Beautiful, sharp and talented - a list by Lars-Erik Falch

by tarzan-falch | created - 06 Oct 2016 | updated - 11 months ago | Public

1. Merle Oberon

Actress | Wuthering Heights

Estelle Merle O'Brien Thompson was born in India on February 19, 1911. She was educated in that country until the age of 17, when she left for London. Merle began her career in British films with mostly forgettable roles or bit parts. She appeared in an uncredited role in Alf's Button (1930), a ...

Quote: “My life here is all wrong. Hollywood is the only place where I lose faith and begin to wonder what’s wrong with human nature. I don’t know any of the real Americans. I only know a small clique of picture people whom I see over and over again. And though they’re charming and talented, life in that clique is very abnormal. In Hollywood, friendships are taken with a grain of salt. People think too much about what or who is good for their careers. And yet they’re so completely dependent on each other, the rest of the world is so utterly forgotten, that false importance is attached to every relationship, to the little slights, and all the trivial complications of life."

2. Lauren Bacall

Actress | To Have and Have Not

Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924, in New York City. She was the daughter of Natalie Weinstein-Bacal, a Romanian Jewish immigrant, and William Perske, who was born in New Jersey, to Polish Jewish parents. Her family was middle-class, with her father working as a ...

Quote: "I used to tremble from nerves so badly that the only way I could hold my head steady was to lower my chin practically to my chest and look up at Bogie. That was the beginning of The Look."

3. Elizabeth Taylor

Actress | Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was considered one of the last, if not the last, major star to have come out of the old Hollywood studio system. She was known internationally for her beauty, especially for her violet eyes, with which she captured audiences early on in her youth and kept the world hooked ...

Quote: "The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues."

4. Gene Tierney

Actress | Laura

With prominent cheekbones, luminous skin and the most crystalline green eyes of her day, Gene Tierney's striking good looks helped propel her to stardom. Her best known role is the enigmatic murder victim in Laura (1944). She was also Oscar-nominated for Leave Her to Heaven (1945). Her acting ...

Quote: "Wealth, beauty, and fame are transient. When those are gone, little is left except the need to be useful."

5. Myrna Loy

Actress | The Best Years of Our Lives

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

Quote: "Most of the sex I've seen on the screen looks like an expression of hostility towards sex."

6. Olivia de Havilland

Actress | The Heiress

Olivia Mary de Havilland was born July 1, 1916, in Tokyo, Japan, to British parents Lilian Augusta (Ruse), a former actress, and Walter Augustus de Havilland, an English professor and patent attorney. Her sister, Joan, later to become famous as Joan Fontaine, was born the following year. Her ...

Quote: "The TV business is soul crushing, talent destroying and human being destroying."

7. Vivien Leigh

Actress | A Streetcar Named Desire

If a film were made of the life of Vivien Leigh, it would open in India just before World War I, where a successful British businessman could live like a prince. In the mountains above Calcutta, a little princess is born. Because of the outbreak of World War I, she is six years old the first time ...

Quote: "I'm not a film star, I am an actress. Being a film star is such a false life, lived for fake values and for publicity."

8. Jean Arthur

Actress | Shane

This marvelous screen comedienne's best asset was only muffled during her seven years' stint in silent films. That asset? It was, of course, her squeaky, frog-like voice, which silent-era cinema audiences had simply no way of perceiving, much less appreciating. Jean Arthur, born Gladys Georgianna ...

Quote: "I guess I became an actress because I didn't want to be myself."

9. Barbara Stanwyck

Actress | Double Indemnity

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

Quote: "Career is too pompous a word. It was a job, and I have always felt privileged to be paid for what I love doing."

10. Anne Baxter

Actress | All About Eve

Anne Baxter was born in Michigan City, Indiana, on May 7, 1923. She was the daughter of a salesman and his wife, Catherine, who herself was the daughter of Frank Lloyd Wright, the world-renowned architect. Anne was a young girl of 11 when her parents moved to New York City, which at that time was ...

Quote: "I wasn't afraid to fail. Something good always comes out of failure."

11. Jean Simmons

Actress | Guys and Dolls

Demure British beauty Jean Simmons was born January 31, 1929 in Crouch End, London. As a 14-year-old dance student, she was plucked from her school to play Margaret Lockwood's precocious sister in Give Us the Moon (1944), and she went on to make a name for herself in such major British productions ...

Quote:"Every actress has to face the facts there are younger, more beautiful girls right behind you. Once you've gone beyond the vanity of the business, you'll take on the tough roles."

12. Jennifer Jones

Actress | The Towering Inferno

One of the world's most underrated Academy Award-winning actresses, Jennifer Jones was born Phylis Lee Isley on 2 March 1919 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Flora Mae (Suber) and Phillip Ross Isley, who ran a travelling stage show. As a young aspiring actress, she met and fell for young, handsome, aspiring ...

Quote: "If you could choose one characteristic that would get you through life, choose a sense of humor."

13. Anne Bancroft

Actress | The Graduate

Anne Bancroft was born on September 17, 1931 in the Bronx, the daughter of Michael Italiano (1905-2001), a dress pattern maker, and Mildred DiNapoli (1908-2010), a telephone operator. She made her cinema debut in Don't Bother to Knock (1952) in 1952 and over the next five years appeared in a lot of...

Quote: "I am quite surprised, that with all my work, and some of it is very, very good, that nobody talks about The Miracle Worker. We're talking about Mrs. Robinson. I understand the world... I'm just a little dismayed that people aren't beyond it yet."

14. Ava Gardner

Actress | The Night of the Iguana

Ava Lavina Gardner was born on December 24, 1922 in Grabtown, North Carolina, to Mary Elizabeth (née Baker) and Jonas Bailey Gardner. Born on a tobacco farm, where she got her lifelong love of earthy language and going barefoot, Ava grew up in the rural South. At age 18, her picture in the window ...

Quote: “Sex isn't all that important, but it is when you love someone very much.”

15. Joan Blondell

Actress | Grease

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

Quote: "In the 20s, you were a face. And that was enough. In the 30s, you also had to be a voice. And your voice had to match your face, if you can imagine that."

16. Joan Crawford

Actress | What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Joan Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur on March 23, 1905, in San Antonio, Texas, to Anna Belle (Johnson) and Thomas E. LeSueur, a laundry laborer. By the time she was born, her parents had separated, and by the time she was a teenager, she'd had three stepfathers. It wasn't an easy life; ...

Quote: "Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell."

17. Judy Holliday

Actress | Born Yesterday

Judy Holliday was born Judith Tuvim in New York City on June 21, 1921. Her mother, a piano teacher, was attending a play when she went into labor and made it to the hospital just in time. Judy was an only child. By the age of four, her mother had her enrolled in ballet school which fostered a ...

Quote: "If you can handle a nightclub audience successfully, you can handle anything."

18. Miriam Hopkins

Actress | The Heiress

Born into wealth in Savannah,Georgia on October 18, 1902, Ellen Miriam Hopkins was able to attend the finest educational institutions including Goddard Seminary in Plainfield, Vermont and Syracuse University in New York State. Studying dance in New York , she received her first taste of show ...

Quote: "When I can't sleep, I don't count sheep. I count lovers. And by the time I reach 38 or 39, I'm asleep."

19. Norma Shearer

Actress | The Divorcee

She won a beauty contest at age fourteen. In 1920 her mother, Edith Shearer, took Norma and her sister Athole Shearer (Mrs. Howard Hawks) to New York. Ziegfeld rejected her for his "Follies," but she got work as an extra in several movies. She spent much money on eye doctor's services trying to ...

Quote: "Never let them see you in public after you've turned thirty-five. You're finished if you do!"

20. Jane Fonda

Actress | Barbarella

Born in New York City to legendary screen star Henry Fonda and Ontario-born New York socialite Frances Seymour Brokaw, Jane Seymour Fonda was destined early to an uncommon and influential life in the limelight. Although she initially showed little inclination to follow her father's trade, she was ...

Quote: "We're not meant to be perfect. It took me a long time to learn that."

21. Kerry Washington

Actress | Django Unchained

Kerry Washington was born on January 31, 1977 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA as Kerry Marisa Washington. She is an actress and producer, known for Django Unchained (2012), Scandal (2012) and Save the Last Dance (2001). She has been married to Nnamdi Asomugha since June 24, 2013. They ...

Quote: "I think as a whole America is dealing with the issue of homophobia. We got to be really honest about whether we believe in civil rights for all people or not."

22. Scarlett Johansson

Actress | Her

Scarlett Johansson was born in New York City. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, is from a Jewish family from the Bronx, and her father, Karsten Johansson, is a Danish-born architect, from Copenhagen. She has a sister, Vanessa Johansson, who is also an actress, a brother, Adrian, a twin brother, Hunter ...

Quote: "These tabloid magazines - I think they're hideous and the downfall of society."

23. Holly Hunter

Actress | The Piano

Holly Hunter was born in Conyers, Georgia, to Opal Marguerite (Catledge), a homemaker, and Charles Edwin Hunter, a part-time sporting goods company representative and farmer with a 250 acre farm. She is the youngest of seven children. Her parents encouraged her talent at an early age, and her first...

Quote: "Actors are beggars and gypsies, that's just the way it is. And in many ways, I take what I can get. But I do search high and low for stuff that interests me."

24. Julie Christie

Actress | Doctor Zhivago

Julie Christie, the British movie legend whom Al Pacino called "the most poetic of all actresses," was born in Chabua, Assam, India, on April 14, 1940, the daughter of Rosemary (Ramsden), a painter, and Francis St. John "Frank" Christie, a tea planter. The young Christie grew up on her father's ...

Quote: "I never will have peace of mind. I'm not constructed that way. Some things in life can be horrible."

25. Irene Dunne

Actress | The Awful Truth

Irene Marie Dunne was born on December 20, 1898, in Louisville, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Joseph Dunne, who inspected steamships, and Adelaide Henry, a musician who prompted Irene in the arts. Her first production was in Louisville when she appeared in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the age...

Quote: "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."

26. Carole Lombard

Actress | My Man Godfrey

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

Quote: "I think marriage is dangerous. The idea of two people trying to possess each other is wrong. I don't think the flare of love lasts. Your mind rather than your emotions must answer for the success of matrimony. It must be friendship - a calm companionship which can last through the years."

27. Catherine Deneuve

Actress | 8 femmes

Catherine Fabienne Deneuve was born October 22, 1943 in Paris, France. Her parents were actors. She made her movie debut in 1957, when she was barely a teenager and continued with small parts in minor films, until Roger Vadim gave her a meatier role in Vice and Virtue (1963). But her breakthrough ...

Quote: "I always try to keep that feeling of being on the edge. I'm afraid of knowing too well and seeming mechanical."

28. Constance Bennett

Actress | Topper

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

Quote: “THERE’S A BROAD WITH HER FUTURE BEHIND HER!” (Bennett on Marilyn Monroe)

29. Ingrid Thulin

Actress | Smultronstället

Ingrid trained as a ballet dancer and attended Stockholm's Royal Dramatic Theatre. She came to fame thanks to Bergman's "Wild Strawberries". She acted in 9 Ingmar Bergman's films. Her fame allowed her to act in Luchino Visconti's "The Damned" in 1969. Ingrid Thulin lived in Rome since the 1960's. ...

Quote: "Snart har jag glömt de fem, sex språk jag lärde mig. Snart har jag glömt vem jag är och varför jag levde. Snart är alla borta. Mitt skelett gör ont på flera ställen. Hur länge till ska jag gå omkring och bära det. Går det inte att få ett nytt, mindre tungt och mer lättburet av plast. Det finns ju så många nya och outslitliga material."

30. Jennifer Lawrence

Actress | The Hunger Games

Was the highest-paid actress in the world in 2015 and 2016. With her films grossing over $5.5 billion worldwide, Jennifer Lawrence is often cited as the most successful actor of her generation. She is also thus far the only person born in the 1990s to have won an acting Oscar.

Jennifer Shrader ...

Quote: "I wanted to be a doctor when I was little, so I'm okay with blood and guts."



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