These Are The Most Breathtakingly Beautiful Women In Hollywood History

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It goes without saying that Hollywood – and indeed the entertainment world in general – is fascinated by beautiful people. It’s an industry heavily built on looks after all, and if the camera loves you, the world likely will, too. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but these 40 women are considered particularly stunning.

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40. Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts starred in a famous movie called Pretty Woman – and she’s considered one herself, of course. In fact, she’s won the title of People magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman a whopping five times – in 1991, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2017. And she could still very plausibly make it six.

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39. Audrey Hepburn

Despite her obvious good looks, Audrey Hepburn didn’t consider herself pretty. In 2013 her son Luca Dotti told Vanity Fair magazine, “She thought she had a big nose and big feet, and she was too skinny and not enough breast. She would look in the mirror and say, ‘I don’t understand why people see me as beautiful.’” But they did.

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38. Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields has been a beauty icon for practically all her life – and it’s easy to see why. But now that she’s in her 50s, she’s starting to explore that. In October 2019 she told Dr. Oz on his show that she once had a “really fraught relationship with the whole idea of beauty,” but now was “starting to celebrate” her body.

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37. Farrah Fawcett

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Charlie’s Angels star Farrah Fawcett was an icon of the 1970s, and her hairstyle became popular with women all over America. Yet she wasn’t afraid to show the world how her famous hair eventually fell out. In 2009, as she lay dying of cancer in hospital, she insisted her battle be filmed in order to demonstrate what fighting the illness was really like.

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36. Tippi Hedren

Tippi Hedren, the mother of Melanie Griffith, was so beautiful she caught the eye of famed film director Alfred Hitchcock. She starred in The Birds and Marnie, both classics of his. But the actress has always alleged that Hitchcock became obsessed with her, tried to ruin her career and eventually turned to physical assault.

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35. Dorothy Dandridge

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Dorothy Dandridge became famous for her role in the 1954 film Carmen Jones. Her performance saw her gain a Best Actress Academy Award nomination. As such, she was the first black woman ever to earn this. Sadly, she died young, passing away in 1965 at the age of just 42. But her beauty and talent are still remembered.

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34. Rita Moreno

West Side Story Oscar-winner Rita Moreno told Glamour magazine in 2018, “Certain parts of you, your fears and your love, never really die. There are parts of me that are very young that live – the girl who was always sure that nobody liked her and that she wasn’t pretty enough.” And yet she was, and they did.

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33. Jayne Mansfield

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Jayne Mansfield was a beautiful Hollywood sex symbol whose life was cut tragically short. She was killed in a car crash in 1967, and purported sensational details were instantly spread around the press. But her daughter – the actress Mariska Hargitay – remembers her mother as an accomplished and intelligent woman gone too soon.

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32. Jaclyn Smith

Jaclyn Smith of Charlie’s Angels won a lot of beauty accolades in her heyday. In 1985 alone she was named by McCall’s in its “America’s 10 Best Bodies” list and by Lady’s Home Journal as the “Most Beautiful Woman in America.” So, unsurprisingly, she started making a career out of that aspect of her persona as well. She now has her own line of beauty products.

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31. Ava Gardner

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Ava Gardner’s unusual beauty – she had dark hair matched with green eyes – made her the image of the Hollywood femme fatale. Film studio MGM gave her the label of “The World’s Most Beautiful Animal.” And men – including Frank Sinatra, Howard Hughes, Artie Shaw and Mickey Rooney – all fell head-over-heels for her.

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30. Sharon Stone

One particular movie scene made Sharon Stone a sex symbol. In 1992’s Basic Instinct she’s briefly seen revealing a very private part while uncrossing her legs. However, Stone has said that she wasn’t aware just how much would actually be shown. In fact, she seems to have mixed feelings in general about the film and the status it gave her.

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29. Jane Fonda

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Jane Fonda was unsurprisingly a model before getting into acting. But as the daughter of Henry Fonda, the whole entertainment world was opened up to her. She’s now considered a Hollywood legend and a prime example of how to age well, but people also remember her for her anti-war activism.

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28. Pam Grier

Pam Grier was the queen of blaxploitation movies in the 1970s, and she’s still active today. In March 2020 she reminisced about her early years to The New Yorker magazine. She said, “I didn’t find myself sexy or pretty. I didn’t even shave my legs. To this day, I don’t think of myself as a Nicole Kidman or an Angela Bassett.” Many have disagreed, though.

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27. Olivia Newton-John

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The movie Grease made Olivia Newton-John famous. But behind the scenes, she hated watching herself on camera. She was massively insecure about her looks, but thankfully that eventually changed. In 2008 she told newspaper The Guardian that when she looked in the mirror she saw, “a healthy woman who is pretty happy with herself.”

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26. Cheryl Ladd

Cheryl Ladd starred in Charlie’s Angels, which became a massive phenomenon. And she thinks she knows why. In November 2019 she told CNN, “None of us [were] actually trying to be men. We were women, 100 percent women, and we were powerful and smart and fun to watch and intelligent.” And, of course, good-looking.

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25. Kim Basinger

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Kim Basinger was a model before she became an actress and a Bond Girl, but she always preferred the world of acting. She met her one-time husband Alec Baldwin on the set of The Marrying Man and they had daughter named Ireland together. Now Ireland is a rising star, and gets beauty tips from her mom.

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24. Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson helped bring black beauty into the mainstream during a time of racism. But she was lauded for her talent as well as her looks, gaining critical acclaim for her performances in dramas such as Sounder and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. And in 2019, at the age of 94, she received an honorary Oscar.

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23. Dyan Cannon

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Dyan Cannon rose to fame in the 1960s. Part of that was because of her beauty and acting skills, but her marriage to Cary Grant also put her on the map. They made a very good-looking couple, although they would later divorce. Cannon is in her 80s now, but still considered beautiful.

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22. Angelina Jolie

The beauty of actress Angelina Jolie has been praised for a long time now. In 2009 she won Vanity Fair magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman in the World contest by a landslide. However, she herself has said that she plans to teach her daughters that intelligence is more important than good looks.

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21. Hedy Lamarr

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Hedy Lamarr was considered one of the most beautiful actresses of her era, but that wasn’t remotely all there was to her. She happened to be an inventor as well as a performer, and during the Second World War she helped to sow the seeds for what is now wi-fi technology. She’s deservedly now a role model for women in STEM.

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20. Pamela Anderson

Canadian actress Pamela Anderson became a sex symbol of the 1990s, thanks in no small part to the TV show Baywatch. She was lauded for her sexiness and appeared on the cover of Playboy no less than 12 times. But in 2003 she told NBC’s Matt Lauer, “The novelty should have worn off a long time ago.”

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19. Michelle Pfeiffer

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Michelle Pfeiffer has won People magazine’s “Most Beautiful” award twice, and it’s easy to see why. She appears to be one of those women which beauty comes to effortlessly. After all, she’s told People that in the past that she’s smoked, neglected sunscreen and eaten lots of junk food. It’s jealousy-inducing.

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18. Greta Garbo

Swedish-born Golden Age star Greta Garbo helped make the smoky eye what it is today. She put dark eyeshadow shades and eyeliner around her eyes, and the look became iconic. That combined with her bone structure, her androgynous good looks and her air of mystery made her an enduring beauty.

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17. Natalie Wood

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Natalie Wood was a celebrated actress whose life met a tragic end. A fortune teller once reportedly told her mother that the girl “would be a great beauty,” but also that she should “beware of dark water.” And she was right. In 1981 the three-time Oscar nominee was discovered drowned in the ocean around her yacht. To this day, how it happened is a mystery.

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16. Halle Berry

Halle Berry played Bond girl Jinx in the 2002 movie Die Another Day. She rocked an orange bikini and was unsurprisingly very popular. And remarkably she doesn’t seem to have changed all that much since then. She claims that moisturizing her skin twice a day is her secret to staying young-looking.

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15. Olivia de Havilland

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The beautiful Olivia de Havilland is one of the last stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age – she’s 103 years old now. Asked in 2009 by The Independent newspaper how she felt about her career, she said, “I feel not happy, not contented, but something else. Just grateful for having lived and having done so many things that I wanted to do and have also had so much meaning for other people.”

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14. Raquel Welch

Actress Raquel Welch was a major sex symbol of the 1960s. Yet she didn’t always enjoy being such an icon. In her 2010 book Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage she said, “All the men that I have really fallen for are those men that have reacted to me and have made me feel like I’m a person and it’s not that they’re going to bed with Raquel Welch.”

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13. Ingrid Bergman

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Casabanca star Ingrid Bergman was beautiful, but remarkably for the time she refused to have anything extra done to “improve” her. She wouldn’t change her hair, fix her teeth or pluck her eyebrows, and sometimes she even wore no makeup. But this worked – she was marketed as the first “natural” actress.

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12. Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez has always been considered gorgeous – and ageless to boot. How does she do it? In 2016 she told InStyle magazine, “Honestly, my routine hasn’t really changed. It has always been about maintenance. I take more and more pride in maintaining a healthy routine – whether it is how I take care of my skin or my body as a whole.”

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11. Elizabeth Taylor

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Elizabeth Taylor’s beauty is so legendary that scientists have analyzed it. In 2011 Harvard psychologist Nancy Etcoff told the ABC network that Taylor “had a feature that most people wouldn’t think of as contributing to attractiveness, but really does, which is a small, gracile jaw.” She even characterized the star as “exaggeratedly feminine.”

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10. Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren was reportedly considered ugly as a child, but that definitely changed. She grew up to be considered one of the most stunning women in Hollywood. However, she wrote in her 1984 book Women & Beauty, “Beauty is a package. It is in every woman. You just need to know how to explore it and show it to the world.”

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9. Cybill Shepherd

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Moonlighting star Cybill Shepherd was always pretty, but she seems quite ambivalent about being lauded for it. In 1994 she told newspaper The Orlando Sentinel, “Being beautiful is a drawback sometimes.” And in 2015 she recollected to the Today show that her mom had always told her, “Beauty is as beauty does.”

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8. Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte Bardot was a major sex symbol in the 1950s. She posed and pouted on the cover of multiple magazines, making her a star. She helped pioneer the just-got-out-of-bed look that models delight in today. But as an older woman she’s been convicted five times for inciting racial hatred, proving that beauty is only skin-deep.

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7. Grace Kelly

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Grace Kelly had it all – she was a beauty, an accomplished actress and a real-life princess. After a successful film career which included classics such as Rear Window and High Noon she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. She could have done much more, too, had she not died in a car accident come 1982.

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6. Lucy Liu

Legendary actress Lucy Liu shared some of her beauty secrets with CNN in 2007. Among the tips she offered were, “Even if you don’t have any makeup on, you can still look really pretty if your lips are soft and shiny.” She also said, “If you take a little bit of Aquaphor and dab it on your face, it keeps your skin looking fresh.” Those tips have evidently served her well.

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5. Rita Hayworth

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Rita Hayworth was a pin-up girl of World War II thanks to a saucy Life magazine photograph of her in black lingerie. But she was an actress, too – and a good one. She starred in Gilda, Only Angels Have Wings and more. Her defining feature of beautiful red hair, however, wasn’t natural. It was, in fact, dyed.

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4. Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe is still the archetypical blonde bombshell even now. Her stunning good looks brought her movie roles, riches, and extreme popularity. But she always found it quite difficult being famous. After a life spent battling mental illness, she died of a drug overdose in 1962. It was an incredibly tragic loss.

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3. Lupita Nyong’o

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When Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o was named People’s Most Beautiful in 2014, it marked an important change in the culture of beauty. The actress told People that as soon as she got the accolade, “I was happy for all the girls who would see me on [the cover] and feel a little more seen.”

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2. Ursula Andress

Ursula Andress was the first ever Bond Girl, and she paved the way for all the others to come. The moment where she walks out of the ocean dressed in a white bikini became an iconic movie moment – and for good reason. Indeed, the actress is even considered to have popularized that particular type of swimwear among American women.

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1. Jacqueline Bisset

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In 1977 Jacqueline Bisset was given the title of “most beautiful film actress of all time” by Newsweek magazine. And it’s easy to see why. Bisset herself though was never sure, telling newspaper The Independent in 2014 that, “I never felt beautiful. That just wasn’t the way I was brought up.”

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