Among the most beautiful women of the 20th century, according to public opinion, are generally famous and talented actresses who made history.
These gorgeous cinema stars become models for the society of that time or the image of famous fashion houses.
Opinions differ because everyone has their own preferences when it comes to beautiful and refined women, so there have been several top picks on the subject.
We present a selection of the most beautiful women of the 20th century, distinguished, elegant, and charming, who have stood the test of time, some leaving behind a rich filmography.
The Twentieth Century's Most Beautiful Women
1. Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) - She was one of the most beautiful and important film actresses of the fifties and sixties.
She won an Academy Award for Best Actress as Princess Ann in "Roman Holiday" (1953), three Golden Globe Awards, an Emmy, a Grammy, four BAFTAs, two Tony Awards, and three David di Donatello Awards.
In "The Nun's Story" (1959), the actress had one of her most challenging roles. Films in Review noted: "Her performance as Sister Luke is one of the finest ever seen on the big screen".
The American Film Institute listed her as one of the three greatest stars in film history, and she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her image as a symbol of cinema has remained alive throughout the years.
In a survey conducted by US TV shopping company QVC, the actress was voted the most beautiful woman of the 20th century, in early 2006 the most beautiful woman of all time, and in April 2014 she was named the most beautiful woman of the last 50 years.
Audrey Hepburn embodied a new image of femininity thanks to her delicate, graceful figure and aristocratic manners, for which she was admired and imitated. Her "Breakfast at Tiffany's" outfit in 1961, with its little black Givenchy dress, pearls, and gloves, was particularly notable.
In 1988, Audrey Hepburn was appointed an official ambassador for UNICEF and from then until her death she devoted herself assiduously to humanitarian work.
In recognition, Audrey received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1993.
Her first mission was to Ethiopia in 1988, where she visited the Macallè orphanage. After this first trip, she said: "My heart broke. I can't bear the thought of two million people dying of hunger. (...) I don't like the term 'Third World' because we are all part of one world. I want the world to know that the majority of human beings are suffering".
Audrey Hepburn was compassionate and kind, qualities that make her beautiful inward, as she was outward.
2. Grace Kelly (1929-1982) - Born in Philadelphia to a wealthy family of Irish descent, she is still considered one of the most beautiful actresses of all time and arguably one of the most talented.
Grace Kelly started out as a model and, at 22, had her first role in "Fourteen Hours" (1951), directed by Henry Hathaway. Her status was confirmed in 1954 with an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a "Mogambo" role, starring Gary Cooper, and a Golden Globe Award.
In 1955 she won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actress in the film "The Country Girl" (1954). A favorite actress of famed director Alfred Hitchcock, she starred in three of his films: "Dial M for Murder" (1954), "Rear Window" (1954) - considered a masterpiece of the genre, and "To Catch a Thief" (1955), opposite Cary Grant.
The American Film Institute listed Grace Kelly as the 13th greatest star in film history. When Alfred Hitchcock offered her a fourth film - "Marnie", she would have been happy to be back in the spotlight, but that never happened.
On 19 April 1956, Grace Kelly married Rainier III of Monaco, captivating the attention of the public around the world with her "wedding of the century" on live television. She was 26 and Prince Rainier was 31. Her wedding dress is now housed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, donated by Grace Kelly herself.
Although famous, the daughter of billionaires, with an aura of sensuality and a cool, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, tall (5'7") and slender type of beauty, the actress had little of the air of the great Hollywood divas: she was rather shy, reserved, sadly sweet and stern, even seeming a little unfriendly.
One of the most beautiful actresses ever to grace the silver screen, Grace Kelly remains to this day a symbol of elegance and refinement.
3. Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) is considered the last great diva of Hollywood's golden age for her acting skills and unique beauty. Among her greatest hits were "The Giant" (1956) with Rock Hudson and James Dean, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1958) with Paul Newman, and "Last Summer" (1959) with Montgomery Clift, and Katharine Hepburn.
At only 17, Liz Taylor was awarded the People's Choice Award for Best Costume Design at the 1949 Academy Awards. In 1960, Taylor was Hollywood's highest-paid actress for her role as Cleopatra.
In 1961 she received an Oscar for BUtterfield 8, as well as numerous accolades for her elegant attire. Six years later Elizabeth Taylor won her second Academy Award for Best Actress for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966), where she played alongside Richard Burton.
Designer Michael Kors called Liz Taylor "incredibly beautiful, funny, witty, charming and always brilliant. In today's world there are few people who combine all these qualities with a rich public life and great talent".
Liz is one of the shining lights of the American film industry, ranked by the American Film Institute as the seventh greatest female star of all time.
4. Sophia Loren is a famous Italian actress, universally recognized as one of the most famous actresses in the history of world cinema, having been voted in 2006 as "the most natural beauty in the world". Her rise in the world of cinema began with her role in "Aida" (1953), offered to her by producer Carlo Ponti.
In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked her 21st on its list of the 25 greatest female stars of all time.
Sophia Loren won the Academy Award for Best Actress in "La Ciociara" directed by Vittorio De Sica.
During her long career, Sophia has won two Oscars (including a one-lifetime achievement award), a Golden Globe, a Golden Lion, a Coppa Volpi, a Palme d'Or at Cannes, a BAFTA award, six David di Donatello and two Nastri d'argento.
5. Catherine Deneuve, a star of French cinema, was born in Paris on 22 October 1943 and made her film debut at the age of 13. Her role in the film "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" (1964), directed by Jacques Demi, brought her fame at the age of 20.
With a career spanning half a century, Catherine Deneuve has starred in 120 films under famous directors including Roman Polanski, Luis Bunuel, and Lars von Trier.
The French Film Academy gave her the "Best Actress" award in 1980 for "The Last Metro" (1980), she won "Best Actress" at the 1998 Venice Film Festival for "Place Vendome", and in 1992 for her role as Eliane in the historical drama "Indochina" (1992), she was nominated for an Oscar and was awarded the 2nd César Award (the French equivalent of the Oscar).
Catherine Deneuve's mysterious and aloof beauty was an inspiration for designer Yves Saint Laurent, and in 1992 she also became a model for his skincare line. In 2001, she was chosen as the "new face" of L'Oréal Paris.
Considered the most beautiful woman in the world by the American magazine Look, Catherine Deneuve is one of the few French actresses to be included in the Hollywood Hall of Fame, symbolizing French elegance abroad.
6. Claudia Cardinale was born in Tunisia on April 15, 1938. She was the most important Italian actress of the sixties and the only one to achieve international fame comparable to that of Sophia Loren or Lollobrigida in the fifties.
At the age of 17, Claudia Cardinale won the title of "the most beautiful Italian in Tunis".
"Her beauty, at once sunny and nocturnal, clear, mysterious and disturbing", was praised by the great directors of the golden age of Italian cinema.
She collaborated with Luchino Visconti ("Il Gattopardo", "Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa"), Fellini ("8½"), Bolognini ("Il bell'Antonio", "La viaccia", "Senilità"), etc.
The film "8 1/2" (1963), but especially "Il Gattopardo" (1963) made her known throughout the world as a brilliant performer. Alberto Moravia said that "she is a beauty chiseled by Michelangelo but who will remain, above the 'artistic phenomenon', herself!"
Fluent in French, Italian, Spanish, English, and Arabic, Claudia Cardinale was a member of film festival committees and became a UNESCO Ambassador in 1999 for "The Defense of Women's Rights since".
Claudia Cardinale represented a new female role model.
7. Rita Hayworth (1918-1987) is an American actress and dancer, one of the most beautiful women in film history.
Rita Hayworth starred opposite James Cagney in "The Strawberry Blonde" (1941), with Tyrone Power in "Blood and Sand" (1941), "You Were Never Lovelier" (1942) opposite Fred Astaire, and "Cover Girl" (1944) opposite Gene Kelly.
In 1943 she married the great actor and director Orson Welles, with whom she starred in "The Lady from Shanghai" (1947). Her best-known film is "Gilda" (1946), a great success, making her the most desirable woman in America.
One of the most beautiful and seductive women in film history, Rita Hayworth had five failed marriages and died in 1987 in her New York apartment alone after a long coma.
Rich, glamorous, famous, talented, happy or not so happy, these are just a few of the most beautiful women of the 20th century, adored by fans all over the world even after their death.