Who were the most famous ingénues of all time?
This page is dedicated to famous and notorious ingénues of the past and present,
from Bettie Page to Katy Perry (who
might have been sisters if not for the age difference).
Ingénue Definition: an innocent or unsophisticated young woman, or at least one
who looks innocent and unsophisticated! Appearances, after all, can be
Famous Historical Beauties,
Famous Pool Sharks,
Famous Hoaxes and Hucksters,
The Dumbest Things Ever Said
Lillian Gish [1893-1993]
Lillian Gish has been called "The First Lady of American Cinema." She
once remarked with pride, "I played a lewd Ophelia." But she also said, "Young
man, if God had wanted you to see me that way, he would have put your eyes in
Christina Applegate, from sweet-but-not-so-innocent Kelly Bundy to international activist,
ambassador and philanthropist
Veronica Lake [1919-1973]
Veronica Lake was breathtakingly beautiful. As a teenager, she was
expelled from an all-girls Catholic boarding school, so she may have been a bit
naughty in her youth (but who wasn't?). As an adult she was arrested for public
drunkenness more than once. With art perhaps imitating life, she became known
for playing notorious femme fatales in film noirs. Born Constance Frances Marie Ockelman, she took the last name "Lake" because
Paramount producer Arthur Hornblow thought it matched her blue eyes, and the
first name "Veronica" because he admired her classic beauty. Her best-known
movies include The Blue Dahlia (1946), This Gun for Hire
(1942), I Married a Witch (1942), Sullivan's Travels (1941)
and So Proudly We Hail (1943). She was also a popular pin-up model. Her
famous "peek-a-boo" bangs became so imitated that during World War II the U.S.
government asked her to pin it back out of fear that female factory workers
would have accidents!
Norma Jean Baker [1926-1962], better known as Marilyn Monroe
"Goodbye Norma Jean, we never knew you at all ..."
Ingrid Bergman [1915-1982]
Ingrid Bergman won three Oscars, two Tony awards, and an Emmy. Generally
considered to be one of the very best female actors, she is best known for her
roles in Casablanca, Anastasia, For Whom The Bell Tolls, Gaslight and
Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious and Spellbound.
Gene Tierney [1920-1991]
Ginger Rogers [1911-1995]
Lana Turner [1921-1995]
Gypsy Rose Lee [1911-1970]
Gypsy Rose Lee was a famous burlesque performer known far and wide for
her stripteases. But she was also a dancer, actress, producer, author, and
playwright whose 1957 memoir was made into the stage musical and film Gypsy.
She also wrote a mystery novel called The G-String Murders and
co-produced a musical revue called Star and Garter. It is said that her
first striptease was accidental,
occurring when the strap of her gown broke and it fell to the floor during one of her acts. She went on to develop
a more casual style of striptease, emphasizing the "tease" and incorporating
humor. She was frequently arrested during police raids on her performances,
which would be considered to be quite tame and in good taste today.
Omer Goldman Granot is the daughter of Naftali Granot, a former deputy head
of Mossad, an Israeli intelligence service similar to the CIA. She is also a member of the Shministim,
a group of young Israeli conscientious objectors or “refuseniks” who refuse to serve in Israel's army after they graduate
from high school. Goldman opposes Israel’s military occupation of Palestine and
its racist repression of the Palestinian people. She says, by way of explanation:
"In Israel, after you finish high school, you have to join the army
immediately ... when it was my time to join the Israeli army, I refused, because
I am against the fact that the Israeli army is occupying the Palestinian
territories and the Palestinian people. I won't take part in a system that
commits war crimes and crimes against humanity ... Anyone who uses violence is wrong. But our country, which claims to be
democratic, and the IDF, which is supposed to be human, act exactly like
Hamas, a terrorist organization. [The IDF] bombs innocent people; it's a
terrorist organization, but no one calls it that. We are hurting innocent
people; we are acting like a terrorist organization."
Lillian Russell [1860-1922]
Lillian Russell was one of the first American female celebrities. She was an actress and singer known for her stage presence. She was married
four times, but her longest relationship was with Diamond Jim Brady, a man known for his enormous appetites, which included
gambling, food and (as
his nickname suggests) expensive jewels. Her mother was a noted feminist who became the first woman to run for mayor of New York
City. In her later years Russell became an advocate of women's suffrage and a popular lecturer and newspaper columnist.
Katherine Hepburn [1907-2003] as Mary Magdalene
"There are many things in your heart you can never tell to another person. They
are you, your private joys and sorrows, and you can never tell them. You cheapen
yourself, the inside of yourself, when you tell them." — Greta Garbo
Scarlett Johansson as Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc by Howard David Johnson (above)
Bette Davis [1908-1989]
"She's got Bette Davis eyes ..."
Elizabeth Taylor [1932-2011]
Ava Gardner [1922-1990]
Ann Savage [1921-2008]
Ann Savage and I share the same birthday, February 19. The day I
discovered her, I received a message out of the blue, Glamour, that
made me think of the word's ancient connotation of a
magical spell. Then, I swear, the two pictures below were the only ones I
could get to paste into this page, as if she was selecting them herself! In any
case, Ann Savage is best known today for her role as the cigarette-dangling,
"vicious and predatory, very sexually aggressive" femme fatale Vera in the
surreal film noir Detour. She has also been called "the perfect vixen,"
and she certainly chose a notorious-sounding stage name, although she was born
Bernice Maxine Lyon. And, at least to me, the first picture looks like a dangerous femme
fatale, while the second looks like a very pretty, very sweet Bernice.
"Life's like a ball game. You gotta take a swing at whatever comes
along before you wake up and find out it's the ninth inning."
"The actresses were just scenery. The stories all revolved around the
male actors; they really had the choice roles. All the actresses had to do was
to look lovely, since the dialogue was ridiculous."
“No one would wish to be remembered for things like Two-Man
Submarine or Saddles and Sagebrush, which were typical of the kind
of pictures I did. The part in Detour seemed like the opportunity every
actress longs for. When I first read the script by Martin Goldsmith I knew that
I was going to be part of something very exciting.”
Eva Braun Hitler [1912-1945] as Hel, Queen of Neifelheim, the Norse underworld
Bettie Page [1923-2008]
Bettie Page was one of the first Playboy "playmates" and she was so notorious
for doing bondage stills and films that the movie made about her life was titled
The Notorious Bettie Page. In 1958, she retired to become a Christian
evangelist, after which she returned to live in her Bible belt hometown,
Nashville, and went on to do full-time work with Billy Graham. Ironically, after
her conversion she had a nervous breakdown and was institutionalized as insane
for eight years.
Katy Perry as the second coming of Bettie Page
Princess Diana [1961-1997], Her Radiant Highness
Grace Kelly [1929-1982], also known as Princess Grace of Monaco
Princess Caroline of Monaco
Rita Hayworth [1918-1987]
"Rita Hayworth gave good face ..."
Beyoncé Knowles as Boudicca
Lynda Carter as Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons
Jeanette Lee "The Black Widow"
Famous Pool Sharks
Cher as Cleopatra
Famous Historical Beauties,
Famous Pool Sharks,
Famous Forgers and Frauds,
The Dumbest Things Ever Said,
Famous Last Words,