Culture & Entertainment

15 leading ladies and the reasons we love them

By: Simone Castello
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

15 leading ladies and the reasons we love them

By: Simone Castello
Today, we’re turning things over to a special guest post by our intern, Radina Vencheva: From sexy and fierce to angelic and generous, we’ve put together a list of our 15 favourite Hollywood beauties. Be sure to let us know in the comments section if you think we've missed any. And while you're at it, make sure you check out our list of 15 leading men we love. 1. Julia Roberts Naturally charismatic and charming, Julia Roberts commands attention when she walks into a room. With her timeless smile and contagious laughter, it’s no wonder people love her. In one of her most popular and defining roles in Pretty Woman (1990), she not only made provocative outfits look incredibly hot, but she also made people fall in love with her versatility as an actress. Perhaps the reason we love Julia so much is because she performed as strong leads in all those timeless classics from the 90s, like Erin Brockovich (2000), My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) and Notting Hill (1999). Watch her in: Pretty Woman (1990); Runaway Bride (1999); Eat Pray Love (2010); Mirror Mirror (2012); August: Osage County (2013) 2. Meryl Streep Meryl is the definition of a classic beauty. She’s versatile, talented and always picks iconic roles in the movies she stars in. Streep can move easily from playing strong female-leads like Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (2011), for which she won an Oscar, and Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada (2006), to portraying a softer and more vulnerable side, as in The Bridges of Madison County (1995) and Julie and Julia (2009). She’s an elegant woman with a sharp mind. It’s no surprise Streep comes out on top, every time. Watch her in: Kramer vs. Kramer (1979); The Bridges of Madison County (1995); It’s Complicated (2009); The Iron Lady (2011); August: Osage County (2013) 3. Halle Berry This infamous actress and model is beauty personified. Whether she’s rocking a pixie haircut or long extensions, sweat pants or a small black dress, she always pulls it off and still looks stunning. Her outstanding acting skills are rightfully acknowledged, as she’s one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood, and so far, she’s been the only woman from an African-American background to win an Oscar, for her leading role in Monster’s Ball (2002). Watch her in: Jungle Fever (1991); Boomerang (1992) ; X-Men (2000); Catwoman (2004); Perfect Stranger (2007); New Year’s Eve (2011); The Call (2013) 4. Rachel McAdams (pictured above) The love we have for Rachel is enormous, not only because she’s a Canadian sweetheart, but also because she is super cute and classy. Her international fame skyrocketed after starring in Mean Girls (2004) and The Notebook (2004). We also love McAdams for her past relationship with another Canadian gem – Ryan Gossling. Our obsession with these two ex-lovebirds is so great, we can’t deny we would like to see them back together again. (We hope you're reading this, Ryan and Rachel!) Watch her in: The Hot Chick (2002); The Notebook (2004); Mean Girls (2004); Sherlock Holmes (2009); Morning Glory (2010); The Vow (2012); About Time (2013) 5. Charlize Theron Charlize’s angelic features make her one of the most beautiful and stunning women in Hollywood. Her ability to charm her audience with every role she takes on is what makes her stand out among her peers. Her characters like Meredith Vickers in Prometheus (2012) and Ravenna the evil Queen in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) are both extremely selfish and highly motivated. But besides picking seductive and beautiful roles, Theron also showcased her versatility back in 2003, when she took on the role of serial killer and prostitute Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003), for which she gained weight in order to authentically depict the character she was playing. Not surprisingly, she won the Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role the year after. Watch her in: The Devil’s Advocate (1997); The Astronaut’s Wife (1999); The Italian Job (2003); Men of Honor (2000); Monster (2003); The Road (2009); Young Adult (2011); Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) 6. Angelina Jolie Angelina Jolie is the queen of Hollywood, not only for all the years she has been actively acting, but also for her irresistible and seductive beauty. Jolie is also heavily involved in humanitarian causes and charity work across the world. She received recognition for her work and in 2003, was the recipient of the Citizen of the World Award by the United Nations Correspondents Association. She’s still active in promoting world piece, but lately, she’s been more occupied with raising her big family along with her equally beautiful and gorgeous partner, Brad Pitt. And in case you didn’t know, Jolie is also a director: in 2011, she directed her first movie called In the Land of Blood and Honey. She’s truly a lady of many talents! Watch her in: The Bone Collector (1999); Girl, Interrupted (1999); Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001); Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005); Wanted (2008); Changeling (2008); The Tourist (2010); Maleficent (2014) 7. Penelope Cruz Penelope’s sex appeal is undeniable. This Spanish beauty has been in the movie industry for a long time, but her breakthrough moment was after starring in Vanilla Sky (2001). She’s a versatile and very talented actress and whether she’s the bad girl, like Mirtha Jung in Blow or playing the innocent Laura in The Counselor (2013), she adapts to any role. In 2009, she won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008). Watch her in: Blow (2001); Volver (2007); Nine (2009); Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011); The Counselor (2013) 8. Sandra Bullock The reason we love Sandra Bullock so much is because she appears real and very down-to-earth – kind of like the girl-next-door. People always wonder what celebrities are like when the camera stops rolling, but with Bullock, we get a sense that what we see is what we get. Her humourous roles in romantic comedies, like The Heat (2013) and Miss Congeniality (2000) have made her very popular. Bullock has won numerous awards for her work, and this year, she has been nominated for an Oscar for her latest movie, Gravity (2013). Watch her in: While You Were Sleeping (1995); A Time to Kill (1996); Two Weeks Notice (2002); Crash (2004); The Proposal (2009); The Heat (2013); Gravity (2013) 9. Jennifer Aniston Also known as America’s sweetheart, Jennifer Aniston is the perfect combination of cute, sexy and smart. She has proven herself in Hollywood as one of the hardest working actresses in the industry. Besides starring mostly in rom-coms and comedy films, she’s best known for playing as Rachel Green in the famous television series Friends (1994-2004). Watch her in: Picture Perfect (1997); The Good Girl (2002); The Break-Up (2006); The Bounty Hunter (2010); Horrible Bosses (2011); Wanderlust (2012); We’re the Millers (2013) 10. Angela Bassett Angela Bassett: physical beautiful and fierce (in a good way). This Harlem-born beauty chooses her roles carefully and is well respected in Hollywood. Some of her best work includes performing as Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993), Betty Shabazz in Malcolm X (1992), Katherine Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992) and as Voletta Wallace in Notorious (2009). Currently, she stars in the television series, American Horror Story: Coven (2013) as the legendary New Orleans Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau. Watch her in: Waiting to Exhale (1995); How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998); Meet the Browns (2008); Jumping the Broom (2011); Olympus Has Fallen (2013) 12. Sofia Vergara What’s hotter than an already hot woman? A hot woman with a sexy accent. Vergara’s sexy Columbian accent – and striking beauty, of course - caught the attention of producers when she first started appearing in American films, such as Four Brothers (2005), Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns (2008) and Madea Goes to Jail (2009). Today, Vergara is among the most popular actresses in Hollywood and is widely wanted for product endorsements. What makes her even more awesome is the fact she’s got a funny personality and a great sense of humour. Watch her in: Big Trouble (2002); Chasing Papi (2003); Meet the Browns (2008); New Year’s Eve (2011); Machete Kills (2013); Fading Gigolo (2013) 13. Kate Winslet Or shall we say Rose Dawson? Her most memorable and defining performance was in James Cameron’s movie, Titanic (1997), for which she fought hard to get the role. and the reward was worth it, even though expectations for the movie at the time were uncertain. After the film was released, the English-born actress gained international success and instantly became an A-list movie star. Her most recent films include Labor Day (2013), The Reader (2008), for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in a Leading Role in 2009, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and The Holiday (2006). Watch her in: Heavenly Creatures (1994); Titanic (1997), The Holiday (2006), The Reader (2008), Contagion (2011), Labor Day (2013) 14. Diane Lane Diane Lane is another classic beauty and veteran in Hollywood. She’s a versatile actress who gained popularity after starring in Unfaithful (2002), for which she was nominated for an Oscar. Later, she performed as the lead in Under the Tuscan Sun (2003), Cinema Verite (2011) and Man of Steel (2013). She is currently set to be part of an upcoming drama, Every Secret Thing. Watch her in: The Outsiders (1983); The Perfect Storm (2000); Unfaithful (2002); Must Love Dogs (2005); Killshot (2008); Untraceable (2008); Secretariat (2010); Cinema Verite (2011), Man of Steel (2013) 15. Julianne Moore Julianne Moore’s fair features give her a very unique beauty and look. This natural redhead with light freckles is also one of Hollywood’s most talented actresses. She arose to fame after starring in Boogie Nights (1997), The End of the Affair (1999), Far From Heaven (2002) and The Hours (2002), all for which she was nominated for Oscar awards. Her recent films, include Carrie (2013), The English Teacher (2013), Game Change (2012) and Chloe (2009). Moore is also a children’s author and has written many successful children’s books. Some of her upcoming projects include appearing in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2 (2014 and 2015). Watch her in: Nine Months (1995); Hannibal (2001); The Forgotten (2004); Savage Grace (2007); Chloe (2009); The Kids Are All Right (2010); Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011); Don Jon (2013), Carrie (2013) Image courtesy of: SpreePiX Berlin (flickr), via Wikimedia Commons
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15 leading ladies and the reasons we love them

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