Although near-naked bodies are the norm on Instagram these days, the idea of the sex symbol has been around for centuries. These ’60s sex symbols were more than just beauties of their era—they were legendary role models and strong women who weren’t afraid to express themselves. Here are the best sex symbols of the 1960s who melted the screen with their stunning looks and talents.
The beautiful Swiss-German Ursula Andres rose to Hollywood fame when she signed a contract with Columbia Pictures and headed to the United States. In 1962, she appeared on screen in the now iconic bikini and made audiences fall in love when she played Honey Rider in Dr. No, the first James Bond film. It was Ursula who helped make the series famous.
Anita Ekberg, the Swedish star of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita who played Sylvia, was one of the greatest beauties of all time. Known for her stunning features and curves, Ekberg won Miss Sweden and often modeled as a teenager, eventually heading to the US to compete in Miss Universe. Although she did not win the competition, she was awarded a contract with Universal Studios and, along with appearing in many films, was known for her scandalous Hollywood romances.
Catwoman has always been a bombshell character in a tight black bodysuit and coy cat ears. Julie Newmar was the first Catwoman to star in the 1960s Batman series with co-star Adam West. Although she only played the character in the first two seasons, her striking physique and memorable charm will forever remain in our minds.
This ’60s sex symbol is known for her work on the sitcom Gilligan’s Island, and she’s clearly embracing the way the world sees her. While her co-star Dawn Wells played the innocent girl-next-door in the suburbs, Tina Louise stole hearts as Ginger Grant, a glamorous and attractive Hollywood movie star from the big city. In an interview with Get Out Mag, she cited her looks as thanks to being born with good genes and taking good care of herself.
The words Raquel Welch and leather bikini are synonymous these days. The legendary bomb was worn by him in the movie “One Million Years BC”, where he spoke only three lines. However, her voluptuous figure made her an instant sex symbol, and a photo of her in these panties became a best-selling poster. This brunette beauty will become an international star.
Cardinale once won a competition in 1957, winning the title “The Most Beautiful Italian Woman in Tunisia”. The Italian beauty queen was known for her sensual roles in The Pink Panther and The Big Deal on Madonna Street. However, she was prominent both in Hollywood and in Italian and French cinema. With her husky voice and seductive eye contact, Cardinale’s glamor has captivated the world for years.
Although Natalie Wood’s life ended in a mysterious drowning tragedy, she will never be forgotten as a talented movie star and sophisticated beauty. She brought some class to the phrase “sex symbol,” but she didn’t always start out that way. Wood entered Hollywood as a child actress, but when she grew up and took on more mature roles as Judy in Rebel Without a Cause with James Dean, audiences began to see her in a new light.
Hollywood bombshell Stella Stevens was much more than a pretty face, playing roles in the 1963 film The Nutty Professor, the rom-com The Courtship of Eddie’s Father and the musical Girls! girls Girls!” With Elvis. In 1960, she was featured as Playboy’s Playboy of the Month for January and would go on to appear in the magazine several times. She was also voted number 27 on Playboy’s list of the 100 Sexiest Stars of the 20th Century.
Although known as a sophisticated blonde, Brigitte Bardot had dark hair. The child of wealthy bourgeois parents, she began her career by posing for the cover of Elle at 15. She was seen as a symbol of hedonistic eroticism, cementing her reputation as a sexually liberated heroine. She was known for the unexpected gap between her teeth, which became her signature quirk.
Few people are as genetically blessed as Sophia Loren, who earned her reputation as a sex symbol when she was just a teenager. The Italian actress was known for her flawless features and hourglass figure, but her sense of style was just as impressive, epitomizing European elegance. Despite her looks overshadowing her talent, her effortless charisma and charm are evident in all her roles and interviews, and are part of the reason she’s seen as an icon to this day.