Sexiest Stars of 2012

Rob Wilson made history as the
first male model on "The Price is Right"
It might sound like just a line, but it's a person's eyes that are the sexiest part of his or her body, followed by the lips, and then the upper body. In other words, sex appeal is from the top-down. As long as he or she has a good head on his or her shoulders, and that includes what's inside the head, then that's all that really matters.

It helps if he or she also has talent. This immediately makes me want to go to musicians. Regardless of how they look, musicians are inherently sexy, especially singers and dancers. I could list artists like Carrie Underwood, Usher, Adam Levine, Katy Perry or even Nicki Minaj, but my list is limited to actors and actresses. Film and television are the two mediums I know best, so those are the two I'll focus on.

Jennifer Lawrence is having another great year as she did last year coming off her Oscar nomination and angling for another for Silver Linings Playbook. Scarlet Johansson is in top form coming off The Avengers. Doona Bae in Cloud Atlas and Helen Hunt in The Sessions both made sexy turns in 2012.

In television, there wasn't just a vast wasteland. There was also a vast sex-land. Daytime TV still manages to employ very delicious eye-candy. Camila Banus who plays Gabi Hernandez on Days of Our Lives has drawn comparisons to Kim Kardashian. She was partnered with Blake Berris, a male model in his own right, who returned to the show after a couple of years in absentia.

If you haven't seen the TV series Single Ladies on VH1, that show was just a parade of attractive men week-in and week-out. The women at the core of the show are themselves gorgeous. It was like a black version of Sex and the City but set in Atlanta.

CBS's The Price is Right has gorgeous women modeling the consumer products that contestants can win, but this year, for the first time, the show hired a male model in a move toward 21st century equality. Rob Wilson from Boston picked up that torch.

In early 2012, Michelle Williams was nominated for an Oscar for playing Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn (2011). Around the same time, both Katherine McPhee and Megan Hilty picked up the torch of playing Marilyn Monroe in the musical series Smash. The two women couldn't be more different, but somehow embody the iconic beauty.

A lot of the women on this list also possess a kind of iconic beauty all their own. Many simply made indelible marks in my mind based on their work on TV or in movies. So, here is my list of the 15 Sexiest Stars of 2012.

15. RYAN LOCHTE - Ryan Lochte is the fourth man to grace the cover of Vogue magazine. He did so for the June 2012 issue. He also made the cover of Men's Health as well as the August 2012 cover of Men's Journal and the cover of Time magazine. Lochte went on to win five medals at the Summer Olympics in London. He now has a total of 11 Olympic medals, seven individually making him the second, all-time, male swimmer. He trademarked the phrase "Jeah" and he appeared in the comedy series 30 Rock, mocking his beautiful but dump, real-life persona. He also wore pink Speedos at a Las Vegas pool party, which Jay Leno later held up on his show.

14. NATE PARKER - People probably took notice of him in the film Pride (2007) where he played a black swimmer, which gave him many opportunities to show off his ripped physique. He then went on to co-star in Denzel Washington's The Great Debaters, which also made good use of his sex appeal, but ever since then, he's kept his clothes on and focused on being a good actor. His chances haven't been abundant but this year, he's broken through appearing in three films including Red Tails and Red Hook Summer, directed by Spike Lee. His performance though in Arbitrage was singularly amazing.

13. DENISE VASI - She replaced Stacey Dash in the VH1 series Single Ladies. Hers is the character that probably does the most dating on the show and typically when she walks into a room, all the men turn and stare. It's not just a contrivance. She actually does command that kind of attention.

12.  TAYLOR KINNEY - Like with Denise Vasi, Kinney probably has the sexiest eyes of anyone on this list. He guest starred on three TV shows early in the year including Shameless, Castle and Breakout Kings. He even played a Navy Seal in one of the most critically-acclaimed films of the year Zero Dark Thirty. He can be regularly seen week-to-week on NBC's Chicago Fire.

11. KERRY WASHINGTON - She's been in several Oscar-winning films including Ray and The Last King of Scotland, but you probably wouldn't know her from her name alone. This spring changed things when she premiered as the lead in the ABC series Scandal, a show where she plays the love interest of the President of the United States. According to CNN, Washington, is the first African-American female lead on a major network show in 38 years.

10. JAMES WOLK - Two years ago, this guy was getting all this crazy buzz, all due to his TV series Lone Star. After that show was quickly cancelled, it was a wonder if he'd ever be seen again, but for some it was no wonder because he is such a great actor, charming and funny, and the first quarter of 2012 proved that by having him in not one but two TV shows, Happy Endings (in which he's pictured here) and Shameless. He even was the star of a third series over the summer called Political Animals.

9. GABRIELLE UNION - She was in Tyler Perry's Good Deeds and the hit film Think Like a Man. Both were relatively small roles. I'm just amazed at the fact that she's in her late 30s, but still looks like she could be 18. She's simply gorgeous.

8. JOE MANGANIELLO - His big break was being cast in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, starting in 2002 when he was 25 years old. He's since had a steady career in television. He's probably best known for playing the werewolf in the HBO series True Blood as well as his re-occurring role in CBS' How I Met Your Mother, but his reason for being on this list is for his hit role this summer in Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike where he proves his character's name Big Dick Ritchie is quite accurate.


7.  MONICA RAYMUND - Her heritage is Eastern European and Dominican. I first caught my eye on her in the series The Good Wife. She was sexy and possibly bi-curious in that show. Now, she's burning up the screen in NBC's Chicago Fire. She's the second cast member from that show to make this list and it's no coincidence. That NBC series has probably the most attractive cast on prime-time television.

6. CHRIS HEMSWORTH - He co-starred this year in Snow White and the Huntsman and was probably the best thing about that movie. Two years prior, he was a nobody but had a small role in JJ Abrams' Star Trek. The Australian added at least 20 pounds of muscle to become the titular character in last year's Thor. He continued that character in this year's biggest film The Avengers.

5. ANNE HATHAWAY - I haven't loved every film she's done, but I do love her. She is brilliant. She is beautiful. She is talented beyond most she's given. I really stood up and took notice of her in Brokeback Mountain (2005). She followed it up with The Devil Wears Prada (2006) opposite Meryl Streep. She got her first Oscar nomination for Rachel Getting Married (2008) and she may get her second for Les Misérables (2012), which she shows off how amazing a singer she is, but the movie this year that really shows off how sexy she is as a woman is her take of Catwoman in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.

4. EMAYATZY CORINEALDI - It might be premature to have her on a list of any kind being that the new actress only made her feature film debut this year with Ava Duvernay's Middle of Nowhere. I am such a fan of Duvernay and I was so impressed with her latest effort and Corinealdi's work in it, I had to include her here.

3. TOM HARDY - He did a couple, British gangster movies like RocknRolla in which his character was called Handsome Bob. He was also in a very compelling biopic called Bronson, but it wasn't until Nolan cast him in The Dark Knight Rises did his name recognition rise. He's headlining two other films this year, including This Means War, which makes good use of his looks. Lawless, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, makes better use of his acting.

2. LUCY LIU - I first fell in love with this actress during her time on FOX's Ally McBeal. I lost track of the Emmy nominee when that show ended in 2002. She's had great if small roles in big movies like Chicago and Kill Bill, but, for me, she wouldn't make an impression again until nearly 10 years later in 2012. She was great in TNT's Southland. She had a bit of a ball in the kung fu film The Man with the Iron Fists, but where I'm really enjoying her is on CBS' modern-day, Sherlock Holmes adaptation Elementary.

1. MATTHIAS SCHOENAERTS - This is really the Belgium-born actor's breakout year. He was the star of the Oscar-nominated foreign film Bullhead. He was also in another Oscar-worthy film that premiered at this year's Cannes Film Festival called Rust & Bone. Both movies show that the phenomenal actor has no problem being totally nude. Kenneth Turan for The Los Angeles Times Blog wrote, "A Star is Born." Reuters has already dubbed him this year's international breakout star as well as this year's international crush, referring to the growing infatuation for him. The Hollywood Reporter even said that he was, "This year's Jean Dujardin" who was my male sexiest star of 2011, except Matthias speaks far better English.


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