Well, here are the Top 25 guys. Hope you will agree with some of my choices, or at least enjoy the eye candy. Above are 25 bonus shots of each one of these guys shirtless (not in exact order). In case you missed them, the other installments are here 'n' here. Note: I went all out on styling the Top 25 for maximum eyeball stimulation.
How did I do on the guys and the rankings?
#25 Garrett Hedlund (1984—) Ever since Troy, I've been in a polyamorous relationship—at least on paper—thanks to spotting Garrett Hedlund. Which was hard to do with Brad Pitt running around half naked. Hedlund is a total newcomer compared to most on this list, but that face! He was shown off to great advantage in that dreadful Disney remake of a dreadful Disney film, but he's reached a new level of desirability playing feckless fuck machine "Dean Moriarty" (aka Neal Cassady) in the otherwise mostly dreary On the Road.
Sexy Sampler: Troy (2004), Friday Night Lights (2004), Georgia Rule (2007), Country Strong (2010), TRON: Legacy (2010), On the Road (2012)
#24 Jonathan Bennett (1981—) I've had a schoolboy crush on "Aaron Samuels" from Mean Girls from the moment I met him—and he is one of the few on my list of 100 that I've met in real life. Twice! I said hello when he was in my office being interviewed to plug Mean Girls and did a lengthier one-on-one in his trailer as he filmed a Dukes of Hazzard straight-to-video prequel. They made him play the blond one, but as his generous costume change in front of me would've reminded anyone else had we not been alone, he was born brunet. (Thanks again for that free show, JB! Even if you kept it professional by leaving your boxers mostly on.) Kidding aside, for me, it's hard to top an actor with piercing brown eyes and a generous brow, but I'd be willing to try. He has a quirky sense of humor and has been winningly outspoken about working with some of the biggest divas of the post-teen set—Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, Amanda Bynes. Charm is not something that should be taken for granted, so check him out the next time he gets hired to be in something decent—he's really good. I am holding out hope for a major TV series or movie breakthrough.
Sexy Sampler: Season of Youth (2003), Mean Girls (2004), Lovewrecked (2005), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), The Assistants (2009), The Mean Bean (2010), Memorial Day (2011), Cats Dancing on Jupiter (2011), Music High (2012), Divorce Invitation (2012)
#23 Paul Robeson (1898—1976) Tragically underused in the cinema thanks to his race and, later, thanks to his unrepentant empathy with Communism and fierce advocacy of social issues, Robeson was a charismatic stage presence and popular singer who worked on a mere baker's dozen movies in the twenties, thirties and forties. A strapping presence with African features, he was a rarity on the screen in a time when black actors were often treated like props—an uncommonly sensual figure. Nudes that he posed for during the early part of his life reveal a manly, fleshy physique of which the silver screen could have used more.
Sexy Sampler: Body and Soul (1925), Emperor Jones (1933), King Solomon's Mines (1937)
#22 Wallace Reid (1891—1923) This handsome devil of the silents was one of the industry's most tragic, a tall, physically fit young man who was kept out of WWI due to his box office duties and who was later severly injured in a train accident that resulted in his becoming hooked on morphine to match his previous drug of choice, booze. The matinee idol died in the throes of addiction, which led his widow to produce an anti-drug movie and tour the nation with it in order to spread the word—if it could happen to a matinee idol, it could happen to you. At the time of his death, Reid—as a star, director and in other behind-the-scenes capacities—had been responsible for or participated in the creation of at least 100 films and shorts.
Sexy Sampler (if you can find any!): The Deerslayer (1911), His Only Son (1912), Valley of the Giants (1919), The Roaring Road (1919), Excuse My Dust (1920), The Affairs of Anatol (1921), Hell Diggers (1921)
#21 John Gavin (1931—) This Mexican-American, square-jawed lead of the '50s and '60s is often cited for his impossibly handsome mug even though he later became famous as Reagan's ambassador to Mexico after ditching his acting career in favor of one in business. For me, and for many, the six-footer's most indelible for having appeared in Psycho as the stud who bangs Janet Leigh just before she takes that last shower. I've heard that for years he has steadfastly refused to answer fan mail or sign autographs.
Sexy Sampler: Imitation of Life (1959), Psycho (1960), Spartacus (1960)
#20 Rodney Harvey (1967—1998) Who??? I know. But the pictures don't lie. Rodney Harvey was on the periphery of the post-Brat Pack, was close with wild children like Drew Barrymore and David Arquette, made fairly brief and inconsequential appearances in movies after a career as a model (one Rolling Stone shoot featured him all but sticking it to a very young Lisa Marie) and who died after a tragic addiction to heroin. (Don't Google the images; like the ones of Marilyn Monroe on the coroner's slab, Harvey's final arrest photos are just scary.) But if we're talking about beautiful male faces and bodies that have appeared on the silver screen, his was right up there with the most and best of them. Most memorably, he was a hanger-on in My Own Private Idaho and as such appeared on a gay-porn mag cover during a brief fantasy sequence.
Sexy Sampler: Initiation (1987), Salsa (1988), My Own Private Idaho (1991)
#19 Chris Evans (1981—) This little big piece of heaven first came to my attention when he was spotted sporting a banana hanging out of his ass (the magic of the movies) in a silly spoof of teen movies. He was slight then, but already had the mesmerizing blue eyes and Ken-do look of a perfect doll. Over time, Evans has broadened and has sported the hairiest chest of just about any A-lister, both plusses. Should play a '50s actor in a '10s movie because he's physically dead-on for it.
Sexy Sampler: Not Another Teen Movie (2001), The Perfect Score (2004), Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012)
#18 Matt Dillon (1964—) Now we're getting into the meat of my fantasy life as a kid—Matt Dillon was it for me. Classically good-looking, he also had the requisite shiny '70s hair (and those/that eyebrows/eyebrow!) and, later, looked just as good with it cropped short. He had a matter-of-fact quality about his sexuality on screen, a directness that was remarkable for a teenager. I walked past him on the street in the Village once when we were both quite grown and yet I still felt like a kid with a pinup on his wall and certainly didn't stop him to say anything—I'm sure this was one of my only cases of being starstruck. The ultimate '80s de-virginizer. It's harder to find a shirtful picture of Matt Dillon than a shirtless one.
Sexy Sampler: Little Darlings (1980), My Bodyguard (1980), Tex (1982), The Outsiders (1983), Rumble Fish (1983), The Flamingo Kid (1984), Drugstore Cowboy (1989), Wild Things (1998), There's Something About Mary (1998
#17 Alec Baldwin (1958—) Alec Baldwin has effortlessly switched from exuding an animal, "Stanley Kowalski"-esque quality to playing light comedy with award-winning flair throughout his 25 years in the movie biz. He never hit the A-list, but came close when married to Kim Basinger. Alas, it was she (somehow) who beat him to the Oscar before they beat each other up in one of Hollywood' most heinous divorces. (All the testosterone!). He's aged nicely and his acting kudos are at an all-time high (albeit on TV), though he's less desirable the more we find out about his volatile personality. (Father's Day must be awkward for his daughter even if you might think he'd make a great daddy.)
Sexy Sampler: She's Having a Baby (1988), Married to the Mob (1988), Working Girl (1988), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Miami Blues (1990), The Marrying Man (1991), Prelude to a Kiss (1992)
#16 Rock Hudson (1925—1985) The most famous hunk of the '50s was one of flesh peddler Henry Wilson's guys, a Midwestern macho man perfect for the burgeoning male vs. female genre that he perfected in performances alongside Doris Day. That he was gay wouldn't become common knowledge—in spite of '60s rumors that he'd "married" Jim Nabors—for decades. Hudson was the antithesis of co-star James Dean, a conservative team player who, while capable as an actor (see: Seconds from 1966), didn't immerse himself to deeply into the craft so much as he plunged into the glamour and ease of being an American sex object. An uncomplicated fantasy man.
Sexy Sampler: Winchester '73 (1950), The Lawless Breed (1953), Sea Devils (1953), Magnificent Obsession (1954), All That Heaven Allows (1955), Giant (1956), Written on the Wind (1956), A Farewell to Arms (1957), Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961)
#15 Richard Gere (1949—) Helped along by some spur-of-the-moment photos snaped by his good buddy Herb Ritts, Gere became the archetypal movie stud of the late '70s and '80s. He was so fine and his body so routinely on display on the (not) big (enough) screen that jokes abounded about an ass-baring scene being a contractual obligation in every movie he made. If only! He's got a great one. Also, small eyes and a big dick is a winning combination. Gere's lethal good looks made Looking for Mr. Goodbar a point of obsession for many young people seeing it and American Gigolo sold them on the superstar status of his apparatus, but over time, his acting abilities overshadowed his appealingly graying good looks. Who would have dreamed he'd be in the running for an Oscar nomination in 2012 while watching him strictly for his bod in An Officer and a Gentleman?
Sexy Sampler: Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977), Days of Heaven (1978), Bloodbrothers (1978), Yanks (1979), American Gigolo (1980), An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), Breathless (1983), King David (1985), Power (1986), Internal Affairs (1990), Pretty Woman (1990), Rhapsody in August (1991), Runaway Bride (1999), Unfaithful (2002), Chicago (2002), Shall We Dance (2004)
#14 James Dean (1931—1955): No, not the porn one, though he's cute, too. James Dean, with only the briefest of careers before reckless driving led to his Valentino-like shock death in his early twenties, the punchy actor embodied teen angst and, it seems obvious to say but is required, rebellion on the big screen. His offbeat looks and openly sexual aura—he was gay in real life—lit up the few movies lucky enough to have him. Styles have changed, but even with his slicked-back hair, denims and '50s-style motorcycle jackets, he's one star o the past whose sex appeal has, well, appealed to every successive generation since his untimely demise.
Sexy Sampler: East of Eden (1955), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Giant (1956)
#13 Montgomery Clift (1920—1966) Mastroianni said that neither James Dean nor Marlon Brando were the original anti-hero of the cinema, but that Montgomery Clift—with his melancholy gaze and uniquely saturated presence on film—holds that title. He may be right. But aside from the sometimes dreamy quality of his acting, there was the dreamy quality of his face. Cruelly, fate would rob him of his his physical beauty—and his life—very early on, his heavy drinking causing a car carsh at BFF Elizabeth Tayor's home that disfigured him. Clift's sexuality (he was gay) could be argued to have colored his portrayals, even in westerns. Especially in westerns.
Sexy Sampler: Red River (1948), The Heiress (1949), A Place in the Sun (1951), I Confess (1953), Indiscretion of an American Wife (1953), From Here to Eternity (1953), Raintree County (1957), Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
#12 Mel Gibson (1956—) I know—how disappointing that one so hot should wind up such a joke. But when Mel Gibson first emerged as an Australian import and was fast-tracked for Hollywood superstardom, he was the best-looking A-list star of his era. With an erratic energy that made him a perfect post-apocalyptic hero, Gibson—in some ways like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and others would do after him—surprised fans by turning ably to comedy and, to great critical and financial acclaim, directing. A prime example, however, of someone who looks good and should have kept his mouth shut.
Sexy Sampler: Mad Max (1979), Tim (1979), Gallipoli (1981), Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), The River (1984), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), Tequila Sunrise (1988), Lethal Weapon (1987), Air America (1990), Maverick (1994)
#11 Steve Reeves (1926—2000) Watching this former Mr. Pacific Coast/Mr. America/Mr. World/Mr. Universe and Muscle Beach regular in any of his Z movies was the next best thing to porn—his chiseled face and perfectly proportioned body made him too pretty not to make the jump from bodybuilding into motion pictures. Sadly, his foreign flicks (all those wonderfully cheesy gladiator epics) dubbed him over. Only two directors—including Ed Wood—saw fit to gift us with his actual voice.
Sexy Sampler: Jail Bait (1954), Athena (1954), Hercules (1958), Hercules Unchained (1959), The White Warrior (1959), Goliath and the Barbarians (1959), The Last Days of Pompeii (1959), Giant of Marathon (1959), Morgan the Pirate (1960), The Thief of Baghdad (1961), The Trojan Horse (1961), Duel of the Titans (1961), The Slave (1962), The Avenger (1962)
#10 George O'Brien (1899—1985) Sometimes, the looks of silent stars don't quite translate to modern libidos—the men may be skinnier or fatter than we're used to, the women may be got up in bizarre-looking period outfits or the victims of long-since-unfashionable grooming and accessorizing. But George O'Brien's looks suffer no such translation difficulty. Later one of the handsomest movie cowboys ever, O'Brien started his career in silents, where he was a wildly popular and all-purpose leading man. Most famously, he's the male lead in Murnau's brilliant 1927 film Sunrise, in which he played "The Man"—he's the man! Before his acting career, he was a WWI vet and a champion boxer—which shows through in his many physique poses and in several roles as boxers. After a long career, he made appearances at conventions celebrating the golden age of movie westerns.
Sexy Sampler: The Roughneck (1924), The Fighting Heart (1925), The Blue Eagle (1926), Is Zat So? (1927), Sunrise (1927), Noah's Ark (1928), Blindfold (1928), The Dude Ranger (1934), Hard Rock Harrigan (1935), Daniel Boone (1936), Park Avenue Logger (1937)
#9 Denzel Washington (1954—) The most successful African-American actor in history and also the first to win a Best Actor Oscar in nearly 40 years (after Sidney Poitier), he also usurped Billy Dee Williams's position as the go-to actor for black sexiness on the silver screen. Cute and game enough to appear in crap like Carbon Copy early on, he quickly matured in both appearance and in his selection of movie roles. He's famously conservative and seems to be getting more so as time moves on, having apparently warned Will Smith not to kiss a man on screen and at one point stating he wouldn't engage in an interracial relationship in a movie (with Julia Roberts); still a major sex symbol, his most blatantly steamy roles appear to be behind him.
Sexy Sampler: Carbon Copy (1981), A Soldier's Story (1984), Cry Freedom (1987), The Mighty Quinn (1989), Glory (1989), Mo' Better Blues (1990), Mississippi Masala (1991), Malcolm X (1992), The Pelican Brief (1993), Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), The Preacher's Wife (1996), Remember the Titans (2000), Training Day (2001)
#8 Marlon Brando (1924—2004) Brando's great contribution to the screen was his rigorous Method, which made all of his performances crackle with intensity, whether he was playing a brute who uses women against their will, unconvincingly summoning up a historical figure or embodying an aging sexpot still capable of talking chicks into taking it up the ass with the aid of a little butter. Not only was he one of history's greatest, most influential screen actors, he was sexy in nearly every role he took until his lusty indulgence in the pleasures of eating changed him from sex object to object of derision. Intriguingly, along the way, Brando's bisexuality—he admitted in an interview to having slept with men, lived with gay actor Wally Cox and is allegedly the subject of a sketchy photo showing a white man sucking a black penis—was worn on his sleeve, making him a queer sex symbol early on.
Sexy Sampler: A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Viva Zapata! (1952), Julius Caesar (1953), Désirée (1954), Guys and Dolls (1955), A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), The Godfather (1972), Last Tango in Paris (1972)
#7 Cary Grant (1904—1986) The quintessential male movie star, Grant's highly imitable transatlantic accent (he was born in the UK) made him a favorite for parody. But his comfort on screen was no laughing matter, even if his delivery was often masterfully hysterical—what would you expect from an early filmic sparring partner to Mae West? Handsome as anything, his sophisticated air was a definite part of his allure for women—not to mention for men, and it seems indisputable that he enjoyed the company of both, even if his daughter and ex-wife act as if his well-documented live-in relationship with fellow hot-as-hell actor Randolph Scott was just a roomies situation.
Sexy Sampler: She Done Hime Wrong (1933), I'm No Angel (1933), Sylvia Scarlett (1935), The Awful Truth (1937), Bringing Up Baby (1938), His Girl Friday (1940), My Favorite Wife (1940), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Suspicion (1941), I Was a Male War Bride (1949), To Catch a Thief (1955), North by Northwest (1959)
#6 Joe Dallesandro (1948—) Andy Warhol, Inc. photographed this openly bisexual former beefcake model in the same documentary style as all of their other subjects. And yet, with Dallesandro, his physical perfection made the Warhol gaze—and, by extension, ours—feel sleazy and pornographic, even in scenes that weren't...and some were. Not an actor so much as a performer or presence, Dallesandro became an underground icon, as stonily beautiful as a pomo David.
Sexy Sampler: Flesh (1968), Lonesome Cowboys (1968), Trash (1970), Heat (1972), Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (1973), Andy Warhol's Dracula (1974)
#5 Maxwell Caulfield (1959—) The guy highest on my list whom I've actually met, Caulfield first became a sensation when he was cast in Grease 2. It was the follow-up to a massive hit, yet when Grease 2 tanked, it severely damaged its male star's career. (Michelle Pfeiffer did just fine.) After that, he continued to sizzle on screen, eventually doing TV and lots of stage work (some of it nude). Never shy to trade on his looks and his physique, he is a sex object extraordinaire.
Sexy Sampler: Grease 2 (1982), The Boys Next Door (1985), Empire Records (1995), The Real Blonde (1997)
#4 Paul Newman (1925—2008) Shocking even to me how many blue-eyed devils are among my top picks, but Paul Newman was more than just a pair of azure peepers—handsome with a roguish smile, built for days, masculine and a damn good actor, he also had a low-key humor that helped him ooze charm in all of his diverse roles. Just as hot clean-cut as disheveled and the poster boy for aging graecfully, his appearance was impossible to ugly up—he cut an impressive figure from his first role to his last. Sexiest of all, he was a great philanthropist who raised hundreds of millions for charity with his branded line of foods.
Sexy Sampler: The Silver Chalice (1954), Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), The Long, Hot Summer (1958), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), Harper (1966), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Sting (1973), The Towering Inferno (1974), Slap Shot (1977), The Verdict (1982), The Color of Money (1986)
#3 Henry Cavill (1983—) I know what you're thinking: Yes, but so high? In spite of his relative lack of experience on the big screen, there's no denying Henry Cavill's drop-dead looks—and that's the only requirement for this list. Though best known until now for his role on TV's The Tudors (2007—2010), Cavill has already set celluloid (or whatever they use now) ablaze in a series of roles—and has been rejected for a series of roles, including that of "James Bond" and "Edward Cullen" from The Twilight Saga (2008—2012). He's kind of the movie version of Jon-Erik Hexum for me. Just beautiful.
Sexy Sampler: The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), Tristan + Isolde (2006), Red Riding Hood (2007), The Immortals (2001), Man of Steel—judging from stills (2013)
#2 Alain Delon (1935—) The French James Dean, Delon's stunning looks, as captured in a series of Italian and French productions, quickly gained him fame as the archetypal gorgeous '60s Euro-beauty. He wasn't just good-lookin', his appearance dominated his roles, elevating the proceedings to art, a visual feast. A living legend, he later tried his hand at directing and became rich by selling products branded to his famous name.
Sexy Sampler: Purple Noon (1960), Rocco and His Brothers (1960), Eclipse (1962), The Leopard (1963), Concorde '79 (1979)
#1 Gary Cooper (1901—1961) Like this entire list, my choice of Cooper for pole position is arguable. But to me, he takes top honors for encapsulating so many types at once—he was a young beauty in silents, a Deco fashion plate, a dashing lead in the '30s and '40s and matured into a ruggedly handsome older man. Aside from being a solid actor and an indisputable Hollywood icon, Cooper was, quite simply, always breathtaking on the screen.
Sexy Sampler: Children of Divorce (1927), Lilac Time (1928), Morocco (1930), Desire (1936), Beau Geste (1939), Ball of Fire (1941), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)