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The Scotsman
Fri 19 Sep 2003
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Gentlemen still prefer blondes as Monroe tops poll of film beauties


MARILYN Monroe’s iconic screen status remains unassailable. A new survey to find the top 50 film goddesses of the last half century has placed Hollywood’s greatest blonde bombshell at No 1.

British beauty faired well in the survey of 6,000 people, with Catherine Zeta Jones, who won an Oscar this year for Chicago, making the top ten, coming in at eighth place, just ahead of Sixties "it" girl Julie Christie.

Liz Hurley, the model who co-starred in the first Austin Powers film, came in at No 18, Kristin Scott Thomas, of The English Patient, at No 16, while Kate Beckinsale, who is currently starring in Underworld, just made the grade by coming in at No 50.

Many of the big names of the past apparently still hold a place in the public’s affections. Audrey Hepburn, star of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, came second, followed by Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Lauren Bacall.

But Monroe - star of such classics as Some Like It Hot, The Seven Year Itch and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - who died in mysterious circumstances in 1962, won by a clear margin.

A spokesperson for drinks brand Babysham, which conducted the survey, said: "Marilyn is still a star for many. Her appeal surely is that she was glamorous, sexy and bubbly."

Voters showed the enduring appeal of stars of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, such as Veronica Lake, Vivien Leigh and Rita Hayworth, placed at 20, 28 and 31 respectively.

But contemporary Hollywood notions of attractiveness proved compelling, with waif-like Gwyneth Paltrow at No 10, Nicole Kidman at No 11 and Cameron Diaz at No 13, broken up only by the timeless looks of Sophia Loren.

Surprisingly, Madonna, whose most recent film Swept Away was released to universal derision, took 26th place in the voting.

Golden girls the big names on the big screen

1: Marilyn Monroe
2: Audrey Hepburn
3: Grace Kelly
4: Elizabeth Taylor
5: Lauren Bacall
6: Julia Roberts
7: Michelle Pfeiffer
8: Catherine Zeta Jones
9: Julie Christie
10: Gwyneth Paltrow
11: Nicole Kidman
12: Sophia Loren
13: Cameron Diaz
14: Raquel Welch
15: Halle Berry
16: Kristin Scott Thomas
17: Brigitte Bardot
18: Liz Hurley
19: Greta Garbo
20: Veronica Lake
21: Kim Basinger
22: Natalie Portman
23: Andie MacDowell
24: Demi Moore
25: Angelina Jolie
26: Madonna
27: Penelope Cruz
28: Vivien Leigh
29: Sandra Bullock
30: Liv Tyler
31: Rita Hayworth
32: Winona Ryder
33: Salma Hayek
34: Catherine Deneuve
35: Minnie Driver
36: Isabella Rossellini
37: Sharon Stone
38: Meg Ryan
39: Kate Winslet
40: Pam Grier
41: Laura Dern
42: Kate Hudson
43: Bo Derek
44: Heather Graham
45: Uma Thurman
46: Patricia Arquette
47: Cate Blanchett
48: Ingrid Bergman
49: Ellen Barkin
50: Kate Beckinsale

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