The 1950s was the era of blonde and brunette actors and actresses, and zany comedians. The genres like romantic comedies and musicals had not lost their spark till this time, and people still loved watching such shows and movies. However, in this decade, the dark dramas and suspense thrillers marked their way into the industry and brought a lot of money to the box office. With all the popularity this era of entertainment enjoyed, the most asked question about the 50s is who were the most famous television stars of these times.
We all know the names of Marlon Brando, James Stewart, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and many more actors and actresses whose names still shine in Hollywood. Along with these actors and actresses, several other talented and beautiful stars thrived during the 50s.
To make it easier for Hollywood lovers to know about the famous stars of the 1950s, check out the following list of all the legendary actors and actresses of that era:
1. James Stewart (1932-1991)
James Stewart, an actor from Indiana, Pennsylvania, US, was one of the most famous stars of the 1950s. He was especially known for his roles as an everyday man facing real-life issues. During the 1950s, he appeared in the famous film “Rear Window” by Hitchcock classics. Throughout his fifty years of career as an actor, Stewart starred in several hit films. Some of these famous films include “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Vertigo,” “The Philadelphia Story,” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”
Along with being an actor, Stewart was also a veteran military officer. Due to this, he was one of Hollywood’s most respected and honored stars. Stewart was popular for his extremely down-to-earth personality and signature everyday man acting style. Stewart’s career as an actor spanned fifty-five years with starring in over 80 films.
2. Clark Gable (1918-1960)
Clark Gable, also popularly known as “The King of Hollywood,” became one of the most renowned names of Hollywood in the 1950s, after starring in films like “Band of Angels” and “The Tall Men.” Gable started his acting career appearing in Hollywood silent films as an extra between 1924 and 1926. Later on, he starred as a leading role in some famous films like “It Happened One Night,” “The Misfits,” “Gone with the Wind,” and “Cinema Paradiso.”
Sadly, Gable’s acting career did not last long, as he died in 1960 at 59. However, his amazing films and memories stayed behind.
3. Marilyn Monroe (1945-1962)
There would be hardly any Hollywood fan who doesn’t know about Marilyn Monroe. We can say that she was an actress who got famous as the most admired sex symbol in the 50s. Monroe rose to the heights of popularity after playing the comic role of “Blonde Bombshell.” This was also the role that made her the popular sex symbol of Hollywood.
Monroe was the perfect example of a classic Hollywood actress. In the 1950s, Monroe starred in films like “The Seven Year Itch,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” “Some Like It Hot,” “The Misfits,” and “All About Eve.” Sadly, her death at the age of 36 in 1962 didn’t allow her to enjoy a long career as an actress.
4. Humphrey Bogart (1921-1956)
Humphrey Bogart was considered the “Greatest Male Star of Classic American Cinema.” This American Actor was a true example of a man that every woman wanted and every man wanted to be like. During the 50s, Bogart worked in several hit films and became a popular name among Hollywood’s male actors. The most famous films that he starred in include “The Big Sleep,” “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” “Casablanca,” “The African Queen,” “The Harder They Fall,” and “The Maltese Falcon.”
Bogart broke through the supporting roles to the lead roles after appearing in movies like “The Maltese Falcon” and “High Sierra.” His role in Casablanca is considered the most significant romantic role he played until this date, as this role was the reason behind his first-ever nomination for the Academy Award for the Best Actor.
In 1957, Bogart died of esophageal cancer, and his death marked a full stop to an era of the amazing roles he played over the years.
5. Shirley MacLaine (1952-present)
Shirley started her acting career in 1955 with the film “The Trouble with Harry.” She got nominated six times for the Oscars throughout her career and at last won one in 1984. Along with being an actor, MacLaine is also a singer, author, and activist. The popular films she starred in include “Steel Magnolias,” “The Apartment,” “Valentine’s Day,” “Terms of Endearment,” and “Being There.”
In the 50s, her eccentric, quirky, and headstrong roles played a significant part in portraying strong and independent women. She has spent almost seven decades of her life serving in Hollywood, but the charms she spread in the 50s would never be forgotten.
6. Audrey Hepburn (1948-1989)
Audrey Kathleen Hepburn was a British actress who ruled the world of Hollywood during the 1950s. Hepburn was widely renowned and recognized as a fashion and film icon. She started her acting career in 1948 by playing minor roles in films and as a chorus girl. In 1951, she got her first big role in a Broadway play called “Gigi.”
In 1953, Hepburn became the first actress to win an Oscar for her role in the famous Romantic comedy, “Roman Holiday.” After working in this movie, Hepburn starred in several worldly renowned films, including “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Charade,” “My Fair Lady,” “Sabrina,” “Funny Face,” and “Wait Until Dark.”
People still praise Hepburn’s beauty, fashion sense, and acting skills, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that there wouldn’t be an actress like her again.
7. Elizabeth Taylor (1942-2007)
Elizabeth Taylor, who started her acting career as a child actor in the 1940s, reached the heights of fame during the 50s, and her name is still known in the entertainment industry as the “seventh greatest female screen legend of Classic Hollywood Cinema.”
If we talk about the films she starred in during the 1950s, “Father of the Bride,” “Giant,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “A Place in the Sun,” and “Suddenly, Last Summer” are just a few out of all the amazing films she was a part of. She was an actress who was critically acclaimed for almost all her roles and won several awards during her active years as an actress.
8. Sophia Loren (1950-Present)
In 1950, at the very young age of sixteen, Loren started her acting career as a child actress. Before she signed the contract with Paramount in 1956, Loren had already appeared in several films, playing small and supporting roles. During the 50s, Loren had just started her career as a star and the films she starred in during this decade include “It Started in Naples,” “Houseboat,” and “The Pride and the Passion.”
Even though the 1950s was the decade of her debut, she still managed to rule the hearts of thousands of fans with her beauty and outstanding acting.
9. James Dean (1950-1955)
Although James Dean worked as an actor only for five years, he still became the only Actor who posthumously received Oscar Nominations more than once. He was an actor who would go off-limits for his work, which is why Dean rose to the heights of fame in the short span of just five years. The films that he worked in include “Giant,” “Trouble along the Way,” “Rebel Without a Cause,” “Sailor Beware,” and “East of Eden.”
Unfortunately, in 1955, Dean died in a car crash near Cholame, California, while heading to a sports car racing competition. He is remembered as the “Cultural Icon” of teenage disillusionment of the 1950s.
The 1950s were undoubtedly the Golden years of the film industry, as this decade gave the world of entertainment plenty of gems. During this decade, several extraordinary and talented stars ruled the industry and enjoyed the heights of fame. The list of the famous actors and actresses of the 50s is so long that we can never fit it all in one article.
However, most of the actors and actresses we listed are not among us anymore, but their work and the talent they had are still known and praised, and it will stay the same for many coming years.