of that, but I do an aural double-take whenever she says something that sounds especially English. It reminds me of listening to Dominic West on The Wire.

        Cumming generally does a good take on the nondescript “American” TV accent (although he doesn’t sound to me like he’s from Chicago), but every once in a while I do notice a tiny slip and it pulls me out of the scene.

  29. Kendra

    How I love this man! He’s so talented & charming & lovely. And he has that crazy sexy smoldering thing going on that you can never quite explain. That’s my favourite – the inexplicable hot factor. GOD, I love men. (In a not-slutty way :) )

  30. BigNoise

    Josh is hawt, scruff and all — and that photo from the poker tournament with that newsboy cap? Yum, too cute.

  31. wtfnyc

    WOW — way to make my day, ladies!! I may or may not be a little obsessed with him, having maybe possibly ok I totally did stalked him in my NYC grocery once (or twice). SO. HOTT.

  32. Marianna

    I have to tell you, Sports Night is definitely worth giving a try. I know Aaron Sorkin can be kind of obnoxious, but Josh and Peter Krause have such phenomenal chemistry together and the show is just fantastic. Plus, it’s the only role I’ve ever liked Felicity Huffman in. She’s great too!

    (Or, well. As great as any female character by Aaron Sorkin ever really is.)

    Also, of course, thank you for the eye-candy. He sure is delightful to look at.

  33. Sally

    Sharon and Snuffy, LOVE the original Hairspray and completely forgot JC was Iggy- thanks for the reminder. Like so much of FugNation, I am horrified that Jessica does not know, love and quote Sports Night. My personal favorite Dan Rydell moment comes in “The Apology.” A must see for any Josh Charles fan. Please, please, please, Jessica, watch it. You have given us so much; let us give this to you.

  34. MsMacbeth

    Not that I don’t appreciate the retrospective (the newsboy cap! Dinklage! Knox!), but can someone explain to me what’s happening with his eyebrows? Why do the eyebrows of certain dark-haired men go transparent in their 40s? Josh Charles has happy, robust eyebrows in the photos from 2004-ish and then they slowly disappear until we get to the most recent Emmys photo and they’re more a skin ridge than an actual set of eyebrows. Disconcerting.

  35. Anne B

    Knox Overstreet was cute.

    Will Gardner is compelling, if occasionally a bit slippery on the morals.

    Josh Charles (actor, sports fan, funny guy) is completely, thoroughly HOT. Down to his freaking socks, he is.

    xoxoxo, Josh.

  36. Jamie

    I was totally chiming in to say that you forgot his Clown Dog outfit, but I see many devotees of kitschy 80′s film have beat me to it.

  37. Trish

    So glad I am not the only one with a lifelong crush on Knox/Dan/Will/Josh.

  38. Fuh Ugh

    Clown Dog. Grunion run. Sigh.

  39. casey

    I’ll add to the chorus – you must watch Sports Night! Peter Krause and Josh Charles were amazing together, I was soo disappointed when they kept changing the time slot for that show and then it just went away. Yay for Netflix streaming!

  40. yeahandalso

    this wasn’t a very retro retrospective more vintage Josh!

    Also #4 has got to be the worst picture I’ve seen of either of them…ick

  41. Stefanie

    I had to google him. *hangs head in Hottie Shame* The only thing I have ever seen with him in it is Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead. He is pretty hot and tasty.

  42. Shannon

    Did you see him on Martha Stewart? So cute!
    And you must watch Sports Night on Netflix. The main girls on the show are annoying, but it’s still a really great show.

  43. la-karenina

    This is one of the many reasons why I love you.

  44. AJ

    Netflix is instant streaming Sports Night right now. I just rewatched both seasons in a 72 hour period. It was amazing. You should partake.
    It is particularly fun to see the 1st time Aaron Sorkin fell in love with many of the actors he would go on to use in everything else he ever did. (I’m looking at you Josh Malina & Janel Maloney)

  45. emster

    Adorable. But noticing that he must use some serious makeup on screen to cover up under his eyes. In regular photos, it’s incredibly noticeable.

  46. Eve

    SPORTS NIGHT YES! Josh and Krause and Malina and Guillaume are fantastic. Yes, the weak points are Felicity Huffman and Sabrina Lloyd (and of the two, the latter is the worst! And she was horrible on ‘Ed’!), but it’s worth checking out.

  47. midge

    my first comment ever after having read the blog for like 2 years–THANK YOU for the picture of josh charles + ethan hawke. my life is complete now. i’ve been in love with knox overstreet ever since i saw dead poets society when i was in 10th grade.

  48. Jane

    1. Josh Charles & Michael C. Hall are actually friends – used to see them together at the gym in NYC
    2. You haven’t mentioned In Treatment (Season 1), in which Josh Charles is both a total jerk and the best husband ever – really a must see for any Knox fan
    3. Love all the man fug lately! Can you please do Coach (er, Eric Taylor) next? Pretty please?

  49. Anne B


    Sorry to get all capsy there … couldn't resist! :)

  50. eee

    I can’t be the only one who has watched Threesome many, many times just for Josh Charles, can I? (I certainly didn’t watch it for Stephen Baldwin, I’ll tell you that.)

    • Sami

      FINALLY! I was waiting for someone to mention Threesome! If you are going to talk about Josh Charles’ hotness, Sports Night and Threesome are necessary.

      Jessica – I agree with all the others, make a small amount of time for Sports Night in your life. You will love Dan Rydell.

      • Sajorina

        I admit that I watched “Threesome” at an age when I shouldn’t have been watching it, but he was so yummy in it!!!

  51. Kendra

    I need to add – that woman in the first picture, who’s probably his girlfriend? I’ve never seen her before, but oh my gosh she’s gorgeous.

  52. Dara

    Um… you also neglected to highlight his early adorableness as displayed in the greatest film of our time, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.

  53. Chaiaiai

    Jesus take the wheel indeed.

    Mr. Charles, your wheelhouse is clean cut and clubby. Do NOT emulate the Hawke.

  54. Conchobara

    a) Love Sports Night. One of my all-time favorite shows.
    b) Loved JC since Don’t Tell Mom… Sigh. He seemed so accessible. Sweet nerd.
    c) Since when does Ethan Hawke look like Mark McGrath?? I was trying to do a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon for JC and MM. Did.Not.Recognize.Him!

  55. Allie

    I know that he’s been around for awhile now, but I have just now gotten around to truly appreciating the perfection that is Mr. Charles. Probably because I marathon’d the first two seasons of The Good Wife over the summer and reverted back to a 13 year old girl with a crush. I just find him so adorably dreamy!

    1) He’s a Maryland boy and he has so much state pride that it makes me stupid-grin every time it comes up. BERGER’S COOKIES! He earned like 100+ cool points for that alone.
    2) He’s aged really really reeeeeally well.
    3) Will Gardner is my TV boyfriend.
    4) This photo shoot:

    (I need to watch Sports Night, too. As a Krause and Charles-lovin’ sports fanatic, I don’t really understand what I’m waiting for either!)

  56. Sarah

    I sat next to him in a bar in Baltimore this winter. I was DYING to make a Clown Dog reference to him but I figured he would assume I was being a jerk and not seriously praising him on that awesome movie. He is quite good-looking in person, too.

  57. Victoria

    Yaaaaaay! So glad that you followed up and did the Retrospectfug of Josh. Don’t Tell Mom… was a great film and JC was precious in it. DPS is my #2 favourite film of all time, and from the first time I saw it (when I was 9), all I could think was how I wanted Knox Overstreet to be my boyfriend forever. At 27, that feeling has not gone away, but rather cocooned into wanting Josh Charles to be my boyfriend forever. Sophie Flack is a very lucky gal.

    The DPS reunion shot with Ethan Hawke? Pshaw. Hawke has looked completely vile for a while now, but it is highlighted when he stands next to hot grown-up Josh. The best DPS reunion was in season 1 of The Good Wife. The episode was called “Hi”, and it was about the stay-at-home husband of a big-shot corporate CEO. The husband was accused of killing the babysitter, and was played by James Waterston (aka the real-life son of BAMF Jack McCoy of L&O fame). The second he showed up on my screen, I shrieked “PITTSY!!!!!” at the top of my lungs. Seriously, I’m waiting for Meeks, Cameron, and Dalton aka “Nuwanda” to make appearances on the show in the near future. It would pretty much complete my life.

    Thanks for the oodles of man-candy recently, but especially for featuring Mr. Charles, who has gotten even better-looking with age. And I’m adding my voice to the chorus imploring you to give Sports Night a go. I was crushed when it was cancelled.

  58. Melbourne on my mind

    Every time I see him on TV in anything at all, I immediately squeal “KNOX OVERSTREET!!!!!!!!!” at the screen. Apparently no one I know loved DPS *quite* as much as I did, because I’ve yet to find someone who does anything but give me a confused look. Sigh.

  59. Michele

    She looks like Tammy 1 in this shot. RUN JOSH RUN

  60. Sajorina

    I’m sorry because I can see that some of the people of Fug Nation knows his girlfriend, but I have to FUG her outfit on Pic #8! He looks good no matter what!

  61. exquisite red

    Ditto to everything awesome everyone said about Sports Night. I absolutely loved that show. Give it a chance! It only has like, 2 seasons, so well, if you don’t like it, not a ton of time wasted! I see on IMDB the tag is “It’s about sports. The same way Charlie’s Angels was about law enforcement.” & I think they had a similar one about Baywatch: “It’s about sports. The same way Baywatch was about water safety.” or something like that. Plus, I loved Josh Malina (oh, I think he’s a little hotter, but I do love nerds, and his character was nerdy) and Peter Krause.

    Anyway, loved that show, love him! Thanks for sharing.

  62. Laurian

    you guys have weird taste. Dont think he is even the slightest bit hot. Give some eye candy like the supernatural boys please!

  63. Daryl

    He’s mine. I have lusted after him since Sports Night … which BTW is on NetFlix so watch it, its Sorkin at his best and Felicity wasnt annoying .. this long time GF if he really loved her he’d have married her by now … he is mine!!!!!

  64. TonyG

    I’m with Laurian… He’s another guy where his “hotness” factor befuddles me. More geeky, less hottie for me. I think there is something about guys with too much forehead that turns me off.

  65. Yates

    That pic of him in the floppy hat suddenly made me so upset that he wasn’t in Newsies.

    • Victoria

      Yates, I want to hug you so hard right now. That was my exact same reaction to the newsboy hat picture, too!!! He would have been genius in Newsies. Not that I’d have replaced anyone in that film with Josh; I’d have created a new character for him. Good lord, if he and Christian Bale had ever been on my screen at one time, I’d have melted into a puddle of goo. Too much hotness to be able to function!

  66. Lucky De Milo

    I made out with him in the 90s after picking him up at the Viper Room. I give him 7.5/10. Very cute.

  67. ChaChaHeels

    You really have to see him in In Treatment–such a brilliant and compelling performance. He goes from being a repugnant brute to being one of the most sympathetic and moving characters ever. He’s great looking and really talented.

  68. Daryl

    Did you see where Lisa Edelstein was on The Good Wife as an ex of Will’s?

  69. Laurie

    love the references to Sports Night – the best show ever! I have the DVD set, Josh and Peter Krause – yummmy!

  70. Ximena Navarrette
  71. Callie

    Hmm. You’re persuasive, but like Penny for me it was always all about Robert Sean Leonard in DPS. Any chance of a RSL Retrospectfug for scientific comparison?

  72. corriner

    He is one of those that isn’t the usual type of man I find attractive, but he’s got that … quality, as if he knows you’re looking at him. HOT. SO SO HOT.

  73. Ansley

    He looks great in this photo shoot too.

  74. ebrca

    love that he was a corny collins dancer in “Hairspray” (the original one) and “Don’t Tell Mom…”. it’s nice to see him weekly. However can’t quite forgive his treatment of Jennifer Connelly.