The Golden Age of Hollywood was a glorious era when every new movie was original and fresh, but good actors were always hard to find. The success of each movie was built around the Big Eight film studios and their iconic actors and actresses, who were basically regular employees, bound by very strict contracts.

They were considered the etalons of beauty back in the day, and you can clearly see why.

1. Grace Kelly

It took Kelly only four years in the biz to reach crazy fame, most of which she owes to Alfred Hitchcock. He was the genius who saw her talent and made her the star of his best thrillers. In 1956 she finished her acting career and became the wife of Prince Rainier III of Monaco.

2. Audrey Hepburn

Beautiful, smart, sophisticated, and considered by many to be the best actress in history — that’s how the world remembers Audrey. Her first major role put her in the spotlight of the Oscar nominees, followed by many more awards and nominations. The American Film Art Institute ranked her as the third best actress ever.

3. Marilyn Monroe

It says a lot about an actress when people idolize her beauty decades after her glory days. Marilyn Monroe still lives rent-free in the minds of millions of fans. And even despite her early death, she will always be remembered as the woman who made blondes sexy again.

4. Ava Gardner

One of the sparkliest stars in the sky of the 40-50s era. The start of her career was not easy; Ava had to sit through dozens of supporting roles until Robert Siodmak invited her to come forward. Since then, Gardner has played in 49 more famous movies.

5. Vivien Leigh

Vivienne is one of those women who appears once in a generation and just steals everyone’s hearts. Unfortunately, she had quite an attitude, which meant that only a few directors would ever want to work with her. That’s why her filmography consists of only 21 films, but each of them is a masterpiece.

6. Lana Turner

Lana made a dizzying career thanks to her good looks and fantastic body. Lana Turner was married seven times and had many flings on the side, which meant Lana was often criticized for her frivolous behavior. But as they say, business is business, so despite all that, any studio that was able to hire her was in for a big hit.

7. Joan Fontaine

Born Joan de Havilland, she had to change her name not to interfere with her older sister’s career, who took her father’s name. This did not stop Joan from becoming one of Alfred Hitchcock’s favorites and earning many prestigious film awards.

8. Elizabeth Taylor

Liz Taylor’s popularity was so great that she was one of the first to receive multimillion-dollar royalties, and that’s without mentioning how her beauty and charisma drove men crazy. Most of her movies have gained legendary status and received countless awards.

9. Veronica Lake

Veronica was the first actress to popularize the long hair trend in movies, and hairstyles covering one eye became her specialty. After a horrible accident on the set, she lost her unborn child, and her career began to decline sharply.

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10. Sophia Loren

The legendary actress and singer used to run Hollywood like it was her backyard. Sophia won all prestigious film awards and was the first owner of the Oscar for the best film in a foreign language. It’s only fair that the film academy presented her with the Honorary Academy Award for Career Achievement.

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