Ten Most Beautiful Redheads from the Golden Era of Films
Beautiful Redheads from Classic Movies
"I Want to Live" (1958)
"The Black Swan" (1942)
"An Affair to Remember" (1957)
"Mrs. Miniver" (1942)
"Angels with Dirty Faces" (1938)
"Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1959)
"The Hustler" (1961)
"A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" (1959)
This woman was so beautiful and exciting that Life Magazine put her on their cover 5 times. In the 40's, Rita, who started out as a dancer, appeared in musicals with both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. However, she wanted a dramatic career and after several films as the "other woman", she finally was noticed in a film starring James Cagney, The Strawberry Blonde in 1941 and soon became a much sought after star.
When the war started, Rita, along with Betty Grable became the top "pin-up girl" for service men. This led to a film, Cover Girl starring Gene Kelly that reinforced her celebrity power and she soon became one of the top stars in the world.
The film that took her over the top was Gilda in 1946 opposite Glenn Ford with whom she would make several films. In this movie, she was so seductive, so sensual and so glamorous as the wife of an older man, yet still drawn to a former lover. This film defined her long career which included 61 films.
Always one of my favorites, Susan was an outstanding actress receiving five Academy Award nominations. A contender for the most sought after role in film history, Scarlett O'Hara, she was noticed enough in her efforts to get that role that other film roles came her way because of it.
Susan made several real-life films usually of women with problems including her portrayal of Barbara Graham in 1958's I Want to Live about a death row inmate. This film won her the Academy's highest honor for Best Actress.
She also played the true life story of actress, Lillian Roth in 1955's I'll Cry Tomorrow opposite Richard Conte where she imitates Roth's real life alcoholism with perfection. Along the way, she starred with some of Hollywood's heavyweights such as Gary Cooper, John Wayne and Clark Gable.
Maureen was always noted for her high spirited, hot-tempered performances typical of the legends of redheads. Her most fiery and most famous role was opposite frequent co-star John Wayne in The Quiet Man filmed in Ireland about a tumultuous relationship between she and Wayne. A scene where Wayne drags Maureen across the field is captivating.
She was also very popular for her roles in films such as The Black Swan in 1942 with Tyrone Power, a swashbuckling film on the high seas with Maureen in another spitfire role.
She played in westerns, pirate films, war films and musicals and played her part supremely well. One of the most beautiful women ever.
Deborah was always a very prim and proper lady whose sexuality had to be almost forced from her by her leading men. But, when she let go, she was as sexy as anyone. She brought elegance to her seductive roles and there were many.
She was the Christian tied to the stake in the great arena in Rome awaiting the horns of the bull in Quo Vadis. She was the romantic confined to a wheelchair by an automobile accident that prevented her from keeping a date with her intended lover on top of the Empire State building in An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant. And, she was the bored, unloved housewife of an army captain needing the attention that Burt Lancaster would give her in From Here to Eternity famous for its lovemaking scene on the beach.
Here is another lady that brought elegance and charm to the screen, but again had her own sexual appeal for the viewing audience. This photo in color does not do her justice. Greer was quite a beautiful woman as shown in the black and white.
Her very first American film was Goodbye Mr. Chips in 1939 which won her the first of seven Academy Award nominations and a win for Best Actor for her co-star, Robert Donat in a brilliant performance for him in a simply wonderful film.
In a similar role in Mrs. Miniver in 1942, she won the Oscar for her performance. She would have five consecutive Oscar nominations in the early 40's. None of her films had her in a seductive role, but she had a certain quality that lent itself to her resounding sexuality nevertheless. Sometimes, one simply can not put one's finger on the reason why.
Greer had a home in Dallas, Texas and when I was a kid working weekends at her local grocery store, I would take deliveries to her high rise apartment. Unfortunately, I never saw her on my visits.
Ann was simply the girl next door with "it". Her voice did it for me. She just came across as so sexy and nice and lovable. She always played the gal that truly loved her man in every sense of the word and was always faithful to him no matter what he had done, or what had happened to him.
Such was the case with James Cagney in Angels With Dirty Faces when she tried to keep him on the straight and narrow. Then, there was Ronald Reagan in King's Row having lost his legs to an inhumane surgeon only to find Ann still by his side.
Ann was just so appealing in every way. Her honesty and sincerely had its own sexuality. Her beauty did not hurt, either.
Ann and I went to the same college in Denton, Texas although years apart.
Arlene was not a great actress, nor a truly popular film star. Everyone knew who she was because of her beauty and her red hair. One of the most beautiful in films, she made movies for over forty years.
Her films were not those that remain with you, nor were they B films. They were mostly simple movies that brought a little entertainment into your life and always a very beautiful Arlene playing her role as well as expected.
After disappearing from films for over 20 years, she made one final film, Night of the Warrior with her son, Lorenzo Lamas in 1991.
Piper's first film was opposite Ronald Reagan in Louisa in 1950. She and the former president dated prior to his marriage to Nancy. She made several films throughout the 50's until her departure for stage work and study in New York.
She was brought back to Hollywood to star opposite Paul Newman in The Hustler in 1961 which would bring her an Academy Award nomination for her role as a woman with no vanity, no self importance or feelings of worth. She took herself out of character for this role by losing her beauty and charm to display this modest and defenseless type of woman. She still came across as sexy enough to lure the attentions of George C. Scott.
Piper often went from light cheerful roles to those that depicted her as non-glamorous, or far from the mainstream.
I love Rhonda Fleming. Not the greatest actress and did not make any earth shattering films, but always memorable with that technicolor hair and beauty. Of all the redheads, Rhonda probably looked best in color whereas the rest looked better in black and white.
She did take part in some good films such as Spellbound, The Spiral Staircase, Out of the Past and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. She made four films with Ronald Reagan whom she admired greatly.
She appeared in her final film in 1990, Waiting for the Wind.
Jeanne was such a beautiful lady. She had a very tender and sweet face, but could be sexy when the time came and she did so with some of the best, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Dana Andrews, Randolph Scott and Kirk Douglas.
However, the film that Jeanne will always be remembered for is Pinky in 1949. This was a very controversial movie about an African-American woman who passed for white in the north. The performance earned Jeanne an Academy Award nomination. This film did not require any sexual connotations, but Jeanne always looked sexy to me.
She was very high class and still sexy in her role with Sinatra in The Joker Is Wild.