As you say, Brenda, those were simpler times. We didn't want to know what was going on behind the scenes at the studios or on the casting couches, or to think about the implications of the storylines in terms of teaching little boys and girls what they could and should aspire to be. They gave us what we wanted. Fantasy.
A few of those models of masculinity grew old with dignity, unlike Charlton Heston and Clint Eastwood. A few of those hunks could even act, though most were pretty limited in the range of characters they could portray.
But which of them would you really rather watch today than Kevin Costner or Sean Connery or Morgan Freeman?