The 1950s featured the rise of blonde bombshells, their beautiful brunette counterparts, method actors, and zany comedians. 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 is the most popular movie star from the 1950s? James Stewart tops our list. In the 1950s, he starred in the Hitchcock classics Rear Window and Vertigo. Known for acting with intensity and candor, Marlon Brando first gained a reputation for being one of the great male actors from the 50s. On the Waterfront and The Wild One still go down as two of his best films. James Dean, Jerry Lewis, and William Holden were also popular 1950s male actors.
Several famous actresses also thrived in the 1950s. 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. Elizabeth Taylor started as a child actress in the 1940s, and by the 1950s, she was a bona fide movie star. A Place in the Sun and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are just a few of her films from the decade.
Scroll through below to learn a little bit about some of the legendary actors and actresses from the 50s.
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.
- Credits (Film): Rear Window, High Noon, Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief, The Bridges at Toko-Ri
- Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
- Age: Dec. at 53 (1929-1982)
- An exotic beauty, Sophia Loren could hold anyone's attention with her alluring eyes. Throughout the 1950s, she appeared in films like Houseboat and Aida.
- Credits (Film): El Cid, The Fall of the Roman Empire, The Cassandra Crossing, Nine, A Special Day
- Birthplace: Rome, Italy
- Age: 86
- Kim Novak frequently appeared alongside James Stewart in some of the best films of the 1950s. In 1958, they co-starred in Vertigo and Bell Book and Candle.
- Credits (Film): Vertigo, Bell, Book and Candle, The Man with the Golden Arm, Picnic
- Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
- Age: 87
- Hollywood found a new comedy star in the 1950s with the slapstick stylings of Jerry Lewis. You're Never Too Young and Rock-a-Bye Baby are just two of the hilarious films in which he starred during the decade.
- Credits (Film): The Nutty Professor, The King of Comedy, The Nutty Professor, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Arizona Dream
- Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, USA
- Age: 94