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A History Of Iconic Women: Here Are 60 Years Of Lady Legends:

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Have you ever wondered who the most beautiful women in the world are? I am sure this has been the topic discussion of many people throughout the ages. In a society obsessed with looks and beauty, many people just want to know who the “beautiful women” are, deep down.

Jayne Mansfield

Jayne Mansfield (April 19, 1933 – June 29, 1967) was a television and film actress. She was the first major American actress to have a starring role, where she played a scene in which she wore no clothes, in the Hollywood movie Promises! Promises!.

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Jayne was the epitome of a “blonde bombshell” and was known for her curves, platinum blonde hair, and showing off her cleavage in some of her photographs.

And I quote…

Not only did Jayne Mansfield act in Hollywood films, she was also a Playboy Playmate. About this more scandalous side of her career, Jayne once exclaimed “I like being a pin-up girl. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

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Her real life was just as exciting as her roles on-screen. Mansfield was married three times, had five children, and had numerous affairs with other celebrities including Claude Terrail, Robert F. Kennedy, and JFK. Mansfield passed away after a violent car crash in Mississippi in 1967. Three of her children were in the back seat but were unharmed. There were rumors that Mansfield died of decapitation during the crash, but these were later proven to be false. She was only 34.

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011) was a British-American actress. She was one of the biggest stars of classical Hollywood films. She is known for such films as Father of the Bride and A Place in the Sun. At a young age, Taylor knew that acting was for her. She got a small role in a film in 1942, There’s One Born Every Minute, when she was only 10 years old. And after that, she officially had the acting bug.

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Taylor was not only beloved by audiences, she was also highly thought of by the British royalty. In fact, she was bestowed with the honor of becoming a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000.

Eight Times and No Luck

The stunning Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times throughout her life. In Elizabeth Taylor: An Informal Memoir she stated, “I’ve been married too many times. How terrible to change children’s affiliations, their affections — to give them the insecurity of placing their trust in someone when maybe that someone won’t be there next year.”

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Besides her prolific romantic life, Taylor was a passionate activist. Her many causes included support for Israeli causes and HIV/AIDS activism. In fact, she was one of the first celebrities to publicly support AIDS activism and helped raise nearly $300 million dollars for the cause.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962), who needs no introduction, was an actress and model. She is one of the most iconic, beautiful women of all time. She also had quite an interesting, albeit often tragic, life. When Monroe was a young child, she was placed into foster care.

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Luckily, her birth mother was able to live in the foster home with her for a while. However, eventually, her birth mother had to move away, then had a mental break. After that Monroe went through more foster homes (some where she was abused) and even an orphanage.

A Short, But Bright, Career

Monroe eventually met a photographer in 1944 and that’s when her career as we know it began. She had been working in a factory in the war effort, but quit that job to begin modeling, including pin-up modeling. She changed her name to Marilyn Monroe and eventually began to get some roles in films. She really broke through, with some minor roles in films like The Asphalt Jungle and All about Eve in the early 1950s.

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She went on to have a successful acting career for a time, although was disappointed at her always being cast in a “dumb blonde” role and because she was paid so much less than her male counterparts. She won a Golden Globe in 1959 for the film Some Like It Hot. Monroe was married twice, to Joe Dimaggio and to Arthur Miller. She passed away from a barbiturate overdose, possibly intentional, at the age of 36.

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly (November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982) was an American actress. She is perhaps best known for her roles in films such as High Noon, To Catch a Thief, and High Society alongside actors such as Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, and Bing Crosby. She was born to a well-to-do family in Philadelphia who were not at all supportive of her decision to get into the entertainment career.

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In fact, her father once described acting as, “a slim cut above streetwalker.” Kelly, of course, did not listen and her fans are happy she chose this path. Fun fact: She was the first American actress who was posthumously put on an American mailing stamp.

From Acting to Royalty

In 1955, Kelly was supposed to take a photo with Prince Rainier III of Monaco at the Cannes Film Festival. She ended up not meeting him until later, and after they met, they soon began dating. Soon after, they became engaged and in 1956, Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco and became the Princess of Monaco.

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The press called their nuptials “The Wedding of the Century.” After becoming the Princess of Monaco, Kelly stopped acting to attend to her royal duties. She and the Prince had three children. She died at the age of 52 after having a stroke while driving, which caused her to crash.

Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren is an Italian actress who was born in Rome, Italy. Loren began her film acting career at the young age of 15 after becoming a finalist in a beauty pageant, Miss Italia 1950, a year before. Her career really took off internationally after she signed a five-year contract with Paramount Pictures in 1958.

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She starred in films such as Desire Under the Elms, Houseboat, and Heller in Pink Tights. Continuing to take roles in films, up until 2014, Loren has won numerous awards, including a Grammy Award, five Golden Globe awards, and a Laurel Award. A Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California Walk of Stars was dedicated to her in 1994.

Another First for Sophia

Sophia Loren was the first actress to win an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1962 and the first actress to win an Oscar for a foreign-language performance. Fun fact: Loren and Cary Grant had an alleged affair in 1958 when they were both playing roles in the film Houseboat. Betsy Drake, Grant’s wife, wrote the script for the film and was originally supposed to star alongside Grant, instead of Loren.

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Loren was also married at the time; she married to Carlo Ponti, a man 20 years her senior, in 1957. They had two children together, Carlo Ponti, Jr. and Edoardo Ponti. Loren currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland. She is 82.

Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge (November 9, 1922 – September 8, 1965) was an African-American actress who was also known as a singer in the group The Dandridge Sisters. When she was first starting out, she appeared in a Marx Brothers film, It Can’t Last Forever, which helped to gain her some recognition.

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She went on to get roles in more films, and in 1953, she got a role in an all-black musical film adaptation of the Oscar Hammerstein II musical Carmen Jones. That’s when her career really began to take off. Dandridge was married twice, to Harold Nicholas and Jack Denison. Both marriages ended in divorce.

Another First in Film

Dorothy Dandridge was the first African-American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Carmen Jones, in 1954. That same year, 1954, the Supreme Court heard Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 438, and decided to outlaw segregated public schools for black and white students at the state level.

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It was not until the year 1964 that the Civil Rights Act, the act that ended all state and local segregation laws, was enacted. Dandridge was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is featured in a mural on a wall at Hollywood high School.

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn (May 4, 1929 – January 20, 1993) was a British actress known as being one of the most popular Golden Age Hollywood actresses. Hepburn was born in Brussels, Belgium, and during WW I, she moved with her family to the Netherlands hoping that it would remain neutral and not be attacked.

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It was after the war that she began training as a ballet dancer. Hepburn also worked as a model to support herself, as her family lost their money in the war. In 1953, she gained her first starring role in the film Roman Holiday and caught the eyes of many important people in the industry.

She Was a Busy Woman

Not only was she an incredible entertainer and performer (of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Fair Lady, among many other movies, fame), Audrey Hepburn was a humanitarian, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, fashion icon, and spoke several different languages (including Spanish, Dutch, German, English, and Italian).

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In the late 1980s, she did work for UNICEF in Ethiopia where she helped starving children in an orphanage. In the early 1990s, she made another UNICEF trip, this time to Vietnam, to help support clean-water programs. In 1992, Hepburn was diagnosed with abdominal cancer. She died in in 1993 from related complications. She was 63.

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda is an actress, fitness guru, political activist. and fashion model among other things. This is a promotional image from the classic sci-fi spoof movie Barbarella, which she starred in in 1968. Fonda began acting in the ‘50s and her career really began taking off in the ‘60s. In 1971, she won her first Academy Award for Best Actress in the movie Klute.

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Many also remember Fonda for her exercise videos in the 1980s. In the 1990s, she retired for a while but made a return in 2005 for the film Monster-In-Law. More recently, she stars on the Netflix original series Grace and Frankie alongside Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterson, and Martin Sheen.

Goodwill Toward Humanity

Jane Fonda is known as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN and was awarded the Women’s eNews award in 2004. However, her political activism started well before the early 2000s. In the 1960s, Fonda was involved with the Civil Rights Movement, the opposition to the Vietnam War, and supported the Black Panthers.

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She is also an active feminist and in her book My Life So Far, she said that she sees the patriarchy as being harmful to both men and women. Her activism has also included visiting Israel and the West Bank in hope to help stop violence against women, opposing the Iraq War, and environmentalism, specifically opposing oil drilling. Fonda is 79 years old.

Raquel Welch

Raquel Welch is an American actress and singer. One of the reasons why she became well known is because of the fur bikini she wore in the film One Million Years B.C. Funnily enough, she only had three lines in the film. However, many posters of her in said bikini were sold nationwide, and thus her celebrity status was born.

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Welch started her career at San Diego State College where she took acting classes and played roles in some local theater productions. She also had a role as a weather girl at a local San Diego TV station. She later dropped out of school.

Super Hot in So Many Ways

Welch has also been known to play some more controversial roles. For example, in 1970 she played a transgender character, Myra Breckinridge (in a movie with the same name). However, the movie did not do well with critics or audiences, perhaps because it was incredibly explicit, especially for the time. It was based on a book that received lots of critical acclaim, but the movie did not have the same fate.

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Ms. Welch was chosen as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in Film History and was ranked number three in the 100 Sexiest Stars of the Twentieth Century. In 20011, Men’s Health magazine named her as number two in “Hottest Women of All Time.”

Faye’s Classic Moments Captured on Film

This is Faye Dunaway in the film Network. It was directed by Sidney Lumet and won several Academy Awards. Network, released in 1976, has been described as a satirical black comedy, particularly satirical of “trash TV”, and starred Sidney Lumet, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch, and Robert Duvall. The plot surrounds a news anchor who is experiencing declining ratings and having a hard time dealing with it.

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Dunaway was married twice, to Peter Wold and to Terry O’Neil, is currently 76 years old, and resides in Bascom, Florida. She has one child, Liam O’Neil. She rarely appears in public.

Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett (February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009) was an American actress. She is perhaps best known for playing in the American television series Charlie’s Angel. Fawcett was born in Corpus Christi Texas. After she was named one of the “ten most beautiful coeds on campus” at her the University of Texas at Austin, a Hollywood agent called her to ask her to try her luck in Los Angeles.

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She finally decided to make the move during her junior year, arriving in Hollywood in 1968. Her first roles were appearances in TV commercials for products including Beautyrest mattresses and Mercury Cougar cars.

The Ultimate Poster Model

Farrah became a cultural icon after appearing on a poster in a red one-piece bikini, which was reportedly purchased at Saks Fifth Avenue, in 1976. The poster is the number one selling poster of all time. Speedos were never looked at the same. Since then, Fawcett has caught the eyes of many, being named things like one of the “100 Hottest Women of All-Time” in Men’s Health in 2011.

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Her contributions to popular culture also included being painted by Andy Warhol in the 1980s and, of course, her hair style. Many women in the 1970s copied the Farrah Fawcett hairstyle for years. She passed away in 2009 in Santa Monica, California.

Diana Ross

Diana Ross is an American singer, songwriter, actress and producer. She is best known for being the lead singer of The Supremes. And while that is still one of her biggest claims to fame, she also had a solo career as well as a film career. It’s hard to believe, but The Supremes were formed in 1959 and were active all the way through 1970.

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It was then, in 1970, that Ross released her first solo album and the ever-popular “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” became her first number-one solo single. Diana Ross Ross was named “Female Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard. In 1976, Diana Ross Ross was named “Female Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard.

Beloved by Many

One of the Five Might Pop Divas of the Sixties (a group that includes Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Martha Reeves, and Dionne Warwick), Ross has created quite a legacy and influenced countless musicians who are popular today including Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Janet and Michael Jackson, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, and many more

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In 2006, she was one of 25 Black women saluted at Oprah’s Legends ball, a celebration honoring African American contributions to American culture. In 2016, she was one of the 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ross has five children, is 72 years old, and lives in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan.

Pam Grier

Pam Grier is an actress best known for playing roles in blaxploitation films in the ‘70s. Blaxploitation films, a combination of the words black and exploitation, were films from the 1970s that had mostly black casts and dealt with issues involving the black American community.

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Some argued that these movies furthered civil rights, but others argued that they furthered stereotypes about the black community. Some of Grier’s most famous blaxploitation films include The Bird Cage (1972), Foxy Brown (1974), and Sheba Baby (1975). She also played the role of Kit Porter in the TV series The L Word for six seasons.

Action Pays Off

Grier is also known for being a bad you-know-what in action films. In fact, she is ranked as the second greatest female action heroine in film history, according to Rotten Tomatoes. Quentin Tarantino has gone on record to say that she may have been the industry’s first female action hero.

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In 1997, she starred in Tarantino’s film Jackie Brown, which of course, was not her first Tarantino movie. For this role, she won quite a few awards. She wrote her memoir, Foxy: My Life in Three Acts, with Andrea Kagan in 2010. Grier currently lives in Colorado. She is 67.

Lauren Hutton

Lauren Hutton is an American model and actress. She was born in South Carolina in 1943, but moved to New York City with her boyfriend, Pat Chamburs, when she was a young women. There, she worked at the Playboy club. From NYC she moved to New Orleans, graduated college in 1964, and then returned to New York City.

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It was then that she began her modeling career. She began a model and was on the cover of Vogue magazine multiple times. You’d think at that point she would have been confident that the world enjoyed her appearance, but instead she was advised to hide the gap in her teeth. She tried using morticians’ wax to cover it, and then used a cap, which she often swallowed.

More and More Vogue Covers

Lauren Hutton has appeared on more Vogue magazine covers than anyone who has appeared in the magazine. She has a record 26 appearances on the cover of the magazine.

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Hutton not only modeled, she was an actress too. In 1968, she got her first film role in the movie Paper Lion. She was also notable in The Gambler (1974) and American Gigolo (1980). In the mid 1980s, MGM produced a series based on the movie Paper Dolls, which she was in, but the series was canceled quickly, after only 13 episodes. Hutton is known to ride motorcycles, and joined a motorcycle group in 2000. About riding motorcycles, she was once quoted as saying, “I love the feeling of being a naked egg atop that throbbing steel. You feel vulnerable — but so alive.” Hutton lives in Charleston, South Carolina. She is 73.

Victoria Principal

Victoria Principal is an actress and author best known for playing Pamela Ewing on the television drama, Dallas. However, that was not her only role. In fact, she began her career in the entertainment industry when she was only five years old. Her first gigs were acting in commercials.

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After some difficult times as a young adult (she was in a bad accident in college) she decided to move to New York City to pursue acting. She eventually moved to Hollywood in the early 1970s and got herself an agent, a contract, and roles in films such as The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972).

Business savvy

Principal is also a savvy businesswoman. When she signed her Dallas contract, she didn’t include the part that said the network had the right to profit from her outside business dealings. About this she said, “”As a result that’s why, you can only notice in hindsight, I was the only person in the cast who did commercials, who was doing movies of the week, who wrote books and these all belong to me. I retained the control and ownership of my image. No one owns me.”

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She later began her own production company, created her own line of skin care products, and in 1995, she was named “Entertainment Business Woman of the Year” by the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Michelle Pfeiffer

Michelle Pfeiffer is an American actress and was born in Santa Ana, California. She started her career in acting by playing small TV roles, and even tried to be on the Charlie’s Angels TV show, auditioning in 1979, but the role went to Shelley Hack. She started to really gain notice when she starred in the movie Grease 2, sequel to the famous musical, Grease.

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However, most of the attention was negative as the movie was a failure. However, she did receive a bit of positive feedback from the New York Times, which said, “although she is a relative screen newcomer, Miss Pfeiffer manages to look much more insouciant and comfortable than anyone else in the cast”.

An Interesting Life

Pfeiffer has quite an interesting personal life as well. Once in Los Angeles, she was convinced to join a cult for a while. A couple she was friends with helped her to stop drinking, smoking, and doing drugs and brought her into their vegetarian cult. Unfortunately, this controlled her life and money for a while. About this experience, Pfeiffer has said, “I was brainwashed… I gave them an enormous amount of money.”

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Luckily, she was able to get herself out of this situation. More recently, she has been involved with humanitarian work. In 2016, she attended the Healthy Child Healthy World’s L.A. Gala and joined the board of directors at Environmental Working Group. Pfeiffer is 58 and lives in , California.

Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields is an American actress and model and was a child star. The role she became famous for as a child, a child prostitute in the film Pretty Baby (1978) was the beginning in a career of controversy, success, and growth. In fact, she was destined for the entertainment industry.

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It’s been reported that when she was a newborn, her mother said about her, “She’s the most beautiful child and I’m going to help her with her career.” And she lived up to that promise and then some. She began her modeling career when she was 11 months old.

Descended of Noble Bloodlines

More recently, Shields has appeared on many hit TV shows. She’s made guest appearances on That ‘70s Show as Jackie’s mom. She’s also guest-starred on Nip/Tuck and Two and a Half Men in the late 2000s. In addition, she’s appeared on Hannah Montana and Lipstick Jungle. Shields has been married twice, first to Andre Agassi and she’s been married to TV writer Chris Henchy since 2001.

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Hency and Shields have two daughters and they live in New York City. In 2005, Shields opened up publicly, on Oprah, about her postpartum depression. She spoke candidly about her suicidal thoughts in the hopes that she could raise awareness about the condition.

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum does it all. Born in West Germany, Klum is a business woman, fashion designer, singer, producer, model, and actress. You probably recognize her as the host and judge of hit series Project Runway, for which she won an Emmy in 2013. She was also a Victoria’s Secret Angel for over a decade.

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Going along with her successful artistic endeavors, she is also quite a money making machine. In 2011, Forbes estimated that she’d earned $20 million that year alone. More recently, she has stopped modeling and focuses on her businesses. She’s designed clothing lines for both women and men, shoes, jewelry, and more.

In Line for Most Beautiful

Heidi was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People magazine in 2001. Heidi Klum is a woman of un-ending talents. Not only does she model and run businesses and act and produce shows and get voted most beautiful, but she also paints and sculpts. In fact, her art has been featured in various magazines.

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She once dedicated a work of art, “dog with Butterflies” to honor the rescue dogs from 9/11. And, if that weren’t enough, she sings. She released a single in 2006, “Wonderland,” and donated the proceeds to charity. Klum was married twice, most recently to Seal from 2005 to 2015. She has four children.

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is an American actress. She is the daughter of actor Jon Voight. She is perhaps best known for portraying Lara Croft from the video game Tomb Raider and the live-action film Tomb Raider. She is an academy award winner, and her list of hit roles is seemingly endless. Jolie started acting when she was 16 and got her first film role in 1993.

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In the late ‘90s, she really started to break through, especially after her role in George Wallace. By the early 2000s, she was a household name, playing roles in films like Original Sin, Life or Something Like It, Beyond Borders, and more.

Quite a Life

Jolie has been cited in many media outlets as one of the most beautiful women. People, Vogue, and Vanity Fair cited Jolie as being the most beautiful woman in the world and FHM, Esquire, and Empire say she is the sexiest woman alive. She’s also very involved in humanitarian work. She is passionate about child immigration and education, human rights, women’s rights, and more.

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She joined the Council on Foreign Relations in 2007, has led a campaign against sexual violence in military conflict zones by the UK government, and funded a school for girls at a refugee camp in Kenya. In other words, she puts her money where her mouth is. Unfortunately, her most recent news is less happy. In 2016, she and Brad Pitt, her husband of many years and father of her children, split.

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston is an American actress. She has played in films such as The Good Girl and We’re the Millers. Like Angelina Jolie, she was also married to Brad Pitt, who left her for Angelina. So now they’re both in the ex-wives-of-Brad club. Aniston was born in Sherman Oaks, California and got her start when she was 11 years old.

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The daughter of two actors, it’s unsurprising that she was drawn to the industry. She worked in Off-Broadway productions and in smaller on-screen roles in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and then she got her fateful role as Rachel on Friends.

Most Beautiful of 2016

More recently, Aniston has played roles in Mother’s Day, Life of Crime, Cake, and Horrible Bosses. She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010.

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Aniston is a philanthropist, and supports a non-profit that helps raise money for an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico, and has donated to organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, Feeding America, OmniPeace, and more. In her personal life, Aniston practices yoga, karate, and Transcendental Meditation. She is currently married to Justin Theroux. They were married in 2015. People Magazine nominated Jennifer Aniston as the most beautiful woman in the world in 2016.

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