The counterculture movement of the 60’s had a significant effect on cinema. Movies began to break social taboos such as sex and violence, causing both controversy and fascination. They turned increasingly dramatic, unbalanced, and hectic as the cultural revolution was starting. This was the beginning of the New Hollywood era that dominated the next decade in theaters and revolutionized the film industry. Films of this time also focused on the changes happening in the world. Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider (1969) focused on the drug culture of the time. Movies also became more sexually explicit, such as Roger Vadim’s Barbarella (1968) as the counterculture progressed.
These 10 actresses were the most gorgeous, talented and emblematic of the 60’s.
She began her career on stage during mid-1950’s, before landing her breakthrough role in 1958 drama film God’s Little Acre for which she received a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year.
Louise had starring roles in a number of Hollywood movies, including The Trap, The Hangman, Day of the Outlaw, and For Those Who Think Young. From 1964 to 1967, she starred as the movie star Ginger Grant in the CBS television situation comedy, Gilligan’s Island. Louise later returned to film, appearing in The Wrecking Crew, The Happy Ending, and The Stepford Wives.
The daughter of Robert Montgomery, she began her career in the 1950’s with a role on her father’s television series Robert Montgomery Presents, and won a Theater World Award for her 1956 Broadway debut in the production Late Love. In the 1960’s, she became known for her role as Samantha Stephens on the ABC sitcom Bewitched. Her work on the series earned her five Prime-time Emmy Award nominations and four Golden Globe Award nominations. After Bewitched ended its run in 1972, Montgomery continued her career with roles in numerous television films, including A Case of Rape (1974), as Ellen Harrod, and The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975) in the title role. Both roles earned her additional Emmy Award nominations.
She first gained notice for her role as Allison MacKenzie in the television soap opera Peyton Place and gained further recognition for her subsequent short-lived marriage to Frank Sinatra. An early film role, as Rosemary in Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby (1968), saw her nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for Best Actress. She went on to appear in films such as John and Mary (1969), Follow Me! (1972), The Great Gatsby (1974) and Death on the Nile (1978).
A pop icon of the “swinging London” era of the 1960’s, she has won the Academy, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.Christie’s breakthrough film role was in Billy Liar (1963). In 1966, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1965 film Darling. That same year, she starred as Lara in Doctor Zhivago. In the following years, she starred in Fahrenheit 451 (1966), Far from the Madding Crowd (1967), Petulia (1968), The Go-Between (1971), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971); for which she received her second Oscar nomination), Don’t Look Now (1973), Shampoo (1975), and Heaven Can Wait (1978).
By the mid-1950’s, after several modeling jobs, Ekberg finally broke into the film industry. She guest-starred in the short-lived TV series Casablanca (1955) and Private Secretary. She had a small part in the film Blood Alley (1955) starring John Wayne and Lauren Bacall. She appeared alongside the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comedy act in Artists and Models (1955) and Hollywood or Bust (1956), both for Paramount Pictures. For a time, she was even publicized as “Paramount’s Marilyn Monroe”. Federico Fellini gave Ekberg her best known role in La Dolce Vita (1960), performing as Sylvia Rank, the unattainable “dream woman” of the character played by Marcello Mastroianni. The film features a scene of her cavorting in Rome’s Trevi Fountain alongside Mastroianni, which has been called “one of cinema’s most iconic scenes”
5. Brigitte Bardot
She started her acting career in 1952 and after appearing in 16 routine comedy films, with limited international release, became world-famous in 1957, with the controversial film And God Created Woman. She later starred in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 film Le Mépris. For her role in Louis Malle’s 1965 film Viva Maria! Bardot was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress. Bardot caught the attention of French intellectuals. She was the subject of Simone de Beauvoir’s 1959 essay, The Lolita Syndrome, which described Bardot as a “locomotive of women’s history” and built upon existentialist themes to declare her the first and most liberated woman of post-war France.
The French beauty gained recognition for her portrayal of aloof, mysterious beauties for various directors, including Luis Buñuel and Roman Polanski. She has appeared in more than 120 films. A 14-time César Award nominee, she won for her performances in François Truffaut’s The Last Metro (1980) and Régis Wargnier’s Indochine (1992).
Deneuve first came to prominence in Jacques Demy’s 1964 film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, before going on to star for Polanski in Repulsion (1965) and for Buñuel in Belle de Jour (1967) andTristana (1970). She was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Belle de Jour and the Academy Award for Best Actress for Indochine. In 1998, she won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival for Place Vendôme.
She appeared in some of the most acclaimed European films of the 1960’s and 1970’s, mainly Italian or French, but also in several English films.Born and raised in Tunis, Cardinale won the “Most Beautiful Italian Girl in Tunisia” competition in 1957, the prize being a trip to Italy which quickly led to film contracts, thanks above all to the involvement of Franco Cristaldi, who acted as her mentor for a number of years and later married her. After making her debut in a minor role with Omar Sharif in Goha (1958), Cardinale became one of the best known actresses in Italy, after roles in films such as Rocco and His Brothers (1960), Girl with a Suitcase (1961), The Leopard (1963), Cartouche (1963) and Federico Fellini’s 8½ (1963). From 1963, Cardinale became known in the United States and Britain following her role in The Pink Panther opposite David Niven. For several years she appeared in Hollywood films such as Blindfold (1965) opposite Rock Hudson, Lost Command (1966), The Professionals (1966), The Hell with Heroes (1968) and the Sergio Leone epic western Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), a joint US-Italian production, in which she was praised for her role as a former prostitute opposite Jason Robards and Henry Fonda.
She first won attention for her role in Fantastic Voyage (1966), after which she won a contract with 20th Century Fox. They lent her contract to a British studio, for whom she made One Million Years B.C. (1966). She had only three lines in the film, yet images of her in the doe-skin bikini which she wore became best-selling posters that turned her into a celebrity sex symbol. She later starred in notable films including Bedazzled (1967), Bandolero! (1968), 100 Rifles (1969), and Myra Breckinridge (1970). She made several television variety specials. In late 2008, she became a spokeswoman for Foster Grant’s reading glasses campaign, created by Ferrara and Company.
Welch’s unique persona on film made her into an icon of the 1960s and 1970s. She carved out a place in movie history portraying strong female characters and breaking the mold of the submissive sex symbol.
Andress became famous as Honey Ryder, a shell diver and James Bond‘s object of desire in Dr. No (1962), the first Bond movie.In what became an iconic moment in cinematic and fashion history,she rose out of the Caribbean Sea in a white bikini sporting a large diving knife on her hip. Due to her heavy Swiss-German accent, her character’s voice was provided by Nikki van der Zyl, while the calypso was sung by Diana Coupland.
The scene made Andress the “quintessential” Bond girl,Andress later said that she owed her career to that white bikini. “This bikini made me into a success. As a result of starring in Dr. No as the first Bond girl, I was given the freedom to take my pick of future roles and to become financially independent.” The bikini she wore in the film sold at auction in 2001 for £41,125 ($59,755).