1960: Kirk Douglas
You can blame Spartacus. As the iconic gladiator in the sweeping 1960 Kubrick vehicle, Kirk turned heads (and melted hearts, duh) thanks to his penchant for stage fighting, bold declarations, and noticeable lack of shirt.
1961: Toshiro Mifune
Arguably the most famous Japanese actor of the 20th century, Mifune appeared in four movies in 1961, including Yojimbo, the film in which his character is chased by two crime bosses who want him as their bodyguard.
1962: Gregory Peck
Anyone who grew up watching the Californian-based actor as Atticus Finch in the adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird developed an understandable crush. (Even if you weren't seeing the movie until 1999 in high school English.)
1963: Marcello Mastroianni
The next time you cite 8 1/2 as the pinnacle for menswear, throw your emoji hallelujah hands in the air and thank whatever-higher-being-you-believe-in for the work of Marcello Mastroianni, the man who brought Guido Anselmi (and his unforgettable aesthetic) to life.
1964: Sean Connery
Behold: the original James Bond. (Meaning that 60-plus years after the fact, it really is time to retire the typical white male protagonist.)
1965: Christopher Plummer
When thinking about Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trapp in 1965's The Sound of Music, it's important to remember the following things. First, he did not sing his own songs. Second, he looks freakishly similar to our collective boyfriend, Michael Fassbender.
1966: Clint Eastwood
Before he was a director-turned-man who yelled at chairs, Clint Eastwood was the posterboy for post-John Wayne cowboy culture, starring in 1966's The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and adding a little more grit to the genre.
1967: Sidney Poitier
1967 was a big year for Poitier, and the world reaped the benefits: starring in both Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night, Poitier established himself as an industry king (and major babe).
1968: Paul Newman
If any of you even think of questioning this, take a long look this 1968 cover of LIFE, in which Newman (and his very blue eyes) becomes the face of political assertion.
1969: Dustin Hoffman
I think we can actually just say this in seven words: Mr. Hoffman, you're trying to seduce us.
1970: Ryan O'Neal
Every year has its Notebook. Enter: Love Story and the heartbreaking tale of Jenny and Oliver who taught us that love means never having to say you're sorry. Unfortunately, that's incorrect. But Ryan O'Neal was the Ryan of 1970.
1971: Richard Roundtree
Don't let the remake convince you otherwise, the best (and original) Shaft premiered in 1971 and introduced us to a detective by the same name played by Richard Roundtree. Even more impressive? It was only his second film.
1972: Al Pacino
Lest we forget that before becoming Scarface, Al Pacino had the looks of an innocent soldier who'd eventually take over the family business. Diane Keaton, we get it.
1973: Roger Moore
Another year, another Bond. So with 1973's Live and Let Die, we met Roger Moore as James 2.0. And while he may have made us laugh in Spice World, the '70s were serious about this particular secret agent (especially since unlike Connery, he didn't wear a toupee).
1974: Robert Redford
In 1973, we had The Sting. In 1974, it was The Way We Were. So with two game-changing films, Robert Redford became the guy for anyone, anywhere with a thing for blond hair and blue eyes. (Or, you know: an ability to act well.)
1975: Jack Nicholson
Controversial, I know. Unlike the '50s and '60s, the '70s were less about uniform-like handsomeness. And such was the case with Jack Nicholson, who helped usher in this new era of heartthrob with his turn in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The runner up? Tim Curry in Rocky Horror Picture Show, obviously.
1976: Sylvester Stallone
Days into overthinking this and maybe you guys can answer for me: Did fans love Stallone or did they love Rocky? And how many people do you think wished they'd been named Adrian?
1977: John Travolta
Grease in the streets, Saturday Night Fever in the sheets. Such was the range of circa '77-era Travolta.
1978: Christopher Reeve
Do not, under any circumstance, let Henry Cavill fool you. At one point (especially in the late '70s and early '80s), Superman was a huge deal, particularly since he was embraced so perfectly by Christopher Reeve, an actor as lovely-seeming as he was talented.
1979: Steve Martin
In case you hadn't been won over by his stand-up or turns on SNL, The Jerk gave Steve Martin another avenue to establish himself as the posterboy for Funny Men™ — or more specifically, Very Funny Male Movie Stars™.
1980: Harrison Ford
The Empire Strikes Back opened in 1980. And, well, everyone here knows who Han Solo is, right?
1981: Kurt Russell
Frankly, it's everything I can do not to include Harrison Ford again (see: Raiders of the Lost Ark). But I can't, so here's this: Kurt Russell, star of 1981's Escape From New York, which kick-started the action-oriented side of his film career. Minus his turn that same year in The Fox and the Hound.
1982: Ricardo Montalban
Let's keep it simple: KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN! (And since we're here, seriously: how dare we whitewash the original with Benedict Cumberbatch in 2013?)
1983: Matt Dillon
Admittedly, it's less Matt Dillon specifically and more the cast he's surrounded by. But the likes of Swayze, Cruise, and Lowe had heydays to look forward to, and The Outsiders marked Dillon's slow rise to levels of niche. Plus, he played Dallas — and who didn't love him?
Honestly, just listen to "Purple Rain" for an hour or two, or shut your computer down entirely and sob throughout the entire movie.
1985: Emilio Estevez and Judd Nelson
We have a tie, because it's necessary. On the one hand, The Breakfast Club delivered the young Estevez, who epitomized the prep factor of the mid-'80s. On the other, there was Judd Nelson, who rebelled his way into our hearts. So: you decide. Are you Nelson or Estevez? Keeping in mind everything about you will be decided by your choice.
1986: Tom Cruise
And at the end of the highway was the Danger Zone. Which, arguably, referred to any/all feelings for Tom Cruise. (And specifically that volleyball sequence.)
1987: Patrick Swayze
Between his lack of shirt, flawless choreography, and refusal to accept Baby's suppertime seating choice (nobody puts her in a corner), Patrick Swayze used Dirty Dancing to establish himself as the ultimate romantic leading man — only to eclipse himself three years later with a little-known movie called Ghost.
1988: Bruce Willis
The man played John McClane, the only person on earth who could take down a terrorist sect at an office Christmas party while not wearing shoes. For most of the movie, he's wearing a tank top. For the rest, he is totally shirtless. The only thing better? Alan Rickman. Any other villain would've seemed weak.
1989: Ethan Hawke
I know we equate him with his mid-'90s slacker persona, but may we always remember that Ethan Hawke's turn as Todd Anderson in Dead Poet's Society led to so many of us over-romanticizing him as a quiet, shy poet. Which, obviously isn't true. But who cares (he was the best in this movie).
1990: Richard Gere
A man of the era. Representing the dudes still wearing Armani in the wake of the '80s financial bubble bursting, Gere's turn in Pretty Woman established him as the quintessential fancy-man, capable of changing, declaring love, and showing up on a fire escape, holding flowers. (So: not real. But look, it was almost 30 years ago.)
1991: Keanu Reeves
If you've seen Point Break, you understand. Because one man could compete with Patrick Swayze's beach-set handsomeness, and that's a surfing cop played by Keanu Reeves.
1992: Kevin Costner
Between Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, JFK, and The Bodyguard (the latter in 1992), the top of the '90s were basically Kevin Costner's world, and we were just living in it. Straddling the worlds between action, drama, and romance, he played smart in defining himself as an undefinable actor. But above all, he carried Whitney Houston offstage, making "I Will Always Love You" the most important song of all school dances.
1993: Johnny Depp
It was all What's Eating Gilbert Grape's fault. (And, oh, how the mighty have fallen.)
1994: Brad Pitt
Admittedly, Brad Pitt established himself as a go-to babe in Thelma & Louise long before the fury of Legends of the Fall and Interview With a Vampire in 1994. And then, after the magic of those wore off, he returned to our hearts again with The Devil's Own, Se7en, and Ocean's 11. So basically, look: Brad Pitt transcends time. He is somewhere, everywhere, all the time. He's even standing behind you now.
1995: Antonio Banderas
If we could all pause to acknowledge Antonio Banderas as Mariachi in 1995's Desperado, we'd all begin leading more fulfilled lives. Especially since dude combined stunts and action and romance during his turn as a man determined to overtake Mexican drug lords. Also, that hair.
1996: Denzel Washington
Think back to 1996. Sure, Denzel Washington was already a leading man, but between Courage Under Fire and The Preacher's Wife that year, he set himself up for a lifetime of whatever-role-he-may-be-into. And plus, so much handsomeness. Unfair levels of handsomeness. Handsomeness abounds.
1997: Leonardo DiCaprio
1998: Will Smith
Obviously he was already the Fresh Prince, but Will Smith's turns in Men in Black (1997) and Wild Wild West (1999) sandwiched him between two box office successes, which made 1998's Enemy of the State a necessary risk. This was the year he proved he could carry real drama. Or, at the very least, attempt it.
1999: Omar Epps
Omar Epps was in every movie made in 1999, so if you didn't have his picture ripped out of a Teen People and taped to your wall, you were obviously not participating in pop culture in the slightest. Between Mod Squad, The Wood, and In Too Deep, he caught everybody's attention. Which still paled in comparison to 2000's Love & Basketball, which is the most underrated romance of life.
2000: Paul Walker
One year before The Fast and the Furious, we met him in The Skulls. So while he'd appeared in more than a few teen staples prior to that, this was the dawn of his empire. (And we miss him.)
2001: George Clooney
This was a weird time for George Clooney. On the one hand, 2001 saw him star in Ocean's 11 which re-ignited the Clooney flame. But artistically, it was also confusing: mainly, he also starred in Spy Kids. Which co-starred Antonio Banderas, so maybe it's actually the coolest movie of all.
2002: Orlando Bloom
Do you want to feel old? In 2002, Orlando Bloom began his trek as Legolas — a character he stuck with longer than the Hobbit series (see: decades). Which of course, set him up for the lead in Pirates of the Caribbean (2003), a role that catapulted him to unheard levels of Universal Crush, even if he did wear elf ears for most of his films.
2003: Ashton Kutcher
In 2003, Ashton Kutcher starred in That '70s Show, and also two other movies: Just Married and My Boss's Daughter. Both were terrible, but helped drum up hype for Punk'd, that show we all watched for laughs, but most importantly, for Kutcher's trucker hats.
2004: Jude Law
This one is complicated. Did we love Jude Law because he was handsome, or did we love him because in 2004 he was in six different movies, and our exposure to him left us vulnerable to a remake of Alfie? (You decide.)
2005: Ryan Gosling
In 2005, The Notebook came out and nothing was ever the same again.
2006: Channing Tatum
Congratulations to those of us who had great taste 10 years ago and saw Step Up because Channing Tatum was in it. And how could we not: Dude was funny and very cute in 2006's She's the Man, which most of us didn't know would define Tatum's legacy. Unless you were a genius like me. (Shh!)
2007: Patrick Dempsey
A man of the '80s, may we all bow our heads and congratulate Patrick Dempsey for his 2007 resurgence at the hands of Grey's Anatomy and Enchanted (one of the most underrated Disney films of all time). Ultimately without him, there would be no McDreamy. So I guess we owe a thank you to Shonda Rhimes too.
2008: Robert Pattinson
For a brief moment in time, Robert Pattinson's decision to play a vampire in Twilight nearly ruined his life because we all cared too much. Which was our mistake and also, I'm sorry.
2009: Hugh Jackman
Admittedly, the cinematic landscape of 2009 was as tragic as X-Men Origins: Wolverine (in which Hugh Jackman starred), but look: X-Men would be a shell of itself without Jackman. Plus, it's not a heartthrob list without the presence of Hugh. (And what other choice did I have? Avatar? "The blue guy in Avatar?" Absolutely not. This list is professional. Get out of here, James Cameron.)
2010: James Franco
Before he became the James Franco of this particular year, he co-hosted the Oscars and nearly won one for pretending to cut off his arm in 127 Hours. So, OK, fine — he can have this award.
2011: Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans
It's a battle of the Chrises. Starring in Thor (Hemsworth) and in Captain America (Evans) back in 2011, both assured us they could carry their own franchise while impressing us all with their freakish good looks.
2012: Michael Fassbender
In 2011, he did X-Men: First Class, Jane Eyre, Shame, Pitch Black Heart, and Haywire. Which means by 2012, we all knew who he was and saw Prometheus whether or not we were into Alien. And nobody regrets any of it, amen.
2013: Benedict Cumberbatch
Arguably the Jude Law of the 2010s, 2013 brought us six full-length Cumberbatch films, making him the belle of the TIFF ball (and perfect "I told you so!" fodder for anyone who's watched Sherlock since its 2010 premiere). Just forget The Fifth Estate and his wig ever happened.
2015: Idris Elba
And honestly if this guy isn't enlisted as the new 007, burn the franchise to the ground and buy the entire series of Luther and psych yourself up for Star Trek Beyond this summer, because it's all gone to hell.