Old Hollywood 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 contract in 1946 with Twentieth Century-Fox. Her early film appearances were minor, but her performances in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve drew attention. By 1952 she had her first leading role in Don't Bother to Knock and 1953 brought a lead in Niagara, a melodramatic film noir that dwelt on her seductiveness. Her "dumb blonde" persona was used to comic effect in subsequent films such as ...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, USA, California

Age: Died at 36 (1926-1962)

Also Ranked

#20 on The Most Beautiful Women of All Time

#59 on The Best Actresses in Film History

#31 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

#61 on The Hottest Celebrities of All Time

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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.

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 Red Skelton, then signed her to a seven-year contract. In her next film, Two Weeks with Love, she had a hit with the song "Aba Daba Honeymoon". However, it was her first leading role at age 19 in Singin' in the Rain with Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor, that set her on the path to fame. By the mid-1950s, she was a major star. Other notable successes include Susan Slept Here, Bundle of Joy, Tammy ...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: 86

Also Ranked

#62 on The Best Actresses in Film History

#48 on The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)

#70 on The Greatest American Actresses of All Time

#41 on American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures

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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 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 received the 40th AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in the US film industry, from the American Film Institute, and in 2013 received the Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts. She is known for her New Age beliefs and interest in spirituality and reincarnation. She has written a series of autobiographical works, many ...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: 84

Also Ranked

#28 on The Best Actresses in Film History

#26 on The Greatest American Actresses of All Time

#35 on Celebrity Women Over 60 You Wouldn't Mind Your Dad Dating

#64 on The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress

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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 International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. She is also regarded by some to be the most naturally beautiful woman of all time. Born in Ixelles, a district of Brussels, Hepburn spent her childhood between Belgium, England and the Netherlands, including German-occupied Arnhem during the Second World War. In Amsterdam, she studied ballet with Sonia Gaskell before moving to London in 1948 to continue her ...more on Wikipedia

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)

Also Ranked

#3 on The Most Beautiful Women of All Time

#4 on The Best Actresses in Film History

#47 on The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

#9 on The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

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