Who’s the Hottest Mr. Darcy?

Pride and Prejudice turns 200 today, and with 200 years you’d think we’d be able to track down 200 Mr. Darcys. Alas, there haven’t been that many. But while many of us know (and love) the Mr. Darcys as portrayed by the gruff yet charming Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen, there have been a handful of attractive men who have stepped into those knickers and soggy white shirts. Let’s take a look at some of the men who have stolen the hearts of many Elizabeth Bennets throughout the years.

Laurence Olivier

As the first Mr. Darcy to grace the screen, Olivier’s turn might not be as recognizable as his Hamlet or even his black-face Othello (keep it classy, Olivier!). As far as old dead dudes go, Olivier’s a hot one, and he proves that pairing that look of indignation with ruffly neckwear will always be a bold fashion choice.

David Rintoul

Who? I dunno, either, but this guy looked sexy as hell in a 1967 TV production of Jane Austen’s novel. He certainly looks adequately grumpy and attractive!

Colin Firth

The 1995 BBC production might be the gold standard in Jane Austen adaptations, and it launched the international careers of both Colin Firth (who later appeared in a different version of the role in Bridget Jones’s Diary) and Jennifer Ehle (who has reinvigorated her career lately with smaller roles in Contagion and Zero Dark Thirty). Is Colin Firth the most perfect Mr. Darcy? Possibly!

Orlando Seale

Seale starred in a 2003 version of Pride and Prejudice, in which the classic love story was transported to Utah in the early 2000s. Did you see it? Probably not. Is he still handsome? Yes. Yes he is.

Martin Henderson

Bride and Prejudice was another modern-day adaptation of the Austen masterpiece, this time given the Bollywood treatment. I have to say, Henderson isn’t really doing it for me, but I’d admit that never did Mr. Darcy have such a lovely head of hair.

Matthew Macfadyen

Joe Wright’s 2005 film made a respectable actress out of star Keira Knightley, but more importantly introduced most of us to Macfadyen, who is the only guy on this list able to give Colin Firth a run for his money.

Elliot Cowan

It’s no big surprise that Lost in Austen, a mini-series in which a Jane Austen superfan finds herself swapping places with Austen’s heroines, didn’t get a lot of attention stateside. But the show’s Heath Ledger look-alike Cowan sure did make one sizzling Darcy.

Daniel Vincent Gordh

Gordh’s Darcy, seen in the webseries The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, in which Lizzie keeps a vlog about her romantic experiences, looks more like a scheming Gossip Girl character rather than a dashing late-Georgian-era Darcy. But I like the idea of Mr. Darcy in a skinny tie and gingham, really.

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Gene Kelly and Ten Other Dead Dudes We’d Totally Sleep With

My eyes were a little cloudy and heavy this morning when I got into the office, and I knew exactly what would perk me up: Google Image Searching Gene Kelly. Sure, some people would pick coffee, but some people would pick Gene Kelly. Right? That’s a thing that people do? Well, you should, because Gene Kelly was a handsome bro. I think even those who weren’t into dudes who hopped around on his toes and danced the nights away would be into him, because he basically looked like a linebacker who could also plié. And it got the gears in my brain a-movin’ and a-turnin’, and I started wondering: wouldn’t it be great if time travel were real and I could go back in time to have sex with Gene Kelly?

Look, let’s not get weird about this. You would, too. And you know what? I bet there’s a whole bunch of other now-dead people who were pretty attractive when they were alive. Here’s my list, and feel free to comment below with your own!

1. The Searchers-era Jeffrey Hunter

Sorry that the Comanche killed your parents, Martin, but you’re still hot so it’ll be OK!
 

2. A Streetcar Named Desire-era Marlon Brando

Goddamn those arms. I mean, bless those arms, but also goddamn those arms.

3. Rock Hudson in everything

You know? He might actually be game for this.

4. A Place in the Sun-era Montgomery Clift

This guy would probably be a handful, but there’s something really romantic about having to save someone, right?

5. Paul Newman in everything

THOSE EYES.
 

6. Hamlet-era Laurence Olivier

This one is kind of a wild card, but there’s something creepily sexy about that Aryan dye-job.
 

7. John Cazale in everything

Speaking of creepy! But Meryl Streep slept with him, and that’s a big endorsement as far as I’m concerned.

8. Midnight Express-era Brad Davis

Despite the history of sexual abuse, the drug use, the alcoholism, this guy was kind of a catch!

9. River Phoenix in everything

Duh.

10. Bullitt-era Steve McQueen

Don’t you think he’d treat you like total shit? Sign me up.

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