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Men on Fire 2012

The 21 Sexiest Men Over 50

An anchor, an athlete and George Clooney, of course

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Actor/Director Mario Van Peebles

Mario Van Peebles. — Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Actor and Director, 55

Born in Mexico City, he made his acting debut at age 13, in a film directed by his father, Melvin Van Peebles.

Growing Up: "I guess I was pretty," Peebles once said. "I had a lot of hair. People thought I was one of the Jackson 5."

Possible Second Career: Briefly worked as a financial analyst in New York mayor Ed Koch's office after graduating with an economics degree from Columbia University.

Best Line: "He told me I reminded him of his mother," says actress Sherilyn Fenn, who played his love interest on the Showtime sitcom Rude Awakening. "He has great respect for women."

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Actor Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson. — Photo by Nigel Parry/CPi Syndication

Actor, 60

"Liam is very manly on screen," says Olivier Megaton, who directed Neeson, born in Northern Ireland, in Taken 2, out this fall. "He's like a mountain. He doesn't have to use a lot of words; he just has to be there." So how does he connect with audiences? "His eyes," Megaton replies. "He's got the look that says he's got more hidden inside." Despite being a Hollywood leading man, Neeson, who once lived with actress Helen Mirren and was married to the late Natasha Richardson (with whom he has two sons), hasn't forgotten where he came from. Remembering his roots working in a Guinness beer factory, the actor once said, "What am I doing in the movies? I wanna go back to Ireland and drive a forklift."

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News Anchor Brian Williams

News anchor Brian Williams. — Photo by David Yellen/Corbis Outline

NBC Nightly News Anchor, 53

From our reporter's notebook:

His Diet: "I cannot pass an Arby's or Taco Bell without swerving into the parking lot. I see folks who read the content label on a piece of chocolate. I don't want to live that way. Eating mashed yeast and potting soil is not my idea of a fulfilling meal."

His Beauty Regimen: "It consists of a disposable razor in the morning, and later, on set, our guy slaps me with makeup and I just hope I don't have a clump of hair sticking up."

His Take on Aging: "All guys wake up and expect to see an 18-year-old in the mirror. But there's nothing you can do about it. Just live your life and realize it may be true that the only guy who really looks good with three days' growth is George Clooney."

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