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10 Iconic Leading Ladies Who Taught Us Class

Lauren Bacall

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As one of Hollywood’s most unforgettable faces, Lauren Bacall enchanted many on the big screen in films such as “To Have and Have Not,” “The Big Sleep,” “Key Largo,” and “How to Marry a Millionaire.” But off-screen her life may have seemed just as, if not more, alluring. Bacall was forever tied to her great love, Humphrey Bogart. The two shared a joyful 12-year-long marriage, and Bacall later had a short-lived engagement to Frank Sinatra after Bogart passed away. On what she looks for in a man, it was Lauren Bacall who said it best: “Find me a man who's interesting enough to have dinner with and I'll be happy.”

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Marilyn Monroe

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One of Lauren Bacall’s costars in “How to Marry a Millionaire,” Marilyn Monroe is undoubtedly the most iconic Hollywood sex symbol but it’s her commitment to the power of women that catches our attention: “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”

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Audrey Hepburn

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Regarded as one of the most beautiful women of all time, Audrey Hepburn made audiences fall in love with her time after time again in films such as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Sabrina,” and “My Fair Lady.” But no one knows that beauty is more than skin deep than the leading lady herself: “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

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Elizabeth Taylor

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Hollywood glitz and glamour is essentially synonymous with Elizabeth Taylor. From “National Velvet” to “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” to “Cleopatra,” Taylor quickly became the queen of the cinema screen with such striking beauty that she left an impression on fans for generations to follow. “When people say, 'She's got everything', I've got one answer—I haven't had tomorrow.”

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Grace Kelly

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Few can go from Hollywood royalty to actual royalty like Grace Kelly. The starlet lit the screen up in films like “Taxi,” “To Catch a Thief,” and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Dial M for Murder” and later became the Princess of Monaco after fulfilling a real life fairytale by falling in love with Prince Rainier III. Her best philosophy: “I avoid looking back. I prefer good memories to regrets.”

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Judy Garland

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No, she wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Nonetheless, Judy Garland took Hollywood by storm. Known for entertaining audiences in “The Wizard of Oz” and “Meet Me in St. Louis,” Garland had that memorable voice that transposed the movie screen. Her best advice to ladies everywhere? “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

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Katharine Hepburn

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Meet the woman who wore trousers before they were even fashionable. Fiercely independent Katharine Hepburn remains as one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. You’ll recognize her work in classics such as “Morning Glory,” “Little Women,” and “The African Queen” instead of her scandalized personal life in the headlines. We love her words here: “Never complain. Never explain.”

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Bette Davis

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Call her the pioneer of leading ladies in Hollywood, the strong-willed Bette Davis certainly left her mark. So much so, the song “Bette Davis Eyes” went on to be a radio hit generations later. Here’s looking to you, Bette. “Getting old is not for sissies.”

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Lucille Ball

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Who doesn’t love Lucy? Arguably the most famous redhead of Hollywood, Lucille Ball paved the way for women in comedy and dazzled audiences for years to come. She famously quipped: “I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.”

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Vivien Leigh

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With timeless films like “Gone with the Wind” and “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Vivien Leigh is unforgettable. Her legendary marriage to Laurence Olivier and incredible stage career (she played almost every Shakespearean leading lady) prove that she was so much more than a pretty face. “I do not worry about my looks because beauty is not a thing of age, but spirit.”

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