By Stephanie Brush
June 23, 1986 12:00 PM

JFK Jr.: The Most Eligible

His father stayed single until he was 36; John F. Kennedy Jr., 25, could do the same. At least he plans to have fun before starting Columbia Law School in September. One favorite hangout is New York’s Palladium disco; when a girl approaches him at the bar, he says shyly, “Hi, I’m John,” although it’s doubtful he needs any introduction. The same self-effacing charm works in the daytime. Seemingly apolitical until last year, he has made several trips to Massachusetts to campaign for cousin Joe, a candidate for Congress. “I kissed him once,” recalls a contented female voter. “I’d rate him at the top.” It was unclear whether she was talking about politics.

Bruce Willis, 31

“Women are pretty important,” the press-shy actor told an interviewer for Rolling Stone. “I was digging them when I was about 10 years old.” In his 20s, when he lived in New York and worked as a bartender, Willis reportedly spent as much time picking up as pouring. (His steadies have included actress Linda (Gotcha) Fiorentino and Geraldo’s ex, Sherry Rivera.) “I’m rather fond of Italian women, only because those are the kind I grew up around,” he has said. These days, however, Willis claims to live a lonely guy’s life—rising at dawn for the trip to the Moonlighting set, returning after dark. And fame hasn’t necessarily helped his prospects. During one recent trip to L.A.’s Hard Rock Cafe, Moonlighting appeared on a TV over the bar, and its star, Willis, feeling self-conscious, made for the exit.

George Brett, 33

Don’t think he gets to third base every night. “I’m always on the road, and when I come home, it’s to an empty house,” complains Kansas City’s $1.5 million man. “The married guys come back to wives, kids, dogs and cats. But I have to unlock the door myself and turn on the lights.” Brett says he doesn’t date much. “I’ve been playing major league ball for 13 years and I need sleep,” he explains. “Besides, it gets old going out every night.” His idea of a perfect evening involves a woman who’ll prepare a meal of “meat loaf, green peas, potatoes au gratin and maybe some chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk, followed by a few hours in front of the TV. I’ve been single a long time, and I’ve gotten pretty set in my ways.” The women he does date are usually in their 20s because, Brett says, “with older women you have to get dressed up.”

Robert Hays, 35

“I’m available, with a capital A,” says Hays—and he doesn’t mean professionally either. (His new series, Star-man, is part of ABC’s fall lineup.) But, he says, “I wouldn’t know how to pick up someone if my life depended on it. The real truth is that the way I pursue women is to let them come after me.” Among those who have, apparently, are former flames Marsha Mason, Donna Pescow, Pam Dawber and Michelle Phillips, who explains, “Women love a flirt, and Bob is one of the great flirts of Hollywood.” In between, he has had an on-again, off-again relationship with Terry Becker, a recording engineer he’s known since high school. “We split more times than Elvis’ pants,” says Hays, who won’t rule out a reconciliation. “She’s the only woman I’ve ever lived with.” In the meantime, Hays says he is available to any girl “with the patience of a saint, spunk, and a head flat enough to set a can of beer on.” She’ll have to be willing to date a guy who claims, “when I look in the mirror, I don’t particularly like what I see. I’m just an Everyman—I’ll never have Schwarzenegger’s body.” And she’ll have to like Bullwinkle, the moose. “No matter whom I’m with on Saturday mornings,” he says, “I never miss my cartoons.”

Danny Sullivan, 36

Calling them the Indianapolis 500 might be an exaggeration, but Sullivan’s liaisons are legion. He has been photographed partying with Susan Anton, skiing with Jill St. John and hugging Ursula Andress. These days he does all three with Los Angeles decorator Julie Nini, 32. But his true love affair isn’t with women. “I can’t always be worried about them or what they’re doing,” says Sullivan, who has spent 13 years on the racing circuit. “First I’m practicing, then maybe I’m figuring out what to change on the car.” Nini shouldn’t expect Sullivan to race to the altar either. “The only reason to be married is to have a child,” he says, “and right now it would be very, very difficult to have a child and this kind of life. Friends who have children say that it changes their lives. They want to be home with the kids. Well, I’m just not ready to give up everything I’ve worked for.”

John James, 30

TV’s Jeff Colby has lived with actress Marcia Wolf, 30ish, since 1983, despite tabloid reports linking him with others. “Sure, there are times Marcia can’t go out with me. I took [Colbys’ co-star] Stephanie Beacham along once, and the press made a lot out of that.” Still, he doesn’t know if he’ll propose to Marcia. “It’s a little early yet. And there’s always something I have to do, some place I have to be. If I hadn’t canceled a trip this morning, I would have been gone for the whole month.” For James, being famous has its downside. Six years ago, when he left Manhattan for Hollywood, he says, “The girl I was living with was working in afternoon television in New York, and because of that she couldn’t join me. Six months later I asked her to marry me. But we’d been apart too long, and she said no.” He says he hasn’t seriously thought of marriage since.

David Lee Roth, 30

“I fully expect to get married someday,” says the man who left Van Halen for a solo career. “Where do you think little rock stars come from?” Until then he’s just a gigolo, or something. “Not a day goes by that I don’t get a letter in the mail that says, ‘Remember me from three years ago in Peoria?’ Well, his name is Spike and he needs a bicycle.” Roth has known steady relationships. “I’ve been reasonably close to marriage several times, but we ended up not getting along. The last girl I was real serious about was pretty tough stuff.” When he does tie the knot, the chief beneficiaries will be his bodyguards. “They might not have to fight as many women off of me if I’m not available,” figures Dave. “And they might get more for themselves.”

Dave Winfield, 34

“When I was 25 or so, I said, ‘I’ll get married in a couple of years,’ ” says the 6’6″ New York Yankee outfielder. “I just never got around to it. But I haven’t regretted it.” He’s quick to point out that he knows what he wants: “I don’t like guys.” He also doesn’t like aggressive women—”We live in an age where women will try anything”—and is uncomfortable with the fact that being famous means “everyone knows me before I know them, so I’m at a disadvantage. They say, ‘I want to be your friend.’ Well, let me be selective about whom I want to be with.” Winfield, who earns $1.8 million a year, does plan to marry and have kids. “I’d like to start out with twins and get that out of the way early,” he says. “I wouldn’t want my wife pregnant all the time.”

Mikhail Baryshnikov, 38

Gelsey Kirkland, who in the ’70s was Baryshnikov’s partner onstage and off, once told reporters, “You have to understand, he goes through everybody.” Maybe so, but apparently he came close to marrying Jessica Lange, the mother of his daughter, Aleksandra, 5. Word is that Misha was ready to wed, but Jessica turned him down and left New York for California, where she met Sam Shepard. Baryshnikov rebounded quickly with beautiful Lisa Rinehart, a member of his American Ballet Theater. “We all know his relationships don’t last,” an ex-girlfriend once remarked. “But when he pursues you, who can resist?”

Steven Ford, 30

The Young and the Restless isn’t just the name of the soap opera that has him under contract until 1988; until recently it was an accurate description of his dating habits. “I used to go out and carouse,” remembers Ford. “I was afraid to go to sleep because I thought I might miss something,” even if that meant “giving up feeling good in the morning.” His Restless co-star Doug Davidson says, “Hitting the town with Steve was like poker night, only the chips were women.” Even Betty Ford is aware of her youngest son’s predilections. “Steve has always liked them blond, petite and pretty,” says the former First Lady. “Sometimes I got one cute little blonde confused with another, but they all seemed nice.” These days, while dividing his time between Los Angeles and his ranch in Northern California, Steve’s No. 1 blonde is a 1982 world diving champion, Wendy Wyland, 21. Ford met Wyland after he wrote her a letter wishing her good luck in the 1984 Olympics. But since Wendy trains in Florida, Ford says, “We both see other people as friends. When I want to go to a movie, it’s nice to be able to call a member of the opposite sex.”

Mark Harmon, 34

“I’m not on the make,” insists the man whose libidinous fans have gone so far as to climb over the fence surrounding his L.A. retreat in the middle of the night. (When that happened, Harmon appeared on the lawn, stark naked and carrying a gun.) Still, after ending a four-year romance with his Flamingo Road co-star Cristina Raines (“accepting that our relationship was not going to last didn’t come easily”), he spent a few weeks with Heather Locklear (“If you can’t say anything nice about somebody, don’t say anything,” he remarked after the breakup). Then, this spring he began dating Pam Dawber after the pair were set up by a mutual friend. So what does Harmon look for in a woman? “I’m interested in people, nice people—not America’s sexiest women. And that’s about as deep as it gets with me.” Jokes Mark, “I’m just a sick boy, I guess.”