Sex symbol
A sex symbol is a celebrity
A celebrity, also referred to as a celeb in popular culture, is a person who has a prominent profile and commands a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media...

 of either gender, typically an actor
An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

, musician
A musician is an artist who plays a musical instrument. It may or may not be the person's profession. Musicians can be classified by their roles in performing music and writing music.Also....* A person who makes music a profession....

, supermodel
The term supermodel refers to a highly-paid fashion model who usually has a worldwide reputation and often a background in haute couture and commercial modeling. The term became prominent in the popular culture of the 1980s. Supermodels usually work for top fashion designers and labels...

, teen idol
Teen idol
A teen idol is a celebrity who is widely idolized by teenagers; he or she is often young but not necessarily teenaged. Often teen idols are actors or pop singers, but some sports figures have an appeal to teenagers. Some teen idols began their careers as child actors...

, or sports star, noted for their sex appeal. The term was first used in the mid 1950s in relation to the popularity of certain Hollywood
Cinema of the United States
The cinema of the United States, also known as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. Its history is sometimes separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period...

 stars, especially Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, singer, model and showgirl who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s....

 and Brigitte Bardot
Brigitte Bardot
Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot is a French former fashion model, actress, singer and animal rights activist. She was one of the best-known sex-symbols of the 1960s.In her early life, Bardot was an aspiring ballet dancer...



According to Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

, the 1930s cartoon character Betty Boop
Betty Boop
Betty Boop is an animated cartoon character created by Max Fleischer, with help from animators including Grim Natwick. She originally appeared in the Talkartoon and Betty Boop film series, which were produced by Fleischer Studios and released by Paramount Pictures. She has also been featured in...

 is "the first and most famous" sex symbol on animated screen. After Betty Boop, there was Jessica Rabbit
Jessica Rabbit
Jessica Rabbit is a fictional character from the Roger Rabbit film-and-novel franchise.Jessica Rabbit may also refer to:* Jessica Rabbit vibrator, a sex toy* Melyssa Ford , Canadian model-See also:...

 (voiced by Kathleen Turner
Kathleen Turner
Mary Kathleen Turner is an American actress. She came to fame during the 1980s, after roles in the Hollywood films Body Heat, Peggy Sue Got Married, Romancing the Stone, The War of the Roses, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Prizzi's Honor...

) from the 1988 live-action/animation crossover film Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American fantasy-comedy-noir film directed by Robert Zemeckis and released by Touchstone Pictures. The film combines live action and animation, and is based on Gary K. Wolf's novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, which depicts a world in which cartoon characters...



Contemporary fashion models who are cited as sex symbols include Marisa Miller
Marisa Miller
Marisa Lee Miller is an American model best known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues and her work for lingerie retailer Victoria's Secret. After a stint shooting with photographer Mario Testino for fashion magazines like Vogue, Miller began working for both companies in...

 and Heidi Klum
Heidi Klum
Heidi Samuel , better known by her birth name Heidi Klum, is a German model, actress, television host, businesswoman, fashion designer, television producer, and occasional singer. In 2008 she became an American citizen while maintaining her native German citizenship...



Some examples of musicians who became sex symbols include Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson
Janet Damita Jo Jackson is an American recording artist and actress. Known for a series of sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows, television and film roles, she has been a prominent figure in popular culture for over 25 years...

 and Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and actor, best known as the founder, occasional rhythm guitarist, and lead singer of rock band Bon Jovi, which was named after him...

. Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

described Beyoncé
Beyoncé Knowles
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles , often known simply as Beyoncé, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she enrolled in various performing arts schools and was first exposed to singing and dancing competitions as a child...

 as a "crossover sex symbol".

Video games

Video games have had a few characters that are considered sex symbols; one example would be Lara Croft
Lara Croft
Lara Croft is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Square Enix video game series Tomb Raider. She is presented as a beautiful, intelligent, and athletic British archaeologist-adventurer who ventures into ancient, hazardous tombs and ruins around the world...

, who has had several appearances in mainstream media. Nell McAndrew
Nell McAndrew
Nell McAndrew is an English glamour model.-Career:...

, who portrayed Lara from 1998 to 1999 in media appearances, appeared in Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...

on August 1999, although the magazine was prevented legally from displaying the name "Lara Croft" next to the model.

Other sex symbols with less notoriety in the mainstream include Rayne
Rayne (BloodRayne)
Rayne, sometimes called Agent BloodRayne, is a fictional character in the BloodRayne series of video games. Created by Majesco Entertainment, she is the series' titular protagonist, appearing in both games and later extended media, such as comic books and films related to the series...

, the first video game character that appeared in Playboy, in its October 2004 US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 issue's article, "Gaming Grows Up"; and Nina Williams
Nina Williams
is a character from Namco's Tekken game series. She is known to be a cold-blooded assassin who had made her very first appearance in the original Tekken game and since has appeared in every Tekken game released...

, voted "Hottest" Female Fighting Character in Guinness World Records, Gamers Edition 2008.

1920s and before

  • Josephine Baker
    Josephine Baker
    Josephine Baker was an American dancer, singer, and actress who found fame in her adopted homeland of France. She was given such nicknames as the "Bronze Venus", the "Black Pearl", and the "Créole Goddess"....

  • Theda Bara
    Theda Bara
    Theda Bara , born Theodosia Burr Goodman, was an American silent film actress – one of the most popular of her era, and one of cinema's earliest sex symbols. Her femme fatale roles earned her the nickname "The Vamp" . The term "vamp" soon became a popular slang term for a sexually predatory woman...

  • Louise Brooks
    Louise Brooks
    Mary Louise Brooks , generally known by her stage name Louise Brooks, was an American dancer, model, showgirl and silent film actress, noted for popularizing the bobbed haircut. Brooks is best known for her three feature roles including two G. W...

  • Clara Bow
    Clara Bow
    Clara Gordon Bow was an American actress who rose to stardom in the silent film era of the 1920s. It was her appearance as a spunky shopgirl in the film It that brought her global fame and the nickname "The It Girl." Bow came to personify the roaring twenties and is described as its leading sex...

  • Ramón Novarro
    Ramón Novarro
    Ramón Novarro was a Mexican leading man actor in Hollywood in the early 20th century. He was the next male "Sex Symbol" after the death of Rudolph Valentino...

  • Lillian Russell
    Lillian Russell
    Lillian Russell was an American actress and singer. She became one of the most famous actresses and singers of the late 19th century and early 20th century, known for her beauty and style, as well as for her voice and stage presence.Russell was born in Iowa but raised in Chicago...

  • Rudolph Valentino
    Rudolph Valentino
    Rudolph Valentino was an Italian actor, and early pop icon. A sex symbol of the 1920s, Valentino was known as the "Latin Lover". He starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle and Son of the Sheik...


  • Rita Hayworth
    Rita Hayworth
    Rita Hayworth was an American film actress and dancer who attained fame during the 1940s as one of the era's top stars...

  • Lena Horne
    Lena Horne
    Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was an American singer, actress, civil rights activist and dancer.Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of sixteen and became a nightclub performer before moving to Hollywood, where she had small parts in numerous movies, and more substantial parts in the...

  • Veronica Lake
    Veronica Lake
    Veronica Lake was an American film actress and pin-up model. She received both popular and critical acclaim, most notably for her role in Sullivan's Travels and her femme fatale roles in film noir with Alan Ladd during the 1940s, and was well-known for her peek-a-boo hairstyle...

  • Jane Russell
    Jane Russell
    Jane Russell was an American film actress and was one of Hollywood's leading sex symbols in the 1940s and 1950s....

  • Gene Tierney
    Gene Tierney
    Gene Eliza Tierney was an American film and stage actress. Acclaimed as one of the great beauties of her day, she is best remembered for her performance in the title role of Laura and her Academy Award-nominated performance for Best Actress in Leave Her to Heaven .Other notable roles include...


  • Brigitte Bardot
    Brigitte Bardot
    Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot is a French former fashion model, actress, singer and animal rights activist. She was one of the best-known sex-symbols of the 1960s.In her early life, Bardot was an aspiring ballet dancer...

  • Betty Grable
    Betty Grable
    Elizabeth Ruth "Betty" Grable was an American actress, dancer and singer.Her iconic bathing suit photo made her the number-one pin-up girl of the World War II era. It was later included in the LIFE magazine project "100 Photos that Changed the World"...

  • Gina Lollobrigida
    Gina Lollobrigida
    Gina Lollobrigida is an Italian actress, photojournalist and sculptress. She was one of the most popular European actresses of the 1950s and early 1960s. She was also an iconic sex symbol of the 1950s. Today, she remains an active supporter of Italian and Italian American causes, particularly the...

  • Jayne Mansfield
    Jayne Mansfield
    Jayne Mansfield was an American actress working both in Hollywood and on the Broadway theatre...

  • Marilyn Monroe
    Marilyn Monroe
    Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, singer, model and showgirl who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s....

  • Lana Turner
    Lana Turner
    Lana Turner was an American actress.Discovered and signed to a film contract by MGM at the age of sixteen, Turner first attracted attention in They Won't Forget . She played featured roles, often as the ingenue, in such films as Love Finds Andy Hardy...

  • Elizabeth Taylor
    Elizabeth Taylor
    Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

  • Mamie Van Doren
    Mamie Van Doren
    Mamie Van Doren is an American actress and singer; who rose to popularity as Universal Pictures's version of 20th Century Fox's Marilyn Monroe....


  • Jane Fonda
    Jane Fonda
    Jane Fonda is an American actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model, and fitness guru. She rose to fame in the 1960s with films such as Barbarella and Cat Ballou. She has won two Academy Awards and received several other movie awards and nominations during more than 50 years as an...

  • Tom Jones
    Tom Jones (singer)
    Sir Thomas John Woodward, OBE , known by his stage name Tom Jones, is a Welsh singer.Since the mid 1960s, Jones has sung many styles of popular music – pop, rock, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, techno, soul and gospel – and sold over 100 million records...

  • Eartha Kitt
    Eartha Kitt
    Eartha Mae Kitt was an American singer, actress, and cabaret star. She was perhaps best known for her highly distinctive singing style and her 1953 hit recordings of "C'est Si Bon" and the enduring Christmas novelty smash "Santa Baby." Orson Welles once called her the "most exciting woman in the...

  • Ann-Margret
    Ann-Margret Olsson is a Swedish-American actress, singer and dancer whose professional name is Ann-Margret. She became famous for her starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, Viva Las Vegas, The Cincinnati Kid, Carnal Knowledge, and Tommy...

  • Raquel Welch
    Raquel Welch
    Jo Raquel Tejada , better known as Raquel Welch, is an American actress, author and sex symbol. Welch came to attention as a "new-star" on the 20th Century-Fox lot in the mid-1960s. She posed iconically in a animal skin bikini for the British-release One Million Years B.C. , for which she may be...


  • Bo Derek
    Bo Derek
    Mary Cathleen Collins , better known as Bo Derek, is an American film and television actress, model, and sex symbol, known for her role as Jenny Hanley in the 1979 comedy film 10. However, Derek's film career soon faltered; her later films, including, Bolero and Ghosts Can't Do It , were poorly...

  • Madonna
    Madonna (entertainer)
    Madonna is an American singer-songwriter, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983...

  • Mel Gibson
    Mel Gibson
    Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson, AO is an American actor, film director, producer and screenwriter. Born in Peekskill, New York, Gibson moved with his parents to Sydney, Australia when he was 12 years old and later studied acting at the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art.After appearing in...

  • Mickey Rourke
    Mickey Rourke
    Philip Andre "Mickey" Rourke, Jr. is an American actor, screenwriter and retired boxer, who has appeared primarily as a leading man in action, drama, and thriller films....

  • Heather Thomas
    Heather Thomas
    Heather Anne Thomas is an American actress, screenwriter, author and political activist, best known for her co-starring role as Jody Banks on the TV series The Fall Guy.-Early life:...


  • Pamela Anderson
    Pamela Anderson
    Pamela Denise Anderson is a Canadian-American actress, model, producer, author, activist, and former showgirl, known for her roles on the television series Home Improvement, Baywatch, and V.I.P. She was chosen as a Playmate of the Month for Playboy magazine in February 1990...

  • Leonardo DiCaprio
    Leonardo DiCaprio
    Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio is an American actor and film producer. He has received many awards, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Aviator , and has been nominated by the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television...

  • John F. Kennedy, Jr.
    John F. Kennedy, Jr.
    John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. , often referred to as John F. Kennedy, Jr., JFK Jr., John Jr. or John-John, was an American socialite, magazine publisher, lawyer, and pilot. The elder son of U.S. President John F...

  • Kate Winslet
    Kate Winslet
    Kate Elizabeth Winslet is an English actress and occasional singer. She has received multiple awards and nominations. She was the youngest person to accrue six Academy Award nominations, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Reader...


  • Beyoncé
  • Christian Bale
    Christian Bale
    Christian Charles Philip Bale is an English actor. Best known for his roles in American films, Bale has starred in both big budget Hollywood films and the smaller projects from independent producers and art houses....

  • Monica Bellucci
    Monica Bellucci
    Monica Anna Maria Bellucci is an Italian actress and fashion model.-Early life:Bellucci was born in Città di Castello, Umbria, Italy as the only child of Luigi Bellucci, who was born in the British protectorate of Zanzibar, East Pakistan...

  • Chelsea Clinton
    Chelsea Clinton
    Chelsea Victoria Clinton is a television journalist, currently serving as Special Correspondent for NBC News, and philanthropist, working through the Clinton Global Initiative. She is the only child of former U.S...

  • Cheryl Cole
    Cheryl Cole
    Cheryl Ann Cole is an English pop and R&B recording artist, songwriter, dancer, actress and model. She rose to fame in late 2002 when she auditioned for the reality television show Popstars: The Rivals on ITV. The programme announced that Cole had won a place as a member of the girl group, Girls...

  • Kim Kardashian
    Kim Kardashian
    Kimberly Noel "Kim" Kardashian is an American socialite, television personality, model, actress and businesswoman. She is known for the E! reality series that she shares with her family—Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and its spin-offs including Kourtney and Kim Take New York...

  • Megan Fox
    Megan Fox
    Megan Denise Fox is an American actress and model. She began her acting career in 2001 with several minor television and film roles, and played a regular role on Hope & Faith. In 2004, she launched her film career with a role in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen...

  • Scarlett Johansson
    Scarlett Johansson
    Scarlett Johansson is an American actress, model and singer.Johansson made her film debut in North and was later nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her performance in Manny & Lo . She rose to further prominence with her roles in The Horse Whisperer and Ghost World...

  • Angelina Jolie
    Angelina Jolie
    Angelina Jolie is an American actress. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and was named Hollywood's highest-paid actress by Forbes in 2009 and 2011. Jolie is noted for promoting humanitarian causes as a Goodwill Ambassador for the...

  • Taylor Lautner
  • Eva Mendes
    Eva Mendes
    Eva Mendes is an American actress.She began acting in the late 1990s, and after a series of minor roles and performances in several smaller films such as Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror and Urban Legends: Final Cut , she broke into the mainstream, appearing in leading roles in Hollywood...

  • Katy Perry
    Katy Perry
    Katy Perry is an American singer, songwriter and actress. Born in Santa Barbara, California, and raised by Christian pastor parents, Perry grew up listening to only gospel music and sang in her local church as a child. After earning a GED during her first year of high school, she began to pursue a...

  • Rihanna
    Robyn Rihanna Fenty , better known as simply Rihanna, is a Barbadian recording artist. Born in Saint Michael, Barbados, Rihanna moved to the United States at the age of 16 to pursue a recording career under the guidance of record producer Evan Rogers...

  • Britney Spears
    Britney Spears
    Britney Jean Spears is an American recording artist and entertainer. Born in McComb, Mississippi, and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana, Spears began performing as a child, landing acting roles in stage productions and television shows. She signed with Jive Records in 1997 and released her debut album...

  • Usher
    Usher (entertainer)
    Usher Terry Raymond IV , who performs under the mononym Usher, is an American singer-songwriter, and actor. He is considered around the world to be the reigning King of R&B. Usher rose to fame in the late 1990s with the release of his second album My Way, which spawned his first Billboard Hot 100...

  • Sofia Vergara
    Sofía Vergara
    Sofía Margarita Vergara Vergara is a Colombian actress, comedian, television hostess and model.Vergara had been widely known for co-hosting two TV shows for Univisión in the late 1990s. Her TV career opened up for her a window of exposure to North American audiences prior to her first notable...

External links

  • Google Zeitgeist, has a list of the most searched for female celebrities on Google
    Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

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