Sexiest Women in Movie History
You simply can not begin a list of the sexiest film stars without putting Marilyn at the top. Even if you personally do not think she is sexy, she belongs at the top due to her staying power.
Marilyn was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California.
For years, she was typecast as the dumb blonde, which parlayed into a dozen films that carried her to stardom. In 1957, she co-starred with Lawrence Olivier in The Prince and the Showgirl, which Olivier also produced. She received a much-deserved Golden Globe award for her performance in Some Like it Hot in 1959. Her final film matched her with Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift in The Misfits. Her husband at the time, Arthur Miller, wrote the screenplay.
Marilyn passed away from an overdose of barbiturates on August 5, 1962, in Los Angeles.
Carroll was born on May 28, 1931, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. She will always be remembered for her role in Baby Doll in 1956, which brought her instant fame and a nomination for an Academy Award. She brought a Southern drawl to the screen as well as a timid, yet sexual, persona to the role of a teenage wife of a middle-aged man in Mississippi.
Her next big hit was as a Jean Harlow-type movie star in the Carpetbaggers in 1964. She renewed her sexy ways from Baby Doll with a more sophisticated style. The movie was a huge success and was supposedly a new beginning for Carroll after dismal reviews of her recent films. However, her next few films did not perform very well and she faded away once again.
She stayed active in film and television for 50 years. She is now 88 and lives in Cathedral City, California.
Jean was born on October 15, 1926, in Canton, Ohio. While attending Ohio State University, Jean entered the Miss Ohio State Pageant and won the title, which sent her to Hollywood for a screen test.
Her first film was as the female lead opposite of Tyrone Power in Captain From Castile in 1947, which was a huge success. The studios tried to make her a sex symbol with early roles like Pickup on South Street in 1953, but Jean was against that role and turned to roles of women that were more common and unglamorous.
Her first real success was portraying a female pirate captain in Anne of the Indies in 1951. The following year, she joined Marlon Brando and Anthony Quinn in Viva Zapata as a common peasant Mexican woman. Brando and Quinn were phenomenal in this film.
Her earlier film, Pickup on South Street, had Jean beating out Marilyn Monroe for the part. In 1953, they would share a film together, Niagara with Joseph Cotton. This time, Marilyn had the bigger part.
In 1954, two films would rekindle the flame of Jean's success, Apache and Broken Lance. She would receive critical acclaim for her role in Apache. The following year, she married Howard Hughes, the mysterious self-made millionaire who dabbled in producing Hollywood films. She had finished her final film, A Man Called Peter, in 1955.
She did return to acting for several television series in her 50s and 60s. She eventually retired to Carlsbad, California, where died of leukemia on October 13, 2000.
Suzy was born Cecilia Ann Renee on October 28, 1932, in San Antonio, Texas. She began her modeling career in her early teens and continued to do so into her late 30s. She became one of the top models in the world and was the first to make $100,000 per year. Her older sister, Dorian, was one of the very first super models and introduced her baby sister to the modeling business. At just 15, Suzy would appear in Life Magazine.
Her first film role was with Cary Grant in Kiss Them for Me in 1957. In my favorite of her films, she played the love interest of a much older Gary Cooper in Ten North Frederick in 1958. She was really hot in this film.
Suzy spent the last five years of her life going through problems with kidneys and ulcers. She chose to end her dialysis treatments and went home to die with her family. She would pass away on May 3, 2003.
Rita was born Margarita Carmen Cansino on October 17, 1918, in Brooklyn, New York. She began her career as a dancer, following in her father's footsteps. She went into acting in her teens and made dozens of films without much acknowledgement until she got a part in Only Angels Have Wings, which starred Cary Grant and Jean Arthur. By then, she had changed her hair color to red and her name to Hayworth.
She began getting roles in more prominent films with many big stars. She was usually cast as the other woman, opposing the likes of Linda Darnell and Olivia de Havilland. In the film Blood and Sand, which was released in 1941 and starred Tyrone Power and Darnell, Hayworth had her first role as a siren. The film was a big hit and further enhanced her already blooming career.
In 1946, she made her most memorable film. It was , which starred Glenn Ford and had Rita in the titular role as a very sensuous female that was married to an older club owner. She would garnish attention from other men like Glenn. Her near-striptease dance in the film made her an icon and bombs were being painted with the name Gilda on their noses, which angered Rita to no end. Gilda
Rita Hayworth died from Alzheimer's disease on May 14, 1987, in Manhattan, New York.
Paulette was born Marion Pauline Levy on June 3, 1910, in Queens, New York. She began her entertainment career as a Ziegfeld Girl before becoming a film star in the 1940s. Before gaining stardom, she paid her dues in dozens of films while living with the silent film great Charlie Chaplin.
Her breakout role was in Chaplin's film Modern Times in 1936. In 1939, she was cast in The Women with Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, and Rosalind Russell; Goddard received good reviews for her performance. David O. Selznick became interested in Goddard for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. She was actually the front runner for the role until Selznick saw Vivien Leigh's tests. She made another hit film with Chaplin, The Great Dictator, in 1940. Afterwards, they went their separate ways.
She received an Academy Award nomination in 1943 for Best Supporting Actress in So Proudly We Hail. Her most memorable film was Kitty in 1945. Her last film was in a supporting role in Time of Indifference in 1964.
Paulette Goddard died from emphysema on April 23, 1990, in Ronco Sopra Ascona, Ticino, Switzerland.
Natalie was born Natalia Nikolaevna Zacharenko on July 20, 1938, in San Francisco, California. She is remembered as a child star, teen star, and leading lady in films. Her most famous role as a child was in Miracle on 34th Street as the nine-year-old daughter of Maureen O'Hara. The film is a staple of the holiday season.
As a teen, her role opposite of James Dean and Sal Mineo in Rebel Without a Cause in 1955 would be a precursor to the future real-life drama that these three would face. All three of them would have tragic and early deaths.
As an adult, Natalie is remembered for West Side Story in 1961, Splendor in the Grass in 1961, and Love With the Proper Stranger in 1963.
She received three Academy Award nominations before the age of 25. Her film career began at age five and lasted until her death in 1981.
She was one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the screen and she died tragically at a very early age. Natalie drowned near Santa Catalina Island, California, on November 29, 1981. She was just 43 years young.
Linda was born Monetta Eloyse Darnell on October 16, 1923, in my birthplace of Dallas, Texas. She went to Sunset High School in Dallas and my father claims to have danced with her while he was a student at Dallas Crozier Technical High School. It's a fun story to tell regardless if it is true or not.
She was offered a contract after being discovered by a visiting talent scout. At age 15, she moved to Hollywood and moved into an apartment all alone. I find this very strange on her mother's part. Regardless, she starred in her first film, Hotel for Women, in 1939. The 15-year-old drew a lot of press as Hollywood's newest star.
She co-starred with Tyrone Power in Day-Time Wife in 1939 and received rave reviews for her beauty and acting skills. The next year, she again appeared with Power in Brigham Young. This role made her a highly-paid star. Linda's third appearance with Tyrone was in one of my favorites, The Mark of Zorro from 1940. I still can not believe that she was only 16 in that role. Life Magazine labeled her as "the most physically perfect girl in Hollywood."
While staying with friends in Glenview, Illinois in preparation for a stage role, Linda was burned to death when the home caught on fire. She died on April 10, 1965.
Lee was born on December 14, 1935, in Quincy, Massachusetts. She made her sexy contribution to cinema in Anatomy of a Murder with James Stewart in 1959 as the young, alluring wife of an army sergeant on trial for murder.
She displayed her sensuality again in 1960 in Wild River, which starred Montgomery Clift. That same year, she starred opposite of Jack Lemon in Days of Wine and Roses. This role would earn her an Academy Award nomination.
Lee was not one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, nor was she the best built. However, she still had that alluring quality about her to drew the attention of men.
Lee died from kidney and liver cancer on July 2, 1991, in Los Angeles.
Jean was born on November 13, 1938, in Marshalltown, Iowa. She won the role of Joan in Saint Joan in 1957 at age 18. She made several French films that gained notoriety for her beauty.
She returned to the States to make Lilith in 1964 with Warren Beatty. She also did Paint Your Wagon in 1969 with Clint Eastwood. She became less interested in the roles being offered to her and became more interested in taking part in the political issues of the day.
On August 30, 1979, Seberg was found dead in the back seat of her car in Paris, France. Her death was ruled as a suicide. To me, she was one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the big screen.
Carol was born Carole Ann Jones on February 13, 1942, in Manhattan, New York. She is best known for the leading role of Allison in 1961's Return to Peyton Place. She also played the titular role in Harlow in 1965, as did her contemporary, Caroll Baker, in the same year. They were very similar in appearance.
Lynley posed nude in the March 1965 issue of Playboy Magazine. She remained active in acting until 2006. She died of a heart attack on September 3, 2019.
Gina was born Luigina Lollobrigida on July 4, 1927, in Subiaco, Italy. She became a sex symbol in America even though she was making movies in Europe. She finally came to America and made Beat the Devil with Humphrey Bogart and Jennifer Jones in 1953.
My favorite film from Gina was Never So Few. It starred Frank Sinatra and introduced Steve McQueen. Gina's terrific role as Sinatra's sidekick brought her more fame in the States. She continued to make American films with the biggest names of the day.
Gina is retired from acting and lives in Europe.
Sophia was born Sofia Villani Scicolone on September 20, 1934, in Pozzuoli, Italy. Sophia made film history by becoming the first actress to win the Oscar in a non-English role when she starred in Italy's Two Women in 1962.
Her most popular American films were Boy on a Dolphin, Legend of the Lost with John Wayne, and The Pride and the Passion with Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra. All three films were released 1957.
Sophia was an acclaimed film star internationally and still known today for her beauty and figure. She is still active and resides in Naples, Italy and Geneva, Switzerland.
Angelina was born Angelina Jolie Voight on June 4, 1975, in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of Oscar winner Jon Voight and is an Academy Award winner herself.
She first received attention in Lara Craft: Tomb Raider in 2001. She was brought to the forefront even more with the film Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 2005. Her Oscar-winning role was in Girl Interrupted in 1999.
She is known worldwide for her beauty, her marriage and divorce to Brad Pitt, and her crusade to save the children of the world.
Angelina is still active in films today. She has six children, three of which are adopted.
Ann was born Clara Lou Sheridan on February 21, 1915, in Denton, Texas. She is one of my very favorite actresses, not because she and I went to the same college (North Texas State University) in Denton, Texas, but because I simply loved her style of acting. I always thought she was very beautiful and sexy.
She was called the "Oomph Girl" in the 40s while she was still in her teens in Hollywood. Her prominence in film began with a starring role in Angels With Dirty Faces in 1938, which starred James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart. Her other prominent roles were in Dodge City in 1938 with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, They Drive by Night in 1940 with George Raft and Bogart, and in Ronald Reagan's finest film, Kings Row, which was released in 1942.
Ann died of cancer in 1967 in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth was born on February 27, 1932, in Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, England.
Liz became a star at a very young age in National Velvet in 1944 with Mickey Rooney. Her late teens were the beginning of her sex symbol image with films like A Place in the Sun in 1951. Her kisses with costar Montgomery Clift were sensational to say the least.
In 1956, she gave an adult performance as the wife of Big Bick Benedict Jr. (Rock Hudson) in Giant, which also starred James Dean. She gave tempestuous performance in Butterfield 8, which won her an Academy Award for her role as a call girl, one that Liz hated to play. Maybe her distaste for the role gave her an edge on playing it the way she did.
She had long been thought of as the most beautiful woman in the world during her younger years on screen. It was hard at first to think of her as sexy after watching her grow up in films. But, with Butterfield 8, it was much easier to do so.
Elizabeth passed away on March 23, 2011, in Los Angeles, California, from congestive heart failure.
Brigitte was born on September 28, 1934, in Paris, France. She is one of the most famous sex symbols ever. She came into stardom with her role in And God Created Woman in 1956.
She made dozens of films early on that frequently featured her in nude or partially nude scenes. Her reputation was widespread as American audiences wanted to see more of her. However, her interest in doing American films was almost nil. The only American star that she performed with was Kirk Douglas in 1954's Act of Love.
She retired early at age 39 to live quietly in the Southern France with her animals.
Kimila Ann Basinger was born on December 8, 1953, in Athens, Georgia. Her sex appeal began in 1983 with her role as a Bond girl in Never Say Never Again, which starred Sean Connery. She also gained fame as the female lead in 1989's Batman.
I remember her mostly for her sensual role in 1997's L.A. Confidential with Russell Crowe and her over-the-top sex scenes in 1986's 9 1/2 Weeks with Mickey Rourke. As others had done before her, she posed nude for Playboy to promote her Bond role.
Kim is still active in films and often works with animal rights programs.
Jayne was born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19, 1933, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Jayne was Playmate of the Month in Playboy and was pushed by 20th Century Fox to be the next Marilyn Monroe. It didn't happen.
Jayne was never a good actress. She simply had her physical attributes and they could only carry her so far. She had two really good films; The Girl Can't Help It in 1956 and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? in 1957.
Tragedy came to Jayne on the road in Eastern New Orleans, Louisiana, when her car ran under a truck in front of her and crushed her skull. Rumors of her being decapitated were false. Soon after the accident, all tractor-trailer trucks were required to have a steel bar mounted on the rear to prevent cars from going under them. It is called the Mansfield bar.
Jayne died on June 29, 1967.
Veronica was born Constance Frances Marie Ockelman on November 14, 1922, in Brooklyn, New York. She made her first really important impact on screen in Sullivan's Travels. She co-starred with my favorite actor, Joel McCrea.
Her hairstyle was the envy of women everywhere; many women would copy her over-the-eye look. She made several movies with Alan Ladd in seductive roles in noir movies of the 40s.
Her career declined quickly and she had bouts with alcoholism and depression that eventually had her living in low-rent hotels. She even worked behind the bar in a hotel in Manhattan, New York.
Veronica died from hepatitis and alcoholism on July 7, 1973, in Burlington, Vermont.
Kim was born Marilyn Pauline Novak on February 13, 1933, in Chicago, Illinois. I can still see her slow, exotic walk down those stairs at the picnic barge in 1955's Picnic with William Holden. Wow! She did not need to do anything else beyond walking, it was over for Holden.
Kim had a kind of timid, unassuming sexuality that needed nothing more than her entering a room. She just had to give that quirky smile to turn on the man in the scene as well as the men in the viewing audience.
Some of her credible roles were in The Man With the Golden Arm and Pal Joey, which both starred Frank Sinatra. She also had a major role Hitchcock's Vertigo with Jimmy Stewart in 1958.
Kim retired in 1991 and lives on her ranch in Eagle Point, Oregon.
Salma was born Salma Valgarma Hayek Jimenez de Pinault on September 2, 1966, in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. She started in films in Mexico and moved to Los Angeles in 1991. Her first starring role was in 1995's Desperado, which starred Antonio Banderas. She followed that with a very sensual role in From Dusk Till Dawn.
I absolutely loved her with Matthew Perry in 1997's Fools Rush In. It was such a delightful film and she was refreshingly beautiful, funny, and sexy. I am so disappointed that she did not continue to make those kinds of films. It reminded me of Julia Roberts departing from the films that made her so successful early on.
Salma is still acting, directing, and producing films.
Grace was born on November 12, 1929, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After appearing in a couple of films where she was virtually unnoticed, including one of the great Westerns of all time, High Noon, she starred in Mogambo with Clark Gable in 1953. This role made her a force to be reckoned with. Her next role was in Hitchcock's Dial M For Murder in 1953. She gave a provocative performance alongside Ray Milland and Robert Cummings.
Her sexual prowess was sharpened yet still subtle in Rear Window, which starred James Stewart. Then came her Oscar-winning role in Country Girl, which starred Bing Crosby and William Holden. This role would fully define her as a bona fide actress. However, in 1955's To Catch a Thief with Cary Grant, she returned to the sophisticated sexuality that defined her in films. Her scene at the door of her hotel room in which she kissed Cary goodnight was very profound.
Princess Grace died in an automobile accident on September 14, 1982 in Monaco.
Halle was born on August 14, 1966, in Cleveland, Ohio. Oddly enough, Halle played the role of Dorothy Dandridge, the first black woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge in 1999. Halle herself would actually become the first and only black woman to win that prestigious award for her role in Monster's Ball. Are you ready for this fact? They were born in the same town, as well as in the same hospital.
Her roles were often very steamy and nudity was not infrequent in her films. She had been a beauty pageant contestant winner as Miss Teen All-America, Miss Ohio USA, and a runner-up in Miss USA in 1986. Her beauty and body would carry over into films.
Halle continues to win awards for her film work and continues to look very sexy.
Rachel was born on November 17, 1978, in London, Ontario, Canada. I had never heard of Rachel until I was told to go see The Notebook in 2004. I was overwhelmed with her sensuality as well as her acting ability. She took me to depths I could not have imagined during her performance as a teen who is love-torn and fighting her own emotions between two young men. I still have this film on DVD so that I can watch it from time to time.
Rachel may not have the body of some of the others listed above, but sexuality does not always reflect only physical attributes, although she is extremely attractive to me.
Some of Rachel's recent films include Game Night, Doctor Strange, and Spotlight.
Jennifer was born on February 11, 1969, in Sherman Oaks, California. We all knew Jennifer as Rachel on Friends. She has always been the girl next door.
We started seeing another side of Jennifer Aniston in films, a side that appeared to enjoy showing her sexy side and a little nudity on occasion. Her audience grew and Jennifer is now an iconic figure in Hollywood. She enjoys staying busy in acting, directing, and producing.
J. Lo was born on July 24, 1969, in Castle Hill, The Bronx, New York. What can you say about this dynamic entertainer? She is a singer, dancer, actress, commercial phenom, producer, talent judge, and businesswoman.
Jennifer is known for her perfect posterior and for her sensual moves in her choreography. She has been very good in a few of her films. I especially enjoyed her in Maid in Manhattan in 2002. There is just no end to what this extremely talented lady can do.
She was recently voted as the Most Beautiful Woman in the World by People. Jennifer, now at age 50, can still demonstrate that her beauty and dancing abilities are equal to those that are much younger.
Ava was born on December 24, 1922, in Grabtown, North Carolina. Her beauty brought her to Hollywood in 1941 and she got a push into stardom with her marriage to the world's number one entertainer, Mickey Rooney. She became a bona fide star after her role in The Killers with Burt Lancaster in 1946.
She was later nominated for an Academy Award for her work in 1953's Mogambo, where she starred opposite of Clark Gable and Grace Kelly. She followed that up with dozens of quality films. Her finest feature was probably in 1964's The Night of the Iguana where she starred opposite of Richard Burton and Deborah Kerr.
Ava was known for her hard drinking and expletive-laden vocabulary. Her lifetime of smoking caught up with her and she died of emphysema and pneumonia on January 25, 1990, in Westminster, London, England. Her death was especially hard on Frank Sinatra; he had previously been married to her.
Ava was considered the most beautiful woman in film at one time.
Hedy was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler on November 9, 1913, in Vienna, Austria-Hungary. She started in films in Czechoslovakia where she made a very provocative film titled Ecstasy in 1933. In this movie, she showed full frontal nudity while running through the forest and did a scene where the director showed closeups of her evidently having an orgasm.
The notoriety brought her to the States where she soon became a huge success. She was usually cast as the beautiful and seductive costar of most of the leading men of Hollywood at the time, including Clark Gable, John Garfield, and Spencer Tracy.
Her most memorable performance was in Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah, where she starred opposite of Victor Mature. Never before had such sexuality been used for such an extraordinary purpose as when Delilah lured Samson into cutting off his hair that gave him the strength of lions.
After 28 years of working, she retired from films and died in Orlando, Florida, on January 19, 2000.