updated 05/08/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/08/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT
"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.