EXOTIC WOMEN IN FILM

exotic women
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1.
Salma Hayek
Producer, Frida
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...
 
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Sarah Shahi
Sarah Shahi was born Aahoo Jahansouz in Euless, Texas, to an Iranian father and Spanish mother. She is a former NFL cheerleader and a descendant of a 19th-century Persian Shah. She attended Trinity High School and Dallas Southern Methodist University, studied opera and majored in English. As a teenager...
 
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Dilshad Vadsaria
Dilshad Vadsaria was born in Karachi, Pakistan, of Portuguese and Indian descent. She moved with her family to the US at the age of six and spent her childhood in various parts of the country, including Chicago, Richmond (Virginia) and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She eventually moved to New York to study acting...
 
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Eva Mendes
Actress, Hitch
Eva Mendes was born in Miami, Florida but raised in Los Angeles, California of Cuban-American heritage. In college, she began acting, studying underneath acting coach Ivana Chubbuck. This led to her desire to appear in feature films. Though taking many smaller roles in movies, she was little known until playing the girlfriend of Denzel Washington's character in Training Day...
 
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Patricia De Leon
Actress, Bad Ass
Born in Panama, Patricia de Leon got her start in the entertainment industry when she was chosen as Miss Panama, then became a reporter for the Univision TV network, covering Latin America. Since becoming an actress she has starred in projects--both film and television--for the Latino and non-Latino markets...
 
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Maria Grazia Cucinotta
Maria Grazia Cucinotta (born 27 July 1968) is an Italian actress who has featured in many films and television series since 1990. She has also worked as a producer, screenwriter and model. Cucinotta was born in Messina, Province of Messina, Sicily, Italy. She is well known in Italy as a movie and television actress...
 
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Penélope Cruz
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...
 
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Monica Bellucci
Actress, Irreversible
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...
 
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Karen David
Actress, Galavant
From India to Canada, England to America, Karen David has crisscrossed the world. Born in Shillong, India in the foothills of the Himalayas, Karen was raised in Toronto and came of age in the UK. At age 17, she won a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she studied jazz and gospel...
 
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Maggie Q
Actress, Nikita
Margaret Denise Quigley was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to a father of Polish and Irish descent (originally based in New York) and a Vietnamese mother. Her parents met during the Vietnam War. Maggie has two older half-siblings from her mother's previous marriage, and two older sisters. The family moved to Hawaii and settled in Mililani...
 
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Genesis Rodriguez
Actress, Big Hero 6
Genesis Rodriguez was born in Miami, Florida. She is the daughter of José Luis Rodríguez 'El Puma', the famous Venezuelan singer and actor, and Carolina Perez, a Cuban model. She has two half-sisters. She was educated at the Carrolton School of the Sacred Heart in Miami. From a child, Rodriguez knew she wanted to act and attended summer classes at the renowned Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute...
 
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Dania Ramirez
Actress, Premium Rush
Dania is a Latin American actress born in the Dominican Republic. She grew up, living with her grandmother, in a poor household. Her parents left for the United States, when she was 6-months old, and she finally joined them in New York when she was age 10. She knew from a young age that she wanted to act...
 
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Nathalie Kelley
Born in Peru to a Peruvian mother and Argentine father, Nathalie immigrated to Sydney, Australia at 2 years old where she later attended the academically prestigious North Sydney Girls High School, whose alumni includes Nicole Kidman and Catherine Martin. She showed an a interest in acting at a young age and enrolled in summer classes at NIDA...
 
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Sandra McCoy
Actress, Cry_Wolf
Sandra McCoy was born and raised in San Jose, California. Her mother, Madeline McCoy, was a high school P.E. teacher, tennis coach, and aerobics instructor. Her father, Gary McCoy, was the director of database management at the county Sherrif's Department and a private pilot. Her brother, who was two years her junior...
 
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Olivia Wilde
Actress, Rush
Actress and activist Olivia Wilde is a modern-day renaissance woman. Starring in films and popular television shows, Wilde shares the screen with renowned actors while simultaneously giving back to the community. Olivia Wilde was born Olivia Jane Cockburn in New York City, to journalists Leslie Cockburn (née Leslie Corkill Redlich) and Andrew Cockburn...
 
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Bipasha Basu
Fate intervened when Bipasha recoiled and passed out when dissecting a rat. Thus ended her dream of being a medical professional. She was enrolled in the science faculty until 12th standard, but switched to commerce thereafter. After acquiring a degree in commerce she planned to be a chartered accountant but ended up being the Ford Supermodel of the World when she was just 17 years old...
 
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Q'orianka Kilcher
Actress, The New World
At fourteen years old, Q'orianka Kilcher emerged into the front ranks of young actresses with her portrayal of Pocahontas opposite Colin Farrell and Christian Bale in Terrence Malick's 'The New World', an epic about the encounter between English and North American societies in the early 1600s. Her performance...
 
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Celines Toribio
Celines Toribio was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Now she lives in Los Angeles, California. In 1996 she graduated from Lehman College with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications and a Minor in Theater. A year before getting her degree, Celines started her first steps on Television. She worked as a host of several shows and entertainment segments for Univision Network from 1996-2001...
 
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Katrina Kaif
Katrina Kaif is one of eight siblings, 7 girls and 1 boy, from a mother who is a Caucasian of British Nationality, and a father who was formerly from Kashmir, India, but who has since acquired British citizenship. Her mother is now re-settled in Chennai (formerly known as Madras), the Capital of the state of Tamil Nadu in India...
 
24.
Famke Janssen
Actress, X-Men
Famke Beumer Janssen was born on November 5, 1964 in Amstelveen, Netherlands, and has two siblings, director Antoinette Beumer and actress Marjolein Beumer. She studied economics for a year at the University of Amsterdam. Moving to America in 1984, Famke modeled for Chanel in New York City. Later, taking a break from modeling...
 
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Azita Ghanizada
Actress, Alphas
Azita, a political refugee, came to Hollywood with an incredible story of cultural backlash. As a baby, she and her family fled to the United States and gained asylum in an effort to escape war-time conflicts . Being raised in a conservative multicultural home, she was forbidden to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress until she finished her studies...
 
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Vidya Balan
Actress, Kahaani
Vidya was born in Palghat, Kerala, India. Her family consists of her dad, P.R. Balan, who is the Vice-President of ETC Channel; mom - a home-maker, and an elder sister, Priya, who is married to Kedar. She also has an aunt by the name of Raji Raju. The Balan family re-located to live at Road No. 11...
 
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Alice Greczyn
Born in Walnut Creek, California, (USA) Alice Greczyn grew up mainly in the mid-west until finally landing in Colorado. She had no idea that she would stumble into life as an actress. Starring in television shows and films had not even crossed her mind. Instead, her childhood goal was to compete as a figure skater...
 
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Dilan Gwyn
Dilan Gwyn was born in Stockholm, Sweden. She graduated High School, and then left Sweden to attend The University of Sorbonne in Paris to study French. After that she relocated to London where she lived and worked for a short time. As most have actors/actresses have done, she made the decision to locate to the U.S...
 
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Naya Rivera
Actress, Glee
 
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Gina Gershon
Actress, Face/Off
Since making her uncredited debut as a dancer in Beatlemania, Gina Gershon has established herself as a character actress and one of the leading icons of American camp. For it was fourteen years after her movie debut that Gina made movie history as the predatory bisexual who was the leading light of a Las Vegas leg-line in director Paul Verhoeven's kitsch classic Showgirls...
 
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Ashley Greene
Ashley Michele Greene was born in Jacksonville, Florida to parents Michele (Tatum), an insurance broker, and Joseph Lacy Greene, US Marine who runs a concrete business. A self-confessed tomboy and "daredevil", Ashley loved to try to keep up with her older brother Joe, taking on activities such as taekwondo and winning several awards...
 
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Amanda Righetti
Actress, The Mentalist
Amanda Righetti is a Utah-born, Nevada-raised actor/producer and Best Actress Award winner by the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. Righetti began her career at 14, as a young model, but made waves as the trust-fund squandering, world-traveling black sheep, "Hailey Nichol", on Fox's The O.C....
 
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Raquel Welch
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...
 
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Hannah Simone
Actress, New Girl
Hannah Simone stars on FOX's hit series, New Girl, opposite Zooey Deschanel. Simone hosted HGTV Canada's popular design show, "Space for Living", before moving onto Canada's largest music channel, "MuchMusic". After MuchMusic, Simone moved to Los Angeles, where she hosted two seasons of WCG Ultimate Gamer...
 
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Noomi Rapace
Actress, Prometheus
Swedish actress Noomi Rapace is the daughter of fellow Swedish actress Nina Norén and Spanish Flamenco singer Rogelio Durán. Her parents did not stay together, and when Rapace was five she moved to Iceland with her mother and stepfather, where she lived for three years. When she was eight, she was cast in a small role in the Icelandic film...
 
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Olga Kurylenko
Olga Kurylenko, a Ukrainian-born actress and model, went from sharing a cramped flat with her aunt, uncle, grandparents and cousin to starring as a Bond girl opposite Daniel Craig. She was born Olga Konstantinovna Kurylenko on November 14, 1979, in Berdyansk, Ukraine, Soviet Union. Her mother, Marina Alyabysheva...
 
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Bérénice Marlohe
Actress, Skyfall
French actress Bérénice Marlohe first came to international attention when she was cast as the glamorous and enigmatic Severin in the twenty-third Bond film Skyfall, alongside Daniel Craig. Prior to this she acted mainly on French television, including roles in Père et maire, R.I.S. Police scientifique and Medical Emergency.
 
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Ivana Milicevic
Actress, Casino Royale
Ivana Milicevic was born on April 26, 1974, in Sarajevo, Bosnia (part of Yugoslavia at that time), into an ethnic Croatian family. She is the daughter of Tonka and Damir Milicevic, and has a younger brother, Tomo Milicevic. The family emigrated to the United States, and young Ivana Milicevic was raised in Michigan...
 
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Sophie Marceau
Actress, Braveheart
Sophie Marceau was born Sophie Danièle Sylvie Maupu in Paris, France, to Simone (Morisset), a shop assistant, and Benoît Maupu, a truck driver. She grew up far from the studio spotlights. When she was 14 she was living in the Paris suburb of Gentilly with her father. She learned from friends that director Claude Pinoteau was looking for new faces for a movie about teenagers called The Party...
 
43.
Talisa Soto
Born to a Puerto Rican family in Brooklyn, Talisa was raised there and in Massachusetts. She started modeling at age 15 and has appeared on the covers of "Vogue," "Mademoiselle," "Glamour," and "Self," as well as in a "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit issue. She has been making film appearances since 1988, beginning with Spike of Bensonhurst.
 
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Maryam d'Abo
Born in London, England and raised in European cities such as Paris and Geneva, Maryam d'Abo has rewarded audiences with her beauty and presence for over twenty years. Maryam first appeared in Xtro, a gory horror film that is considered a cult entry in the genre. She appeared consistently throughout the mid-1980s in a variety of films...
 
45.
Jennifer Connelly
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...
 
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Jessica Lee
Jessica Lee grew up in the beautiful state of Colorado. J. Lee enrolled in her first dance school at age 4, studying tap, ballet, and jazz. By age 6, she took her first acting class and quickly realized her passion. Jessica Lee was soon scouted by numerous agents and agencies throughout Colorado. After signing with Donna Baldwin...
 
48.
Jennifer Blanc
Actress, Dark Angel
Jennifer Blanc, also known as Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, was born and raised in New York City, by her mom, Jenise Blanc. At the tender age of 13, Jennifer was on Broadway in Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs", working alongside Jonathan Silverman, Fisher Stevens and Robert Sean Leonard. Jennifer's career blossomed bringing her to sunny Los Angeles to be in Kenny Ortega's series...
 
49.
Joyful Drake
Joyful Drake was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her love for performing began at a young age, earning her two State Speech Performance Titles for reciting and delivering a re-enactment of Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have A Dream" speech and President Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address." Joyful earned her B.A...
 
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Daniella Alonso
Daniella Alonso was born in New York City, to a large family of Puerto Rican, Peruvian, and Japanese descent, and was raised in an all-women household. At age fifteen, she was discovered by the Ford Modeling Agency, and began booking jobs for teen magazines like Seventeen, YM, and Teen, which led to her booking commercials for Clairol...
 
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Francia Raisa
Francia Raisa is a Gracie Award and La Femme Film Festival Rising Star Award recipient and a 2012 Teen Choice, IMAGEN and an ALMA award nominee for her portrayal of Adrian Lee on ABC Family's critically acclaimed series The Secret Life of the American Teenager and she continues to prove herself as a star on the rise. She was...
 
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Musetta Vander
Actress, The Cell
A Dutch South African, Musetta Vander was raised without that most basic of modern conveniences--television! Radio programming, childhood books and weekend trips to the drive-in introduced her to the magical world of movies. It was not until the mid-'70s that South Africa finally got television, and the big black box in the family living room "miraculously" sprang to life...
 
57.
Cleo Pires
Cleo Pires had her television debut at the age of eleven in a role in "Memorial de Maria Moura" (1994) (Maria Moura's Memorial). In the miniseries, she portrayed the protagonist Maria Moura as a child. The character in adulthood was played by her mother, Gloria Pires. Nine years later, she met director...
 
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Caterina Murino
Actress, Casino Royale
Caterina Murino was born on September 15, 1977, in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. In 1996 she reached the fourth place in the Miss Italy contest. Then she moved to Milan where she began working as a model in commercials for Mastercard, Swatch, Mercedes Benz, and Nescafe among other gigs. From 1999-2000 she studied acting at the Scuola di Cinema e Teatro di Francesca de Sapio in Italy...