Ranked: Every Best Actress Oscar Winner By Sexiness

Why is Dame Maggie Smith sexier than Grace Kelly? Because we say so. 

By Nerve

Every year come Academy Award season, there are lists upon lists ranking all sorts of attributes across all sorts of categories. Here at Nerve, we're interested in the sexiness of every woman who has won the Best Actress Oscar, and they are quite the sexy bunch.

Don't fear, we didn't rank them according to their physical appearances -- there are plenty of sites for that -- that would be boring and arbitrary. Instead, we've factored in the intangible, the intelligence, the gumption, sassiness, and drama of these talented women, alongside their physical sex appeal. It's this unique combination that makes anyone truly sexy.

What follows is a heterosexual woman's objective, scientific list ranking the absolute sexiness of seventy of the world's most celebrated actresses. Enjoy.

70. Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon has been in an okay movie or two, but you couldn't call her sexy. She sort of looks like a toddler who put on a giant blonde wig and its mother's high heels. Essentially, she's got the sex appeal of a My Little Pony. Next!


69. Loretta Young

Loretta Young was beautiful, but she was known for her squeaky-clean image in a time where all images were pretty squeaky-clean. We're not saying she wasn't talented, because she was, but we would rather not. 


68. Janet Gaynor

First-ever Oscar winner, Janet Gaynor went from being a shoe salesgirl to winning her Academy Award for best Actress. Janet Gaynor won her Oscar for silent films, but she scores low on the list because we like a woman with a mouth on her.


67. Joan Fontaine

Playing opposite Cary Grant in 1941's Suspicion, Joan Fontaine garnered praise for her rendition of a drab housewife who becomes paranoid that her husband is plotting to kill her. In real life, she had a lifelong feud with her sister, fellow Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland, and was completely bitter about the institution of marriage. Not so sexy.


66. Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwen is lithe and lovely. She looks like a princess or some sort of elf, but all her focus on organic homemaking and only drinking green liquids turns us off. 


65. Louise Fletcher

Louise Fletcher might be an extremely talented actress, but nothing about her iconic, frigid turn as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest inspires warmth in our loins.


64. Patricia Neal

While she had an appealing, timeless look, Patricia Neal was best known her matriarchal, middle-aged roles in films like Breakfast at Tiffany's and Hud


63. Marie Dressler

Marie Dressler might not have been much to look at, but she became one of the greatest box office draws of her era. Starting as a Broadway star in 1892, she went on to become one of film’s best-loved comediennes. Funny is always sexy.


62. Helen Hayes

While playing a French farmer's daughter in The Sin of Madelon Claudet might sound like a role ripe for sexiness, Helen Hayes brought more of an enfeebled helplessness than a naive charm to the part.


61. Susan Hayward

Hayward rose to prominence through her role as an alcoholic in 1947's Smash-up, the Story of a Woman, then won the Oscar for her portrayal of a female death row inmate in 1958's I Want to Live!. Both were brave, non-traditional roles for women at the time. 


60. Ellen Burstyn

Requiem for a Dream is so unsexy that it taints this otherwise talented actress for the purposes of this list.


59. Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews was a wonderful actress, but she's most famous for two roles in which she plays a nanny. We're just not into it. 


58. Frances McDormand

McDormand's film debut was in the Coen Brothers' first movie, Blood Simple. Since then she's played a wise, small town cop, an over-anxious mother, and a cheating spouse. I kind of think she's sexy, but then I also remember her helicopter parenting in Almost Famous and it scares me.


57. Julie Christie

A pop icon in "Swinging London," Julie Christie starred in Darling as a young model sleeping her way to the top. Though she looked good in a yellow bikini, her grimace during the crying scenes takes her down a few pegs. There's no way to unsee that.


56. Holly Hunter

Maybe it's her association with the film Thirteen, a film that tried so hard to be edgy that it became boring and unwatchable, but I sort of find Holly Hunter a bit boring. 


55. Jane Wyman

Hollywood legend Jane Wyman was the first wife of Ronald Reagan. However, the divorced when he was still a Democrat, so she's got that going for her. 


54. Sally Field

Sally Field has always killed it, as a flying nun or a maternal figure, but sexually I'm just not that into it. 


53. Emma Thompson

It was really sad when she cried at Christmastime listening to the saddest Joni Mitchell song of them all. A male in the office just noted that he "feels like I could get a date with her if I wanted to, and that accessibility makes her very sexy to me." Okay.


52. Cher

The ratio of the amount of time Cher looked like a beautiful flower child to the amount of time she has looked very surgically altered is quite low. Thus, she's fairly low on this list. 


51. Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli is an odd looking lady these days. Perhaps she overdid it on surgeries a bit, but we don't really care. She's a zany lady with a gorgeous voice and a self-deprecating sense of humor. And vertigo.


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