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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Clark Gable was a leading man in over 60 major Hollywood productions
Clark Gable was a leading man in over 60 major Hollywood productions

A leading man is a complimentary term for the actor who is the primary male protagonist in a film, television show, or play, usually the main character who can be an action hero or any sort of man, often including a love interest to the leading lady. A leading man is sometimes an all-rounder; capable of being comical and/or heroic, singing, dancing, and acting at a professional level.

A leading man can also be an actor who is often seen in romantic roles. An example of this would be Bruce Cabot's role playing against Fay Wray in King Kong. Less frequently, the term has been applied to an actor who is often associated with one particular actress; for example, Spencer Tracy had a similar association with both Katharine Hepburn and Joan Bennett, and Gable made numerous major films with Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, or Jean Harlow. The term is also used collectively, as in "Hollywood's leading men" to refer to a group of notable, famous, or popular actors.



Leading men of the silent era included Francis X Bushman, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Ramon Novarro, John Barrymore, John Gilbert, Wallace Beery, Conrad Nagel, Conrad Veidt, Rudolph Valentino, Sessue Hayakawa and Henry B. Walthall.


Leading men of the 1930s included Clark Gable, Wallace Beery, Ronald Colman, Maurice Chevalier, Warren William, Robert Young, William Powell, Fredric March, Paul Muni, Gary Cooper, George Raft, Edward G. Robinson, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, Henry Fonda, Robert Montgomery, Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray, James Cagney, Errol Flynn, John Wayne, Burgess Meredith, George Brent, Robert Taylor, and Charles Boyer, among many others.


In the 1940s, leading men included James Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Tyrone Power, John Wayne, Joel McCrea, Ray Milland, Ronald Reagan, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dana Andrews, Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck, William Holden, Fred MacMurray, Burt Lancaster, Victor Mature, Laurence Olivier and Robert Mitchum.


The 1950s included Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, Charlton Heston, Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Michael Rennie, Gene Kelly, Montgomery Clift, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, Ricardo Montalban, Jeff Chandler, Yul Brynner, James Dean, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Jack Lemmon, and Paul Newman.


The 1960s included Steve McQueen, James Garner, Sidney Poitier, Clint Eastwood, Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Rex Harrison, Robert Redford, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Lee Marvin, Jerry Lewis, and Sean Connery.


The 1970s included Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, James Caan, John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Gene Wilder, Burt Reynolds, Woody Allen, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris.


The 1980s included Harrison Ford, Kevin Costner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eddie Murphy, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Michael J. Fox, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Charlie Sheen, Richard Gere and Bob Hoskins.


The 1990s included Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis, Keanu Reeves, Nicolas Cage, George Clooney, Val Kilmer, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robin Williams, Tupac Shakur, Brad Pitt, John Cusack, Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Grant, Will Smith, Denzel Washington and Jim Carrey.


Some examples of modern-day leading men include Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Bradley Cooper, Robert Downey Jr., Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Daniel Craig, Daniel Radcliffe, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, James Franco, Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Tom Hardy, Hugh Jackman, Elijah Wood, Ryan Gosling, and Ryan Reynolds.

See also

This page was last edited on 26 February 2021, at 18:00
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