To wash that gross passage from Woody Allen's book out of everyone's mouth, I'd like to recommend the classiest memoir by a Hollywood old-timer I've ever read: Steps in Time by Fred Astaire. Astaire danced with some of Hollywood's most gorgeous women, the majority of whom were much younger than he was (Joan Leslie turned 18 while filming The Sky's the Limit*), but you know what adjective he most frequently used to describe them?
I highly endorse this word, because while it can refer to physical appearance, it can also apply to personality, bearing, temperament, etc. It's a wonderfully flexible compliment. Only occasionally does Astaire use a stronger adjective like "beautiful" (well, he did work with Rita Hayworth and Audrey Hepburn), but he doesn't go on for paragraphs panting, sweating, and salivating over their looks and sex appeal like Allen or Chris Matthews. In fact, he actually takes the time to praise other virtues such as their personalities, professionalism, and dancing talent!
Now, was Astaire really such an upstanding gentleman, or was he a closeted creep who just hid it well**? Who knows? Dude's been dead since 1987, but the precious few people who worked with him who are still alive have nothing but nice things to say about him.
*To Astaire's credit, he acknowledges this and seemed embarrassed by it, and in his defense, he didn't get a say in who got cast. Unfortunately, casting teenagers as adult love interests was all too standard back then, and this happened to Joan Leslie more than once.
**The truth is, I'm a total Fred Astaire fangirl, and I want to believe-have to believe-that he didn't do anything. Dear God, if you're really real, please prove it to this gloomy atheist by letting Astaire have been a truly good person, please don't let us belatedly find out something terrible about him. Same with Jim Henson, if you don't mind...