120+ gorgeous, glamorous actresses of the 1920s

Vintage gorgeous, glamorous actresses of the 1920s

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Glamorous actresses of the 1920s: A new age of cinema celebrities

While fame itself was nothing new in the 1920s, the recent introduction of moving pictures had transformed the very meaning of the word. Indeed, the film stars of the late 1910s and the 1920s were a whole new breed of celebrity.

Initially, nameless players had been assembled by small studios to tell a story. It didn’t take long before movies — both silent films and “talkies” — became the diversion of choice for millions, meaning the actresses and actors up on the silver screen were now recognizable to cinema-goers all across the country.

By the time the calendar closed on 1919, dozens of men and women were so familiar to — and adored by — the public, they had truly become stars.

In 1926, Photoplay’s editors wrote, “millions of miles of film have flowed out of the camera since then, and Hollywood has been created and many, many millions of dollars.”

ALSO SEE: 20 vintage dresses from the Roaring Twenties that would fit right into the Great Gatsby

Alice Terry (1923)

1923 Alice Terry 2

Patsy Ruth Miller (1923)

1923 Patsy Ruth Miller

Pauline Garon (1923)

1923 Pauline Garon

Billie Dove (1925)

1925 Billie Dove

Dorothy Seastrom (1925)

1925 Dorothy Seastrom

Eleanor Boardman (1925)

1925 Eleanor Boardman

Lois Wilson (1925)

1925 Lois Wilson

Mae Busch (1925)

1925 Mae Busch

Mary Brian (1925)

1925 Mary Brian

May Allison (1925)

1925 May Allison

Norma Talmadge (1925)

1925 Norma Talmadge

Pauline Starke (1925)

1925 Pauline Starke

Ruth Wilcox (1925)

1925 Ruth Wilcox

Sally Rand (1925)

1925 Sally Rand

Shirley Mason (1925)

1925 Shirley Mason

Virgina Valli (1925)

1925 Virgina Valli

ALSO SEE: 20 vintage dresses from the Roaring Twenties that would fit right into the Great Gatsby

Blanche Sweet (1925)

1926 Blanche Sweet

Marion Davies (1925)

Vintage actress Marion Davies (1925)

Fay Wray (1926)

1926 Fay Wray

Helene Chadwick (1926)

1926 Helene Chadwick

Janet Gaynor (1926)

1926 Janet Gaynor

Mary Brian (1926)


Olive Borden (1926)

1926 Olive Borden

Phyllis Haver (1926)

1926 Phyllis Haver

Seena Owen (1926)

1926 Seena Owen

Louise Brooks (1927)

1927 - Louise Brooks

Aileen Pringle (1927)

1927 Aileen Pringle

Alice Joyce (1927)

1927 Alice Joyce

Anna Q. Nilsson (1927)

1927 Anna Q Nilsson

Claire Windsor (1927)

1927 Claire Windsor - rebel
1927 Claire Windsor

Clara Bow (1927)

1927 Clara Bow - Girl of the Hour
1927 Clara Bow

Claudette Colbert (1927)

1927 Claudette Colbert debuts

Colleen Moore (1927)

1927 Colleen Moore

Dolores Costello (1927)

1927 Dolores Costello

Dolores Del Rio (1927)

1927 Dolores Del Rio

Dorothey Dwan (1927)

1927 Dorothy Dwan

Dorothy Sebastian (1927)

1927 Dorothy Sebastian

Eleanor Boardman (1927)

1927 Eleanor Boardman

Esther Ralston (1927)

1927 Esther Ralston

ALSO SEE: Vintage manicure how-tos & products that women used to use for pretty nails

Evelyn Brent (1927)

1927 Evelyn Brent

Fay Wray (1927)

1927 Fay Wray

Gilda Gray (1927)

1927 Gilda Gray

Gloria Swanson (1927)

1927 Gloria Swanson

Greta Nissen (1927)

1927 Greta Nissen 2
1927 Greta Nissen

Janet Gaynor (1927)

1927 Janet Gaynor smile

Joan Crawford (1927)

1927 Joan Crawford

Lillian Gish (1927)

1927 Lillian Gish

Lois Moran (1927)

1927 Lois Moran

MMORE: Vintage 1920s dresses & flapper clothes: Fashionable fabrics, lengths, necklines & more

Marcelline Day (1927)

1927 Marcelline Day

Marian Nixon (1927)

1927 Marian Nixon

Nancy Phillips (1927)

1927 Nancy Phillips

Natalie Barrache — Natli Barr(1927)

1927 Natalie Barrache - Natli Barr

Olive Borden (1927)

1927 Olive Borden shhhh

Renee Adoree (1927)

1927 Renee Adoree

ALSO SEE: How to get the kind of expressive, dramatic 1920s eye makeup style popular during the silent movie era

Sadie Thompson (1927)

1927 Sadie Thompson

Jetta Goudal (1927)

Screenland magazine actress Jetta Goudal 1927

1928 Betty Bronson

Greta Garbo (1928)

1928 Greta Garbo

MORE: About Greta Garbo: The legendary actress and 20th century icon

Jacqueline Logan (1928)

1928 Jacqueline Logan

Josephine Borio (1928)

1928 Josephine Borio

June Collyer (1928)

1928 June Collyer

Laura La Plante (1928)

1928 Laura La Plante

Lupe Velez (1928)

1928 Lupe Velez

Marie Prevost (1928)

1928 Marie Prevost

Marion Nixon (1928)

1928 Marion Nixon

Mary Pickford (1928)

1928 Mary Pickford

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May McAvoy (1928)

1928 May McAvoy

Myrna Loy (1928)

1928 Myrna Loy

Bebe Daniels (1928)

Vintage 1920s actress Bebe Daniels (1923)

Sue Carol (1928)

1928 Sue Carol

Virgina Bradford (1928)

1928 Virginia Bradford

Yola D’Avril (1928)

1928 Yola DAvril

Alice White (1929)

1929 Alice White

Jeanette Loff (1929)

1929 Jeanette Loff

Leila Hyams (1929)

1929 Leila Hyams

Madge Bellamy (1929)

1929 Madge Bellamy

Stunning starlets on the silver screen

Below, take a look back with a photo gallery featuring some of the top female moving picture actresses of the Roaring Twenties by way of the portraits were published in Photoplay, one of the most popular fan magazines of the day.

The pictures include many of the talented women who were on their way to becoming icons of the age — such as Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Mary Pickford, Norma Talmadge, Gloria Swanson, Claudette Colbert, Norma Shearer, Fay Wray, Lillian Gish, Myrna Loy, Clara Bow, and the one and only Joan Crawford.

There are also those whose names may not be familiar, but whose looks — the fashion, hair and makeup — beautifully represent this bygone era. Some of those actresses include Louise Brooks, Betty Bronson, Dorothy Sebastian, Olive Borden, Dolores Del Rio, Sue Carol, Gilda Gray, Colleen Moore, Lupe Velez, Greta Nissen, Phyllis Haver, Anna May Wong, Evelyn Brent, Janet Gaynor, Jacqueline Logan, Billie Dove, Shirley Mason, Eleanor Boardman, Ruth Wilcox, Mary Allison, Sally Rand, Mary Brian and Claire Windsor.

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Comments on this story

3 Responses

  1. Every era has something to offer. For some reason the 20’s invokes pictures in the mind of wild women dancing. The mob. Freedom for women. Makeup. Yes some of it was toxic. My own grand mother had lipstick that had lead in it. And I to used that lipstick before I knew it was bad. But I am beginning to think that all makeup is not good. Baby powder I have used since I was a baby. I still use it. All powder has talcum in it. So what are you suppose to put on your face if you can’t use powder to set it? But I think the roaring 20’s brings back free expression. Women were more free then then they are now. The actresses in the photos are very glamorous and unique. Most were very successful. Too bad starlets today don’t have even a touch of their class or acting ability. Some today are good but not great. Times change and I think they ought to send all actresses back to charm school. Most are tacky now. Too bad! That goes for the male actors too. Simply put. They need to know how to act to be someone. Where are all the stars? Kardashians are celebrities but they are not stars. Old Hollywood needs to be kept locked up and saved. There will never be another place like this. Debi l.

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