Who is this man?

No, I’m not launching a quiz; this is just a one-off question. Can you identify this very famous Hollywood actor?

And since that is probably too little to go on, here are some clues to help you out. This man was known for his almost flawless looks—looks which prompted him to once say, bitterly, that he sometimes wished he’d have some sort of accident that would ruin those looks forever, so that producers would give him roles that emphasised his acting rather than his looks.
A famous and very beautiful actress referred to this actor as her “ideal man”, and the grande dame of romance novels gave him the ultimate tribute: of being, in a way, her inspiration.

So: who is he? Nominations and completely mad guesses accepted till Monday, May 3, about 10 AM IST (which is when I’ll speak up and say whom I mean).

Thank you to everyone who showed an interest in this by hazarding guesses! And well done, bollyviewer, Yves and memsaab. Yes, that’s Tyrone Power (the screen cap with him standing in the dark is from This Above All).

Born on May 5, 1914, Tyrone ‘Ty’ was the son of an actor (Tyrone Power, Sr) through whom he was distantly related to Laurence Olivier. Ty’s first major film was Lloyds of London, and by the 40’s, he was all over Hollywood—mainly doing swashbuckling roles (in films like The Mark of Zorro, Captain from Castile, The Black Swan, Prince of Foxes, etc), but also dabbling in everything from noir (Nightmare Alley), war (Crashdive), western (Jesse James, Rawhide) romantic comedy (The Luck of the Irish, That Wonderful Urge) and one of Hollywood’s best courtroom dramas, the superb Witness for the Prosecution. As Yves rightly points out, Power died while filming Solomon and Sheba, and was subsequently replaced by Yul Brynner—though the Solomon you see in some of the long shots is Power.

Oh, and those women who gushed about Tyrone? Sophia Loren was the one who called him her ideal man, besides referring to him as “the god of my adolescence.” And Barbara Cartland, on being asked how she could write such sensual romance novels while still a virgin, famously said: “We didn’t need sex. We had Tyrone Power.”

And so, to celebrate the birth anniversary of Tyrone Power, this is Tyrone Power week on Dustedoff. If you like the actor, stick around—there’ll be reviews, a list (my favourite Tyrone Power films), and—obviously—an eye candy post. If you’ve always thought of Power as just another pretty face, do stop by anyway; you just might find you were mistaken, because he did put in some fine performances during his career.

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19 thoughts on “Who is this man?

  1. Robert Taylor? Though he’s usually referred to as the man with ‘the perfect profile’, I cant think of any other actor from the B/W era who is so renowned for his looks.

  2. pacifist, harvey: Yes, Rock Hudson would’ve been my bet too, but harvey has a point… B/W. This man’s career was very well established by the time Rock became a star – and when Rock was in his heyday, this man had already died, at the age of 44. Incidentally, he died (like his actor father before him) as a result of a heart attack on the sets of a film.

    bollyviewer: Ooh, yes, Robert Taylor had a superb profile, didn’t he? This man’s nose wasn’t quite so perfect, but he can be quite, quite handsome.
    And I happen to know you like him too, because you told me so! ;-)

  3. bollywoodeewana: No, James Dean is much younger than this man. This man was a contemporary of Robert Taylor’s – he was born in 1914 and was at his peak in the 1940’s.

    Anyway, just a little over 24 hours left, and then I’ll be revealing who this is – plus dedicating a week of my blog to him! Hang in there, hang in there. :-)

  4. Hi Madhu,

    I think it’s Tyrone Power, who died in 1958 while fiming Solomon and Sheba. Yul Bryner was asked to replace him to finish the movie.

  5. Cary Grant or Paul Newman

    err.. we can mention more names than one I hope. There is another name that is at the tip of my tongue.. the one Dev Anand was supposed to resemble… ahh yes .. Gregory Peck.

  6. Cary Grant, Gregory Peck and Paul Newman didn’t die so young!
    Now this Tyrone Power, he looks superb in profile, but it loses all its charm and ruggedness when you see him in the face! But he could be the man you mean! I just didn’t understand wha tmade all the women fall for him in the Witness for the Prosecution, which is by the way a film, which I can watch again and again and again!!! Simply great!

  7. I’ve gotta go with Tyrone Power too, since next to Prithviraj Kapoor he is the most handsome man that ever lived (sorry Shammi, but it’s true).

  8. People, thank you all for participating! And yes, bollyviewer, yves and memsaab: you’re right! It is Tyrone Power. Well done! :-)

    Ava: Yes, Cary Grant or Gregory Peck might have been likely candidates, except that they didn’t die young. And Paul Newman came in much later. But check out Power – he’s very handsome too!

    harvey: Me too! I saw Witness for the Prosecution years ago, and for the life of me couldn’t figure out why everybody used to be so gaga over Tyrone Power. He looks tired and prematurely old in that (well, he used to smoke a lot, so that probably showed). But see some of his earlier films, and you’ll understand what I mean… I agree, though that Witness for the Prosecution is a fabulous film. Superb.

    memsaab: Hmmm… I had better get hold of Sikandar soon and decide about that. As of now, I’ll go with Tyrone Power at the top of the heap. ;-)

  9. hey what about me? I voted for him too!
    looking forward to your ‘Witness for the Prosecution’ review!
    *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

    @ memsaab: prithviraj kapoor: sigh!

  10. I thought your vote had been registered for Rock Hudson! ;-)

    You needn’t wink and nudge – Witness for the Prosecution is definitely on the cards. What a film!

    In wordpress parlance, that’s header, not dashboard. :-) And he does look a bit like Parikshit Sahni, now that I think of it. I guess it’s the result of the thin moustache and the tousled hair. Which just goes to show how good-looking Mr Sahni was, as I’ve always maintained!

  11. I just re-read m ypost. I forgot to say my vote goes to tyrone power!
    Thanks for the correction! Header then it is!
    Looking forward to your review of ‘Witness for the Prosecution’. I just love it!!! Billy Wilder and Marlene Dietrich at their best!

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