All due respect for the late Robert Stack, but he never struck me as one who possessed a clear natural style. By which I mean a way of being and behaving that feels cool without effort. You’d think that most actors would have it, but a few don’t. Bette Davis had it. Amy Schumer has it in spades but not Bill Hader, good as he is in Trainwreck. Robert Downey, Jr. has attitude as opposed to style — different things. Jennifer Lawrence has style all day and into the night. Carey Mulligan‘s style is very subtle but it’s there. The non-stylists can be skilled at acting a well-written role but not quite as good at just standing against a lamppost. It used to be said that Meryl Streep was all about technique and carefully constructed behaviors, but she’s developed a real style as she’s gotten older. Obviously Marlon Brando, Robert Mitchum, Gary Cooper and Cary Grant had style but I don’t think Franchot Tone, Robert Taylor and Charlton Heston did. (I know — “Franchot who?”) Bill Maher has style but not so much Jimmy Fallon. Walter Matthau had style to burn. Laurence Olivier had none of his own, but give him a fake nose or a wig or a Roman toga and style just poured into him. Woody Allen has style. Jimmy Cagney, Jack Nicholson, John Wayne, James Gandolfini. It’s hard to define style but I know it when somebody doesn’t quite have it. (A link for those who don’t know who Garcia Lorca was.)