Classic Hollywood's Most Beautiful Actresses

Updated on July 13, 2016

Jayne Mansfield


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 7 hours ago from London England

      SOPHIA LOREN - Timeless beauty.

      JOAN COLLINS - Still beguiling.

      GAL GADOT - Most welcome to the stardom.

    • profile image

      Beautiful 34 hours ago

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

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 2 days 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 2 days ago

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

    • profile image

      Nivia Jinda Oceana/kikiyo 8 days 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 2 months ago

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

    • profile image

      kathleen scott 2 months ago

      Ava Gardner

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 6 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 6 months 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 7 months ago

      and, Hedy Lamarr

    • profile image

      Sara 10 months ago

      Donna Reed should be on the list!

    • profile image

      Clara 16 months ago

      Where is Venetia Stevenson?

    • profile image

      steve hayes 16 months 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 23 months ago

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

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 2 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 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      jm12012 2 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 3 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 3 years ago

      Sharon Tate should be on the list.

    • profile image

      dickka 3 years ago

      1. GRACE KELLY


    • profile image

      PALOMA 3 years ago


      2-Elizabeth Taylor



    • profile image

      WVgirl 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      aric levy 4 years ago

      no Sophia Loren?!!!

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

    • profile image

      fernanda ferreira 4 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 4 years ago

      Where is Natalie Wood and Greta Garbo??

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

    • profile image

      Anna 5 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 5 years ago

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

      And she was GOD!!!

    • anusujith profile image

      Anoop Aravind A 5 years ago from Nilambur, Kerala, India

      what a hub!

    • profile image

      roy 5 years ago

      1. Marilyn Monroe

      2. Rita Hayworth

      3. Maureen O'Hara

    • profile image

      Alice 6 years ago

      They left out Ingrid Bergman...

    • profile image

      maxximuss 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      caramelipal 6 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 6 years ago

      Beautiful, LOve it.

    • profile image

      carlito 4667 6 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 6 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 6 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 To be a stylish lady like them.

    • celebritie profile image

      celebritie 7 years ago

      Audrey Hepburn is my favorite of all time

    • Tatara profile image

      Tatara 7 years ago from Asia

      I love Natalie Wood!

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 7 years ago

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

    • BevsPaper profile image

      BevsPaper 7 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 7 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 7 years ago

      My vote was for grace

    • profile image

      june irvine 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      june irvine 7 years ago

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

    • sidshah profile image

      sidshah 7 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 7 years ago

      They left out the most beautiful lupe velez :(

    • Maurice Young profile image

      Maurice Young 7 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 7 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 7 years ago from Cottage Grove, Oregon

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

    • nikkiennis profile image

      nikkiennis 7 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 7 years ago

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

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 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