10 Sex Symbols Of The 50s & 60s Everyone Had A Crush On

Regarding challenging the rules of sexual expression, the 50s and especially the 60s are viewed as the most turbulent decades of the 20th century. Modestly speaking, the generations, born after the military cataclysm that wiped out over 60 million people, started questioning the conservative ideals of their parents. Bluntly speaking, they started not giving a f*** about their old folks’ attitude toward sexual norms. Honestly speaking, their ‘rents began neglecting strict dogmas right after the end of the war. Let’s not forget that they are those who are to blame for the fact that we have a Wiki page titled ‘Post–World War II baby boom.’

It was the time when pop-culture was born, and sex symbols were its heralds – naughty and unapproachable – that’s why even more desirable. When Marilyn Monroe flashed her panties on the silver screen, sexual puritanism was guillotined. Soon, even the hourglass-shaped diva seemed too pristine for the youth who cuddled for the first time to a tune of a rock’n’roll hit. 

The ladies on this list infatuated and sexually awoke entire generations. They were notorious for feeling free to flaunt their beauty. For the very same reason, they were admired. Their faces were on the photographs and posters our granddaddies might have looked at when they learned how to masturbate. Even now, the images below will undoubtedly make you sweat.

Marilyn Monroe

America’s ultimate idol of the 50s, Marilyn Monroe pushed the boundaries of what is considered acceptable regarding female sexuality and changed the entire cultural history of sex. She could turn the outrage caused by her nude photographs into a widespread admiration and sympathy. Her cheesy smile both irritated and excited people just like Mona Lisa’s grin. Everyone still wonders whether she was a demon in the disguise of a blonde angel, or an angel desperately pretending to find happiness in seducing the whole world. Moreover, her romance with JFK, drug abuse, and mysterious death still fuel speculations about her unique persona.

Marilyn Monroe photographed by WeeGee in 1949

Lili St. Cyr

The highest paid of all exotic dancers of her day; Lili St. Cyr performed an act of undressing even in the courtroom after she was accused of giving a “lewd and lascivious performance”. Having been found not guilty, she turned into a national celebrity just like Kim Kardashian after the notorious sex tape issue. The sultry burlesque star was particularly famous for a ‘reverse strip’ wherein she dressed in designer gowns – but only after taking a bath on stage! However, she rarely got naked in her acts, preferring to tease the audiences. She had it all: fame and money, romances with the most handsome Hollywood stars and attempted suicide by overdose; and, of course, decibels of standing ovations from men and women who admired the mix of entrancing, devilish sexuality and personal dramas this magnetizing woman represented.

Lili St. Cyr

Mamie Van Doren

This platinum blonde bombshell became one of the era’s symbols of sex drive, attracting thousands of followers, admirers, and copycats. Her screen persona exuded sexuality, and she was considered the ultimate sex kitten during her 1950s heyday. She starred in one of the first Hollywood films to cover the newly emerging trends of juvenile delinquency and rock ‘n’ roll, and her ‘bad girl’ movies turned her into a pin-up dream of millions of teenagers across the world. Mamie Van Doren’s later roles morphed her into an incarnation of glamorous sexuality and made her a part of the legendary ‘Three M’s’ along with Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield.


Kim Novak

She was an enigmatic star and one of the last sex goddesses of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Frank Sinatra was her first date in Hollywood. Since then she infatuated the most handsome stars and the wealthiest tycoons. Her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s acclaimed Vertigo guaranteed her a place in the history of cinema. This screen vixen was truly unparalleled in her talent and beauty. For men, she represented the ultimate fantasy, and for women, an ideal of femininity.

Green pumps

Diana Dors

It looks like a woman should be named Diana to become a sex symbol in the Albion. Diana Dors was once hailed as Britain’s answer to Marilyn Monroe, but she pre-dated Monroe as an actress. She labeled herself as “the only sex symbol Britain has produced since Lady Godiva”, and it’s hard to question this statement. She was the first home-grown sex icon of austerity Britain, a sort of a living postcard from celebrity-obsessed America. Her appetite for the luxurious life, including champagne, jewelry, cars, mink and sex, seemed infinite. She looked utterly artificial but behaved completely naturally. No wonder the Brits fell desperately for her.

Diana Dors

Brigitte Bardot

This French sex-kitten with huge eyes, a sensual mouth and a beehive of blonde hair could look both naughty and innocent at the same time. She became an epitome of French sexuality throughout the world thanks to her playful charisma and, of course, great shoulders, admirable legs, and a busty shape that meet perfectly meet sex-symbol prerequisites. Her provocative movie scenes made the audience blush and fantasized, and the pictures featuring her wearing a bikini looked so hot that one could get tanned without going to the beach.


Ursula Andress

When this blonde Swiss bombshell rose out of the Caribbean in the ‘Dr. No’ episode of Bondiana, she became an object of affection of millions of people irrespective of their sex. Her tanned sizzling curves and a snow-white bikini, that let the imagination run wild, became a combination that secured the scene a place in the Hollywood’s Hall of Hotness. Ursula Andress posed nude for Playboy Magazine in 1965. Unsurprisingly, that issue is one of the most popular in the magazine’s history.

31. Emerging from the sea Honey (Ursula Andress). Copyright Notice - 1962 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.

Raquel Welch

Having huge brown eyes, gorgeous chestnut hair, and a super busty shape, Raquel Welch quickly became a heartthrob in the early 60s. However, it is the movie remake of One Million Years B.C. that turned her into one of the most desired women of the decade. Regarding historical accuracy, her portrayal of an electrifying prehistoric bombshell wearing an animal-skin bikini was a nightmare, but it appeared in erotic dreams of millions of men who watched the movie.

Sophia Loren

This incredible Italian beauty once said: “You have to be born a sex symbol. You don’t become one. If you’re born with it, you’ll have it even when you’re 100 years old”. Her life proves this statement is true, as she is one of the most enduring European sex goddesses. In the early 60s, her fame of the immaculate yet seductive Madonna was universal. She introduced the exotic Mediterranean type of beauty to Hollywood, as opposed to the platinum blonde sirens that dominated there before. Her almond-shaped golden eyes, voluptuous curves, and energizing persona established her as an international icon, and her soft Italian accent fueled the sensual sparks cross the world. If there was a man who didn’t drools at the sight of this Italian sex symbol in the 50s, 60s and beyond, he must have been blind.

sophia loren

Catherine Deneuve

There have always been two Catherines in Ms. Deneuve. Pure and dirty, angelic and demonic. This binary opposition is apparent even in the first roles. She rose to prominence thanks to tear-jerking ‘The Umbrellas of Cherbourg’, cringe-worthy ‘Pepulsion’ and Freudian ‘Belle de Jour’, and she represented both a victim and a villain/hunter in these movies. Her beauty is a combination of unparalleled natural seductiveness and pure grace. As opposed to the overwhelming sensuality of Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve was a siren who oozed charm. Even playing a prostitute, she remained a style icon, a fallen angel whose beauty left the audience mystified. She has also proven that being a sexy bombshell doesn’t equal showing a lot of skin — this is why Catherine Deneuve is considered the most subtle sex symbol.

Ready for the ball. Catherine Deneuve.

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