The Most Beautiful Actresses of Old Hollywood


Recalling the outstanding actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age – an era of true movie superstars. Beautiful, talented, and vibrant, these old Hollywood actresses became legends in their own time. People worshiped, idolized, envied, and emulated them. They set fashion trends and effortlessly changed contemporary perceptions of beauty. What made them so captivating?

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly’s promising acting career spanned just four years, from 1952 to 1956. In that time, she received two Oscar nominations, winning one for her role in “The Country Girl”. She also starred in three films by the iconic Alfred Hitchcock, two of which are among his best works: “Dial M for Murder” and “Rear Window”.

However, for love, Grace had to say goodbye to her acting career. Prince Rainier III of Monaco didn’t want his wife to appear in movies. As a result, Kelly officially ended her film work in 1956, something she reportedly regretted later.

Her life tragically ended at 52 in a car accident. Grace and her husband left behind three children – Caroline Marguerite Louise, Albert II (the current ruling Prince of Monaco), and Stephanie Maria Elisabeth. In 2014, the biopic “Grace of Monaco” starring Nicole Kidman was released. The royal family was not fond of the film as it greatly distorted the actual events of their lives.

Marilyn Monroe

When talking about the most beautiful actresses of old Hollywood, one can’t forget this stunning blonde who captivated the world’s most influential and wealthy men. Marilyn remains revered to this day. People write poems and songs about her, produce documentaries and biopics (one of the latest being “Blonde” with Ana de Armas), use her image in advertisements, and women often try to emulate her style and iconic quotes. Perhaps there are, and will be, no actresses who could eclipse Monroe. Marilyn endured a tough childhood, which only made her stronger and more determined.

People still love and remember the films she starred in, even though she only appeared in 28 films during her career. “The Asphalt Jungle”, “Let’s Make It Legal”, “Clash by Night”, “Monkey Business”, “How to Marry a Millionaire”, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, “The Seven Year Itch”, “The Prince and the Showgirl”, “Bus Stop”, and “Some Like It Hot” are all genre classics showcasing her acting prowess. Sadly, Marilyn’s life ended at 36. As said, they found her in her Los Angeles home, with the official cause of death being an overdose of sleeping pills.

Natalie Wood

Referred to as the “Queen of Hollywood”, she was the daughter of Russian immigrants and considered herself “very Russian”. Natalie began her acting career at four, quickly becoming the most popular child actor. Her filmography includes over 60 films, the most notable being “Tomorrow is Forever”, “Miracle on 34th Street”, “Rebel Without a Cause”, “The Searchers”, “West Side Story”, “The Great Race”, “The Candidate”, and “Meteor”.

However, on the night of November 29-30, 1981, tragedy struck. Under unclear circumstances, Natalie drowned while swimming off a yacht near Santa Catalina Island. The investigation continues to this day, with Robert Wagner, the actress’s husband who stood to gain 30 million dollars after her death, being the prime suspect.

Lana Turner

Lana was the most sensual, glamorous, and ethereal actress of old Hollywood. She entered the world of cinema mainly due to luck, her angelic face, and stunning figure. Beyond her remarkable career, Lana’s beauty earned her countless admirers, and she changed men as one might change socks.

The actress married seven times in her life, and only God knows how many other relationships she had outside of these marriages. Some directors criticized Lana for her indiscriminate liaisons and urged her to be more serious, or she wouldn’t build a career in Hollywood.

Her filmography includes around 50 roles, with her most notable performances in “Love Finds Andy Hardy”, “The Bad and the Beautiful”, “These Glamour Girls”, “Somewhere I’ll Find You”, “The Postman Always Rings Twice”, “The Three Musketeers”, “The Merry Widow”, “Imitation of Life”, and “Peyton Place”.

Lana passed away at 75 from cancer in her Los Angeles home. Due to her talent and significant contribution to cinema, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Vivien Leigh

Mentioning Vivien Leigh immediately brings to mind her portrayal of Scarlett O’Hara, the extraordinarily beautiful character from “Gone with the Wind”. Orson Welles once said that Vivien was one of those women who come along once in a generation and captivate the entire world. And how right he was…

But aside from her beauty, the actress was known for her temperamental nature and manic depression. Despite this, many directors were eager to cast Vivien in their films. Still, her filmography lists only 21 titles. Yet, what notable films they were! Apart from the aforementioned “Gone with the Wind”, her notable works include “Anna Karenina”, “A Streetcar Named Desire”, “That Hamilton Woman”, and “Dark Journey”. Vivien Leigh passed away at 53 due to tuberculosis.

Audrey Hepburn

In her time, Audrey was one of the most sought-after, stylish, and dazzling stars of Golden Hollywood. People called her the best actress in the history of American cinema. Men worldwide admired her deeply. Even men envied her fees.

Despite her beauty and evident talent, Audrey debunked myths about actresses of her era. She was well-educated, spoke six languages, and loved literature. Throughout her acting career, Hepburn starred in 32 films including “Roman Holiday”, “Funny Face”, “Charade”, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, “My Fair Lady”, “War and Peace”, “How to Steal a Million”, and so on. Audrey passed away at the age of 63, surrounded by loved ones.

Ava Gardner

One of the brightest stars of Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s, Ava was often compared to a goddess. Growing up in strictness and poverty, Ava decided at 16 that she’d had enough, packed her things, and left home to start her life independently.

Initially, her film career didn’t take off, as she was relegated to minor roles. However, everything changed when Robert Siodmak cast her in “The Killers”. That’s where her success awaited! Throughout her career, Ava starred in 49 films, with her peak of success in movies like “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”, “Show Boat”, “Mogambo”, “The Angel Wore Red”.

Aside from her film roles, the media always was intrigued by her personal life. Rumors constantly circulated about her non-traditional orientation, despite being married three times. Ava spent the last years of her life in London, where she passed away at 64 from pneumonia.

Marlene Dietrich

A unique actress who became an icon and gave the world many outstanding roles and songs. Marlene was a mysterious legend, the subject of countless books, who had a significant influence on cinema, fashion, women’s consciousness, and beauty. She was simultaneously sensual and unapproachable, virtuous and sinful, stunning and “terrible”, alluring and repelling. In short, she combined opposites that made her even more beautiful.

Marlene’s filmography includes 54 films, notably “The Woman One Longs For”, “The Blue Angel”, “Shanghai Express”, “The Devil Is a Woman”, “Angel”, “Seven Sinners”, “Golden Earrings”, “Witness for the Prosecution”, and “Judgment at Nuremberg”.

Throughout her life, Marlene was loyal to one man – producer Rudolf Sieber. The last 15 years of her life were reclusive, finding solace in drugs and alcohol, only allowing a select few to visit. The actress passed away at the age of 90 in her Paris apartment.