I recently came across a list I made about 20 (yikes!) years ago of those stars who I considered to be the 10 most beautiful male and female stars. I have always viewed film as a medium designed to pay tribute to and honor the beauty of the human face, form and spirit. But what, exactly, is beauty? I am wondering if my reasons for selecting them have changed over the years...
Here they are in no particular order.
While never the greatest of beauties, Edna holds a special place in my heart. Her onscreen relationship with Chaplin never fails to enchant me. Add to that a sense of mystery and intrigue (who was Edna Purviance?) and she still makes the top 10.
Yes, Clara still does it for me. She is excessively pretty, but her verve and joy elevate mere prettiness into beauty for me.
Yes - they had faces then. Mary, by virtue of her face and physical grace and indomitable spirit still holds a place in the top 10.
Sheer beauty, style and a cool that is inexplicably warm, Grace still is top-10 royalty.
Same goes for Audrey. She remains golden for me. Her style is legendary, but it is her charm and smile that do it for me.
One of cinema's most beautiful faces. True then, true now, true forever.
Simply a beautiful woman - but there is an almost shameless aching that goes beyond a beautiful face and form.
I still adore the electroplated platinum Jean, but I think, for now, she falls out of the top-10.
Ah, a most unique beauty. Her's is a heart beating on the screen. None is more worthy of our love. She stays.
She's a down to earth beauty and one half of one of my favorite screen teams (with James Cagney). She is teetering in the top and might fall to 11, but I still love this lady.
Ah, that face. Beautiful. He stays.
His face, his genius, his physical grace, his humanity and courage. He stays.
I am not as mad for him as I once was, but, really, he was a god. He stays.
Never the most handsome guy, his beauty comes from his irresistible charisma. It makes him beautiful and he stays.
Well, he sure was a manly man and gorgeous. Oh, and sexy. Should he stay? Not sure.....wait, what am I - nuts?
Ah, he is the illusion of a beautiful adventure. Maybe not my favorite actor, but he is beautiful. I might not place him in a new top-10, but he holds an honorary place for the sheer joy he brings to the screen.
No debate here. Handsome, charming, sexy and funny, he not only stays, but is in the "most beautiful" Hall of Fame. Case closed.
Like Cagney, it has nothing to do with conventional looks. He is a charmer, he is joy and he stays.
Well, my hormones certainly got the best of me. He stays.
Never my favorite actor, or even star, but he was beautiful the way the American west is beautiful. He is undeniable and, I guess, he has to stay.
So, it looks as though my taste hasn't changed much over time. If anything, I could greatly expand my choices. Certainly, I would swap out Garbo for Harlow and throw in young Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Mitchum and Gary Cooper for starters. But, it was fun to revisit my earlier choices and know that I still love them all so very much. I guess beauty really is in the eye - and the heart - of the beholder.
Which stars define beauty for you?