Leading man

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For the film, see The Leading Man.

Leading man or leading gentleman is an informal term for the actor who is the protagonist or plays a love interest to the leading actress in a film or play. A leading man is sometimes an all rounder; capable of singing, dancing, and acting at a professional level.

A leading man can also be an actor who is often seen in romantic roles. An example of this would be Bruce Cabot's role in King Kong. Less frequently, the epithet has been applied to an actor who is often associated with one particular actress; for example, Errol Flynn was Olivia de Havilland's leading man in several films, and Spencer Tracy had a similar association with Katharine Hepburn. However, used in this sense, the woman is usually described as the leading lady of the man. The term is also used collectively, as in "Hollywood's leading men" to refer to a group of notable, famous, or popular actors. Leading men of the 1930s included John Barrymore, Clark Gable and John Wayne. Some examples of modern leading men include George Clooney, Denzel Washington, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Eddie Murphy, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Hugh Jackman, and Christian Bale.[citation needed]

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