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OF THE SCREEN
thinking man's list
“of the screen” here, because I have seen women just as sexy
around town. But since I don't have pictures of these women, we
can't share the experience. We can only talk about famous women.
I say “a thinking man's list” because this list won't include
any bimbos famous for big tits or boob jobs. It will
conspicuously lack most of the usual suspects.
I also say
"screen" to include TV and sports and music, since we
watch those on a screen, too.
You won't see here any of
the plastic people from the last decade with their fake bodies
and fake hair and fake noses and fake lips. A couple of people on
my list have gone south over the years, but I include them for
their fresh early selves. I will comment as I go.
use the word “sexiest” on purpose. There are some extremely
beautiful women I passed over, simply because they seemed to me
to be made of ice. We will take Nicole Kidman as an example.
Beautiful beyond belief, but I couldn't see sleeping with her. I
doubt she sleeps. I think even her breathing is regulated by a
machine. Hundreds of “top beauties” failed to make my list
for that reason. This is a list of what I perceive to be
intelligent women (well, mainly), but intelligent women are also
divided into sexy and non-sexy. Liz Montgomery would be an
example of the former and Audrey Hepburn would be an example of
I also leave off a whole sub-category of
beauty, which will enrage the fairer sex. But this is my list. It
isn't a committee list, and I don't feel compelled to say people
are sexy who I don't feel anything for. This includes not only
the fake and foolish, who I have already mentioned, it also
includes the buxom and the bombshells: I fully understand the
draw of them, I am just not drawn to them. This would be the Rita
Hayworth, Jane Mansfield type. A large portion of other people's
lists are made up of this category, and a large portion of beauty
pageants are as well. So there is no lack of appreciation for the
type. But you won't find her here. If you're a baby-got-back kind
of guy, you will have to look elsewhere. These babies ain't got
much back. They tend to be sleek and trim.
was voted the sexiest woman of the century by Empireonline,
but I can't figure these folks out. I assume the list was
compiled by teenage girls or Hollywood reps. I find Jolie
unappealing pretty much across the board: for her tattoos, her
hard personality, her crazy-bitch persona, her doctored features,
and her constant PR blitz. Like so many others on other
contemporary lists, she looks like a Stepford Wife to me. She is
literally scary. She was beautiful at 16, but she was scary even
then. I find 9/10's of modern “beauties” scary like that.
They either look like porn stars or like figures at Madame
Tussaud's. They wouldn't thrill you in bed, they would only annoy
you in bed. They would spend the whole time barking or quacking
in those nasal voices women now have, and you would have to go
sleep on the couch to find some peace.
non-current actress who made the top 30 at Empire was
Marilyn Monroe. Just proves that contemporary people know nothing
about history. Why call it “of the century” or “of all
time” when you know nothing of the century, much less of
history? Check out the list for yourself: Gary Oldman and Alan
Rickman are ahead of Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve.
Let's look at some real women:
Montgomery. Everyone's favorite witch. I don't have to sell
anyone on this one. Except that I will say that she was already
in her 30's in "Bewitched." You have to go to the files
to find pictures from the '50's, when she was even more
beautiful. Hard to believe, but true. She was still smokin' in
the 60's, though, even after having kids. Perfect knees, which
few people bother to notice. Sexy and a great sense of humor,
too. Thank goodness we have her in syndication.
Davidtz. Another unknown in the States who should have been
known. See her in A Feast of July, an overlooked
Merchant/Ivory film. You may also remember her as the maid in
Schindler's List. Just look at that picture! Too good for
modern cinema, I guess. There are no words for what she does to
Kelly. I lose track of the plot every time she enters the
room in Rear Window. She really moves and speaks like a
queen. Not just gorgeous, but regal. And yet somehow still warm.
If this list were for beauty alone, she would be at the top. Can
you believe anyone would list Angelina Jolie over Grace Kelly?
Apocalyptic, really. Grace Kelly was number 39 on the Empire
list, just above Ewan MacGregor. Honestly, not a joke.
Slater. Yes, Supergirl always did it for me a lot better than
Wonder Woman. These photos may give you an idea why. Y'know,
Jerry had great taste: remember Becky Gelke on "Seinfeld"?
Helen is Jewish, though I wouldn't have guessed it. See her in
The Legend of Billie Jean.
Lake. Just discovered Veronica, in I Married a Witch.
Wish she could have played Galadriel. She is what I see when I
read the book, not Kate Blanchett. She could even have worn the
white gown from I Married a Witch. Wow!
Rampling. If Charlotte doesn't make your breath catch in your
throat, I don't know what to say. Stick with Pam Anderson. In my
book, she is the definition of sexy. She should have stayed away
from the cigarettes, but in the early years, she was every smart
man's dream. I always thought she was French, but she is English.
Definitely exudes a French sexuality, though, and did French
cinema. See her in Georgy Girl.
Waddell. Not well-known in the States, but I know of her from
BBC's "Wives and Daughters," which I highly recommend.
Another slip of a girl, with fantastic eyes and a brooding
intelligence. Just look at those cute little lips! Too good for
most men's whorish lists.
Lambert. I watch Picnic at Hanging Rock just to see
her brushing her blonde hair in the mirror. What a sexy mouth,
made even sexier somehow by the crooked teeth. I wish I could
have seen her in the Aussie soaps back in the early 70's.
Danes. Like a smarter, more soulful version of Gwenneth,
without the whiny, raspy voice. Gwenneth looked great in Emma,
but it wasn't quite enough to make the list. Claire just seems a
lot more real. Much sexier eyes, too. I wish I had seen her in
more movies. Way to go Claire on not getting a nosejob or
boobjob! No fingernail polish or toe polish, either. Very
Wright. The Princess Bride. Smart and Gorgeous. Maybe not the
warmest person on this list, but still waters run deep. It's the
no make-up thing I like about this photo. The director knew that
princess brides didn't wear makeup. But Robin never wears much
makeup, as you see. Not a lot of slutty pics on the web, either.
I had to dig for these old ones of her.
Kinski. The top of the sexy-eyes list. In Tess of the
D'Urbervilles she is at her best, at least for someone like
me who wishes the peasant costume would make a comeback. Nothing
like a girl in a cotton dress.
Bacall. See her in To Have and Have Not, at age 20,
her first appearance. She proved that a skinny blonde can be
sultry. She should have stayed away from cigarettes, like so many
others (including her husband Bogart), but she has made it to 85
nonetheless. She should also have kept her eyebrows in the early
years. But that is mainly quibbling. She was among the sexiest.
Just look at that nose. I don't think they were doing nosejobs
back then. And she could stare right through you, obviously. No
wonder Bogey fell for her. Who wouldn't? Reese Witherspoon was
ahead of Bacall in the Empire list, and so was John
Cusack. Again, not making this up. You can't make up stuff like
Christie. One of my favorites from the 60's. And talk about
aging well. She is 68 now. Compare her to Bardot, who is 75.
Bardot is 7 years older and looks 30 years older. Woody Allen
once joked that he wanted to be reincarnated as Warren Beatty's
hands, and this is one reason why. This is how a woman is
supposed to age. The third photo is from her late 50's, and the
fourth from her 60's. If she has had surgery, it was done right.
See her in Heaven can Wait, when she was 36.
Lange. One of the smartest women in Hollywood. A bit edgy for
most, but just my flavor. Check out these old photos and she will
become your flavor, too, I would guess. See her in Frances
or The Postman always Rings Twice.
Leigh. Gone with the Wind, of course. Not as sexy as
some, but right behind Grace on beauty alone. Should have kept
her own eyebrows.
Fonda. One of my personal favorites. I am thinking of the
period from Aria up to Single White Female. Once
again, she didn't need the nosejob, but who can tell a girl
anything these days. She hasn't done much good work, but she was
something to look at. So long and lithe. Here she is as Bacall
with Bogart, I mean Crowe.
Newton-John. Always preferred her in Grease before she
went black leather. Pale blue sweaters and bobby socks are much
sexier (which may explain this entire list). Like Shelley below,
Olivia has destroyed her face with multiple lifts and tucks. We
will remember them as they were.
Long. Those of you with Megan Fox at the top of your list
will say, “What!” But she's just my type, I guess. Her
character was annoying, yes, but that was the script. We can
imagine she was not quite that flighty in real life, if we like.
Still, she was smart, not icy, and what can I say, I like the
librarian look she had on the show. And physically, what's not to
like? She was already in her 30's in "Cheers," so we
have to remember that. This picture is her in her 20's: long
graceful neck, limpid bedroom eyes. She also had gorgeous hands
and arms, lovely hair (possibly better light brown than blonde),
and a great figure (if you like small breasts, which I do). I
imagine if she had never spoken a word I would have an easier
time convincing you (although she has a lovely voice).
Russell. I will always have a soft spot for Felicity. Could
be the sweaters, but I think it is the smart girl thing again. No
one ever made sneakers as sexy as Felicity, either. Here she is
without too much makeup.
Keaton. Yes, Diane Keaton. There aren't any good pictures of
her from the 70's online, but here she is from Looking for Mr.
Goodbar. The Beyonce guys won't understand this one, but so
what. Woody knew how to pick 'em. See her in her panties and
t-shirt in Annie Hall. Very real, very vulnerable, very
smart. Big droopy bedroom eyes. The Vassar or Bryn Mawr girl not
lost to lesbianism, sneaking into your dorm-room at night to play
Streep. Not strictly the prettiest face on this list, but see
Sophie's Choice. The smartest and most talented woman ever
in Hollywood, the greatest actress of all time, and in Sophie's
Choice, sexy as all get-out. A glorious nose, no matter what
Phillips. The original hippy chick, from The Mamas and the
Papas. Waify body and perfect face, looked great without makeup.
Like Kate Moss without the wall-eyes or the vacant
Connelly. Tends to drift to the modern overdone look, but
she's just incredibly sexy, no matter what. It isn't the big
naturals on a little torso that do it for me, since that is not
my thing. It isn't even the legs, though she has among the best.
It is the intelligent stare she has. Just WOW.
Polley. Just watch the math scene in Guinevere.
Written and directed by a woman, it could have been shot by
Nabokov. No one has ever been more kittenish than Sarah,
especially with that closed-mouth smile she developed. Looks a
bit like a shorter Uma, but Uma has always annoyed me for some
Dey. Who can forget "The Partridge Family"? Well,
those of you under 40, I guess, who never knew it to forget. She
was also pretty hot in that lawyer show I never watched. That is
the very definition of doe-eyed.
Brochet. See Cyrano de Bergerac, where she plays
Roxanne. One of the greatest noses in the history of cinema, and
heavy-lidded eyes to melt you. That Jewish thing again, I think.
Butler. Must be the Irish in me. Long legs and long red hair.
Can't go wrong with that. And look at those freckles! Heaven. And
no mascara. Double heaven. See her in the original
Ziyi. The sexiest thing ever to come out of China. See her at
her best in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Named after the flower, not a cup of coffee. A French actress.
See her in The Pink Panther, when she was already in her
30's. Eyes to die for. She almost seems too adult for me,
somehow. Being Peter Pan, I have a hard time seeing myself with
women like this, though she is sexy beyond belief.
Leigh. Most people my age only know her from Psycho,
but you have to see her in Little Women (1949) before you
understand why she made my list.
Wood. Simple features, great skin, and lots of charm. See her
in West Side Story or Splendor in the
Bergen. Those who only know her from “Murphy Brown” need
to be given the clue by this picture.
Winslet. Generally too full-bodied for my taste, Kate still
has to make the list for intelligence, talent, and sex appeal.
She looked mighty tasty in Jude, possibly her physical
peak, although she is still a stunner.
Bergman. Girl-next-door freshness and charm, and a nice
accent. The old-fashioned arms-like-a-pillow appeal. I can see
Lombard. See her in Vigil in the Night, from 1940,
when she was 32, or go back even further, to Twentieth
Century, six years earlier. Famed for her fiery personality
and flashing eyes. . . and imperfect nose.
Sihol. If you want to see someone who has aged well, see
Caroline in Tous les Matins du Monde, at age 42. Noses can
be made by man, but eyes like that can only be made by Nature.
There are precious few images of Caroline online, since she
mostly did French TV during the 70's and 80's, but here is one I
dug up. Sort of like a latter-day Lombard.
Sorvino. Mira looks great either dead-skinny, as she was in
the beginning; or full-figured, as she was in Mighty
Aphrodite. You can guess which I prefer. She once had the
best legs in Hollywood, maybe in the world, as you can see here
(I had to cut that Backus bastard out).
Lane. See, she always had that tiny nose. She's gotten a lot
of press for aging well, but she's only 45. I remember her from A
Little Romance. Too young there to be called sexy, I admit,
so we'll include a pic from her late 20's. See, she always had
the breasts, too.
Ebanks. Like Jennifer Beals, but more exotic and curvier.
Eyes tilted a bit more, too. Very hot. One of the few on this
list that mirrors normal lists by “normal” guys.
Farrell. The prettiest face in ballet. Balanchine had the
Fawcett. OK, not exactly brainy, but what a body! See her in
one scene in "The Partridge Family," way before
"Charlie's Angels." Oh my God! A complete natural (in
the beginning, anyway). You have to be a stunner to steal the
camera from Jaclyn Smith. Jaclyn was a stunner, too, of course,
but she made even Farrah seem smart and dynamic, which is why she
isn't here. Here is Farrah in her 30's, still looking
Gordeeva. The prettiest skater ever. Not the greatest, that
would be Oksana Bayul, from the same Olympics, in 1994. I wanted
to include Oksana, but felt I couldn't, since she hasn't looked
good since she passed 16. Being 16 is an unfair advantage.
Ekaterina, however, has always looked great and skated great. She
looked her iconic best in '94, when she won the gold with her
love Grinkov (for the second time). She was tiny and fit and
flawless, tossed across the ice like a paper doll. She didn't
exude sex appeal, exactly. She exuded the “virgin except for my
beautiful husband” look, which is very appealing, too.
Certainly not a turn-off, except I guess for the very jaded.
Every old-fashioned man would like to have that look from his own
Knightley. OK, so she doesn't exude intelligence, but she is
artistic looking. The present queen of the proudly (and rightly
so) flat-chested, she would have made it much higher on the list,
because, well, she is gorgeous. I mean, look at that yoga body!
But she needs to stay away from Jane Austen. Keira as Atalanta,
maybe; Keira as Elizabeth Bennett, never.
Hayek. If you like 'em curvy, here is Salma to keep you
happy. You can find all her curves in Frida. Frida never
looked anything like that, but oh well. Even a guy like me is
drawn to Salma's flames. She is triple caliente.
Tyler Moore. Mary is one of the ones that hasn't aged well at
all, being one of the first to go plastic. Even by the time of
the MTM show, she had become too skinny, and her face had lost
its freshness. But if we remember her only from "The Dick
van Dyke Show," she has to make the list. What guy could
stay in his single bed with Mary in the next one?
Portman. No longer exudes intelligence: did she take a dose
of radiation on the Star Wars sets? But she's still
gorgeous, and we can remember her personality from the snow
stomping scene in Beautiful Girls or from Leon.
Terrible, really, when you have a far sexier personality at 15
than at 25. Here's a couple from the good old days, before she
started packing on the make-up like all the other
Yu-Na. A nod to the present. More athletic than Oksana, with
better speed and jumps, but without the high emotion and the
ballet. The second best female skater of all time, and a real
beauty. Sexy just because she's fit and gorgeous. Who knows what
she is like off the ice?
Young. I always go for the crazy ones, don't I? But she had
the best nose and best profile in Hollywood in the early 80's. We
have memorized her from Stripes. If she had a nose job,
don't tell me.
Ryder. Not what she used to be, but who is? We have to
remember her from her pre-Depp days, when she still appeared
fresh as a daisy.
Mitchell. Talent is sexy, and Joni was the bomb. See the old
videos on Youtube from the late 60's. Or how about this picture
with David Crosby, before he got fat?
Boguinskaya. Russian gymnast from around 1990. Let's face it,
the Russians and Romanians have always been the best at
gymnastics. Nastia Liukin may be ours now, but she is still
Russian in the blood, as they say. Boguinskaya, although not
particularly beautiful in the face, was the hottest gymnast ever,
just based on the way she moved. There was something incredibly
perfect about the way her legs fit into her hips, so that whether
she was sliding across the beam, running across the floor, or
jumping into the vault, you couldn't keep your eyes off her hips.
The tiny waist was certainly part of it. Even while other
gymnasts were competing, the cameramen would follow her around on
the sidelines, just to watch her walk. Thank goodness they did.
Still pictures can't hope to capture the motion. Oh, and before
I forget, she was also the best dancer as gymnast ever.
Gymnastics used to include dance, you know. It was supposed to
be beautiful. Simone Biles is a powerful tumbler, but her
routines aren't much to look at, since she can't dance. She is
completely lacking in grace.
Popova. See the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, rhythmic gymnast from
Bulgaria. A face like Kinski and motion like Boguinskaya. Maybe
the greatest eyes ever in sports. You also have to give her
credit for turning down a modeling career.
Maiga. Unknown here, but big in France. Fantastic eyes.
Reminds me of a dance partner I used to have back in Austin, at a
club called "Faces."
Beals. No one has aged as well as Jennifer Beals. Is this
photo from this decade, or two decades ago? Hard to tell. I won't
watch that L-word tripe, but I always liked Jennifer. Not a great
actress, of course, but perfect for something like Flashdance,
which was fun. The last decent movie Bruckheimer made. Or maybe
it was just because I was 19.
Brie. As the nerd in "Community," not the vamp in
"Mad Men." Sweaters are sexy, especially when she fills
them the way she does. There is definitely something about Jewish
Neuwirth. Again, if you judge only from "Cheers,"
you probably won't get the full picture. Although we did get to
see her with her hair down there occasionally, we still had to
look past her character's voice, which was not her natural one.
Plus, I saw her in person back in the 80's. You will have to take
my word for it: very sexy.
Redgrave. I include Vanessa just for this Skrebneski photo
and the fact that she showed modern women how to age. Over-40
actresses in Hollywood complain that no one will hire them, but
they still hire Vanessa at 73. Maybe it is because she never
ravaged her face with surgery, and looks like a real human being.
Her daughter Joely Richardson is going the same natural route
Some will say this list reads like it was
compiled by a very old man. But no, check my photos. It was
written by someone with taste who knows something of history (and
perhaps something of women). Hopefully it will teach some of you
young whippersnappers that beauty or sexiness wasn't invented in
1995. In fact, it took a nosedive around 1978, the very moment
Olivia Newton-John gave up her knit sweater, her down-do, and her
fresh face for black leather, hairspray, and another five coats
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