From the time of Rudolph Valentino, male sex symbols have caused mass hysteria among their female fans. Stars like Gary Cooper, Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart continued Valentino’s legacy. John Wayne would carry the torch after the war, before music stars like Elvis Presley and The Beatles became the idol of teenyboppers. In the 80s, we had members of the so-called Brat Pack, with stars like Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez and Ralph Macchio earning their share of shrieking fans.
Recently, we have had the likes of George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon earning the title of Sexiest Man Alive. This year, we have a new batch of male stars that have gotten the adulation of females from around the world. Here now is a list of the top ten sexiest men of 2012.
10 Robert Pattinson
He started out playing a minor role in one of the Harry Potter movies. He quickly burst into the spotlight when he landed the lead role in the movie versions of the Twilight novels by Stephanie Meyer. The movies earned hundreds of millions, launching its stars into super stardom. Pattinson thus established himself as one of Hollywood’s highest paid and most bankable stars. He was also named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
9 Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston is an English actor that gained prominence by playing a number of vital roles in several big movies. He was Loki in the 2011 Thor, and he reprised that role in the 2012 blockbuster The Avengers. He was also in the Steven Spielberg acclaimed movie set in World War I, entitled War Horse. He appeared opposite Rachel Weisz in The Deep Blue Sea. He was then seen playing F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Woody Allen romantic comedy Midnight in Paris.
8 Johnny Depp
He is one of the highest paid actors in the world. He started out as a teen idol in the 1980s when he starred in the TV series 21 Jump Street. He is known for not being averse to odd roles, like the characters he played in Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd and Alice in Wonderland. He has gained the critics’ nod for his portrayals in movies like Donnie Brasco, Ed Wood, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Blow. But he is probably best known for his unique approach to his role as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
7 Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender was in 300, the movie about ancient Sparta that featured men with sculpted abs. He was also in the Quentin Tarantino hit Inglorious Bastards. Comic fans know him as Magneto from the X-Men: First Class movie, while science fiction lovers remember him for his role in Prometheus. He was also seen in Fish Tank, A Dangerous Method and Hunger. He earned nominations from both sides of the pond and the Venice International Film Festival Best Actor award for his performance in Shame.
6 Benedict Cumberbatch
He played the title role in Hawking, a drama aired in BBC that earned him raves for his lead performance. He was also in Atonement and The Last Enemy. He was in the title role in the TV series Sherlock. Cumberbatch also played key roles in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and the Oscar-nominated Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He was also in the stage adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in 2011.
5 Robert Downey, Jr.
He is part of the Brat Pack generation of the 1980s, appearing in movies like Less Than Zero and Weird Science. He also appeared in Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. He got an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the title role in Chaplin in 1992. Bouts with drug abuse put his career on hiatus, before he returned to play Calista Flockhart’s love interest in Ally McBeal. The role earned him a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a television series. He relapsed into drugs shortly after. He finally sobered up, and has returned with a bang in movies like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Gothika and Tropic Thunder. More recently, he played the lead characters in Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man.
4 Taylor Lautner
He first did bit roles in TV shows like The Bernie Mac Show and My Wife and Kids. He also appeared in Cheaper by the Dozen 2, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, and Abduction. But he is, of course, best known for his role as Jacob Black in the Twilight series, bulking up tremendously for his role as a werewolf rivaling a vampire for the attention of Bella.
3 Paul Wesley
Paul Wesley started acting when he was a junior in high school, playing a role in the long-running soap opera Guiding Light. He was a freshman in Rutgers when he decided to make acting a full-time career. He appeared in several television shows, like 24, 8 Simple Rules, American Dreams, Army Wives, Cane, Everwood, Smallville, The O.C., and Wolf Lake. He then had a major role in The Russell Girl and Fallen. He is known for his role in Vampire Diaries, where he plays the brother of Ian Somerhalder’s character, as well as the love interest of Nina Dobrev’s character.
2 James McAvoy
He is a Scottish actor who made his acting debut when he was only 16 in The Near Room. He worked for television, playing roles in shows like State of Play and Shameless. He was in The Chronicles of Narnia, before achieving a breakthrough in The Last King of Scotland. He also earned nominations for his performance in Atonement. McAvoy also played a major role in X-Men: First Class.
1 Henry Cavill
Henry Cavill is a British actor who had roles in The Count of Monte Cristo, Stardust and Immortals. He also appeared in the Showtime series entitled The Tudors. He also landed the role of Superman in Man of Steel.