The 50 Most Beautiful Actresses

by stills-6 | created - 05 Jul 2013 | updated - 21 Jul 2013 | Public

It's tough to compare actresses of different eras. So this is naturally personal preference, representing them at specific points in time.

1. Monica Bellucci

Actress | Malèna

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 ...

2. Audrey Hepburn

Actress | Breakfast at Tiffany's

Audrey Hepburn was born as Audrey Kathleen Ruston on May 4, 1929 in Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium. Her mother, Baroness Ella Van Heemstra, was a Dutch noblewoman, while her father, Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston, was born in Úzice, Bohemia, to English and Austrian parents.

After her parents' divorce, ...

3. Grace Kelly

Actress | Rear Window

On November 12, 1929, Grace Patricia Kelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to wealthy parents. Her girlhood was uneventful for the most part, but one of the things she desired was to become an actress which she had decided on at an early age. After her high school graduation in 1947, Grace ...

4. Kate Beckinsale

Actress | Underworld: Evolution

Kate Beckinsale was born on 26 July 1973 in Hounslow, Middlesex, England, and has resided in London for most of her life. Her mother is Judy Loe, who has appeared in a number of British dramas and sitcoms and continues to work as an actress, predominantly in British television productions. Her ...

5. Hedy Lamarr

Actress | Samson and Delilah

Hedy Lamarr, the woman many critics and fans alike regard as the most beautiful ever to appear in films, was born Hedwig Eva Kiesler in Vienna, Austria. She was the daughter of Gertrud (Lichtwitz), from Budapest, and Emil Kiesler, a banker from Lember (now known as Lviv). Her parents were both from...

6. Jennifer Connelly

Actress | A Beautiful Mind

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 ...

7. Eva Mendes

Actress | Hitch

Eva Mendes is an American actress, model and businesswoman. She began acting in the late 1990s. After a series of roles in B movies such as Children of the Corn 5: Fields of Terror (1998) and Urban Legends: The Final Cut (2000), she made a career-changing appearance in Training Day (2001). Since ...

8. Claudia Cardinale

Actress | C'era una volta il West

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 ...

9. Gene Tierney

Actress | Laura

With prominent cheekbones, luminous skin and the most crystalline green eyes of her day, Gene Tierney's striking good looks helped propel her to stardom. Her best known role is the enigmatic murder victim in Laura (1944). She was also Oscar-nominated for Leave Her to Heaven (1945). Her acting ...

10. Jane Seymour

Actress | Live and Let Die

Jane Seymour was born as Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg in 1951 in Middlesex, England, to a nurse mother and gynaecologist/obstetrician father. She is of Polish Jewish (father) and Dutch (mother) descent. She adopted the acting name of "Jane Seymour" when she entered show business as it was ...

11. Clara Bow

Actress | Wings

Clara Gordon Bow, destined to become "The It Girl", was born on July 29, 1905 in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised in poverty and violence. Her often absentee and brutish father could not or did not provide and her schizophrenic mother tried to slit Clara's throat when the girl spoke of becoming ...

12. Myrna Loy

Actress | The Thin Man

Myrna Loy was born Myrna Adele Williams on August 2, 1905 in Helena, Montana, to Adelle Mae (Johnson) and David Franklin Williams. Her paternal grandparents were Welsh, and her mother was of Scottish and Swedish descent. Myrna was raised in Helena and nearby Radersburg. Her father, a rancher, was ...

13. America Ferrera

Actress | The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

America Georgine Ferrera (born April 18, 1984) is an American actress. She is known for her leading role as Betty Suarez on the American Broadcasting Company's comedy-drama television series Ugly Betty (2006) . Her acting garnered critical acclaim, and she won the Golden Globe Award for Best ...

14. Elizabeth McGovern

Actress | Ordinary People

Daughter of a law professor at Northwestern University, she moved with her family to Los Angeles when he transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.). She began acting in school plays at North Hollywood High, graduated from The Oakwood School and then continued her stage ...

15. Cybill Shepherd

Actress | Cybill

Cybill Lynne Shepherd was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to Patty, a homemaker, and William Shepherd, a small business owner. Named after her grandfather, Cy, and her father, Bill, Shepherd's career began at a young age in modeling, when she won the "Miss Teenage Memphis" contest in 1966 and the "...

16. Shirley MacLaine

Actress | Terms of Endearment

Shirley MacLaine was born Shirley MacLean Beaty in Richmond, Virginia. Her mother, Kathlyn Corinne (MacLean), was a drama teacher from Nova Scotia, Canada, and her father, Ira Owens Beaty, a professor of psychology and real estate agent, was from Virginia. Her brother, Warren Beatty, was born on ...

17. Gabrielle Union

Actress | Bring It On

Gabrielle Union was born on October 29, 1972, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Theresa (Glass), who managed a phone company, and Sylvester E. Union, a military sergeant and business executive. When she was eight, her family moved to Pleasanton, California, where she grew up and attended high school. There, ...

18. Blake Lively

Actress | Gossip Girl

Blake Lively was born Blake Ellender Brown in Tarzana, California, to a show business family. Her mother, Elaine Lively (née McAlpin), is an acting coach and talent manager, and her father, Ernie Lively (born Ernest Wilson Brown, Jr.), is an actor and teacher. Her brother is actor Eric Lively, and ...

19. Kate Winslet

Actress | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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...

20. Elizabeth Taylor

Actress | Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was considered one of the last, if not the last, major star to have come out of the old Hollywood studio system. She was known internationally for her beauty, especially for her violet eyes, with which she captured audiences early on in her youth and kept the world hooked ...

21. Michelle Williams

Actress | My Week with Marilyn

A small-town girl born and raised in rural Kalispell, Montana, Michelle Ingrid Williams is the daughter of Carla Ingrid (Swenson), a homemaker, and Larry Richard Williams, a commodity trader and author. Her ancestry is Norwegian, as well as German, British Isles, and other Scandinavian. She was ...

22. Audrey Tautou

Actress | Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain

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...

23. Natalie Portman

Actress | Black Swan

Natalie Portman is the first person born in the 1980s to have won the Academy Award for Best Actress (for Black Swan (2010)).

Natalie was born Natalie Hershlag on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel. She is the only child of Avner Hershlag, a Israeli-born doctor, and Shelley Stevens, an American-born...

24. Ava Gardner

Actress | The Night of the Iguana

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 ...

25. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Actress | Jodhaa Akbar

Born into a traditional south Indian family, Aishwarya started modeling at a young age. This green-blue-eyed beauty appeared in advertisements for many prestigious firms; the ones that brought her into the limelight were the garden sari and the Pepsi ad. Crowned Miss India 1994 runner-up, she was a...

26. Bérénice Bejo

Actress | The Artist

Actress Bérénice Bejo was born in Buenos Aires, the daughter of Silvia De Paoli, a lawyer, and Miguel Bejo, a filmmaker. When she was three, Bejo's family relocated to Paris, France. She embarked on a successful acting career in the 1990s, with various roles in French television and film ...

27. Phoebe Cates

Actress | Drop Dead Fred

Phoebe Belle Cates was born on July 16, 1963 in New York City, New York, and raised there. She is the daughter of Lily and Joseph Cates, who was a Broadway producer and television pioneer. Her uncle was director/producer Gilbert Cates. Phoebe is of Russian Jewish, and one quarter Chinese, descent. ...

28. Marilyn Monroe

Actress | Some Like It Hot

Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, comedienne, singer, and model. She became one of the world's most enduring iconic figures and is remembered both for her winsome embodiment of the Hollywood sex symbol and her tragic personal and professional struggles within the film industry. Her life and ...

29. Parminder Nagra

Actress | Bend It Like Beckham

Parminder Nagra was born on October 5, 1975 in Leicester, Leicestershire, England as Parminder Kaur Nagra. She is an actress, known for Bend It Like Beckham (2002), ER (1994) and The Blacklist (2013). She was previously married to James Stenson.

30. Marisa Tomei

Actress | My Cousin Vinny

Marisa Tomei was born on December 4, 1964, in Brooklyn, New York, to Patricia "Addie" (Bianchi), a teacher of English, and Gary Tomei, a lawyer, both of Italian descent. Marisa has a brother, actor Adam Tomei. As a child, Marisa's mother frequently corrected her speech as to eliminate her heavy ...

31. Michelle Pfeiffer

Actress | What Lies Beneath

Michelle Pfeiffer was born in Santa Ana, California, to Donna Jean (née Taverna: 1932 - 2018) and Richard Pfeiffer (1933 - 1998), a heating and air-conditioning contractor. She has an older brother and two younger sisters - Dedee Pfeiffer and Lori Pfeiffer, who both dabbled in acting and modeling ...

32. Jessica Biel

Actress | The Illusionist

Jessica Biel, with her good looks and talent, has become one of Hollywood's most sought-out actresses. She was born in Ely, Minnesota, to Kimberly (Conroe) and Jonathan Edward Biel, who is a business consultant and GM worker. Biel was raised in Boulder, Colorado. She is of Hungarian Jewish, Danish,...

33. Li Gong

Actress | Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia

Born in Shenyang, grew up in Jinan, the daughter of an economics professor. Loved music from childhood, and dreamed of a singing career. After failing to gain entrance to China's top music school in 1985, applied for and was admitted to the Central Drama Academy in Beijing, from which she graduated...

34. Nicole Kidman

Actress | Moulin Rouge!

Elegant Nicole Kidman, known as one of Hollywood's top Australian imports, was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, while her Australian parents were there on educational visas.

Kidman is the daughter of Janelle Ann (Glenny), a nursing instructor, and Antony David Kidman, a biochemist and clinical ...

35. Leslie Caron

Actress | Gigi

Born in the suburbs of Paris, France, Leslie Caron is an actress and dancer. Gene Kelly got her into the movies for the film An American in Paris (1951). Got a world-wide reputation for her roles in Lili (1953) and Gigi (1958). Most recently Caron has appeared in British TV series The Durrells in ...

36. Mandy Moore

Actress | A Walk to Remember

Amanda Leigh Moore was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, on April 10, 1984, to Stacy (Friedman), a former news reporter, and Don Moore, an airline pilot. During her childhood, her family moved to Orlando, Florida, where she was raised. She has Russian Jewish (from her maternal grandfather), English, ...

37. Natalie Wood

Actress | Rebel Without a Cause

Natalie Wood (born Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko) was an American actress of Russian descent. She started her career as a child actress and eventually transitioned into teenage roles, young adult roles, and middle-aged roles. As a teenager, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in...

38. Barbara Hershey

Actress | Black Swan

Barbara Hershey was born Barbara Lynn Herzstein in Hollywood, California, to Melrose (Moore) and Arnold Nathan Herzstein, a horse racing columnist. Her father, born in Manhattan, was from a Jewish family (from Hungary and Russia), and her mother, originally from Arkansas, had English and ...

39. Jessica Alba

Actress | Fantastic Four

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 father is of Mexican descent (including Spanish and Indigenous Mexican roots), and her mother has Danish, Welsh, English, and French ancestry. Her family ...

40. Lucy Liu

Actress | Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Born to immigrants in Queens, New York, Lucy Liu has always tried to balance an interest in her cultural heritage with a desire to move beyond a strictly Asian-American experience. Lucy's mother, Cecilia, a biochemist, is from Beijing, and her father, Tom Liu, a civil engineer, is from Shanghai. ...

41. Alexa Davalos

Actress | The Chronicles of Riddick

Alexa Davalos was born in Paris, France, to American parents, Jeff Dunas, a photographer, and Elyssa Davalos, an actress. Her father's family were Jewish immigrants (from Russia and Lithuania). After a quintessentially bohemian childhood that found her straddling New York, Paris, Italy and Los ...

42. Mary-Louise Parker

Actress | RED

Southern-bred Mary-Louise Parker was born on August 2, 1964 in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, the youngest of four children of Judge John Morgan Parker, and the former Caroline Louise Morell. She is of mostly Swedish, English, and Scottish descent. Her father's occupation took the family both around...

43. Ashley Judd

Actress | Double Jeopardy

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 ...

44. Michelle Monaghan

Actress | Gone Baby Gone

Michelle Lynn Monaghan was born on March 23, 1976, in Winthrop, Iowa. She is the youngest of three children and the only daughter of Sharon (Hamel), who ran a day care center, and Robert L. Monaghan, a factory worker and farmer. She is of mostly Irish and German descent. After graduating from high ...

45. Emily Blunt

Actress | Edge of Tomorrow

Emily Olivia Leah Blunt is a British actress known for her roles in The Devil Wears Prada (2006), The Young Victoria (2009), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and The Girl on the Train (2016), among many others.

Blunt was born on February 23, 1983, in Roehampton, South West London, England, the second of ...

46. Diane Lane

Actress | Unfaithful

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 ...

47. Renée Zellweger

Actress | Chicago

Renée Kathleen Zellweger was born on April 25, 1969, in Katy, Texas, Her mother, Kjellfrid Irene (Andreassen), is a Norwegian-born former nurse and midwife, of Norwegian, Kven (Finnish), and Swedish descent. Her father, Emil Erich Zellweger, is a Swiss-born engineer. The two married in 1963. Renée ...

48. Carey Mulligan

Actress | Never Let Me Go

Carey Hannah Mulligan is a British actress. She was born May 28, 1985, in Westminster, London, England, to Nano (Booth), a university lecturer, and Stephen Mulligan, a hotel manager. Her mother is from Llandeilo, Wales, and Carey also has Irish and English ancestry.

Her first major appearance was ...

49. Raquel Welch

Actress | The Three Musketeers

A new reigning '60s 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. (1966), if nothing else, ...

50. Rachel McAdams

Actress | The Notebook

Rachel Anne McAdams was born on November 17, 1978 in London, Ontario, Canada, to Sandra Kay (Gale), a nurse, and Lance Frederick McAdams, a truck driver and furniture mover. She is of English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish descent. Rachel became involved with acting as a teenager and by the age of 13 ...



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