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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 Marín 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 (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 4, 1962) was an American actress, model, and singer. Famous for playing comic "blonde bombshell" characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and early 1960s and was emblematic of the era's changing attitudes towards sexuality. Although she was a top-billed actress for only a decade, her films grossed $200 million (equivalent to $2 billion in 2018) by the time of her unexpected death in 1962. More than half a century later, she continues to be a major popular culture icon.Born and raised in Los Angeles, Monroe spent most of her childhood in foster homes and an orphanage and married at the age of 16. ...more on Wikipedia

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: Dec. 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: Metaweb (FB)/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.

Mary Frances "Debbie" Reynolds (April 1, 1932 – December 28, 2016) was an American actress, singer and businesswoman. Her career spanned almost 70 years. She was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer for her portrayal of Helen Kane in the 1950 film Three Little Words, and her breakout role was her first leading role, as Kathy Selden in Singin' in the Rain (1952). Other successes include The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953), Susan Slept Here (1954), Bundle of Joy (1956 Golden Globe nomination), The Catered Affair (1956 National Board of Review Best Supporting Actress Winner), and Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), in which her performance of the song "Tammy" reached ...more on Wikipedia

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: 87

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Shirley MacLaine is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 22 Famous Actresses of the 1950s
Photo: movie studio/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 MacLaine (born Shirley MacLean Beaty; April 24, 1934) is an American film, television, and theater actress, singer, dancer, activist, and author. An Academy Award winner, MacLaine received the 40th AFI Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 2012, and received the Kennedy Center Honors for her lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts in 2013. She is known for her New Age beliefs, and has an interest in spirituality and reincarnation. She has written a series of autobiographical works that describe these beliefs, document her world travels, and describe her Hollywood career. Her first film was Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble With Harry ...more on Wikipedia

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

Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States of America

Age: 85

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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 (born Audrey Kathleen Ruston; 4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) 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 Golden Age Hollywood, and was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. Born in Ixelles, Brussels, Hepburn spent her childhood between Belgium, England, and the Netherlands. In Amsterdam, she studied ballet with Sonia Gaskell. She moved to London in 1948, where she continued her ballet training with Marie Rambert. She began performing as a chorus girl in West End musical theatre ...more on Wikipedia

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

Birthplace: Ixelles, Belgium

Age: Dec. at 64 (1929-1993)

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