The Most Influential Women
Arguably one of the most iconic film stars of our time is The Seven Year Itch actress, Marilyn Monroe, who let her white dress fly while standing over a New York City subway in the classic scene from the film. Monroe is definitely the most important blonde actress in history, not only for her sensuality but for her versatility as a singer and dancer as well, which launched her short life and career to super stardom while it lasted.
DOLORES DEL RÍO
The Mexican native was the first Latina actress to successfully crossover into the Hollywood scene from abroad. When films were still silent pictures, she acted in roles alongside the legendary Rodolfo Valentino. In 1930, she married Cedric Gibbons, a very important executive at MGM studios at the time. Afterwards, she had an affair with Orson Welles, who at the time changed the film industry with the critically acclaimed production, Citizen Kane. Later on in her career, Del Rio joined the ranks of stars such as Maria Felix, whom she disliked, but who was also a well known actress throughout Mexico.
Though she wasn't always the favorite amongst fans, Felix went toe to toe with the most powerful men in the film business. Her defiant attitude, heart of a lion, and signature raised brows made her an instant icon across Mexico.
The very last diva of the performing arts ended with this dashing beauty, who some agree revived opera to what it is today. Her incredible voice was one of the only to grab the attention of the masses on a large scale – and continues to do so – and has inspired a multitude of singers, musicians and actors alike. Callas was also an amazing actress but faced a major turning point in her life after Aristoteles Onasis left her for Jacqueline Kennedy.
Two characters were made to for the unforgettable actress: Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. With almost a decade apart in between both films, Leigh personified the popular personas with a radical approach to acting.
Jacqueline Bouvier represented the American dream, exuding class and an imposing fashion style all while helping her sons get through the untimely death of former president John F. Kennedy. She was criticized by the public for marrying Aristoteles Onasis, but became a memorable idol nonetheless.
Actress, producer, director, politician, and matriarch to one of the most talented families in the Mexican entertainment industry, Pinal, who aside from all of the controversies faced throughout her career, always managed to hold her head high. She is the only Mexican actress to claim success at the annual film festival in Cannes.
The Queen of Salsa is without doubt the most precious export ever to come from the island of Cuba. She, along with the legendary Tito Puente, was responsible for bringing the sounds of Salsa music to every corner of the world.
None can compare to the pop star status achieved by Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone. For thirty years, she has single handedly invented and reinvented the way we produce albums, concerts, videos, choreography, fashion trends... and, without a scandal to make mention of, continues to stay one step ahead of the millions of starlets who can't help but copy her unique style.
From the life of an actress to that of royalty, the muse of Alfred Hitchcock changed her life around forever when she married Rainier Grimaldi III to become the princess of Monaco.
Who could forget the blonde beauty from the immortal Casablanca? Apart from her romantic affair with Italian film director Roberto Rosellini, she managed to put Hollywood in her pocket. Her acting style set a new standard for successful women in the generations after, and inspired many including Ingmar Bergman, Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Curtiz and Victor Fleming.
Born like that of a princess and lived like that of queen. Her witty intelligence and cultivated intellect made her one of a kind, but it was her unique screen performance and the help of Cary Grant, which lead her to create a new film genre: slapstick comedies that became instant hits with audiences around the world.
A true rags to riches story unfolded for Piaf, who at a young age lost her vision due to an infection, and was abandoned by her mother leaving her to be raised by prostitutes, quickly became the most memorable voices in the history of the music industry. Though her personal life was filled with ups and downs, the talented vocalist stood atop the world for all to see.
Her humble origins didn't stop her from rubbing elbows with the Paris elite, whom she dressed along with the rest of the world in years to follow. Clothing that was once fit for only men became a staple in woman's wardrobe thanks to her. The French pioneer held extraordinary influence in the fashion world, forever changing the way women stepped in front of the mirror.
The delicate beauty stole the hearts of millions with her refined sensuality on the silver screen. Her good nature showed through her countless humanitarian labors for the larger part of her life. Hepburn immortalized the one piece that sits in every woman's closet: the little black dress. And though she was a fighter through and through, her unfortunate battle with illness was lost when she passed away due to cancer.
Her undisputable talent as an actress has labeled Streep as the female record holder for most Oscar and Golden Globe nominations in the history of the film industry, aside from the numerous awards that sit atop her mantle at home.
Her androgynous image, paired with her enormous and emotion filled eyes captured the audiences of the silent film industry around the world. Dietrich always added her two cents to world politics, though preferred to live a solitary life at the end of her life.
Obsessed with keeping her life private, Garbo faced much frustration as she was one of the most sought out and followed actresses by the paparazzi. And even though her career as a film star was not a lengthy one, it was sufficient enough to make her a legend for the ages.
Once crowned the queen of Tex-Mex music, Selena helped bring the once local music genre to a worldwide scale in a matter of months. Tom Brokaw labeled her the "Mexican Madonna" and was also one of the first individuals to reach out to the Quintanilla family after her untimely death.
As if her talent as an actress wasn't enough, Jolie is recognized as an official ambassador to the world by the United Nations thanks to her endless outreach through humanitarian efforts in places around the globe like Africa and New Orleans. Aside from raising children of her own, Jolie is also the mother to three adopted kids.
Though it is true she required a corset to keep her frame erect, her creativity needed no such support. The vibrant color schemes of her memorable paintings will always reflect the passion and pain the artist contained within.
DIANA DE GALES
No aristocrat has ever been more famous or even photographed than the "Queen of Hearts." An unconditional friend to the poor and rich alike, Princess Diana is an icon forever remembered.