The 20 Hunkiest Actors in Hollywood History

Dean Martin
Photo: Express Newspapers/Getty Images

Actors like Ryan Gosling and Zac Efron never fail to make us swoon, but long before The Notebook hit theaters—and decades ahead of Efron's washboard abs—Hollywood had a whole different rotation of hunky leading men.

From Marlon Brando's bulging biceps to Cary Grant's swoon-worthy accent, these handsome stars heated up the big screen. Do surnames like Eastwood, Fonda, and Barrymore sound familiar? Some of today's biggest stars are relatives of these mid-19th century heartthrobs.

Click through to meet 20 of Hollywood's original hunks. Hubba hubba!

01 of 20

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Scott Eastwood is one of today's biggest heartthrobs, but long before he was born, his dad was Hollywood's leading man. Clint Eastwood has enjoyed a long and storied career as an actor, director, and producer in Tinseltown.

02 of 20

Charlton Heston

Charlton Heston
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Busting onto the scene back in 1941, this ruggedly handsome star took on historical roles from President Andrew Jackson to Moses throughout his illustrious career.

03 of 20

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley
RB/Redferns

Presley was as well known for his velvety voice as he was for his handsome looks and gyrating hips.

04 of 20

James Dean

James Dean
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Dean will always be remembered as the good-looking teenager he played in the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause. He died months after the film's release in a tragic car accident.

05 of 20

Clint Walker

Clint Walker
ABC PHOTO ARCHIVES

Walker brought Westerns to TV with the 1955 hit Cheyenne. His rugged good looks made him one swoon-worthy cowboy.

06 of 20

James Stewart

James Stewart
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Stewart was both a successful actor and a wartime general, making him doubly lovable in America's hearts.

07 of 20

Gary Cooper

Gary Cooper
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Cooper and his stunning blue eyes became a heartthrob in the 1920s. Hollywood hunks Bradley Cooper and Daniel Craig have been said to take after the actor and his baby blues.

08 of 20

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando
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Those biceps! That stare! Brando became known after the 1950 film, The Men, and heated up Hollywood for years aftr

09 of 20

Montgomery Clift

Montgomery Clift
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Clift made his acting debut on Broadway, appearing in plays for ten years, but nothing could keep that handsome face out of Hollywood.

10 of 20

John Wayne

John Wayne
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After his first feature film, Men Without Women, in 1930, this Hollywood hottie became known for his roles as a cowboy during America's obsession with Westerns. He won an Academy Award for 1969's True Grit.

11 of 20

Rock Hudson

Rock Hudson
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Tinseltown's golden boy was known for his chiseled good looks almost as much as for his roles as a leading man in films like 1956's Giant and 1959's Pillow Talk.

12 of 20

Henry Fonda

Henry Fonda
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Jane Fonda had one hot dad! Long before the actress made her debut, her father heated up Hollywood with classics like The Grapes of Wrath and 12 Angry Men.

13 of 20

Robert Redford

Robert Redford
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Redford's all-American good looks won him roles in classics like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Way We Were. The now 79-year-old founded the Sundance Film Festival, solidifying his place in American cinematic history.

14 of 20

Cary Grant

Cary Grant
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Grant became an American citizen in 1942 but never lost his charming British accent. His dashing good looks made him the ideal leading man opposite stars like Ingrid Bergman and Rosalind Russell.

15 of 20

John Barrymore, Jr.

John Barrymore, Jr.
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Drew Barrymore comes from a long line of accomplished actors. Her father, John, was known for 1950s hits like The Big Night and Never Love a Stranger.

16 of 20

James Garner

James Garner
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

This handsome leading man had successful careers in both movies and TV. His role as the amiable gambler Bret Maverick in the 1950s western Maverick was quite the hit.

17 of 20

Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier
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The first Bahamian and first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, Poitier was as handsome as he was successful.

18 of 20

Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck
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Tall, dark, and handsome, Peck was one of the most popular actors of the mid-19th century. He'll forever be remembered as the lovable lawyer, Atticus Finch, in 1962's To Kill a Mockingbird.

19 of 20

Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson
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The hunky actor and singer used his platform to make change: He was one of the powerful voices in America's Civil Rights Movement.

20 of 20

Dean Martin

Dean Martin
Express Newspapers/Getty Images

The "King of Cool" was an accomplished comedian, even starring in his own improv show. His Italian roots and suave looks landed him a role in 1990's Goodfellas.

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