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30. Antonio Banderas
Antonio Banderas is actually a pretty good actor (see him in an Almodovar movie), but it almost didn't matter in the mid-'90s, when he capably filled the "big-eyed Latin lover" niche. The camp appeal of stuff like the sex scene from Desperado should not be underestimated.
29. Michael Fassbender
If you're wondering if you can be called a sex symbol, ask yourself if George Clooney has complimented your enormous penis on national television.
28. Rock Hudson
Rock Hudson was an aircraft mechanic for the Navy and truck driver before gaining recognition as an actor, and he brought a working-class, salt-of-the-earth masculinity to films like Giant. His breezy chemistry with Doris Day in their string of romantic comedies established him as a charming, urbane prototype for generations of male stars.
27. Sidney Poitier
In 1963, Sidney Poitier became the first African-American to win the Academy Award for Best Lead Actor. But his suave, sophisticated style carried more lasting resonance than any award.
26. Matthew McConaughey
McConaughey is one of the few men on this list who's publicly stated that he feels comfortable being called a sex symbol. But part of this Southern boy's charm is his exhibitionistic self-regard.
25. Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty was a good-looking guy, but that alone isn't enough to make you a sex symbol. What is enough to make you a sex symbol is sleeping with an alleged 12,000 partners. Of his promiscuity, Beatty has modestly remarked, "It was what it was."
24. Steve McQueen
You aren't given the nickname "King of Cool" by just being averagely sexy. With a background in drag racing, Steve McQueen greatly advanced the devil-may-care sexy-man archetype.
23. Michael Caine
Because he's sustained a prolific career well into his seventies, Michael Caine's name may suggest "dignified elder statesman" more than "ascot-bedecked lust object." But watch Alfie and you'll see why he got famous in the first place.
22. Tony Curtis
With his dark curls and dark eyes, Tony Curtis radiated an intensity that allowed him to stand next to Marilyn Monroe in pumps and rouge in Some Like It Hot and still be widely regarded as a sex symbol. His bisexuality (see Spartacus for an on-screen example) only adds to the sense you get that this real-life satyr would sleep with anyone.
21. Errol Flynn
If you inspire an enduring locker-room boast ("in like Flynn"), it is safe to say that you have earned your spot as a sexual icon.