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10. Robert Redford
Robert Redford's sandy-haired, blue-eyed hunk persona has transcended the decades. That he leveraged his sex-symbol status on behalf of environmentalism and political advocacy only made it more lasting.
9. Gary Cooper
With relationships with sex symbols Clara Bow and Lupe Vélez, and starring roles in over one hundred films, Gary Cooper fastened himself as more than just a winsome face. When you've been immortalized in two separate songs ("Puttin' On The Ritz" and "Mr. Sandman") for being one stylish, sexy sonofabitch, you know you've made it as a sex symbol.
8. Clark Gable
There was something quintessentially dashing and commanding about Gable's Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind, with his thick brow, debonair charms, and knowing glances. As Joan Crawford said, "He was a king wherever he went. He walked like one, he behaved like one, and he was the most masculine man that I have ever met in my life."
7. Burt Reynolds
If there's one hirsute body that could make the term "mustache ride" appealing, it belongs to Burt Reynolds. The Smokey and the Bandit star's animalistic appeal translated off-screen, as he shuffled through starlets like Tammy Wynette, Sally Field, and Dinah Shore. The vision of Burt Reynolds, in the buff, lounging on a bearskin rug, inspires something downright primitive in all of us.
6. Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington's sexiness is by turns domineering, genuinely charming, and grave. By toggling back and forth between those three erotic settings, he's managed to muscle his way not just to three Oscars, but into our hearts and loins.
5. Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt proves that a man can be as captivatingly beautiful as a woman, but still rawly masculine enough to make men think he could beat the hell out of them. His universally recognized gorgeousness transcends character, costume, hair length, and beard style.
4. George Clooney
George Clooney represents every American male's fantasy of aging — he's gotten sexier over time. The silver streaks in his hair and crinkles in his eyes have only enhanced his sandpaper-voiced appeal. By avoiding middle-aged paunch, and perpetually flashing that mile-wide grin, Clooney's managed to make an eternal bachelor look like a catch.
3. Marlon Brando
Just watch A Streetcar Named Desire, okay?
2. James Dean
If Paul Newman is the quintessential sexy man, then James Dean is the quintessential sexy boy. No one will ever pull it off the tragic-rebel thing as well as he did, but it's an ideal worth aspiring to: forever encircled by a puff of smoke and pulling away to angst-ridden pastures on a Triumph.
1. Paul Newman
Whether it was the brooding masculinity of Cat On a Hot Tin Roof or the unyielding self-assurance in Cool Hand Luke, Newman's sexiness varied, but never wavered. Ice-blue eyes, chiseled torso, winking good humor, confidence that radiated outward for miles, and a universally acknowledged decency; the man had it all.
Want to meet Paul Newman? Meet him on Nerve. In spirit.