John Grisham

updated 05/08/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/08/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

OKAY, SO HE'S AMONG THE MOST commercially successful authors in history. And he's a good guy, with causes that include building housing for the poor in Brazil. He's friendly, he's fun—we can live with all that. But does John Grisham have to be so darned good-looking?

"All the girls around here think he's a major hunk," says Maude Schuyler Clay, a photographer who lives near the king of legal thrillers' home in Oxford, Miss. "I had his picture in a show of mine, and untold numbers of them asked if there was a poster."

With his azure eyes and manly stubble, which he shaves only on Sundays, the author of The Firm and now The Rainmaker does have pinup potential. "He looks like a movie star," says director Joel Schumacher, who made the film version of Grisham's The Client. "And he talks like one—he has a really melodic drawl."

Unfortunately for his more fervent fans—who used to turn up chez Grisham so often that he installed iron gates—the 40-year-old writer has a wife, Renee, and two children. And he has shown no interest in marketing his swoon factor. "I asked John to make a cameo appearance in The Client," says Schumacher, "but he didn't want to." Perfect and humble. There's just no justice.

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