Movie Poll: Who is your favorite pre-‘60s sex symbol?

Movie Poll: Who is your favorite pre-‘60s sex symbol

View Results


  • tony payne

    Ah! Those were the days when ‘women were women’. Anorexia was not invented and the glamorous sex symbols of the 50’s and 60’s with their ample assets and curvacious figures sent many a male heart racing. It’s a pity that the list did not include two of my favourites which were the ravishingly beautiful Arlene Dahl and the voluptuous Rhonda Fleming. I saw both in the movie Slightly Scarlett in 1956 and as a young boy suddenly became aware that there was indedd a substitute for rock n’ roll.

  • James

    If you want pure unadulterated sex appeal you need go no further than Marilyn. There’s a reason she’s still an icon 50 years later. Some men may get turned on by a woman’s brain but the majority of men feel a little intimidated by strong feminist types (Stanwyk, Bergman etc.).The things Marilyn could do with that great bod and those eyes leave a lasting impression on guys like me.Practically, however it requires a combination of brains and beauty to have a meaningful relationship.

  • Rolland T

    In the 50’s by far in my group it was BB. Bridget Bardot. For lifetime of work I voted Lana T.

  • Rufnek

    There was never an actress as sexy in talk, walk, and general conversation as well as looks as Mae West. Although plumpish by today’s standards of beauty, the woman radiated sex and was a walking ad for breast enhancement before there was such a thing.

    I also went for the saucy Cupie-doll looks of Joan Blondell.

  • Allen Hefner

    Well, you missed a lot of choices. Maybe you should have given a range of years, like 1940 to 1950. How about Clara Bow, Carol Lombard, Jean Harlow, Hedy Lamarr, Ginger Rogers, Vivien Leigh, and for sexy innocence I love Ruby Keeler. Oh yes, let’s not leave our Margaret Dumont!

  • Robert

    There were few actresses possessing the nubile innocence, raw physicality and perfect beauty of Debra Paget. And does so even unto today.

  • Noel Bjorndahl

    Perhaps not a sex symbol as such (she was too good an actress to be labelled like that), but I’d vote for Gloria Grahame as my favourite sexy woman on the screen.

  • Doris

    Stanwyck was good but why didn’t Doris Day make the poll. She was very sexy in a wholesome way.

  • pink_icicle

    I suppose any poll will omit someone’s favorite–I’m disappointed not to see Kim Novak’s name on the list. Not only was she one of the most beautiful celebrities ever to grace the silver screen, but I feel her mysterious demeanor made her even sexier!

  • Pat Schabram

    Overall, I think Barbara Stanwyck gets my vote. It was between Ingrid Bergman and Barbara but the deciding factor was the numerous films Barbara was in. I truly loved every performance I saw her in.

  • Clyde

    Without a dout Kim Novak!

  • Sam

    I would add Greta Garbo to the list as well!

  • anonymous

    Without a doubt, Jayne Mansfield.

  • Judy

    When “Gilda” flipped that hair it made men in the audience melt!!

  • Connie

    I would have picked more than one from that list. They all were sexy for different reasons.

  • Jim

    I’ll go with the lovely Natalie Wood.

  • DeMeio

    As a nine-year-old I saw the movie SUNDOWN and transferred my affection from Carole Landis to Gene Tierney, a crush that lasted for years, and then … I discovered Sophia Loren …..

  • Derek Earle

    I think that Marilyn Monroe was the sexiest woman at the time because she has the baddest body and the most gorgeous smile for that time frame

  • VideoEmilio

    Anyone remember Louise Brooks? Just look at Pandora’s Box or Diary of a Lost Girl. What a Hot Lady she was!

  • Rick Hirsch

    What a list! Lana Turner is luscious and Ingrid Bergman is stunning. Yes, the days when women were women. They all kind of made my legs go weak.

  • dennis

    It’s hard to believe that Elizabeth Taylor was left off your list and not mentioned so far in the comments. Wow!

  • Gil

    I’m with the Kim Novak fans. What a beauty.

  • Son Lewis

    How could Hedy Lamar NOT be included on this list… What an ommission… Probably the worst of all time (the ommission, that is)… Brilliant, beautiful and talented and so very very HOT!

  • FRED

    Jane Russell. I’d have dreams about her.What a girl………

  • Russ Goble

    What about Catherine Deneuve(sp?) and Grace Kelly.
    I mean, wow!

  • Rob in L.A.

    Anna May Wong

  • em

    Gee, I wanted to vote for sexy MEN. Marlon Brando, Clark Gable, Cary Grant …

  • sheldon mishlove

    I’m sorry I have to go with BRIDGET BARDOT in God
    Created Woman. For my age group she was IT!. It
    didn’t matter the movie was in French

  • Gail

    I would hae to say Marilyn Monroe altho my favorite actress was Barbara Stanwyck

  • Walt

    There was something innocently sexy (or sexily innocent) about Lauren Bacall in her early films. She’s been my favorite for years.

  • Giovanni

    Hands down Veronica Lake

  • Pat

    Without a doubt if you’re talking about sexy women it’s MM. Heady Lamarr was the most beautiful. I guess Jane Russell would be next best sexiest. That’s probably why they were teamed in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”.

  • Jim

    I’d kick em all out of bed for Debbie Reynolds.

  • Neil Blount

    The female stars of today just “ain’t what they nused to be”

  • Steve

    Gina Lollobrigida

  • Steve

    Also, Yvonne Romain was awesome in a Lollobrigida-like way. She was mostly in low-budget horror pictures: Circus of Horrors, and she was Oliver Reed’s mother in Curse of the Werewolf.

  • Charlie Brown

    A tough choice ! You ommited Bridget Bardot and Lauren Bacall !

    • Simon

      Thanks for this post. I deeniitfly agree with what you are saying. I’ve been talking about this topic a lot lately with my father so hopefully this will get him to see my point of view. Fingers crossed!

  • Geza

    I would add Leslie Caron

  • J. Lyon

    No list like this can omit Cyd Charisse, just about the most sensual and provocative dancer who ever came down the pike. What legs, what a complete package. Va va voom!

  • Chester

    Not on the list, but my REAL favourite, Hedy Lamarr !

  • Luis Montero.

    Rita..Rita!!, you can take her out to dinner to any high class place..she won’t let you down.
    “Waiter, more champagne for the lady.”
    Monroe had the aura of a “dumb blonde”
    That does not turn me on.
    Good figure, but not that great…look closer.

  • ralph

    I voted for Jane russel,
    But,
    My choice,
    Gale Russel

  • Bruce Lagasse

    I agree with two of the commenters above – Debra Paget and Cyd Charisse.

  • Sebastien Bertrand

    Where is Mae West?

  • Rick

    I’m surprised that Rita didn’t rate higher, She certain;y proves you don’t have to be blonde to be sexy.

  • Ellen Badders

    I’d like to cast a vote for a couple of great looking fellas-Tyrone Power, Cary Grant, Dana Andrews.

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  • francis masone

    Compiling any kind of movie list is always a walk through a mine field. Movie lovers are such passionate folk.
    My vote is for Susan Hayward. What could be more sexy than a stunningly beautiful woman who can go one on one with any guy.
    Hayward was not only one of the all time screen beauties, but a dynamic tough broad as well. I use “broad” here with great respect and admiration for Susan.
    LOVE HER!!!

  • DIRK

    I can’t wait for the 60s & 70s sex symbols with Carol Wayne, Adrienne Barbeau, Raquel Welch, Connie Stevens, et. al.

  • DIRK

    Back to this era: did someone mention Lanie Kazan?

  • Everett Stallcop

    Ingrid Bergman got my vote but only because Hedy Lamar or Myrna Loy were not on the list. Many might not consider Ms. Loy to be “sexy” but when it comes to a complete package (brain, figure, eyes, etc.) she had it.

  • Bill Desmond

    Though I voted for Ingrid Bergman can any deny the allure of Marjorie Main, (Ma and Pa Kettle) Marie Dressler (Tugboat Annie) or Margaret Hamilton? (Wicked Witch of the West.) These were actresses with some heft (no pun intended) character, and real talent. They didn’t count on big boobs or long loegs to get it across.

    Also, I have the hots still for a young Bette Davis, and those Jane swim scenes in the Maureen O’Sullivan Tarzan pics- oooohhh!

    I guess I need to get out more.

  • Scott

    Marilyn Monroe is by far the sexiest woman on the list, hands down. Back in 1983 I walked into a book store as a young boy and there stood a life size poster of Marilyn(whom at the time I had no idea who she was)her arms were open, reaching out to you in her costume from “Bus Stop” with her fish net stockings. I was in love from that moment on, still love her and I still own the life size poster. Of course I was shocked Betty Grable with the million dollar legs didn’t make the list(though I would still have voted for Marilyn) and what about Carmen Miranda? She had a sex appeal as well as a sense of innocence.

  • Richard

    How about Paulette Goddard, Audrey Totter and Ella Raines?

  • Scott

    I’m bad. Betty Grable did make the list. I told you I would still have voted for Marilyn Monroe…

  • Charles Myers

    Hands down Sophia Loren

  • jack rawlings

    my dreamgirl..dorothy malone.had her picture on my locker aboard ship

  • Cristy

    I thought there were going to be men on this too. I want to see Cary Grant!

  • Richard Finn

    When I was in elementary school, I saw “One Touch of Venus” with Ava Gardner. I never forgot her and she got my vote. However MM was undoubtedly the sex queen of the 1950’s. To WWII vets Betty Grable was very popular along with Rita Hayworth. From the comments on this board there were sure a lot of sexy women in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s.

  • Rita

    I voted for Rita Hayworth, of course. But where were Hedy Lamarr, Vivien Leigh, and Gene Tierney?

  • Steve G.

    My first thought was Elizabeth Taylor. Beautiful and noone could have any doubts about her acting ability.

  • Anne

    Ava forever!

  • gary

    They all get my vote.But Marilyn would be the one to go home with.

  • John

    Excuse me? Where’s Jean Harlow’s name? Who made up this poll? Grossly incomplete. Pretty sad that anyone would put in Stanwyck, and leave out Harlow.

  • Barbara

    I voted for Marilyn, but if Sophia Loren was on the list, she would have been my first pick. What a classic beauty……….

  • Bill M.

    I was a romantic (though shy) teen in the mid 50s, and was quite drawn towards three leading ladies,all of which had a particular talent for portraying characters who were both aproachable and mysterious (here one minute, gone the next, leaving you wondering when or if you’d ever see them again): 1.Ava Gardner (in “One touch of Venus”); 2.Kim Novak (in “Vertigo”); and 3.Jennifer Jones (in Portrait of Jenny. Of course I voted for the only one of these on your list.

  • Bob O — a Hick

    A very hard pick– but i just love Ava– Too bad Frank you couldn’t hold on to her… But she is a men’s woman…

  • Bonnie

    Hell’s Bells! Where is the male list?? My all time fave is and will always be John Garfield.

  • GIL MORALES

    WHAT ABOUT DOROTHY LA MORE! BEAUTIFUL AND FUNNY. REMEMBER THE ROAD PICTURES WITH BOB AND BING?

  • Tom S

    Lana Turner had sex appeal that poured out of her. The scence in Ziegfeld Girl between her and Jimmy Stewart outside of the casino in Miami,my God what a woman. Or the balcony scene with Robert Taylor in Johnny Eager. The Postman Always Rings Twice, and one of my favorites, Marriage is a Private Affair.

  • Eric Sinkkonen

    When I was 14 years old I went to a film preview in San Francisco (MGM’s The Red Danube)and saw Ava Gardner in person as she walked past me into the theatre, wearing a strapless black velvet gown, her hair pinned up, and no jewelery, and she looked at me. I was hooked for life!

  • Gerry Morin

    What about Virgina Mayo? A very sexy woman!

  • Bill Parks

    They didn’t call those chrome protusions from the ’55 Mercury front bumper “Dagmars” for nothing!!!

    • Bruce Reber

      You’re wrong – it was the early 50’s Buicks that had the “Dagmar” bumpers.

  • Andy Kirkland

    Well,I voted for Rita because Heddy wasn’t on the list.

  • tim

    clark knew CAROLE LOMBARD

  • anton sr

    all the above choices are wrong. number 1 always and forever-lauren bacall!

  • anton sr

    lauren bacall, lauren bacall- always and forever

  • mike walsh

    I may have voted for Rita as she was sex on a stick, but I always had a soft/hard spot for Susan Haywood

  • David Kennett

    You should probably break this down by decade in order to list enough choices to choose from for each period of time. This would be especially true for the period of time of the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. My choices would be Jean Harlow (30s), Ingrid Bergman (40s), Marilyn Monroe (50s) and Sophia Loren (60s). I do have to admit I am partial to both the movies and the women of those four decades.

  • John Robert Davis

    When Lizabeth Scott walked onto the screen in “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers” my heart just about stopped and my eyes never moved from her. She rivaled Lauren Bacall for my affection evermore.

  • Al

    Number one sexiest woman of all time is Monroe. She radiates sex appeal. Forget about the Dumb Blonde roles she was cast in. Marilyn could turn on the appeal like a light switch. Second would be Rita Hayworth and Lana Turner, just check out the opening in The Post-Man Rings twice when Garfield picks up the lipstick and cast eyes apon her for the first time. If beauty is what you want then that would be Liz Taylor then Ava Gardner and Gene Tierney. Sophia Loren is the sexiest woman of the next decade. Also Dorothy Dandrige is the sexiest black actress of all time.

  • christina west

    I vote for all and then some, but there’s a reason why Marilyn is the most imitated woman in the world.

  • Tlynette

    Well, uh, none of these ladies is my TYPE! :-o However, if it comes to which one of ‘em held it down best, with tuffcoolsexxy? It’s gotta be Miss Barbara Stanwyck. I loved her in everything she was in–she was even badass in “The Big Valley!” I mean, really, check out her middle-aged mama of 4 grown children, still rocking black gauchos, riding boots, and that hat cocked to the side: she was all that!

  • karen

    Only a couple of folks said Sophia Loren. Now SHE was the best!!! Beautiful, classy, perfect body! Look at her today…still a babe!

  • Sonia

    I couldn’t pick! But I chose Veronica Lake. If I was a man, she would have rocked my world. I love watching her. There were so many beautiful ladies in those “old” movies. The only ones I remember watching when I was young were Marilyn Monroe and Sofia Loren. The others, I watched in reruns of black and white movies on tv.

  • Bob M

    Some of the recent polls don’t have a space for “Other.” If it did I would have written Maria Montez. Please add a write in space for the next poll. This time I’m voting for Rita.

  • andyX

    Actually, my favorites STILL are Heddy Lamar, Donna Reed, Loretta Young!

  • Dave J

    Any doubt that it is and always will be Marilyn Monroe just watch either “The Seven Year Itch” or “Bus Stop”

    Marilyn was perfection but then so were Rita and Ava.

  • Wil

    Sophia Loren without a doubt. Curves and swerves and a primal female demeanor that soothes the nerves.

  • Lydia

    Hmm. You really should have “Female” in the title of this poll. Otherwise you’re making a rather large assumption.

  • Betty

    Ingred Bergman was by far the best actress in the list – sex symbol? Wrong sex. Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper…..

  • philip

    Monroe a shoo-in. From the first moment I saw her as Louis Calhern’s candy-girl-woman in Asphalt Jungle I was forever smitten. It’s odd that no one mentioned the mesmerizingly sensual Gloria Grahame, a sexy star and Oscar winner who has been sort of overlooked in recent times.

  • Jan Davis

    Hedy Lamar was by far the most beautiful/sexy/intriguing. Although I’m prejudiced-my mother was mistaken for her all the time back in the forties.

  • Richard

    There was only one true sex godest.May West

  • Debbie

    I agree with all the Marilyn fans out there. She is the all time best. Dumb blonde–no sexy smart woman–Yes. She will always be remembered.

  • Ben Ricci

    From the group, Ava Gardner and Lana Turner were both first, but there were so many that should have been there. To see that Marilyn Monroe has the most votes (at this time of me writing) suggests that many people here are not familiar with the older Hollywood or men simpler prefer blondes as the saying goes. No question that Hedy Lamarr, Linda Darnel, Clara Bow, Norma Shearer, Gene Tierney, Ida Lupino, Vivien Leigh, Maureen O’Sullivan, Fay Wray, Kay Francis, Teresa Wright, Dorothy Janis, Olivia De Haviland, Jean Crain, Joan Leslie, and many more (and yes… Natalie Wood). Most of the above ladies should have been in the group ahead of many that were listed. JMHO

  • Andrew

    I would definately put Kim Novak on my list. Who
    could forget that slow dance scene in “Picnic”
    with William Holden or that heated love connection between Kim and Jimmy Stewart in
    “Vertigo”.

  • Tracy Potter

    Heddy Lamar is the sexiest femme fatale of all time. She doesn’t make the list. I will cast my protest vote for Veronica Lake…. oh, maybe Rita Harworth.But, Barabara Stanwyck kills me, “Hoppsie! You should be put in a cage.”

  • taebi27

    I voted for the incredible Ava Gardner – she literally reeked of well, you know. I also wonder why Elizabeth Taylor wasn’t included. She was truly incredible.

  • Tracy Potter

    Get out of my head, Bill Desmond. Jane. Uffda.

  • Rlt11

    The prettiest eyes in Hollywood is Elizabeth Taylor’s violets plus she one hell of a good actress. I loved her in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and National Velvet, yet some on this list I would remove because there was some much more beautiful than Marlene Dietrich even when she is in film with the Duke I still don’t like her. When I hear the names of Vivien Leigh, one of the first female vixens, or Olivia De Haviland, elegant but strong willed, Gone with the Wind is the first time I thought about beautiful women could be human. And what about Olivia’s kid sister,Joan Beauvoir , from Alfred Hitchcock movie Rebecca or Jane Eyre with Liz Taylor, or Sophia Lorena she was sexy as can be and she talks with her beautiful brown eyes, well she maybe to young for this group. Where is Mae West? Some say she was a very sexy woman if you don’t believe me just ask her, remember her famous quote of “when I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better”. I know that Betty Grable was the PEN UP GIRL with each leg being insured for a million but thats about all I know about her. The only movie that I know of hers is because she co-star with Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall in How to Marry a Millionaire. Even Lauren Bacall is sexy in her own way. Katharine Hepburn was a beauty icon in the 1940’s as well, she had beauty and class and grace. She makes me laugh in Bring up Baby, my favorite production of Little Women is with Katharine Hepburn playing Jo. Do you know she turn down the part of Scarlet O’hair because she didn’t think she was sexy enough for the part. As she got older she made good movies like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Golden Pond. Oh yea she played in Roster Cogburn with the Duke. Then there is Audrie Hepburn who is a true aristocrat by birth. She gorgous in a Roman Holiday and Sabrina. What about Jennifer Jones, she play part like The Song of Bernadette or the sexy half breed in Duel in the Sun.
    I like Ingrid Bergman but sexy she not really, very good actress she was. I loved her movies The Bells of St. Mary’s and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Even though she died young in a plane crash Carole Lombard was sexy as well as funny. Love her movie, My Man Godfrey as well as the comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith directed by Alfred Hitchcock. She was actually one of the first female stars to get paid big bucks and she even has a World War II Liberty ships name after her.

  • Jim C

    I choose Bergman; great actress and beautiful lady. Monroe was just too dumb for me and Jane Russell always struck me as being a man in drag.

  • BadGnx2

    The choices were all over the map on this one depending on one’s interpretation of beauty. It didn’t really surprise me that Monroe would be number one since that was the way that she was promoted in the majority of her films. Many of the other women had true sexuality but it was smoldering and sometimes hidden in their roles.
    Although I AM a big fan of Monroe, I voted for Jane Russell. She was an extremely attractive woman in the 40s and 50s.

    Names that were omitted but deserved to be on there includes Virginia Mayo, Kim Novak, Grace Kelly, Jayne Mansfield and Elizabeth Taylor. The decade of the 50s featured Taylor at her Hollywood best. Nancy Gates best known for “Some Came Running” also comes to mind. An attractive woman who didn’t make many films. Marie Windsor (“The Killing”)also should have been included as she was at her zenith in the 50s. Cyd Charisse didn’t get ANY of the credit she deserved. Herself and Ann Miller were THE SEXIEST dancers on the MGM lot.

    Mae West was sexy through her saucey style and delivery however in the looks department she was short and chubby. I can’t even believe that someone would EVEN CONSIDER Marie Dressler!!! Time for a NEW PRESCRIPTION!!!

  • Robby

    Dorothy Dandridge without a doubt.

  • randy

    My personal favorite, Hedy, was not on the list, so i voted for Lana, another longtime fave. I adore Rita and Jane Russell as well so it was a tough choice. A few other gals who deserve credit for being hott: linda darnell, susan hayward, ann sheridan, merle oberon, alexis smith, yvonne decarlo, diana dors, vera ralston, joan/constance bennett, ella raines, evelyn ankers, bette & joan, mae west…

  • frank

    Gene Tierney was smoking hot. I also came to appreciate Merle Oberon. Loved Jody Lawrence and
    Alexis Smith.

    • Fitri

      You are my barething in, I own few web logs and infrequently run out from post . Tis the most tender part of love, each other to forgive. by John Sheffield.

  • Jeff C

    I’m a bit amazed that it took over 100 comments to get to Constance Bennett but than again except for “Topper” her films are almost never shown. She was hot and she knew it, she was also trouble, just ask the men she left in her wake and the studios she worked for.
    What really is surprising is no one mentioned Claudette Colbert. Did anyone see “The Sign of The Cross” or “Cleopatra”. That milk bath was pretty risque for the time. She may not be the sexiest actress but I think she deserves a mention. Also I loved Greer Garson who had probably the greatest first appearance on screen maybe in the history of film, as first you only hear that voice and then the mist parts and there she is sitting alone on a mountain top, talk about a lucky day…wow.
    Of course as a child of the 50’s the aforementioned Sophia Loren is as good as it will ever get. What a decade; Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, Shirley Maclaine, Bridget Bardot, Julie Newmar, Jean Simmons, etc., but Sophia out shines them all.

  • Kenneth Gentile

    Olivia de Havilland, Maureen O’Hara and Virginia Mayo.

  • Dane A. Masten

    Hi There! This seems more like 50’s list than a pre 60’s list which probably starts with the 1920’s. Monroe bless her is a much bigger star today than she was THEN!What is interesting is that you think names that mames at the top of the box office draws such as MacDonald, Loy,Rainer, Colbert,Garland,DeHavilland,Davis,Jones,Arthur,
    Hutton,Ellie Powell,Grayson,Reynolds and Allyson, vied for top ten positions because they weree sexless images. Com’n Guys. If I found a gift from the God’s like Ingrid Bergman intimidating, I wouoldn’t admit it.

  • Dane A. Masten

    Hi Again,
    I hadn’t read the comments. How come Lana Turner
    was omited? Also, Garbo was considered number one
    a great deal of the time and Joan Crawford wasn’t where she was for decades because she was thought of as less than a major contender.Alice Faye. Irene Dunne was hot!Dorothy LaMour and the infamous SARONG!I don’t know how Mickey Rooney stood it!

  • Julie B

    It is really difficult to only vote for one. Everyone of these 10 beautiful and talented women deserve to be #1. I was born in 1935 so I got to see all of them in terrific films, oh, so some of the movies weren’t so great, but the girls were. Add Lean Horn, Jennifer Jone, Ginger Rogers, Kathyrn Hepburn, Gene Tierney, Vivian Leigh, Sophia Loren, Alice Faye, Greer Garson Hedy Lamar, Jean Simmons, Ida Lupino, Olivia De Haviland, Audry Hepburn, Jennie Crain, Joan Fontain, Betty Davis, Susan Hayward, Joan Crawford, Dorothy Dandridge and Elizabeth Taylor. They all had sex appeal, some more than others. Some names that I have listed are pre 40s, 50s, 60s, and I guess I jumped over into the 70s.

  • Charles

    Tough Choice. No Mae West,Gina Lollobrigida or Sophia Lorren so I picked Jane Russel figured most folks would pick Marylin Monroe

  • Jim

    Jean Harlow. All these gals owe something to the platinum blonde. Even MM acknowledged that.

  • Will

    For my money, although she was not necessarily a sex symbol, the most beautiful woman in Hollywood was Audrey Hepburn.

  • john

    ava the name says sexy. ava for sure.

  • cleo

    Debbie Reynolds 100% Lovley & talented.
    Doris Day lights up a screen & makes here roles alive ,so very lovley.
    Audry Hepburn grace ,class & charm a rare flower.
    Betty Hutton wow the energy the charm & talent in this lady just dazzling.
    There are so many old ERA bombshells, fire works & super novas , we each have are favorites. Its fun to so see who we will discover next.

  • Blooz1

    I can’t believe you left Hedy LaMarr off the list! Not only was she considered one of the most gorgeous “back in the day”, but she was also BRILLIANT!

    Did you know that she invented, and patented, the basis for our beloved cellphone technology? (Automatic channel switching)

    A strong second for me was Lauren Bacall! When she looks up from those lowered eyes…..WOW!

  • Tlynette

    Now, the REAL answer is either Tyrone Power or Errol Flynn–since none of these girls is my type!!

    However, when it comes to DAMN!-I-wish-I-could-get-away-with-that! moments, not overtly sexual, but working it so tight, a man would follow her ANYWHERE, it’s gotta be Miss Barbara Stanwyck!

  • SONNY LACHNER

    WITH OUT A DOUBT IT WAS MARILYN MONROE…IN MARCH OF 1954 WHEN SHE WAS ON HER HONEYMOON WITH BASEBALL STAR JOE DIMAGGIO…SHE TOOK OUT TIME TO COME TO KOREA TO ENTERTAIN US GIS….JOE WASN’T TO THRILLED WITH HIS NEW BRIDE COMING TO ENTERTAIN US, BUT SHE DID…WHEN SHE CAME TO WHERE I WAS AT IN TAEGUE, KOREA…I WAS ON DUTY THAT NIGHT SO I DIDN’T GET TO SEE HER SHOW….T WAS A 20 YEAR OLD CORPORAL…MY COL…C.O. THAT IS TOLD ME TO PICK UP A PERSON AT THE BASE THEATER, LITTLE DID I KNOW WHO IT WAS…MY C.O. DIDN’T TELL ME….LO AND BEHOLD….OUT CAME ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LADIES OF THE SILVER SCREEN, I WAS JUST DUMB STRUCK…I TOOK HER TO THE C-54 TO TAKE HER UP TO A PLACE WHERE ONE OF THE BIGGEST BATTLE TOOK PLACE, IT WAS CALLED “BAYONET BOWL” ….I TALKED WITH HER AND HER USO CHAPORONE ABOUT HER FILMS AS WE HAD SEEN “HOE TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE” BEFORE SHE CAME TO MY BASE…TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT, I HELPED HER WITH WITH HER LUGGAGE, HER ASSISTANT SAID WHY DON’T YOU GIVE THE HANDSOME YOUNG MAN (NO CONCEIT HERE)A HUG…WELL SHE PLANTED ONE RIGHT ON MY LIPS, I WAS IN HOG HEAVEN…I SAID GOODBYE TO HER, AND DROVE BACK TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BASE,MY C.O. SAW ME WITH LIPSTICK ON MY MOUTH AND FACE AND CRACKED UP…NEEDLESS TO SAY IT WAS ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MY YOUNG LIFE, AND I HAVE THE PROOF IN A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE THAT APPEARED IN MY HOME TOWN NEWSPAPER AND WHERE I LIVE NOW ON THE WEST COAST…..THIS WAS THE ACTUAL WAY IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED IT IS A TRUE STORY…BELEIVE IT OR NOT…-30-

  • SONNY LACHNER

    BEFORE I FORGET…OTHER ACTRESS’S I HAVE MET OVER THE YEARS AND MY CHOICES ALSO FOR MOST POPULAR SEXIEST ETC….STELLA STEVENS …NOT TO FORGET TERRY MOORE REMEMBER HER…..SUSAN HAYWARD LANA TURNER….ELIZABETH TAYLOR…DEBBIE REYNOLDS…MARIE WINDSOR…LOVELY LADY AND A GREAT ACTRESS….JUST TO NAME A FEW…I HAD THE PLEASURE OF KISSING TERRY AND STELLA STEVENS…NO BRAG, JUST FACT…..I HAVE YET TO MEET LIZ TAYLOR…OR DEBBIE REYNOLDS….MET SUSAN HAYWARD IN A DEPARTMENT STORE IN ATLANTA GEORGIA WHERE SHE WAS SHOPPING….LOVELY LADY….AND A SUPERB ACTRESS….WISH I COULD HAVE MET LANA TURNER….AND YES, I HAVE PHOTOS OF ME AND STELLA STEVENS….BUT, TERRY MOORE IS ON 8MM MOVIE FILM. I WAS VERY PROUD AND HAPPY TO HAVE MET THESE GREAT PEOPLE AND I HOPE MY TRUE STORIES ON MEETING THESE PEOPLE WERE ENTERTAINING TO ALL WHO MAY READ MY COMMENTS….IT REALLY HAPPENED..-30-

  • Dmarque

    Always found Barbara Stanwyck to me on the “Manly” side…..NO appeal to me at all. Marilyn was a sweeet girl but I found her on the flabby side and too over the top to be sexy. I don’t think there was ever a more beautiful actress than Rita Hayworth in Gilda. People that voted differently must never have seen her in this role. No contest IMO!!!!

  • David

    Jean Harlow

  • xDJ@V.YouBraveWorld.Tube

    Lana T. exudes SEX. Ava is for beauty, but this is not about beauty.

  • TinyTim

    I’m glad to see some folks mentioned my beloved “second string” stars – Ella Raines, Gail Russell, and Maureen O’Sullivan. I also agree that leaving Hedy Lamarr off the voting list all but invalidates it. Harlow’s not one of my favorites, but she should be there too. As for Elizabeth Taylor and Natalie Wood, although their careers began in 1942 and 43 respectively, Taylor has as many “sex symbol” roles in the 1960s as she did in the 50s, and almost all Natalie Wood’s “adult” roles are in the 60s, so perhaps their omissions can be overlooked. Marilyn never did much for me, but she is doubtless the iconic Hollywood beauty whose image is as familiar and recognizable today as it was when she died 40 years ago, something that can’t be said of any other choice mentioned here. A few years back, I went through a serious Veronica Lake period, but of those you listed, I guess I’d have to vote for Gilda . . . I mean Hayworth (and surely you know what she said about that confusion?).

  • ed cohen

    Another little known movie actress who made it big on television with “The Munsters”: Yvonne deCarlo(Lilly). Ravishing.

  • Bill

    Marilyn Monroe gets the vote. But, if listed, Dorothy Dandridge, Nina Mae McKinney or Lena Horne would have received my vote!!

  • jerry j.

    Where in the list is the Queen of the B Movies–Marie Windsor?

  • anonymous

    You overstate the obvious and forget the gorgeous Gail Russell.

    • Gord Jackson

      Gail Russell also gets my vote, with Universal International contract player Suzan Ball (who died so tragically young from cancer) a close second.

  • Pmeis

    Marilyn Monroe sucks. Just ask anybody.

  • Pmeis

    No problem—Susan Hayward…

  • Burt

    Thelma Ritter..

  • Teddysmith22017

    Ava Gardner was sexy and beautiful, and those eyes would get me me to do almost anything.

  • jerry j.

    I once had a thing for Gloria Graham with her young girl with a past face. And how can we not include the great beauty of Esther Williams?

  • jerry j.

    My goddess of the screen will be Carole Lombard; I think she could act anything.  Re a comment made about Marie Dressler; yes she was ugly and hammy, but she began acting on stage in the 1890s when Lillian Russell and Eva Tanguay were the divas of the stage, so she was a link to the pre movie era.

    • Carolyn Ferrante

      Have you read her biography? I just did. It’s very sad. She was so used and abused by her mother, husband (one in particular whose name I forgot), even her doctor, who misdiagnosed her kidney disease. So sad!

  • Ron

    You forgot the queen – Bridget Bardot

  • Antone

    There are dozens of actresses who are so beautiful and appealing that you would swear–while watching them–that they must be the sexiest woman. My choice today might not be the same as yesterday. The qualitative difference between #1 and #50 is small. That said, here goes.

    I use your list as a starting point and make the following group deletions:

    1. Too short–not sexy to hold a woman and gaze into her hair follicles [Lake & Stanwyck]
    2. Too tough–look like they could and would KO you with 1 punch [Russell & Dietrich]
    3. Chemical OD–too much peroxide,silicon or collagen [Monroe, Turner & Gable]

    My additions Cyd Charisse [best legs and knows how to use them]; Carole Lombard and Stanwyck [funny and willing to mix with behind camera folks]; Hedy Lamarr [best face and smart]; Lauren Bacall [tall, that upward gaze & half-smile and outspoken; Sophia Loren [the best full-figured woman with an equally stunning face]; Kate Hepburn [funny, athletic and outspoken]. I resurrected Stanwyck because she was funny and down-to-earth. Other respondents have covered the merits of Rita, Ava and Ingrid.

    My choice today would be Cyd Charisse. For my reasons just view the “Gotta Dance” segment of 1952’s Singin in the Rain with Gene Kelly and “The Girl Hunt” sequence from the next year’s Band Wagon with Fred Astaire. In my opinion, her first entrance in Singin in the Rain [about 2/3 of the way in] was much more dramatic than Welles’ entrance in The 3rd Man.

  • Bruce Brown

    Bergman was the first actress that took my breath away as a kid and will always be tops on my lists. I am in my mid fiftys now and still think she was and is the best, Isabella Rosalini is just as sexy and like her Mother gets better with the years. Stunning sophisticated sex appeal.

  • bibliobill

    Greta Garbo.

  • thackeraybill@yahoo.com

    You should include Bridget Bardot. Her sultry slim figure is the great alternative to Matilyn’s voluptuous figure. But for fine acting it has to be Barbara Stanwyck.

  • Lisanne

    Barbara Stanwyck, Carole Lombard, Gloria Graham, Vivien Leigh, Hedy Lamarr, and Alida Valli- all sexy, smart and glamorous.

  • Carolyn Ferrante

    I knew Marilyn would come out on top, but I’m glad my choice, Rita Hayworth, came in second. As a child of the 1950s, calendars featuring Monroe were on the kitchen walls of the households of all my little friends. Her involvement with the Kennedys “turns me off” on her.

  • Tom Chicago

    Another vote for Harlow and the neglected Valentina Cortese, who was memorable in Thieve’s Highway.

  • anonymous

    Go back a little further Lillian Gish was best ever!

  • mcLeannadya

    The question was sex-symbol–NOT great actress. Not to confuse the 2. MM is the obvious choice, should almost be excluded.

  • Robert McFarland

    They left off Elizabeth Taylor who would have been my first choice, but Ava Gardner is a close second.

  • Tom Strother

    From the list above, Barbara Stanwyck is my favorite actress, but someone not on the list, Lizabeth Scott is my favorite sex symbol.

  • Robert D Baldwin

    The most sexy lady in “Niagra” was Jean Peters, not MM.

  • Greg Hanlin

    Hey, where’s Grace Kelly? She gets my vote. When the camera zooms in on her face in Alfred Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW, as she’s about to kiss Jimmy Stewart, I’m imaging I’m Stewart.

  • Joseph

    Hedy Lamarr !!!
    the most beautiful (and intelligent) actress ever

  • Pambi13

    I always thought Gene Tierney was lovely. She could be so sweet (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) or so wicked (Leave Her to Heaven).

  • Bill

    How about Jayne Mansfield. Why isn’t she mentioned?

  • Dominic

    Once you place Marilyn Monroes name in any contest – beauty, comedienne, striving serious actress, and especially sex symbol – in the days of beauty on the screen there is no one who can hold a candle to her. The candle in the wind for sure – one of her long lasting fans and alweays will be fan

  • Dominic

    The voters agree wit me

  • Terry Schallert

    ….ummm….Jean Simmons

  • Joyce

    Elizabeth Taylor was probably the most beautiful woman ever, I would also include Sophia Loren as second.

    • HCUA

      If you saw her in a body suit, you would die,when she was about 20. Taylor. I had a picture of her in a black one with a very red background, but, my Mom took it down. Sigh!

  • Makumba

    I would have voted for Hedy Lamarr but Marlene Dietrich is the best on the list
    especially if you seen Kismet.

  • revnon

    Jean Harlow by far!!

  • Cap’nWill

    I agree with pambi13 Gene Tierney was absolutely gorgeous, But when you see MM inher undies in the swim svene w/ Gable in the misfits, there’s no one SEXIER.

  • Hells Angel

    Jean Harlow by far but for some crazy reason the person who compiled the list decided to keep her off, which shows a complete lack of knowledge on the subject. Just reading the comments shows her popularity.

  • 4 Eyes

    Heddy Lamar

  • Rob in L.A.

    Anna May Wong.

  • Fred Leuchter

    Faith Domergue

  • Glenn

    Cyd Charisse,

  • Glenn

    Cyd Charisse, Esther Williams, Debra Paget, Lizabeth Scott, ANITA EKBERG, are names you left off…dimwits!

  • Kevin

    Virginia Mayo

  • Carolyn Dunfield Perkovich

    It’s hard for me to pick too many terrific choices!

  • Mark

    Stanwyck is my favorite all around actress (Davis didn’t do comedy very well and neither did Joan), but she never really turned my crank, even playing a stripper or nightclub singer with Gene Krupa. Rita was sultry with a kind heart and she danced the sh*t out of Fred Astaire.

  • Chuck

    Kim Novak if raw sex appeal is the only criteria. Just ask Jimmy Stewart.

  • Guest

    You guys, it’s who was the sexiest not who was the most beautiful. Yes, Audrey Hepurn was considered beautiful, along with Grace Kelly, but they weren’t really sex-symbols if the time.

  • Jim

    Quite a list, and I would not argue with very many of the choices, but I’m afraid it is a list of 9 women and one genuine goddess: Ava Gardner. If you need persuading, I refer you to “Pandora And The Flying Dutchman”, a hauntingly beautiful movie that features Ava at her most unforgettably ravishing.

  • monica

    Dorothy Dandridge, marilyn monroe, Elizabeth taylor, sophia Loren, Raquel welch, diana ross, halle berry, myrna loy, diane Keaton, scarlett johansson, aishwara rai, lynda carter an diane lane are all my favorite sex symbols…

    • Randy

      looks like someone doesn’t understand – PRE SIXTIES

      • Gary

        right…sex symbols under 60

        • Gary

          I guess that leaves out Ruth Gordon

  • SFarris

    No contest…Marilyn was the sexiest…Rita had a lot of G.I.’s panting, but “Gentlemen DO Prefer Blonds”.

  • Ethan Chase

    My choice is Ilona Massey.

  • Grandville

    Jean Harlow – the original sex symbol, undisputed legend. . . unlisted?

  • Brian the bad 51

    what about?, Liz Taylor,& ,Shirley Maclaine.

  • capttom

    yvonne de carlo

  • MJB

    Sophia Loren the one and only sex goddess of te 50s 60s 70s 80s 90s. Thatsa pair of spicy ….you get it!

  • MJB

    Gene Tieney and her crooked smile Ava Gardner Marylin Monroe and Grace Kelly anyone can come in second to Sophia Loren

  • leeka

    Where is Greta Garbo on this list?

  • Randy

    I agree with Grandville – Jean Harlow was super hot and had a sweet but naughty girl persona. Veronica Lake and Barbara Stanwyck are easily close seconds. (see a trend here? blondes)

  • babs sandwitch

    I chose Rita — but was looking for Jean Harlow. Plz don’t say she is forgotten!!!

  • Gayle Feyrer

    I wavered between Monroe and Gardner for sexy and went with Gardner, though I adore Marilyn too. I liked Gardner’s sultry glamour. Two very different styles of sexy. I love the gorgeous Gene Tierney, but while I think she’s sexy, I don’t know that she’s quite as sexy as the other two and that’s what we were voted on in this poll. I mean, Lillian Gish – sexy? And I find Russell and Turner sort of crass. Harlow should have been on the list, though she wouldn’t have been my favorite. If it were “most romantic”, I’d probably hover between Tierney and Bergman. Subtle differences.

  • Christine

    Barbara Stanwyck had that down-to-earth girl next door feel. She seemed like a sweet and friendly person.

  • Gary Baker

    It’s really quite difficult to choose between that hot Olive Oylian temptress Zazu Pitts or the “scream queen” vulnerability of a youthful Una O’ Connor, or prehaps the exotic sensuality of Maria Ouspenskaya. What a foursome that would be.

  • Gary Baker

    Cap’n Will used the word “undies”…Is that proper for this forum? What color undies were they?? Wait…I used the word “undies” too…Shame on BOTH OF US

  • Gary Baker

    Oh…and what about Margaret Dumont….That fine amazonian fillie with such an ample bosom

  • Betty Grove

    What about the men folk? There were some very good looking men in the movies way back when and while they may not have been as “ripped” as today’s male stars they still had a lot of sex appeal.

  • KarenG958

    That’s a toughie. I picked Marilyn, but Rita Hayworth was truly lovely. Ava Gardner was smart & funny in addition to being beautiful.

  • PapaPete

    When I was 12 years old I saw Sophia Loren in “Boy on a Dolphin” (1957). Maybe it’s not a great movie but when she rises from the water at the side of Alan Ladd’s boat… well, that was the moment when I first realized why men love women!

    Then, a year later, she appeared in “Houseboat” with Cary Grant and I was mesmerized!

    She is my idea of a SEX SYMBOL!

    Marilyn Monroe is also #1 but in a more playful sense.

    And Hedy Lamarr… WOW!

  • diacad

    Lilian Harvey!

  • cc

    Happy Birthday Barbara Stanwyck! Of course, I must vote for her especially today. Excellent actress also!

  • MensaMike

    Where’s Lee Remick?

  • cc

    I agree that garbo and harlow should be on the list. Vivien Leigh also

  • Skooz

    In her day, Claudette Colbert could melt titanium.

  • scribe_well

    They may not be A-listers, but Mara Corday, Mamie Van Doren and Yvette Vickers sure brought a little something extra to a lot of B flicks…

  • mike s

    You need to expand this list!
    Just a few off the top of my head: Norma Shear; Dorothy Lamour; Mae West; Grace Kelly; Jane Mansfield; Elizabeth Taylor; Brigitte Bardot; Sophia Loren; Natalie Wood; Jean Harlow; Claudette Colbert; Bettie Page; Mamie Van Doren; Ginger Rogers; Greta Garbo; Clara Bow; Myrna Loy; Ann Sheridan; Carole Lombard; Joan Crawford; Bette Davis;
    C’mon, bigger list of choices please!!!

  • MissBrendaWI

    Where is Mae West on this list !?!?!?!?