Top 5 female Golden Age icons

Last month I posted my top five male icons from Hollywood’s Golden Age and today I wanted to share my top five female icons with you.

Ginger Rogers

Born Virginia Katherine McMath, she as given the name “Ginger” by her little cousin who couldn’t pronounce “Virginia” correctly.

She was known for her energetic dance routines and once said ‘My mother told me I was dancing before I was born. She could feel my toes tapping wildly inside her for months.’  As a child Roger’s was kidnapped by her father several times until her mother took him to court, leaving her in the care of her grandparents while she worked as a scriptwriter in Hollywood. By 1942 she was Hollywood’s highest paid star and in 1938 alone accumulated a salary of  $219,500.

The only way to enjoy anything in this life is to earn it first.

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Audrey Hepburn

Belgium born Hepburn moved to Kent with her mother Baroness Ella Van Heemstra in 1937 before relocating to the Netherlands when war was announced. During the war her mother changed her name from Audrey to Edda because she feared the association with her British roots would draw attention in occupied Netherlands. It was her Dutch and English heritage that attributed to her unique accent. Hepburn worked with the Dutch Underground during the war, giving ballet performances to collect donations for the anti-Nazi effort.

As a child she witnessed public executions as a result of the war and like many women she resorted to making flour out of tulip bulbs in order to stem her starvation. It was these hardships of war which grounded her and inspired her humanitarian work in later life.

Although her most famous role Is that of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffanys, Hepburn herself felt she was miscast in the role. My personal favourite of her roles is that of Sabrina, which celebrates it’s 60th anniversary this month.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.

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Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid was one of Hollywood’s first tall actresses and at 5ft 10 she favoured working with Gary Cooper as she didn’t have to remove her shoes during filming.

Actor James Stewart was a fan of hers and sent her a fan letter during his combat duty in 1943. Grace Kelly was also a fan of Bergman’s acting and It was the Swedish actress’s love affair with war photographer Robert Capa which inspired Hitchcock’s Rear Window, one of Kelly’s most memorable films.

On their last meeting, she consoled a terrified Hitchcock about his impending death, telling him “But of course you are going to die sometime, Hitch, we are all going to die.” She later recalled that the comment seemed to bring him peace.

Be yourself. The world worships the original

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Grace Kelly

Kelly retired acting at the age of twenty six to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco. Her wedding dress was the most expensive designer Helen Rose had ever made and was constructed using 125 year old lace purchased from a museum.

The people of Monaco did not want their princess to return to acting and Prince Rainier even banned his wife’s films from being shown.

Her father, triple Olympic gold medallist John. B. Kelly, was very supportive of her choice of career and was very passionate that any success she had was to be earned through hard work and honesty. She was one of Hollywood’s most beautiful actresses and broke the mould of icy blonde sex symbols to portray soft, intelligent and independent character’s.

I’ve always treated my children as beings in their own right. I respect their feelings and aspirations entirely

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Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn was considered as a possible wife for Prince Rainier before he decided to Grace Kelly instead.

She is best known for her trademark curves, breathing a new life into what sex appeal involves. It was these trademark curves which sparked the popularity of the iconic wiggle dress.

But it was not just her curves which made her fascinating; she was also highly intelligent with an IQ of 168 (39 points above President John F Kennedy.) Despite her high IQ she often stumbled through and forgot her lines and it took her forty takes to film the famous Seven Year Itch subway grate scene.

 In Hollywood a girl’s virtue is much less important than her hairdo. You’re judged by how you look, not by what you are. Hollywood’s a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty

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