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Top 10 of the greatest male Hollywood Stars of the 1940s …

Neil Patrick

A big part of Hollywood popular culture, are the good looking actors and actresses that make up the business.

Over the years, there have been many good looking actors that have graced people’s television screens as well as the big screen.

Many times the main reason people watch a certain movie, is because the actor or actress playing the lead in the movie is a really good looking person.

The 1940’s was a great time for Hollywood, and there were plenty of good looking men who were in Hollywood.   Here are some of the heartthrobs who were big names in Hollywood during the 1940s.

There were hundreds of movies that were made throughout this decade, and as such, it only seems natural that there would be a number of Hollywood heartthrobs that came into the limelight during this era. So, lets have a look at some of the heartthrobs of that era:

10. Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy
Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy joined Metro Goldwyn Mayer in 1935, which at that time was an incredibly popular studio to be involved with.  His career burgeoned with a series of hit films.

He also won, not one, but two Oscars in both 1937 and 1938.

The first Oscar he won was as a result of his performance in Captains Courageous and the second Oscar he won as a result of his performance in Boys Town.

He quickly became one of the biggest stars at the studio.

He also went on to star in several movies with Katherine Hepburn.  Unfortunately, his personal life was not as successful as his professional life as he struggled with alcoholism for most of his life.

He was also very distressed about his son’s inability to hear which he felt guilty about.

He was estranged from his wife for a long time, and although they never got a divorce, he continued to have a relationship with Katherine Hepburn in private.

At the end of his life, Spencer Tracy pretty much exclusively worked on movies with director Stanley Kramer.

He made his last film under Stanley Kramer – the film was Guess who’s Coming To Dinner and he died just seventeen days after it was completed in 1967.

9. Jimmy Stewart

 James Stewart
James Stewart

Jimmy Stewart was another Hollywood hunk of the 1940s and he was in many films during this time.

He was nominated for not one, but five Academy Awards and he eventually won an Academy Award for the Philadelphia Story in 1940. He also went on to receive an Academy Lifetime Achievement award.

Jimmy Stewart was also named by the American Film Institute as the third greatest male screen legend of the Golden Age Hollywood.

He had a successful career not only in Hollywood, but also in the military – he served in both World War II and the Vietnam War.

8. Bing Crosby

 Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby

Bing Crosby was a leader in records sales, radio ratings and motion picture grosses from 1931 to 1954. At the beginning of his career, there were great technological achievements, including and most notably the microphone.

In 1948 he was labeled as the most admired man alive, as he was revered by many people all over the world.

He also won an Academy Award for best actor for his performance as Father Chuck O’Malley in Going my Way in 1944. He then went on to receive his first Grammy Global Achievement Award.

7. Laurence Olivier

Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier

Laurence Olivier was another Hollywood heartthrob in the 1940s.

He was in many big movies and achieved popularity both because of his ability as a good actor and his good looks.

6. Gary Cooper

Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper

Gary Cooper had a career in Hollywood that spanned about thirty-five years and he starred in a remarkable eighty-four films.

He became popular just at the end of the silent film era and he was able to make his style of acting appealing to both men and women alike.

5. Cary Grant

Cary Grant
Cary Grant

Cary grant was another extremely popular heartthrob and actually, he was an English actor who went on to become an American citizen.

In 1999, he was also named the second greatest male star of the Golden Age Hollywood cinema.

He acted in countless movies and was nominated not once, but twice for Academy Awards for Best Actor and five times for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.

4. Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck was an extremely popular movie star throughout the 1940’s and well into the 1960s – he won an Academy Award for his brilliant performance in How To Kill A Mockingbird.

3. Henry Fonda

Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda

Henry Fonda started off as a Broadway actor – he was in Hollywood for about six decades and became a true mainstay.

He also had kids who went on to become famous actors themselves, so the Fonda name is a big name in the movie industry.

2. John Wayne

John Wayne
John Wayne

John Wayne had a great start to his career in 1939. He co-starred alongside many big Hollywood names of his era; both men and women alike, as he was a name that other actors wanted associated with there’s.

He was well known for his roles in Western movies.

1. Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart is arguably one of the biggest Hollywood heartthrobs of this era.

He was in many iconic films of this time and became what many consider to be a very famous cultural icon.

His film career spanned about thirty years, and he appeared in more than seventy-five films throughout this entire time span. He was also ranked the greatest male star of classic American cinema. These are the ten biggest male names that were in Hollywood and most of the movies throughout the decade in the 40’s.

Here is another fun read from our Hollywood files: The time when Stalin sent KGB agents to Hollywood to kill John Wayne because of his anti-communist beliefs

They were not only good looking people, but they were also great actors, and this is where a lot of their success and notoriety was derived from.

Neil Patrick

Neil Patrick is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News