10 Sexy Stars Who Heat Up Summer TV, Including Max Hodges

by | June 18, 2009 at 9:21 AM | Cover Story

With additional reporting by Ann Murray.

Summer television is a time for lighter fare and sexy stars. These are the 10 we think generate the most heat during the year’s hottest months.

The 10

Grace Park: Benjamin Bratt got most of the attention when A&E launched its first scripted series, ‘The Cleaner,’ but Grace Park is proving a major draw as the A&E show returns for its second season [watch an extended preview here.] on June 23. The 5-9 former model had already achieved megababe status from her turn as Cylon #8 on ‘Battlestar Gallactica’, landing her in Maxim magazine’s Top 100 list twice, as well as a separate category headlined “Too Hot For TV.” And guess what? She just shot another Maxim spread and yes, count on seeing some skin. “I’m sure if you’re Beyonce you get to say ‘no, I won’t wear this,’” she told Fancast. “I’m kind of more of a trooper. I try to be accommodating. I mean if you go to a bikini shoot, you’ll be wearing bikinis!” Born in LA but raised in Canada, Park is married to real estate developer Phil Kim, who quickly learned Park is more practical than princess. “When I first dated my husband, he bought me a pair of Manolos,” she says. “And it almost broke us up. I said ‘oh, you’re one of those guys who just want me to look the part! How could you do this to me?’ Did she keep the shoes? “No, I took the shoes back,” she says. “I mean most girls would have loved it. But I’m not into buying too much stuff. I mean why spend hundreds or thousands on an outfit you are just going to wear for one night?” See more photos here and watch the entire first season of ‘The Cleaner’ here. Tune into the season 2 premiere June 23 on A&E.

The Centerfold

Kendra Wilkinson: If ever someone defined a sexy summer TV star, it’s Kendra Wilkinson, who once uttered this infamous approach to fashion: “I really don’t start planning my outfits unlike, like, a week ahead, because whatever I put on is going to be hot.” Laugh all you want, but no one argued. She’s blond, with a bombshell figure (34-24-32, in case you didn’t know), a portfolio of nude Playboy photo spreads (they’re “sexy, classy and nude,” she once said), and as of three weeks ago her own new series on E!, conveniently titled ‘Kendra.’ The former Girl Next Door also has a couple other things going for her right now, namely she’s planning to marry pro football star Hank Baksett and pregnant. “Hank and I were beyond excited when we found out the news,” she blogged about her great expectation. The two, engaged since last November, are set to tie the knot on June 27. “I was so nervous and had so many different emotions inside me,” she says about his proposal.” “And he goes down on one knee – and I still didn’t even hear one word. I swear I heard someone yell at me, ‘Just answer the question!’” As for her wedding dress, Kendra is helping to design it, explaining, “It’s an all out princess dress.” The San Diego-born good time girl, whose mother was once a cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles, says getting nakie in photo layouts is in her past. “I think things have changed and my life has moved on,” she says. “Not that I’m moving on from being friends with Hef [Playboy founder Hugh Hefner] or anything like that. I’ve just naturally moved on with my life. We’ve had, what, three layouts? I think I’m good.” Only a year ago, though, she described herself to Fancast as a “sex icon,” laughing that she was more than able to handle the attention “because it’s true.” Now she’d rather be known as a wife and soon-to-be-mother. “In the past I didn’t really have anything to care about,” she says. “I really didn’t care. I was just like I’m going to go crazy and I don’t care what anybody says. I’m going to flash the world. I just wanted to be the center of attention. But now I’ve slowed down.” Slowed but not stopped. As she says, “I kind of have a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other.” See more photos here. Watch Kendra on E!

Meow!

Cat Deeley: The website Buzzsugar.com recently asked users who they preferred as host, ‘American Idol’’s Ryan Seacrest or ‘So You Think You Can Dance‘’s Cat Deeley, and one user’s comments easily summed up why Deeley scored an easy victory: “I love Cat. Love her voice, & she’s so tall & pretty! Plus, she always wears great dresses.” After a guest appearance on Idol, a blogger went into caps over her, writing, “YAY! I LOVE CAT DEELY!!! Don’t you just love to watch her? Can’t we trade Seacrest in for her? No one would ever want to go back if they experienced such awesomeness.” Born in England, Deeley capitalized on her good looks early, entering a modeling contest at 14, turning professional at 18, and then landing on the UK’s MTV channel a short time later. Within no time, she became the popular host of a children’s show. In 2006, she replaced pregnant ‘So You Think You Can Dance”s original host Lauren Sanchez and never left. After a spot on ‘The Tonight Show With Jay Leno’, guest George Clooney reportedly “flirted and asked for her number,” or so said London’s Daily Mail. But no one would blame him if he did. Deeley won UK Maxim’s Woman of the Year honors, was #11 on FHM’s All-Time 100 Sexiest Hall of Fame poll, and boasts that when drunk “I’ll usually get the top of a pint glass into my mouth. The whole circumference right in there.” She has repeatedly poked fun at her thick head of hair (“Everybody has a bad hair day, but us girls still like to be told we look nice even if we don’t feel like we do”) and made a point of being sensible about beauty. “As long as you smile, have sparkly eyes and stick your shoulders back, nobody’s going to notice your bum or your waist or your feet, for that matter,” she once said. Married, Deeley divides her time between L.A. and London and seems to know what she’s doing when it comes to taking care of herself. “A girl’s got to do what she’s got to do to make somebody pay her a compliment,” she said. “If that means moaning ’til the cows come home, then so be it. See more photos here. Tune into ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ on Fox Thursday nights at 9 pm.

The Collector

Jill Wagner: The 2006 headline said it all: “Blade Series Cancelled; Jill Wagner Still Hot.” Indeed, the North Carolina native’s first claim to fame came as the pitchwoman for Mercury cars – “we do know a hot-as-hell spokesperson when we see her,” oolged Jalopnik.com – and though the car industry has suffered setbacks, Wagner has gone on to host ABC’s summer smash ‘Wipeout.’ Don’t expect to see her trying the obstacle course. “I’m the host, not the contestant,” she tells Fancast. Another Maxim hottie (in 2004, the magazine ranked her number 90 among the top 100 women), she laughs, “I don’t see the hotness. Honestly, I’m stumped. I don’t understand the whole thing. I’m an easy-going girl. I’m weird and dorky.” Actually, other adjectives come to mind when photos of this good-humored beauty pop up on websites. “I feel like cringing when I see those pictures,” she explains. “I understand what guys want. With clothing, less is more.” What does she find sexy? On herself, it’s jeans and a white t-shirtt. When looking at someone else, she finds “happiness and confidence within oneself” most attractive. Before yawning, you should know that Wagner collects guns and cherishes her Les Paul guitar. “I just got Slash to sign it,” she says, admitting she enjoys singing Guns ‘n Roses’ classic rocker `Sweet Child ‘O Mine’ at the top of her voice. But there’s a sneaky side to her, too. Lately, Wagner has been going out wearing a sexy pheromone spray. “ Every time I wear it, men and women come up and ask what are you wearing,” she says. “They have that unmistakable look like – well, never mind.” Speaking of unmentionables, she has a secret obsession – a huge lingerie collection. “I spend hundreds of dollars each month,” she says. “But apparently it’s for no reason – because I’m still single.” See more photos. and watch full episodes here. Tune into ‘Wipeout’ on ABC.

The Thunder From Down Under

Ryan Kwanten: The question with Ryan Kawnten isn’t whether he’s sexy. It’s where to start with this latest ridiculously good-looking import from Down Under? In person, there’s his accent. Then there’s the fact he can spout poetry and have it come off as unaffected and natural. (The accent helps.) And then there’s his wheat-colored hair tussled and teased into a field of dreams for the right fingertips; eyes that inspire naughty thoughts; and last but not least there is his chiseled physique, which fortunately for his female fans has not gone unnoticed by producers of HBO’s ‘True Blood.’ Even better, Jason Stackhouse, the character he plays on the sizzling series, is downright sex crazed on this new season, so viewers will be seeing lots more of him. As will Kwanten’s family back in Australia, a thought that makes him pause. “I’m glad I didn’t have to watch it with them because that would be awkward,” he says. “My mum has seen me naked in my early years, of course, but not in those, uh, compromising positions.” Told he made our list of sexy stars, Kwanten laughed, “That’s scary.” But underplaying the obvious is true to his real life role as a boyish charmer. For him, a sexy night is spent at home. “I don’t go out much,” he says. “I’m a bit of a homebody.” He takes pride in his well-muscled physique. “I always keep myself in good condition,” he says. “It’s part of being an actor, and something I’ve just always done. In a way, I’m a bit of a masochist at heart.” As for why Aussies seem hotter than everybody else (think Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Eric Bana, Heath Ledger, Julian McMahon and Simon Baker), he’s equally direct. “It’s probably because we tend to tell it like it is. There’s no bullshit. And I have no problem being vulnerable or emotional or being a man. I can’t speak for anyone else though.” He doesn’t have to, does he ladies? See more photos here and check out exciting video from the show. ‘True Blood’ airs on HBO.

Brains & Body

Gabrielle Anwar: Though People magazine called her one of the world’s most beautiful women, Gabrielle Anwar dismisses that compliment off as “a long time ago” but then quickly reconsiders. “it bloody well can’t hurt. I’d rather be considered sexy than a frigid old bag. I’m a feminist to a certain point, but flatter me all you want and I’ll accept it willingly.” OK, here goes: Along with co-star Jeffrey Donovan, Anwar has turned USA’s ‘Burn Notice’ into cable’s biggest scripted series and as the NY Times noted, “her beauty is half the gag.” But it’s no joke. “Ms Anwar’s refined angularity leaves her more beautiful at almost 40 than she was at 22,” gushed the Times. “She could make Julia Roberts look like a cashier.” In person, the British born and raised Anwar, who swept Hollywood off its feet in the 1993 Al Pacino movie ‘Scent of a Woman, is a single mother of three. She does yoga, paints, takes photos and writes. “My bliss is in writing,” she says. “I feel as though I’m tapping into my past, my present and my future, all that esoteric New Agey stuff that nobody likes to read because it’s really dull. But that’s my bliss. I think that when you are participating in the depiction of a hero’s journey, you become the hero.” Asked what she finds sexy in others, she says, “Truth.” She pauses to think, then apologizes for not coming up with a more glib response. “I’m not turned on in the least by a superficial depiction of sex,” she says. “It’s cartoonish to me. I’d rather watch two people f***ing than a porno movie because I don’t want to see someone faking their eroticism. I want to see the eroticism.” Attention Gabrielle: in case you don’t know it, that is sexy. See more photos here and watch full episodes of the show here. Tune into ‘Burn Notice’ Thursdays at 9pm on USA.

The Wild Man

Bear Grylls: The British outdoorsman-adventurer, born Edward Michael Grylls, was given his nickname, Bear, by his sister, Lara, when he was one week old. Talk about being prescient. Never mind his athletic build and movie-star visage, Grylls’ accomplishments would classify him as a world-class stud by anybody’s definition. At 23, he summated Mt. Everest, the youngest Briton to achieve that lofty feat – and that was a mere 18 months after he had broken his back. In addition, he has jet-skied around the UK, made an unassisted crossing of the North Atlantic Arctic Ocean, and paramotored over the Himalayas. But he is best known in the U.S. as the star of Discovery’s ‘Man vs. Wild,’ where he drops himself in the most inhospitable environments and attempts to survive with little more than the most basic tools, his wits and eating the occasional gross bug, dead animal or reindeer eyeball, as he and actor Will Ferrell did on a special episode that found the two of them battling extreme elements for 48 hours in the frigid Swedish wilderness. How sexy did he find Ferrell? “All was fine until he mistook me for his wife in the night,” he told Fancast. Grills doesn’t consider himself a sex symbol even though he has been recognized as such for years. “No!,” he barks. “I am consistently covered in mud and blood from Man vs. Wild! And I probably stink!” However, pressed to name his most attractive feature, he said, “I can laugh at myself and I am intensely loyal.” Indeed, married for nearly nine years, he and wife, Shara, have three children. Ask the most romantic adventure he’s ever taken, Grylls replies, “Bare boat sailing, just Shara and me. Sleeping on deck. Skinny dipping by sunset.” See more photos here and watch amazing video from the show. ‘Man vs Wild’ returns for a new season in August.

The Real Woman

Emme: As often happens on reality shows, the host is way hotter than the designated eye-candy on the contestant side, and that will likely be the case on July 28 when full-figured supermodel Emme takes on hosting duties for ‘More to Love,” Fox’s summertime dating show on which “a single and eligible man with a big waist and an even bigger heart romances 20 lucky plus-sized women.” According to Emme, the show serves up plenty of evidence that sexiness comes in all shapes and sizes, something she preached to curvy women for years. “[But] you can’t convince people of anything,” she tells Fancast. “First you have to know it, then you have to practice it, and then you have to see it in other people.” How does she advise people to flipping on the switch to their natural hotness? “The key to finding your inner sexiness is giving yourself pleasure every day,” she says. Spoken like a true trail-blazer. The bestselling author of four books and former host of E!’s ‘Fashion Emergency,’ Emme became the first plus-sized spokesperson for a cosmetics company when she signed with Revlon in the early ‘90s. People magazine named her one of its “Most Beautiful People,” and in 1999 Ladies Home Journal recognized her as one of its “most important women in America.” Her advice to other women is to embrace the whole package: “Curiosity, intrigue, mysteriousness and an allure of self-confidence.” Now single and the mother of a seven-year-old girl, Emme’s notion of sexy is “being open to new ideas.” Could such a new idea include a “cougar”-type relationship? “I would most definitely date a younger man, but not just based on youth,” she says. “He should be driven, intellectual passionate, enthusiastic…But I find the whole notion of cougar empowering yet contradictory. It’s definitely opening the playing field in dating, and I think the idea is exciting as long as we don’t lose the gentleman in our man. A woman likes to be treated like a lady no matter how you slice it.” See Emme’s photo here. ‘More To Love’ premieres July 28 on Fox.

The Rock Chick

Aubry Fisher: Aubry Fisher didn’t totally rock Brett Michaels’ world on Rock of Love 2, but she came close. Now the blond rock chick, a former karaoke DJ and makeup artist, has landed a new gig as manager of the tattoo shop on the TLC series ‘L.A. Ink.’ The show’s star Kat Von D. has already impressed her. “She’s a very talented artist and a very hard worker,” Fisher says of her boss. “It is unbelievable how hard that woman works.” And how hot she is. “A driven woman is always hot, not to mention she is flawless in the looks department,” she adds. Fisher was less than, er, rocked by her stint on ‘Rock of Love.’ The show, she says, was “very high school,” and as for Michaels, she says, “the truth of the matter is, we did not see him except for when the public saw him on TV. It was just kind of weird.” Fortunately, Fisher is going to be very visible on her new series. How could you miss such a shapely beauty whose describes her style as “lately being more Bohemian” and “hippie,” and admits that with the arrival of summer, “I live for little shorts”? Gotta say, loves it! As expected, Fisher has hung around the rock scene for much of her life. Her taste in music ranges from Metallica to Bob Marley to Jeffrey Osbourne. Single, she says, “I have not have very good luck in love,” though she adds, “I am hopeful.” Note to potential suitors: Don’t try the slick pickup lines on this smart, savvy babe. “I’ve heard them all, and they are all the worst,” she says. Fisher’s preferences run toward hard-working, active men (“I’m a sucker for a white collar, All American man,” she says); and she wants to be pampered. “I love a guy with manners,” she says. “I am kind of old-fashioned. I do not want the guy who thinks that a proper compliment is ‘you have a nice butt.’” For her, a romantic evening includes “dinner and champagne by the fire,” and as for bedtime, she curls up wearing pajama bottoms and a ribbed men’s tank top. Her secret to being sexy? I think sexy is a state of mind,” she says. “Confidence is sexy. Honest is sexy. Strength is sexy.” Watch full episodes here. Tune into the new season of ‘L.A. Ink’ July 9 on TLC.

The Rad One

Max Hodges: You probably don’t know his name. But you’ve no doubt noticed him. So let us formally introduce you to the guy who you have likely referred to in the past as simply “the hot surfer dude on TMZ.” His name is Max – Max Hodges to be specific. And yes, he is the mellow yellow hunkster sitting in the middle of the gossip show’s editorial mayhem, pitching celebrity news stories and cracking countless jokes – often at the expense of his teammates and his boss, TMZ executive producer and perpetually thirsty ringmaster/genius Harvey Levin. As for personal details, Max really does surf. He couldn’t be any more laid back. He is 28. He has worked with Levin for years. He has a great sense of humor. He’s single. He grew up in Santa Cruz, but currently lives in Manhattan Beach. He is aware of some websites that follow his every move and on-air utterance but doesn’t take them seriously. “I try not to look at that stuff,” he says. “I just try to live my life.” When we caught up with him, Max was just about to cruise around on his bike and maybe catch some afternoon waves. Fortunately, he put the kickstand down and talked with us about his hair, TMZ and a supposed feud with rapper Ice-T. How does it feel to be a sex symbol? It’s kind of trippy. It’s pretty cool. I mean of course it’s flattering. I don’t know how to feel about it. Honestly, I just wanna be myself. Well, congrats. You’re one of our sexiest guys on TV. That is way cool. How did you end up at TMZ? I used to be a runner at ‘Extra.’ Then I also was a runner for Harvey’s old show, ‘Celebrity Justice.’ As a runner, you run and get tapes, you get coffee, you do everyting – it’s like a gopher, entry level position. When the website started, they offered me a job, which I turned down. Why? Because I didn’t want a real job. I just wanted to surf, cruise around, and travel. Eventually, I took it. I figured I’d want a new job sooner or later. And then we got the show deal, and then…well the show was supposed to be totally different. How so? They had hosts, but eventually it evolved into us doing our normal morning meeting and that’s what you see. And now here I am. Do you get recognized? Atbars and clubs. It’s cool. People take pictures. I don’t mind. Have you had any run-ins with celebrities? Well actually, what’s that dude’s name. Michael Rapaport came up to me a little bit upset once. But I mean, I can’t be responsible for everything that goes on in the show. Once it’s all said and done, it’s just fun, we’re just trying to have fun and not be mean-spirited. People usually get that it’s just a joke. We follow news stories – which is very important – but we’re also trying to be fun and be entertaining. Do you have favorite celebrities? Dog the Bounty Hunter is great. He’s the man. Him and Beth were so cool. He’s hilarious. Do you watch much TV? Not really. I watch FUEL, because they have surfing and skating shows. I watch Planet Earth (Discovery Channel), I watch music channels, I used to watch HD Net all the time – ‘Bikini Destinations’ – because it was just so rad. It was just hot chicks. In HD! But I don’t get that channel anymore! They took it off the air and turned into the Smithsonian channel. And there’s not even anything good in the Smithsonian channel – it sounds like there should be, but there’s not.What happened that sparked the rumor that Ice-T wanted to beat you up? I’m so glad you brought that up! I even said it to the producers, I was a little upset about that because I don’t feel that Ice-T was talking about me. He said “that little blond boy” which I’ve never been called. I would think he would have said “that long blond haired guy” or “that blond surfer guy,” which is what I usually get. I think personally he was talking about somebody else in the room. Not gonna mention his name. I think the producers took it out of context. Nina [TMZ reporter] said it was Max, she just assumed it was me, but then they cut it like that. And that was not a morning meeting. I was kind of upset. I don’t think Ice-T meant me and I’ve never pitched Ice-T. I’ve never said anything about Ice-T for him to be upset about, so I think that was a misunderstanding on our part. I mean, I like Ice-T. How do your dates react to your notoriety? Some girls – most of the girls that I hang out with – have never seen the show or know of it. They’re local girls, and I don’t think people at the beach watch that much TV. But yeah, it’s funny. They kind of trip out on it. Especially when other girls come up and take pictures and I’m super nice. I mean, I’m just open to everybody. That’s just how I am. And they get somewhat upset at times. But what are you gonna do? What do you find sexy in a girl? Obviously easygoing; funny of course; um, kind; and super hot. Let’s talk about your hair. It’s almost more famous than you. What are you hair care secrets – and tell us everything. (Laughing) Oh, I don’t really have a typical hair routine. I’m not big on the hair care. It took me a while to even start combing my hair. And I wash it like once a week now. I condition the hell out of it. But I don’t know, I kind of just go with the flow. And everybody always talks about it. Honestly? I’m just trying to have David Lee Roth hair. I just don’t think it ever comes across like that. Why Diamond Dave? David Lee Roth is the man. TMZ airs daily; check your local listings.