By Hope Good
The Seventies were the decade of machismo. Mustaches of all shapes and sizes were popular. But a few stood out and left such a psychic imprint on humanity that the moustache-stud connection will never be permanently broken. The decade’s most popular sexy celebrities made the ‘70s mustache a must-have for men who wanted the ladies to pay lots of attention to them.
Probably the most famous ‘70s sex symbol with a mustache was Burt Reynolds.
With his mustachioed swagger, muscular physique, and twinkling eyes, nobody could match him for sheer rugged sex appeal. In addition, he will always be remembered for the now-iconic photoshoot that appeared in a 1972 issue of Cosmopolitan, the magazine’s first-ever male centerfold. Although no one had ever shown a naked man in a magazine before, then-editor Helen Gurley Brown believed women to have the same “visual appetites” as men, who’d been looking at naked women in Playboy since 1953. This was a milestone in the sexual revolution. Smokey and the Bandit, which further propelled Reynolds’ to fame, was released May 27, 1977 and became the third-highest grossing film of the year. The actor’s ‘stache became synonymous with his sex appeal and helped set him apart from the pack.
Tom Selleck is famous for having the immaculate gentleman’s mustache. His steadfast ‘stache has cemented itself as a staple of Selleck’s personal style as well as shaped how we think of the classic manly-man. From 1967 to 1973, Selleck served in the California Army National Guard. He was also a sergeant in California’s 160th infantry regiment and appeared on recruiting posters for the California National Guard. He appeared twice on the Dating Game, and he did advertisements before his big break in the hit TV series Magnum P.I. The celebrated actor and film producer still wears the same mustache today.
Famous Olympian Mark Spitz’ look was classic ‘70s and his moustache became a fashion trend amongst swimmers. When asked about his moustache by a Russian coach prior to the ’72 Olympics, Spitz’ reply was that his moustache didn’t slow him down, and that it even deflected water away from his mouth, providing the streamlining necessary to swim as fast as he had at the U.S. Olympic Trials earlier that year. Spitz’ performance in 1972 was a perfect 7/7 in world records and gold medals. Brandishing his trademark moustache and the seven gold medals, Spitz’ iconic poster sold into the 7-figures mark, making it (at the time) the most popular poster of an athlete ever.