Ten men. Ten Oscars. Ten eternal images of hotness that I’m happy to rank.
You’ll be either excited or depressed to learn that the idea of a hot Best Actor Oscar winner is mostly a recent invention. There are some Oscar-winning studs from the the ’30s and ’40s, but you see plenty more GQ-ready gents in the Academy Award-winning roles of the ’90s and 2000s. So without further ado, let’s take another trip back and time and count down the 10 hottest “Best Actor” winners.
10. Russell Crowe, Gladiator
Perhaps his performance in Les Miserables is preventing me from ranking him higher, but Russell Crowe was the picture of macho angst and valor in Gladiator. Gotta love when an actor finds the perfect forum to vent his infamous angst.
9. Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
I’m often too charmed by Colin Firth’s character and inteligence to notice the obvious: He has the look of a classic star of the ’40s and ’50s, one that Hitchcock would’ve been happy to employ in an international caper. In The King’s Speech, he have been fraught with anxiety, but he had two things to keep him sexy: that incredible face and the support of Helena Bonham Carter.
8. Jimmy Stewart, The Philadelphia Story
I’m one of the rare people who thinks The Philadelphia Story doesn’t hold up very well (though I suppose it holds up much better than its musical counterpart High Society), but the sheer studliness of its two leading men is a sure thing. Cary Grant is on fire, and Best Actor winner Jimmy Stewart is a dapper, dashing figure.
7. Marlon Brando, On the Waterfront
Obviously if Brando had taken home the trophy for A Streetcar Named Desire, he’d top this list and all lists and probably James Dean a couple times too. But even as a run-down non-contender in On the Waterfront, Brando packs a bedraggled sexiness that transcends the grittiness of his role. And hey: Can you even stand how gorgeous Eva Marie Saint is?
6. Sidney Poitier, Lilies of the Field
It’s not his best work or even his most famous, but Sidney Poitier is a powerful, classy figure in Lilies of the Field, the movie that would make him the first black actor to win an Academy Award. If his classic face isn’t enough, just listen to that voice. Resonant and irresistable. Mmm.
5. Clark Gable, It Happened One Night
One of the few 1930s comedies that is still very funny and cool, It Happened One Night is a fine showcase for the charisma and DeLorean wing ears of Clark Gable. Scrumptiously charming. And thank God, he never interfered with Claudette Colbert showing off her good side.
4. Charlton Heston, Ben-Hur
Put away the rifle-lovin’ Charlton and stick with the classic Hollywood star for a moment. (Paraphrased: The NRA is N/A right now.) In Ben-Hur, he practically invented the idea of a man’s-man heartthrob, and he did so with incredible bone structure. Who else has that nose? Who?
3. Maximilian Schell, Judgment at Nuremberg
Judgment at Nuremberg is not a sexy movie (unless you find Montgomery Clift’s drug-affected visage sexy), but every knowing and damning look from Maximilian Schell’s face is an angular triumph of sexiness. The man earned that Oscar, and he earns my eternal respect for directing the amazing ’80s documentary Marlene.
2. Jamie Foxx, Ray
Jamie Foxx was so a shoo-in to win Best Actor that everyone stopped talking about his obvious appeal: He is one of the hottest men ever to exist. As a young Ray Charles, his million-watt smile and catlike eyes sell you on his retro charms even before he starts singing.
1. Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Could it get any studlier? The Artist may have been a cutesy confection, but there was nothing fluffy or underwhelming about the face, facial hair, smile, and sinister eyebrows of Jean Dujardin. He was paying homage to people like Cary Grant and Rudolph Valentino while outdoing their extreme hotness effortlessly. I want this man to shift his eyebrows at me all day.
Your turn. Ahem: Your picks?