Just the other day my husband and I were discussing the kinds of programs our nieces and nephews watch and how their choice of role models no doubt affects their behavior, and not necessarily in a good way. Unlike when we grew up in the 70's and 80's, cable television was still kind of new and there certainly weren't any channels dedicated solely to entertaining children. When we got home from school we usually had to settle for reruns of our favorite primetime shows, or maybe “The Brady Bunch” or “Little House on the Prairie” (though not sure they were my role models).
If I had to choose people similar in age to myself that I watched growing up, I guess I'd say Ricky Schroder for one. I liked his sweaters, and the way he wore his plastic bracelets intertwined any one of us kids could easily imitate his style (as these were the Madonna years, we definitely had plenty of plastic bracelets!).
I also very much looked up to the girls on “Facts of Life.” I thought they were cool because they got to go away to boarding school, and they had the fabulous Mrs. Garrett to look after them. Later on I identified more with Natalie, who was the writer of the group and even took a year off (college) to work a few deadend jobs just for the experience. I briefly entertained this notion until my dad talked me out of it (and I think he was right). Also, the girls got to visit exotic places like Paris and Australia, which I definitely watched with great interest.