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We've had "Most Beautiful Dancers" and "Most Beautiful Opera Singers," and all this Oscar talk made me want to open a new thread on this subject. I would prefer to keep these lists to today's active actresses and actors because my list would be endless if it included from all time.


Juliette Binoche

Mariska Hargitay

Lena Olin

Aishwarya Rai

Uma Thurman

Kate Winslet

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Audrey Tautou- I don't consider her beautiful, but she's too cute to go unmentioned (BTW, for those who don't know yet, she'll be starring opposite Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code movie)


Johnny Depp

Joaquin Phoenix- didn't care for him until I saw Quills

I'm going to break my own rules here and include actors from the past because I'm not too attracted to many of them today, besides the ones above.

Laurence Olivier

Robert Taylor

Marlon Brando

Gene Kelly

Louis Jourdan

Omar Sharif

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Vivien Leigh (as you may guess from my user name)

Emmanuelle Beart

Thandie Newton

It's easier to limit men to the present day - it seems like looks are more important today than in the past???

Jude Law

Tom Cruise (I know, but still...)

Alexis Denisof (Wesley from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Anegl)

OF, who is Aishwarya Rai?

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Women: Halle Berry and (while calling her an actress may be stretching things) Jennifer Lopez.

Men: Once I manage to let go of my heartthrobs of the past (Clark Gable, who may not have been classically beautiful but who oozed . . . something, and Gregory Peck, the Perfect Man :excl: ), I get to Harrison Ford and Denzel Washington.

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Thanks. I haven't seen Bride & Prejudice but the reviews of Bride & Prejudice make it sound as if the movie is patronizing the Bollywood style and Indian traditions. That's no way to draw the Janeites or those interested in world cinema to the box office.

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Thanks. I haven't seen Bride & Prejudice but the reviews of Bride & Prejudice make it sound as if the movie is patronizing the Bollywood style and Indian traditions. That's no way to draw the Janeites or those interested in world cinema to the box office.

True, although I'm not familiar with Bollywood movies nor have I seen B&P. I only know of her through Indian friends of mine and seen a couple previews of the movie, which was enough to make me consider her one of the most beautiful women in the world.

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I'm horrible with names, and I've forgotten many beautiful people I've seen in foreign films. Here are ones I remember:


Will Smith

Naveen Andrews

Jet Li

Ben Cross

Gael Garcia Bernal

Gregory Peck

Andre Braugher

Peter Firth

Michael York

Richard Chamberlain

David McCallum

Michael Riley

Harrison Ford stopped being on that list the first time I saw of photo of him with a cigarette, so there's a certain point where I can't "see" beautiful any more. I have another list of attractive. Not that any of them are bad-looking, but I like them so much, I'm not sure what they really look like: Joe Morton, Chris Cooper, Alan Rickman, Peter Riegert, Alec Guiness, Courtney Vance, Sam Neill, Tom McCamus, Sam Waterson. (It's probably their voices.) Many of the leading men of the past are too handsome for me.


Juliet Binoche

Madeleine Stowe

Halle Berry

Helen Mirren

Genvieve Bujold

Sandra Oh

Vera Zorina

Laura Linney

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Re Aishwarya Rai, she probably is beautiful, but I've only seen her in B&P where she was wearing so much makeup that she looked like a tart. Not at all Austenian!

From another P&P adaptation, Colin Firth's Darcy in the 1995 BBC serial gave me very very pleasant dreams, asleep and awake, for years. :excl: And Firth himself, minus the Darcy fixin's, is pretty dishy, too!

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Aishwarya Rai is considered the Julia Roberts of India. The Julia Roberts of the 80's and 90's. THE actress and it girl. She was indeed Miss World. Since my husband is from India we watch quite a few Bollywood movies, so I would also include Salman Khan as most beautiful man. Unfortunately in India, the lighter your skin the more beautiful you are considered.

As for the rest:

Men- Javier Bardem

Ewan McGregor

Colin Firth

Denzel Washington

Salman Khan

Ladies- Renee Zellweger

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Natalie Portman

Madeline Stowe

Salma Hayak

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Definitely Aishwarya Rai!

The young Elizabeth Taylor.

Rita Hayworth

Sophia Loren

Claudia Cardinale


Grace Kelly

Catherine Deneuve

Pier Angeli

Yvette Mimieux

Natalie Wood

Shirley Jones

Audrey Hepburn

Jacqueline Bissett

Jane Seymour

Julia Roberts

Demi Moore

Gwyneth Paltrow

Julianne Moore

I am not at all drawn to male actors younger than I am, and cannot be objective nor subjective about whether they are good looking or not, so cannot comment on the likes of Jude Law, Brad Pitt, Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, George Clooney, and other young'uns that many find attractive today. Since some of them are the same age (and some younger than) my own children, I look at them as just kids!

However, I was gaga over

No. 1 -- Fred Astaire!!! (talk about "je ne sais quoi"!)


The young Albert Finney, Richard Burton, and Sean Connery

Paul Newman at ALL ages

Robert Redford

Tom Selleck !!! (of 20 years or so ago)

Harrison Ford

and I would've keeled over Patrick Swayze had he been just 5 years or so older!

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Limiting myself to Most Beautiful, as opposed to Sexiest or Most Attractive, and in no particular order:

Jean Marais

Robert Taylor

Montgomery Clift

Gary Cooper (check him out in those early thirties movies with Dietrich; he's stunning, with beautiful eyes)

Marlon Brando

Robert Redford

Jude Law

Antonio Banderas

Gael Garcia Bernal

Gordon Warnecke (he played Omar in My Beautiful Laundrette)

Tony Leung

Vivien Leigh

Greta Garbo

Michele Morgan

Elizabeth Taylor

Kate Winslet

Rita Hayworth

Sophia Loren

Madeleine Carroll

Dolores Costello

Francoise Dorléac (just as pretty as little sister Catherine D. for my money, and a lot livelier)

Hedy Lamarr

Gong Li

Thanks, Old Fashioned!

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Jean Marais

I knew I was missing someone from my men's list! While I'm at it, I'll add two of his leading ladies to my women's list: Josette Day and Lee Miller.

I've never understood the fascination with Zhang Ziyi. Gong Li by far outshines her. Chow-Yun Fat is another attractive Asian superstar, and newcomer Tony Jaa (Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior) is not bad, either.

IMO, no actress has every been as alluring as Garbo. That voice!


Rita Hayworth, Hedy Lamarr, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, Anita Ekberg

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Thanks to perky and dirac for reminding me of two I missed: Renee Zellweger and Gary Cooper.

I first saw Zellwegger in a movie called The Whole Wide World, in which she played a schoolteacher to Vincent D'Onofrio's Bob Howard, and I've been hooked on her beauty ever since. Gary Cooper looked great in his early 50's in High Noon.

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No. 1 -- Fred Astaire!!! (talk about "je ne sais quoi"!)

I, too, have always had a little thing for Fred, but I was going strictly by beauty, so I couldn’t include him. Astaire’s secret is charm, I think. Immense charm, greater even than Cary Grant’s. (I recall reading that Fred’s sister, Adele, was possessed of even more personal charm than her brother, a frightening thought.)

(Clark Gable, who may not have been classically beautiful but who oozed . . . something,)

Gable always struck me as very likeable, but not that sexy. Until I saw a casual photograph of him from the early Forties. He’s astride his Harley and wearing a black fitted shirt (this is from memory), and suddenly I took a different view. I saw him again recently in It Happened One Night on Turner Classic Movies, and was struck by his warmth and humor, too.

The third Mrs. Gable, Carole Lombard, was one I forgot.

And how could I have failed to mention Tyrone Power?

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I've never understood the fascination with Zhang Ziyi.  Gong Li by far outshines her. 

I couldn't also, then I watched the Echo Dance at the House of the Flying Daggers. After the Echo Dance she improved considerably in my eyes...

But you are right, Gong Li is simply stunning.

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