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81-100 of 109 items from 2011   « Prev | Next »


Elizabeth Taylor: 1932-2011

23 March 2011 7:51 AM, PDT | IMDb News

Elizabeth Taylor, one of the last great screen legends and winner of two Academy Awards, died Wednesday morning in Los Angeles of complications from congestive heart failure; she was 79. The actress had been hospitalized for the past few weeks, celebrating her birthday on February 27th (the same day as this year's Academy Awards) while at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with friends and family. Her four children, two sons and two daughters, were by her side as she passed.

A striking brunette beauty with violet eyes who embodied both innocence and seductiveness, and was known for her flamboyant private life and numerous marriages as well as her acting career, Taylor was the epitome of Hollywood glamour, and was one of the last legendary stars who could still command headlines and standing ovations in her later years. Born to American parents in England in 1932, Taylor's family decamped to Los Angeles as World War II escalated in the late 1930s. Even as a child, her amazing good looks -- her eyes were amplified by a double set of eyelashes, a mutation she was born with -- garnered the attention of family friends in Hollywood, and she undertook a screen test at 10 years old with Universal Studios. She appeared in only one film for the studio (There's One Born Every Minute) before they dropped her; Taylor was quickly picked up by MGM, the studio that would make her a young star.

Her second film was Lassie Come Home (1943), co-starring Roddy McDowall, who would become a lifelong friend. She assayed a few other roles (including a noteworthy cameo in 1943's Jane Eyre) but campaigned for the part that would make her a bona fide child star: the young Velvet Brown, who trained a champion racehorse to win the Grand National, in National Velvet. The box office smash launched Taylor's career, and MGM immediately put her to work in a number of juvenile roles, most notably in Life With Father (1947) and as Amy in 1949's Little Women. As she blossomed into a young woman, she began to outgrow the roles she was assigned, often playing women far older than her actual age. She scored another hit alongside Spencer Tracy as the young daughter preparing for marriage in Father of the Bride (1950), but her career officially entered adulthood with George Stevens' A Place in the Sun (1951), as a seductive rich girl who bedazzles Montgomery Clift to the degree that he kills his pregnant girlfriend (Shelley Winters). The film was hailed as an instant classic, and Taylor's performance, still considered one of her best, launched the next part of her career.

Frustrated by MGM's insistence at putting her in period pieces (some were hits notwithstanding, including 1952's Ivanhoe), Taylor looked to expand her career, and took on the lead role in Elephant Walk (1954) when Vivian Leigh dropped out after suffering a nervous breakdown. As her career climbed in the 1950s, so did Taylor's celebrity: she married hotel heir Conrad "Nicky" Hilton Jr. in 1950, and divorced him within a year. She then married British actor Michael Wilding in 1952, with whom she had two sons, though that marriage ended in divorce in 1957, after she embarked on an affair with the man who would be her next husband, producer Michael Todd (who won an Oscar for Around the World in 80 Days). As her personal life made headlines, she appeared alongside James Dean and Rock Hudson in Giant (1956), and received her first Academy Award nomination for Raintree County in 1957. Roles in two Tennessee Williams adaptations followed -- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Suddenly Last Summer (1959), both considered two of her best performances -- earning her two more Oscar nominations, just as tragedy and notoriety would strike her life.

Todd, whom she married in 1957 and had a daughter with, died in a plane crash in 1958 in New Mexico, leaving a bereft Taylor alone at the height of her stardom. Adored by millions, she went from lovely widow to heartless home-wrecker in the tabloids after starting an affair with Eddie Fisher, Todd's best friend and at the time husband of screen darling Debbie Reynolds. The relationship was splashed across newspapers as Fisher left Reynolds and their two children (including a young Carrie Fisher) for Taylor. The two appeared together in 1960's Butterfield 8, where Taylor played prostitute Gloria Wandrous in a performance that was considered good but nowhere near her previous films, and earned her another Oscar nomination. As the Academy Awards ceremony approached, Taylor was thrust into the headlines again when a life-threatening case of pneumonia required an emergency tracheotomy, leaving her with a legendary scar on her neck. Popular opinion swung yet again as newspapers and fans feared for her life, and the illness was credited with helping her win her first Oscar for Butterfield 8.

Taylor was now the biggest female star in the world, in terms of film and popularity, and her notoriety was only about to increase. Twentieth Century Fox, making a small biopic about the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, tried to offer Taylor the part; she laughed them off, saying she would do it for $1 million, a then-unheard of sum for an actress. The studio took her seriously, and soon she was signed to a million-dollar contract (the first for an actress) and a movie that would soon balloon out of control as filming started. Initially set to film in England with Peter Finch and Rex Harrison as Marc Antony and Julius Caesar, the movie encountered numerous problems and after a first shutdown was moved to Italy, with director Joseph L. Manckiewicz at the helm. Finch left and was replaced by acclaimed stage actor and rising movie star Richard Burton.

The rest was cinematic and tabloid history, as Taylor and Burton, whose electric chemistry was apparent to all on set, embarked on quite possibly the most famous Hollywood affair ever, while the filming of the epic movie took on gargantuan proportions and its budget increased exponentially. After the dust settled, Fox was saddled with a three-hour-plus film that, despite starring the two actors whose every move was hounded by photographers and reporters, was considered a bomb. The 1963 film almost sunk the studio (which only rebounded thanks to the megahit The Sound of Music two years later), while Burton and Taylor emerged from the wreckage relatively unscathed and ultimately married in 1964.

However, despite carte blanche to do whatever they wanted, the newly married couple made two marginally successful films, The V.I.P.s (1963) and The Sandpiper (1965), both glossy soap operas that made money but hardly challenged their talents. That opportunity would come with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), the adaptation of the Edward Albee play directed by first-time filmmaker Mike Nichols. As the beleaguered professor George and his shrewish wife Martha, whose mind games played havoc one fateful night with a younger faculty couple (George Segal and Sandy Dennis), the two gave perhaps their best screen performances ever, tearing into the roles -- and each other -- with a gusto never seen in their previous pairings. They both received Oscar nominations, but only Taylor won, her second and final Academy Award.

A successful adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew (1967) followed, but the couple's next films were a string of notorious bombs, including Doctor Faustus, The Comedians, and the so-bad-it's-good Boom. Though still one of Hollywood's biggest stars, Taylor's cinematic output in the 1970s became somewhat dismal, as her fraying marriage with Burton took center stage in the press, as did her weight gain after Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The couple divorced in June 1974, only to remarry briefly in October 1975; by then, Taylor was more celebrity than movie star, still appearing occasionally onscreen and in television, but to less acclaim.

Taylor married U.S. Senator John Warner at the end of 1976, and during the late 1970s and 1980s played the politician's wife, and her unsatisfying life led her to depression, drinking, overeating and ultimately a visit to the Betty Ford Center. After TV and stage appearances during the 1980s (including a reunion in 1983 with Burton for a production of Private Lives), Taylor found another, surprising role, that of social activist as longtime friend Rock Hudson died of complications from AIDS in 1985. She threw herself into fund-raising work, raising by some accounts $50 million to fight the disease, helping found the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR).

Though later generations only saw Taylor on television in films like Malice in Wonderland, and the mini-series North and South, and in her final screen appearance as the mother of Wilma in the live-action movie adaptation of The Flintstones, she remained a tabloid fixture through her marriage to construction worker Larry Fortensky (her eighth and final husband), her friendship with singer Michael Jackson, and her continual charity work, which was only sidelined by hospital visits after being diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2004. She is survived by four children -- two sons with Michael Wilding, a daughter with Michael Todd, and another daughter adopted with Richard Burton -- and nine grandchildren.

--Mark Englehart »

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DiCaprio & Winslet Are Top Movie Couple

23 March 2011 1:11 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet's doomed relationship in 1997 film Titanic has earned them the title of most romantic onscreen couple of all time.

More than 500,000 people were polled for the ABC TV and People magazine movie rundown, and the stars earned almost a quarter of the votes for their turn in James Cameron's epic.

The romance between Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in 1939 classic Gone with the Wind was rated the second most romantic film pairing, while Richard Gere and Julia Roberts' unlikely coupling in Pretty Woman landed them third in the survey.

Casablanca couple Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall came fourth, while Spencer Tracey and Katharine Hepburn - who starred in nine films together - rounded out the top five. »

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Winslet, DiCaprio ‘most romantic onscreen couple in cinema history’

23 March 2011 12:53 AM, PDT | RealBollywood.com | See recent RealBollywood news »

London, Mar 23 – Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have been named the most romantic onscreen couple of all time.

The survey of moviegoers saw the pair voted ahead of classic on screen pairings such as Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh from ‘Gone with the Wind’, reports the Daily Mail.

Almost a quarter of all those who voted rated the romance that plays out. »

- News

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Next Factor: T.V. Carpio

19 March 2011 9:00 AM, PDT | NextMovie | See recent NextMovie news »

You may recognize T.V. Carpio from a certain "Universe." Or from an ongoing story from The Great White Way.  

The stunning American-Chinese-Filipino actress burst onto the film scene out of nowhere in Julie Taymor's movie-musical "Across the Universe," eclipsing stars Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess with her searing rendition of The Beatles classic "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

As the female lead in Taymor's troubled Broadway production, "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," Carpio gives Spidey a run for his money, flying above the audience and duking it out with America's favorite web slinger as the villainess Arachne (as for all the controversy, Carpio says she's just "going with the flow"). And in the new big-screen thriller "Limitless," she goes head-to-head with Bradley Cooper, as his landlord's very angry wife.

Here's the 411 on the blossoming stage and screen star.

When were you first discovered? Was it first »

- Nigel Smith

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Michael Gough obituary

18 March 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Actor with poise and presence, best known as Alfred the butler in Tim Burton's Batman

The actor Michael Gough, who has died aged 94, was an arresting presence on stage, television and film for the entire postwar period, notably as the butler Alfred Pennyworth in Tim Burton's Batman movies. Eventually he just voiced roles, as with the Dodo Bird in the same director's Alice in Wonderland film last year, but always to striking effect.

Gough started in the Old Vic company in London before the second world war, but it took till 1946 for his career proper to get off to a flying start in the West End, in Frederick Lonsdale's But for the Grace of God. The fistfight-to-the-death scene was done with such startling verisimilitude that nearly all the stage furniture was demolished nightly, and Gough broke three ribs and injured the base of his spine. So copiously »

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Michael Gough obituary

18 March 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Actor with poise and presence, best known as Alfred the butler in Tim Burton's Batman

The actor Michael Gough, who has died aged 94, was an arresting presence on stage, television and film for the entire postwar period, notably as the butler Alfred Pennyworth in Tim Burton's Batman movies. Eventually he just voiced roles, as with the Dodo Bird in the same director's Alice in Wonderland film last year, but always to striking effect.

Gough started in the Old Vic company in London before the second world war, but it took till 1946 for his career proper to get off to a flying start in the West End, in Frederick Lonsdale's But for the Grace of God. The fistfight-to-the-death scene was done with such startling verisimilitude that nearly all the stage furniture was demolished nightly, and Gough broke three ribs and injured the base of his spine. So copiously »

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Rip Michael Gough 1916-2011

18 March 2011 5:03 AM, PDT | Shadowlocked | See recent Shadowlocked news »

Star of stage and screen and cult legend Michael Gough passed away today, March 17, 2011. He was 94 years old.

Gough was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya (now Malaysia), the son of British parents Frances Atkins (née Bailie) and Francis Berkeley Gough on November 23, 1916. Although he objected to World War II, he felt obligated to serve his country in the Non-Combatant Corps, and was a member of the No. 6 Ncc in Liverpool. From 1947 until his retirement in 2000, he acted in film, television, and toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He made his film debut in 1948 in Blanche Fury, the plot of which was based on an actual Victorian England homicide case. Over the years, he appeared with such notable actors as Vivien Leigh, Ralph Richardson and Sir Laurence Olivier.

Gough appeared in two separate Doctor Who serials, the first as the villain in the William Hartnell serial “The Celestial Toymaker”. He then »

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Jude Law In Talks For Anna Karenina

17 March 2011 5:05 PM, PDT | EmpireOnline | See recent EmpireOnline news »

He might be hitting the promotional trail to talk up his latest film, Hanna, but Joe Wright isn’t slowing down his march towards his next production, starting negotiations for Jude Law and Kick-AssAaron Johnson to join the cast of Anna Karenina. Keira Knightley, a Wright veteran from Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, is already aboard to play the titular heroine, who finds herself caught between her loveless marriage and her attraction to a soldier. So, Law as the cold, unfeeling hubby and Johnson as the rugged, attractive new man? Or the other way around? No one from the film, especially not the team at Working Title, is saying just yet.What we do know is that Tom Stoppard has adapted Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel for Wright to tackle later this year. He’s certainly not shy of a challenge: there have been countless adaptations of the story through the years, »

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Michael Gough Dies: Batman, The Go-between, The Skull

17 March 2011 3:47 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Michael Gough, whose only important role in his 60-year career — if news reports are to be believed — seems to have been that of Batman's butler in Tim Burton's 1989 film and its sequels, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin, died earlier today. Gough was either 93 or 94, depending on the source. Those whose idea of movie history is restricted to Hollywood blockbusters made in the last three decades would have no idea — and wouldn't care less, really — that among Gough's other film credits, almost invariably in supporting roles, are Julien Duvivier's hauntingly beautiful version of Anna Karenina (1948), starring Vivien Leigh; Alexander Mackendrick's brilliant comedy The Man in the White Suit (1951), with Alec Guinness; Joseph Losey's superb class drama The Go-Between (1971), as Julie Christie's father (a role that earned him a Best Supporting Actor British Academy Award nomination); and a series of cult [...] »

- Andre Soares

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Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Memento

16 March 2011 8:33 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

"What are you going to do when you find him?"In honor of cinematographer Wally Pfister's recent Oscar win (Inception) and the 10th anniversary of Memento's theatrical release (today), we're looking back on Chris Nolan's breakthrough for the season 2 debut of Hit Me With Your Best Shot.

Memory and its malleability are the skeleton themes which Memento's inky flesh clings to. Leonard (Guy Pearce), who has lost both his wife and his short term memory to a murder/rape, is out for revenge. He tattoos "facts", quotes intended, onto his skin to remember them and he also takes polaroids; these repetitive shots of skin and photography are the movie's signature images. My "best shot" naturally combines them both.

The most ingenious thing about the screenplay's reverse construction is that as you become acclimated to it you start to wonder how each scene will begin in order »

- NATHANIEL R

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Remember Me: Jane Rusell

2 March 2011 3:27 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

When Jane Russell died at home earlier this week at the age of 89 from respiratory failure, it was the passing of a Hollywood myth.  Not a legend, but a myth, for the Jane Russell we remember, the images of Jane Russell we carry in our heads, were wholly Hollywood magic:  making us believe in something that wasn’t really there.  Consider:  Russell’s obits all use the same words — “sex symbol,” “provocative,” “sensual,” “pinup girl.” For the viewing public, she was all these things, and that was Hollywood smoke-and-mirrors at its best, for the woman behind the image that steamed up camera lenses and burned through movie screens and left many an American male tossing and turning restlessly in his bed after a night at the movies was, in the end – as they used to say in her day – a good girl.

Without taking anything away from her, that she »

- Bill Mesce

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AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Movie Quotes

27 February 2011 7:00 AM, PST | Extra | See recent Extra news »

In honor of the 83rd Academy Awards, Extra" brings you AFI's 100 Best Movie Quotes of all time! From "The Wizard of Oz" to "Taxi Driver," see if your favorites made the list.

AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie QuotesGone with the Wind (1939)

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." — Clark Gable as Rhett Butler to Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara

The Godfather (1972)

"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse." — Marlon Brando as Don Corleone »

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The top 10 Oscars books | Peter Bradshaw

24 February 2011 9:02 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

From red-carpet thrillers to insider accounts, the Guardian's film critic hands out his gongs to the best Oscars literature out there

Partly because Academy Award madness is almost upon us, partly because like all former PhD students I love a good reading list, and partly out of sheer nerdiness, I have compiled an arbitrary list of the top 10 Oscar-related books. This has involved the incidental pleasure of hanging out in the Humanities One reading room of the British Library, and also in the library of the excellent and under-appreciated Cinema Museum in Kennington, south London.

1) Robert Osborne – 80 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards (2009)

A hefty, celebratory, coffee-table slab of a book, packed with stats and pictures like a book about sport. Very much the approved, authorised version.

2) Mason Wiley and Damien Bona – Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards (1977)

Notionally "unofficial" but in »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Debbie Reynolds’ Costume Collection Up For Auction

22 February 2011 6:27 PM, PST | Clothes on Film | See recent Clothes on Film news »

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Since the 1960s, show business legend Debbie Reynolds has been stockpiling and promoting the preservation of Hollywood costumes, props and other memorabilia. Now she is selling her whole collection…

The auction is to be held in several stages by Profiles in History, a leading dealer of autographs, manuscripts and vintage signed photographs. Costumes featured in the first sale include: Gene Kelly’s 3-pc wool herringbone suit by Walter Plunkett for Singin’ in the Rain (1952), Audrey Hepburn’s embroidered lace ‘Ascot dress’ from My Fair Lady (1964) designed by Cecil Beaton, Adrian’s gingham test dress for Judy Garland used for the first two weeks of filming The Wizard of Oz (1939), Vivian Leigh’s green velvet drapery dress hat (with bird adornment) for Gone With the Wind (1939), Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Tramp’ bowler hat (well, »

- Chris Laverty

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MovieRetriever's 100 Greatest Movies: #4 Gone with the Wind

22 February 2011 7:51 AM, PST | CinemaNerdz | See recent CinemaNerdz news »

Feb 22, 2011

Gone with the Wind, based on Margaret Mitchell's best-selling novel about the South during the Civil War and Reconstruction, made producer David O. Selznick's name a box-office draw, made the relatively unknown Vivien Leigh an international star, and became the most popular motion picture of all time.

Soon after Selznick bought the movie rights to Mitchell's novel in July 1936, thousands of fan letters began to arrive at Selznick International Pictures, most of them demanding that Clark Gable play the role of Rhett Butler. In order to get Gable, Selznick had to make a ...Read more at MovieRetriever.com »

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10 Female Characters with the Best Bad Behavior in Film

18 February 2011 1:43 AM, PST | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

Actors have often said that playing a baddy is the most fun they ever had because they can just let loose. No restrictions, no couth, and often no conscience! When women play bad girl roles we end up with characters with behavior running the gamut from harmless rascal to downright dangerous. There’s no denying some of the most unforgettable roles belong to female characters behaving badly.

These characters are vixens, schemers, vengeful, plotting, and femme fatales that are a lot of fun — and shocking — to watch. Whether these females are manoeuvring people like chess pieces on a board, charming the unsuspecting into danger or out of fortunes, getting even, social climbing or just being straight up bad, these female characters are the best of the baddest characters in film.

10. Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind played by Vivien Leigh

Everyone the world over is well acquainted with »

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The pains, and pleasures, of doorstepping

18 February 2011 12:39 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

I commend a piece on doorstepping, My life as a milk bottle, by Fleet Street veteran John Smith (aka Plain John Smith in his days on The People).

Three anecdotes from his piece, on the gentlemenranters.com website, illustrate why he urges journalism schools to include doorstepping in the curriculum alongside shorthand and media law.

First, the perils...

"Via the intercom of his grand house in Eaton Square, I tried to explain to Laurence Olivier that the anguish he was suffering over the breakdown of his marriage to Vivien Leigh could best be assuaged by opening his heart to readers of the Daily Sketch.

"Instead, England's greatest actor chose to open an upstairs window and throw a bucket of water over me."

Second, the benefits of persistence...

In 1964, Smith and photographer Bob Hope were dispatched by their Daily Mirror bosses to doorstep a stockbroker whose firm had been expelled from »

- Roy Greenslade

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25 Most Romantic Movie Quotes

14 February 2011 7:12 AM, PST | Extra | See recent Extra news »

It's Valentine's Day, so it seemed appropriate to gather the most romantic movie lines of all time -- from "Casablanca" to "Four Weddings and a Funeral" to, of course, "The Notebook."

25 Most Romantic Movie Quotes"The Notebook" (2004)

"So it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. We're gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, for ever, you and me, »

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Gone With The Wind; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Love Affair: 1939 Best Picture Nominees on TCM

12 February 2011 7:01 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Vivien Leigh, Hattie McDaniel, Gone with the Wind (top); Greer Garson, Robert Donat, Goodbye Mr. Chips (middle); Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Love Affair (bottom) Turner Classic Movies' homage to the Best Picture Oscar nominees of 1939 continues this evening with three more entries: Victor Fleming's Gone with the Wind, Sam Wood's Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and Leo McCarey's Love Affair. If you haven't watched all three of those, then you owe yourself to check them out. Gone with the Wind has had its critical reputation somewhat tarnished in the last couple of decades. There are several reasons for that, one of which is the film's portrayal of happy black slaves who talk funny, and, especially in the case of the impertinent Prissy, are also both lazy and dimwitted. Personally, I have great respect for the two black female characters in Gone with the Wind: in fact, both Hattie McDaniel »

- Andre Soares

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Jennifer Connelly and Anne Hathaway ranked in Top 50 Most Beautiful Women in Film- See Photos (IrishCentral)

9 February 2011 5:33 AM, PST | IrishCentral | See recent IrishCentral news »

See Photos- Anne Hathaway photo gallery Jennifer Connelly and Anne Hathaway have been ranked among the top 20 in the “Los Angeles Times” Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful Women in Film list, with Isabelle Adjani winning the top spot. Halle Berry, Kim Basinger and Penelope Cruz also make the top 20. They were joined by Hollywood legends Farrah Fawcett, Ava Gardner and Faye Dunaway, while Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe were voted in at number 22 and 32 respectively. 'Gossip Girl' actress Blake Lively was the youngest star on the list at the age of 23, while Oscar-nominated 'Black Swan' star Natalie Portman, 'Slumdog Millionaire' beauty Freida Pinto and Julia Roberts also made the top 50. However, 55-year-old French actress Isabelle Adjani, known for her roles in 'Queen Margot' and 'Possession,’ eclipsed all the other women in the poll by claiming the top spot. The Los Angeles Times »

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