Clint Eastwood was terrific as "the Man with No Name." Yeah, I'm talking about the spaghetti westerns. He was cool as Dirty Harry, too.
But the list goes on when referring to tough guy actors from the sixties. Sean Connery was tops as James Bond, of course. William Shatner is the one and only James Kirk, and hands down the best ever starship captain. Robert Conrad is the only James West.
Robert Mitchum was a tough guy's tough guy, as was Anthony Quinn, James Coburn, Charlton Heston, and Charles Bronson. These guys make today's wannabe tough guys look like cupcakes.
Of course, you have the classic tough guys like John Wayne, Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, and Kirk Douglas.
Then you have the suave tough guys. Sean Connery would be in this category too. (He's the only one who makes both lists.) But included in this list you have guys like Robert Vaughn, Robert Redford, and Yul Brynner.
These guys are tough guys that actually LOOK like tough guys. There are other guys who've PLAYED tough guys, but in my book they don't cut it. This might offend some people, but to ME they don't look so tough. They include Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Richard Widmark, and Edward G.
Robinson. Those guys don't look like they can beat up my mother-in-law. But the other dudes? Those guys are badass dudes. I didn't list them in any particular order. It's just that the good old days of real tough guys is over. Today you have softies pretending to be tough guys.
Sometimes they can pull it off. Brad Pitt made a decent Achilles in the otherwise horrible movie Troy. Vin Diesel makes a good tough guy in his movies, and Jason Statham is an authentic tough guy in his movies, but that's about it. I'm hoping Dustin Clare can be a tough guy, too. He was the best actor in the recent Spartacus show, and I've blogged often that he might be a great Trent Smith in my novels, Killer of Killers and Killer Eyes. What does the future hold?