10 Legendary and beautiful actresses
Back to Cult & Classics .......... Back to Startpage

Absolutely true, yes, yes, for sure every film lover could make their own toplist regarding this very serious subject and i
hope that you won't get to agitated that your favourite film beauty is missing from this my list. Don't take it too seriously,
it's only for fun. The gorgeous actresses from today as e.g. Halle Berry or Catherine Zeta-Jones etc. do have an almost
impossible task getting into a list as this when having to compete with the actresses from the past golden era of film.
It's not fair, i know, but the Hollywood filmstudios in the 1920's-1940's did have masters of black & white portrait photo-
graphy which do give the actresses of that time a huge advantage. But sure, there has been contenders in modern times
as Isabelle Adjani, Carol Laure, Zeta-Jones etc.

     

1. Louise Brooks (1906-1985)

 
2. Greta Garbo (1905-1990)
 
American glamour girl who became a film legend. An icon beyond all icons
with her 2 silent classics made by the German genius Georg Wilhelm Pabst,
and then perhaps mostly for her role as Lulu in Die Büchse der Pandora.
She disappeared and was then re-discovered in the 1950's when a Lulu-
Pandora mania shook the cultural world. Always highly intelligent
but with
maybe a somewhat destructive personality she didn't care much about her
film career and instead lived a hard life. After being re-discovered she at her
elder age started to write about film at an highly accomplished level.
Her iconic face has inspired many generations of artists of all kind
  The One and only, our own swedish pride, the divine one, Greta Gustafsson
had her big break-through in Mauritz Stillers "Gösta Berlings saga" in 1924
and she handled the tough change from silents to sound. Her husky voice
only underlined her withdrawn mystical persona.
She was no great actress at all but did seem to suit very well in comedies, as
in the delightful "Ninotchka" by Ernst Lubitsch, my favourite Garbo film.
Actually, i did like her in her last flop of a film, the comedy The Two-Faced
Woman where she acted naturally without any mystery aura about her. I did
like that but not the general public, and then she quit. Finito and Bye
     
3. Hedy Lamarr (1913-2000)
 
4. Vivien Leigh (1913-1967)
 
Austrian American actress who was first heard of when creating a huge
scandal in 1933 when appearing nude in the film "Ecstasy". She married a
billionaire arms-dealer who fraternized with the nazis and in 1938 she fled to
US and Hollywood where she was promoted as the most beautiful woman
in the world. The world's biggest female film star .... for some years and then
she was forgotten. Today she may be best known for her role as the evil but
luscious Delilah in the trashy 1949 spectacle "Samson and Delilah". But, a
re-evaluation of her acting qualities could be on it's way as she's impressive
in the noir The Strange Woman.
Hedy had super IQ though and during WW2 she and a friend invented a
method of guiding torpedoes by a shifting tone frequency, later used in
space technology with satellites and much else. What a lady she was
 

A fine, fine english actress who was married to Laurence Olivier and who
became a film legend for her roles as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind
and in the tearjerker Waterloo Bridge. She had this very fragile beauty and
also, unfortunately, mind paired with dominant willpower with which she
gave her roles character. My two favourite films of hers are the melodrama
That Hamilton Woman by Alexander Korda and her outstanding performance
as the overstrung Blanche DuBois in Elia Kazan's film of Tennessee Williams
play "A Streetcar named Desire". In the latter not just her role figure but also
her acting style clashes with the evil Stanley Kowalski played by Marlon
Brando in the movie with his method acting, and the result is amazing.
Vivian Leigh played the role also in the first London production of the play
in 1949 and Elia Kazan produced the play in the US in 1947.

     
5. Gene Tierney (1920-1991)
 
6. Lauren Bacall (1924-2014)
 

Please Read More about the lovely Gene Tierney on my Film Noir Page

This NY beauty and versatile actress performed great in both comedies as
Heaven Can Wait and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, as in Film Noir. In fact i
think she may be my favourite actress of the 1940's and maybe of all time.
Why? Because she acted in 2 of the greatest movies ever made, the 1944
Laura by genius Otto Preminger and in the 1945 melodrama technicolor
film noir Leave Her to Heaven. In the latter her portrayal of the disturbed
Ellen Berent is beyond great .... Leon Shamroy's cinematography is ....
Unfortunately Gene was only made of flesh and blood, and fragile she
suffered from depressions and mental problems and she retired in the 50's

  Another fine actress and another gorgeous NY girl, is it something in the
water perhaps? The Girl with the Husky Voice and who debuted with a
bang against Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not in 1944 only 19
years old. She was an ex-fashion model and she made another classic film
in 1945 with the Noir The Big Sleep by Howard Hawks and also this time
against Bogart. Bogie, with whom she had maybe the greatest romance in
Hollywood history. Lauren Bacall had a very long and acclaimed career
in theatre and film, but probably she's most known today for her 1940's
films and her lifelong romance with Humphrey Bogart ....
and for The Look where she look at us with her beautiful catlike eyes
     
7. Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011)
 
8. Catherine Deneuve (born 1943)
 
American actress (born in England) who had some meeting with Lassie, the
hero Dog in the beginning of her film career as a child actor. She may be best
known today for her off and on romance with actor Richard Burton, for her
weight problems and for her role as queen Cleopatra in the epic flop with the
same name made by 20th Century Fox. A historical spectacle that just didn't
work. She didn't have that sort of charisma and i guess someone like Hedy
Lamarr in her heyday would've suited perfectly for the role.
No, Elizabeth Taylor worked best in small theatre play based films like A Place
in the Sun, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
She was very uneven, bad in some films but often brilliant in others. She was
best suited to artmovie type of films. Beauty and brains
  Cool and elegant french actress still fully active when writing this text. She
had a big break-through in a colorful umbrella film musical by Jacques Demy
and in the Roman Polanski horror Repulsion in the middle of the 1960's.
Then followed an array of big roles in important films by some of the greatest
directors ever as in Belle de Jour and Tristana by gigant Luis Buñuel or as
the femme fatale in Francois Truffaut's 1969 Mississippi Mermaid. The latter
based on a novel by my favourite crime fiction writer, Waltz into Darkness
by Cornell Woolrich. She's fully active since her debut 50 years ago and seems
to act in almost every french film made.
Her beautiful and talented sister Francoise Dorléac also starred in a Polanski
film, Cul-de-sac, and she died in a car accident in 1967 only 25 years old
     
9. Charlize Theron (f. 7/8-1975)
 
10. Michelle Pfeiffer (f. 1958)
 

A Great accomplished actress from South Africa who started out .... guess, big
surprise as a model and who was a ballet dancer home in the RSA. She has been
awarded an Oscar for her performance as the murderess Aileen Wuornos in the
2003 Monster. She could be seen in the VIP section during the football World
Cup in South Africa in 2010 and as the gorgeous evil queen in Snow White

 
Almost ridiculeously photogenic Californean actress who had a break-through
in the early 80's with roles in the fantasy Ladyhawke and in the Brian De Palma
gangster masterpiece Scarface. In the pic above from 1988 Dangerous Liaisons
but my favourite role of hers is the one as a cocktail lounge singer with the
Bridges Brothers in The Fabulous Baker Boys. She was Catwoman too


   

Almost on the list
- older times:
Carole Lombard, Jean Harlow, Joan Fontaine, Ingrid Bergman, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Linda Darnell, Marilyn Monroe,
Grace Kelly, Jean Simmons, Audrey Hepburn, Gina Lollobrigida, Jane Fonda, Tuesday Weld, Julie Christie, Romy Schneider

Almost on the list - modern times:
Isabelle Adjani, Nastassia Kinski, Halle Berry, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mathilda May, Sophie Marceau, Carol Laure, Aishwariya
Rai, Carole Boquet, Jennifer Connelly, Diane Lane, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Weisz, Olga Kurylenko, Diana Penty, Deepika
Padukone and .... hey, wait, a regular army of Bollywood actresses would earn a place here

Back to Cult & Classics
Back to Start page

 

Top