Here is my shamelessly subjective and grossly self-indulgent list of the one thousand most desirable celebrity women in history, and I have gone to the trouble of ranking them in order. I am using the word ‘desirable’ here to mean a combination of physical beauty, sex appeal, and charisma, as well as any indefinable effect she's had on me. And I am taking a fairly broad definition of the word ‘celebrity.’
Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell was born on June 21, 1921 in Bemidji, Minnesota. Her father was a United States Army lieutenant and her mother had been a student of drama and an actress with a traveling troupe. Once Mr. Russell was mustered out of the service, the family took up residence in Canada...
One of Hollywood's most dazzling leading actresses, Salma Hayek was born on September 2, 1966, in the oil boomtown of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. Hayek has freely admitted that she and her brother, Sami, were spoiled rotten by her well-to-do businessman father, Sami Hayek Dominguez, and her opera-singing mother...
A new reigning 1960s international sex symbol took to the cinematic throne as soon as Raquel Welch emerged from the sea in her purposely depleted, furry prehistoric bikini. Tantalizingly wet with her garb clinging to all the right amazonian places, One Million Years B.C.
, if nothing else, captured the hearts...
The talented Milena "Mila" Markovna Kunis was born to a Jewish family in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, USSR (now independent Ukraine). Her mother, Elvira, is a physics teacher, her father, Mark Kunis, is a mechanical engineer, and she has an older brother named Michael. After attending one semester of college between gigs...
Greta Garbo was born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson on September 18, 1905, in Stockholm, Sweden, to Anna Lovisa (Johansdotter), who worked at a jam factory, and Karl Alfred Gustafsson, a laborer. She was fourteen when her father died, which left the family destitute. Greta was forced to leave school and go to work in a department store...
Monica Anna Maria Bellucci was born on September 30, 1964 in the Italian village of Città di Castello, Umbria, the only child of Brunella Briganti and Pasquale Bellucci. She originally pursued a career in the legal profession. While attending the University of Perugia, she modeled on the side to earn money for school...
Ingrid Bergman was one of the greatest actresses from Hollywood's lamented Golden Era. Her natural and unpretentious beauty and her immense acting talent made her one of the most celebrated figures in the history of American cinema. Bergman is also one of the most Oscar-awarded actresses, tied with Meryl Streep
, both are second only to Katharine Hepburn
Beyoncé was born in Houston, Texas. Her father, Mathew Knowles
, manages Destiny's Child
. Her mother, Tina Knowles
(née Celestine Ann Beyincé), designs their glittering costumes. Solange Knowles
, her sister (they're about 5 years apart), has released her debut album. She dances with her big sister during DC-3 concerts. Beyoncé is of African-American and Creole descent...
Ava Lavina Gardner was born on December 24, 1922 in Grabtown, North Carolina, to Mary Elizabeth (née Baker) and Jonas Bailey Gardner. Born on a tobacco farm, where she got her lifelong love of earthy language and going barefoot, Ava grew up in the rural South. At age 18, her picture in the window of her brother-in- law's New York photo studio brought her to the attention of MGM...
Together with her younger sister, Crystal McKellar
, she began acting at a young age in her mother's dance studio. In 1982 the family moved to Los Angeles and a few years later she appeared in her first commercial. A few guest appearances in The Twilight Zone
was followed by her breakthrough in The Wonder Years
Grace Patricia Kelly was born on November 12, 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to wealthy parents. She was the daughter of Margaret Katherine (Majer), a phys ed instructor, and John Brendan Kelly, Sr., a three-time Olympic Gold winner for rowing. Her uncle was playwright George Kelly
. She was of half Irish and half German descent...
Joan Severance was born and raised in Houston, Texas. At the age of 18 and at the sole urging of John Casablancas
of Elite models, she went to Paris, France to begin a modeling career that would turn out to be well worth the price of the ticket Casablancas sent her. Within months she graced the covers of all the international magazines and was doing shows for all the top designers...
Dawn Elberta Wells was born on October 18, 1938 in Reno, Nevada. Her father was a real estate owner and developer and her mother was a homemaker. Wells' childhood was a happy and healthy one. She and her mother grew their own fruits and vegetables in their gardens and Dawn rode horses. In her high school years...
Ella Raines was born in Snoqualmie Falls, Washington, in 1920. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at the University of Washington as a drama student and participated in many plays. Following graduation, she traveled to New York and the lights of Broadway. She was eventually signed by Howard Hawks
and played in Corvette K-225
as the love interest of Randolph Scott
Rie Rasmussen was born in Denmark in 1976 to an artist mother and an Economist father. She was raised in the Danish country in an extended family with nine brothers and sisters. She moved to New York at the age of 15 to paint and has continued to travel ever since. She lived in Huntington Beach California where she briefly attended film school as a director in 1998...
Tahnee Welch was born in 1961 in San Diego, California, daughter of father James Welch and mother Raquel Tejada (actress Raquel Welch
), and the younger sister of Damon Welch
. Most of her childhood was spent between Spain, England and Italy, returning to an all-girls school in the United States...
Lindsay Dee Lohan was born in New York City on 2 July 1986. Her mother, Dina Lohan
(née Donata Melina Nicolette Sullivan), is a former Wall Street analyst, and her father, Michael Lohan
, is a businessman and former Wall Street trader. She has Irish, Italian, and German ancestry. Lohan began her career at age three as a model at the Eileen Ford Agency...
“ As time passes, the need for a disclaimer for Lindsay Lohan (and ONLY Lindsay Lohan) becomes ever more apparent. Around the time of the movie "Mean Girls" in 2004, I thought she was as attractive as just about any woman I'd ever seen. Shortly thereafter, she began her descent. Somewhere around 2009, I guess she hit rock bottom. Seeing her in 2013, it appears that she spent her time since then trying to dig. ” - Notspartacus
Audrey Hepburn was born Audrey Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston on May 4, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. She was a blue-blood and a cosmopolitan from birth. Her mother, Ella van Heemstra, was a Dutch baroness; Audrey's father, Joseph Victor Anthony Hepburn-Ruston, was born in Úzice, Bohemia, of English and Austrian descent, and worked in business...
Actress and singer Ann-Margret is one of the most famous sex symbols and actresses of the 1960s and beyond. She continued her career through the following decades and into the 21st century. Ann-Margret was born Ann-Margret Olsson in Valsjöbyn, Jämtland County, Sweden, to Anna Regina (Aronsson) and Carl Gustav Olsson...
Mia Kirshner was born in Toronto, Ontario on January 25, 1975, to Etti, a teacher, and Sheldon Kirshner, a journalist. Her father is of Polish Jewish descent and her mother is a Bulgarian Jewish immigrant. Mia had a middle class upbringing and graduated from the prestigious McGill University with a degree in English Literature...
Born and raised in northern California, Josie Maran aspired to become a model at a young age. Her father is of Russian Jewish descent, and her mother has Dutch, French, and German ancestry. At the age of 12, while attending a barbecue, a woman asked her to be in a San Francisco fashion show. A modeling agent at the show saw her and encouraged her to begin modeling...
"Dead, wrapped in plastic" is how Sheryl Lee entered onto the scene as Laura Palmer, the doomed homecoming queen on the cult TV series Twin Peaks
. Lee was born April 27, 1967 in Germany. She grew up in Boulder, Colorado, spending much of her youth studying dance before knee injuries ended her hope of becoming a dancer...
Natalie Wood was born on July 20, 1938, in San Francisco, California, as Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko. Her parents, Maria Stepanovna (Zudilova) and Nikolai Stepanovich Zakharenko, were Russian-born émigrés, of Ukrainian and Russian descent, who spoke barely comprehensible English; they changed the family name to Gurdin after becoming US citizens...
Elizabeth Téa Pantaleoni was born in New York, on February 25, 1966. Her father, Anthony Pantaleoni, was a corporate lawyer, and her mother, Emily Patterson, was a dietitian and nutritionist. She is of Italian (from a paternal great-great-grandfather), Polish, English, Scottish, Irish, and German descent...
Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924, in New York City. She is the daughter of Natalie Weinstein-Bacal, a Romanian Jewish immigrant, and William Perske, who was born in New Jersey, to Polish Jewish parents. Her family was middle-class, with her father working as a salesman and her mother as a secretary...
Jennifer Connelly was born in the Catskill Mountains, New York, to Ilene (Schuman), a dealer of antiques, and Gerard Connelly, a clothing manufacturer. Her father had Irish and Norwegian ancestry, and her mother was from a Jewish immigrant family. Jennifer grew up in Brooklyn Heights, just across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan...
Marisa Miller is a supermodel best known for her work in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and as a Victoria's Secrets lingerie model. She appeared in three Victoria's Secret Fashion shows from 2007 through 2009 and became a Victoria's Secret Angel in 2007. Miller appeared in seven straight editions of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue from 2002 to 2008...
Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. Her mother was a film-cutter at RKO Studios who, widowed and mentally ill, abandoned her to a sequence of foster homes. She was almost smothered to death at two, nearly raped at six. At nine, the LA Orphans' Home paid her a nickel a month for kitchen work while taking back a penny every Sunday for church...
The actress was born Marilyn Watts in Santa Monica, California, 17 years before she put her foot on the bottom step of the show biz ladder, dancing in the back row of the chorus in "Earl Carroll's Revue" at the famed showman's theater-restaurant in Hollywood. Modeling for photographers led to wider exposure and ultimately to TV roles and bit parts in low-budget movies...
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was born on January 13, 1961, in the New York City borough of Manhattan, to Judith (LeFever), a special needs tutor and author, and Gérard Louis-Dreyfus, a billionaire businessman. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she spent her childhood in Washington, D.C., and New York. She met her husband, Brad Hall
, while in college...
With prominent cheekbones and the most appealing overbite of her day, her striking good looks helped propel her to stardom. Her best known role is the enigmatic murder victim in Laura
. She was also Oscar-nominated for Leave Her to Heaven
. Her acting performances were few in the 1950s as she battled a troubled emotional life that included hospitalization and shock treatment for depression.
Eva Gaëlle Green was born on July 6, 1980, in Paris, France. She has a fraternal twin sister. Her father, Walter Green, is a dentist who appeared in the 1966 film Au Hasard Balthazar
. Her mother, Marlène Jobert
, is an actress turned children's book writer. Eva's mother was born in Algeria, of Sephardi Jewish heritage (during that time...
American actress and political activist Ashley Judd was born Ashley Tyler Ciminella on April 19, 1968, in Granada Hills, California. She grew up in a family of successful performing artists as the daughter of country music singer Naomi Judd and the sister of Wynonna Judd. While she is best known for an ongoing acting career spanning more than two decades...
Donna Reed was born in the midwestern town of Denison, Iowa, on January 27, 1921, as Donna Belle Mullenger. A small town - a population of less than 3,000 people - Denison was located by the Boyer River, and was the county seat of Crawford County. Donna grew up as a farm girl, much like many young girls in western Iowa...
Emily Jean "Emma" Stone was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, to Krista (Yeager), a homemaker, and Jeffrey Charles Stone, a contracting company founder and CEO. She is of Swedish (from her paternal grandfather), English, German, Scottish, and Irish descent. Stone began acting as a child as a member of the Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix...
In America, the early performing arts accomplishments of young Maureen FitzSimons (who we know as Maureen O'Hara) would definitely have put her in the child prodigy category. However, for a child of Irish heritage surrounded by gifted parents and family, these were very natural traits. Maureen made her entrance into this caring haven on August 17...
Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born in Paris, France, to English parents, Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson, both lawyers. She moved to Oxfordshire when she was five, where she attended the Dragon School. From the age of six, Emma knew that she wanted to be an actress and, for a number of years, she trained at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts...
Jessica Marie Alba was born on April 28, 1981, in Pomona, CA, to Catherine (Jensen) and Mark David Alba, who served in the US Air Force. Her mother has Danish, Welsh, German, English, and French ancestry, while her father is of Mexican descent (including Spanish, Indigenous Mexican and distant Sephardic Jewish...
Halle Berry was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father, Jerome Jesse Berry, was African-American, and worked as a hospital attendant. Her mother, Judith Ann (Hawkins), who is Caucasian, has English and German ancestry, and is a retired psychiatric nurse. Halle has an older sister named Heidi Berry
Spanish dancer Eduardo Cansino
's daughter Margarita studied dancing beginning in her girlhood. At age 12, the mature-looking Rita joined Eduardo's stage act, in which she was spotted three years later by Fox studio head Winfield R. Sheehan
, leading to her first studio contract and film debut at age 16 in Dante's Inferno
Alana De La Garza
Alana De La Garza was born in Columbus, Ohio and later relocated to Texas, ultimately attending the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). After college, she moved to Orlando, Florida, landing roles in a number of independent films as well as commercials. Her work took her to New York, where she studied extensively under renowned acting instructor JoAnna Beckson
Sophia Loren was born as Sofia Scicolone at the Clinica Regina Margherita in Rome, Italy, on September 20, 1934. Her father, Riccardo Scicolone, was married to another woman and refused to marry her mother, Romilda Villani, despite the fact that she was the mother of his two children (Sophia and her younger sister Maria Scicolone
Sasha Grey is an American former pornographic actress who has since become a mainstream actress, model, author and musician. She first made her name in mainstream media after appearing on several popular television programs and in pop culture magazines examining her willingness to enter the world of hardcore porn at a young age. She has also been featured in music videos and advertising campaigns.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born in a parish in Barbados called St. Michael, to Monica (Braithwaite), an accountant, and Ronald Fenty, a warehouse supervisor. Her mother is of Afro-Guyanese descent and her father has Afro-Barbadian and English/Irish/Scottish ancestry (known as "Redlegs" in the Caribbean)...
Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler was born in Vienna, Austria, to a banker and his wife. Hedwig, who obviously became Hedy, had a rather calm childhood, but it was cinema that fascinated her. By the time she was a teenager she decided to drop out of school and seek fame as an actress. Her first role was a bit part in the German film Geld auf der Straße
(aka "Money on the Street") in 1930...
Kelly grew up in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, where she was a star athlete, playing soccer, basketball and was even undefeated in Western Massachusetts in the high hurdles. She moved to NYC right out of high school to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She graduated with the highest honor...
Sofía Margarita Vergara Vergara was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia. Her mother, Margarita Vergara Dávila de Vergara, is a housewife. Her father, Julio Enrique Vergara Robayo, provides cattle to the meat industry. She has five siblings. She was educated at a private bilingual Spanish/English school...
Known outside her native country as the "Spanish enchantress", Penélope Cruz Sánchez was born in Madrid to Eduardo Cruz, a retailer, and Encarna Sánchez, a hairdresser. As a toddler, she was already a compulsive performer, re-enacting TV commercials for her family's amusement, but she decided to focus her energies on dance...
Myrna Williams, later to become Myrna Loy, was born on August 2, 1905 in Radersburg, Montana. Her father was the youngest person ever elected to the Montana State legislature. Later on her family moved to Helena where she spent her youth. At the age of 13, Myrna's father died of influenza and the rest of the family moved to Los Angeles...
Ask Kate Winslet what she likes about any of her characters, and the word "ballsy" is bound to pop up at least once. The British actress has made a point of eschewing straightforward pretty-girl parts in favor of more devilish damsels; as a result, she's built an eclectic resume that runs the gamut from Shakespearean tragedy to modern-day mysticism and erotica...
Discovered while waiting tables in a restaurant during her freshman Year at Hofstra University, Carol Alt became a successful model with the Elite Agency. After a long career gracing the covers of many magazines and appearing in exercise videos, she began acting in European films. Most of her films are made and released in Italy...
Daughter of an important North American Geologist, Petroleum Exploration Geologist James David Lowell, she has traveled around the world since she was very young. She spent her childhood in Libya. After traveling to different countries, she went back to the States, where she became a model, appreciated by people like Ralph Lauren
or Calvin Klein
Vanessa Marcil was born on October 15, 1968, in Indio, California, to Peter Ortiz, a contractor, and Patricia Marcil Ortiz, an herbalist. She grew up in Palm Desert with her parents and her two older sisters Tina (born October 20, 1959) and Sherry (born September 7, 1962) and her older brother Sam (born November 16...
Scarlett Johansson was born in New York City. Her mother, Melanie Sloan
, is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family, and her father, Karsten Johansson
, is Danish. She has a sister, Vanessa Johansson
, who is also an actress, a brother, Adrian, a twin brother, Hunter Johansson
, born three minutes after her, and a paternal half-brother, Christian. Her grandfather was writer Ejner Johansson
Louise Brooks was one of the most fascinating personalities of Hollywood, always being compared with her most important characterization as protagonist: Lulu in Georg Wilhelm Pabst
's Pandora's Box
. Along with her beauty and talent she had an independent streak and refused to accept the restrictive role that women had in American society...
Heidi Klum was born in Bergisch Gladbach, a small city near Cologne, Germany, in 1973. Her career as a top fashion model and swimsuit star began almost by accident when, on a lark, she submitted photos to a model competition hosted by Petra, a young woman's magazine. Klum won the competition, and signed with Metropolitan...
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Aishwarya Rai (Ash) is one of Bollywood's pre-eminent leading ladies. This Indian darling burst upon the world stage when her striking beauty, poise and commanding intelligence won her the Miss World crown in 1994. This former architecture major soon became one of India's most famous models, landing a prestigious Pepsi-Cola campaign and appearing in Vogue Magazine...
Jenny McCarthy was born in Evergreen Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, the second oldest daughter of Linda (Loheit), a courtroom custodian, and Daniel McCarthy, a steel mill foreman. She has Irish, German, and Polish ancestry. McCarthy has three sisters. She was educated at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School...
Keira Christina Knightley was born in the South West Greater London suburb of Richmond on March 26th 1985. She is the daughter of actor Will Knightley
and actress turned playwright Sharman Macdonald
. An older brother, Caleb Knightley
, was born in 1979. Her father is English, while her Scottish-born mother is of Scottish and Welsh origin...
Shania Twain was born as Eilleen Regina Edwards in 1965, the middle of three daughters to Clarence and Sharon Edwards (sister Jill is two years older and Carrie-Ann three years younger). When she was age 6, her mother remarried Jerry Twain, a full-blooded Ojibwa native from Timmins, Ontario, who adopted her as his own...
Born two months premature at four pounds, Kate Noelle Holmes made her first appearance on December 18, 1978, in Toledo, Ohio. She is the daughter of Kathleen Ann (Craft), a philanthropist, and Martin Joseph Holmes, Sr., a lawyer. She is of German, Irish, and English ancestry. Her parents have said that her strong-willed personality is probably from being born premature...
Jodi Lyn O'Keefe
Jodi Lyn O'Keefe was born in Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey, to Noreen and Jack O'Keefe, a director of labor relations for Merck. She began modeling at the age of 8 after seeing her eldest sister Heather modelling. She modeled for various companies such as Gitano Jeans and DreamPhone. When she reached her teen years she attended Saint John Vianney High School in Holmdel...
Born in Nottingham, England and trained at the Central Junior Television Workshop, Samantha's first television work came at the age of 13. Since then, she has played many minor TV roles in such dramas as Cracker
, Peak Practice
, Soldier Soldier
, before reaching the big time with major roles in such TV movies and mini-series as Band of Gold
Strikingly tall (5'8"), shapely, and statuesque brunette knockout Karen McDougal was born on March 23, 1971 in Merrillville, Indiana. She's of mixed Irish and Cherokee Indian descent. Karen has three older brothers and one younger sister. McDougal's mother remarried when she was nine and moved the family to Sawyer...
Like many other female Italian film stars, Claudia Cardinale's entry into the business was by way of a beauty pageant. She was 17 years old and studying at the Centro Sperimentale in Rome when she entered a beauty contest, which resulted in her getting a succession of small film roles. Her earthy interpretations of Sicilian women got her noticed by Italian producers...
Natalie Portman was born Natalie Hershlag on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel, to a Jewish family. She is the only child of Avner Hershlag, an Israeli-born doctor, and Shelley Stevens, an American-born artist (from Cincinnati, Ohio), who also acts as Natalie's agent. She left Israel for Washington...
Lillian Diana Gish was born on October 14, 1893 in Springfield, Ohio. Her father James Lee Gish was an alcoholic who caroused around, was rarely at home and left the family to more or less to fend for themselves. To help make ends meet, Lillian, her sister Dorothy Gish
and their mother Mary Gish
Susan Hayward was born Edythe Marrener in Brooklyn, New York, on June 30, 1917. Her father was a transportation worker, and Susan lived a fairly comfortable life as a child, but the precocious little redhead had no idea of the life that awaited her. She attended public school in Brooklyn, where she graduated from a commercial high school that was intended to give students a marketable skill...
, a native of South Orange, New Jersey, first came to attention with the multi-talented Fugees
. Their first album, "Blunted On Reality", went virtually unnoticed by the public; their real breakthrough came with the sophomore album, "The Score", which featured "Killing Me Softly"...
Gretchen Mol was born November 8, 1972, in Deep River, Connecticut, the daughter of a school principal and his artist wife. Deep River is a small community located on the Chester Bowles Highway (Rt. 9), nine miles northwest of Old Saybrook (home of the legendary Katharine Hepburn
), within commuting distance of New York City...
, the 5' 2" beauty was a comedy hit during the 30s and 40s. Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on October 6, 1908 under the name of Jane Alice Peters. Young Jane Alice loved the Friday night movie night with her family and would perform the night before's show in the morning. Her mother and her father divorced in October of 1914...
Diane Lane was born on January 22, 1965, in New York. She is the daughter of acting coach Burton Eugene "Burt" Lane and nightclub singer/centerfold Colleen Farrington. Her parents' families were both from the state of Georgia. Diane was acting from a very young age and made her stage debut at the age of six...
Kim Basinger was born December 8, 1953, in Athens, Georgia, the third of five children. She is the daughter of Ann Lee (Cordell) and Donald Wade Basinger, a loan manager. Both her parents had been in entertainment; her father had played big-band jazz, and her mother had performed water ballet in several Esther Williams
Amy Lou Adams was born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy, to American parents Kathryn (Hicken) and Richard Kent Adams, while her father was a U.S. serviceman. She was raised in a Mormon family of seven children in Castle Rock, Colorado, and has English, as well as smaller amounts of Danish, Swiss-German, and Norwegian, ancestry...
Jessica Phyllis Lange was born 1949 in Cloquet, Minnesota, to Dorothy Florence (Sahlman) and Albert John Lange, a traveling salesman and teacher. She is of Finnish (mother) and Dutch and German (father) descent. She obtained a scholarship to study art at the University of Minnesota, but instead went to Paris to study drama...
Nadia Bjorlin was born the fifth out of six children. Her parents Ulf Björlin (a Swedish conductor and composer, known to be the worlds most active opera composer during the 20th century) and Fary Bjorlin. Her siblings are Katja, Kaj, Kamilla, Ulf J:r and Jean Paul. (Each sibling have a history of artistic or creative work in their background...
Audrey Justine Tautou was born on August 9, 1976 in Beaumont, France, to Evelyne Marie Laure (Nuret), a teacher, and Bernard Tautou, a dental surgeon. Audrey showed an interest for comedy at an early age and started her acting lessons at 'Cours Florent'. In 1998 she won the best young actress award in the ninth 'Jeune Comedien de Cinema Festival' in Bezier...