But, whatever the type, for most of the last century, the movie theatre has been a safe space for female longing. A far cry from the old American ideal of square-shouldered macho man, they often played poets, drifters, doomed lovers, and Anne Rice-written vampires. Valentino died tragically young, cementing his fame and causing borderline hysteria among his female fans, but other, less-remembered names would crop up, too: Wallace Reid, Ramon Novarro, Gilbert Roland. Before Elvis or The Beatles, Sinatra-mania was in full flow. Perhaps the s saw an explosion of hunky heartthrobs because of the after effects of the sexual revolution. His starring turn as a high-end escort in American Gigolo was drenched in luxury goods.
Ophelia. Age: 23.
He and his friend Brando would also become outspoken supporters of the civil rights movement later in the decade.
Adelynn. Age: 25.
Timothée Chalamet and Hollywood heartthrobs through the ages
It makes sense, then, that the one heartthrob whose name we still remember today — Rudolph Valentino — was discovered by a female screenwriter, June Mathis, who knew female audiences might take a shine to him. Though it seems faintly entertaining now to imagine the debauched, supermodel-dating DiCaprio as the sensitive, pretty-faced boy he once was, in the 90s he fit perfectly into the role. He and his friend Brando would also become outspoken supporters of the civil rights movement later in the decade.