The 35 Manliest Mustaches of All Time

by Brett & Kate McKay on November 1, 2009 · 202 comments

in Dress & Grooming, Hair

To kick off Movember, the month-long mustache growing contest for charity, we’ve put together this list of the manliest mustaches in history. Enjoy!

Tom Selleck


When pre-pubescent mustaches grow up, they want to be Tom Selleck’s mustache. It’s a modern mustache masterpiece. Magnum P.I. wouldn’t have been the same with some dude with a naked upper lip.

Walter Cronkite


Walter Cronkite’s mustache was the most trustworthy mustache in all of news history. And that’s the way it is…

Eddie Murphy


During the 1980s and early 90s, no mustache was funnier than Eddie Murphy’s. We won’t hold Eddie Murphy’s mustache responsible for Daddy Day Care or Norbit.

Alex Trebek

alex trebek

I’ll take game show host who lost major manliness points when he shaved his mustache for $800, Alex.

Daniel Plainview


Daniel Plainview’s mustache will drink your milkshake. And then bludgeon you to death with a bowling pin.

Hussein bin Talal


The King of Jordan’s mustache had an uber-manly lineage; it can be be traced all the way back to the Prophet Muhammad. Today, his son Abdullah II carries on his father’s peaceful policies and the manly mustache.

Errol Flynn


Australian film star Errol Flynn had a swashbuckling mustache that could make even tights look manly.

Rollie Fingers

Rollie Fingers

Rollie Fingers brought back the waxed handlebar mustaches rocked by the baseball players of yore. Diamondbacks relief pitcher Clay Zavada carries that torch today.

Steve Prefontaine


Scientists have proven that the secret to Steve Prefontaine’s record-setting running times was the aerodynamics of his mustache.

Wyatt Earp


Wyatt Earp is a Western legend. Some sources say he killed up to 30 men during his time as a lawman in the American frontier. He didn’t even have to use bullets; his mustache knocked em’ over cold.

Ron Burgundy


Ron Burgundy is the manliest fictional news anchor to ever live. He loves scotch (scotchy, scotch, scotch), leather-bound books, and the smell of rich mahogany. And of course, he had a kick ass mustache that injected the news with testosterone.

Clark Gable


Clark Gable’s mustache doesn’t give a damn.

Friedrich Nietzsche


Nietzsche’s mustache can provide meaning to the life of even the most strident nihilist. Look at that thing. Awe inspiring.

Genghis Khan

genghis-khanNot only did Genghis Khan grow a manly mustache and rule over the largest empire in history, he also rocked the flavor saver way before it was cool. Wait, was the flavor saver ever cool?

Mark Twain


Mark Twain had some strong words to say about beards: “It performs no useful function; it is a nuisance and a discomfort; all nations hate it; all nations persecute it with the razor.” Guess that’s why he decided to go with an awesome mustache instead.

Martin Luther King Jr.


I have a dream, a dream that all men will grow a mustache as magnificent as MLK’s.

Mark Spitz


Michael Phelps may now have more medals, but Spitz’s mustache could beat Phelp’s any day of the week.

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{ 197 comments… read them below or add one }

1 James November 1, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Don’t forget the man Ron Burgundy was based on, Jim Gordon of WPVI Philadelphia’s Channel 6 Action News.

2 jubo November 1, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Some of these look like ‘porn stars’, what about some real handlebar ‘tashes?

3 Michael Miller November 1, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Where’s Da Coach (Dikta)?

And Ned Flanders?!

4 Eric J. November 1, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Mike Dikta is a good add. But I’ll eat my hat if Ned Flanders is every considered “manly.”

How about that Paul Teutul from American Choppers?

5 Luke - AspiringGentleman November 1, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Nice! Check out Master Of Malt’s charity release supporting Movember.

6 Shaun November 1, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Lanny McDonald! I haven’t seen him in years – great call!

7 Kevin of Strength and Fitness Blog November 1, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Great, witty post! But I’ll stick with the clean-shaved look (even for my head).

8 Ced November 1, 2009 at 10:06 pm

i swear that Wilford Brimley was cloned from Teddy R.

9 Stormbringer November 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm

From the manly days of the cowboys, John Wayne as John Bernard Brooks: . Duke was clean shaven in all but two movies of which I am aware, but when he did sport a mustache, it still looked great.

And don’t forget Wyatt’s brother, Virgil Earp:

10 EegahInc November 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm

What, no Chris Lee as Fu Manchu? Shame.

11 Clint November 1, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Don’t Forget Don ‘The Predator’ Frye:

12 Yerzriknot November 1, 2009 at 10:54 pm

FYI, Nietzsche was an existentialist; not a nihilist.

13 Lucas November 1, 2009 at 10:59 pm

I believe Sam elliot played virgil earp in Tombstone. So in a way, the mustache is still represented.

14 Brett McKay November 1, 2009 at 10:59 pm

@Yerzriknot True, but his ideas have influenced nihilists.

15 Andrew November 1, 2009 at 11:25 pm

I think Sam Elliot needs to play this fellow:

If for no other reason than the moustaches and the quote, “D__n you, gentlemen, I see skulkers! I’ll have none here! Come on, you volunteers, come on! This is your chance! You volunteered to be killed for love of country, and now you can be!”

16 nothere November 1, 2009 at 11:46 pm
17 Okie November 2, 2009 at 12:03 am

Sir Richard Burton … African (etcetera) explorer …

18 King November 2, 2009 at 12:59 am

need to do a list for beards next!

19 Anon November 2, 2009 at 1:41 am

What about Jamie from Mythbusters
What’s more manly than a mustache with some explosions

20 Tim November 2, 2009 at 4:08 am

Nick Cave during the Grinderman days, that was one awesome handlebar:

21 Kevin November 2, 2009 at 5:18 am

No John L. Sullivan?

22 Cisoard November 2, 2009 at 6:37 am

You left out the following:

- Emiliano Zapata
- Sir Henry Stanley
- James Hetfield

And most important of all, GANDHI. The guy stood up to the British Empire without weapons and armed only with willpower. If that isn’t manly, I don’t know what is.


23 Apocally November 2, 2009 at 7:51 am

Saddam Hussein and Hitler… anyone? haha…

24 Lucas November 2, 2009 at 8:32 am

I am shocked and disgusted that Sam Elliot is not on this list. When I think mustaches, I think Sam Elliot.

25 Anthony November 2, 2009 at 8:51 am

Great list…….however, the late Dale Earnhardt(the Intimidator) should be here.

Also, if Ron Burgundy and Yosemite Sam made the list, so should Jeff Foxworthy.

26 Greg November 2, 2009 at 8:52 am

Well, if fictional characters are included…Everett Cole from “Appaloosa”.

27 StinkyOldBear November 2, 2009 at 9:11 am

I totally support getting Ned Flanders on the list for great Mos. Also, what about Freddie Mercury!

And, more importantly, the walrus!

Finally, I think Ron Burgundy doesn’t belong on the list — he is a parody of manliness, and his mustache is a parody is hardly a salute to manliness.

28 Nick Berger November 2, 2009 at 9:50 am

For a list of manly mustaches, those are some of the gayest examples I’ve ever seen. Mark Spitz and Errol Flynn? Maybe manly men, but seriously homo-licious pics.

29 Mike at The Big Stick November 2, 2009 at 9:54 am

I can’t believe Sam Elliot wasn’t on this list. He has always had the best mustache in Hollywood by a mile.

30 Mike November 2, 2009 at 10:11 am

What about Kaiser Wilhelm II, aka Kaiser Bill?

31 Brett McKay November 2, 2009 at 10:33 am

@Lucas and Mike-

Your eyes deceive you. Sam Elliot is assuredly on the list. Second page, fifth from bottom.

Now that is a huge oversight!

32 Diasdiem November 2, 2009 at 10:36 am

Jamie from Myth Busters.

33 Jack Hanley November 2, 2009 at 10:37 am

Since you included international politicians, I am shocked that you omitted famed anti-communist revolutionary, former Polish president and Nobel Prize recipient Lech Walesa- whose walrus stache was so world renown, even Gillette offered him a million dollars to shave it on TV- a dishonor that Mr. Walesa politely refused.

34 Brett McKay November 2, 2009 at 10:40 am


Lech was actually right at the cut off-we wanted to keep it at a nice number-but he was #36.

35 Constantin Sauvage November 2, 2009 at 11:09 am

Where is Freddy Mercury??

36 Justin Powers November 2, 2009 at 11:21 am

I’m still trying to pick a style for my ‘stache. I’m torn between Errol Flynn, Eddie Murphy, Ron Burgundy, and Johnny Depp (who didn’t make the list).

On a side note, anyone that is on Google wave, search for the (still small) Movember wave and post your progress pics!

37 Matt November 2, 2009 at 11:26 am


38 Terry November 2, 2009 at 11:39 am

Are you excluding Charlie Chaplin because Hitler copied him?

Also, Vlad Tepes Dracula’s mustache was way better than Gengis Khan’s.

39 CrunchyKnee November 2, 2009 at 11:53 am

What about the late great Mr. Zappa?

40 Brett McKay November 2, 2009 at 1:39 pm


He’s on there. Second page.

41 Nolan Bryan Lynch November 2, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Pretty cool that Day-Lewis made his way on to the list twice. And I would pay money to have Thomas Magnum’s mustache.

42 Bruthaman November 2, 2009 at 2:48 pm

What about Hulk Hogan??? His commitment to the handlebar mustached is unmatched!

43 Jack Emmerich November 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm

I gotta bring representation for the video game mustaches. While there is typically more beards the class and original 8-bit mustache belongs to….


44 Jack Emmerich November 2, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Dang, sorry for the double post but I had to elaborate a little.

I just wanted to say that the Mario Bros are keeping the mustache alive for millions of children who are not used to seeing them.

And Rockstar this year is having a mustache growin’ contest for gamers (typically seen as unmanly due to the overbearing stereotypes) in the name of Movember.

45 Pete November 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm

The greatest mustache this side of Tom Selleck belongs to Billy Dee Williams. Sadly, he’s not in here!! I’d also say Taft, but the Presidential mustache debate was clearly won by the Teddy.

46 Pete November 2, 2009 at 3:55 pm

I also forgot to mention Captain Hook!!

47 dakota November 2, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Jamie Hyneman
Adam Savage

48 Alicia Stepp-Woody November 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm

No Kevin Kline (circa “French Kiss”)?!?! LAME!!!!
His is by FAR the sexiest mustache EVER. :)

49 Richard November 2, 2009 at 4:54 pm
50 Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot November 2, 2009 at 6:47 pm

A bit thnmbs up to Tom Selleck, Clark Gable, Zorro and Hussein bin Talal. I really do think mustaches should be confined to the upper lip though and not droop over the lips. Thumbs down to offended Lanny McDonald. Not a good look – needs a trim badly!

51 Nader November 2, 2009 at 7:27 pm

I protest against Ron Burgundy! For one, he’s fictional, for two he took a headlong-diving leap across the line between Manly and Chauvinistic. For three, I really don’t find Will Ferrel the least bit funny. If you want a moustachioed Ron on the list, I’d consider Ron Jeremy, otherwise no. Just no :P

More seriously though, I love the list. I’ve had some reservations about growing my own stache out for Movember, but seeing this has filled me with confidence. Also, I am pleased to see at least one arab up there with a mighty stache!

Also, I must echo a previous commentor’s words in saying that I would love to see a list of the most Manliest beards!

52 Nick November 2, 2009 at 10:10 pm

That dude from Mythbusters has a pretty good one.

53 Scott November 2, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Samuel de Champlain!

54 Carlo November 3, 2009 at 1:09 am

Charles Bronson. Both the actor and prisoner rocked the a fine ‘stache

55 booleyhitt November 3, 2009 at 6:09 am

How could you leave out Freddie Mercury?

56 brad mcpherson November 3, 2009 at 6:49 am

What? Where are Australian cricketers from the ’70′s? What about Dennis Lillee? The greatest man of all time. David Boon, Merv Hughes? Leaving out John Newcombe is just sloppy work. These are the absolute shortlist of manliest moustaches in the history of the world.

57 Charlie November 3, 2009 at 8:10 am

Classic. I would be joining the AoM Movember team except I already organized one in my office. We of the Liberty Street Hooligans wish you success!

58 oldjoy November 3, 2009 at 1:41 pm

I know he’s not that famous but Will Oldham’s stache is sublime.

59 Hayley November 3, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Good to see Tom Selleck in his rightful place at number one.

60 Arik K November 3, 2009 at 8:20 pm

Emiliano Zapata!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

61 John November 3, 2009 at 10:08 pm

What about Vincent Price, he always had some kind of awesome ‘stache.

62 Tom Laconti November 4, 2009 at 3:35 am

What about Lando Calrissian? His mustache helped destroy the second Death Star over the forest moon of Endor.

63 Joseph November 4, 2009 at 9:18 am

What about Charlie Chaplin? The power of understatement is perfectly exhibited in that ‘stache.

64 Jacob November 4, 2009 at 11:45 pm

No John Stossel?

65 greg zubberman November 4, 2009 at 11:51 pm

lemmy kilmister has an extemely manly mustache

66 fredrick youngmister November 5, 2009 at 12:16 am

joseph stalin’s mustache is extremely manly regardless of his dictatorship

67 Nik November 5, 2009 at 2:45 pm

I cry foul for putting Daniel Day-Lewis on the list twice. His representation here suggests he is the equal in mustachery to Tom Selleck and TR combined, which we all know is impossible. You absolutely should have combined his characters into one spot. Mustaches everywhere are weeping at this travesty.


68 Nick November 5, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Hulk Hogan always had a great ‘stash.

69 Mr Miyagi November 6, 2009 at 11:35 am

Let’s not forget Don Mattingly (of the NY Yankees) who had a great mustache. And I’d throw Borat in there too just for fun.

70 Jesse November 6, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Lanny McDonald never scored 98 goals. The record is 92, set by Gretzky. McDonald got 98 points once, but that’s not the same thing at all. I love this website anyways.

71 David November 7, 2009 at 2:52 pm
72 Jackalborn November 7, 2009 at 11:06 pm
73 Corey November 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm

i think you should add jamie hyneman from mythbusters

74 John Tullis November 8, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Top marks for including Sam Elliott. My all-time favorite Hollywood ‘stache.

75 Phil November 8, 2009 at 8:54 pm

David Crosby?

76 brady November 10, 2009 at 12:07 am

vincent price.

77 Barry Lyndon November 10, 2009 at 1:48 pm

This list is great. I’ve been trying to convince my sister that mustaches are the business, but she refuses point blanc to believe me and keeps claiming they’re old-fashioned. I am of the opinion that mustaches just WIN. Something about them seems to add great character and self-confidence to the face of a man; a slightly ironic but winsome charm. On a different note, I couldn’t agree more with a poster below me- where is Freddie Mercury? His was truly awsome! And what about David Niven? You can’t beat that witty rake. Add David Niven!

78 GreatBazunka November 17, 2009 at 7:38 pm

The moustache is the epitimy of manliness. Mainly because, and not to sound sexist, we can do it and girls can’t :) Not only that but it is just a unique and bold statement. Mine is well on its way, I think i want to go for something like Tom Sellek, neat but bold. I deffinitly couldn’t pull off the handlebar look. There is nothing like a clean shaven face with a nice moustache at the center of it all.

79 Jesse November 19, 2009 at 12:43 pm

I completely agree. You absolutely need Jamie Hyneman. The guy has an epic walrus-stache and when he isn’t blowing things up or smashing things, he’s setting them on fire. How could you have missed him?

80 Erik Wallace November 19, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Love the list. If anyone is a Rollie Fingers fan I created a museum of baseball players with excellent facial hair. Lo and behold… the Jeffrey James Reardon Beard & Moustache Museum. Enjoy:

Art Of Manliness, keep up the stellar work.

81 Mustache Officianado November 19, 2009 at 11:42 pm

I love this list, for you mustache challenged folks scope out some mustache bandanas at

I’ve been rocking mine biking in the cold, but soon my own handle bar will be ready!!! I’m working on a curled handlebar with a communist Lenin style waxed beard, If it turns out as good as I hope I could be on this list……just gotta get famous first.

82 Mario November 20, 2009 at 10:19 am

OKAY Freddie Mercury was gay (not that there is anything wrong with that) Ergo, not Manly!!

I agree with the Hulk Hogan comments and/or the father from Orange County Choppers

83 Pipps November 22, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Nietzsche! Thank you for including Friedrich Nietzsche!

84 Ryan Crawford November 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm

One of the Manliest Moustaches is a Moustache of Science: The one worn by Max Planck.

85 Adam Garratt November 26, 2009 at 6:37 pm

The best tash here has to be yosemite sams, that tash is the business, if i could get one like that i would walk into a bank and demand they hand over the cash, and they would, they would give it willingly because of my mighty tash, and all the counter girls would be moist at the sight of my tash, and i would end up bedding all of them, everyone should have a tosemite sam style tash, it should be law!

86 JB November 30, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Earl Hickey from My Name is Earl has the best mustache on tv today.

87 Cody Brumley November 30, 2009 at 3:46 pm

I am

88 Robert December 6, 2009 at 10:40 pm

@ brad mcpherson.
Great to see the Aussie spirit.

89 Janey December 8, 2009 at 9:33 am

A shame to not include Bad Seed Nick Cave who was also a judge at the 2007 World Beard & Moustache Championships.

90 Janey December 8, 2009 at 9:37 am

and the link to it…..

91 Damon December 9, 2009 at 2:31 pm

The ’86 Mets get my vote: That was a team full of great mustaches.

92 DC Norris December 9, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Salvador Dali anyone? His mustache was so epic it had a mind of it’s own! Crawlin across his face like that all the time, making seussian shapes and what not…

93 Joël December 9, 2009 at 11:33 pm

YES, PRE!!!!! The moustache is glorious and is most DEFINATELY the reason why he was such a good runner. Screw drug testing… they should start testing moustaches.

94 Burner December 9, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Salvador Dali anyone?

95 Frank Rider December 10, 2009 at 5:20 am

Nick Cave and Eugene Hutz!

96 EJ December 12, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Groucho Marx! Otherwise it is a great list!

97 cam December 13, 2009 at 2:30 pm

John Stossel!?!?! I was devastated to find him missing.
Billy Dee Williams
Salvador Dali
Gen PGT Beauregard

98 Michael December 15, 2009 at 9:42 am

We here may possibly be leaving out one of the greatest moustaches and manliest men of all film history…Gomez Freakin’ Addams!!! watch the addams family and tell me that Raoul Julia doesn’t belong here!!! Caramia!!!!

99 Paul Kersey December 18, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Leaving Charles Bronson out of this list is a damn crime.

100 matt December 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Don Frye, hands down.

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