Liam and Chris who?
It is true that the 1940s didn’t have the Hemsworth brothers.
However, what the decades before us did have was a series of delectably handsome, irresistibly charming and frankly, hot, collection of actors that stole the show then, and would steal the show now.
Sorry, Hemsworths. We’d still pick an old movie and these retro icons every time…
Brooding, imposing and striking, Brando is considered to be one of the greatest actors of all time. He is remembered for countless successes, but most notably, his role as Vito Corleone in The Godfather. We, however, will always hold his tight T-shirt and anguished bellowing in A Streetcar Named Desire as one of our most favourite performances.
That dimple. That charm. That traffic-stopping smile. Whether climbing rooftops in To Catch A Thief or running from a low-flying plane in North By Northwest, his acting credentials and leading man quality can be in no doubt. All we can say is, thank god he changed his name, because we really can’t imagine fancying anyone called Archibald Leach this much.
Girls who love a bad guy can stick with Marlon Brando or James Dean, but for those of us who can’t resist an amiable, friendly chap, Gene Kelly is the retro icon for you. So many of his infamous films showed the legend tap-dancing, smiling and charming his way through romantic storylines, whether Singin’ In The Rain, On The Town or An American In Paris. Plus, his velvety singing voice and dashing good looks cemented him as one of the driving forces of the musical era.
Still occupying the space on the walls of thousands of teenage girls, the devastatingly handsome young star died at just 24, and was the first actor to win a posthumous Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Dishy, talented, and tragic, Dean’s star status hasn’t dwindled for a moment since his premature death.
Credited with saying five of the American Film Institute’s top 100 quotations in American cinema (the most by any actor), including ‘Here’s looking at you, kid’, ‘We’ll always have Paris’ and ‘Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine’ – all from Casablanca – Bogart’s star quality was never in any doubt. Appearing in some of the 1940s and 50s’ most important films, such as Sabrina, The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon, his distinctive voice, good looks and acting prowess will make him an enduring figure in the world of film for centuries to come.
Known for playing ‘moody, sensitive young men’, Clift was one of Hollywood’s original method actors, and starred in hit films such as A Place In The Sun, From Here To Eternity and The Search. His impeccable quiff, brooding eyes and picture-perfect movie star looks made him an immediate hit with the ladies as well as film critics.
Now 88 and still going strong, the actor and director broke boundaries and has achieved some staggering accolades, including being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama himself, being the first African American to win an Oscar for Best Actor, and appearing in the American Film Institute’s list of the Greatest Male Stars of classic Hollywood cinema. He’s still a dapper figure at nearly 90 – and in his prime, in movies like Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, he was, quite simply, captivating.
The icon is still going strong, producing, creating and starring in countless films – and he would still stop any woman in her tracks with his piercing eyes. In The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, he stole legions of women’s hearts – and singlehandedly made the poncho a must-have item.
Be still our beating hearts… the dreamy Newman, with his rippling abs, practised pout and melancholic way of staring into the distance, will always be one of our favourite movie stars from any era. Now, time to dig out that old DVD of Cool Hand Luke…
Whatever you may think of Atticus Finch now, there’s no doubt that when you first watched To Kill A Mockingbird, you fell in love with Peck’s considered interpretation of the legendary character. Handsome, elegant and fond of a sharp suit, Peck exemplified old Hollywood glamour.
The French answer to Zac Efron, Delon, 80 today, was one of the most sought-after heartthrobs on the big screen in the 1960s. As the slightly spooky Tom Ripley in Plein Soleil (the original film based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Talented Mr. Ripley), he stole our hearts – against our better judgement.
Who’s your favourite Hollywood star? Let us know @marieclaireuk