Pitched Tent Land
Is it any surprise Farrah Fawcett earned far more in royalties for this 1976 poster than she did for all of her work on Charlie's Angels? The best thing to ever happen to a red swimsuit (and hair salons), Farrah caused an entire nation's worth of prepubescent males to simultaneously cross over into Pitched Tent Land.
Ferrah Leni Fawcett (her first name a variation on the Arabic word for joy) was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas. Voted Best Looking at her high school, she studied microbiology, then art, at the University of Texas, Austin. In Hollywood she got her first big role in the calamitous 1970 satire Myra Breckinridge, escaping unscathed and, for the most part, unnoticed. Until she was signed in 1976 for the ABC series Charlie's Angels, Fawcett was most visible as an icon of TV commercials: she made the Mercury Cougar pant and gave extra body to Wella Balsam shampoo. For Ultra-Brite Toothpaste, her smiling mouth was the ideal 24-hour product placement.
In 1973 she married future Six Million Dollar Man Lee Majors and became Farrah Fawcett-Majors — one of those celebrity name changes (Rebecca Romijn Stamos, Meredith Baxter Birney) that virtually guarantee the couple will split. She and Majors separated in 1979 and divorced three years later.
She was the decade's premier poster girl, with 8 million sold in a year. The number of baby girls named Farrah quickly spiked. A myriad of hairdos went Fawcett-feral. She signed a lucrative deal to front a line of Faberge perfume and accessories. She also furnished the press with aphorisms that might have been recycled from the Marilyn Monroe quote book ("The reason that the all-American boy prefers beauty to brains is that he can see better than he can think"). Some women might shrink from this fame tsunami; Fawcett expertly surfed it as if it were a Great Barrier Reef wave. Her talent, after all, was her ease in being watched, something she'd had much practice at. Her self-regard, which was well earned, found its perfect match in America's voyeurism.
The 1970s needed Farrah Fawcett. Watergate and the Nixon resignation, soaring crime rates and gas prices — bad news everywhere — had the nation in need of a tonic, or a diversion, which is almost as therapeutic. Who could have guessed it would come in the trim form of a Texas blonde with a no-quit smile? That would be Farrah Fawcett, or Farrah Fawcett-Majors, as she called herself in her prime. (Not that there was ever a Farrah Fawcett Minor.)
Fawcett was given a diagnosis of anal cancer in 2003 and after a period of remission, it returned in 2007. She was the third of the original Charlie's Angels to suffer from cancer. Fawcett died in June 2009. A private funeral was held in Los Angeles.
Arguably the last genius decision George Lucas ever made, putting Carrie Fisher in "slave bikini" garb for Jabba the Hutt's viewing pleasure made Return of the Jedi the first Star Wars with a stiffness factor, and inspired countless Princess "Lay-a" jokes. It also did wonders for Carrie's self-esteem, as this look was far hotter than the hair buns.
Judge Reinhold proved to the world in 1982 that he had primo taste when it came to masturbation fantasies. The second best thing to ever happen to a red swimsuit, Phoebe Cates (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) and her willingness to fling off her top (after emerging from a pool in slow-mo) gave new meaning to the term "fast times" for any kid who forgot to lock a bathroom door.
Oedipal conflicts aside, Lorraine McFly, Lea Thompson (Back to the Future) had many of us convinced that the '50s had the hottest babes of any decade ever. From her tendency to sneak a peek at mens' underwear to that curve-showcasing dress she wore to the "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance, it's no wonder Marty didn't immediately puke after she planted one on him.
In 1985, Sean Astin was the luckiest dude alive. Not only was the kid starring in a treasure-hunt movie with the Corey Feldman, but he got to be on the receiving end of a kiss from Kerri Green's (The Goonies) Andy, by far the hottest Goonie (sorry, Stef). The rest of us had to make do with Kerri's short skirt and cheerleader legs, which provided more than enough ammo, so to speak
Another late-'70s erection icon, Jacqueline Bisset wasn't a household name until her infamous scuba-diving scenes wearing little other than a white T-shirt in The Deep. While most teenagers went to the theater too see an underwater flick with one of the guys from Jaws, Robert Shaw was the last thing on their minds once they got home.
If any children of the '80s somehow missed the classic Phoebe Cates topless scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, then they got to know the bikini quite well thanks to a swimsuit-clad Heather Thomas showing off her assets in the opening credits of The Fall Guy. Nothing hotter has ever walked through a set of saloon doors, we'd wager.
After playing a character who gets her leg bit off in her first lead role (thanks, Orca), Bo Derek next showed up in 10, and somehow made cornrows look incredibly sexy. Actually, most eyes were glued to her chest during her now-iconic slow-mo run on the beach, and hell, if Dudley Moore could score with her, any gangly teen with a somewhat erect johnson could, right?
The yin to Tiffani-Amber Thiessen's yang, this Kelly who had more appeal to bad boys (ya know, the glue-sniffing kids). As the ditzy, slutty daughter on Married...With Children, Christina Applegate's penchant for wearing a leather jacket and little else was a revelation for many a red-blooded young male who snuck in half a Married ep when his parents weren't paying attention.
Since Keira Knightley, Domino Harvey in Domino, usually sports corsets or pirate costumes (and makes a more convincing dude than Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom), it was refreshing to see her play a leather-clad, nunchuk-wielding badass who disarms guys with lap-dances. And by "refreshing," we mean "extremely hot."
In the movie, Elizabeth Hurley, satan in Bedazzled, decided that the Dark Lord of Hell would, naturally, be really into playing dress-up: As a hot cop, a hot schoolteacher, and (yes!) a hot cheerleader. The whole thing is like the sexiest Halloween party you've ever been to…just as long as you ignore Brendan Fraser.
Sharon Stone, Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct, has never been hotter than this (see the unfortunate Basic Instinct 2). Her ice queen killer was so goddamn sexy, the flower of her womanhood alone was enough to hypnotize and entire room full of cops (and moviegoers).
Screenwriter Fantasy #101: The scathingly hot foreign exchange student who is inexplicably turned on by nerds. Wish-fulfillment has never looked so good, and neither has Shannon Elizabeth, Nadia in American Pie. We want the scene of her patting her "tummy" while looking at herself topless in the mirror installed on tiny LCD screens inside our eyelids.
Sultry. Seductive. Smoother than single malt Scotch. Man, George Clooney is something. And he needed a love interest that could match him. Jennifer Lopez, Karen Sisco in Out of Sight, fit the bill (and the skirts) on all counts. The scene where she's wearing nothing but short shorts and a Miami Dolphins jersey should not be viewed by anyone with a heart condition (that means you, Dennis Farina).
First, credit where credit is due: Even though she's on the other side of 40, Diane Lane, Ellen Aim in Streets of Fire, is still smoking. But her role as a tough cookie pop singer in a strange, possibly futuristic world is unbeatable. She's like some hybrid of Jessica Rabbit and a less-butch Joan Jett.
We actually should be complaining that Jordana Brewster, Lucy Diamond in D.E.B.S., is the only actress in this movie to not wear a schoolgirl outfit at any point. Still, her lovestruck lesbian criminal mastermind is like that comic book-and-Nyquil-fueled fever dream you had when you were 13.
If Billy Bob Thornton's scrawny ass still didn't give us night terrors, we'd have probably gone with her role in Monster's ("I wanna feel goooood...") Ball. But watching Halle Berry, Jinx in Die Another Day, (if you're nasty) emerge from the water in an orange bikini was so powerful, even Pierce Brosnan almost, for a second, seemed interested in women.
Oliver Stone's epic about Alexander the Great was pretty much a mess, but he fell back on an old trick to keep us interested: The ample bare breasts of a hot actress. Rosario Dawson's, Roxanne in Alexander, "part sex, part Greco-Roman wrestling" match with Colin Farrell was more entrancing than the "part battle scene, part bad LSD at a Dead show" climax.
First of all, we could care less what, exactly, was causing Jessica Biel, Erin in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, to sweat through her wife-beater-hell, it could have been The Texas Spin Class Massacre, just as long as she was drenched and breathing heavily.
It's a special woman who can steal a movie away from a still-in-her-prime Michelle Pfeiffer, but Uma Thurman, Cecile in Dangerous Liaisons, pulled it off (in every possible sense of that term). Bonus for ripping her bodice in a flick that makes us look like we have taste when we rent it, not like we're drooling freaks (which is every other time).
One scene. That's all it took to launch Cameron Diaz's career, Tina Carlyle in The Mask. All she had to do was walk into a bank on a rainy day and bend over, and her cleavage did the rest. Actually, her cleavage would also like to take this moment to personally apologize to you for In Her Shoes.
Even sporting some baby fat and rocking a unibrow, Jennifer Connelly, Josie McClellan in Career Opportunities, still comes in at #3. Not impressed? She also did the impossible by temporarily making the world jealous of Frank Whaley. Oh, yeah, she's that good.
All thick dark hair and bare midriffs as hip hop choreographer Honey Daniels in Honey, Jessica Alba popped and locked her taught body in mind-altering ways. Considering that she's now going generically blonde, it's better to remember her here, at her multi-ethnic best.
Which part of supermodel junkie lesbian do you not understand? That's right, before Angelina Jolie, Gia Carangi in Gia, was trying to feed or adopt the world into submission, she was doing scene after scene of girl-on-girl action. She may be above it all now, but we have our memories (and DVD).
Leoni made her big-screen debut playing Connie - the "Dream Girl" - in the Blake Edwards comedy Switch. A small part in the film A League of Their Own followed, the same year that she landed a role on the short-lived FOX sitcom Flying Blind. Although the series was critically acclaimed, it was canceled during its first season. Tea, pronounced "Tay-uh," means "goddess" in Italian, while Leoni means "lions" in the same language, but we'll just alter that slightly to signify "lioness." The goddess lioness that is Tea Leoni is a lean and femininely muscular sex kitten with a pair of sensationally long legs and a sexy midriff. She did a fair bit of athletic modeling before she hit it big as an actress.
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