Written by: Erik Beck, Special to CC2K
If you were 12 in 1986 when Labyrinth came out, it was great. Not because of the story (which is okay) or the film (which is okay), but because of Jennifer Connelly. She was 14 and she was beautiful. Of course to go back now at 36 and think of how beautiful she was feels a bit odd. It was fine then. Now, it’s weird.
So what to do? Well, find the age appropriate film hottie, that’s what. Whether you’re 15, 40 or 65 there’s someone out there for every age. Hollywood might not be great at making use of actresses as they age, but they are still around to be found.
The birthdates I have gotten from the IMDb, and I based their age on the filming dates listed on the IMDb (or my best guess). If many of these women and their performances seem familiar, well perhaps you saw a previous list I did for CC2K for Sex Week two years ago: The 100 Sexiest Movie Performances of All-Time.
So, here you go. A Guide to Gorgeous Actresses from 15 to 65. Enjoy.
15 – Rachel-Hurd Wood in Perfume
At one point, hits on my Great Director post on Tom Tykwer suddenly started spiking. It wasn’t rabid Run Lola Run fans. It was people looking for Rachel Hurd-Wood pictures.
16 – Winona Ryder in Heathers
Remember when Winona Ryder was one of the most gorgeous, most talented actresses working in film? The talent began earlier with Lucas and Beetlejuice, but this is where you noticed how gorgeous she was.
17 – Claire Danes in Romeo + Juliet
The most perfect red-headed Juliet.
18 – Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The #1 spot on my list from last year of the Top 10 Child Actresses Who Have Grown Up to Be Incredibly Hot.
19 – Kelly MacDonald in Trainspotting
First she is gorgeous in the club scene. Then she has one of the great sex scenes of all-time. Then she kicks it up a notch with the schoolgirl outfit.
20 – Zhang Ziyi in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
As I said in my previous list, she is so amazingly beautiful, but she just might kick your ass.
21 – Kiera Knightley in Atonement
She is so good-looking in this film that the dress she wears was voted in one poll as the best dress in film history.
22 – Natalie Portman in Garden State
Brilliant as a kid in Leon, wonderfully charming in Beautiful Girls, the perfect casting for Leia’s mother in the Star Wars prequels and absolutely gorgeous here.
23 – Grace Kelly in Mogambo
Grace Kelly was absolutely gorgeous at all times. This is just the spot where she fit in perfectly.
24 – Audrey Tautou in Amelie
A performance that you absolutely fall in love with every time you watch the film (and I watch it a lot).
25 – Eva Green in Casino Royale
She sizes up James Bond the minute she meets him. And a strong contender (along with Halle Berry) for best looking Bond girl ever.
26 – Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca
The most beautiful woman who ever lived? One of the strong contenders.
27 – Cate Blanchett in Oscar and Lucinda
This was the first film I ever saw Cate Blanchett in and she absolutely made me sit up and take notice. Part of it was how much she deserved the Oscar. Part of it was how gorgeous she was.
28 – Shirley MacLaine in Irma La Douce
Shirley MacLaine might have become very strange as she got older, but when she younger she was not only a great actress (well, she’s still a great actress), but was also one of the most beautiful women around.
29 – Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone
It may be hard to remember now, but with this, Body Heat, and Prizzi’s Honor, Turner was IT in the 80’s.
30 – Jane Fonda in Barbarella
The very definition of sex kitten.
31 – Amy Adams in Enchanted
With one fell swoop, standing there in a towel she became one of my biggest celebrity crushes. The fact that she’s only two months older than me also helps.
32 – Naomi Watts in Mulholland Drive
The Sexiest Performance of All-Time. What more need be said?
33 – Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve
#2 on my Sexiest Performances of All-Time list. So perfect and sultry and alluring.
34 – Penelope Cruz in Broken Embraces
She manages to somehow channel Audrey Hepburn, look gorgeous in a blonde wig and give an Oscar worthy performance all at the same time.
35 – Halle Berry in Die Another Day
A strong contender for the best looking Bond girl ever.
36 – Angela Bassett in Strange Days
An under-rated film from future Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow (who looks great at 59). Bassett is great and looks even better.
37 – Maria Bello in A History of Violence
Just take one look at how good she still looks in a cheerleader outfit at 37. Not to mention her fabulous performance that deserved an Oscar nomination.
38 – Emmanuelle Beart in 8 Women
I could have picked any number of Beart roles, but I like her best as the blonde maid in this great quirky musical (of course, I could have picked any of the actresses in this film).
39 – Gong Li in Memoirs of a Geisha
She had long been acknowledged as one of the world’s most beautiful and talented actresses. Here she convincingly plays a geisha across 20 years.
40 – Julia Roberts in Duplicity
This film really slipped under the radar, but it was a great pairing of a great looking couple. It was smart and witty and enjoyable and damn is she still great looking going into her forties.
41 – Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham
One of the sexiest performances in film history. That she could be so sexy after the age of 40 and so in love with baseball only adds to it. Wouldn’t you wear garters under your uniform if she told you to?
42 – Michelle Yeoh in Memoirs of a Geisha
Twelve years after The Heroic Trio, eight after being a Bond girl, and five after Crouching Tiger, and Michelle Yeoh is still beautiful.
43 – Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler
There’s not a lot of actresses who continue to do great nude scenes into her 40’s, but in this and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Tomei shows how great an actress she still is and how great she still looks nude.
44 – Julianne Moore in Children of Men
Moore could easily make the list at any age. This was the age where I needed to put her in. She still looks great today at 50.
45 – Mary-Louise Parker in Red
Helen Mirren gets the lion’s share of the attention in Red, but Parker is still gorgeous in her mid-40’s as any fan of Weeds knows.
46 – Audrey Hepburn in Robin and Marian
A lovely Maid Marion, even at age 46.
47 – Kristin Scott-Thomas in I’ve Loved You So Long
A disturbing performance which deserved an Oscar nomination. Scott-Thomas, in a role stripped of Hollywood’s false sense of beauty shows how great she is and how great she still looks.
48 – Kay Walsh in Tunes of Glory
Walsh was always under-appreciated as an actress. But at least people always knew she was beautiful.
49 – Michelle Pfeiffer in Cheri
After seeming lost through much of the decade, Pfeiffer reminded everybody of her ability and her good looks in Stardust, Hairspray, and Cheri.
50 – Isabelle Huppert in I Heart Huckabees
Huppert’s allure is still strong enough here to entice Jason Schwartzman into a fling in a mud puddle.
51 – Annette Bening in The Kids are All Right
She probably won’t win the Oscar. But she still looks great at 51.
52 – Debra Winger in Rachel Getting Married
One of my first childhood crushes when I was young, she is still beautiful here and every bit believable as the mother of Anne Hathaway and Rosemarie DeWitt.
53 – Faye Dunaway in Don Juan DeMarco
This shows you how Hollywood treats age – when they needed someone to play Brando’s wife, they still found someone who was 15 years younger. She was still good though.
54 – Vanessa Redgrave in Howards End
Redgrave is simply luminous through her scenes that dominate the early part of the film; her performance is memorable enough that it earned her an Oscar nomination.
55 – Charlotte Rampling in Swimming Pool
It might have been Ludivine Sagnier who was the sexy bombshell in this film, but many actresses are at 23. What is more impressive is how good Rampling still looked into her mid-50’s.
56 – Julie Christie in Afterglow
This film reminded film-goers that no only was Christie was one of the best actresses still, but also one of the best-looking actresses at any age.
57 – Fanny Ardant in Roman de Gare
Ardant has been a stunner for 30 years. This is just one of the latest examples.
58 – Nichelle Nichols in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
It was the previous film where she did the naked dance, but she is still quite a looker here, some 25 years after the original television series.
59 – Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated
Streep is so lovely here at 59 that both Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin want her.
60 – Marlene Dietrich in Judgment at Nuremberg
At some point, it just seemed that Dietrich just stopped aging. Does she look 60 in this film?
61 – Susan Sarandon in The Lovely Bones
Sarandon could have actually made the list in several places. But here, even playing the grandmother, she is still beautiful.
62 – Beatrice Straight in Network
The only Oscar winner on the list – she is so powerful on-screen that she holds the record for shortest performance to ever win an Oscar.
63 – Catherine Deneuve in A Christmas Tale
Deneuve is still lovely after all these years. I had a friend in college who wrote a poem titled “Arguments for and Against the Existence of God.” Deneuve was in the “for” category.
64 – Helen Mirren in Red
Is Helen Mirren the only woman on the planet who continues to get lovelier and sexier as she ages?
65 – Julie Christie in Away from Her
Still lovely as the Alzheimer’s patient who is drifting away from her husband and herself.