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Who's the most prettiest actress of classic Hollywood?

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//Would Lamaar have had the chops to hold her own in STREETCAR?//


Who can say, eh?

Don't mistake potential for casting.


I did not say Leigh could not act (far from it); I was maintaining that Lamarr could also.

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SusannO, I agree with you a lot. Everytime I think I seen all the beauties, everyday watching classic movies I discover a new beauty who becomes the most beautiful to me. I never can pick just one. They all had a face that wows you when your watching them. I think many were the most beautiful because it was only one them. Many were the best-looking in their prime, if you look at them all together it'd be hard to pick one. So I just enjoy them all. If I was a man and Rita Hayworth, Linda Darnell, Gene Tierney, Dolores del Rio (and a few others) were standing before me, looking how they looked at their prime, it'd be hard for me to pick just one, if most men didn't have to pick they take em' all. Many beautiful women got a chance to act if they proved themselves worthy. If they just wanted to look pretty and glamorous then they got what they asked for but if they proved themselves more then just a pretty face they got their chance. A real actress is one who is able to be versatile and a chameleon - be beautiful when it's time but tone down the beauty for certain roles because real acting don't call for beauty all the time.


Thanks for mentioning Frances Farmer. She was a beautiful, lovely actress and had her life not been so tragic she probably could have become one of the greatest actresses of all time.


How about Gail Russell? I keep reading how many considered her a great beauty.

I found her delicately pretty. Esther Williams was a pretty woman in her day. Virginia O'Brien was extremely pretty. Patsy Kelly was pretty, she was an average looking girl but she was surprisingly pretty in Kelly The Second. I guess she could look attractive when she wanted. She wouldn't be on anyone's most beautiful list but you can't take your eyes off her because she's so funny.


Bette Davis was pretty, dare I say. In her early years she was very attractive. Ida Lupino was attractive. For some reason it seems hard for people to say if Davis, Stanwyck, Susan Hayward and Ida Lupino were pretty. They played such hard-core women, it seems their often not mentioned on pretty or beautiful list - is it because they lost their femininity being so tough? People say Susan Hayward was a looker, a gorgeous lady but on screen sometimes that's overlooked by her great acting. To be a great actress maybe you have to sacrifice beauty. Kathryn Grayson was so beautiful, Howard Keel called her the most beautiful woman in Hollywood. But because of her opera singing and her girl next door image she falls into the pretty category. Kathryn was a beauteous but so pretty too. She could be pretty or beautiful when she wanted.

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Word, classicb&w and SusannO, especially on the HOW THIN CAN I BE mindset of today's 'stars' (not too many caught up in the bulimic jockey look can qualify as actors)!


Ann Harding is my new Carole Lombard.


Ann Harding is my new most prettiest.


Although since Lizabeth Scott is still alive, I STILL think the suits at TCM should grab her, post haste, before she croaks, and get her to sit down with Bobby O.


Yo, tcmprogrammer, what say you? Do you have Lizabeth's email? Have you MADE an effort to contact an ICON of the Golden Age of Movies? You're not waiting until Donny Osmond is a classic, ARE YOU?


How about the other TCM suit here, MNLOPQRST, whatever his name is? Can't you contact Lizabeth?

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Ann Harding, I have to catch one of her films soon. I have a goal to watch everyone I can. She had such pretty long blonde hair. Could she do comedy like Lombard? I hear she's famous for playing the long-suffering women.


Clara Bow was a pretty sexy lady. Someone said once she was sexy on screen but more prettier in photographs.

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classicB&W, I don't think I have seen a film where she's done comedy. Not sure she did, but someone more in the know can correct me. I know she left the film industry far earlier than I would have liked her to, but I wasn't there to advise her, but probably would have if I were. :)


From what I saw, she could act the pants off of Bette Davis, was as pretty as Carole Lombard, and was so breathtakingly understated as to earn my undying affection for ever onward.


She is, to me (and you all know this is big), my female Warren William.

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> Also, lest we forget:

> ~Arlene Dahl (ooh la la)

> ~Margaret Lindsay (very)

> ~Janet Leigh (pretty as a youth; cosmic when older)

> ~Mae Clark

> ~Evalyn Knapp

> ~Marian Nixon

> ~Gloria Stuart

> ~June Allyson

> ~Margaret Lindsay (very)

> ~Patricia Dane (very pretty and with a great,

> saavy demeanour).


ST, Looks like a bit more obscure choices. I've heard most of the names before but not familiar with any except June Allyson, of course. I'll have to keep an eye out and imdb and Google Image search for them when I get some time. Thanks.

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I'm betting you're familiar with more than you realize, Snarfie. For example, Mae Clark is the woman who receives a grapefruit in the face for breakfast with James Cagney. Gloria Stuart was a beauty in Shirley Temple and Busby Berkeley movies, but modern audiences know her as the "old lady" in James Cameron's tedious Titanic. Janet Leigh? Remember Psycho's shower? That scene drained her! Arlene Dahl was a prop of beauty in a bunch of 1950's movies, but I think my favorite of her appearances was her first (albeit in color, thus depriving us of her Technicolor red hair) in Hitchcock's Spellbound. She was kooky patient in the sanitarium. I'm betting you knew all of those...

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Hey Snarf . . .


In your research, bear in mind that (imho) oftentimes a beauty's beauty is diminished in a stillshot than what is conveyed in her screenpresence (e.g. Audrey Hepburn or Scarlett Johanssen - to cross the time-range).


A good example of this from my list is Patricia Dane - do try and evaluate her from her screenpresence than from some photo, for her manner is all (which, I realise digressess but then nearly all of evrybody's threads on this post does, for the poster wanted only Americana prettiness considered, I believe).


Though it might be hard to come across her, for she was blackballed after having talked-down some studio exec who came onstage once and started to give her **** about something or other - good on her, I say!


As for "Americana prettiness" (and screenpresence) . . . I think Karen Allen is a definite candidate for the epitome of.



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I know what you mean for sure.

Voice, mannerisms, carriage and attitude all contribute to personality.

It's hard to capture all that in a picture.

Mae West might be a good example of this -

who in my book wasn't real pretty but was attractive for

for her presence and screen persona.


Anyhow I'll at least be able to put names with faces.


Karen Allen seems like an unusual choice.

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Very rarely are you mistaken, but Rhonda Fleming was in "Spellbound" as the nymphomaniac patient. I do believe it was her first film.


Arlene Dahl is perhaps better known for "Womens World" where she was a somewhat overraught and ambitious corporate wife...




BTW, I hope I don't come across as a "certain pompous overcorrecting contributor" on these threads who shall remain nameless........


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OK, I've left out modern actresses but I'm still unable to make a clear distinction between pretty and beautiful. Hope that's not too big an annoyance. Here goes,


Sharon Tate

Julie Newmar

Priscilla Lane

Rochelle Hudson

Lynne Carver

Constance Bennett

Hedy Lamarr

Gale Storm

Rose Hobart

Carole Lombard

Maureen O'Sullivan

Anne Francis

Louise Brooks

Anita Louise

Ginger Rogers

Betty Grable

Jane Powell

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, bad grammar of the question aside...


For me, the lovliest of them all was LORETTA YOUNG. HUGE eyes, full lips, gorgeous hair, great figure...She was a knockout. Sure, she came across as a real goodie-two-shoes type, but that only adds to her appeal for me.


A close second: KATHARINE HEPBURN. Striking good looks and a spirit to match.


Another close second: THERESA HARRIS. So lovely it almost hurts.


My token blonde: VERONICA LAKE. Tiny, yes, but packing in a lot of cute.


Out-of-left-field dreamboat: EVE ARDEN. I think she was very sexy. And she probably would have been the most fun and down to earth of all of 'em!

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I like your choices. I enjoy Veronica Lake very much, she's very adorable and Theresa Harris should never be left out. In a few films she was adorable and pretty. Color made have held back Theresa from getting leading roles but like a true actress she always made her part worthy, enjoyable, and unforgettable. You know, there were even some white actresses who never "made" it either but we still enjoy their work. So I still enjoy Theresa's work in spite of what happened.


Don't act as though your so perfect and never made a grammar mistake. Grammer mistakes can be made sometimes, so don't nitpick every little detail. Obviously you understood the question or you wouldn't be here. Your not the first to point out the bad grammer in the title.

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Norma Shearer - hands down. A woman of deep seeded emotions, brooding passions, dark obsessions and stark intelligence. No one would give you a woman like that. You'd have to go out and discover her.


Close seconds:


Grace Kelly - yeeeeooooww!

Jane Powell - for the girl next door, home spun crowd who'd like to hear a bit of grand opera every night

Kathryn Grayson - for the high maintenance lady of culture, wealth and chic good taste.

Barbara Stanwyck - sultry in a come hither, axe that needs the turkey sort of way.

Joan Crawford - I want to have you for lunch and I don't mean a sandwich

Elizabeth Taylor - stunning as a child, adolescent, young newlywed and middle aged maven of perfume. Truly, she had it all.

Lauren Bacall - darkly aluring but able to tell you where to get off when she's had enough.

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