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Gerard Butler

In honor of 'Magic Mike XXL,' a brief history of men's abs in the movies

In honor of 'Magic Mike XXL,' a brief history of men's abs in the movies

Cary Grant wasn't known for his shredded six-pack. Neither were Marlon Brando, John Wayne or Clint Eastwood, fit though they were during their reigning days as paragons of American masculinity. Somewhere along the way, however, chiseled abs became all but a requirement for modern male movie stars, whether they're playing spandex-clad superheroes, ancient Greek warriors, petty criminals or Victorian detectives. As the trend reaches its apotheosis (or ab-potheosis, perhaps) via the male-stripper sequel "Magic Mike XXL" — which flaunts its washboard stomachs with irrepressible, even refreshing glee — here's a look back at some key moments in the rise...

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