The words beautiful and beauty are mostly associated with the word vague. It’s hard to put a definite meaning to the word “beautiful,” because the concept of beauty changes all the time. What may be beautiful during the 1940s, may not be that beautiful in the 1970s anymore. Beauty is indeed a subjective matter. As the saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
So for me, these actresses are some of the most beautiful of all time.
(In no particular order.)
1. NATALIE WOOD
One of my most favorite actresses ever. Natalie Wood’s radiant face exudes a striking appeal. She’s like a flower in full bloom.
Natalie Wood started acting in films at the tender age of 4, her most notable film as a child actor is 1947’s Miracle on 34th Street. She successfully made a transition from being a child actress to a mature actress when she co-starred with James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause. She’s also known for her portrayal of Maria in the film version of the Broadway musical West Side Story.
By the age of 25, she’s a three-time Oscar® nominee, after receiving a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her turn in Rebel Without A Cause and Best Actress nominations for her performances in Splendor in the Grass (1961) and Love with the Proper Stranger (1963).
Hers is the face you’ll never get tired looking at. Just like what Tony said to Maria in West Side Story, “so beautiful.“
Best feature: Her big brown eyes – so lovely! 🙂
Born: Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko (later changed to Natasha Gurdin) – in San Francisco, California, USA
Date of Birth: July 20, 1938
At her most beautiful: West Side Story and Splendor in the Grass (both in 1961).
2. CATHERINE DENEUVE
At first glance, La Deneuve might seem remote, maybe it’s because most of her onscreen characters are either icy or mysterious, most especially her character in Roman Polanski’s Repulsion (1965). There’s just something about Deneuve that makes people want to know her more. La Deneuve’s beauty is often described as cool, calm, remote, and possessed with an edge of mystery.
La Deneuve even has a lesbian following. Thanks to her love scene with Susan Sarandon in 1983’s The Hunger.
Best feature: Her nose
Born: Catherine Fabienne Dorléac – in Paris, France
Date of Birth: October 22, 1943
At her most beautiful: Repulsion (1965) and Belle de Jour (1967)
“I am shocked when people talk about me and sum me up as blonde, cold, and solemn. People will cling on to whatever reinforces their own assumptions about a person.”
– Catherine Deneuve
3. INGRID BERGMAN
Ingrid Bergman is widely remembered for her performance as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca. Whenever most audiences hear the word “Casablanca,” they can’t help but think about that breathtakingly beautiful actress who broke Humphrey Bogart’s heart (in the film). Hers is definitely one of the most iconic faces in the history of cinema.
Best feature: Her smile
Born: Ingrid Bergman – in Stockholm, Sweden
Date of Birth: August 29, 1915
At her most beautiful: Casablanca (1942)
“Happiness is good health and a bad memory.“
– Ingrid Bergman
She was director Roman Polanski’s first choice for the lead role in Rosemary’s Baby (1968) because he thought her “pure, American looks would contrast well with the film’s dark undertones.” The studio preferred the more popular Mia Farrow. A few years later, Polanski wanted Tuesday to star in his film version of The Tragedy of Macbeth (1971). She lost the part when she refused to do the nude scene.
Tuesday turned down quite a lot of big roles in big movies: Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde, Daisy Buchanan in 1974’s The Great Gatsby, the title role in Lolita (1962), etc.
At her most beautiful: The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
“It seems the brighter you are, the deeper the hole you get into.“
– Tuesday Weld
Tuesday Weld’s “sweater orgasm” scene in Lord Love a Duck. A surreal and rather disturbing video…
Chic, elegant, and stylish — that’s how I would describe Audrey Hepburn’s beauty.
Best feature: Her eyes – full of vitality.
Born: Audrey Kathleen Ruston – in Ixelles, Belgium
Date of Birth: May 4, 1929
At her most beautiful: Charade (1963)
6. NASTASSJA KINSKI
Nastassja Kinski’s beauty is often described as a combination of Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Brigitte Bardot, and Sophia Loren. Nastassja’s appeal is as sensual as her name. She even went on to become a sex symbol during the ’80s.
Best feature: Her sensual lips.
Born: Nastassja Aglaia Nakszynski – in Berlin, Germany
Date of Birth: January 24, 1961
At her most beautiful: Tess (1979)
“The years went by so fast and, even though I’ve had children, which makes me feel I’ve lived a long time, I feel I didn’t really grow up. I want to fulfill the desire I have to do things that are beautiful and meaningful.“
– Nastassja Kinski
Hailed as one of the best actresses of all time, Vivien Leigh is probably remembered as the actress who played Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. My most fave performance of Vivien is as the deranged Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.
Vivien’s face was always radiant until her TB — she was a heavy smoker — took a toll on her health and looks.
Best feature: Her eyes
Born: Vivian Mary Hartley – in Darjeeling, West Bengal, British India (now India)
Date of Birth: November 05, 1913
At her most beautiful: Gone with the Wind (1939)
“Some critics saw fit to say that I was a great actress. I thought that was a foolish, wicked thing to say because it put such an onus and such a responsibility onto me, which I simply wasn’t able to carry.“
– Vivien Leigh
Kristin Kreuk is the epitome of Eurasian beauty. Her dad is Dutch and her mom is Chinese. Her beauty is often described as exotic. No wonder she was cast as Chun-Li in that Streetfighter movie. Kristin is/was also the face of Neutrogena.
Best feature: Her eyes
Born: Kristin Laura Kreuk – in Vancouver B.C., Canada
Date of Birth: December 30, 1982
At her most beautiful: Smallville
Celebrated Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni discovered Daria Halprin in a documentary about a bunch of hippies. He then cast her as the lead actress in his 1970 film, Zabriskie Point. Halprin’s beauty complements the film very well.
After Zabriskie Point, she made only one film and that’s it. She’s now teaching movement-based healing arts at Tamalpa Institute in California.
Best feature: Her eyes
Born: Daria Schuman Halprin
Date of Birth: December 30, 1948
At her most beautiful: Zabriskie Point (1970)
“I felt very close to him personally, but it didn’t come through in the film…“
– Daria Halprin on Michelangelo Antonioni
Miss Halprin’s rather awkward acquaintance with Mel Brooks on Dick Cavett’s show:
10. FAYE DUNAWAY
Faye Dunaway has a very charming face. One of the living legends in Hollywood, Dunaway is a perfect example of unconventional beauty a.k.a. “rebel beauty.” Unfortunately, most kids today only know Ms. Dunaway as Hilary Duff’s “nemesis.”
She’s one of my favorite actresses too. Her performances are always powerful. Check out her Oscar® nominated turns in films like 1976’s Network (for which she won the Best Actress award), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), and Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974).
Best feature: Her perfectly formed cheekbones
Born: Dorothy Faye Dunaway – in Bascom, Florida, USA
Date of Birth: January 14, 1941
At her most beautiful: Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
“Everybody in life hits bad strides. What matters is that you keep showing up, and you don’t leave stuff to chance.“
– Faye Dunaway
Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde:
– Jacqueline Bisset