A style icon is one thing; a great actress another.A sex symbol can be neither, though our favorites are both.
With her trademark husky drawl and inquisitive eyebrows, Bacall seemed to emerge full-formed from Raymond Chandler's whiskey-soaked , Mae West almost singlehandedly inspired the censorship codes that afflicted Hollywood for decades. Jean Harlow Known as the original Blonde Bombshell, and certainly a prototype for Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow was a formidable figure in sex-symbol history.
World War II life-vests were nicknamed in tribute to her bosom. With her high-penciled brows, wide grin, and wandering beauty mark, she practically invented the trope of the playful vamp. Rita Hayworth The 1941 magazine pin-up of Rita Hayworth kneeling on satin sheets had military men everywhere excusing themselves to the restroom, and left her with an indelible spot on this list. Pam Grier In 1974, one fine slit in a red dress in introduced the world to Pam Grier's majestic decolletage — and we're still thinking about it.
Her legacy is lasting: Hugh Hefner has cited Grable as the sole impetus for his decision to launch model — to pose as national emblem Marianne, proving once again that sex appeal is high on their list of national virtues. Monica Bellucci Monica Bellucci has the kind of objectively undeniable beauty and genetics-defying figure that make you a sex symbol; that she happens to be a great actress is a considerable bonus. Salma Hayek Salma's gorgeous face and probably award-winning breasts would be enough to unzip the collective flies of straight men globally.
But her daring performances, from serious takes in , Jane Fonda launched herself into the collective wet dream of the 1960s, in a performance that remains a marvel of coy daffiness and playful lust. Joan Crawford The regal Joan Crawford may be entitled to a position on this list solely based on the maybe-fact that she and Marilyn Monroe once shared a bed. Clara Bow Clara Bow's wide-set, smoky, and knowing stare was anything but demure.
With audacity, bodaciousness, and abdominal muscles, she was an action superhero and an incomparable sex symbol. Elizabeth Taylor When she wasn't getting married, Elizabeth Taylor earned her fundamental place in the sexual revolution by being one of the first huge stars to dirty up her name and bare her fair limbs for the big screen. Who could take the top spot but Marilyn Monroe, the foremost figure in American sexual iconography?