Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Young Actresses

Elizabeth Taylor in 1947, age 15

Eva Marie Saint opens a prop door during a TV shoot at NBC studios in 1947. The Newark, N.J.-born actress started her career as an NBC page.

Eva Marie Saint (above, in 1949) got her film break in 1954's Oscar-winning On the Waterfront with Brando and other powerhouse actors, but perhaps her defining role came opposite Cary Grant in Hitchcock's incredibly entertaining thriller-romance, North by Northwest in 1959.

Nineteen-year-old Ann-Margret belts out a tune during a screen test for the movie State Fair in 1961.

Jane Fonda, 1959.

Jane Fonda was a well-regarded actress by the time this shot was taken in 1959, when she was 22, but it took the screwball Western Cat Ballou (1965) to turn her into a movie star.

Wisely abandoning the name Tula Ellice Finklea, Cyd Charisse, seen here in 1945, was best known for her dancing roles opposite Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.

The actress Gene Tierney poses in 1941. Best remembered for 1944's Laura, Tierney left New York's socialite life to be an actress. She did become a star, but her own story was scarred by disastrous romances, failed marriages and mental illness.

Mickey Rooney kisses co-star Judy Garland at the premiere of Babes in Arms in 1939. The two starred in nine movies together, among them the popular Andy Hardy series.

Barbra Streisand sings in the musical that was her Broadway debut, I Can Get It for You Wholesale, in 1962. The Brooklyn-born superstar-to-be began singing in New York nightclubs as a teenager.

Shirley MacLaine sings on the TV program Shower of Stars in 1955. The Virginia native took ballet lessons as a kid to compensate for weak ankles. She went to Broadway to try her luck while still in high school.

Marilyn Monroe poses in 1947. The next year, she'd get a six-month Columbia Pictures contract, followed by a Marx Brothers movie in 1949, and, eventually, near-mythic status as the quintessential Hollywood "sex goddess.

The young Debbie Reynolds is at the center of the action, circa 1950. She'd won a film contract just two years earlier, after winning the Miss Burbank pageant at age 16.

Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews run lines in My Fair Lady rehearsals, 1956. Though the stage musical helped launch Andrews' career, she was replaced in the big-screen version by Audrey Hepburn.

Margarita Carmen Cansino, soon to be Rita Hayworth, models tennis fashions in 1939. After her small turn in Only Angels Have Wings that year, fan mail started pouring in. She was soon a major star.

Actress Jeanne Crain takes a bubble bath for her role in the movie Margie. She probably made her biggest splash as a (secretly) black woman in love with a white doctor in the film, Pinky. Crain, a white actress, was chosen over genuinely African-American actresses Dorothy Dandridge and Lena Horne for the role.

The French beauty Catherine Deneuve (seen here at 18 years old in 1961) has been one of the world's most celebrated actresses for five decades.

The Puerto Rican-born beauty, seen here in a 1954 photo that ended up on the cover of LIFE, debuted on Broadway at 13 before making it big years later in the film version of West Side Story.

Actress Rita Moreno demonstrates the "sexy-sophisticated" type, 1954.

The Italian actress poses in 1957, the year she began to make a name for herself in America in such movies as Boy on a Dolphin (her U.S. debut) and Legend of the Lost.

Audrey Hepburn in 1951 — two years before her film breakthrough in Roman Holiday — posing under a theater marquee for the stage version of Gigi.

Kim Novak, 1954.

Kim Novak, 21, poses with crystal figurines in 1954. The Chicagoan started off as Miss Deepfreeze for a local refrigerator company, and was recruited by Columbia Pictures to be a more manageable replacement for Rita Hayworth.

Esther Williams, the famed synchronized swimmer (seen here in 1943), got her start in movies when MGM wanted a female sports star to rival Fox's figure skater, Sonja Henie.

(Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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