Classic Hollywood's Most Beautiful Actresses

Updated on July 13, 2016

Jayne Mansfield

1933-1967

Best known for her hourglass figure and sex appeal, Jayne Mansfield was described as "Sex on the Rocks" by Life Magazine. She starred in such films as The Girl Can't Help It, Kiss Them for Me, and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Jayne won the 1957 Golden Globe for "Most Promising Female Newcomer" and is the late mother of Law & Order: SVU actress Mariska Hargitay.

Grace Kelly

1929-1982

Best known for her poised and graceful demeanor, she was named one of the "100 Sexiest Stars in Film History" by Empire Magazine. She starred in To Catch a Thief, Rear Window, and High Society, and won the 1954 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in The Country Girl. In 1956, she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco making her "Princess Grace."

Marilyn Monroe

1926-1962

Voted "Sexiest Woman of the Century" by People Magazine, she starred in such movies as Some Like It Hot, Niagra, and The Seven Year Itch. She was born Norma Jeane Mortenson and was the inspiration behind the song "Candle In the Wind" by Elton John.

Lena Horne

1917-2010

Best known for her singing voice, she appeared in such films as Stormy Weather and Panama Hattie while simultaneously breaking ground for black actresses in Hollywood. She was inducted into the Big Band & Jazz Hall of Fame in 1991.

Cyd Charisse

1921-2008

She was considered one of the greatest female dancers in the history of the movie musical, and starred in such features as The Band Wagon, and Brigadoon. She has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Ann Margret

1941-

Sweden born, this Golden Globe-winning actress starred in such movies as Bye Bye Birdie, Stagecoach, and Viva Las Vegas. Hollywood gave her the infamous nickname "Sex Kitten."

Elizabeth Taylor

1932-2011

She was awarded the title of "Most Memorable Eyebrows" by a magazine poll, and starred in such films as Cleopatra, National Velvet and Cat On a Hot Tin Roof. She is twice an Oscar winner, and was given an American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in 1993.

Debbie Reynolds

1932-

This former beauty contest winner has starred in such movies as Singin' In the Rain and The Unsinkable Molly Brown--the latter of which earned her an Oscar nod. She is the mother of the Star Wars Saga actress Carrie Fisher.

Gene Tierney

1920-1991

She was known for her sexy overbite and starring roles in such movies as Laura, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and Leave Her To Heaven, for which she received an Academy Award nomination. She spoke fluent French and was part of the uncredited inspiration behind Agatha Christie's The Mirror Crack'd.

Ava Gardner

1922-1990

She was named "the World's Most Beautiful Animal" in a publicity campaign, and starred in such movies as Showboat, The Killers, and The Night Of the Iguana. Her third husband, Frank Sinatra, nicknamed her "Angel."

Lauren Bacall

1924-2014

Best known for her cat-like eyes, she starred in such films as The Big Sleep, To Have and Have Not, and The Gift of Love. She is half Romanian and has been an Oscar nominee and a Tony winner.

Rita Hayworth

1918-1987

She was nicknamed "The Love Goddess" and starred in such films as Pal Joey, Gilda, and The Lady From Shanghai. She was featured five times on the cover of Life Magazine, and it is rumoured that the Margarita cocktail was named after her.

Natalie Wood

1938-1961

She was born of Russian heritage and is best known for movies such as Miracle On 34th Street, Gypsy, West Side Story, and Splendor In the Grass--two of which earned her an Oscar nod. She was voted "The Most Beautiful Teenager In the World" by Life Magazine in 1956.

Audrey Hepburn

1929-1993

Born in Belgium, this beauty starred in such films as Funny Face, Charade, Sabrina, and Roman Holiday. People magazine named her one of the "50 Most Beautiful People In the World" and she even has a breed of Tulip named after her.

Maureen O'Hara

1920-2015

Born in Ireland, she's best know for her roles in such movies as The Quiet Man, The Parent Trap, and Miracle on 34th Street. In 1993, she was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

Lucille Ball

1911-1989

Best known for I Love Lucy, she also starred in feature films like Stage Door, Best Foot Forward, and Du Barry Was a Lady. Before her movies and television show, she modeled for Hatie Cartegie's. TV Guide picked her as the greatest TV star of all time.

Lana Turner

1921-1995

Discovered while sipping a Coke in a drugstore, she starred in such movies as Portrait In Black, Bachelor In Paradise, and Johnny Eager. She is part Scottish, Irish, Dutch, and English. Her nickname in Hollywood was "the Sweater Girl."

Julie Newmar

1933-

Known for her beauty and her sense of humor, she appeared mostly in Broadway productions such as Silk Stockings and Lil' Abner. Her role in the latter was (justifiably) named "Stupefying Jones" for her abilities to "stupefy" any man with her killer looks. She went on to play "Catwoman" on the Batman TV Series.

Jocelyn "Jackie" Lane

1937-

Often overlooked, this Austrian-born actress appeared in such films as Tickle Me, and Hell's Bells. She has appeared on hundreds of magazine covers world-wide and is the daughter of Princess Arriana von Hohenlohe.

Judy Garland

1922-1969

Best known for her profound singing voice, she starred in such films as The Wizard of Oz, A Star is Born, and Meet Me in St. Louis. She is an Academy Award nominee and a Grammy winner. She received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and is in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Doris Day

1924-

Best known for her roles in Calamity Jane, Pillow Talk, and Send Me No Flowers, she is the daughter of a music teacher and has an intense fear of flying. She performed two songs that won the Academy Award in 1953 and 1956, and has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        2 months ago from London England

        The English method actress Dame Flora Robson known for her matriarchal roles quite convincingly portrayed the Dowager Empress of China, Hze Tiu.

        Dame Flora must have been flattered by all those male courtiers on their knees cowering before her, enthroned.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        2 months ago from London England

        I'd pay tribute to the host of Oriental ladies that 'made ti' in Hollywood.

        American born Anna May Wong, unforgettable as the formidable Dragon Lady. Next and more recent Nancy Kwan and France Nuyen.

        Matsuko Takara who usually portrayed exotic dancers. Jaquie Chan as Cleopatra's slave girl in the 1963 epic. But Tura Santana and her martial arts skills at defeating male adversaries must go down in cult status.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        2 months ago from London England

        That is what Women want. Power over men !

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        3 months ago from London England

        I'd be interested in who are the most powerful women in Hollywood now.

      • profile image

        Andy Freeman 

        3 months ago

        Raquel Welch

      • profile image

        Michael Aymard 

        3 months ago

        Dorothy Malone

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        13 months ago from London England

        ELIZABETH ROSEMOND TAYLOR.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        14 months ago from London England

        The other American actress in the 1971 Diamonds are forever, was Lana Wood (sister of Natalie) who portrayed Plenty O'Toole.

        Nancy Sinatra sang the title song for the 1967 You only live twice.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        14 months ago from London England

        No problem with the term 'Bond girl' however i prefer the term ' leading lady' in the James Bond genre. There was no classic Hollywood actress in the series until the fifth venture into the 007 namely Diamonds are forever, when Jill St John appeared opposite Connery as Tiffany Case. Tiffany being a 'play on words' as in Breakfast at Tiffany's. I recall another American actress in that film albeit in a lesser role. By the time Roger Moore appeared as Bond there was a plethora of Hollywood starlets beginning with Jane Seymore.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        14 months ago from London England

        Dorothy Provine, Madlyn Rhu and any leading lady that stared opposite Elvis.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        14 months ago from London England

        Also missing are Eve Arden, Anita Louis, Fay Spain,Gene Tierney, etc.

      • profile image

        Andrew 

        14 months ago

        Gosh, that's harsh. There are several stunning actresses missing. Deanna Durbin & Phyllis Brooks were quite stunning too.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        15 months ago from London England

        Unfortunately some of the Hollywood starlets were used by studio bosses as 'commodities.'

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        15 months ago from London England

        They don't make them like they used to.

      • profile image

        Primrosenancy 

        18 months ago

        Where is Donna Reed?

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        18 months ago from London England

        SOPHIA LOREN - Timeless beauty.

        JOAN COLLINS - Still beguiling.

        GAL GADOT - Most welcome to the stardom.

      • profile image

        Beautiful 

        18 months ago

        Jayne Mansfield and Lena Horne are drop dead gorgeous but where is Dorothy Dandridge

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        18 months ago from London England

        I'd rate Elizabeth Taylor as the most beautiful woman in the world.

        Brigette Bardot has probably the most sensual actress of modern times.

        Not forgetting Joan Collins for a special mention.

      • profile image

        Lars 

        18 months ago

        I would have voted for Hedy Lamarr or Gina Lollobrigida if they had been on the list.

      • profile image

        Nivia Jinda Oceana/kikiyo 

        18 months ago

        My list

        Sophia Loren

        Elizabeth Taylor

        Ingrid Bergman

        Ava Gardner

        Vivien Leigh

        Rita Hayward

        Audrey Hepburn

        This list

        Grace Kelly

        Ava Gardner

        Lauren Becall

        Rita Hayward

        Audrey Hepburn

      • profile image

        kathleen scott 

        20 months ago

        Yeah what about sophia Loren ??? Or Jennifer Jones "" Vivien Lee. OMG How could these beauties be left out?

      • profile image

        kathleen scott 

        20 months ago

        Ava Gardner

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        24 months ago from London England

        Though not so much in the Hollywood genre, Dita von Tease makes me go 'weak knee'd and feel self conscious.

      • profile image

        Luvthe50s 

        2 years ago

        It has to be Hedy Lamar. Not only was she beautiful, she was an inventor. Her beauty, her accent, and her wartime invention can never be equaled today.

      • profile image

        Warren W. Spencer 

        2 years ago

        and, Hedy Lamarr

      • profile image

        Sara 

        2 years ago

        Donna Reed should be on the list!

      • profile image

        Clara 

        2 years ago

        Where is Venetia Stevenson?

      • profile image

        steve hayes 

        2 years ago

        You left out the most beautiful woman/actress who ever lived: Hedy Lamarr. I met her during my days under contract to 20th Century Fox and though I preferred Rita Hayworth, Hedy was definitely as close to perfect as a human being can get.

      • Carol Morris profile image

        Carol Morris 

        3 years ago

        All of them were so glamorous....but Audrey Hepburn was special.

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        4 years ago from London England

        Thank you for reminding me of Natalie Wood. She was just great in every one of her movies that i saw.

      • profile image

        Texasstar10 

        4 years ago

        Natalie Wood died in 1981, not 1961. She's my favorite actress.

      • profile image

        jm12012 

        4 years ago

        I never thought Jayne Mansfield was all that pretty; kind of a mush face really, all she had was bazooms. I admit I like brunettes and "ravenheads," what about Dorothy Lamour, Yvonne de Carlo, Dona Drake, or Ramsay Ames?

      • limpet profile image

        Ian Stuart Robertson 

        4 years ago from London England

        the 1950's film making era in Hollywood realised some of the most glamorous talent ever to grace the silver screen. Who could ever forget Joanne Dru, Ida Lupino, Ruth Roman, Fay Spain, Madlyne Rue etc. From personal experience in my wild adolescent phantasies seeing Rita Hayworth in The Happy Thieves just about made me lose control.

      • profile image

        Jana 

        5 years ago

        Sharon Tate should be on the list.

      • profile image

        dickka 

        5 years ago

        1. GRACE KELLY

        2. INGRID BERGMAN

      • profile image

        PALOMA 

        5 years ago

        1-AVA GARDNER

        2-Elizabeth Taylor

        3-VIVIEN

        4 GRACE KELLY: EU ACHO ELA BONITA MAS MUITO SEM GRAÇA, SEM SAL.

      • profile image

        WVgirl 

        5 years ago

        I don't get it!!! There is nothing attractive about Audrey Hepburn. Skin and bones!

      • profile image

        aric levy 

        5 years ago

        no Sophia Loren?!!!

        that's just scandalous!!!!!!!

      • profile image

        fernanda ferreira 

        6 years ago

        Sorry , i wanted to say Ingrid Bergman and Greta Garbo, as Natalie Wood is in this list already!

        My top 3:

        Marilyn Monroe

        Ava Gardener

        Elisabeth Taylor

      • profile image

        fernanda ferreira 

        6 years ago

        Where is Natalie Wood and Greta Garbo??

        Lucille Ball most beautiful??!! hummm wrong choice!!!

      • profile image

        Anna 

        6 years ago

        Audrey Hepburn is my favorite actress. I love every movie she's ever made. She's so poised and elegant yet her characters are always so delightful and funny. But I don't think she's the most beautiful actress of that time.

        My top 3 would be:

        1. Marilyn Monroe

        2. Rita Hayworth

        3. Ann Margret

      • profile image

        george 

        6 years ago

        Greta Garbo... Not on the list??? God!!!

        And she was GOD!!!

      • anusujith profile image

        Anoop Aravind A 

        7 years ago from Nilambur, Kerala, India

        what a hub!

      • profile image

        roy 

        7 years ago

        1. Marilyn Monroe

        2. Rita Hayworth

        3. Maureen O'Hara

      • profile image

        Alice 

        7 years ago

        They left out Ingrid Bergman...

      • profile image

        maxximuss 

        8 years ago

        Hedy Lamarr,,,Stunning looks,totally awesome beauty,,nothing compares,,she is the best.

      • profile image

        caramelipal 

        8 years ago

        1. Ava Gardner

        2. Elizabeth taylor

        3. gene tierney

        4. Marilyn Monroe

        5. Audrey Hepburn

        6. Lana Turner

        7. Rita Hayworth

      • weseppers profile image

        weseppers 

        8 years ago

        Beautiful, LOve it.

      • profile image

        carlito 4667 

        8 years ago

        I find it incredible that one of the most natural beauties to ever grace the silver screen was not listed.

        In my and others opinion INGRID BERGMAN was one of the most naturally attractive and sexy females ever.

      • TheSloneGal profile image

        TheSloneGal 

        8 years ago

        I have always said that women from back then were 1000 times prettier then today's I think it has allot to do with the make up not as thick and not much and so one along with the cloths back then to were better and you did a great job on this hub thank you very much

      • profile image

        Macknee 

        8 years ago

        so classic and unforgettable, they are talents forever in our hearts. we will never forget them, just from them I know how to be elegant and stylish, the beauty of classic. so now I like buying some designers and luxuries, like Chanel, Chriatian Louboutin, Tory Burch, Tom Ford and so on. Among them, I especially like Tom Ford the talented designer, I like buying them on http://www.tomfordsunglassess.com. To be a stylish lady like them.

      • celebritie profile image

        celebritie 

        8 years ago

        Audrey Hepburn is my favorite of all time

      • Tatara profile image

        Tatara 

        8 years ago from Asia

        I love Natalie Wood!

      • schoolgirlforreal profile image

        schoolgirlforreal 

        8 years ago

        I love Ava Gardner, her performance in Show Boat was unforgettable and what a beautiful face!

      • BevsPaper profile image

        BevsPaper 

        8 years ago from Central Indiana

        It is a toss up for me...I've always admired Lauren Bacall but then Audrey Hepburn was also someone I thought was gorgeous. Great hub!

      • ladyjojo profile image

        ladyjojo 

        8 years ago

        #1. Lana Turner conquers all of them in looks, well that's my point of view,lol. starred in "Immitation of life" and "Madam X" which broke my heart and made me cry, what a harsh and mean mother-in-law she had in that movie.

        #2. Marilyn Monroe

        #3. Audry Hempburn

        #4. Elizabeth Taylor

        Have a nice day ;)

      • Kenngd profile image

        Kenngd 

        8 years ago

        My vote was for grace

      • profile image

        june irvine 

        8 years ago

        My vote was for grace..She was beautiful inside and out....And Monaco could use another Grace Kelly

      • profile image

        june irvine 

        8 years ago

        My vote was for grace..She was beautiful inside and out....And Monaco could use another Grace Kelly

      • sidshah profile image

        sidshah 

        8 years ago

        I like Gene Tierney the most from past and want to see her back if I get a chance of past.. :(

      • profile image

        Yadira 

        8 years ago

        They left out the most beautiful lupe velez :(

      • Maurice Young profile image

        Maurice Young 

        8 years ago from Atlanta, Ga.

        I am 45 yrs old, but I have always loved Audrey Hepburn's characters.

      • Gypsy Willow profile image

        Gypsy Willow 

        8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

        Lovely hub. Weren't they pretty back then?

      • mindyjgirl profile image

        Mindy Bench 

        8 years ago from Oregon

        Awesome Hub! My vote was for you and Grace ;)

      • nikkiennis profile imageAUTHOR

        nikkiennis 

        8 years ago

        I feel like its unfair! HOW did they look so good? It must have been something in the water...

        They sure don't make them like they used to! ;)

      • profile image

        BentleyMom 

        8 years ago

        That's a long list but I could not pick one to leave out!!

      • Simone Smith profile image

        Simone Haruko Smith 

        8 years ago from San Francisco

        Goodness gracious.... let's go back to the 1950s please.... everyone was so pretty back in the day! O____O

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