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Johnny Depp made girls swoon on 21 Jump Street, but the actor went on to downplay his pretty boy looks by taking on chameleon-like roles, including playing a suburban curiosity in Edward Scissorhands and a transvestite director in Ed Wood.
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Like Depp, Robert Pattinson has sharp cheekbones, that hair and a blockbuster movie franchise in Twilight. While the British actor has gained mass appeal playing brooding vampire Edward Cullen, he continues to go against type with quirky indies like How to Be and the Salvador Dalé biopic Little Ashes.
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ACTION HERO: THEN
From Han Solo in the original Star Wars series to his swashbuckling adventures as Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford was the reigning '80s action hero who made ladies swoon – and men want to be him.
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ACTION HERO: NOW
Playing ripped mutant Wolverine in the record-breaking X-Men trilogy has turned Aussie actor Hugh Jackman into a larger-than-life comic-book hunk. But the 6-ft. 2-in. star is known for more than flexing his acting muscles – he sings and dances too! – making him the perfect choice as PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive in 2008.
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GREAT SCOT: THEN
Sean Connery had women (and men) in awe when he commanded the screen as "Bond, James Bond," the suave secret agent in 1962's Dr. No. He cemented his status as the ultimate 007 with six more spy films – and even topped PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive list at the age of 60!
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Two-time Oscar winner Marlon Brando (who died in 2004 at age 80) first electrified Hollywood as the handsome, muscular star of 1951's A Streetcar Named Desire. Considered one of the best actors of all time, the screen legend's mix of talent and raw sexuality continues to influence a new generation of actors.
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While Channing Tatum has yet to cut his teeth on a role of a lifetime, the hunk is beginning to make his mark with movies like 2006's A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. Rolling Stone even likened the rising star – "shirtless and oozing physical and sexual threat" – to a young Brando in, yes, A Streetcar Named Desire.
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BAD BOY: THEN
Richard Gere first sent shockwaves through Hollywood when he showed off his buff stuff in 1980's American Gigolo – and left women wanting more a decade later playing a ruthless businessman who falls for a call girl with a heart of gold in Pretty Woman. As his Gigolo costar Lauren Hutton once told PEOPLE, "Richard is a sexpot."
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BAD BOY: NOW
There's no one in young Hollywood that smolders quite like Gossip Girl's resident troublemaker Ed Westwick. Playing hard-partying womanizer Chuck Bass, the tattooed Brit is quite modest when it comes to his own assets, claiming fans never fantasize about him. "Chicks dig a bad boy," he tells PEOPLE. "They're just really into the character."
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AMERICAN IDOL: THEN
Late screen legend Paul Newman (who died in 2009 at age 83) mesmerized audiences with his piercing blue eyes, but the icon will be remembered for being much more than just a pretty face: He was a philanthropist, a beloved friend and family man whose proudest achievement was his 50-year marriage to actress Joanne Woodward.
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AMERICAN IDOL: NOW
The world's love affair with Brad Pitt began more than two decades ago with his tantalizing shirtless romp in 1991's Thelma amp Louise. Since then he's continued to melt hearts – as much for his movies (Legends of the Fall to Troy) as for his off-screen role as doting family man to a brood of six and his global goodwill efforts with partner Angelina Jolie.
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GOLDEN BOY: THEN
With his all-American good looks, no actor has made generations of women swoon (The Way We Were, anyone?), like actor-director Robert Redford. "Every movie I made with him," his Barefoot in the Park costar Jane Fonda told PEOPLE, "I developed a crush on him."
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GOLDEN BOY: NOW
Matthew McConaughey may share Redford's physical appeal, but he has his own undeniable Texas charm. The movie star hunk, whose life-is-a-beach lifestyle and "just keep livin'" mantra help keep him grounded, says of his good looks, "I got blessed."
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