Who is the fairest one of all?

Hollywood in the 1940s employeed a pleathora of attractive men: Van Johnson, Clark Gable, John Hodiak, James Stewart, John Wayne…

The list could continue for hours, but who are the two men that stand on top of the whole stack of them?

Robert Taylor and Tyrone Power


Famous for their good looks, who is more attractive: Tyrone Power or Robert Taylor

In April 2010 when Robert Taylor was the TCM Star of the Month, Robert Osborne, Turner Classic Movies’ prime time host, said the MGM star was dubbed the most attractive star in Hollywood. His only competition was Tyrone Power of Twentieth Century Fox studio.

Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor emerged as a young and handsome actor in the mid-1930s in movies like “Broadway Melody Of 1936” (1935) and “Camille” (1936). With his slicked back black hair, attractive smile and pleasing disposition, he left many women swooning and his male counterparts seething, Robert Osborne said. Taylor’s career was successful from the start and was in top notch films until the mid-1950s.

On the other side of the spectrum, Tyrone Power was signed to 20th Century Fox in 1936 as their answer to MGM’s Robert Taylor.  Power’s career didn’t launch as quickly as Taylor’s, acting in small roles in a bit part in “Flirtation Walk” (1934). “Marie Antoinette” (1938) as Norma Shearer’s lover. His career launched when he was paired with Alice Faye and Don Ameche in both “In Old Chicago” (1937) and “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” (1938).

Interestingly enough, after both being hired as the pretty boys of the studios, their careers and lives were very similar.

Tyrone Power

Both men struggled with only being seen as a pretty face.  Robert Taylor took on “manlier” roles like “Valley of the Kings” (1954) and “The Law and Jake Wade” (1958) that offered rougher, meaner characters.  Sadly, I have to plead ignorance when it comes to Tyrone Power’s career. However, from looking at his film list and reading about his career, it looks like his peak was in the 1940s.

In the 1950s, Tyrone was unhappy with the roles he was getting and turned to stage work. Probably his best role in the 1950s was his last role, “Witness For The Prosecution“(1957) with Charles Laughton.

Both men were married to actresses (Power-Annabelle, Tayor- Barbara Stanwyck) and also had several love affairs. One affair in particular was with one glamorous actress: Lana Turner.  Turner called Power the love of her life, according to her book LANA: The Memories, the Myths, the Movies. However, though Lana Turner successfully seduced Taylor during the filming of “Johnny Eager” (1941), she told her best friend Ava Gardner that Robert Taylor was a lover you “shouldn’t waste your mouth on.”

Lana Turner and Tyrone Power

Later in life, careers and looks took turns for the worse for the two men.  Neither Robert Taylor or Tyrone Power aged very well, and both were not recieving quality roles. Robert Taylor was one of the actors who stayed until MGM studio’s fall in the early 1960s even though his roles grew increasingly worse, according to Esther Williams in her autobiography “The Million Dollar Mermaid.”

Tyrone Power died at the young age of 44 in 1958 due to aheart attack.  Eleven years later, Robert Taylor died in 1969 at a similarly young age of 57 of lung cancer. Ronald Reagan and Robert Taylor were close friends, after the death of Taylor, Reagan was anti-smoking.

It’s funny how two attractive actors lived such seemingly parallel lives. But it all boils down to one question:

Which one was more attractive?

Which one was the most handsome man in Hollywood during the 1940s?

I know my answer. What’s yours?

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19 thoughts on “Who is the fairest one of all?

  1. I vote for Tyrone Power, who certainly got quality roles once he dumped Fox. He actually looks great in candid photos right up until his death. The problem was that he often filmed in the later years on very little sleep, and you know you can’t get away with that after 25!


  2. I vote for Robert Taylor. He always looked great to me and I think he aged well. He had more of a rugged look in his later years.


    • Haha I looked it up on IMDB and it actually said Tyrone and Robert were both 5 feet and 11.5 inches tall. I’m not sure how accurate that is, though oh well haha.
      I do get what you mean though. Tyrone is alot leaner while Robert is a bit more stocky.


  3. Most definately Tyrone all the way. Dark hair, eyes, killer smile! Had a certain something about him that drew you too him and not just because of his looks!


  4. I prefer Taylor. He was a much better actor. Plus, it must have been difficult living in the shadow of his wife, who by all accounts was a mega-star who made waaaaay more money than her husband.


  5. Robert Taylor DEFINITELY. Believe me, it’s a tough choice, both are strikingly good-looking, but look at Robert Taylor’s face, he has PERFECT features and his face is perfectly proportioned. Not to say that Tyrone Power ‘s features aren’t gorgeous, they are too, but not nearly as perfect as Robert’s. I think when it comes to perfection of the face, Robert’s only competition is Paul Newman, who also had perfect, Greek-God-statue-like features.


  6. Tyrone Power was the most beautiful actor in Hollywood. His eyes and features were perfect – but Taylor did have perfect profile as well. I prefer Power – there was something very sensitive and caring in his eyes – which Taylor didn’t have.


  7. I agree with classicfan.. I think ti’s the same way with the Vivien Leigh and Hedy Lamarr comparison, both ladies are beautiful, but Hedy had the more perfect features.. Robert Taylor had a perfect, almost unearthly features, you can’t point anything wrong with his face, because there is none. The first photo comparison alone speaks so much, you can see that Robert had a more beautiful profile, and straighter, more angular nose. Tyrone is handsome too in his own way, but Robert Taylor’s perfection is just…unbelievable.


  8. I vote for Tyrone, and by the way, Robert Taylor was 5’7″, shorter than Katharine Hepburn.


  9. Tyrone Power was a much better actor,especially his later movies.I thought he played light comedy well.i.e Luck of The Irish, Long Gray Line and Zorro.TY was definitely better looking. Robert Taylor’s best movies were Waterloo Bridge and Above and Beyond.


  10. errol flynn was better looking than the both of them put together with perfect features and a perfect profile. best looking man during the 1930’s and 1940’s


  11. Both were exquisitely handsome men. See them on “What’s my Line” t.v. show on you tube. Look at Dick Cavet interviewing Alain Delon…….also you tube.


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