My Fav Classic Movie Actresses

by HDarlynton | created - 03 Mar 2015 | updated - 06 Oct 2015 | Public

1. Adrienne Ames

Actress | The Death Kiss

Born in Fort Worth, TX, in 1907, Adrienne Ames hit Hollywood in the late 1920s. Although her career only lasted about ten years, she crammed a lot of living into it--high-profile marriages (and divorces) and her reputation as a clothes horse and glamour queen par excellence far outshone her ...

2. Alison Skipworth

Actress | Six of a Kind

In her younger days, auburn-haired Alison Skipworth had been a celebrated patrician beauty. She was the favorite model of English artist Frank Markham Skipworth (1854-1929) who would later become her husband. A physician's daughter, Alison did not make her professional acting debut until the age of...

3. Barbara Stanwyck

Actress | Double Indemnity

Today Barbara Stanwyck is remembered primarily as the matriarch of the family known as the Barkleys on the TV western The Big Valley (1965), wherein she played Victoria, and from the hit drama The Colbys (1985). But she was known to millions of other fans for her movie career, which spanned the ...

4. Betty Blythe

Actress | She

Brunette, buxom matinee idol Betty Blythe capitalised on the 'roaring 20's' infatuation with exotic screen sirens to achieve a brief period of stardom. She was notoriously one of the first actresses to ever appear nude (or in various stages of undress) on screen. It wasn't that Betty couldn't act, ...

5. Billie Burke

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

Billie Burke was born Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke on August 7, 1885 in Washington, D.C. Her father was a circus clown, and as a child she toured the United States and Europe with the circus (before motion pictures and after the stage, circuses were the biggest form of entertainment in the...

6. Carole Lombard

Actress | My Man Godfrey

Carole Lombard was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on October 6, 1908. Her parents divorced in 1916 and her mother took the family on a trip out West. While there they decided to settle down in the Los Angeles area. After being spotted playing baseball in the street with the ...

7. Claudette Colbert

Actress | It Happened One Night

One of the brightest film stars to grace the screen was born Emilie Claudette Chauchoin on September 13, 1903, in Saint Mandé, France where her father owned a bakery at 57, rue de la République (now Avenue Général de Gaulle). The family moved to the United States when she was three. As Claudette ...

8. Constance Bennett

Actress | Topper

Independent, outspoken Constance Bennett, the first of the Bennett sisters to enter films, appeared in New York-produced silents before a chance meeting with Samuel Goldwyn led to her Hollywood debut in Cytherea (1924). She abandoned a burgeoning career in silents for marriage to Philip Plant in ...

9. Dorothy Mackaill

Actress | Bulldog Drummond at Bay

Dorothy Mackaill was 11 when her parents separated; she then lived with her father. A rebellious teenager, Dorothy -- who had long wanted a career in the theater -- ran away to London and finally persuaded her father to pay for her board and lessons. Her first job was in the chorus; she then ...

10. Esther Ralston

Actress | Peter Pan

Projected as wholesome but fun-loving, Maine-born leading lady Esther Ralston enjoyed a prime silent age career and, at her peak, was packaged and publicized as "The American Venus" by none other than that of showman Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. after appearing as a dazzling beauty queen in the film of the...

11. Fay Wray

Actress | King Kong

Canadian-born Fay Wray was brought up in Los Angeles and entered films at an early age. She was barely in her teens when she started working as an extra. She began her career as a heroine in westerns at Universal during the silent era. In 1926 the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers ...

My third favourite girl!

12. Glenda Farrell

Actress | Mystery of the Wax Museum

Glenda Farrell began as the archetypal wisecracking blonde in 1930s gangland films like Little Caesar (1931) and I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932). Diminutive, grey-eyed and undeniably sassy, she was a seasoned performer long before Warner Brothers snapped her up as a contract player in 1929...

13. Gloria Swanson

Actress | Sunset Blvd.

Gloria Swanson went to public schools in Chicago; Key West, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her film debut was as an extra in The Fable of Elvira and Farina and the Meal Ticket (1915). From the following year on, she had leading roles in pictures for Keystone, then a year with Triangle, and, in...

14. Greer Garson

Actress | Mrs. Miniver

Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson was born on September 29, 1904 in London, England, to Nancy Sophia (Greer) and George Garson, a commercial clerk. She was of Scottish and Ulster-Scots descent. Her childhood was a normal if not non-descript life. Greer showed no early signs of interest in becoming an ...

15. Iris Adrian

Actress | The Odd Couple

Sugar, Pepper, Pearl, Sunny, Goldie, Bubbles, all those are nicknames borne by petite actress Iris Adrian in several of the 160 movies she made. With such names, don't expect to see her playing Joan of Arc or Electra but it remains that all these pet names reflect her winning femininity, its ...

16. Jean Harlow

Actress | Bombshell

Harlean Carpenter, who later became Jean Harlow, was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 3, 1911. She was the daughter of a successful dentist and his wife. In 1927, at the age of 16, she ran away from home to marry a young businessman named Charles McGrew, who was 23. The couple pulled up ...

17. Jean Parker

Actress | The Gunfighter

Jean Parker was born Lois Mae Green in 1915. Her father was Lewis Green, a gunsmith and hunter, and her mother was Pearl Melvina Burch (later known professionally as Mildred Brenner), one of 18 children of a pioneer family that came to Montana from Missouri and Iowa. Jean's maternal grandfather was...

18. Joan Blondell

Actress | Grease

With blonde hair, big blue eyes and a big smile, Joan was usually cast as the wisecracking working girl who was the lead's best friend. Born into vaudeville to a comic named Eddie, Joan was on the stage when she was three years old. For years, she toured the circuit with her parents and joined a ...

19. June Collyer

Actress | Murder by Television

June Collyer was born Dorothea Heermance in New York City on August 19, 1906. She began her career in the film East Side, West Side (1927). After making the successful change to the sound era, June continued to work, something some of her counterparts couldn't do. She appeared on the silver screen ...

20. Kim Hunter

Actress | A Streetcar Named Desire

Her father, Donald Cole, was a consulting engineer, and died in 1926 when Kim was only 3 years old. Her mother, Grace Lind, once performed as a concert pianist. She had one brother who was eight years older than she, and she was educated at Miami Beach High.

According to an in-depth article on Kim ...

21. Loretta Young

Actress | The Farmer's Daughter

Sweet, sweeter, sweetest. No combination of terms better describes the screen persona of lovely Loretta Young. A&E's Biography (1987) has stated that Young "remains a symbol of beauty, serenity, and grace. But behind the glamour and stardom is a woman of substance whose true beauty lies in her ...

22. Louise Brooks

Actress | Die Büchse der Pandora

Mary Louise Brooks, also known by her childhood name of Brooksie, was born in the midwestern town of Cherryvale, Kansas, on November 14, 1906. She began dancing at an early age with the Denishawn Dancers (which was how she left Kansas and went to New York) and then with George White's Scandals ...

23. Madge Bellamy

Actress | Black Paradise

Madge was born as Margaret Philpott in Texas. She got her start in theater working with a stock company in Denver. Put under a personal contract by a Broadway producer, Madge got her big break when she replaced Helen Hayes in the Broadway play "Dear Brutus". Her success as a stage actress led to ...

My second favourite girl. Love her!

24. Mae West

Actress | I'm No Angel

Mae West was born in Queens, New York, to "Battling Jack" West and Matilda Doelger. She began her career as a child star in vaudeville, and later went on to write her own plays, including "SEX", for which she was arrested. Though her first movie role was a small part in Night After Night (1932), ...

My all time favourite number one girl. Sexy, funny, witty, I never get tired of watching her.

25. Marion Martin

Actress | The Man in the Iron Mask

Dubbed "Hollywood's blonde menace," brassy, curvaceous Marion Martin (born Marion Suplee) was the daughter of a well-to-do Bethlehem Steel executive and reared in Main Line society. She attended exclusive schools until the family fortune was wiped out in the stock market crash of 1929. Forced to ...

26. Mary Astor

Actress | The Maltese Falcon

Mary Astor was born, Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, on May 3, 1906 in Quincy, Illinois to a German immigrant father, Otto Ludwig Langhanke, and an American mother from Illinois, Helen Marie Vasconcellos, of Portuguese and Irish ancestry. Her parents were very ambitious for her as they recognized ...

27. Mary Pickford

Actress | Coquette

Mary Pickford was born Gladys Louise Smith in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Elsie Charlotte (Hennessy) and John Charles Smith. She was of English and Irish descent. Pickford began in the theater at age seven. Then known as "Baby Gladys Smith", she toured with her family in a number of theater ...

28. Myrna Loy

Actress | The Best Years of Our Lives

Myrna Loy was born Myrna Adele Williams on August 2, 1905 in Helena, Montana, to Adelle Mae (Johnson) and David Franklin Williams. Her paternal grandparents were Welsh, and her mother was of Scottish and Swedish descent. Myrna was raised in Helena and nearby Radersburg. Her father, a rancher, was ...

29. Patricia Farr

Actress | Tailspin Tommy

Patricia Farr was born on January 15, 1913 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA as Arleine Rutledge Farr. She was an actress, known for Tailspin Tommy (1934), This Gun for Hire (1942) and Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941). She was married to Walton Robert Mayo. She died on February 23, 1948 in Burbank, ...

30. Paulette Goddard

Actress | Modern Times

Paulette Goddard was a child model who debuted in "The Ziegfeld Follies" at the age of 13. She gained fame with the show as the girl on the crescent moon, and was married to a wealthy man by the time she was 16. After her divorce she went to Hollywood in 1931, where she appeared in small roles in ...

31. Peggy Mount

Actress | Oliver!

Peggy Mount was born on May 2, 1915 in Southend-On-Sea, Essex, England as Margaret Rose Mount. She was an actress, known for Oliver! (1968), Panic in the Parlor (1956) and Doctor Who (1963). She died on November 13, 2001 in Northwood, London, England.

32. Rita La Roy

Actress | Hold That Woman!

Rita La Roy was born on October 2, 1901 in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, USA as Ina May Stewart. She was an actress and director, known for Hold That Woman! (1940), Hot Saturday (1932) and Blonde Venus (1932). She was married to Ben Hershfield. She died on February 17, 1993 in San Diego, California, USA.

33. Rosalind Russell

Actress | His Girl Friday

The middle of seven children, she was named, not for the heroine of "As You Like It" but for the S.S. Rosalind on which her parents had sailed, at the suggestion of her father, a successful lawyer.

After receiving a Catholic school education, she went to the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New ...

34. Sally Eilers

Actress | They Made Her a Spy

Sally Eilers enjoyed lunch with a classmate from drama school, Jane Peters (who would later become known as Carole Lombard), at the Sennett Studios cafeteria. There she was spotted by Mack Sennett and instantly became one of his "discoveries". Having already appeared in several bit parts, beginning...



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