30. Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone's canniness sets her apart from the dumb-blonde stereotype. By flashing her crotch in Basic Instinct, she earned herself a permanent place in sex-symbol infamy.

 

29. Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson is Marilyn Monroe nouveau for the more learned, David Foster Wallace-toting man. With a throaty voice that can carry a Tom Waits tune, her mystique is a marriage of classic and contemporary.

 

28. Jacqueline Bisset

Jacqueline Bisset's breasts, glimpsed through a soaking wet white t-shirt, are pretty much all anyone remembers about The Deep.

 

27. Penelope Cruz

Watching Penelope Cruz requires nearly all five senses just to keep up with the lilt of her Spanish accent, the gleam of her hair, and the intensity of her sex appeal.

 

26. Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie's tattooed, I'll-either-kick-your-ass-or-get-you-to-sponsor-a-starving-orphan approach to sensuality is the envy of the girl next door. Her black-widow vibe places her in a grand tradition of vampy sex symbols stretching back to Theda Bara.

 

25. Bo Derek

Some of the women on this list overcame almost insurmountable odds to hold their title as sex symbols. Bo Derek overcame cornrows. In 1979's 10, Derek jogged straight from the beaches of Mexico into the nation's wet dreams.

 

24. Demi Moore

With a sleek curtain of black hair framing a sharp, take-no-prisoners face, Demi Moore resembles no one else on this list. Her fierce, aggressive performances made her a unique sex icon for the '80s and '90s.

 

23. Betty Grable

Thanks to one widely distributed photo, Grable became the predominant pin-up girl for soldiers in World War II. Her legacy is lasting: Hugh Hefner has cited Grable as the sole impetus for his decision to launch Playboy magazine.

 

22. Catherine Deneuve

The star of Luis Bunuel's provocative classic Belle de Jour remains a sex symbol for the ages. In 1985, the French government hired Catherine Deneuve — already famous as an actress and Playboy model — to pose as national emblem Marianne, proving once again that sex appeal is high on their list of national virtues.

 

21. Monica Bellucci

Monica Bellucci has the kind of objectively undeniable beauty and genetics-defying figure that make you a sex symbol; that she happens to be a great actress is a considerable bonus.

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