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Top 25 Beautiful Celebrity Brunettes

Randall

The brunette, in history, has always been seen as the temptress, the siren; from Lilith of Hebrew mythology to Shakespeare’s ‘dark lady of the sonnets,’ the brunette has been the woman who gives men pause even while we desire her, as though we sense there’s a dangerous cleverness in her that will destroy us. No matter what we do, we can’t help ignoring our caution… and so we fall into her trap. If, in terms of popular motif, the blonde is traditionally ‘angelic’ (and/or bubble-headed) and the redhead ‘fiery’ (and troublesome) the brunette is… something dark and deeply intense. She’s alluring and alarming, all at once.

Comments on the criteria I used: For the most part I wanted a list of beautiful women who had something to offer besides good looks. Whether that’s intelligence, talent or simply poise and class, a great voice, a sense of humor… or a combination of all these. I also wanted a list of women who fit this vague, personal and indefinable visual image I have of the “perfect brunette.” Don’t ask me what that is, I can’t say. I only know that I’ve found it several times in my life… and, ah… memories.

Also, a rule that I tried to stick to: Some women frequently change their hair color. So I decided that this list had to be limited to those who have faithfully (or at least mostly) stuck to their raven-tressed roots.

I also apologize for the lack of Asian and African women. I had some in mind, but none really could make it high enough on the list for me. Tyra Banks would be my #26, we’ll say. I do feel guilty about this. But PC be damned, I gotta be me.

And some other conspicuous absentees I want to mention: Annette Funicello, Bettie Page, Eliza Dushku, Teri Hatcher, Rachel Weisz, Victoria Principal, Anne Curry, Fran Drescher and Stacey London (I don’t know why, but she does something for me) and a dozen others… It pained me to omit them… but the list had to be pared down.

25

Natalie Portman

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Beautiful, smart and a good actress. She’s got the classic looks of Old Hollywood, combined with an exotic Euro-cool.

24

Joan Collins

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The question might leap to some minds: why Joan Collins but no Elizabeth Taylor? I don’t know. I can only say that it seemed to me somehow that Joan always took herself a tad less seriously than Liz. And it also has always seemed to me that, while Liz had the body and the looks, she was lacking all else. Neither woman’s a good actress… but for some reason I had to include Joan. Perhaps only for the reason that she’s always been a dirty girl, and I’m all for that.

23

Leslie Caron

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A dancer’s body combined with winning charm and Gallic grace. I fell for her when I was a kid and saw her in “Gigi” on TV one day. The Scotch dress, the straw hat… and those eyes and lips.

22

Natalie Merchant

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Back in the day, when she was with 10,000 Maniacs, we all knew there was something alluring and very exotic about Natalie Merchant. The cadence of her voice, the folksy latter-day flower child look about her… and a kind of subtle, challenging beauty.

21

Rose McGowan

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Okay, another bimbo-ish chick, but WOW. She gets major points for being a whacky dirty girl, and for her otherwordly body. But above it’s that face. Fantastic. Sometimes appears as a redhead, but her real color is darker.

20

Sophia Loren

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Needing no comment, probably—the ultimate Italian bombshell. Known for her seductive stripteases and glove-tight lingerie in classic films of the late 50s and 60s. Cary Grant fell hard for her during the filming of “Houseboat.” She rejected him. THAT is feminine self-assurance.

19

Salma Hayek

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The pinnacle of Latin hotties. Out of this world body, out of this world looks, the kind of woman every guy drools over. At least I do.

18

Audrey Hepburn

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Surely the classiest woman on this list. Lithe, slim, graceful and sleekly beautiful like the ballerina she was.

17

Susanna Hoffs

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Hubba hubba, as we say. Back in the 80s there were sex symbols like Madonna and the like… but we college boys always had a thing for Susanna Hoffs, the Bangles hottie who made their videos steamy. She also redeemed an otherwise crap movie (The Allnighter) by appearing in a bikini and, better still, in one scene posing in front of a mirror in a tiny top and panties. Bless you Susanna. And she’s still gorgeous today as she belts out duets with former alterna-rocker and current fattie Matthew Sweet.

16

Natalie Wood

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The greatest of all child stars (and the daughter of Russian immigrants) this goddess grew up to be one of the most strikingly beautiful women in Hollywood. A marriage, divorce, then remarriage to the oily-charmy Robert Wagner (he later redeemed his image somewhat by co-starring as “Number 2” in the Austin Powers films) showed she didn’t have the best judgement—and she died tragically, still young, in a drowning accident.

15

Ava Gardner

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Stunningly exotic, Ava fits the bill despite her green eyes (I prefer my brunettes to have brown). Devastatingly witty, Ava was a woman who challenged men and kept them thinking. Even Frank Sinatra.

14

Faith Domergue

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Nothing special as an actress (some film noir, some TV westerns, etc.) and known primarily as A) a lover of Howard Hughes (who wasn’t? Ava Gardner was too—Howard had good taste) and B) the star of the 50s sci-fi cheese classics “This Island Earth” and “It Came From Beneath the Sea” – Faith makes the list because of those ultra-seductive and sultry eyes and pouty look, which makes her nearly a template for my idea of the perfect brunette.

13

Norah Jones

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Maker of soft-jazz for the approaching-middle-age crowd, it’s perhaps altogether easy to dismiss Norah as an artist. But one has to admit she’s talented… and, well… just look at her. A beautiful combination of all the best that Anglo-American and Indian looks have to offer.

12

Louise Brooks

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Lulu of Pandora’s Box, and the title character in Diary of a Lost Girl, Louise was one of the sexiest/classiest/smartest women of silent film. Light years better than the bimbo-esque Clara Bow or the overrated Gish sisters, Louise later became a cult figure recognized for her beauty and skill as an actress.

11

Barbara Steele

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Scream Queen Barbara starred in the classic Mario Bava film Black Sunday, and then found herself stuck in a career of B-horror flicks filmed mostly in Italy. A pity, because her icy qualities and exotic looks could have made her a far bigger star.

10

Lara Flynn Boyle

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Lara edges out Courtney Cox and Teri Hatcher for this position on the list. Why? Because goddamit, I wrote this list, and Lara, despite her too-slim frame, does something for me that those two don’t. Or… don’t do as much. I can’t say what it is, but I know it’s legit when I look at her.

9

Lisa Rinna

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So freakin’ hotter-than-hell that I don’t care if she’s a crap actress from soap opera world. Or that she’s married to Harry Hamlin. Or that she’s a ditz. At least she’s a great dancer. A really sexy dancer. Makes it on the list for that reason as well as for her otherwordly lips.

8

Elizabeth Hurley

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For some reason she knocks Catherine Zeta-Jones and Rachel Weisz off the list. Again, I don’t know what it is… somehow Elizabeth is sexier, even if Catherine’s a better actress. But Liz also has that body… and those legs… and that freakin’ cute nose.

7

Brooke Burke

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I know there are other more deserving women, and I know she’s just a brunette bimbo… a lingerie-bikini model… but I can’t help it. Brooke Burke makes my heart race. When I see a picture of her, I fall into a trance and it requires cold water splashed… in places… to get me out of it.

6

Angelina Jolie

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Surely this is an obvious choice. Amongst all the Hollywood elite these days, Angelina is consistently referred to as the most beautiful. Whether you agree or not, you gotta admit she’s got it, whatever it is. Lots of it. And she has those lips…

5

Gene Tierney

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One of the most beautiful women in 40s Hollywood, star of Laura, one of the greatest (and oddest) crime melodramas ever… Gene Tierney had that legendary overbite that everyone talked about. I’ll leave the reader to determine for himself/herself what that meant.

4

Myrna Loy

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A fantastic actress (some say the equal of Katherine Hepburn) whose career spanned five decades, she stands out for her role as Nora, wife of Nick Charles in The Thin Man, which established her sharp-as-a-tack witty persona. She turned somewhat matronly in her later roles, but was still easy on the eyes. In the silent era and the early thirties, she was considered a strangely exotic beauty in alluringly erotic roles (check her out as the gypsy temptress in The Squall, for instance) including a one-time run as treacherous offspring to Boris Karloff’s Fu Manchu.

3

Tina Fey

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The thinking man’s sex symbol, Tina places on the list for being A) goddamned beautiful, even in glasses (I’m one of those who finds women in glasses to be extremely sexy) and B) for being so goddamned funny. There’s the old saw that says women aren’t funny. Doesn’t apply to Tina. Head writer for Saturday Night Live for years (as well as anchorwoman for Weekend Update) before leaving to create her own (very funny) show, 30 Rock, Tina is one smart and white-hot-witty babe. Sample quote: A Harvard Medical School study has determined that rectal thermometers are still the best way to tell a baby’s temperature. Plus, it really teaches the baby who’s boss.

2

Diana Rigg

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Okay… Diana is actually more auburn-haired… but I don’t care. (Actually, her real hair color is dark enough that you can’t tell). She is the original, for me… the template. The star of The Avengers, that classic 60s surreal spy show… as high-kicking Mrs. Peel. In her skin-tight, often leather outfits, she was the sexiest character in Sixties television. Also the first woman I fell for as a boy. Diana Rigg is still one of the most iconic figures of the 60s, and one of the most beautiful, classiest and talented women that have ever graced our world.

1

Winona Ryder

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My feeling is that Winona is the most beautiful woman on earth (my personal taste is that Nicole Kidman is second—but Nicole, of course, is a redhead). Not really a very good actress, but it hardly matters when a woman looks that intensely beautiful. Clearly kinda whacky (she grew up on a commune after all) with some skeletons in her bourdoir, Winona has weathered various storms to remain a highly popular, if not award-winning, actress. Also a gorgeous model, where (in fashion shoots) her beauty shines out.

Bonus

Vanessa Anne Hudgens

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I include her on the list as a nod to the youngsters, and because when I first saw her I was floored. She reminded me strongly of a college girlfriend with whom I was hugely enamored. And, despite her revolting association with the hated Disney corporation, she had the good taste to do some nude photography—apparently for a boyfriend. Why? Because beautiful brunettes know they got it, and unlike bimbo California blondes who’ll strip for food, a striking brunette will play the coquette and then surprise you by giving her all for a man’s pleasure. They’re the greatest. God bless the brunette.

Contributor: Randall