1 / 17VIEW ALL
Hey, hey, hey! There's no question Matthew McConaughey owes a lot to his sex symbol status, largely building his career on romantic comedies, but he surprised everyone with his Oscar-winning performance in 2013's Dallas Buyers Club.
2 / 17VIEW ALL
Another sexy star whose acting ability was recognized by The Academy is the voluptuous Sophia Loren, who won an Oscar for her role as a courageous mother in the heart wrenching foreign-language drama Two Women, set in WWII-era Italy.
3 / 17VIEW ALL
Although most of Elvis' movie roles didn't require much acting, the singer/actor showed a lot of promise early on in his career, with his 1956 big screen debut in the Civil War drama Love Me Tender.
4 / 17VIEW ALL
Angelina Jolie scored plenty of acclaim with her breakout performance as an AIDS infected model in TV movie Gia, but she was mostly viewed as a sex symbol until demonstrating her range in movies like The Good Shepherd.
5 / 17VIEW ALL
Warren Beatty's sex appeal was always a dominant aspect his identity both on-screen and off. By the late 1960s Beatty had taken charge of his career, producing groundbreaking projects that showcased his acting talent like Bonnie and Clyde.
6 / 17VIEW ALL
Starting out with a role as a model on TV's Living Dolls, Halle Berry's career followed the path of a pretty, sexy starlet for more than a decade, until her Oscar-winning performance in the 2001 drama Monster's Ball.
7 / 17VIEW ALL
John Travolta was so convincing in his ultra-macho roles like Vinnie Barbarino and Tony Manero, it was difficult to see past his animal magnetism. 1994's Pulp Fiction provided a career reboot and the opportunity to show off his acting skills.
8 / 17VIEW ALL
With her sophisticated brand of sex appeal, Grace Kelly was known as an ice goddess when she played sirens in movies like Rear Window, but the future Princess of Monaco won an Oscar for 1954's The Country Girl.
9 / 17VIEW ALL
When Cameron Diaz burst onto the scene in the mid 1990s, she was quickly typecast as a stereotypical sexy but ditzy blonde. Diaz has since proven herself to be a very gifted comedic actress.
10 / 17VIEW ALL
James Dean, who helped redefine sexy during his brief career, wowed female moviegoers in films like Rebel Without a Cause. The full extent of Dean's astonishing talent was eventually acknowledged, many years after his premature death.
11 / 17VIEW ALL
With her endearing blend of childlike innocence and captivating sensuality, Michelle Williams seemed perfect for sex kitten roles, but in films like Blue Valentine and My Week with Marilyn, she displayed surprising depth as an actress.
12 / 17VIEW ALL
Catherine Zeta-Jones set the screen on fire with her exotic appeal in movies such as The Mask of Zorro. However, the actress' sexy performance in 2002's Chicago was also impressive enough to win her an Oscar.
13 / 17VIEW ALL
Tom Cruise's days as a movie heartthrob made him a popular leading man, but he has successfully expanded into more meaningful projects; notably the powerful 1988 drama Rain Man, and the 1996 romantic dramedy Jerry Maguire.
14 / 17VIEW ALL
After films like 9 1/2 Weeks, it was difficult for audiences to get beyond Kim Basinger's sexy persona, but in the 1990s, Basinger carved out a niche as a serious actress, delivering an Oscar-winning performance in L.A. Confidential.
15 / 17VIEW ALL
Before he became a revered actor/filmmaker, George Clooney made a name for himself as a hunky, charismatic pretty boy. While retaining his sex appeal, Clooney has managed to elevate himself to a dignified, award-winning leading man.
16 / 17VIEW ALL
Provocative roles in movies like Vicky Cristina Barcelona could have easily sealed Scarlett Johansson's fate as a sex symbol, but she has balanced these sexually charged characters with acclaimed stage and screen performances.
17 / 17VIEW ALL
As the ultimate Hollywood sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe went virtually unacknowledged as a talented actress during her lifetime. Monroe took her craft seriously, attending classes at The Actors Studio, and turning in now highly regarded performances in dramas like The Misfits.