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Most Photographed Nude Woman in America,” Wilkinson’s bare-chested odyssey began in the late 1950s when, at age 15, she was the youngest topless dancer at London’s Windmill Theater. Almost immediately she caught the eye of a young(ish) Hugh Hefner, and over the next decade Wilkinson appeared in Playboy more than half a dozen times. Although she was never an official playmate, Wilkinson was frequently referred to simply as “The Bosom” in Playboy’s pages, and would eventually be named to the magazine’s list of “sexiest stars of the century” (she was #30). Wilkinson appeared in more than 50 other men’s magazines during the ’60s, and also enjoyed a modest career in show business. She was given roles ranging from minor characters to leading ladies in 14 films, the last of which was released in 1974. In the decades since, Wilkinson appeared frequently in live entertainment shows of the Las Vegas variety, and has hosted multiple television shows involving film and fashion. But we’ll always remember her fondly as “The Bosom.”
You can thank Catherine Bach for popularizing short, cut-off jean shorts in her role as Daisy Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard. The show took every opportunity to show off her long, tanned legs, whether in those famous cut-offs (later known as “Daisy Dukes”) or by wearing a red bikini to distract a dim-witted sheriff. Daisy played the naïf but proved herself smarter and tougher than any of the Dukes’ nemeses; she never backed down from a fight and always stood by her family. In short, she was the perfect Southern girl – sparkling, sassy, and ready for anything. (That accent, too, was surely part of her charm.) Oh, and did we mention she was good with cars? No wonder so many Dukes episodes featured strangers falling in love with Daisy
Turner’s long legs and powerful voice propelled her to an epic music and acting career spanning more than five decades. The “Queen of Rock and Roll” first became a star with hits like “Proud Mary” and “River Deep, Mountain High,” which she performed alongside her ex-husband Ike. Sashaying across the stage with her big hair and even bigger vocal chords, Turner walked the line between consummate entertainer and leggy babe. Her divorce exposed a dark history of domestic abuse, but she returned to the stage with her trademark vivacity fully in tact, and would go on to sell more concert tickets than any other solo performer in history
After noticing Cybill Shepherd’s face on a 1970 issue of Glamour, director Peter Bogdanovich was so smitten that he immediately called her in for an audition. Shortly after that, Shepherd landed the role of Jacy, a small-town Texas beauty queen who plays a pivotal role in Bogdanovich’s career-defining 1971 film, The Last Picture Show. The role was hardly a stretch—Shepherd herself was a pageant winner in Memphis before launching a successful modeling career. That led to roles in Taxi Driver, as well as the sitcoms Moonlighting and Cybill, which eventually earned Shepherd three Golden Globe awards
You could say we’re being a bit premature including Mila Kunis on a list of the world’s all-time beauties. After all, unlike most other women found here, the star of Black Swan, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Friends with Benefits is only 27. That said, we’ll take our gamble with confidence. Here’s why: Despite her Ukrainian background—she arrived in the U.S. when she was seven—Kunis couldn’t be more of an American girl. For one thing, she’s the paradoxically hot voice of unpopular teen Meg on Family Guy. She’s also a self-proclaimed geek who plays World of Warcraft and board games like Settlers of Catan when she’s not, you know, filming dreamy lesbian sex scenes with Natalie Portman. (We understand if you need a moment to recover from that sentence.) And after a nearly decade-long relationship with child star Macaulay Culkin, she’s single again. Mila: trade you two wheat for two brick?
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We’ll always remember her as the original Pretty Woman—the ginger, curly-haired call girl with the wide, toothy smile who charmed Richard Gere in the hit 1990 romantic comedy. After that film catapulted her to stardom, Roberts gradually became one of the most powerful—and bankable—actresses in Hollywood, starring in movies like The Pelican Brief, Runaway Bride, Erin Brockovich, and most recently, Eat, Pray, Love. In the end, however, she settled down not with a sleek, prematurely gray power broker, but a cameraman named Danny Moder, who worked with Roberts on The Mexican. So it’s not just us: the camera really does love Julia
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Known for her sultry voice and an unparalleled ability to ooze straightforward sex appeal, Turner broke out in the 1981 film Body Heat. Acting alongside more famous actors like William Hurt, Turner’s frank sexuality (and steamy fellatio scene) made her an instant star. She would later become one of the eighties’ biggest box-office stunners, starring in hits like Romancing the Stone, which earned her a Golden Globe. And in 1988, she proved she could convey her sultry side just fine without even appearing on camera when she lent her seductive voice to Hollywood’s most memorable animated femme fatale, Jessica Rabbit.
Few women could catch your eye—and, for that matter, your ear—in the ’70s quite like Linda Ronstadt. Nicknamed both the “First Lady of Rock” and the “Queen of Rock,” at the height of her career, the 10-time Grammy winner became a fixture on the covers of magazines like Rolling Stone, Newsweek, and even Time. She followed her pop, punk, and folk rock success with a stint on Broadway—winning a Tony award for her role in 1981’s The Pirates of Penzance. But while her stage presence showed a tantalizing knack for reinvention, her sex appeal—much to our relief—remained as steady as her six-string
Who could mistake that voice, that music…that bosom? If there’s a Dixie bombshell out there that trumps all the rest, it’s Dolly Parton. The country music star turned heads for decades, and not just because of her famous figure. Parton’s toured and recorded since the late ’60s, and her career hasn’t waned nearly five decades later. That’s one reason why the legendary Country star has piled up an astounding 25 number-one singles and more than 40 top-10 country albums. She’s also had a fairly prolific career in film and television—starring in classic films like Steel Magnolias and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. And if all that wasn’t enough, Parton continues to operate her own charity foundation, as well as a successful theme park, Dollywood, based near her Tennessee home
Susan George isn’t a household name like, for example, Diana Rigg or Helen Mirren. But with two roles in the ‘70s, this British actress defined an incredibly hot paradox: Blatant, raw sexuality restrained in frustration behind a proper front. And that proper front was always on the verge of crumbling because of the carnal force behind it. That, of course, made both films controversial. In Mandingo, interracial lust dominates the film, which is set in the Deep South during the 1840s. You know things can’t turn out well when George, a plantation wife, has the best sex of her life with a slave. Then there’s Straw Dogs (the original Peckinpah version). She wants it. She doesn’t want it. She wants it. Moral ambiguity was never hotter. And neither was Susan George
With all due respect to Christina Aguilera, no actress (or musician) has ever portrayed a sexier wish-granter than Barbara Eden, star of the hit TV series I Dream of Jeannie that ran five seasons from 1965 to 1970. Despite the alluring premise—a bachelor (played by Larry Hagman) who lives alone with a permanently scantily clad, bottled-up blonde—the show rarely dabbled in the risqué. Its wholesome approach allowed it to become a modest hit and cult favorite that lasted in syndication for many decades afterward. When Jeannie’s run concluded, Eden starred in a handful of short-lived shows and made-for-TV movies, but they never reached the same level of popularity, despite the wishes of her many fans
She set the standard for every teenage guy’s poolside fantasy in 1982’s cult classic Fast Times at Ridgmont High. Nearly 30 years later, the scene still remains an unparalleled and iconic bikini-drop moment—with Cates glistening divinely as she emerges from the water in Judge Reinhold’s soon to be not-so-private fantasy. On that credit alone, Phoebe Cates ensured the destruction of a million VCR rewind buttons, as proud a legacy as any eighties teen idol could hope for. After Fast Times, though, Cates starred in only a handful of other noteworthy films—Gremlins and Drop Dead Fred among them—before settling into semi-retirement with her husband, actor Kevin Kline. We’d venture to guess Mr. Kline put in a pool
Born into poverty during the Great Depression, Dorothy Dandridge may have seemed like an unlikely candidate to inspire future generations of black entertainers like Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Janet Jackson. Her parents gave her an early start in showbiz—acting in a troupe that toured the South, which eventually led to steady film work. Dandridge’s career peaked in 1954, when she won an Academy Award for her role Carmen Jones—the first black actress to do so. Until then, Dandridge had been known for portraying more conservative characters, and the role allowed Dandrdige to show a more sensual, and seldom-seen side of her personality. Regrettably, the moment was short-lived: Dandridge died of an accidental overdose in 1965, but her legacy lived on in HBO’s 1999 biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge—starring, fittingly, Halle Berry as Dandridge.
Few bodies have been as celebrated in the mainstream media as Christina Hendricks’. But even more hypnotic than her hourglass figure is the way she moves with it. When Hendricks sashays through the office as Joan Holloway in the hit series Mad Men, she exudes an unapologetic amount of composure, confidence, and strength. And let’s face it—there’s nothing sexier or more mesmerizing than a woman who doesn’t just own her body, but is damn proud of it, too
Grace Kelly began her acting career on Broadway when she was just a teen, starring in Broadway shows like The Father and The Philadelphia Story. It didn’t take long for the Philly native to go Hollywood, earning a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for her role opposite Clark Gable in Mogambo. Kelly also appeared in classic films like The Country Girl, Rear Window, and The Bridges at Toko-Ri. Her poise and elegance lent her an almost regal bearing off-camera, and so it surprised few when Kelly transitioned with ease into life as a Princess, marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956
Sure, Jenna Jameson is a household name, and other San Fernando Valley starlets occasionally pop up in mainstream Hollywood productions, but Sasha Grey may be the first true star to cross over from the realm of porn. Her darkly sultry (and silicone-free) looks fall comfortably between girl-next-door and girl-on-the-stripper-pole. And while Grey's recurring role as herself on HBO's Entourage wasn't exactly a stretch, her turn as a high-end prostitute in Steven Soderberg's The Girlfriend Experience earned generous praise from critics like Roger Ebert. Who says Hollywood can't respect an actress who has sex on camera?
This former beauty queen from St. Paul, Minnesota, became a sex symbol playing Jennifer Marlowe, the superhumanly competent receptionist on WKRP in Cincinnati. With her pert nose, dimples, and bleached-blonde hair, she was often mistaken for a stereotypically dim blonde, but in reality she was the station’s most capable (and highest-paid) employee. She had the best lines, too: “I like older men better. They're so mature and kind, and they tire easily.” Anderson’s bucked the 1970’s trend of “Jiggle TV” with her portrayal of a smart, ambitious, eminently capable woman. After WKRP, Anderson settled into lighter roles: she was always beautiful, but it was the class and verve she brought to Jennifer Marlowe that made her an icon.
You could argue Lili St. Cyr was the Lady Gaga of her time—that’s a compliment, by the way. Though she wasn’t a musician, St. Cyr was brash and confident, elevating her raw, untamed sexuality into a kind of burlesque-inspired artform. Like Gaga, she also changed her name after high school (from Willis Marie Van Schaack) and unapologetically sought fame and fortune. “What’s the use of being beautiful,” she once said, “if you can’t profit from it?” And profit she did: At the peak of her career in the forties and fifties, St. Cyr earned nearly $7,000 a week, and even (allegedly) inspired Marilyn Monroe. Her most famous performance involved taking a bubble bath on stage, earning an indecent exposure charge in 1951. Scandal, as always, only helped fuel the hype, and St. Cyr quickly became one of America’s most famous (and infamous) showgirls, even enjoying a brief fling with director Orson Wells. She proved too much for Citizen Kane, however, and many other men, too, marrying six times before her death in 1999
For most of her career, Audrey Hepburn portrayed women with class (Roman Holiday, My Fair Lady)—roles that mirrored her personal life. But make no mistake: Hepburn could exhude sex appeal and sophistication in equal measure—as evidenced by her turn as a call girl in 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Petite and fashionable, with wide, dark eyes and porcelain skin, Hepburn was the kind of woman you could imagine around your arm at a state dinner—at ease next to Jackie O. In later years, her status as a fashion icon—she was a favorite of designer Hubert de Givenchy—threatened to overshadow her considerable acting career: She’s still one of few actresses in history to win an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony award. Those accolades, among others, prompted the American Film Institute to name Hepburn the third greatest screen legend in history.
Legendary silent film star Clara Bow was so seductive that her on-screen sex appeal didn’t even require her to speak. And though we know better than to judge a woman based on appearances only, guys in Bow’s era didn’t have much of a choice. Appearing in dozens of silent standards like Mantrap, Wings, and Dancing Mothers—which now sound like foreign films—Bow epitomized the flapper woman of the 1920s: Short hair, shorter skirt, lavish lingerie, and plenty of bare skin. She’s still America’s first, and finest sex symbol, impossible to forget thanks to her enduring body—of work, that is.
You know you’ve made it as a supermodel when your peers nickname you, simply, “The Body.” Not that we can argue with them—for nearly three decades, men have found it impossible to resist MacPherson’s leggy and athletic six-foot frame. The Australian model left her biggest impression on popular culture in the eighties when she appeared on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue a record six times, as well as inside dozens of issues of Elle before marrying (and later divorcing) the magazine’s creative director. While she’s less visible in front of the cameras today, focusing more on her flourishing cosmetics and lingerie businesses, MacPherson still, by some miracle, has managed to maintain her otherworldly physique.
One look at Kim Novak and you might empathize with Jimmy Stewart for losing his mind over the actress. Best known as the sexy, yet cunning star of Vertigo, Novak earned the respect of Hollywood thanks to her mastery of dual roles in the Alfred Hitchcock-directed thriller. Fueled mainly by that film’s success, Novak won star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She also starred in a slew of other critically acclaimed films like 1960’s Strangers When We Meet before retiring abruptly from acting in 1991.
Like so many other women before her, British-American actress Jane Seymour cemented her place as an international sex symbol after starring as a Bond girl, portraying Solitaire in 1973’s Live and Let Die opposite Roger Moore. But while her Bond days may be a thing of the past—most people remember her as the less salacious Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman—Seymour recently showed a flash of her old self. In 2005, she played a minor, but memorable role in Wedding Crashers as Kathleen "Kitty Kat" Cleary—the randy, alcoholic wife of Christopher Walken who puts the moves on a stunned Owen Wilson. Down, Kitty
Le Brock began her modeling career at 16, earning a slew of high-profile advertising campaigns, Vogue covers, and one infamous Pantene Pro-V commercial in which she coined the phrase, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.” Lebrock’s striking blue eyes, voluminous eighties hairdo, and natural curves made her a natural to star in the1985 cult classic Weird Science, in which a couple of high school geeks engineer the perfect woman. No need to check the math, fellas.
How confident was Anita Ekberg in her appeal to men? The popular ’60s pinup once boasted, “It was I who made [director Federico] Fellini famous, not the other way around.” Perhaps Fellini is to blame for creating his own monster: the director cast Ekberg as an unattainable “dream girl” in his classic film La Dolce Vida. At least you can’t blame his thinking: Before she became an actress, Ekberg had been a professional model in Sweden and a former Miss Universe contestant.
Of all the sex symbols France has graciously provided the world, there’s none more quintessentially French than Brigitte Bardot. Her breakout film, And God Created Women, swept in with the New Wave and proved little more than an excuse to show Bardot in various states of undress—more than enough to cement her international reputation. With a sensual persona that bounded between energetic and pouty, she literally defined “sex kitten.” Her lack of inhibition made her a darling of the intellectuals, and not just the men: Simone de Beauvoir called her a “locomotive of women's history.” She never went Hollywood, but worked with some of her country’s greatest directors, including Jean-Luc Godard and Louis Malle. At her peak she was the thinking man's sex symbol: blonde, beautiful, and irresistibly French.
In 1991, men around the world took a surprising, new interest in pottery, deeply envying a lump of clay massaged into phallic magnificence by Demi Moore in Ghost. That’s to suggest we hadn’t already fallen in love with the husky-voiced dark beauty a hundred times before. A teen pin-up girl and soap actress, Moore quickly became a core member of Hollywood’s Brat Pack, her own hard-partying lifestyle set to an anthemic score in the young yuppie ensemble piece St. Elmo’s Fire. With Ghost, Indecent Proposal, A Few Good Men, and Disclosure, not to mention a famous pregnant-and-nude Vanity Fair cover, Moore was powerful, provocative, commanding, and hot. We were less aroused by her butched-out soldier in GI Jane, but dug her striptease on David Letterman’s talk show. On the personal front, her marriage to Bruce Willis died hard, and her union with much-younger Ashton Kutcher was recently Punk'd.
Gentlemen may prefer blondes, but if it’s true they marry brunettes, there was a time when every American man would have proposed to Jane Russell. Howard Hughes made one of the wisest moves of his storied career when he cast the voluptuous actress in 1943’s The Outlaw, causing a stir among young men—and movie censors desperate to temper down her sultry side. Other films made even more transparent attempts to capitalize on Russell’s assets, but it was in Gentlemen, starring alongside Marilyn Monroe as the sharp-witted Dorothy Shaw, that Russell secured her place as a timeless beauty.
One of the most iconic women of the ’70s and ’80s, Somers nearly resigned herself to roles like “Blonde in the T-Bird”—her actual description in American Graffiti. (Not exactly the stuff of Oscar nominations.) Three’s Company, lucky for us, gave her a more prominent role. As Chrissy Snow, Somers donned skin-tight shirts and extra-short shorts—the epitome of fashion in 1977—showing off her famously toned legs and perfect chest. Somers continued to stoke libidinal fires as she hocked the Thighmaster—a piece of exercise equipment that she squeezed slowly, rhythmically between her legs—in one of the decade’s most pleasingly brain-searing infomercials. Good thing, too. Somers’ perfectly toned body made her by far the hottest mom on prime time during the full run of the ’90s sitcom Step By Step.
In what could be called the belle époque of hot-girl wall posters, Cheryl Tiegs’ iconic 1978 pink-bikini shot (go ahead—Google it) ranks near the top of the pinup heap. A 5’10” knockout, Tiegs is most famous for her multiple appearances on the cover of SI’s swimsuit edition—gracing the cover in 1970, 1975, and 1983. Her long legs and broad smile also landed her on the cover of Glamour when she was just 17. Although her attempts to launch an acting career never took flight, she did manage to score an unexpected cameo on Family Guy as derelict bachelor Quagmire’s bombshell ex-wife. Giggity!
Perhaps the most lusted-after brunette of all time, Taylor began her long career as an adorable child starlet in the mold of Shirley Temple. When the cuteness wore off, however, a far more alluring star emerged. Taylor’s iconic look—luscious brown locks, voluptuous figure, and dewy, violet eyes—secured her a place in the imagination of every red-blooded American male—including the eight she famously married and divorced. In the most lauded of her 50-odd roles, Taylor portrayed the Queen Cleopatra, for which she earned a startling $1 million keep—the highest salary ever paid to an actress.
Here’s how you make a voluptuous, long-legged, redhead even hotter: Ask her to do splits on the hood of your Jaguar. It worked for Tawny Kitaen, who became America’s favorite video-girl after her iconic Jaguar scene in Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again video. Though she appeared other rock videos, including Ratt’s Back for More and Whitesnake’s In the Still of the Night (it’s as if she married the lead singer or something), Kitaen isn’t your average video-vixen. She swapped her car dancing for a more wholesome gig co-hosting America’s Funniest People. She also made appearances in Married with Children, Seinfeld, and reality shows like Rock of Love and The Surreal Life. OK, not exactly Academy Award-caliber material, but we love that Kitaen’s the type of woman we could imagine having a beer with—and then taking for a joy ride in the Jag
Sex appeal isn't always about looks alone. In the 1930's, Jean Harlow was known as much for her wit as for her platinum blonde hair and voluptuous figure. Reportedly discovered while dropping off a friend at a Hollywood studio lot in 1929, Harlow became a protégé of Howard Hughes, who cast her in Hell's Angels. By 1932, she was on contract with studio giant MGM, usually playing brassy, sharp-tongued women. Simultaneously, the young actress was dogged by scandal: Her second husband committed suicide, after which she married a cinematographer for less than a year. Later, Harlow was linked to several famous athletes and actors. Sadly, we’ll never know what could have come of her promising start in Hollywood—Harlow died of liver failure in 1937 near the peak of her celebrity.
Somewhere, we hope Alicia Silverstone is still getting royalty checks for the Aerosmith singles Cryin’, Amazing, and Crazy. Her role in the iconic ’90s music videos as a sexy, rebellious teenager not only fueled the band’s popularity, but also made Silverstone a household name—without ever having to say a word. She used her popularity, fittingly, to land the lead in 1995’s Clueless as an attention (and boyfriend) seeking blonde at a Beverly Hills high school. (It’s okay, guys, you can admit you’ve seen it.)
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While Carmen Electra may be the more famous of the Pussycat Dolls, it’s the group’s current lead singer, Nicole Scherzinger, who has recently emerged as the most lusted-after member of the Los Angeles-based dance ensemble. The Honolulu native formerly sung in a backup role for the ’90s rock group Days of the New before getting her break with the Dolls. Since then, she’s released a successful solo album—Killer Love—and won season 10 of Dancing with the Stars, prompting judges to declare her the best dancer in the show’s history. Not that we don’t trust those judges, but you’ll forgive us if we’ll have to take a second look for ourselves.
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A pixie with edge, Kylie Minogue is a superstar in Oz—a beloved actress, fashion model, social activist, and pop star with a record-setting 20 consecutive top 10 hits in the UK. She first stole American hearts by demanding we do the “Locomotion” on her chart-topping 1987 single, then weaved a spell on audiences as The Green Fairy in Baz Luhrmann’s epic movie musical, Moulin Rouge. But Minogue’s not merely a bubble gum princess; detours into darkness with Nick Cave and Manic Street Preachers, not to mention a courageous rumble with breast cancer in 2005 have lent the blonde beauty an almost mythic quality. Her post-cancer work is sexier, more assured. She even recently launched her own lingerie line, Love Kylie. (We do, we do.)
Before she became a multimedia force of nature with America’s Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show, she was Will Smith’s girlfriend on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She was already on her way then, a gorgeous up-and-coming cover model. She became the first black woman on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, followed immediately by the cover of the Victoria’s Secret catalog. Along the way she transformed herself into an Oprah-like role model and guru, showing special concern for women and girls with body image issues. Once joking that she had 30 pounds of extra booty compared to other models, Tyra encourages women to find their own standards of beauty. What’s more down-to-earth-sexy than a phenomenally beautiful women who believes everyone can be sexy?
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Pin-up princess Veronica Lake appeared mostly in silent films until her first speaking role in 1941’s I Wanted Wings. After that, male audiences demanded more of the petite, 4’11 bombshell—often posed with a single, curly lock of blonde hair hanging seductively over one eye. Lake graduated to bigger roles in 1940’s classics like This Gun for Hire, Sullivan’s Travels, and Hold That Blond. With her pouting lips, defiant attitude, and troubled personal life, Lake embodied the femme fatale—almost too perfectly, as it turned out. As Lake’s career went into decline during the 1950’s, the actress left Hollywood, took up bartending, and met a tragic, early death from hepatitis at age 50.
Give him all day and the average guy could probably name no more than three movies starring Denise Richards. One of those would be Starship Troopers. The other would be The World Is Not Enough—yes, she’s another Bond girl—and the third? Ah yes, 1998’s Wild Things—a movie with one of the most-watched three-ways in movie history. Men of a certain age will never forget the climactic scene, in which Richards hooks up with boh Neve Campbell and Matt Dillon. No red-blooded teenage male who grew up in the ’90s missed it—nor will he ever forget it. And for that reason alone—forget anything to do with Charlie Sheen or Dancing With the Stars—she’s forever deserving of our praise.
Some ladies have hourglass figures, but Lopez—actress, dancer, pop star, fashion designer, television host, philanthropist—has la guitarra, a breathtaking figure that first stopped hearts as a dancer with Janet Jackson and on television’s In Living Color. Before long, the Puerto Rican Lopez—once linked to P. Diddy and Ben Affleck, go figure—was top-lining Hollywood movies like Selena, Shall We Dance, and Maid in Manhattan. Along the way, Lopez has sold some 30-million albums worldwide, fusing pop, funk, hip-hop, and salsa. But it’s when Lopez put her junk in a trunk—literally, cuffed and dumped to George Clooney in the brilliant Out of Sight—that our fire for Lopez went white-hot.
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Until around 2002, Diane Lane had forged a quietly impressive career. She starred opposite Laurence Olivier in her first role, 1979’s A Little Romance, which led to an appearance on the cover of Time (the magazine branded her one of Hollywood’s ‘Whiz Kids’). Olivier himself called her the “next Grace Kelly.” And then, well, things cooled off for Lane. The Cotton Club flopped, and she took some time away from Hollywood to reconnect with family. That’s part of the reason why 2002’s Unfaithful blindsided us so dramatically. In the flick, Lane plays a middle-aged housewife who cheats on her husband with a French book dealer. The couple’s steamy, unforgettable sex scenes made her one of the first women (outside of maybe Stifler’s mom) to get branded as a sex symbol as she closed in on her 40th birthday—a status, we’re happy to report, that she’s still in no danger of losing nearly a decade later.
Born Margarita Carmen Cansino, Rita Hayworth was one of the best dancers to emerge from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Her career took off after she posed for an alluring photograph in LIFE—one that depicted her kneeling on a bed wearing in a silky negligee. The portrait proved to be a favorite among soldiers fighting in World War II, and Hayworth eventually became the second most popular pin-up girl of the era, trailing only behind the legendary Betty Grable. She further cemented her reputation by portraying the seductress Gilda in the eponymous film. The character carried such influence that Hayworth was later rumored to have remarked: “Men went to bed with Gilda and woke up with me.”
In the super-skinny era of Twiggy and Goldie Hawn, Pam Grier was all buxom curves and no-nonsense attitude. In the 1970's, Grier graced the screen in a series of sexploitation and blaxploitation films with unsubtle names like Women in Cages and Black Mama, White Mama. But she reached true icon status with 1974's Foxy Brown, a revenge flick in which Grier castrates and burns gangsters and drug lords. Director Quentin Tarantino—a longtime fan of grindhouse cinema and Grier in particular—breathed new life into her career with the 1996 film Jackie Brown. Since then Grier has maintained a presence both in theaters and on TV screens, teaching us how a woman can stay sexy at any age.
Here’s one way a woman can eliminate any insecurities about her looks: Get cast as the hot girl in a movie called 10—as in, the perfect 10. The 1979 role put Derek opposite Dudley Moore as a newlywed who Moore, in the throes of a mid-life crisis, pursues. Derek’s trademark cornrow hairstyle spawned a fad, while her career, to put it politely, failed to gain as much traction. Derek would go on to receive three nominations for the “Golden Raspberry” award, given out to the worst actress of the year.
Know one way to piss off a lot of people in the 1920s? Write, produce, direct, and star in a Broadway show titled, simply, “Sex.” Oh, and look like Mae West while you’re doing it. For that stunt, West spent 10 days in jail on charges of “corrupting the morals of youth.” Her stint in the clink, thankfully, didn’t do very much to realign her moral compass—especially if her later work (The Constant Sinner, Pleasure Man) is any indication. West’s star power rose with each of those alluring featurettes, and she soon found herself acting alongside stars like Cary Grant and W.C. Fields who, we’re certain, welcomed her corruption.
We owe James Cameron for bringing us Jessica Alba. The writer-director chose her from more than a thousand candidates for the starring role in Dark Angel, his sci-fi series about a genetically-engineered super-soldier. Though it ran only two seasons, the show raised Alba’s profile, mainly by showcasing her beating on bad guys in tight-fitting assassin gear. Her exotic looks (she's Mestizo Mexican, French, and Danish) surely didn't hurt, either, and the action prepared her for films like Fantastic Four, Sin City, and Machete. But she also has a knack for physical comedy, taking a surprising number of pratfalls alongside Mike Meyers and Dane Cook. Some beautiful women try hard to be unapproachable; Alba takes the opposite tack. Her wide brown eyes always carry a trace of vulnerability, and in comedies she's the goofy-sexy girl you wish lived next door.
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The voice is legendary, sounding like 2 AM in a smoky, seedy gin joint. Lauren Bacall was only 19 years old when she—and her low, husky voice—starred opposite Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not. With that voice, that sultry look, and those impetuously arched eyebrows, she captivated not only audiences, but her much older co-star: Bogart married her soon after. They reunited onscreen for the noir classic The Big Sleep; Bacall's icy look and skill at delivering a cutting remark made her a perfect noir figure. She was poised and elegant, always in control of the men around her. Not that they minded: no man could resist when that voice asked, “You know how to whistle, don't you?”
Carrie Fisher was only 19 when filming began on a little sci-fi project called Star Wars. You wouldn't think a billowy, ankles-to-elbows white gown could be sexy, but as director George Lucas told Fisher, “There's no underwear in space.” Fortunately for every male born after 1950, space does offer the metal bikini Fisher wore in Return of the Jedi. In fact, the “Slave Leia” costume remains such a fixture in geek fantasies that fellow all-time hotties like Jennifer Aniston have donned it. It’s Fisher, though, who wins a place in our hearts as the original princess we'd square off against Lord Vader to save.
We don’t mean this as a disservice to women like Kelly Brook and Nicolette Nightingale, but few Playboy cover girls ever make the transition from bare-skinned bombshell to Oscar-winning actress. That’s what makes Kim Basinger such an enigma: A leading lady with both the chest and chops to rule Hollywood. Basinger used her blonde locks and big lips to become a model in the 1970s, a movie icon in the ’80s, and an award-winner for her role as a prostitute in L.A. Confidential in the ’90s. It’s true that her starpower may have cooled in recent years, but even in her fifties she’s still almost as sexy as she was when she graced the pages of Playboy nearly three decades ago.
It’s been a few years since Claudia Schiffer and Christie Brinkley conquered the newsstands—and now a new blonde has surfaced: 24-year-old bombshell Brooklyn Decker. The Ohio native made four straight cameos in Sports Illustrated’s vaunted Swimsuit Edition, finally appearing on the cover in 2010. That drew the attention of Victoria’s Secret, who enlisted her to model swimsuits, while Esquire readers promptly voted Decker the “Sexiest Woman Alive.” By then, much to the dismay, sadness, and begrudging admiration of men everywhere, American tennis star Andy Roddick had wisely locked it up.
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Here are the sex symbols of all time. These are just pictures of the hottest women of all time, and I could not get Hellen of Troy or eve from the bible because we do not have any photos of them. They would probly make this list. Starting from last to first, enjoy the all time hottest women, ENJoY!
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