Top 8 Classic Hollywood Hotties You’d Date Today (Male Edition)

Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun

Will Smith, Harry Styles, and Chris Hemsworth. These are just some of the hot guys in Hollywood today. Of course, women would love to date them, but what about the classic Hollywood leading men? Remember Steve McQueen, Gary Cooper, and Gregory Peck? Probably not, so ask your grandmother.

With rugged good looks that sent the ladies swooning, movie studios like MGM and Paramount marketed these old-school gents as testosterone in a can. However, like the ladies, diversity in Tinsel Town was quite lacking.

The good news is that today’s list, men and women, is much more inclusive, with hotties like Michael B. Jordan, Matt Bomer, and Jonathan Bailey from Bridgerton. Unlike the classic ladies’ list, men in early Hollywood weren’t objectified and scrutinized for their appearance. Unfortunately, that also tends to be the case still today.

So, for this list, we’re looking at 8 classic Hollywood Hunks and why you’d love to date them today.

1) Montgomery Clift

  • Birth name: Edward Montgomery Clift “Monty”
  • Born: 1920
  • Died: 1966

Summary: This hunk was an American actor and a four-time Oscar nominee. According to the New York Times, he was known for portraying “moody, sensitive young men.” He was considered one of the few original method actors in Hollywood. He was also one of the first actors to be invited to study in the Actors Studio.

Career: Some of his more prominent roles included

  • Red River (1948)
  • A Place in the Sun (1951)
  • From Here to Eternity (1953)
  • Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
  • The Misfits (1961)

Many myths surrounded Clift because of his quiet nature and need for ambiguity in his personal life. In 2018, his nephew created a documentary titled Making Montgomery Clift to dispel rumors.

Personal Life: Clift was homosexual, a fact that he continued to hide in the 1950s. However, he did maintain several close friendships with theater women, which studios heavily promoted to continue keeping his sexuality a secret.

Why You Would Want to Date Montgomery Clift

Clift was reported to be a genuinely good guy, so you’d have a great partner to chill with.

If you want the lifestyle but prefer to stay out of the spotlight, Clift would’ve been a perfect choice because, let’s face it, Hollywood can get a little messy sometimes, especially when it comes to a person’s lifestyle choices. Fortunately, Hollywood tries to be a bit less judgmental today.

2) Paul Newman

  • Birth name: Paul Leonard Newman
  • Born: 1925
  • Died: 2008

Summary: Paul Newman showed an interest in theater as a child. At ten years old, Paul performed in a stage production of Saint George and the Dragon. He attended the Yale School of Drama for one year before studying under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.

Career: His numerous major film roles include

  • The Hustler (1961)
  • Hud (1963)
  • Cool Hand Luke (1967)
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
  • The Sting (1973)
  • Fort Apache, The Bronx (1981)

He was also a driver with the Sports Car Club of America and won several national championships. Additionally, he co-founded Newman’s Own, a food company that donated all royalties and post-tax profits to charities.

Personal Life: Newman married Jackie Witte from 1949-1958. In 1958, he married Joanne Woodward and was married to her until he died in 2008.

Why You Would Want to Date Paul Newman

If you’re looking for complete loyalty from a man, Paul is a good choice because dedication seems to be one of his strong suits. He was married to his first wife for nine years and his second wife, Joanne Woodward, for fifty years until his death.

Plus, you’d have a lifelong supply of his yummy salad dressing. What more could a girl ask for?

3) Harry Belafonte

  • Birth name: Harold George Bellanfanti Jr.
  • Born: 1927
  • Died: N/A

Summary: Belafonte is an American singer, actor, and activist. He is also a Jamaican-American pop star who made the Trinbagonian Caribbean musical style popular amongst an international audience during the 1950s. Calypso, his breakthrough album, was the first to sell a million copies.

Career: This handsome hottie won three Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and an Emmy. Additionally, he captured a Tony Award in 1959. In addition to his extensive music career, he starred in several films, including

  • Bright Road (1953)
  • Carmen Jones (1954)
  • Island in the Sun (1957)
  • Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)
  • The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959)

He is an activist who was a mentee of Paul Robeson and a close confidant of Martin Luther King Jr. He’s also an advocate for political and humanitarian causes.

  • Anti-Apartheid Movement
  • USA for Africa
  • UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

Personal Life: In 1948, Belafonte married Marguerite Byrd. That marriage lasted until 1957. That same year he married Julie Robinson, and they remained married until 2008. In 2008, he married Pamela Frank, to whom he is currently married.

Why You Would Want to Date Harry Belafonte

Aside from his good looks, Belafonte is also a man with a good heart who seeks to eradicate the world’s injustices. The time-lapse (or lack thereof) between marriages is a little suspect, which reeks of co-dependency, but he is a family man cherished by his children, so that’s a plus.

4) Marlon Brando

  • Birth name: Marlon Brando Jr.
  • Born: 1924
  • Died: 2004

Summary: Marlon Brando Jr. was an American actor considered one of the most influential men of the 20th century. Throughout his career that spanned six decades, he garnered numerous accolades, including

  • Two Oscars
  • Two Golden Gloves
  • One Cannes Film Festival Award
  • Three British Academy Film Awards

Career: Brando’s ruggedly handsome looks catapulted him to superstardom in over sixty movies. Some of his most famous films include

  • The Godfather (1972)
  • Apocalypse Now (1979)
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  • Last Tang in Paris (1972)
  • On the Waterfront (1954)
  • The Freshman (1990)
  • Julius Caesar (1953)
  • Superman and II (1978, 1980)

In 1973, the actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather attended the Academy Awards ceremony in Brando’s place. She stated the actor “very regretfully” could not accept the award for his role in The Godfather, as he was protesting the portrayal of Native Americans in films.

Personal Life: Brando has only had three wives. He was married to Anna Kashfi from 1957 – 1959. In 1960, He married Movita Castaneda. That marriage lasted until 1962. His third and longest marriage was to Tarita Teriipaia from 1962 – 1972.

Why You Would Want to Date Marlon Brando

In his heyday, this talented actor was hot, hot, hot! If you’re into big families, this is your guy. Brando had at least nine children.

However, if you don’t like being part of a harem, maybe you should look elsewhere. Although he only had three wives, reports indicate that he had numerous lovers over the years, so there’s that.

5) James Dean

  • Birth name: James Byron Dean
  • Born: 1927
  • Died: 1955

Summary: James Byron Dean was an American actor who is remembered as an icon. Thanks to the classic film Rebel Without a Cause, he was considered the face of teen angst and social estrangement. In 1955, he died in a car accident near Paso Robles, California. 

  • Nominated for Best Actor in Giant and East of Eden.
  • One Golden Globe Henrietta Award for World Film Favorites
  • Received The Cecil B. DeMille Award
  • One BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor for Rebel Without a Cause

Career: He has been credited with over sixty movies, including Rebel Without a Cause, his most famous film. Other movies include

  • Giant (1956)
  • East of Eden (1955)
  • The Disaster Artist (2017)
  • The Canyons (2013)
  • The Unlighted Road (1955)

Personal Life: Over 60 years later, his loved ones shared some of Dean’s intimate memories, including that the love of his life was Pier Angeli and what could’ve been if the actor hadn’t died.

Why You Would Want to Date James Dean

If you prefer a mysterious and moody guy, Dean definitely played the part well. According to his family, he pined for the love of his life, which is a definite indicator that he was a hopeless romantic.

6) Billy Dee Williams

  • Birth name: William December Williams Jr
  • Born: 1937
  • Died: N/A

Summary: Billy Dee Williams is an American actor born in New York City. He graduated from The High School of Music & Art and then won a painting scholarship to the National Academy of Fine Arts and Design. His first feature role was in the 1971 movie Brian’s Song.

Career: In the 1980s, he played Lando Calrissian and became the first black actor with a significant on-screen role in the Star Wars franchise. Along with its sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), he also stared in many other films, including

  • The Last Angry Man (1959)
  • Brian’s Song (1971)
  • Lady Sings the Blues (1972)
  • Mahogony (1975)
  • Nighthawks (1981)

He was inducted into the Black Filmmaker’s Hall of Fame in 1984. He earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985. His television work included

  • Gideon’s Crossing
  • Dynasty
  • General Hospital
  • The Jeffersons
  • 227
  • The Hughleys

Personal Life: Billy Dee Williams married Audrey Sellers in 1959 but divorced in 1963. He then went on to marry Marlene Clark. Their union lasted from 1968 -1971. Teruko Nakagami is his third and final wife. They married in 1972 and are still married today.

Why You Would Want to Date Billy Dee Williams

Mr. Williams is un-dateable because he’s still married. However, let’s play anyway.

He would be a great partner to anyone looking for a long-term commitment. While his first two marriages didn’t quite work out, his last marriage proved a keeper since it’s been 50 years and still going strong. And did I mention he’s still getting those Star Wars checks?

7) Cary Grant

  • Birth name: Archibald Alexander Leach
  • Born: 1904
  • Died: 1986

Summary: Cary Grant was an English-American actor known for his Mid-Atlantic accent. He carried himself with an elegant demeanor with his light-hearted approach to acting. According to many, he was one of Hollywood’s most iconic leading men.

Career: He is credited with more than sixty movies. Alfred Hitchcock featured him in four films: SuspicionNotoriousTo Catch a Thief, and North by Northwest.

Other films included

  • Charade (1963)
  • An Affair to Remember (1957)
  • Houseboat (1958)
  • Bringing Up Baby (1938)
  • His Girl Friday (1940)
  • Indiscreet (1958)

Personal Life: Cary Grant was married five times between 1934-1986

  • Virginia Cherrill (1934-1935)
  • Barbara Hutton (1942-1945)
  • Betsy Drake (1949- 1962)
  • Dyan Cannon (1965- 1968)
  • Barbara Harris (1981- 1986)
Why You Would Want to Date Cary Grant

Even though Cary Grant was married five times, that doesn’t beat the record held by Elizabeth Taylor.

His marriages lasted from one year to thirteen years, which shows he’s whimsical regarding relationships (Virginia Cherrill) but can settle down for a long(er)-term union (Betsy Drake.)

8) Clark Gable

  • Birth name: William Clark Gable
  • Born: 1901
  • Died: 1960

Summary: Clark Gable was an American film actor nicknamed “The King of Hollywood.” He starred in over 60 films in multiple genres during his 37-year career. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” is a line from the war film Gone with the Wind and is one line that is most quoted today. 

Career: He began his career in Hollywood between 1924 and 1926 and was an extra in silent films. Eventually, he progressed to more significant roles for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His first leading role was in the movie Dance, Fools, Dance in 1931. It was the famous actress Joan Crawford who requested him for the part.

Other films included

  • Red Dust (1932)
  • It Happened One Night (1934)
  • Gone With the Wind (1939)
  • Manhattan Melodrama (1934)
  • San Francisco (1936)
  • Saratoga (1937)
  • Boom Town (1940)

Personal Life: Clark Gable was married five times between 1924-1960

  • Josephine Dillon (1924-1930)
  • Maria Franklin Prentiss Lucas Langham (1931-1939)
  • Carole Lombard (1939- 1942)
  • Sylvia Ashley (1949- 1952)
  • Kay Williams (1955- 1960)
Why You Would Want to Date Clark Gable

Both Clark Gable and Cary Grant have five marriages under their belt. However, on average, Gable’s marriages seemed to have lasted slightly longer than Grant’s.

Additionally, Gable’s marriages consist of more everyday people than Hollywood starlets, so you might’ve had a chance.

Abigail Langton
Abigail Langton

Abigail Langton spends her time deep diving into the facts readers want to know about current dating apps online. You'll find her breaking down the latest price points and how to stay secure dating online.