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Top 10 Classic Hollywood Sex Symbols

By Tom Piccolo · August 30, 2013

What makes a Classic Hollywood Sex Symbol, that alluring nature which, for decades of movie making, made women swoon, and men drool?  Though difficult to pin down exactly, whether female or male, both sexes can tell one when they see one.

But what exactly makes that girl the “It Girl”? Perhaps it’s the gentle curve of an actress’ hips and thighs, the radiant glow in her smoldering smile, that star-like twinkle in her eyes. A soft shoulder, the bend of the elbow, an impatient hand on her waist. Pinup breasts can’t hurt. And what about that unique ability to size a man up with a chilling second take, cast a disinterested glance behind, and deliver a breathy invitation or a perfectly timed killer line.

And for the male counterpart, today it seems to be a requirement for him take off his shirt, reveal his muscular build, and sport a perfect six-pack. Dreamboat eyes that shine even before Technicolor.  The suave, the debonair, the devil may care; add dangerous delight to a 007. The “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” attitude of a gruff, handsome guy; makes him the man women dream of.

Audiences held their breath as larger than life images looked into each other’s eyes. They dreamt of being up there on the screen in that powerful passionate moment just before lips touched, and they imagined as the scene slowly faded to black. But with the advent of the sex scene, the curtain went down on the classic Hollywood sex symbol. We no longer needed a symbol for sex; we had sex on the screen!

Narrowing a list of Classic Hollywood Sex Symbols down to five women and five men was a daunting task. How could I not mention Jane Mansfield, Greta Garbo and Sophia Loren?  Betty Grable’s pinup poster practically won World War II.   And what about Paul Neuman, Tony Curtis or Sean Connery?  The classic list goes on and on.  So let me present “my list”; five actresses who still make my heart throb, and five leading men that still show all that a man can be.