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In the beginning, there was Theda Bara. The first movie bombshell seduced the male moviegoers as an exotic femme fatale in 1915’s “A Fool There Was.” She became known as “The Vamp” short for vampire for excelling as scantily clad sirens who turned macho men into whimpering fools for love. Ever since Bara nearly bared all, Hollywood has scurried to find the next great bombshell.

In the 1930s, there was platinum blond Jean Harlow; German born Marlene Dietrich and Austrian born Hedy Lamarr who had caused quite a stir appearing au naturel in the 1933 Czech film, ‘Ecstasy.”

During World War II, the bombshell also became the pin up favorite of the armed forces, especially singer dancer Betty Grable whose shapely legs were insured by Lloyds of London.

But there’s more to a bombshell than a pretty face and shapely body. Harlow was a skilled farceur; Dietrich was an Oscar nominated actress whose film career endured into her 60s; and Monroe not only had that “it” quality but demonstrated solid dramatic acting chops in such films as “Bus Stop” and “The Misfits.”

In fact, several bombshells have won Academy Awards including Kim Basinger, , Halle Berry, Gloria Grahame, Sophia Loren, Ginger Rogers and Shelley Winters.

Some bombshells had considerable brain power as well. During World War II, Lamarr co invented an early form of spread spectrum communications technology, and Jayne Mansfield’s IQ was 163. But she often lamented that the only numbers her fans cared about were her measurements: 40 21 35.

Susan King, who has for more than 25 years.

Here’s a look at some of the best known bombshells with stars on the Walk of Fame. If you do not see the person you are looking for below please search our complete list of the stars on the Walk of Fame. And, if you haven’t yet, check out The Times virtual tour of the stars.

Agree about Rita Hayworth missing from list, she could easily be the reigning queen. To a reader comment, Bombshell may be a term from bygone days, but most of the actresses to which it is ascribed are from those days. None of those actresses would have agreed with you about it being demeaning; who knows, a couple of them may have blushed about it, but all would have considered it a crowning achievement. If you think it derogatory, then you give the term a meaning now that it didn have in its time.

2)In the “classical” Star list, I don know if they have a Star on the Walk of Fame or not, but here are my suggestions of missing ones :

Lauren BACALL, May BRITT, Claudia CARDINALE, Cyd CHARISSE, Linda DARNELL, Yvonne DE CARLO, Dolores DEL RIO, Anita EKBERG, Rita HAYWORTH, Vivien LEIGH, Gina LOLLOBRIGIDA, Carole LOMBARD, Gloria SWANSON, Gene TIERNEY, Esther WILLIAMS, Natalie WOOD, Loretta YOUNG.

Bombshell doesn mean only Blondeshell or Americanshell, does it ?

3)If there is Farrah FAWCETT and Raquel WELCH, there should be Bo DEREK and Olivia NEWTON JOHN, otherwise you never seen “Grease”.

And Ursula ANDRESS and Jacqueline BISSET !!!

4)In the “young” ones : Jennifer CONNELLY, Hilary SWANK,
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Uma THURMAN.

5)I would remove Hillary BROOKE, Gloria GRAHAME, Adele JERGENS, Carole LANDIS, Joi LANSING, Irish McCALLA, Shelley WINTERS. (some of them I never heard of.)

6)Thank you Patrick (March 8, 2010) for mentioning 1 french : Brigitte BARDOT.

In this case I would add :

Great list. Like to see Mamie Van Doren , Monique Van Vooren, Nikki Six, the great Angie Dickinson, May Britt, Britt Ekland, Anita Eckberg , Brigitte Bardot, Gina Lollabrigida, Ursula Andress, Diana Rigg, Lola Falana, Carol Wayne, Yvette Mimieux, Virna Lisi, Claudia Cardinelli, Linda Evans, Joan Collins, Arlene Dahl, the gorgeous Sharon Tate, Cher, Suzanne Somers, Loni Anderson, Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, Jaclyn Smith, Cheryl Ladd, Jill St. John, Linda Ronstadt, Olivia Newton/John, Donna Mills, Michelle Phillips, Debbie Reynolds, Connie Stevens, Joey Heatherton, Dorothy Malone, Lauren Bacall, Dolly Parton, Janet Leigh, Joanna Pettit, Lynda Day George, Leslie Ann Warren, Syd Charisse, Juliet Prowse, Barbara Eden, Barbara Felfon,
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Suzanne Pleshette, Phyliis George.