Colorized Photos of Old Hollywood’s Greatest Beauties Reveal Them in All Their Glory

Mon Apr 26 2021

They don’t make them like they used to. The glamorous starlets from the Golden Age of Hollywood are undeniably beautiful. But more often than not, we’re used to seeing them in old black and white photos, and it simply doesn’t do them justice. But there is a corner of the internet that colorizes photos of old Hollywood actresses to show us what these women looked like in the flesh.

Let’s just say it’s a whole different experience seeing these Hollywood stars in bright color. People who have painstakingly colorized their photos have brought to life these big personalities and what made them huge stars, to begin with. In such vivid detail, we’re sure you’ll come to find that it’s no wonder these women starred on the silver screen.

Esther Williams Had the Figure of an Olympian

Actress Esther Williams wasn’t just a hit with Hollywood – she also had a successful career as a competitive swimmer for the Los Angeles Athletic Club swim team. She also set several swimming records both nationally and regionally in her youth and would have competed in the Olympics if it wasn’t for the war. But she was such a stunner that she was scouted by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to appear in the 40s and 50s “aquamusicals,” whereby she performed synchronized swimming and diving.

This gorgeous, colorized photo shows us exactly why Esther caught the attention of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer scouts. She had a fabulous figure thanks to her professional swimming career, an adorable smile, and glossy chestnut-brown hair. Esther was a natural beauty that audiences couldn’t get enough of.

Veronica Lake Inspired Women To Adopt Her “Peek-a-Boo” Hairstyle

Actress Veronica Lake rose to fame for her work in film, television, and on stage. She was known for playing the role of a femme fatale during the 40s, often starring opposite actor Alan Ladd in film noirs. Unfortunately, she struggled to work in the 50s due to her battle with alcoholism, and her career effectively never returned to where it was before. Either way, it probably comes as no surprise to learn that Veronica caught people’s attention even before Hollywood.

Even as a high school student, she was known for being a uniquely beautiful person. In this stunning photo, we can see her famous “peek-a-boo” hairstyle how it was meant to be seen. She once recalled during filming for 1941s I Wanted Wings: “I was playing a sympathetic drunk, I had my arm on a table… it slipped… and my hair – it was always baby fine and had this natural break – fell over my face… It became my trademark and purely by accident.”

Dorothy Dandridge Dazzles In a Ravishing Red Dress

Actress, singer, and dancer Dorothy Dandridge made history when she became the first African-American film star nominated for an Academy Award, following her performance in the 1954 film Carmen Jones. Five years later, she was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award. But aside from acting, she was also a talented singer who frequently performed at top New York venues like the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater.

Pictured in 1952, Dorothy was 30 years old and still early on in her Hollywood career. She went on to become one of the most famous black actresses to have a successful acting career, and for good reason. Not only was she a talented performer, but she was a showstopping natural beauty, too. Her adorable smile has been totally brought to life in this colorized picture.

Audrey Hepburn Soaking Up the Summer Sun on Set

Actress and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn was one of the most influential and best-loved actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Her reputation in the fashion world is unsurpassable, as she has long been considered a style icon. But she starred in a string of successful movies, including Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and My Fair Lady.

Pictured in 1953 on the set of the movie Sabrina, seeing her colorized makes us feel as if we were right there with her. Audrey is undeniably captivating, but one thing stands out to us more than usual. Seeing a photo of her in full color shows just how much she loved to make her eyebrows large and in charge. We doubt there are any looks she can’t pull off.

Jayne Mansfield Loved the Camera and the Camera Loved Her Back

Actress Jayne Mansfield was one of the most provocative stars in old Hollywood. She was one of the earliest Playboy Playmates and enjoyed her reputation as a cinema sex symbol. Jayne knew how to get people’s attention, and would frequently suffer from intentional wardrobe malfunctions for the sake of a publicity stunt. While her acting career was short-lived, she came to be regarded as one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood.

Jayne was very comfortable in her own skin when it came to posing in front of a camera. In 1963, she became the first big Hollywood actress to have a nude scene in a post-silent Hollywood film like Promises! Promises! Either way, her curvaceous figure, peroxide blonde hair, and outgoing personality left an impression on everyone she met.

Natalie Wood Wanted To Shed Her Goody-Two-Shoes Image

Actress Natalie Wood had grown up in front of the camera, starting her acting career at the age of four. Unlike many other actors, she managed to transition into more mature roles as she grew up. Natalie starred in several films throughout the 60s but took a hiatus during the 70s to have a child with actor Robert Wagner. Famously, she died under mysterious circumstances at only 43 years old.

This digitally enhanced photo of Natalie shows her about to bathe in her Los Angeles home, circa 1957. We can see just how stunning she was in her hey-day with her captivating dark brown eyes. Her heavy eye makeup, thick eyebrows, and dark red lips indicate the “darker” persona she was trying to adopt in film roles. As a young adult, she wanted to shed the goody-two-shoes image that she carried from childhood.

Carole Lombard Was a Golden Girl, Literally

Actress Carole Lombard’s greatest legacy lies in her contribution to the screwball comedy film genre. She was a lively actress and top leading lady during the 30s, who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in 1936. Sadly, she died in a plane crash at only 33 years old.

We feel as though we’re standing right beside Carole in this digitally enhanced photo. Fans would have almost exclusively seen the actress in only black and white, so this vividly colored photo is a rare treat. Seeing her golden curls, bright red lips, and extravagant fashion sense really brings this Hollywood legend to life.

Ingrid Bergman Was the Spitting Image of Isabella Rossellini

Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman enjoyed a long career that spanned five decades, starring in both European and American movies. She was tremendously successful, earning four Golden Globe Awards, three Academy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, and a BAFTA Award. Famously, she’s the mother of actress Isabella Rossellini.

This updated studio picture of Ingrid Bergman shows her as a young girl. She is fresh-faced with a youthful glow and has her trademark mousey-brown hair color intact. She always knew she wanted to be an actress, having dressed up in her late mother’s clothes as a child and staging plays. But seeing her in color, it’s clear she was meant for the big screen.

Yvonne De Carlo’s Looks Captivated a Hollywood Producer

Canadian-American actress, dancer, and singer Yvonne De Carlo became an internationally famous movie star in the 40s after her breakthrough role in Salome, Where She Danced. The film’s producer, Walter Wanger, described her as “the most beautiful girl in the world,” and he certainly wasn’t alone in thinking that.

Taken in 1953, Yvonne would have been 31 years old at the time. She had grown weary of being typecast as an “exotic” woman in her movie roles but found it difficult to shed that image in Hollywood. Regardless of that, she was a stunningly beautiful woman. Interestingly, she was of English, Scottish, and Italian descent.

Gene Tierney Was the Most Beautiful Water Carrier

Actress Gene Tierney is best known for playing the leading character in the 1944 movie Laura. Her natural beauty made her stand out against other young actresses, as people often took note of her gorgeous looks. One critic for Variety magazine declared, “Miss Tierney is certainly the most beautiful water carrier I’ve ever seen!” after seeing her during her first role on Broadway in 1938.

Director Anatole Litvak was so charmed by her beauty when she was 17 that he told her to become an actress. Seeing her in full color, we’re not surprised she was called “The most beautiful woman in movie history” by the 20th Century Fox chief Darryl F. Zanuck. She peaked during the 40s when she was thought to be on a par with actresses Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, and Ava Gardner.

Lauren Bacall Had a Husky Voice and Sultry Eyes

Actress Lauren Bacall is one of the most famous women to come out of classic Hollywood cinema. She was known for having a deep and seductive voice and alluring looks. Not to mention her acting roles in films like The Big SleepDark Passage, and Key Largo opposite her husband Humphrey Bogart. In 2009, she was awarded an Academy Honorary Award for her contribution to the Golden Age of motion pictures.

It probably won’t come as a surprise to learn that Lauren started off as a fashion model. At 5’7″, she was taller than many other women in Hollywood, which helped make her stand out among the crowd. She was already acting by the age of 20, but to curb her nerves, she would press her chin against her chest and look upwards. This look would end up becoming her trademark expression.

Jean Harlow Was the Blonde Bombshell of the 30s

Actress Jean Harlow was the femme fatale of the old Hollywood who had been nicknamed the “Blonde Bombshell,” the “Platinum Blonde,” and the “Laughing Vamp.” She was only an actress for nine short years, as her life was cut short due to a kidney failure. She was just 26 years old when she died during the filming of 1937s Saratoga.

Jean’s shock of peroxide blonde hair became her trademark look, but people rarely got to see it in all its brilliant color. This colorized photo shows just how thrilling it would have looked in person, especially with deep red lipstick. Her other famous feature became her eyebrows, which, as we can see here, were shaped into a dramatic half-moon.

Lauren Bacall Struggled Working With Marilyn Monroe

Pictured below, Lauren Bacall starred opposite actress Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 film How to Marry a Millionaire. They’re undeniably stunning to look at in this colorized photo, but at the same time, they look like total opposites. As it turns out, their personalities were very different, too, as Lauren once recalled her struggles of working alongside the blonde bombshell.

Lauren relayed: “Marilyn was frightened, insecure – trusted only her coach and was always late. During our scenes, she’d look at my forehead instead of my eyes; at the end of a take, look to her coach for approval. If the head shake was no, she’d insist on another take.” Even though Lauren found Marilyn “not easy” and “often irritating,” she claimed that she “couldn’t dislike Marilyn” as “she had no meanness in her.”

Grace Kelly Was the Beauty Ideal of 1955

Actress Grace Kelly was a successful film star before she became the Princess of Monaco. She retired from her Hollywood career at the young age of 26 to marry Prince Rainier III in 1956. But she had already starred as the leading lady in several films, including Mogambo, High Society, Dial M for Murder, and Rear Window.

Grace is known for being a fashion icon in our times, with designers Tommy Hilfiger and Zac Posen noting her as a fashion inspiration. But back in the day, she was just as famous for her natural beauty, too. She was declared the “1955 Beauty Ideal” by the Chicago Daily Tribune due to her frequent “fresh-faced” look, which required minimal makeup and bright, clean skin to achieve. In this colorized photo, she has an especially luminous glow.

Vivien Leigh Resented Her Enviable Looks

British actress Vivien Leigh is best known for her iconic performances in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind and the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire. She often starred opposite her famous husband, actor Laurence Olivier, but struggled with mental health issues that ultimately impacted her career and life. Because of her struggles, she garnered a reputation in Hollywood as someone who was difficult to work with.

Vivien was only a young actress in this colorized photo and exhibited astounding beauty. Interestingly, she only saw that as a hindrance to her acting talent. She once stated: “People think that if you look fairly reasonable, you can’t possibly act, and as I only care about acting, I think beauty can be a great handicap.” Laurence agreed with this, stating, “give her credit for being an actress and not go on forever letting their judgments be distorted by her great beauty.”

Ginger Rogers Liked to Change up Her Hairstyle

Actress, dancer, and singer Ginger Rogers was the Golden Age actress who starred opposite the legendary actor and dancer Fred Astaire. During the 30s, she appeared in nine movies with him, which are thought to have revolutionized the dance-musical genre. She became one of the highest-paid actresses of the 40s after starring as the leading character in Kitty Foyle.

Filmmakers thought Ginger’s natural beauty and dancing talents perfectly complemented Fred Astaire. Her long, wavey blonde hair was a particularly striking feature, and she rarely wore it in the same style more than once in a movie. Whether she opted for a sleek up-do or long, bouncy locks, her dazzling smile was always a hit with the audience.

Greta Garbo’s Moody Persona Is Transformed in Color

Swedish actress Greta Garbo was ranked as number five on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest female stars of classic Hollywood cinema. She often played the part of a tragic character, as her moody and melancholic persona lent itself well to those roles. It was her 1927 performance in Flesh and the Devil that catapulted her to international stardom.

This colorized movie still gives us a glimpse into what Greta was like in person. As a silent film actress, people only saw her in black and white pictures. But seeing her in realistic color changes her look entirely. She looks far less gloomy and wistful when seeing her colorful makeup look and glamorous sense of style.

Sophia Loren Was a Beauty Queen While Still Just a Teen

Italian actress Sophia Loren began her film career at 16 years old and became one of the biggest stars of classic Hollywood cinema. At 86 years old today, she is one of the last living actresses from that era and one of the biggest and most celebrated. Some of her notable films include The Pride and the PassionHouseboat, and It Started in Naples.

Before Sophia entered the acting industry, she enjoyed success in beauty pageantry as a Miss Italia contestant in 1950. It’s hardly a surprise, looking at this splendid color photo. She radiates natural beauty, but this image gives us a detailed insight into how Sophia wore her makeup. We can see she’s opted for a lighter foundation color and an overlined lip looked.

Lana Turner Before She Became a Platinum Blonde

Actress Lana Turner enjoyed a long career in Hollywood that spanned 50 years. She was one of the highest-paid actresses in America during the mid-40s, as she was one of the top leading ladies and one of the best-loved stars to come out of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. However, the public was especially interested in her personal life.

As an actress during the war years, Lana’s growing popularity led to her becoming an in-demand pin-up model. She had the ideal figure for it and even earned herself the nickname “Sweater Girl” for the tight-fitting way she wore her clothes. In this photo, we can see Lana with her natural auburn hair color. After 1941, she died her hair platinum blonde, which she is best known for having.

Bette Davis Had Range That Far Outweighed Other Actresses

Actress Bette Davis was a diverse performer who appeared in many different types of films. Crime dramas, historical films, horrors, comedies, and romantic dramas were successful with Bette playing a lead character. She worked in the profession for more than 50 years, contributing over 100 performances.

While she was still earning her place in Hollywood, a Saturday Evening Post critic wrote that “She is not only beautiful, but she bubbles with charm.” That is how many people felt about Bette, who was not only a pretty face but a strong and intelligent personality. In this colorized photo, we can get a sense of what made Bette so captivating to watch.

Mitzi Gaynor Loved a Full Glam Makeup Look

Actress, singer, and dancer Mitzi Gaynor is most famous for three movies she appeared in during the 50s: There’s No Business Like Show BusinessThe Birds and the Bees, and South Pacific. She started out as a teenager by performing in musicals but soon after started acting in big Hollywood productions among actors like Marilyn Monroe and Donald O’Connor.

There’s no denying Mitzi’s natural beauty. But she was no stranger to a heavy application of makeup, as we can see from this colorized photo. Like many actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood, she applied more than one pair of fake eyelashes per eye, favored a heavy application of blush, and drew on a fake mole. To succeed in Hollywood, you had to know how to market yourself.

Katharine Hepburn Had Brains as Well as Beauty

Actress Katharine Hepburn was more than just an actress from the Golden Age of Hollywood. She was a successful leading lady for over 60 years, earning four Academy Awards for Best Actress. No other actress of her time had achieved the same. People loved watching her spirited on-screen personalities and headstrong characters.

Katharine was a huge success because she had brains as well as beauty. This colorized photo of the actress shows us just how alluring she would have been in person, with big blue eyes and soft brunette curls. She looked a lot different as time went on, naturally, but that wasn’t of any interest to her. As she once hilariously said, “What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.”

Louise Brooks Popularized the Flapper’s Bob Hairstyle

Actress and dancer Louise Brooks had a huge impact on the flapper culture of the 20s and 30s and is considered today to be a Jazz Age icon. Thanks to her, her famous bob hairstyle became a hit across the states, especially at the height of her Hollywood career. But life wasn’t always easy for Louise, and after her silent film success, she was forced to retire acting to become a paid escort.

Louise was naturally flirtatious, and that came across on-screen. Just looking at her in this colorized photo, we can tell that she was immensely playful and performative – a great combination for an old Hollywood actress. And her glossy black bob is simply timeless.

Olivia de Havilland Believed That Playing the “Good Girl” Was Harder

Actress Olivia de Havilland enjoyed a long career in Hollywood that last from 1935 until 1988. She recently passed away in July 2020, but up until that point, she had been the oldest living and earliest surviving Academy Award winner. Known for movies like To Each His OwnThe Snake Pit, and The Heiress, she also experienced success as an actress on TV and stage.

Olivia was seen as an elegant beauty, in part because she had more success playing the part of a “good girl.” She once stated, “Playing good girls in the 30s was difficult when the fad was to play bad girls. Actually, I think playing bad girls is a bore; I have always had more luck with good girl roles because they require more from an actress.” This color photo definitely makes it look as though she has a quiet, inner intelligence.

Joan Crawford Had the Strangest Morning Beauty Ritual

Actress Joan Crawford had the rare fortune to work in Hollywood for over 60 years. During the 30s, she was one of the highest-paid women in all of America and was a particular hit with female audiences. Part of that is probably due to her incredible range as an actress – from horrors to historical dramas, she performed in all types of movie genres.

You probably didn’t realize that Joan had a lot of freckles. They were almost always covered up in movies, but this colorized photo shows how beautiful her natural skin was. She did some strange things to maintain her beauty too, including one particular ritual that she swore by. She plunged her face into a bowl of ice-cold rose water every morning to stay looking rested.

Brigitte Bardot Went Blonde For a Movie Role and Never Looked Back

French actress and singer Brigitte Bardot was one of the biggest stars of the 50s and 60s who grew in fame for playing provocative and alluring characters. She was born in Paris, but her role in the 1956 movie And God Created Woman catapulted her to international stardom. Ever since she has been a major icon of classic cinema.

Brigitte enjoyed a reputation as one of the most beautiful women in the world. In this color photo, Brigitte had only recently dyed her brunette locks peroxide blonde, so she was still getting used to it. Whether she was blonde or brunette, she was definitely one of the most beautiful actresses of old Hollywood.

Lucille Ball Had a Brief Stint as a Fashion Model

Actress, producer, and comedian Lucille Ball is one of the biggest names in Hollywood history. She both starred in and produced the sitcoms I Love LucyThe Lucy Show, and Here’s Lucy, which were a major hit with audiences. Besides her acting talents, she became the first-ever female head of a major Hollywood studio, which she also happened to own.

Before Lucille became one of the greatest Hollywood icons, she worked as an in-house fashion model, and we can see those model looks in this color photo. She had to dye her natural brunette hair blonde for the part, which she agreed to do. Of course, later down the line, she embraced a vibrant red-head style.

Janet Leigh Looking Perfect in Purple

Known as the ultimate triple threat, there was nothing that Janet Leigh couldn’t do. She could sing, act, dance, and was even an accomplished author which all contributed to her successful career spanning over five decades. Honestly, she should’ve also been known as a model for beauty that came across so simplistic and effortless.

This amazing colorized photo highlights every feature of Janet – reminding us of the beauty queen she was. And even though she only stood at 5’4″, you would think this gal had legs for days, according to this photo. Seeing this image in color makes us think that she was probably the inspiration for the original barbie doll.

Gloria Swanson Caught Staring Off While Styling a Sunburnt Orange Gown

Although she’s mostly known for her acting, we prefer to recognize Gloria Swanson for being an epic boss babe back in her day and age. Yes, she received a Golden Globe Award, but she was also a producer and businesswoman. And unlike most of the photos we usually see of her on the internet, this colorized picture pairs her sassy personality and epic style – making her seem that much more relatable as we reminisce about her time on Earth.

In this image above, it shows Gloria only one decade prior to her passing. While Gloria may have been known for being a realist, when it came to her style, she was flamboyant and daring and was never afraid from making a bold fashion statement. With this bright orange gown, it only solidifies how adventurous Gloria’s closet must have been.

Dorothy Lamour Is a Sight For Sore Eyes As the Sarong Queen

Actress and singer Dorothy Lamour started out in the music business before she ever appeared in movies. After starring in The Jungle Princess in 1936 her acting career flourished, and she became known as the “Sarong Queen”. but of course, audiences only ever got to see her in black and white.

Thanks to digital enhancements, we can see above what Dorothy looked like in full glory. She was a stunning dark-haired beauty, with mysterious grey-blue eyes, and a soft and feminine figure. She was said about her public image: “Glamor is just sex that got civilized. A pretty girl, tastefully posed in a scant costume, is even a sort of cultural achievement.”

Norma Shearer

Canadian-American actress Norma Shearer became for her reoccurring film roles as a promiscuous yet naive young woman mainly throughout the 20s and 30s. She ended up becoming the first-ever five-time Academy Award acting nominee, for her performance as Jerry Martin in 1930s The Divorcee.

Norma was a natural beauty with auburn hair and piercing blue eyes. But in the 1925 silent comedy-drama film Pretty Ladies, she wears an unconventional ensemble in one scene as Frances White. We can’t see her gorgeous locks, but she still looks every inch a glamorous star. And that’s saying something, considering how the outfit chooses to highlight Norma’s ears.

Bettie Page Made Her Mark as the Queen of the Pin-Ups

The 1950s was all about the pin-up, and there’s a reason why Bettie Page bagged herself the nickname as the “Queen of the Pin-Ups”. With her jet black hair, her curvaceous figure and her trademark bangs, this lady graced the covers of countless magazines over the course of her career.

And while there are countless professional photos of this starlet to be found in existence, it’s the casual, homey look of this particular photo that seemed to impress her fans the most. She managed to inspire pop culture without really trying, but sadly Bettie struggled with her mental health during the later years of her life. Her legacy still remains intact today, however.

Irish McCalla Was the Ultimate Queen of the Jungle

To this day, Irish McCalla is remembered as the ultimate queen of the jungle. As the leading lady in Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, she managed to acquire fans across the globe who just loved to watch her swing around in this natural environment. And while she became a well-known actress during the mid-50s, she noted that “I couldn’t act, but I could swing through the trees.”

In this incredible colorized photo, you can see a different side to the actress we were used to seeing in a sophisticated loincloth. Throughout her career, Irish also became known as a “Vargas Girl” – and she used o model as a pin-up for the famous artist Alberto Vargas. And considering how beautiful and stylish she looks here, it’s not hard to understand why he used her as his muse.

Anna May Wong Measures Her Long Dark Tresses

Actress Anna May Wong is considered to be the first-ever Chinese American movie star of Hollywood. She was certinaly the first Chinese-American women to gain international fame, and she appeared in several silent movies throughout the 20s and 30s. During those decades, she became known for her impeccable dress sense.

In this colorized photo, we can see Anna measuring the length of through her long dark hair. It’s rare not only to see her in color, but also with her hair out. She almost always kept her hair slicked back or tucked away in a bun, leaving only her bangs loose. We can say with certainty that she was a true Hollywood beauty, regardless.

Clara Bow And Her Come Hither Look

Actress Clara Bow gained major recognition in Hollywood during the silent film era of the 20s. It wasn’t long before she became the face of the “roaring twenties.” By the time the 30s rolled around, she had already successfully transitioned into the “talkies,” and earned herself a reputation as a seductive silver screen siren.

In color, we can see just what made her “The It Girl” of the 20s. Her large doe-shaped eyes and subtle smile are especially captivating, as is her wavey reddish-brown hair. Critics found her in possession of all the things a great actress at the time should have had; beauty, brains, and personality.

Barbara Stanwyck Bears All for Her Role as a Burlesque Dancer

Actress, model, and dancer Barbara Stanwyck performed on stage, film, and television for over six decades. She starred in her first movie at 16 years old, and ended up starring in 85 films throughout the rest of her life. In 1944, she became the highest-paid woman in America, and drew praise for her realistic performances.

Barbara was starring in the 1943 movie Lady of Burlesque above when this photo was taken. She was at the height of her career and raking in the money. Not only was she an extremely talented actress, but a provocative and charming beauty. But she was humble about her fortunate position in life: “I have always felt privileged to be paid for what I love doing.”

Doris Day Made Singing and Acting Look Like a Piece of Cake

Only a select few of Hollywood’s stars have the ability to captivate audiences within different realms, but that’s exactly what Doris Day had. This singer not only released over 650 songs as a solo artist, but she also put her name to some of the most incredible movies during the Golden Age of Hollywood.

We watched Doris play the girl-next-door type in the likes of Calamity Jane and The Man Who Knew Too Much, and she even had her own sitcom that ran for five years! And what drew fans to this icon was the fact that she had a natural charm that permeated from the smile that we can see in this casual picture here.

Ava Gardner Seduced One of the Biggest Names in Hollywood

Actress and singer Ava Gardner was a minor actress until 1946 when she starred in the film noir The Killers. By the 1950s, she had become one of the top leading actresses of Hollywood, starring in films like Show BoatPandora and the Flying Dutchman, and The Barefoot Contessa. While she peaked during that decade, she continued acting until the mid-80s.

Ava had striking features that set her apart from other Hollywood actresses. She enhanced her naturally green eyes with sultry cat-like eye makeup, ruby red lips, and thick brunette curls. Singer and actor Frank Sinatra famously fell head over heels in love with her, even going so far as to leave his wife Nancy for her. Ava’s graceful beauty was one to be reckoned with.

Lupe Velez Was the Fiery Latina Actress Who Paved the Way For Future Generations

The Mexican acting, dancing, and singing star Lupe Velez is pictured in 1928 looking absolutely breath-taking; it’s no surprise she became a Golden Age of Hollywood star after moving to the States. She was a trail-blazer for Latin actresses, as she was one of the first to succeed in Hollywood.

People loved her because of her “fiery” and colorful personality, and she only grew in fame after a string of high-profile relationships with other Hollywood actors. The circumstances surrounding her death are mysterious, and seeing her in vivid color only makes us all the more curious.

Beverly Bentley Tried To Keep Her Famous Lover a Big Secret

Actress Beverly Bentley wasn’t as famous as most of the other starlets on this list, but we have no idea why not. She was a stunningly beautiful woman who somehow looks out of this world even in full color. She went from TV hosting to Broadway, to eventually starring in Hollywood feature films.

You might remember her from films like A Face In The Crowd or Scent Of Mystery!, or else her dramatic love life. She had a love affair with the great jazz musician Miles Davis which she tried to keep very covered up. But she was married to the writer Norman Mailer in what was a terrible marriage.

Ann Sheridan Stares Us Down in Stunning Tricolor

Actress and singer Ann Sheridan was a famous beauty of the thirties and forties, appearing in films like San Quentin and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Sadly, she had a bad drinking and smoking habit and passed away at the young age of 51.

This rare photo was actually restored from its original tricolor separation negatives and found in old New York Daily News files. We’re happy it was because it shows us the starlet in surprisingly realistic quality. If it wasn’t for the hairstyle and outfit choice, we’d easily think this was a photo from today.

Jane Russell Proves That Brunettes Have More Fun

Actress Jane Russell is pictured looking drop-dead gorgeous in this colorized promo shot with actor Robert Mitchum. She was a sex symbol of the forties and fifties and managed to star in more than 20 movies throughout her Hollywood career.

She’s probably best known for her performances in The Outlaw and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but here in 1952, she was posing for her role in Macao. Her long dark tresses have been styled to perfection with bright red nails and lipstick, and a reflective gold dress.

Angela Lansbury Is One of the Last Surviving Stars of Old Hollywood

Dame Angela Lansbury has had a long and fruitful career, and she still lives to this day. But you might have never seen her looking how she does in the image below – she was your quintessential gorgeous blonde back in the day! You’ll recognize her from starring in the eighties and nineties sitcom Murder, She Wrote.

Angela is one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood and started her cinema career back in the forties. Looking at this colorized photo, we can see why Angela fell into the acting profession. She’s simply too beautiful not to star on the big screen.

Merle Oberon Had a Big Accident That Almost Ended Her Career

Indian-born British Merle Oberon was a Eurasian actress who enjoyed a thriving career from 1933-37. She was extremely beautiful but almost lost her life in 1937 after a terrible traffic collision. She suffered facial injuries, but thankfully recovered and eventually picked up her acting career again. With makeup, her scars were barely visible.

Merle had several relationships throughout her life, at one point with the cinematographer Lucien Ballard. It was he who created a special camera alight just for Merle, in order to better hide the scars on her face following her accident. With or without scars, this actress is a total knockout.

Lee Remick Had Clear Blue Eyes That Transfixed An Audience

Actress and singer Lee Remick was an award-winning starlet back in her youth. Pictured in 1958, she starred in productions like the movie Days of Wine and Roses and the Broadway play Wait Until Dark. In this photo, she was just about to burst onto the Hollywood cinema scene.

With her bright blue eyes and adorable smile, it’s no surprise she became a huge star of the black and white days. She was so loved that in 1991, she even got given her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Later in life, she came to dye her hair a strawberry blonde color.

Rosalind Russell Was Gorgeous Even If Others Didn’t See It

Actress Rosalind Russell is best known for portraying a newspaper reporter called Hildy Johnson in the 1940 screwball comedy His Girl Friday. But she was also a famous comedian, having been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and winning them all.

She received the most success for being a comedic actress lead in five decades worth of work. We think she’s a total beauty, but she was never particularly celebrated for her looks. Nonetheless, she often took on the roles of women who were glamorous or high class.

Eve Arden Stayed Faithful To Her Honey-Toned Hair Color

Actress and comedian Eve Arden was prominent in films, radio, stage, television during the Golden Age of Hollywood. For over six decades, she starred as both lead characters and supporting characters in films such as Stage DoorAt the Circus, and Mildred Pierce.

Pictured in 1941, Eve was at the height of her career at this point. Probably in part due to how stunning she was. For almost all of her long life, she also refrained from dying her hair color something drastically different. We think the light brunette shade looks amazing on her.

Rhonda Fleming Was a Red-Headed Siren of the Forties and Fifties

Actress and singer Rhonda Fleming was a major star of the forties and fifties, starring in over 40 films during her heyday. She was a total glamor icon and even earned herself the nickname “Queen of Technicolor” due to how beautiful she appeared in color motion pictures.

Perhaps that’s partly due to the contrast of her long red hair with her big blue eyes. In this photo, we especially love the orange lipstick shade and nails with the sky blue dress. It’s no wonder she was called the “Queen of Technicolor” if you ask us! 

Rita Moreno Was An Extremely Versatile Performer

Puerto Rican-born Rita Moreno was another Golden Age of Hollywood actress who paved the way for future generations. She was a Latina star who gained celebrity after starring in 1961’s West Side Story. Rita was a versatile performer, as she was singing, dancing, and acting in the movie.

She’s so beautiful so it comes as no surprise to hear that she was starring opposite Hollywood heavyweights like Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, and James Garner. But it’s her accomplishments that have stood the test of time – Rita was the first-ever Hispanic starlet to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Pier Angeli Wasn’t Allowed To Keep Dating James Dean

Actress television and film actress Pier Angeli landed herself in the starring role of Teresa (1951) for her first ever movie debut. It was well-deserved, too, as she won a Golden Globe Award for Young Star of the Year for her performance in the movie.

Famously, Pier had a passionate relationship with fellow actor James Dean. Sadly she was forced to break it off, as James wasn’t a Catholic like she was. Her mother put an end to their relationship, and she started seeing someone else. She was extremely beautiful as we can see above. You’d never guess this colorized photo was from 1954.

Mae West Was An Old Hollywood Siren For Several Decades

Actress Mae West hardly even needs an introduction. She’s such an iconic starlet from the Golden Age of Hollywood, having catapulted to fame in the 1930s for her seductive performances. Mae was a sex symbol for decades, and there are tons of reasons why.

For one, she had a very sultry husky voice that audiences couldn’t resist. Her personality was also very liberated, and she made no secret of her attraction to men. If you add to that her gorgeous natural looks, it’s no surprise that she became as famous as she did.

Elizabeth Montgomery Was America’s Favorite TV Witch

Actress Elizabeth Montgomery is thought of as having been America’s favorite TV witch, Samantha Stephens. She starred in the sitcom Bewitched, which ran throughout the sixties and seventies. And looking at this colorized still, we can see that she was naturally very beautiful.

She had soft blonde hair, big blue eyes, and an amazing figure. It’s her drop-dead gorgeous looks which carried her into Hollywood, too, as she starred in several big picture productions. You might remember her from movies like The Legend of Lizzie Borden and The Awakening Land.

Carmen Miranda Got Herself Nicknamed “The Brazilian Bombshell”

Actress Carmen Miranda was the Brazilian bombshell who took the world by storm. She was actually born in Portugal but was raised in Brazil where she learned to sing and dance. Carmen performed on Broadway, but she’s famous for the films she starred in throughout the thirties, forties, and fifties.

Everyone knew her as the woman who wore a fruit hat on her head, and it became a sort of trademark of hers. But we think she needs to be remembered more for her infectious smile. From her big eyes to her rosy cheeks, she’s got to be one of the most beautiful women in old Hollywood.

Fay Wray Is One of the Original “Scream Queens”

Actress Fay Wray is most famous for portraying Ann Darrow in the 1933 movie King Kong. But that was only the start for Fay, and she went on to act for more than half a century. In fact, her acting career spanned six decades and left her with a fortune.

Fay is considered to be one of cinema’s early “scream queens” as she became an international horror movie actress. She was definitely a natural beauty, and only enhanced her looks with the typical makeup styles of the day. Mascara, red lipstick, and you’re done!

Maila Nurmi Leaned Into Her Goth Side

Finnish-American actress and television personality Maila Nurmi is the mastermind behind the fifties character Vampira. She moved to Los Angeles in 1940, with the hopes of becoming a movie star. And it is with Vampira that her dreams came true, with her starring in The Vampira Show in the fifties.

Sadly for Maila, her show was canceled after a couple of years. But she just moved on to movies, starring in films like Plan 9 from Outer Space and The Beat Generation in the late fifties. In the latter movie, she starred as her character Vampira. And boy did she have the looks for such a formidable persona.

Bobbie Gentry’s Style Clearly Inspired the Singer-Songwriter of Today

Singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry was a female trailblazer in the music industry. She was one of the first women to compose her own music and produce it, and since she hailed from the south she often drew upon musical styles from the area.

It was her song “Ode to Billie Joe” that catapulted her to worldwide fame. But aside from her impressive artistic contributions, she was a very stunning woman. She had long, thick, dark tresses and deep brown eyes. To us, Bobbie looks like a vintage Lana Del Ray or Amy Winehouse.

Ida Lupino Didn’t Like Being Infront of the Camera

Ida Lupino was an actress, singer, director, and producer who came from Britain. She had an almost 50-year-long career in Hollywood, starring in almost 60 films and directing another eight. And remember, this was at a time when there almost weren’t female film directors.

Her best-known movies are probably The Hitch-Hiker and Not Wanted, and she far preferred directing to acting. In fact, she once stated that she was uncomfortable with many of the earlier acting roles that she was given. Either way, she definitely had the looks to be a major Hollywood starlet.

Patsy Kelly Lived Her Life Openly As a Lesbian

Actress Patsy Kelly wasn’t your typical Hollywood starlet, and that totally worked in her favor. She was a brilliant comedic actress who starred in several films throughout the thirties. Sadly, in the forties, her acting career started to decline, but it did make a comeback in the mid-fifties.

Patsy was public about her preferences for women, which really must not have been easy to do in old Hollywood. Pictured here in 1937, Patsy was still at the height of her career. People loved her brash and brazen personality, even when she played supporting roles. We happen to think she’s also naturally very beautiful.

Rita Hayworth Was an on-Screen Siren and WW2 Pin-up Model

Actress Rita Hayworth was one of the biggest Hollywood stars of the 40s. She was nicknamed “The Love Goddess” for her seductive on-screen personality that oozed glamor and beauty. Best known for playing Gilda in the 1946 film of the same name, she also enjoyed a career as a pin-up model during the war.

Pictured in a sheer lace nightgown, Rita looks every inch a glamorous film star in this colorized photo. She had long light brown/auburn hair that people used to go wild for, which arguably was her most defining feature. But she didn’t necessarily see herself as everyone else did. Rita once admitted: “Every man I knew went to bed with Gilda… and woke up with me.”