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The 10 Most Beautiful Hollywood Stars Of All Time

Updated on May 8, 2019
Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich
Rita Hayworth
Rita Hayworth
Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly
Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron
Ava Gardner
Ava Gardner
Dorothy Dandridge
Dorothy Dandridge
Kathleen Turner
Kathleen Turner
Vanessa Williams
Vanessa Williams

Stars Who Are Timeless Beauties

There are actresses and there are stars. There is a marked difference between the two. Actresses show up on time, know their lines, and exhibit professionalism regarding their craft. They are concerned about performing the job at hand. They are not into the perks of the business. They consider their job to be like any other job, no more no less.

Actresses further believe in publicity for utilitarian and/or purely functional purposes. If it is not for their careers/jobs, they oftentimes eschew publicity. When they are off the set, they are often indistinguishable from other people. They feel that to broadcast themselves to rely on so-called star quality is the epitome of unprofessionalism. To them, acting is just a job.

Then there are stars. Stars believe in creating a brand for themselves. Stars believe that acting and being in a role is their lives, not merely a job. They are that brand. They also believe in establishing a niche as to who they are. They become that brand or niche instead of being merely an actress.

Stars possess charisma and other attractive qualities. They exude class and have characteristics which place them above others. They have glamor, class, and elan. They may or may not be physically beautiful; however, they possess a physical quality that is attractive to others.

If a star possess physical beauty, she has that added aura. There have been stars who are either beautiful and/or beyond beautiful. Being beautiful opens doors in the entertainment business, whether it is in acting, singing, and/or dancing. Beauty adds a touch of magic and mystery to being a star. Here is my list of the 10 most beautiful Hollywood stars of all time in descending order.

(10) Greta Garbo (September 15, 1905- April 15, 1990)-this Swedish born star truly exuded the star mystique. She possessed talent and beauty in spades. She was an international star and icon in Hollywood from 1924 to 1941. Two of her well known movies were Anna Karenina(1935) and Camille(1936). She was nominated 4 times for an Academy Award. She was given the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress. She decided to retire in 1949 after many abortive movie attempts. She was considered to be the 5th greatest film star of all time after Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, and Ingrid Bergman.

(9) Marlene Dietrich(December 27, 1901-May 6, 1992)- this German born beauty gained international fame by starring in the Blue Angel (1930). She made a signature song, FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN. She then went to Hollywood under the tutelage of Joseph Von Sternberg, a director. She starred in films such as Morocco, Dishonored, and Shanghai Express. She became known for her aloof, blonde beauty. She made subsequent films that do not do well at the box office and she became know as box office poison. However, she made a comeback with the movie Destiny Rides Again. In World War II, she entertained American troops. She continued to make movies into her 80s. Besides making movies, she also did singing and dancing cabaret revues. She died in Paris in 1992 and is buried in Berlin.

(8) Rita Hayworth(October 17, 1918-May 17, 1987) was a child entertainer. Her dancing talent parlayed her into Hollywood where she starred in bit roles. This progressed into feature films and lead roles. She starred in films such as Strawberry Blonde and Blood and Sand(1941). She was also the pin up girl in Life Magazine during World War II. She was considered to be one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. Her signature film was Gilda (1946) which enhanced her alluring image. She continued to make movies into the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. In her later years, she developed Alzheimer's and was under the care of her daughter until her death.

(7) Ava Gardner(December 24, 1922-January 25, 1990) was a beauty beyond compare. While she was in her teens, she was signed to a Metro Goldwyn Meyer contract. She started in small roles, graduating to bigger roles in movies such as The Killers(1946). She subsequently starred in major movies such as Hucksters and Barefoot Contessa. She then starred in Mogambo (1953) which she received an Academy Award for Best Actress. She worked throughout the 1960s and 1970s in films such as The Night Of The Iguana(1964), The Life And Times Of Judge Roy Bean (1972), and The Cassandra Crossing (1976). She continued to work until 1986, 4 years before her death.

(6) Dorothy Dandridge(November 9, 1922-September 8, 1965). To say that she is beautiful would be a gross understatement. Her beauty was of supernatural proportions. She began her life as a child entertainer. She soon went to Hollywood where she starred in bit parts in features such as a segment in the Our Gang comedies called "Teacher's Beau". She starred in the movie Four Shall Die. She continued in small and uncredited roles in movies such as Sun Valley Serenade, Drums of the Congo, and Atlantic City.

In 1952, she starred in Bright Road and her breakthrough film was Carmen (1954) for which she was the first African American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. She lost the nomination to Grace Kelly, who won for Country Girl. She starred in subsequent films such as Island In The Sun(1957) and Porgy And Bess(1959). She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the latter film. However, Porgy And Bess was a failure at the box office. Her last movie role was a television movie Murder Men. Since 1961, her movie career took a nosedive; however, she continued to perform in nightclubs until her death in 1965.

(5) Lauren Bacall(September 16, 1924- ) embodies smoky beauty and glamor. She was a former usherette and model. She moved to Hollywood and starred in films including To Have And Have Not(1944), The Big Sleep(1946), Dark Passage (1947), How To Marry A Millionaire(1953), Designing Woman (1957), and The Fan (1981). She continues to work to this day. Her latest movie was The Forge(2012). She also received numerous awards including the Katherine Hepburn Medal for her volume of work. Besides working in movies, she also did theatre which included the 1970 play, Applause.

(4) Grace Kelly(November 12,1929-September 14,1982)- this all-American princess embodies the concepts of beauty, class, and grace. She was the product of wealth and a private school education. She began her career as a model. She had roles in early television such as American Playhouse. She graduated to noted films which included High Noon(1952), Dial M For Murder, Bridges At Toko-Ri, Rear Window, and Mogambo(1953) for which she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. She starred in subsequent films such as Country Girl (1954) for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress, To Catch A Thief(1955), and High Society(1956). She subsequently married Prince Rainer and become Princess Grace of Monaco. She died tragically in a car crash in 1982.

(3) Katherine Turner(June 19, 1954-)-this brassy beauty is the ultimate in talent, boldness, and smarts. She is an actress beyond par. She had her start in the soap opera, Another World. She then went on to star on the film noir Body Heat (1981), The Man With Two Brains (1983), Romancing The Stone, Crimes of Passion (1984), Prizzi's Honor, The Jewel Of The Nile(1985), Peggy Sue Got Married(1986), Switching Channels (1987), The Accidental Tourist, Who Framed Roger Rabbit(1988), War Of The Roses (1989), and The Virgin Suicides (1999). She also starred in television series such as Nip/Tuck, Californication, and The Perfect Family. She has won numerous awards, including the Golden Globe and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, for her body of work.

(2) Vanessa L. Williams (March 18, 1963- )- this beautiful supertalented triple threat has a career spanding movies, television, and theatre. She is also a chart topping record star. Before that she was the first African American Miss America. She has started in many hit movies such as Eraser(1996), Hoodlum, Soul Food (1997), Shaft(2000), and her latest upcoming movie, Tyler Perry's Temptation(2013). She also starred in television series such as Ugly Betty(2006-10), Desperate Housewives(2010-12), and 666 Park Avenue (2012). Her theatre resume includes Kiss Of The Spider Woman, Into The Woods, St. Louis Woman, Sondheim On Sondheim, and the upcoming The Trip To Bountiful. She has hit songs as Save The Best For Last, The Comfort Zone, Betcha Never, and Breathless. She has won numerous awards including the Lena Horne Award and numerous NAACP awards for her outstanding work.

(1) Charlize Theron(August 7, 1975-) this South African beauty has the lethal combination of beauty and toughness. As a child, she studied ballet with the intention of becoming a ballerina. She become a model to pay for her dancing classes. However, she incurred a dance related injury. Her mother, Gerda Theron, advised her to go to Hollywood to try acting. She starred in several movies including Devil's Advocate(1997), Mighty Joe Young(1998), The Cider House Rules (1999), Monster(2003) which she received an Academy and Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress, North Country(2005) which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. She subsequently starred in Young Adult(2011), Snow White & The Huntsman, and Prometheus(2012).

These women are what one would describe as stars. They have their own special magic and their own brand. They exude glamor and class. They also possess golden age and timeless beauty. Now you have my take on the 10 most beautiful Hollywood stars of all time.

© 2013 Grace Marguerite Williams


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    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 

      13 months ago from London England

      Those Gabor sisters; all three lived long and prosperous lives, had their mother's looks and had theit male admirers 'tamed'.

    • profile image

      kato the slave. 

      13 months ago

      Add three to the list. The enigmatic Gabor sisters.

    • profile image

      kato the slave. 

      13 months ago

      Wondering why in the heyday of Hollywood, the actresses were then know as 'Starlets' whilst their Continental comtempory's were known as 'sex kittens' !

    • profile image


      13 months ago

      Correction ; synonymous !

    • profile image


      13 months ago

      What is synonimous with Hollywood - Glamour.

    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      13 months ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Thank you very much for reading & I also enjoyed your eloquent response. Thank you again!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      13 months ago from Beautiful South

      Very nice job! Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there is a difference between beauty and glamor. I definitely would have put Liz Taylor on the list and bumped Kathleen Turner. What about Vivian Leigh? So many lovely ladies, so little time.

    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      2 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Thank you so much for reading & commenting. God bless!

    • aliveandfree profile image

      Sarah Cook 

      2 years ago from Wasaga Beach

      Really enjoyed this! So much talent and beauty

    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      3 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Thank you all for responding. This hub was a joy to write.

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 

      3 years ago from London England

      Thought i'd re visit the website to see any new content and so glad that it is being kept current.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      3 years ago from Norfolk, England

      I love all these old time actresses. Greta Garbo is definitely at the top of my list.

    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Carter, thank you for stopping by and responding.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      that's better

      1 Grace Kelly

      2 Marilyn Monroe

      3 Elizabeth Taylor

      4 Ava Gardner

      5 Rita Hayworth

      6 Greta Garbo

      7 Audrey Hepburn

      8 Lauren Bacall

      9 Brigitte Bardot

      10 Ginger Rogers

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 

      5 years ago from London England

      I have a penchant for the Hollywood actresses of the silent film era in particular 'the Vamp' and the most famous of these had to be Theda Bara.

    • petenali profile image


      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Some great selections here. A recent actress I would include would be Rachel McAdams.

    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      7 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Alecia, thank you so much for your wonderful response. It is greatly appreciated.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      7 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Great list spanning all generations. I feel like these women are not only beautiful but strong in how they present themselves.

      Vanessa Williams is probably my favorite- she definitely proves your past doesn't define your future. Voted up and awesome!


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