Left to Right: Jackie O, Jennifer Aniston, Jaclyn Smith, Grace Kelly; Jessica Biel, Faye Dunaway, Ava Gardner, Angelina Jolie. Photos: Corbis / Getty Images / FilmMagic
Through the years, America has had no shortage of great beauties. This July 4th
we're looking to celebrate them.
Last week, Grace Kelly'
s son, Prince Albert, got engaged to South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock
. When we opined that the young blonde bares a striking resemblance
to Kelly, her would-be mother-in-law, many of your responded that no one -- and you mean, no one -- can compare with the iconic Princess of Monaco.
"Charlene is lovely but she's no Grace Kelly," one reader commented. Others echoed the sentiment with statements like "Come on now. Not even close" and "You're kidding right? Get some new glasses."
After we read through all 96 comments, it became clear that this topic needed further investigation.
Left to Right: Vanessa Williams, Farrah Fawcett, Veronica Lake, Scarlett Johansson; Marilyn Monroe, Beyonce, Jessica Alba, Julia Roberts. Photos: Getty Images / Corbis / WireImage / FilmMagic
Whether or not Charlene Wittstock
is worthy of comparison to Grace Kelly, there are many other modern beauties who may be able to hold court. We polled our staff to see which women stood out in time as the most beautiful, and a hot debate between the decades ensued.
There was certainly a lost art of beauty that thrived back in Hollywood's golden years. Black and white images made delicate features look dramatic, and the signatures of each screen siren (Marilyn Monroe
's perfectly coiffed locks, Jean Harlow
's pencil-thin brows, Veronica Lake
's flowing waves...) weren't just larger than life -- they were trailblazing trends that many had never seen before.
Left to Right: Jennifer Lopez, Tyra Banks, Jean Harlow, Halle Berry; Sandra Bullock, Rita Hayworth, Cindy Crawford, Jessica Lange. Photos: Getty Images / WireImage / AP
And yet, modern times have brought some positive changes, too. Advances in health and fitness have allowed stars like Jessica Biel
and Jennifer Aniston
to build gorgeously healthy physiques, and have helped set new standards of beauty -- from golden skin or bold eye brows to wrinkle-free foreheads -- that are a far cry from the icons of the '40s and '50s.
So, in the spirit of July 4th, we want to know: Who, in your eyes, is the greatest American beauty of all time?
Whether it's a classic starlet like Grace Kelly or a modern belle like Halle Berry
, here's your chance to cast your vote, below.
Have another choice? Leave a comment and let us know who you think deserves the top spot. But don't forget, this poll is celebrating American-born beauties only, so (though it pained us) we had to leave some otherwise beloved babes (like Israeli-born Natalie Portman
and London-born Elizabeth Taylor