Hottest stars, decade by decade

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda in the 1968 sci-fi classic Barbarella, directed by her then husband Roger Vadim. Fonda, Julie Christie, Raquel Welch, and Brigitte Bardot were the 60s sex kittens.

It's an almost impossible task, but here it is: a list of the hottest actresses in each decade from the 1950s to the present day. We include some equally sexy runners-up. Our list includes gorgeous women such as Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Faye Dunaway, Halle Berry, and Angelina Jolie.

Some careers span much more than a decade. Catherine Deneuve has starred in movies since the 1960s and is just as hot today as she was in Belle de Jour in 1967. The same can be said of Julie Christie, Kim Basinger, Sissy Spacek, and Meryl Streep. Do you think Angelina Jolie will still be starring in movies in 20 or 30 years?

Marilyn Monroe

1950s, Marilyn Monroe. More hot stars


Brigitte Bardot

1960s, Brigitte Bardot. More screen stars


Faye Dunaway

1970s, Faye Dunaway. More U.S. stars


Kim Basinger

1980s, Kim Basinger. More hot actresses


Halle Berry

1990s, Halle Berry. More sexy stars


Angelina Jolie

2000s, Angelina Jolie. More wild women


Emmanuelle Beart

Runner-up 1990s, Emmanuelle Beart. More Beart


1950s, Marilyn Monroe

Born: June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California.

Quote: Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.

True name: Norma Jeane.

Best movie: Don't Bother to Knock (1952) with Richard Widmark, directed by Roy Ward Baker.

Factoids: Marilyn Monroe was married to James Dougherty, baseball player Joe DiMaggio, and highbrow playwright Arthur Miller. She is alleged to have had affairs with both Kennedy brothers and Marlon Brando.

Runner-up hotties: Audrey Hepburn, Dorothy Dandridge, Jane Russell, Grace Kelly, and Ingrid Bergman

1960s: Brigitte Bardot

Born: September 28, 1934 in Paris, France.

Quote: It is sad to grow old but nice to ripen.

More Bardot wisdom: What could be more beautiful than a dear old lady growing wise with age? Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it.

Best movie: Le Mepris (Contempt - Criterion Collection), (1963).

Did you know?: Brigitte Bardot was one of the first international sex symbols. She says of this time: My life was totally turned upside down. I was followed, spied upon, adored, insulted. My private life became public. Overnight, I found myself imprisoned, a gilded prison but a prison nonetheless.

Runner-up hotties: Jane Fonda, Julie Christie, Raquel Welch, and Sophia Loren.

1970s: Faye Dunaway

Born: January 14, 1941 in Bascom, Florida.

Quote: It's true, I did a lot of great movies, and I'm happy. It was what it was, and now I think all of that has fed into where I am now, and I think it has taught me a lot.

You might not know: Dunaway played poet Charles Bukowski's alcoholic girlfriend in Barfly (1987) (PAL/Region 0). Mickey Rourke played Bukowski.

Best movie: Chinatown, (1974), directed by Roman Polanski, one of the greatest detective stories ever made.

Most famous role: As Bonnie in Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde (1967). Warren Beatty played Clyde.

Odd fact: From 1984 to 1987, Dunaway was married to British photographer Terry O'Neill and spent a lot of time in London.

Runner-up hotties: Catherine Deneuve, Sissy Spacek, and Meryl Streep

1980s: Kim Basinger

Born: December 8, 1953, in Athens, Georgia. Her dad played big-band jazz. Her mother performed water ballet in Esther Williams movies

Quote: I think any girl who comes to Hollywood with sex symbol or bombshell hanging over her has a rough road.

You might not know: Back in the day, Kim Basinger and Prince had the hots for each other.

Best movie: Fool for Love (1985), written by Sam Shepard, directed by Robert Altman.

Sexiest movie: 9 1/2 Weeks (1986) with Mickey Rourke.

Odd fact: Her best all-time movie is L.A. Confidential (Two-Disc Special Edition), made in 1997 and directed by Curtis Hanson.

Runner-up hotties: Michelle Pfeiffer, Sigourney Weaver, Ellen Barkin, and Isabelle Huppert

1990s: Halle Berry

Born: August 14, 1966 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Quote: The times may have changed, but the people are still the same. We're still looking for love, and that will always be our struggle as human beings.

Best movie: Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999), directed by Martha Coolidge.

Hottest movie: Monster's Ball (2001) with Billy Bob Thornton, directed by Marc Forster. Berry received an Oscar for her role.

Runner-up hotties: Sharon Stone, Angela Bassett, and Emmanuelle Beart.

2000s: Angelina Jolie

Born: June 4, 1975 in Los Angeles, California.

Quote: I don't believe in guilt, I believe in living on impulse as long as you never intentionally hurt another person, and don't judge people in your life. I think you should live completely free.

Best movie: A Mighty Heart (2007), directed by Michael Winterbottom.

Hottest movie: Beowulf (2007), in which she was (digitally) naked throughout.

Factoid: She is the daughter of Jon Voight, with whom she has a strained relationship. She says of her father: And my dad, you're a great actor but you're a better father.

Runner-up hotties: Salma Hayek, Kristen Stewart, Keira Knightley, Penelope Cruz, and Zoe Saldana.

The hottest stars under 30: See Megan Fox, Rooney Mara, and Kristen Stewart


By Athina Simonidou