Entertainment

36 Famous Movie Stars of the 1940s  

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These black and white photos of 1940s movie stars prove it: the '40s were great years for film. Famous 1940s actors, such as Jimmy Stewart and Liz Taylor, lit up the silver screen throughout the decade. Alfred Hitchcock was really coming into his own as the master of suspense, and Frank Capra gave moviegoers a holiday film that would be loved decades after its initial release. The movie stars of the 1940s had versatile talents and were able to thrive in the captivating roles of the day.

Who is the most popular movie star of the 1940s? John Wayne tops this list. Known for his calm confidence in the face of great obstacles, John Wayne is one of the best Western actors to ever hit the silver screen. In the 1940s, he appeared in such films as She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Red River. Other great 1940s actors include James Stewart, Cary Grant, and Humphrey Bogart.

The 1940s also featured great actresses like Katharine Hepburn and Ingrid Bergman, who starred in one of the most popular films of the 1940s and beyond when she appeared alongside Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca in 1942. Later, she appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's movies Notorious and Spellbound. Rita Hayworth was also one of the 1940s biggest stars. She appeared in Gilda in 1946 and Cover Girl in 1944.

Which 1940s movie star is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 36 Famous Movie Stars of the 1940s
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
Known for his calm confidence in the face of great obstacles, John Wayne is one of the best Western actors to ever hit the silver screen. In the 1940s, he appeared in such films as She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Red River.

Marion Mitchell Morrison (born Marion Robert Morrison; May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), known professionally as John Wayne and nicknamed Duke, was an American actor, filmmaker, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. He was among the top box office draws for three decades.Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa but grew up in Southern California. He was president of Glendale High School class of 1925. He found work at local film studios. He lost a football scholarship to the University of Southern California as a result of a bodysurfing accident, and began working for the Fox Film Corporation. He appeared mostly in small parts, but his first leading role came in Raoul Walsh's Western The Big ...more on Wikipedia

Credits (Film): The Searchers, The Longest Day, Stagecoach, True Grit, Rio Bravo, + more

Birthplace: Winterset, Iowa, United States of America

Age: Dec. at 72 (1907-1979)

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Ingrid Bergman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 36 Famous Movie Stars of the 1940s
Photo: MGM/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
Ingrid Bergman starred in one of the most popular films of the 1940s and beyond when she appeared alongside Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca in 1942. Later, she appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's movies Notorious and Spellbound.

Ingrid Bergman (29 August 1915 – 29 August 1982) was a Swedish actress who starred in a variety of European and American films, television movies and plays. She won many accolades, including three Academy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, four Golden Globe Awards, and a BAFTA Award. She is best remembered for her roles as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca (1942) and Alicia Huberman in Notorious (1946). Bergman was born in Stockholm to a Swedish father and a German mother, and started her acting career in Swedish and German films. Her introduction to Americans came in the English-language remake of Intermezzo (1939). Apart from Casablanca opposite Humprey Bogart, her notable ...more on Wikipedia

Credits (Film): Casablanca, Notorious, Cinema Paradiso, Murder on the Orient Express, Spellbound, + more

Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden

Age: Dec. at 67 (1915-1982)

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Cary Grant is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 36 Famous Movie Stars of the 1940s
Photo: kate gabrielle/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
Notorious and His Girl Friday are just two of the great 1940s films that featured Cary Grant. He was named the second Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute, losing the top spot to fellow 1930s movie star Humphrey Bogart.

Cary Grant (born Archibald Alec Leach; January 18, 1904 – November 29, 1986) was an English-born American actor, known as one of classic Hollywood's definitive leading men. He began a career in Hollywood in the early 1930s, when he acquired his stage name, and became known for his transatlantic accent, debonair demeanor, light-hearted approach to acting, and sense of comic timing. He became an American citizen in 1942. Grant was born in Horfield, Bristol. He became attracted to theater at a young age and began performing with a troupe known as "The Penders" at age six. He attended Bishop Road Primary School and Fairfield Grammar School in Bristol. At the age of 16, he went as a stage ...more on Wikipedia

Credits (Film): North by Northwest, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, The Philadelphia Story, Arsenic and Old Lace, + more

Birthplace: United Kingdom

Age: Dec. at 82 (1904-1986)

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Katharine Hepburn is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 36 Famous Movie Stars of the 1940s
Photo:  skeeze/Pixabay/CC0 1.0
Katharine Hepburn was one of Hollywood's most beloved actresses for over 60 years and she did a ton of great movies in the 1940s, including The Philadelphia Story and The Sea of Grass. She appeared in nine films with her longtime love Spencer Tracy.

Katharine Houghton Hepburn (May 12, 1907 – June 29, 2003) was an American actress. Known for her fierce independence and spirited personality, Hepburn was a leading lady in Hollywood for more than 60 years. She appeared in a range of genres, from screwball comedy to literary drama, and she received a record four Academy Awards for Best Actress the most of any actor of either gender, plus eight additional nominations, all also for Best Actress. In 1999, Hepburn was named by the American Film Institute the greatest female star of Classic Hollywood Cinema. Raised in Connecticut by wealthy, progressive parents, Hepburn began to act while studying at Bryn Mawr College. After four years in the ...more on Wikipedia

Credits (Film): Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, On Golden Pond, + more

Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut, United States of America

Age: Dec. at 96 (1907-2003)

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