Class Will Tell

by fredcdobbs5 | created - 14 May 2017 | updated - 07 Mar 2018 | Public

Beauty, charm, brains, talent, elegance . . . they had it all.

1. 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 ...

2. Eva Marie Saint

Actress | On the Waterfront

Actress and producer Eva Marie Saint was born on July 4, 1924 on Newark, New Jersey. She is known for starring in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront (1954), for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959). Her film career also includes ...

3. Audrey Hepburn

Actress | Breakfast at Tiffany's

Audrey Hepburn was born on May 4, 1929 in Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium. She was a blue-blood and a cosmopolitan from birth. Her mother, Baroness Ella Van Heemstra, was of a Dutch descent, and her father, Joseph Victor Anthony Hepburn-Ruston, was born in Úzice, Bohemia, and of an English and Austrian ...

4. Lola Albright

Actress | Peter Gunn

Lola Jean Albright was born on July 20, 1924 in Akron, Ohio, the daughter of John Paul Albright and Marion Harvey, both of whom were gospel singers. She worked as a model before moving to Hollywood in the mid-1940s, studied piano for 20 years and worked as a receptionist at radio station WAKR in ...

5. Carole Lombard

Actress | My Man Godfrey

Carole Lombard was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on October 6, 1908. Her parents divorced in 1916 and her mother took the family on a trip out West. While there they decided to settle down in the Los Angeles area. After being spotted playing baseball in the street with the ...

6. Katharine Hepburn

Actress | The Lion in Winter

Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was ...

7. Madeleine Carroll

Actress | The 39 Steps

The original ash-blonde "iceberg maiden", Madeleine Carroll was a knowing beauty with a confident air, the epitome of poise and "breeding". Not only did she have looks and allure in abundance, but she had intellectual heft to go with them, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Birmingham ...

8. Vivien Leigh

Actress | A Streetcar Named Desire

If a film were made of the life of Vivien Leigh, it would open in India just before World War I, where a successful British businessman could live like a prince. In the mountains above Calcutta, a little princess is born. Because of the outbreak of World War I, she is six years old the first time ...

9. Kay Kendall

Actress | Les Girls

Kay Kendall was born on May 21, 1926 in Withernsea, Yorkshire, England as Justine Kay Kendall-McCarthy. She was an actress, known for Les Girls (1957), The Reluctant Debutante (1958) and Simon and Laura (1955). She was married to Rex Harrison. She died on September 6, 1959 in London, England.

10. Joan Weldon

Actress | Them!

A blue-eyed, chestnut-haired beauty, Joan Weldon trained to be a singer, and made her professional debut as a member of the San Francisco Opera Company. While appearing with the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Company, she came to the attention of Warner Brothers, who took her out of grand opera and ...

11. Louise Brooks

Actress | Die Büchse der Pandora

Mary Louise Brooks, also known by her childhood name of Brooksie, was born in the midwestern town of Cherryvale, Kansas, on November 14, 1906. She began dancing at an early age with the Denishawn Dancers (which was how she left Kansas and went to New York) and then with George White's Scandals ...

12. Ava Gardner

Actress | On the Beach

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 ...

13. Jennifer Holt

Actress | Buffalo Bill Rides Again

Jennifer, born Elizabeth Marshall, was the daughter of film star Jack Holt and Margaret Wood Holt; she had an older half-sister from her mothers' previous marriage, named Imogene and a brother, Charles John Holt III, nicknamed Tim Holt. She would later change her name to Jennifer for professional ...

14. Deborah Kerr

Actress | The King and I

Deborah Kerr was born on 30 September 1921 in Helensburgh, Scotland, the daughter of Captain Arthur Kerr-Trimmer. She was educated at Northumberland House, Clifton, Bristol. She first performed at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park, London. She subsequently performed with the Oxford Repertory ...

15. Dina Merrill

Actress | The Player

It would have been pretty darn difficult for actress Dina Merrill to have ever pulled off playing a commoner on stage, film or TV. She just had too much class. The epitome of poise and glamour, the New York-born socialite and celebrity was born in 1923, the daughter of E.F. Hutton, the financier ...

16. Catherine Deneuve

Actress | 8 femmes

Catherine Fabienne Deneuve was born October 22, 1943 in Paris, France. Her parents were actors. She made her movie debut in 1957, when she was barely a teenager and continued with small parts in minor films, until Roger Vadim gave her a meatier role in Vice and Virtue (1963). But her breakthrough ...

17. Claire Bloom

Actress | Limelight

Age has not taken the flower off this Bloom. The well-known and respected stage, screen and television actress Claire Bloom, originally named Patricia Claire Blume, continues to be in demand as an octogenarian actress and looks as beautiful as ever.

She was born Patricia Claire Blume on February 15,...

18. Hillary Brooke

Actress | The Man Who Knew Too Much

Hillary Brooke's image as the epitome of glacial, regal, upper-class British gentility is muted somewhat by the fact that she was born Beatrice Peterson to a middle-class American family in Long Island, NY (she was the sister of Arthur Peterson, best-known as the demented "Major" in the soap-opera ...

19. Jane Greer

Actress | Out of the Past

As a baby, she was winning beauty contests; as a teenager, with good looks and an attractive contralto voice, she was singing with big bands (most notably Enric Madriguera's orchestra in Latin Club Del Rio in Washington, D.C.. She met Rudy Vallee, her first husband, on the radio where she also ...

20. Anna May Wong

Actress | Piccadilly

Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American movie star, was born Wong Liu Tsong on January 3, 1905, in Los Angeles, California, to laundryman Wong Sam Sing and his wife, Lee Gon Toy. A third-generation American, she managed to have a substantial acting career during a deeply racist time when the ...

21. Diahann Carroll

Actress | Julia

One of television's premier African-American series stars, elegant actress, singer and recording artist Diahann Carroll was born Carol Diann (or Diahann) Johnson on July 17, 1935, in the Bronx, New York. The first child of John Johnson, a subway conductor, and Mabel Faulk Johnson, music was an ...

22. Rita Moreno

Actress | West Side Story

Rita Moreno has had a thriving acting career for the better part of six decades. One of the very few performers (and the very first) to win an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony and a Grammy, she was born Rosita Dolores Alverío in Humacao, Puerto Rico, on December 11, 1931, to seamstress Rosa María (Marcano) ...

23. Elizabeth Threatt

Actress | The Big Sky

American actress who made an impression in her only film. The daughter of an English father and a Cherokee mother, Threatt grew up in South Carolina. At 19, she went to New York and began a successful modeling career. In 1952, director Howard Hawks saw her photograph and cast her as the Blackfoot ...

24. Olivia de Havilland

Actress | The Heiress

Olivia Mary de Havilland was born July 1, 1916, in Tokyo, Japan, to British parents Lilian Augusta (Ruse), a former actress, and Walter Augustus de Havilland, an English professor and patent attorney. Her sister, Joan, later to become famous as Joan Fontaine, was born the following year. Her ...

25. Mary Astor

Actress | The Maltese Falcon

Mary Astor was born, Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, on May 3, 1906 in Quincy, Illinois to a German immigrant father, Otto Ludwig Langhanke, and an American mother from Illinois, Helen Marie Vasconcellos, of Portuguese and Irish ancestry. Her parents were very ambitious for her as they recognized ...

26. Virginia Leith

Actress | The Brain That Wouldn't Die

Sultry, smoky-voiced brunette actress, a former model, who was put under contract by 20th Century-Fox in the early 1950s. She had a showy role and acquitted herself well in the thriller Violent Saturday (1955), but her career quickly lost major ground when Fox didn't renew her contract in 1956. She...

27. Nancy Kwan

Actress | The World of Suzie Wong

At just 18, Nancy Kwan was studying dance with England's Royal Ballet School, when she was spotted by producer Ray Stark, who tested her and gave her the starring role of a free-spirited Hong Kong prostitute who captivates artist William Holden in The World of Suzie Wong (1960). She followed it the...

28. Maureen O'Sullivan

Actress | Hannah and Her Sisters

Maureen Paula O'Sullivan was born on May 17, 1911 in County Roscommon, Ireland, to Evangeline "Mary Eva" Lovatt (Frazer) and Charles Joseph O'Sullivan, an officer in the Connaught Rangers. She was of Irish, English, and Scottish descent. The future mother of Mia Farrow was educated in private ...

29. Jane Wyatt

Actress | Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Born in Campgaw, New Jersey, Jane Waddington Wyatt came from a New York family of social distinction (her father was a Wall Street investment banker and her mother was a drama critic). Jane was raised from the age of three months in New York City and attended the fashionable Chapin School and later...

30. Diane Baker

Actress | Marnie

Actress with a notable career in films and television. Born and raised in Hollywood, she moved to New York at eighteen to study acting with Charles Conrad and ballet with Nina Fonaroff. She continued her training in Los Angeles at the Estelle Harman Workshop, securing a contract with Twentieth ...

31. Dorothy Hart

Actress | Tarzan's Savage Fury

A former model, the luminously beautiful Dorothy Hart was signed to a contract by Universal Pictures after having made only one film, Columbia's Gunfighters (1947). However, the studio system couldn't quite find a place for a woman with her carriage and elegance, and relegated her to westerns, ...



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