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Top 10 Male Models-Turned-Actors

VO: Rebecca Brayton
They’re sexy and we know it: many of today’s biggest Hollywood stars didn't start out their careers as actors – but they were still in front of the cameras. Modeling is a great way for the better-than-average looking among us to make ends meet, and actors like Josh Duhamel, Ashton Kutcher and James Marsden are just a few who managed to do it before they made the jump to the big screen. In honor of model-turned-actor Tyrese Gibson’s birthday on December 30th, 1978, counts down our picks for the top 10 hottest (and most successful) male models-turned-actors.

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Top 10 Male Models-Turned-Actors

They’re sexy and we know it. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 hottest male models-turned-actors.

#10 – Antonio Sabàto, Jr. (born: February 29th, 1972 – Rome, Italy)

Kicking off our list is the man with the legendary dimples. We’re guessing that wasn’t all that made women swoon in the ‘90s when this Italian stallion was modeling Calvin Klein underwear. At 18, he appeared in a Janet Jackson music video, and pretty soon his rugged good looks and easy charm were on “General Hospital.” Since then, his smoldering gaze has gotten him regular acting work.

#9 – Shemar Moore (born: April 20th, 1970 – Oakland, California, U.S.A.)

He’s got a rock hard bod, and he’s not afraid to show it. With ancestry that spans African-American, Irish and French-Canadian, Moore paid for school by modeling, and our guess is he didn’t have trouble doing it. A busted shoulder spoiled his chances of playing ball, so he followed his other passion where he gave soap fans plenty of shirtless moments and became one of TV’s sexiest crime fighters.

#8 – Jason Lewis (born: June 25th, 1971 – Newport Beach, California, U.S.A.)

The sculpted jaw, ice blue eyes and muscular bod gave Lewis the edge to make it on runways in New York, Paris and Milan. A Guess? campaign got him real exposure, and led to jobs with Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss. His true love was acting, so he took a role on “Beverly Hills, 90210” before landing his breakthrough gig on “Sex and the City” as the Absolut Hunk.

#7 – Tyrese Gibson (born: December 30th, 1978 – Watts, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.)

He was discovered on a bus, and he rose to fame by singing on a bus. Tyrese wanted to become a garbage man, but those dreams were dashed when his manly mug and muscles landed him a modeling gig. In “Fast and Furious” fashion, he also had a career as an actor, singer and music video bad boy. What can you say? The camera loves him.

#6 – Josh Duhamel (born: November 14th, 1972 – Minot, North Dakota, U.S.A.)

All-American charm and good looks earned Duhamel a modeling career after college, and in 1997 he even defeated fellow model-turned-actor Ashton Kutcher to become Male Model of the Year. Then came music videos, dramatic training and finally the “All My Children” role that made him famous. More small screen recognition came from his show “Las Vegas,” until he broke into film as heartthrob Tad Hamilton.

#5 – James Marsden (born: September 18th, 1973 – Stillwater, Oklahoma, U.S.A.)

He’s Prince Charming… Literally. Marsden proved he was way more than just a pretty face with bright blue eyes and perfectly tousled hair by evolving from a Versace model to a successful actor. His first part was on “The Nanny,” but before long he was a leading man with roles like Cyclops. Also, we would not want to choose between Ryan Gosling and James Marsden…

#4 – Tyson Beckford (born: December 19th, 1970 – The Bronx, New York, U.S.A.)

His unique looks are thanks to Afro-Jamaican Panamanian and Chinese heritage. But it was Beckford’s troublemaker appeal, rugged body and razor-sharp cheekbones that got him randomly noticed in an NYC park. Soon, he was the face of Ralph Lauren Polo, the first male African-American supermodel and an actor, appropriately, in “Zoolander.” Eventually, he started helping others follow in his footsteps as host of “Make Me a Supermodel.”

#3 – Ashton Kutcher (born: February 7th, 1978 – Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S.A.)

Kutcher’s classic looks got him discovered in a local bar, and from there he won a “Fresh Faces of Iowa” modeling competition and earned a trip to New York. Within three days, he signed a modeling contract, but after runway work and print campaigns he used his charisma to land the breakout role of airhead Michael Kelso on “That ‘70s Show.” The rest, as they say, is history.

#2 – Channing Tatum (born: April 26th, 1980 – Cullman, Alabama, U.S.A.)

He sings, he dances, he strips! Okay, he started as an exotic dancer, but that wasn’t all Tatum’s boyish charm and football player bod were good for. Once he was discovered on a Miami street, he modeled for brands like Nautica and Abercrombie & Fitch. His love of the spotlight carried over when he “stepped up” into film, and, who knew? The guy can act: he was even called “the new Brando.”

#1 – Mark Wahlberg (born: June 5th, 1971 – Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.)

Taking the top spot on our list is Marky Mark himself. After this bad boy showed off his six-pack and *ahem* other attributes as a rapper, Calvin Klein decided he had the right stuff and promptly made him an underwear model in an unforgettable campaign. Wahlberg then broke through to mainstream Hollywood success with “Boogie Nights,” where his boyish appeal and animal magnetism were a perfect fit – just like his Calvins.

Do you agree with our list? Which male model-turned-actor is your favorite? For more top 10s about your favorite stars, be sure to subscribe to

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