50s 22 Famous Actresses of the 1950s  

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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.

Marilyn Monroe is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 22 Famous Actresses of the 1950s
Photo: Antonio MarĂ­n Segovia/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
With her iconic looks and wispy voice, Marilyn Monroe defined the classic Hollywood actress. She appeared in such 1950s films as Some Like It Hot, The Seven Year Itch and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, model, and singer, who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s. After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film ...more

Credits (Film): Some Like It Hot, All About Eve, The Misfits, The Seven Year Itch, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, + more

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Age: Died at 36 (1926-1962)

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Debbie Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 22 Famous Actresses of the 1950s
Photo: Freebase/GNU Free Documentation License
In 1952, Debbie Reynolds appeared in one of the most iconic musicals of all-time, Singing in the Rain. She was only 19 at the time the film was made.

Debbie Reynolds is an American actress, singer, and dancer. Initially signed at age sixteen by Warner Bros., Reynolds' career got off to a slow start. When her contract was not renewed, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gave her a small but significant part in the film Three Little Words starring Fred Astaire and ...more

Credits (Film): Singin' in the Rain, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Charlotte's Web, How the West Was Won, In & Out, + more

Birthplace: El Paso, Texas, United States of America

Age: 85

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#63 on The Best Actresses in Film History

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Shirley MacLaine is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 22 Famous Actresses of the 1950s
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
Shirley MacLaine is still regarded as an amazing actress, but she got her start in the 1955 movie The Trouble with Harry. She has been nominated for an Oscar six times, and she finally took home a trophy for Terms of Endearment in 1984.

Shirley MacLean Beaty, known professionally as Shirley MacLaine, is an American film, television and theater actress, singer, dancer, activist and author. She has won one Academy Award, five Golden Globe Awards, including the Cecil B. DeMille Award, one Emmy Award and two BAFTA Awards. In 2012, she ...more

Credits (Film): The Apartment, Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment, Being There, Valentine's Day, + more

Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States of America

Age: 83

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#22 on The Best Actresses in Film History

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Audrey Hepburn is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 22 Famous Actresses of the 1950s
Photo: Hans Gerber/via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0
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.

Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian. Recognised as a film and fashion icon, Hepburn was active during Hollywood's Golden Age. She was ranked by the American Film Institute as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema and has been placed in the ...more

Credits (Film): Breakfast at Tiffany's, My Fair Lady, Roman Holiday, Charade, Wait Until Dark, + more

Birthplace: Ixelles, Belgium

Age: Died at 64 (1929-1993)

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#3 on The Best Actresses in Film History

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