I bet he loves Photoshop, R8. He hasn't looked that good in 20 years.
Sean Penn. Sometimes he looks like he has major ratface.
Tammy Cruise, now and forever
Anthony "Growling Bull Balls" Quinn
Tammy "Unfinished Gomer Face" Cruise
Edward G. Robinson (love him)
Tommy Lee Jones.
Going back a way, Tom Ewell co-starring with Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch." I don't know what they were thinking. He wasn't particularly funny either.
"Anthony "Growling Bull Balls" Quinn"
Wow, always found Quinn hot.
And your "growing bull balls" editorializing makes him hotter!
People are straying. It's supposed to be a leading man actor that others think is hot. Karl Malden? Edward G. Robinson? No.
Some guys are not hot in real life but the camera makes them hot on film (sometimes): Tom Cruise, Michael Douglas,
I find Australians are often overrated: Eric Bana, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Whatsisname from "Avatar."
Are you nuts? That cleft! Those lips! That tan!
Rod Steiger was not a leading man. Neither was Ernest Borgnine or Edward G. Robinson.
Leading man is a term of art. It doesn't mean an actor who plays leading roles. It means an actor who plays roles of romantic, attractive guys.
OP's question asks about those men who play roles of attractive, romantic types who in actuality we don't think were attractive.
Bradley Cooper. He looks like an ostrich.
[quote]Bradley Cooper. He looks like an ostrich.
He does not -- he looks like a ferret!!
Jeremy "The Dwarf Ferret" Renner
John C. Reilly
William H. Macy
r34: I always thought ferret but the ostrich image is even better. He has a long neck doesn't he? He has nice blue eyes but his face creeps me out. Not even slightly attractive to me--I hate pointy chins.
Why is Craig Wasson considered not attractive. Granted, he's no Tom Selleck, but I don't think he was unattractive.
George Brent, Warner Bros contract player and Bette Davis' favorite leading man. He also starred opposite Barbara Stanwyck, Claudette Colbert, Ann Sheridan, Kay Francis, Hedy Lamarr, Joan Fontaine, Myrna Loy, etc. You'd think with such high-voltage leading ladies he was the cat's meow along the lines of fellow Warner Bros player Errol Flynn, but he wasn't. His looks were average and his persona was pretty bland.
Will never understand why Vince Vaughn gets cast as the male lead in romcoms...
Ernest Borgnine doesn't count. He was a character actor who only had the lead role in very rare occasions when the screenplay essentially called for the lead part to be a character part. You could say the same for Edward G. Robinson, Paul Muni, Wallace Beery, and Anthony Quinn. They were all essentially character actors who became so popular they got rare parts that were leads every once in a while. But you never were supposed to thrill to any of them taking the heroine up in his arms, which is what I think what qualifies as a real "leading man."
Humphrey Bogart does count because he got genuine romantic parts (like in "To Have and Have Not"), and was touted as a sex symbol of sorts. I would also vote for Charles Bronson, John Hodiak (an extremely unattractive man, though he often got romantic leading man parts), and Van Heflin.
If we're talking about a name to close the thread it would definitely be Sean Penn.
James Stewart was not really good looking. He was kind of everyman pleasant looking when he was young.
Spencer Tracey was not handsome at any age but he had wonderful gravitas as he aged and of course was one of the best actors of the 20th century.
Once when I was young and very stoned, I watched Bogart on TV and kept trying to figure out what was so magnetic about his face despite his lack of good looks. There was just something world weary and compelling about him, undefinable. There was a French actor, Jean Gabin, who had a similar quality--such charisma but not really good looks. With the exception of Alain Delon, the French leading men have rarely been conventionally good looking--something I always wonder about. The women always stunningly beautiful, the men almost homely. (FWIW, I am a straight woman.)
Many times looks are overpowered by confidence, charisma or humor. I've found myself attracted to guys in the past who make me laugh but are not necessarily good-looking. I once had a fling with a guy who looked like Kevin James but he made me laugh and was really good in bed.
Ditto. That guy is so damn ugly and gross I don't know how he keeps getting cast as a "leading man". He looks like a slob most of the time.
Pattinson owns this thread. He's only attractive to overweight angsty teens.
At least Sean Penn, Dustin Hoffman, Bradley Cooper and others have real acting talent to back up on (Cooper did deserve the Oscar nom for SLP).
Pattinson is just god at being a sparkly vampire.
I enjoyed them, but
Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.