Leading man

Leading man

Leading man or leading gentleman is an informal term for the actor who plays a love interest to the leading actress in a film or play. A leading man is usually an all rounder; capable of singing, dancing, and acting at a professional level, but never outshining his female co-star. A good leading man could make a bad actress look better than she was and a good actress shine.

A leading man can also be an actor who is typecast in romantic roles. 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, Spencer Tracy had a similar association with Katharine Hepburn; used in this sense, however, 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. Some examples of modern leading men include Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Daniel Craig.


Throughout the events of Final Fantasy XII, one charismatic character, Balthier, constantly refers to himself as "the leading man"

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