Over the decades, incredible women have graced Hollywood, making a name for themselves by displaying their talents, passions, and strikingly good looks. These women have not only been successful through their own hard work and determination but are also remembered in history as some of the most beautiful to ever have made a name for themselves. From the 1930s to the 1990s, continue on as we re-introduce you to the most beautiful women to ever arrive in Hollywood and what they accomplished once they got their big break.
Claudia Cardinale Won An Award For Her Beauty
During the 1960s and 70s, Claudia Cardinale, an Italian Tunisian film actress, starred in some of the most successful European films. In 1957, she won the “Most Beautiful Italian Girl In Tunisia,” which earned her a trip to Italy, where she quickly acquired film contracts.
After making her film debut with a minor role with Omar Sharif in Goha in 1958, she quickly grew to become one of the best-known actresses in Italy, eventually making her way to Hollywood.
Jaclyn Smith Was One Of The Original Charlie’s Angels
Jaclyn Smith is a successful actress and businesswoman who is best known for launching her acting career as Kelly Garrett in the television series, Charlie’s Angels, beginning in 1976.
Because of her beauty and the show’s success, Smith grew in popularity, even playing Kelly Garrett in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. Throughout her career, she continued to act in numerous television films and series, establishing herself as one of the most attractive and desired actresses of her time.
Audrey Hepburn Was A Heartthrob For Decades
Born in 1929, Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian, ranked by the American Film Institute as the third-greatest female screen legend of the Hollywood Golden Age. Also referred to as one of the greatest fashion icons of all time, Hepburn was also inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.
Throughout her career, she starred in several timeless films, including My Fair Lady, Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and more. Later in her life, she devoted much of her time to UNICEF, eventually receiving the Presidential Medal Of Freedom.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Won The Miss World Pageant
Born in 1973, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is an Indian actress and the winner of the Miss World Pageant in 1994. Regarded as one of the most popular and influential celebrities in India, she has received numerous accolades throughout her life.
These include two Filmfare Awards, the Padma Shri by the Government of India, and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France in 2012. On top of that, she is also often described as “the most beautiful woman in the world.”
Marilyn Monroe Is One Of The Most Iconic Female Celebrities Of All Time
Born Norma Jeane Mortenson, Marilyn Monroe was an American model, actress, and singer. She is best-known for playing comedic “blonde bombshell” roles in films, enabling her to grow to become one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and 60s, with her reputation still standing today.
A top-billed actress for just one decade, her films grossed more than $200 million by the time of her death. Unfortunately, Monroe suffered internally, battling mental health issues which led to her death in 1962, although many conspiracy theories have been developed since.
Jacqueline Bisset Was Successful In The United States And Europe
Beginning her film career in 1965, Jacqueline Bisset is an award-winning English film and television star. Bisset rose to prominence in 1968 with roles in The Detective, Bullitt, and The Sweet Ride, which earned her a nomination for the most promising newcomer at the Golden Globes.
Some of her most memorable films are Airport, Day For Night, Murder on the Orient Express, and more. For her work, in 2010, she received France’s highest honor, the Légion d’honneur.
Ursula Andress Was The Original “Bond Girl”
Although Ursula Andress appeared in American, British, and Italian films, her breakthrough occurred when she played the original “Bond Girl,” Honey Ryder, in the first James Bond Film, Dr. No, alongside Sean Connery.
A former model, she was considered to be a sex symbol with some of her other films including, Fun in Acapulco, The Southern Star, Clash of the Titans, among others. In 1995, Andress was named by Empire magazine as one of the “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History.”
Tyra Banks Made A Name For Herself Through Modeling
A renowned television personality, Tyra Banks got her start in 1990 when she started her modeling career with Elite Model Management, one of the biggest modeling agencies in the world.
She has appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine in Spain, as well as in GQ magazine and the Victoria Secret’s catalog. Although she acted in a handful of films and television shows, she is best known for America’s Next Top Model, where she served as a host and executive producer.
Jayne Kennedy Made History In Ohio
Born Jayne Harrison in 1951, Kennedy rose in popularity as an American model, actress, and sportscaster. In 1970, she was crowned Miss Ohio– the first African American to receive the title.
Kennedy had a series of appearances in TV shows and films, also holding a position in The NFL Today. Furthermore, in 1982, she won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her performance as Julie Winters in the 1982 film Body and Soul.
Loretta Young Had A Long And Successful Career
Loretta Young was an American actress who began her career as a child star in 1917, with a career in film that lasted until 1953. In 1948, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1947 film The Father’s Daughter and received another nomination for the same award the following year for Come to the Stable.
From 1953 to 1961, she was the star of The Loretta Young Show, which earned three Emmys and ran in syndication. In 1986, she returned to television for Christmas Eve, in which she won a Golden Globe.
Sally Field Is Quite An Accomplished Actress
Sally Field is an American actress and director. She began her career on television, starring in small television series such as Gidget, The Flying Nun, and The Girl with Something Extra in the 1960s and 70s.
She began acting in film in the 1960s, with some of her most notable films including, The Way West, Smokey and the Bandit, Kiss Me Goodbye, Norma Rae, Places in the Heart, and more. Over her career, she earned two Academy Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Rita Hayworth Danced Her Way To Fame
Born Margarita Carmen Casino in 1918, Rita Hayworth was an American dancer and actor. Dancing as a young girl in New York, she moved to California when she was ten years old, eventually performing in many 30s-era dancing films before taking on more serious acting roles in the 1940s.
During those years, she became one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, appearing in 61 films over 37 years, and was the most popular pin-up girl for GI’s during World War II. Her death from Alzheimer’s disease in 1980 helped promote funding for research of the disease.
Jane Fonda Followed In Her Father’s Footsteps
The daughter of Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, was an actress who made her acting debut in the 1960 Broadway play There Was a Little Girl. For her performance, she received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play, eventually making the transition to screen acting.
Over the course of her career, she earned two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, seven Golden Globe Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, the AFI Life Achievement Award, and the Honorary Golden Lion.
Elizabeth Taylor Remained A Legend Up Until Her Death
Elizabeth Taylor was born in London in 1932 to prominent American parents, eventually moving to Los Angeles in 1939. She made her acting debut in Universal Pictures There’s One Born Every Minute before signing to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, becoming a teen star in the early 1940s.
She rose to become one of the most popular stars of classic Hollywood cinema in the 1950s and into the 60s. She remained a prominent figure until her death in 2011 and was named the seventh greatest female screen actor by the American Film Institute in 1999.
Sharon Tate Is Remembered For Numerous Reasons
Sharon Tate was an American actress and model. During the 1960s, she acted in small television roles before making the transition to films and becoming a fashion icon, regularly appearing in magazines.
A promising young actress, she made her film debut in 1961 and was well-received for both her comedic and dramatic acting performances. Horrifically, on August 9, 1969, a pregnant Tate and four others were murdered by members of the Mason Family in her home, with her final film 12+1 being released posthumously.
Michelle Pfieffer Changed The Direction Of Her Career
Born in 1958, Michelle Pfeiffer first began pursuing acting in 1978 and had her first significant role in Grease 2 in 1982. Annoyed of being typecast as the classic pretty girl in her characters, she had a breakthrough acting as Elvira Hancock in the iconic crime film Scarface.
Her later roles in Dangerous Liaisons in 1988 and The Fabulous Baker Boys in 1989, earned her two consecutive Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress, respectively. She continues to act to this day.
Grace Kelly Retired From Acting To Become A Princess
Grace Kelly was born in 1929, and she began attempting to break into acting in 1950 when she was just 20. She appeared in New York City theatrical performances and 40 episodes of live drama productions during the 1950s Golden Age of Television.
She made a name for herself in 1953, acting in the film Mogambo, for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. In 1954, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Country Girl, starring in several other films after. Kelly retired from acting at the age of 26 to marry Prince Rainer III, making her the Princess of Monaco.
Judy Garland Was Multi-Talented
With a career that spanned over 45 years, Judy Garland was an American actress, singer, and dancer. She began her career performing in vaudeville as a child before signing with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as a teen. While she appeared in more than two dozen films for MGM, she is best remembered for her role as Dorothy Gale in 1939’s highly-influential The Wizard of Oz.
She was nominated for Best Actress for A Star is Born in 1954 and Best Supporting Actress for Judgment at Nuremberg in 1961. Unfortunately, she passed away from a barbiturate overdose at 47 years old in 1969.
Jane Birkin Was A Woman Of All Trades
Jane Birkin is arguably best known for her partnership with singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. Together, they had a decade-long musical relationship, releasing albums such as Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg.
Birkin wasn’t just a musician, though, she also had a successful career in film, appearing in movies such as Evil Under the Sun, Death on the Nile, and the television film Cinderella.
Brigette Bardot Was A Progressive Actress
Often referred to as “B.B.,” Brigette Bardot is a former French actress, singer, and animal rights activist. She began her acting career in 1952 and became internationally known for her role in the controversial film And God Created Woman.
Known for portraying liberated females, she was a major sex symbol of the 1950s and 60s. She retired from the entertainment industry in 1973 after appearing in 47 films and recording more than 60 songs.
Veronica Lake Is Synonymous With The Femme Fatale
Veronica Lake was born Constance Frances Marie Ockelman in 1922, and grew up to become a stage, film, and television actress. Lake was best known for her femme fatale roles in film noirs, usually acting alongside Alan Ladd during the 1940s.
Unfortunately, her career began to decline due to her alcoholism, making only one film during the 1950s, although several television guest appearances. Her last role was the low-budget horror film Flesh Feast in 1970 before dying from hepatitis and acute kidney injury in 1973 at the age of 50.
Pam Grier Helped Establish A New Style Of Film
Pam Grier is an American actress that starred in numerous prison and blaxploitation films in the 1970s. Notably working for American International Pictures, New World Pictures, and other production companies, some of her most significant films include Coffy, Foxy Brown, Jackie Brown, and more.
Director Quentin Tarantino went so far as to describe her as cinema’s first female action star. For her performance in Jackie Brown, she received a Satellite Award and a nomination for a Golden Globe and SAG Award. She continues to work to this day.
Ingrid Bergman Earned Several Impressive Accolades
Ingrid Bergman was a Swedish actress who acted in a number of European and American films, television series, and plays. In the United States, she established herself as a major actress, acting opposite Humphrey Bogart in the film Casablanca, which won Best Picture in 1942.
Some of her other notable films include Gaslight and For Whom the Bell Tolls, as well as three movies with Alfred Hitchcock. During her career, she won two Academy Awards, a Tony Award, four Golden Globes, and a BAFTA.
Halle Berry Has Always Been Noted For Her Beauty
Born in 1966, before becoming an actress, Halle Berry was a model and participated in several beauty contests, being named the runner-up in the Miss USA pageant and sixth in the Miss World Pageant in 1986. Her breakthrough role was in the romantic comedy Boomerang in 1992 and she has continued her acting career ever since.
At this point, Berry has won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Monster’s Ball in 2001, making her the only woman of African American descent and woman of color to receive the award.
Raquel Welch Became A Major Poster Girl After A Small Role
An American actress and singer, Raquel Welch first caught the eye of the public in 1966’s Fantastic Voyage. This resulted in a contract with 20th Century Fox, who lent her contract to the British studio Hammer Film Productions. With Hammer, she made One Million Years B.C., released in 1966.
While Welch may have only had three lines of dialogue, the image of her in a doe-skin bikini became a best-selling poster that transformed the actress into a sex symbol. She would later go on to establish herself as a respectable actress.
Natalie Wood Acted For The Majority Of Her Life
Born in 1938, Natalie Wood was a Russian-American actress who began her career as a child. Starting acting at four years old, she co-starred in Miracle on 34th Street at the age of eight. By the time she was a teenager, she earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Rebel Without a Cause.
She also starred in musical films such as West Side Story and is remembered as one of the few actresses that began acting as a child and continued into their middle age.
Hedy Lamarr Was Far More Than Just A Pretty Face
Hedy Lamarr, born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, was an Australian-American actress, inventor, and film producer. In her early years, Lamarr acted in the controversial film Ecstasy in 1933, before signing a contract with MGM, who promoted her as the “world’s most beautiful woman.”
Although she had a successful film career in Hollywood, she was also an inventor that helped with the war effort during World War II by co-inventing an early version of the frequency-hopping spectrum. In 2014, she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Isabella Rossellini Came From Hollywood Royalty
The daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, Isabella Rossellini followed in her parents’ footsteps and became involved in the movie industry. On top of her acting, she was also a model — regardless that she was older than many of the other models at the time.
Eventually, she became the spokesmodel for Lancôme, a position that she held for 14 years. Some of her most memorable work acting includes David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, although she’s also known for her work as an activist and conservationist.
Julia Roberts Is One Of The Most Successful Actresses Of All Time
Born in 1967, Julia Roberts established herself as a leading actress after her performance in the romantic comedy Pretty Woman in 1990. Her films have made more than $2.8 billion, making her one of the most lucrative actresses in Hollywood. In the 1990s and the early 2000s she was the highest-paid actress in the business.
Roberts has also accumulated an impressive list of accolades, including three Golden Globe Awards from eight nominations, and four Academy Awards nominations, winning Best Actress for her work in Erin Brockovich in 2000.
Greta Garbo Dominated Classic Hollywood Cinema
A Swedish-American actress, Greta Garbo started her acting career in 1924 in the Swedish film The Saga of Gosta Berling. Her performance caught the attention of Louis B. Mayer, the chief executive of MGM who brought her to Hollywood in 1925.
There, her reputation grew to the point that today she is considered to be one of the greatest actresses to ever grace the screen. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Garbo as fifth on their list of the greatest female stars of classic Hollywood cinema.
Lauren Bacall Had A Very Distinctive Look
Remembered for her distinctive voice and seductive looks, Lauren Bacall began her career as a model before making her debut as the leading lady in To Have and Have Not in 1944 at the young age of 19. Throughout her acting career, she worked with some of the most notable people in the industry, such as Humphry Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, and more.
She was named the 20th-greatest female star of classic Hollywood by the American Film Institute and received an Academy Honorary Award in 2009 “in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.”
Monica Bellucci Modeled For Dolce & Gabbana And Dior
Monica Bellucci is an Italian model and actress. Starting off, Belluci used her stunning looks to land jobs with the likes of high-fashioned brands such as Dolce & Gabbana as well as Dior. Then, she decided to bring her looks to the big screen.
She might look familiar from her work on the Matrix trilogy and her time as a Bond girl back in 2015. Bellucci has won a few awards, including a European Golden Globe as well as a Silver Ribbon for Best Supporting Actress.
Sophia Loren Is One Of The Greatest Film Stars
Sophia Loren started her acting career at the young age of 16, being told she should enroll in acting classes after participating in a beauty pageant. Her classic good looks quickly caught the attention of Paramount, launching her career in 1956.
Loren had a very accomplished career, leaving her with a pretty packed trophy case that includes a few Golden Globes, a Grammy, and a Volpi Cup. In 1999, Loren was named one of the greatest female film stars of the 21st century.
Françoise Hardy Is A French Icon
French singer-songwriter Françoise Hardy found quick success in the 1960s with her song “Tous les garçons et les filles.” She rapidly found herself at the front of the French music scene. And, with the help of a photographer, her singing career paved the way for Hardy to become a model.
The later career path even turned her into a fashion icon! She is considered to be the epitome of French pop music stars. To this day, Hardy is still making music.
Anita Ekberg Was The “Dream Woman”
Born in 1931, Swedish actress Anita Ekberg is best known for being the “dream woman” Sylvia Rank in Federico Fellini’s film La Dolce Vita. Unfortunately, for the beautiful lady, her career became kind of dull after that role.
According to Rank, “Things became a little bit boring for me after La Dolce Vita because every producer or director in Italy, England and America wanted me to recreate the same role. The movie star from America who comes over to Italy.”
Barbara Bouchet Appeared In Over 80 Films And TV Episodes
Born in 1943, German-American actress Barbara Bouchet has had quite a long career. Starring in over 80 films and television episodes during her time as an actress, Bouchet has a lot to be proud of, including her family’s history.
Born in a country that ceded to Nazi Germany, Bouchet’s childhood was spent in a resettlement camp. After being granted permission to emigrate to America, Bouchet’s family moved to California where she became part of a dance group. In 1962, she finally moved to Hollywood to begin her film career.
Bettie Page Was Known As The “Queen Of Pin-Ups”
Known for her trademark bangs, jet-black hair, and startling blue eyes, Bettie Page has been the inspiration behind many artists’ creations throughout the years, especially tattoo artists. Known as the “Queen of Pin-Ups,” the model gained a huge following during the 1950s with her pin-up photoshoots.
The Nashville, Tennessee, native went on to become one of the first Playmates of the Month, gaining her popularity while allowing her to maintain being a fashion icon for so many.
Betty Grable Was Known For Her Long Legs
Actress and model Betty Grable started her career at the young age of 12. From there, she was picked up by PKO and Paramount, appearing in B-movies. It wasn’t until she performed in a Broadway play that she was noticed by 20th Century Fox.
Throughout her career, Grable was admired for her beauty. Her legs were even insured by her studio for around one million dollars! Grable said, “I became a star for two reasons, and I’m standing on them.”
Britt Ekland Was One Of The Most Photographed Celebrities In The 70s
Born in 1942, Swedish actress Britt Ekland made a splash in the entertainment industry during her 20s and 30s. She appeared in numerous films, including Get Carter, which made her a movie star and “beautiful girl” symbol for many people.
With her own career and her high-profile marriage to actor Peter Sellers, Ekland found herself to be one of the most photographed celebrities during the ’70s. It was almost as if she became even more famous overnight.
Brooke Shields Chose College Over Acting
Actress and model Brooke Shields was a well-known face through the ’80s when she was a child model. With her portfolio ever-growing, Shields wound up landing some film roles, including The Blue Lagoon.
A few years after the release of the film, Shields decided to put her career on hold in favor of attending Princeton and obtaining her degree. She graduated with amazing grades and a bachelor’s degree in Romance Languages.
Carrie Fisher Was The Princess Of The ’70s
Born in 1956, Carrie Fisher was about to show the entertainment world what it meant to be an elite actress. Probably best known for her portrayal of Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars franchise, Fisher has been topical since the 70s.
But that wasn’t the only project Fisher worked on before her passing in 2016. Fischer appeared in more than 40 films throughout her long career. The pretty lady’s final film was with her beloved Star Wars franchise in The Rise of Skywalker.