The 1950s featured the rise of blonde bombshells and their beautiful brunette counterparts. Musicals and romantic comedies were still wildly popular throughout the decade, but suspense thrillers and dark dramas were also bringing in money at the box office.
Who was the most popular actress of the 1950s? Marilyn Monroe tops our list. With her iconic looks and wispy voice, Marilyn Monroe defined the classic Hollywood actress. She appeared in such classic 1950s films as Some Like It Hot, The Seven Year Itch and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Before becoming Princess Grace of Monaco, Grace Kelly was Hollywood royalty. In the 1950s, she starred in Rear Window, Dial M for Murder and To Catch a Thief.
Petite and spunky, Audrey Hepburn has remained a fashion icon years after her death in 1993. In the 1950s, she appeared in great films like Roman Holiday, Sabrina, and Funny Face. Other great actresses from the 1950s include Shirley MacLaine, Jayne Mansfield and Dorothy Dandridge.
Which 1950s actress is your favorite? Take a look at this list and share your thoughts in the comments section.
Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell (June 21, 1921 – February 28, 2011) was an American film actress and one of Hollywood's leading sex symbols in the 1940s and 1950s. Russell moved from the Midwestern United States to California, where she had her first film role in 1943 in Howard Hughes' The Outlaw. In 1947, Russell delved into music before returning to films. After starring in several films in the 1950s, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1953, Russell again returned to music while completing several other films in the 1960s. She starred in more than 20 films throughout her career. Russell married three times, adopted three children, and in 1955 founded Waif, the first international ...more on Wikipedia
Credits (Film): Cinema Paradiso, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Outlaw, The Born Losers, Road to Bali, + more
Birthplace: Bemidji, Minnesota, United States of America
Age: Dec. at 90 (1921-2011)
Grace Patricia Kelly (November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982) was an American film actress who became Princess of Monaco after marrying Prince Rainier III in April 1956. After embarking on an acting career in 1950, when she was 20, Kelly appeared in New York City theatrical productions and more than 40 episodes of live drama productions broadcast during the early 1950s Golden Age of Television. In October 1953, she gained stardom from her performance in director John Ford's film Mogambo starring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner, which won her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination in 1954. Subsequently, she had leading roles in five films, including The Country Girl (1954) with Bing ...more on Wikipedia
Credits (Film): Rear Window, High Noon, Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, + more
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Age: Dec. at 53 (1929-1982)
Jayne Mansfield (born Vera Jayne Palmer; April 19, 1933 – June 29, 1967) was an American film, theater, and television actress. She was also a nightclub entertainer, a singer, and one of the early Playboy Playmates. She was a major Hollywood sex symbol during the 1950s and early 1960s, while under contract at 20th Century Fox. She was also known for her well-publicized personal life and publicity stunts, such as wardrobe malfunctions. Although Mansfield's film career was short-lived, she had several box-office successes and won a Theatre World Award and a Golden Globe. She enjoyed success in the role of fictional actress Rita Marlowe, both in the 1955–1956 Broadway version and the 1957 ...more on Wikipedia
Credits (Film): The Fat Spy, A Guide for the Married Man, The Girl Can't Help It, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, Hell on Frisco Bay, + more
Birthplace: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Age: Dec. at 34 (1933-1967)
Marilyn Pauline "Kim" Novak (born February 13, 1933) is a retired American film and television actress. Novak began her film career in 1954 after signing with Columbia Pictures, starring in numerous movies, including Picnic (1955). She later starred in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) and Pal Joey (1957). She is widely known for her performance as Madeline Elster/Judy Barton in Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Vertigo (1958) with James Stewart. Novak enjoyed box-office success and starred opposite several prominent leading men of the era, including Fred MacMurray, William Holden, Frank Sinatra, Tyrone Power, Kirk Douglas, and Laurence Harvey. Although still only in her mid-30s, Novak withdrew ...more on Wikipedia
Credits (Film): Vertigo, Bell, Book and Candle, The Man with the Golden Arm, Picnic, + more
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America