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34 Famous Movie Stars of the 1950s

Updated June 14, 2019 413.5k views41 items

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 a great actor in the 1950s. On the Waterfront and The Wild One still go down as two of his best films. James Dean, Jerry Lewis and William Holden also made great films in the 1950s.

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 bonafide movie star. A Place in the Sun and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are just a few of her films from the decade.

Which 1950s movie star is your favorite? Take a look at this list and share your thoughts in the comments section.
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  • James Stewart
    Photo: Studio publicity still / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    Known for playing everyday men with real-life problems, James Stewart appeared in some of the most popular films of all-time in his over 50-year career. In the 1950s, he starred in the Hitchcock classics' Rear Window and Vertigo.
    • Credits (Film): It's a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, Rear Window, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story
    • Birthplace: Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Age: Dec. at 89 (1908-1997)

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  • Known for his calm confidence in the face of great obstacles, John Wayne is one of the best Western actors to ever hit the silver screen. In the 1950s, he appeared in such films as The Searchers and Rio Bravo.
    • Credits (Film): The Searchers, The Longest Day, Stagecoach, True Grit, Rio Bravo
    • Birthplace: Winterset, Iowa, United States of America
    • Age: Dec. at 72 (1907-1979)

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  • Known for acting with intensity and candor, Marlon Brando first gained a reputation for being a great actor in the 1950s. On the Waterfront and The Wild One still go down as two of his best films.
    • Credits (Film): The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Superman, On the Waterfront, Superman Returns
    • Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America
    • Age: Dec. at 80 (1924-2004)

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  • 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.
    • Credits (Film): Some Like It Hot, All About Eve, The Misfits, The Seven Year Itch, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
    • Age: Dec. at 36 (1926-1962)

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