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Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most famous actresses during Hollywood's classic era. She played the lead in the historical epic film Cleopatra, which was the most expensive film up to that point. She was included in the American Film Institute as the top 10 greatest female screen legends. After her acting career, she also was the first celebrity to create her own fragrance line, and founded a jewelry line, House of Taylor.
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What Hollywood icon list would be complete without Marilyn Monroe? While she may not have won any major awards, she was the highest paid actress for a decade, her films averaging $200 million in sales (2 billion in 2019). Marilyn was more than just a pretty face, and fought to renew her contract with FOX so that she would be able to start her own production company. Unfortunately, her untimely death at just 36 prevented her dreams from fully coming to fruition.
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Judy Garland is one face you can't forget! With a career that spanned 45 years, she won a Golden Globe award, as well as a Special Tony award. She was not only an actress, but a wonderful musician too, and was the first woman to win a Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
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Mae West was one of the original women in Hollywood, first appearing in vaudeville. She was best known for her dry sense of humour and sexual independence during the depression era, making her one of the most controversial women in Hollywood history. Despite the controversy surrounding West, fans loved her for her uncensored humour and unorthodox breezy sexuality. She was listed in the top 20 Greatest Female Stars in Classical American Film by the American Film Institute.
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Hattie McDaniel is best known for her role as "Mammy" in Gone With The Wind. The role won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the first person of colour to win an Oscar. In addition to her films, she also was a recording blue's artist, comedian, and radio voice actress. She performed as the first African American live on a major radio show, and has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She also makes an appearance in the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in Colorado.
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Lucille Ball was ahead of her time! Not only was she the first woman to run a major television studio, she was also the first woman to create a sitcom, the widely loved series I Love Lucy. She was nominated 13 times for a Primetime Emmy Award, winning 4. She has been inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, and was awarded 2 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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With a career spanning over 60 years, and 100 acting credits, Bette Davis has been recognized as one of Hollywood's greatest actresses. She has won two Academy Awards, and was the first thespian to be nominated 10 times. She was the first woman to be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, and was the Academy's first female president for Motion Picture's Art and Sciences.
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It is no wonder Meryl Streep makes the list, with a record of over 20 Academy Award nominations, making her the most nominated in cinematic history! She has won three Academy Awards, and breaks another record of 32 nominations, winning 8, for the Golden Globe's. She is understandably often dubbed as "The Best Actress of her Generation"
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The hills are alive with the sound of Julie Andrews! Making her debut in Mary Poppins, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress, and later in her career, a Golden Globe for The Sound of Music! Still appearing in movies today, she was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for her work in the performing arts. Furthermore, she was also awarded with a Lifetime Achievement by the American Film Institute.
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Carol Burnett is best known for her variety and comedic show, The Carol Burnett Show, which was the first of it's kind to be hosted by a woman. In 2005 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for "enhancing the lives of millions of Americans and for her extraordinary contributions to American entertainment." Burnett can still be found on the small screens, as funny as ever!