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Top 10 Elegant Women In Movies

In compiling this list I was very sorry to see so few modern women that can really be classified as elegant. This has been a very difficult list to compile as there are so many women who deserve to be on it – so please be sure to tell us who you think should be in the top 10 (or even 15). If the response is overwhelming I may increase the list.

10. Eva Gabor 1919 – 1995

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Eva Gabor is the elegant daughter in the family (unlike Zsazsa who hit a policeman). Eva was the first of her family to emigrate to the United States from Hungary. She is best known for her role in Green Acres, the comedy about a wealthy couple who move from the glamour of the big city to a farm.

9. Lauren Bacall 1924


Lauren Bacall is included here not just because of her style and appearance – she is also one of the finest examples of a woman who is strong without being manly or overbearing. She exudes the perfect balance of class and strength. Known for her husky voice and sultry looks, she became a fashion model and role model for women in the late 1940s.

8. Lucy Liu 1968

Lucy Liu-1

Lucy Liu was a tough pick – mostly because some of her publicity photos may be deemed to be anything but elegant, however, when fully clothed, Lucy Liu is always stylishly presented and carries herself with grace. She is also one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood today. Liu is also an artist in several media, and has had three gallery shows showcasing her collage, paintings, and photography.

7. Elizabeth Taylor 1932

Elizabeth Taylor Intro

Despite many personal problems throughout her life, Elizabeth Taylor has always managed to appear elegant on screen. She is one of the true bright lights of the American movie industry. The American Film Institute named Taylor seventh among the Greatest Female Stars of All Time.

6. Ava Gardner 1922 – 1990

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Ava worked in the salt mines of the movie industry; in melodramas, historical romances and safari movies, in crime films and westerns: movies that film critics affect to despise. In the mid and late 1950s, Ava became a byword in beauty, a yardstick by which other actresses were judged. As middle-age caught up with Ava, she moved from Spain and settled in London where she lived in Ennismore Gardens, a very prestigious address, until her death in January 1990, shortly after her sixty-eighth birthday.

5. Ingrid Bergman 1915 – 1982

Ingrid Bergman

For her contributions to the motion picture industry, Ingrid Bergman has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6759 Hollywood Blvd. She continues to be a cultural icon — not only for her role in Casablanca, but for her career as a whole and for her innocent, natural beauty. In addition, she is considered by many to be one of the foremost actresses of the 20th century.

4. Cate Blanchett 1969

Cateblanchett2007Oscars (Medium)

Cate Blanchett is an Academy Award- and Golden Globe Award-winning Australian actress. She has also won various awards, most notably including two SAGs and two BAFTAs, making her one of a few actors who won all four major motion picture acting awards.

3. Grace Kelly 1929 – 1982


Not only was Grace Kelly one of the most beautiful and talented Actresses of her time, she also became a Princess.

2. Catherine Deneuve 1943

16Originals Slide01

Catherine Deneuve is the epitome of “French Chic” – even today she remains as beautiful and elegant as always.

1. Audrey Hepburn 1929 – 1993

Audrey Hepburn

By the mid 1950s, Hepburn was not only one of the biggest motion picture stars in Hollywood, but also a major fashion icon. Her gamine and elfin appearance and widely recognized sense of chic were both admired and imitated. In 1955, she was awarded the Golden Globe – World Film Favorite – Female. Outside of her Hollywood fame, she was a great humanitarian.

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  • JMurf: Marilyn Monroe was not elegant IMHO – she was very beautiful, but was more of a bimbo – the women on this list I do not think are Bimbos :)

    Binglebore: Even if she were a B Lister, she is elegant when appearing in public. This is a list of ten elegant women in movies – not ten elegant A listers :)

    • Anna

      I think your comment about Marilyn Monroe is really disrespectful, both to her memory and her family. She was a very wise – if not constantly intelligent – beautiful woman, and it’s very rude to call her a ‘bimbo’.

    • Evangeline

      Actually, Marilyn Monroe was known to have an above average IQ. And I agree with Anna, you have no right to call her a bimbo especially considering her above average intelligence despite her ditsy nature and negative portrayal in media.

      • dianaprincess

        Marilyn is quite known, but I don’t think it would be appropriate for her to make this list. She would be more along the lines of “Top 10 Fashion Icons”. Remember, “elegance” was not really her portrayal. For her it was about embracing sexuality and femininity.

  • StewWriter

    Here ya go JFrater, it's all yours:

    There ya go!

    • Ica

      why is hillary clinton classified under entertainment?

      • Alan

        Because politicians, like actors, make you laugh and cry at turns?

    • Poog

      I would have to disagree with you about Marilyn Monroe. She only acted the dunce. She was in fact quite smart about what was expected of her. Did you know that she had a huge crush on Albert Einstein? Hollywood and men wanted her to be dumb, so she played the part. That was part of the reason she was so depressed. Just thought to add my two cents

    • Liss

      How dare you call Courtney Love inelegant. She’s attractive, talented and emotionally strong, not to mention highly successful. She taught herself to play guitar, and has performed with a band, as a solo artist, and has also acted. And yet you call her inelegant? You feel you have the right to call HER ugly? I’d feel sorry for you if you weren’t so ignorant and rude.

  • Hobolad

    Cool list- Audrey Hepburn was always gonna be top, she rocked.

  • Hobolad: As soon as I decided on the list I knew she would be number 1 :)

  • JMurf

    ahh…marylin monroe?

  • Nine legendary screen icons and Lucy Liu. LUCY LIU!?! That is truly embarrassing. Some would even argue that she is a B-lister.

  • evan

    well remember ginglebore this is top elegant, not best acting ability. with that said, i too was a little surprised to find her on the list.

  • B-listing aside, it is shameful that she is on a list, ANY list, with these other nine actresses.

  • evan


  • Excellent list! I wish so much for a return to class and elegance instead of this modern trash we have. =/ Very glad to see Cate Blanchett on the list, she’s one of my favorites. I think Nicole Kidman is also very elegant, but her roles are not always, so I guess it would be hard to place her on this list. And that’s just my honest opinion. Loved seeing this list, thanks!!

  • Bonnie_

    Kyra Sedgwick. She is wonderful in “The Closer” but she’s also been a beautiful actress in films like “Secondhand Lions” and “Phenomenon.”

    Plus, she’s been happily married to Kevin Bacon for almost twenty years and they have two fine children. Whenever I think Hollywood is a pool of sleaze, I think of elegant Kyra Sedgwick and I feel better.

    Elegant pic here:

    • kat


  • Mathilda

    I think Nicole Kidman is elegant, and also seems to conduct her personal life with some discretion (it’s hard to appear elegant if the whole world knows that you’re going into rehab, or having DNA tests to try to prove who your baby’s father is, or are on a reality show.) It would have been a lot easier to do a list of trashiest actresses, I bet!

  • heavybison

    I would put in a word for scarlett johannson. Anyone seen Lost in Translation? If she can look elegant in panties, i suppose she can carry anything off!!

  • jen

    I have a girl-crush on all 10 of these ladies.

  • Bonnie: great pic – I didn’t know she was married to Kevin Bacon! Good choice.

    Mathilda: I really considered Nicole Kidman – I like her a lot.

    heavybison: I considered Scarlett too – she is a great young actress.

    jen: heh

  • StewWriter

    I would have to say Jennifer Connelly. She is exceedingly beautiful, a risk taker in certain acting roles, and always seems to handle herself like a complete professional in public. Just a thought…

  • Randall

    I think “elegance” in this context should not only reflect how an actress appears in screen roles, but what she’s like in her (public) private life. By that definition most of these women should come out on top, yes. I’d add Katherine Hepburn to the list—sad to see her not make it… but also by that definition I’d lose Elizabeth Taylor. She was goddamned hot back in the day, and I wouldn’t have hesitated to bang her… but “elegant” is not the first word that comes to mind when I think of her.

    Same goes for Marilyn Monroe—the tops as far as sex symbols go… but not “elegant.”

    Nicole Kidman and Winona Ryder are both lust-inducing (as least as far as I’m concerned) and they both veer very close to “elegant”… but only superficially, because they’re both gorgeous women who have the air of the professional model about them. But that doesn’t make either one of the Audrey Hepburn. On the other hand… how about Natalie Portman?

    Lucy Liu though… no, I agree. She doesn’t belong.

  • Poor Lucy Liu :(

  • Randall

    jfrater: Hey, it’s YOUR site, pal. You want Lucy Liu, you got her. That’s the beauty of the internet. :-)

  • jfrater: I agree poor Lucy Liu.

  • Randall: oh – yeah – I forgot. Lucy Liu deserves to be here and that is that! okay?!

    Ravyn: thank you – someone else with impeccable taste :)

  • Leo

    Beauty is definetely in the eye of the beholder… come Julia Roberts is not in the list?

  • Randall

    “oh – yeah – I forgot. Lucy Liu deserves to be here and that is that! okay?!”

    There you go. Just assert yourself. “I wrote this damn list and if I want Lucy Liu then by God I shall HAVE her.”

    And I hope someday you get her. That’d be nice, wouldn’t it now?

    ‘Cause don’t get me wrong… she’s a hottie.

  • Leo: because it is not a list of top 10 beautiful horses? :)

    Randall: Thanks for the lesson – I will assert myself from now on! Maybe Lucy Liu will see this list and give me a call!?

  • Randall


    NOW I MUST PROTEST. I have argued with people on this site on other topics, but NOTHING makes my blood boil more than a Julia Roberts lover.


    That you or anyone would think that Julia Roberts belongs in the company of these (for the most part) classy, distinguished, hot, elegant women just *sickens* me.

    Tell me HOW Julia Roberts qualifies as “elegant?” A) she’s not all that attractive—her mouth is too big, her teeth are too big, her body is nothing special. B) she displays no natural grace in her movements, no natural poise, she exhibits no innate (or pretended) breeding. C) She’s known to be an arrogant bitch. D) She’s a lousy actress who’s been touted as some great talent when in fact she’s simply gotten lucky with a few choice roles.

    No no no. Julia Roberts is in a company with Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, and Andie MacDowell… women who “everyone” supposedly thinks are great actresses and great beauties. But I submit to you that it’s *women* who think this. I know not a single man who believes ANY of these women are truly hot, elegant, or great to watch on camera.


    • ameri

      Until you have actually sat down with this person who are you to judge her. You do realize that she is a person granted she isn't as attactive as some would like, is she an arrogant [email protected]#$%. I doubt it. Am I a fan of Julia of course. I really am very much amazed (and not in a good way) how men and women put celebrities on a pedestal no wonder they go through rehab.
      I'd bet anything that you'd like to seem some big boobed hussy up there on the 10 most elegant list? Right Randall.

      • ameri

        she is not^ an arrogant bitch. typos are a bitch. NOT^^^^

  • Dr. Goodtimes

    No Courtney Love????!!

  • Randall


    You, sir, are a man of uncommon taste and wisdom. (except, maybe, about 80s music… ha ha). Horse, indeed. As you see, I agree with you wholeheartedly about the hated Julia Roberts.

    And Lucy Liu—yes, I believe all hot actresses scan the internet *constantly* looking for references about themselves. She will see this, my friend—and you will be rewarded. Trust me.

  • Hobolad

    I don’t think Julia Roberts is that bad…

    *Braces himself*

    EDIT: Courtney Love hehehe.

  • Randall

    StewWriter: nice work. Genius, in fact. If you’d go back in time, I’d add Shelly Winters, (total pig, and even when she was young and slim, a repulsive bimbo)… and in all fairness, I’d not include Marilyn Monroe—she wasn’t one of the top 10 elegant women, but I wouldn’t include her in the LEAST elegant, either.

    Hobolad: Don’t get me wrong. If Julia Roberts offered herself to me bodily, I wouldn’t turn her away. I mean, she’s not Rosie O’Donnell for chrissake. But I’d make her work for it. And slap her on the ass when I was finished, tell her to make me a sammich… then get the hell out.

    but if you’re saying she’s “not that bad” as an actress, or deserves to have the word “elegant” associated with her… well, then you’re just hopeless.

  • Okay – since you guys have braced yourselves, check out Top 10 Unusual but Beautiful Women – guess who is number 1? :)

    StewWriter: great list – I may well use it :)

  • AnotherEngine

    Agreed on Jennifer Connelly and would also add Isabella Rosselini.

  • At the risk of being pelted with heaven-knows-what… how about Catherine Zeta-Jones?

  • AnotherEngine: yes – she would be certainly be a good fit for the list

    boliyou: I like Catherine Zeta Jones too – she would also be good for the list.

  • StewWriter

    Ok, so to avoid anymore backlash (ha ha) I will concede to remove Monroe from my previous list and add the aforementioned Shelley Winters to the spot instead. I forgot about her repulsiveness entirely however I will say Pete’s Dragon would be so off without her massive presence. Ha! Yeah, JFrater, please do! Let me know…

  • Randall

    Watching Shelly Winters on the Tonight Show when I was a kid, sitting there like a fat, disgusting, dolled-up toad, huffing and puffing as she tried to talk and breathe at the same time… almost turned me gay. Almost.

    Carson must have gone beyond the curtain and puked during the commercials every time he had her on. Yick.

  • Randall


    jfrater: Yes, I saw that list of “unusual but beautiful women.” Some good calls, but please… Ann Coulter is not beautiful, friend. She’s a harpie. A twisted, godawful Barbie-harpie. It makes me ill just to look at her. Then you add her politics in and her revolting attitude, and I’m moved nearly to violence.

  • Randall: come now – you know you are basing her looks on her politics :)

    Speaking of attractive women who may offend some people – what do you all think of Sarah Silverman?

  • I actually think that Shelley Winters is great in Poseidon Adventure – though not necessarily attractive. We could include Kathy Bates… (on the inelegant list)

  • amoondoo

    cool list

  • Cyn

    as a die hard MM fan…she may not have been elegant but she was no bimbo! shame on you J! she was an extremely intelligent,complex and beautiful woman..a victim of her time in history and her horrific childhood.

    Sarah Silverman…*retch*…not only not funny just ‘sensationalistic’, immature and gross. in her commercials w/ the horse….let’s just say the horse was far more attractive.

  • Another fun list!
    The one that came to my mind was Halle Berry.
    I always thought of her as beautiful, elegant and sexy

  • lola

    Lucy is very elegant and beautiful, I agree with you on all of them, except number one, she dresses like a man and wears her hair like a man, that is not elegant.

  • Borg

    I second Randall’s earlier nomination of Natalie Portman. Not so much for her movies, but for her offscreen presence.
    But if I were to go by this list, my money would be on Grace Kelly. Everything about her exudes elegance.

  • lola: her manly appearance was the only thing that put me off – but I think she had the manly exterior but a womanly interior – which makes her interesting. I totally appreciate what you are saying though – I am definitely in favor of women dressing like women.

    Borg: Natalie Portman? Not possible at all! She is so far from Elegant – she fled her nation to avoid a compulsory military draft (and while I don’t think women should be drafted, I think if you choose to live in a county that has it – you should comply) – she is a coward in my mind.

    • Alan


      “In 1984, when Portman was three years old, the family moved to the United States”

      I agree its cowardly to flee the draft at age 3, but give her a toddler some credit for making such a sophisticated decision.

  • Randall


    No, I’m really not basing my dislike for Ann Coulter on her politics. It’s more her attitude, her demeanor. Attractiveness isn’t only about looks, after all—it’s how women act, carry themselves, comport themselves… nature gives them basic material to work with… it’s up to them to improve upon it.

    But Coulter to me also looks…. mannish, and harsh. She *looks* like a horrid bitch. I hate women with that overly harsh, too-toned look. You see these women (particularly the ones that are my age, i.e., early 40s) around sometimes—they have that “obsessive jogger” body and look… overly lean and too sharp of feature. I don’t find that attractive, I find that unsavory.

  • Randall

    …and I kinda like Sarah Silverman.

    Audrey Hepburn dresses like a man and wears her hair like a man? Excuse me?

  • Randall: that is why I raised the point though – I am not influenced by American political views and I simply don’t see that about Anne Coulter – which makes me think your views are skewed because of politics – because she is an attractive woman.

  • aplspud

    I know its part of the “French Chic” thing, but why did you have to use a picture of Catherine Deneuve smoking? Its yucky :(

  • aplspud: really? I find it quite attractive actually. When I posted it I knew there would be at least one anti-smoker that would complain though :) Not all of us find images of smoking yucky – luckily some of us grew up before the media decided you had to hate it.

  • aplspud

    jfrater: I think smoking can be sexy in some instances, but I don’t really associate it with elegant. Especially knowing how it ages the skin. And I’m not really that young, though I was in one of the very first DARE classes.

  • MojoRisin

    Haha i love the discussion, so many potentials. What about Helen Mirren though? I would have thought she would be in the top 5.

  • goshdarnitt

    smoking is totally hot until it becomes chain smoking. THAT is most definately… yucky.

  • petey mcgee

    what about Rita Hayworth?

  • Borg

    Jfrater: I had not heard that about Natalie Portman. Even if it were true, I don’t think it would entirely change my opinion of her though. Nevertheless, I looked it up to see what you were talking about and found this quote from her:
    “That’s so ridiculous and I’m just stupid… That’s pretty much it. Because I was born in Israel, every time I visit I have to get a note from the army that says I’m exempt. I thought that meant that I was drafted but that I got out of it, so I said in passing in some stupid interview, ‘Yeah, I dodged the draft.’ Then it causes this controversy but it turns out you don’t even get drafted unless you live in Israel, and I left when I was three. So clearly they weren’t wanting me in their army unless I wanted to volunteer. So I don’t know. It created a controversy and I’m dumb and I’m corrected now.”

    Also, you said that if you choose to live in a country that has a compulsory military obligation, that you should obey it. To not do so would be cowardly. But Portman was born in Israel, she did not CHOOSE to live there. You could still make an argument that refusing to serve is cowardly but I don’t think that particular argument applies in her case.

  • Rgraham

    how about Ashley Judd?

  • aplspud: I don’t know – I think the skin ages because of genetics mostly – and look at that photo of Deneuve – she doesn’t look bad for 64 eh? :)

    Borg: Thank you – I stand corrected!

  • this list is incomplete without Greta Garbo. But I liked it because MY Fair Lady is number one.

  • bibli0phile

    No Marlene Dietrich? Her elegance was less feminine than the other choices, but she was always concerned about projecting a classy image.

  • Bob Dowling

    Sophia Loren! She’s perhaps the best example of classical elegance alive today.

    Meryl Streep is also elegant in a more modern style. It’s too early to tell about Natalie Portman.

  • ajobes

    I love the list, but what about Natalie Wood? I think that she was a very elegant and sophisticated woman.

  • Randall

    I too forgot about Sophia Loren and Natalie Wood. Maybe Natalie not so much. She was hot… but “elegant?” Not so sure. But you could also skew the list heavily towards European women… we tend to view them as more “elegant” anyway…

    “aplspud” raises a good point. Ideally, we should have had pictures of each of these women *naked*…. the better to judge them. But that’s just me. I roll that way.

  • ajobes

    Rgraham: I second Ashley Judd as well.

    Bob Dowling: I couldn’t agree more about Sophia Loren.

  • aplspud

    Randall: Interesting interpretation of my words, but hey, why not naked? hehe

  • Beth

    This list sucks.

  • Bananas

    no mayrlin monroe does not belong in this list! She committed suicide for goodness sake!

  • Hobolad

    Nah, Julia Roberts as an actress… not good. But then very few are, and I’m not too sure about elegance in her personal life (Not too interested to be honest) so I was going purely on looks :D

    On that note- any love for Catherine Zeta-Jones? She always seems fair elegant, from what little I’ve seen of her (Too little, damnit!).

  • Fallenangel

    I was always fond of Bette Davis, but I guess, she was more gumption then grace. I also have a fondness for Kate Winslet.
    *on defence of Marilyn Monroe, She was quite intellegent, she was just royally screwed over. I like your list hun! Thank you for including Elezibeth Taylor, and of course Audrey is a natural #1

  • Fallenangel: I like Kate Winslet too – good addition. :)

  • Audrey Hepburn – be still my beating heart.

    I’ve been known to get up at 3am just to watch her in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Her role opposite Sean Connery in “Robin and Marian” gave them both a chance to shine in roles that were a bit out of character.

    I only have one minor quibble with this list, I think Katherine Hepburn deserves a nod here also. She took some grimy and gritty roles, played them with class, and pretty much always as a lady.

  • S. D. Schaffer
  • one name i feel was missed ..veronica lake…nuf said

  • Alexandra

    With a lot of the older actresses, I feel it was required of them to be elegant. It wouldn’t have been acceptable for them to go around behaving like many celebrities these days, but I was glad to see Lucy Lui and Cate Blanchett on this list.

    The list was very well done.

  • Alexandra: I am please you appreciate my inclusion of Lucy Liu – so many people didn’t!

  • Who wouldn’t love Audrey Hepburn’s style? =)

  • Anisha

    nice list. i like kate walsh too…. does anyone else think she would look good up there?

  • Beth

    How about Chinese actress Gong Li (Raise the Red Lantern) in place of Lucy Lu who doesn’t seem to be at par with any of these ladies at all?

  • timo

    Gong Li should be at the top of the list.

  • Largesse

    I totally agree about Gong Li — and not just because she makes a pip-squeak of Lucy Liu . But really, I have come to reflect on a more mythic creature:

    Hmmm… Thus far, one little mention of the legendary Greta Garbo — and then no one had enough interest in her to second her nomination. Maybe its just a generational thing. After all, her career was essentially over after 1939.

    Garbo’s image was one of exquisite, divine beauty. That’s close enough to elegance, is it not? Even though she arguably photographed better than anyone in the history of the world, no amount of mere beauty can make a movie star. The X factor of her unique personality conjured up an emotional affinity with the longings and experience of the audience. It was not her figure that made her our great romantic dream (it wasn’t soft curves, but the lean lanky body of a female athlete). No, partly it was her face — a
    rhapsodic perfection in geometry — and partly it was the heartbreak we see behind her eyes — a mystery of existential pain — and partly it was the heartbreak of every man and boy in the cinema’s darkness — gazing at the Unattainable Woman incarnate.

    Admittedly Garbo is not for everyone. Many found her too austere, private, distrustful, withholding. And some of her movies were bores. But try to see her in her best silents (Flesh and the Devil, Love, A Woman Of Affairs) and her best talkies (Queen Christina, Anna Karenina, Camille, Ninotchka) and if you are lucky, you may come to appreciate her mysterious, enigmatic allure. As Bette Davis said, “I cannot analyze this woman’s acting. Her mastery over the machine was pure witchcraft. I only know that no one else so effectively worked in front of a camera.”

    Off-screen, a poignant trainwreck of a woman, but on-screen she was magic.

  • Stephanie

    Kate Winslet? And especially Katharine Hepburn? I loved the movies she did with Spencer Tracy. She showed she could be a strong, independent woman while at the same time classy.

  • Anya

    JFrater, you of all people know you can’t make everyone happy all the time. Had you left Lucy Liu off, undoubtedly someone would’ve made a comment about the overriding Caucasianness of the list! I personally wouldn’t have included her, but as an Asian, I fully support your right to have her on the list!

  • Anya: boy am I learning that every day :) I had to include Lucy because she is one of my favorite actresses and I think she is very beautiful and always dresses elegantly in public – she may have “off color” aspects to her past but that is no reason to exclude her – everyone needs a second chance :)

  • Bekka

    meryl streep maybe? IMHO, one of the classiest, most elegant actresses i’ve ever come across.

  • Liyla

    I Wish Katherine Hepburn Could Have Been In Your Top Ten List, Even Though I Think You Did A Fabulous Job With The Beautiful Women You Picked!! ;o)

  • sue

    great list,love lucy liu,but i dont think she should be here! this list really has icons..maybe she will be one in the future but not now……..otherwise kudos for choosing such gorgeous elegant women

  • sue

    oh yeah,sophia loren was definately missing out here

  • Drogo

    Poor Marilyn Monroe, She could have been elegant but got stuck doing a bimbo act that she didn’t like. If she had tried harder to get out of the typecast she might have shown to be worthy of this list.

  • Vtluvkiss

    ahhhh!!!!!!! where is Catherine Zeta Jones? Salma Hayek? Charlize Theron? Those woman are absolutely gorgeous!!!!!!!

    Yeah, I would have to agree, Lucy Liu does not really fit….. Gong Li might have been a better pick or Kelly Hu??????

    As for LEAST elegant…. can I add Bai Ling????

  • Laci

    9 out of 10 are fabulous actresses. I mean realy gorgeous.

    But Lucy LE LU LELO LIU WHO??????? Ms KICK ASS
    No room for her in this troupe.
    More Kate Winslet!

  • Jason

    Rita Hayworth, Nicole Kidman – Good list already though

  • Jason

    and Sophia Loren of course, forgot about her

  • copperdragon

    when i think of elegance, i think of style and grace and poise, not academy awards or number of movies or movie roles. actresses today have so many “handlers” that make sure they look nice in public, but many don’t have natural elegance.

    that being said, sophia loren and nicole kidman definitely belong on the list. katherine hepburn (even in her “golden pond” years) had more elegance than 95% of the actresses today.

    gotta put in my vote for Geena Davis.

    and sad to see no ladies of color. no angela basset? no queen latifa? halle berry, even?

  • PunkPenguin

    I think the #1 is spot on. I also find Kiera Knightly to be quite eligant as well as Scarlette Johanson

  • Skunky

    I really agree that Lucy Liu does not belong. The other nine will be remembered for a very long time after their deaths. Lucy Liu will be forgotten once she stops acting.

  • FindingDaisy

    Audrey Hepburn was the most sweet & beautiful actress ever…

  • Shaks

    There is no black actresses there why is that?

  • ElektraO

    Great choices! My all-time fave is Ingrid Bergman, though I can’t honestly say she’s more beautiful than Liz Taylor–Liz is more volutptuous. Kate Hepburn, like Blanchett: elegant if not that pretty. One must NOT forget Julie Christie, Vanessa Redgrave and Sophia Loren!

    Someone mentioned KYRA SEDGEWICK???! Are they JOKING?! She looks like a clown-cloning experiment gone wrong…and that HIDEOUS accent!

    I would include, in today’s women: Sharon Stone (of course) Nicole Kidman (wouldn’t she make a GREAT Grace Kelly?!), Geena Davis, Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Rachel Weisz, Gong Li, Keira Knightly (not that “glamorous, but, like Julie Christie, petitely statuesque!), Ziyi Zhang, Julia Ormond (“Legends of the Fall”) and in a very comfy, English-countryside way, Kate Winslet. Aw, hell, let’s throw in Kate Beckinsale, too! She was glamourous as a teen on a filthy, midlands farm, in “Cold Comfort Farm”. As vampire hunter in “Van Helsing”, she’s just a knock-out, blood, cleavage, crossbow and all! Speaking of vampires, Sarah Michelle Gellar is the ONLY younger one I could think of who could remotely be considered as “elegant”.

    I would have written in Emma Thompson, but she’s really let herself go! Anyone see that film w/Will Ferrell–good show but she does “haggard” TOO well, like Diane Lane, who could have made the “elegant” list back AFTER her “Cotton Club” days but before…uh…now. There’s a reason she’s advertising moisturizer!

  • LuluVercetti

    Great choices! My all-time fave is Ingrid Bergman, though I can’t honestly say she’s more beautiful than Liz Taylor–Liz is more voluptuous, whereas Ingrid is like Athena. One must NOT forget Julie Christie, Vanessa Redgrave and Sophia Loren!

    Someone mentioned KYRA SEDGEWICK???! Are they JOKING?! She looks like a clown-cloning experiment gone wrong…and that HIDEOUS accent! UGh, UGH…and DOUBLE UGH! Same for Holly Hunter, though I like her films. NOBODY can be glamourous with a REAL Southern Accent (as witnessed by 2 of my faves: Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon blatantly being NOT glamourous in “Thelma & Louise”–great film, no glamour. That’s like saying Hunter Thomson (whom I idolize) and Johnny Depp (same deal) should be considered “glamourous” for “Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas”. Again, great acting, cool guys…but no glamour.

    Why don’t we just say that Nicholas Cage was glamorous in LEAVING Las Vegas, for drinking himself to death??? wait!!! I think whatsername in “Juno” MUST be glamourous for portraying a pregnant teen–NOT!

    I would include, in today’s women: Sharon Stone (of course) Nicole Kidman (wouldn’t she make a GREAT Grace Kelly?!), Geena Davis, Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Rachel Weisz (she is just stunning!), Gong Li (ditto), Keira Knightly (not that “glamorous, but, like Christie, petitely statuesque!), Ziyi Zhang, Julia Ormond (“Legends of the Fall”) and in a very comfy, English-countryside way, Kate Winslet…not sorry, those who think elegance = anorexia!!

    Aw, hell, let’s throw in Kate Beckinsale, too! She was glamourous as a teen on a filthy, midlands farm, in “Cold Comfort Farm”.

    I would have written in Emma Thompson, but she’s really let herself go! Anyone see that film w/Will Ferrell–good show but she does “haggard” TOO well, like Diane Lane, who could have made the “elegant” list back AFTER her “Cotton Club” days but before…uh…now. There’s a reason she’s advertising moisturizer!

  • LuluVercetti

    Sorry for the double post! I didn’t see it for about 15 mins. and you know how it is when you pay thru the nose for broadband…

  • Mikey

    How on earth is kiera knightley not on this list? if lucy liu makes the cut then i think kiera knightley should definately be top 3! lol

  • ixora05

    Isabella Rossellini! Hell yes.

    Lucy Liu–yes, elegant to a certain degree…(this is coming from an Asian, haha.)

    Michelle Yeoh for at least honourable mention? She is extremely elegant, from her start in Western movies as a Bond girl, to her role in Memoirs of a Geisha. She is around 40, looks like she’s 30, and conducts herself with poise and grace.


    It’s so cliché to put Marilyn Monroe is this type of things so thank you for not doing that. My fav is Ingrid Bergman, she’s a true icon. Great list, but i would have liked to see Rita Hayworth on the list. :)

  • Katie

    I’m so glad Cate Blanchett is up there…she’s underestimated in every way :)

  • mojobe

    Wheres Rosalind Russell? Jeez!

  • Reality

    Lucy Liu, isn’t she that stupid chick from Charlie’s Angels? I would much rather see Lisa Ling than Lucy Liu. Stop insulting the truly elegant women of the movies.

  • Hayley

    I’m surprised people would consider scarlett johanson. She is often posing with little clothing. I don’t think that would ever be elegant

  • Hayley

    I would suggest reese witherspoon. She is without a doubt one of the most sophisticated modern actresses.

  • Amanda

    Loved this list! I was a bit surprised to see Lucy Lou, but I guess she fits. I always thought Cate Blanchett was very elegant and talented. I would have added Natalie Portman or Keira Knightly to the list also.

  • Beasjt

    Good to see a Dutch girl on number one.

  • Parker

    Lucy Lu?

    Zsa Zsa gabor, Cyd Charisse, Marilyn Monroe, Julie Andrews, Kathrine Hepburn. need i go on?

    Audrey was quite great though.. im watching roman holiday right now. good choice for number one!

  • Abbey

    I know it`s purely subjective but Marlene Dietrich would have been a great inclusion on this list, i also agree with the poster who suggested Bette Davis. My personal pick is Angelica Houston. Maybe an acquired taste, but i believe she is very elegant and regal looking. She was just gorgeous when she was younger.

  • SnowKid32

    Hell. Ava went on my MySpace background. Just plain gorgeous.

  • sir

    Have to weigh in on the Lucy Liu comments….i have many friends who make movies, large and small, who have worked with Lucy Liu and, from their reports, she is anything BUT elegant. I’ve been told by several people she is an absolute nightmare on set, a real dragon, and a couple of my pals have turned down a-list features with a-list directors, to avoid working with her again.
    She looks great in Versace, but that doesn’t mean she’s elegant.

  • Ella

    I would definitely say that Nicole Kidman is very elegant, besides her classically elegant appearance off screen, she deserves a mention for being probably the only woman who could pull off some of the truly risque roles she has with class and grace.

  • BeatleMorgan

    Catherine Deneuve looks so elegant with lung cancer.

  • gal

    elizabeth taylor should be number 1.

  • annette

    Plz look at Gene Tierney.

    She is stunning, elegant, and cute which is amazing that a person can have all 3.

  • dan

    meryl streep should have been included…she is wonderful!

  • Ducky

    I was expecting Jessica Rabbit. :)

  • Teeny1985

    I vote Natasha Richardson

  • nuriko

    make it 20!

  • bluebamf

    Where’s Scarlett Johannsen, one of the elegant beauties of our time?

  • Nancy

    I never particularly liked Hepburn; something about her acting tended to get on my nerves. Too sweet, too pretty, too fragile, although Tiffany’s is an exception, a more multilayered performance with areas of both toughness and vulnerability. But in Roman Holiday I rather disliked her. Bacall, Taylor, Blanchett are my personal favorites, acting-wise. I disagree with the suggestion of Knightley, as I find she, whether she intends it or not, comes off extremely snobby and her range and spunk always seem low. Yes, I judge performances on spunk. I also write long comments in the middle of the nights. Who are you to judge? Kate Winslet deserves a nod, as she is a brilliant actress and very beautiful, but Cate Blanchett overall has more of that regal elegance this list is going for. Nicole Kidman, too, but still Cate Blanchett is more appropriate.

  • Beauty&Brains

    Veronica Lake and Sophia Loren-the epitome of elegance. Why is everybody hating on Lucy Liu? I find her to be very classy and elegant outside of her movies. Especially when you compare her with the other “Angels” (Cam Diaz and Drew Barrymore).

  • Ana

    Cate Blanchett is exquisite ! She’s gourgeous and fabulous actress. The best. The Queen of Red Carpet !

  • Kimikoku

    you should have included Catherine Zeta-Jones instead of Lucy Liu

  • jess

    What about Kate winslet???????!!!

  • Mullet

    Garbo! Garbo! Garbo!

  • kristi

    thank you jfrater … i was going down the list getting scared that audrey hepburn wouldnt be on the list! she’s my favourite actress i love breakfast at tiffany’s … thank you again, we dont get many elegant women in movies anymore but im happy to see that you have some ‘modern’ people. i wouldn’t of had lucy liu (all though i thing she’s great) i wouldve put proberbly reese witherspoon or kate winslet

  • icha

    i think u should include nicole kidman in the list…for no 1, i just agree, audrey hepburn is the most elegant woman..indeed

  • Eturn

    Nicole Kidman should be in the list.

  • christina

    Now this is a list! Thank You!

  • Ra

    Rosario Dawson (personal favorite)


    Diane Kruger, Brigette Bardot.

  • Manda

    I love all the suggestions given here, and need to add my own. Jane Seymore. A stunningly beautiful, graceful and elegant actress.
    I would also suggest Aishwaria Rai and Michelle Yeoh to round out the non-Caucasian element.

  • atymuh

    lucy liu should be at number 1

  • averica

    lucy lui beautiful???she’s horrid looking

  • nevena

    what about kate winslet?

  • nevena

    brigitte bardot wasa not elegant, she was considered prude and cheap.. at least in france.

  • miranda

    Rene Russo…especially in the Thomas Crowne Affair? Julianne Moore? Kristen Scott Thomas?

  • Lorcz

    Please, Marilyn Monroe was not a bimbo- to say that shows how little you know of her. She was the first actor (nevermind actress) to set up her own production company – a thing unheard of before her, and had director/screen writer/producer approval before anyone else ever had, and she fought for it and got it.

    Did any other actress/actor before her manage that? No. That takes brains, and she had ’em by the bucket load. She read Rilke like most people read Cecelia Ahern.

    Sorry, but just had to defend that one. hahaa

  • I think Kate Winslet, Natalie Portman and Maggie Gyllenhaal should have been considered. Lucy Liu? What a random pick!

  • Abby

    I like Liv Tyler, Nicole Kidman, Faith Hill, Catherine Zeta Jones, Anne Hathaway (though debateably elegant, just a thought) Madeleine Stowe, Scarlett Johansen, Gabrielle Union, Zoe Saldana, Jodhi May, Keira Knightley, and Kate Winslet. just some ideas :)

  • Nathalie

    My favorite is Cate Blanchett. Of course I am a huge fan of Lord of The Rings…

  • Rick

    Scarlett Johanssen, Rose McGowan (in her 50's style attire), Emma Watson and Keira Knightley could be included.

  • Jim

    Catherine Zeta Jones and Jennifer Connelly have been mentioned and would be great selections to have added. Vanessa Williams is always elegant and beautiful. Someone else mentioned Gene Tierney. Great selection. Though beautiful, Catherine Deneuve, imho, not elegant.

  • olivia

    Great list. As a Black woman of class, I was very disappointed though that there were no black women on your list. How on earth did Phylicia Rashad not make the list?

  • Michael

    Amazing never even anyone mentioned michelle pfeiffer ?

    And sophia loren belongs for sure top 3

  • Amy

    I utterly, utterly disagree with Lauren Bacall. Sure, she may LOOK elegant, but this is hardly the behaviour of a class act, is it?

    Lauren Bacall once called up Shelley Winters whose husband, Tony Franciosa she was having an affair with, and said, “I’ve been waiting for Tony for an hour. Where the hell is he?” “Lauren,” Shelley replied, “you’re complaining to me because my husband is late for a date with you?” “Well, dear,” Lauren said, “if your husband doesn’t respect your marriage, why should I?”

  • ameri

    This is really interesting to see how MOST of the men on here seem to are in the know of what elegance is. Yet I bet not a single one of you tells your wife, girl friend or significant other (if you have one that is) that she is pretty or elegant or something of that nature. No wonder women have low self esteem its because of you (all males that discourages personal beauty) cretins.

  • d465

    you kno what i will agree with most of it but der stil is room 4 improvement n its out der…..

  • alliegator

    As for modern elegant women – Scarlett Johanson?

  • Jon

    How about Natalie Portman?

  • elfin

    What about Lena Horne and Carole Lombard? And…I know I'm gonna get a lot of resistance on this…Angelina Jolie? She has some issues, but most of the women on the list do or did…oh, and if it had it my way, I'd also add Tallulah Bankhead. I like the voluptuous fleshpots and pretty gamine girls of the 50's, but I guess for me elegant equals the seductive androgyny of the 30's and the tough, lipsticked sirens of the 40's.

  • Ted

    I am well into my eighties so my memory spans a good age, but I feel that the English actress Dinah Sheridan, born 1920, should grace your interesting list.

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  • Meg

    Seriously, Jacqueline Onassis didn't make the list?

  • Jessica

    I was thinking Marion Cotillard?

  • where’s Greta?

    uhhhm…Greta Garbo?

  • ebwinder

    And you couldn’t even give 1 token black woman? Smdh…lucy liu?? Over Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, and that’s just 2…do you even know about these people…google them! Really the author of this list is not to blame its the notion that black women can’t be elegent we are neck rolling, loud ass snapcases! That is so far from the accurate representation of black women in general. This is the list that would turn me off from this site in general…too bad I’m addicted to Listverse

  • Dips

    You’ve left out Kate Hepburn

  • sarah paulin

    get lost u bloody americans.m so sexy n hot.i can make whole america on fire.hehe

    • sarah paulin

      sarah u so sexy n hot omg cm into m arms.nud in m bd.m alrdy cm na baby

  • DAve

    In my opinion, one glaring omission is Catherine Zeta Jones. I think you would be better served leaving out Cate Blanchett. Catherine is a classic beauty

  • Scott

    Marlene Dietrich should so be on this list!!!! And even though you’ve never heard of this one unless you watch True Blood or Durham County, Michelle Forbes should also be here!! :D

  • RubyMoon

    How in Christ’s name can you put Lucy f*****g Lui in a category with all these classic beauties?has listverse lost it?

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  • clarissa

    i think Dame Julie Andrews should also be in the top 10.

  • Apple

    So, can you do another list of elegant women in the movies that contain a few more ethnicities. I think Dianne Carroll when I think about elegant Black actresses. would love to hear your opinion.

  • Ash

    Where’s Setsuko Hara in this list?

  • Maxine

    I think I would have chosen Myrna Loy over Audrey Hepburn. To me, Audrey Hepburn was more chic than elegant. Otherise, I love this list.

  • Sas

    dear jfrater,
    I am a big fan of your website, and this must not be a very easy list because of personal choice. But to forget to include Nathalie Wood and put Lucy liu instead…

  • I am finding many omissions from this list. But you’re right, they’re so many other Elegant Actresses. To name a few : Rita Hayworth, Kim Novak, Paulette Goddard, Raquel Welch, Yvette Mimieux, Veronica Lake……Yes, I agree. The list can go well beyond the 10 that are mentioned here.

  • denja

    Audrey Hepburn
    The standard by which all others should be judged.
    100% lady!

  • d.heckepop

    Emma Watson! Beautiful young starlet that grew up in front of the camera, and instead of going on a downward spiral like so many young actresses; hit the books at Brown, models for Burberry, and became the new face of Lancôme. You never see the papz catching distasteful or degrading shots of her. She is always the elegant young lady.

  • Edshu

    Julie Christie. She’s old now, and she’s still attractive in an old kind of way and very elegant. I can see why people didn’t like her in Fahrenheit 451, but that was only because the dialogue was such a mess that she couldn’t deliver it.

  • peter8172

    Paulette Goddard and Yvette Mimieux have been omitted from your list

  • peter8172

    Elegant Woman + High Intelligence = Mae West. That woman was no dummy and was a woman of abundant charm and wit. My two favorite quotes of hers is “I think that marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution yet”. The other one was she was told that 10 very handsome gentlemen were waiting in her hotel room. Her response ? “Well, I’m going to have to kick ONE of them out, I too tired tonight”

  • Dave C

    I would say Milla Jovovich or Natalie Portman over Lucy Liu. Jennifer Connelly is more elegant than Lucy Liu too. Very elegant lady.

  • where is vivien leigh? oh no.

  • Bill

    Lucy Liu could not be more out of place on this list.

  • Linda

    Marilyn Monroe was beautiful and inspired many women that thought they were not beautiful. She made women dream and encouraged them to try harder to become beautiful. We looked at her with hope of becoming like her. She was inspirational and gave women hope. Elegant- NO, magical- OH YES- made us dream and strive- YES, YES.

  • lr

    nathalie portman should be on tere,true lady…

  • neil1953

    I am glad that you have included Ingrid Bergman on to this list. For me, she set the standard of sheer elegance with her performance in “Casablanca” (1942) and a woman never looked lovelier then her. I am also pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of Eva Gabor. Most of us remember her starring in Green Acres, but the movies she was in beforehand, she was certainly a knockout with her beauty. The only problem is that when the hell is her sister going to croak !! I could never stand her and had the audacity to slap a police officer on the face. And how many times has she been married and divorced ? 8 maybe 9 times. What a bitch. Where’s the late Dr. Jack Kervorkian when you need him !!

  • sandy

    No Candice Bergen ?

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