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Men on Fire 2012

The 21 Sexiest Men Over 50

An anchor, an athlete and George Clooney, of course

Actor Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen. — Photo by Cass Bird/Trunk Archive

Actor, 53

A huge crowd of women attended Mortensen's art exhibit at Robert Mann's Manhattan gallery in 2000, and if they were attracted more by the native New Yorker's looks than his painting skills, make no mistake: The skilled actor, best known for his starring role as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is not just another studly face. Facile in half a dozen languages (he spent some of his childhood in South America and later lived in Denmark), Mortensen is a published photographer and poet, and he released an album with fellow guitarist Buckethead in 2011. "His art is genuine, sensitive and personal," says Mann. "It's a passionate extension of who he is."

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Country Singer George Strait

George Strait. — Photo by Frontpage Publicity

Country Singer, 60

George Strait, often called the "King of Country," recently landed his 44th No. 1 hit on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart — more than any other musician. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006. In concert, the 40-years-married grandfather stands as still as a hickory tree and the audience swoons. Journalist Alanna Nash explains why: "I was once at a Louisville restaurant and the Texas native passed by. He wore a straw cowboy hat and creased, crisp jeans. He tossed a crooked grin my way and I stopped chewing. He was the most arresting man I'd ever seen. He knew exactly who he was."

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Author John Irving

Author John Irving. — Photo by Jane Sobel Klonsky

Novelist, 70

"I've always identified with a wide range of sexual desires," says the author of The World According to Garp. "When I was a boy, I was confusingly attracted to just about everyone. In lieu of having much in the way of actual sex (this was the '50s) I imagined having sex all the time, with a disturbing variety of people. I was attracted to my friends' mothers, to girls my own age and — at the all-boys' school I attended, where I was on the wrestling team — to certain older boys among my teammates. Easily two-thirds of my fantasies frightened me." Sexual scenarios play recurring roles in his work: His 14th and most recent novel, In One Person, follows a bisexual man's life as a "sexual suspect" — though Irving's own life is tame. "I'm 70, and I'm just a straight guy who's been married for 25 years."

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