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Classic Actresses

Written by: Editorial Staff

December 28, 2012
Filed Under Movies 


classic actressesContributed by Info Guru Oliver VanDervoort

The golden age of television and movies was also the golden age of the great actresses who not only made the men who watched them drool, but who could also hold their own with some of the best actors of the movie era.

These are not women who merely won their roles because they had full lips or were willing to do whatever naked scenes their directors asked them to do. These were actresses who truly captivated us with their range and their emotions and their actual acting ability. These are the top ten classic actresses of all time.

10. Vivien Leigh

Vivien Leigh

Vivien Leigh had a long and impressive career but the woman will usually be known exclusively as the woman who confounded Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. Leigh’s turn as Scarlett O’Hara earns her a spot on this list.

9. Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman

Bergman makes this list because of the sheer volume of movies she made, as well as how good most of those movies were. Bergman worked with some of the best directors of all time, like Alfred Hitchcock to the greatest actors like Humphrey Bogart. From Casablanca to Spellbound, Bergman’s work earns her a spot on the list of top classic actresses.

8. Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly

The only reason Grace Kelly isn’t higher up on the list is that her acting career was relatively short. One of Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite women, she appeared in Rear Window and Dial M for Murder, two of his best and most well known films.

7. Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck

An actress whose career started in 1927 and didn’t end until 1986 this woman truly transcended her generation. She had a hand in television, radio, stage and the big screen and is one of those classic women who was known for so much, you can’t nail her to one title.

6. Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews is not only a woman who can be considered a classic actor but she also played one of the most beloved children’s movie characters of all time. Mary Poppins was a movie that has transcended time in a way that few flicks of the current generation will. The fact that she is also well known for her role in “The Sound of Music” shows just how good Andrews is.

5. Bette Davis

Bette Davis

How do you know when you have truly become one of the most well known, most well loved classic personalities in the world? Having a song written about a part of your body is a pretty good indicator.

Bette Davis had a long and storied acting career that lands her high on this list.

4. Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

I made a big deal about most of these actresses not being sex symbols but when the dust settles you really wouldn’t have been able to take this list seriously if Marilyn Monroe hadn’t been included on it … could you? Monroe was actually more than a pretty face, she could actually act and she had a presence the wanna be sex symbols of today wish they had.

3. Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

Hepburn was beloved the world over because not only was she such a great actor but she had the cuteness and spunk to be one of the America’s first sweethearts. Her turn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is another role that has withstood the test of time quite nicely.

2. Doris Day

Doris Day

Doris Day was another one of those women who seemed to belong on any screen she appeared. When she set first appeared in a movie she would soon steal the show and because of this she was well known both on the big and small screen.

1. Katherine Hepburn

Katherine Hepburn

There may simply may not have been a better actress in the history of film than Katherine Hepburn. Over the course of her career Hepburn played a woman who we felt deeply afraid of to one that we came to fall in love with. She belongs at the top of this particular list.

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