He's still a very busy and successful actor today, and I enjoy a lot of his work, but I had a special mini man love for C. Thomas Howell pretty much during the entire Reagan Administration.

Part of it was his name. I have to admit it, I wouldn't have been as impressed if he were just introduced to me as Chris Howell (the 'C.', according to IMDB, stands for Christopher). When I first asked my sister who that guy who played Ponyboy was, the letter at the front of his name sounded like the coolest thing I ever heard. I don't think it hurt that he played in three of the biggest movies of my young life.

In 1982, it was E.T.

That was the biggest movie in the world, not just to me, but to a lot of people.

Then he followed that up with the 'Outsiders in 1983.

Epic. That movie was everything to me. It was toughness. It was family. It was about staying gold. And C. Thomas was the golden boy.

Then, in 1984, he played Robert in 'Red Dawn', and my forever love was cemented.

I didn't grow up in a pacifist community. We hunted and played guns and played war, and to a 10 year old Paul Robert (me), this movie pretty much had it all.

This is not a 'Where are they now?' post.

Howell has never fallen off the radar, and has amassed an impressive 159 title on IMDB.com.