20 Best Iconic Pin-Up Models Of The 50s

Best 50s pin up models
via pinterest.com

Do you want to know the most iconic 50s pin-up models? Then, there is no need to search and scroll anymore because we have come up with a list of the best models. Pin-up models have been popular for decades.

The photographs of these models became popular and used for postcards, publications, calendars, and newspapers. These models left an impression on pop culture. They wear fashionable outfits to pose for their sensual photographs.

These photos were even used during World War II. At those times, minimal makeup looks were popular. We have included classic pin-up models of 50s from Marilyn Monroe, and Bettie Page, to Josephine Baker. Let’s check out the list to know more about them.

1- Mara Corday

50s pin-up models: Mara Corday

Mara Corday is one of the most popular pin-up models of the 50s. She was born on 3 January 1930 in Santa Monica. She went to Hollywood to make a career in acting and got her first work as a showgirl at Earl Carroll Theatre. Corday played the role of showgirl in the film “Two Tickets to Broadway”.

She acted in films such as Playgirl, Tarantula, The Black Scorpion, and Raw Edge. Mara Corday also became popular as a pin-up model in men’s magazines during the 50s. She became a cult figure at that time in the 1950s.

2- Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren is a legendary actress in Hollywood Cinema. She has a 70-year-long spanning career. She made her acting debut Era lui… sì! sì! It was The Gold of Naples that became her breakthrough film. The actress never looked back and had immense success in acting.

Loren won multiple prestigious accolades Golden Globe Award, Grammy Award, BAFTA Award, Volpi Cup Award, Laurel Award, and Bambi Award. She became one of the most popular sex symbols because of her film roles. She received a Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement at the Berlin International Film Festival.

3- Kim Novak

Kim Novak

Kim Novak is a popular actress from Chicago, U.S. She was born Marilyn Pauline Novak. She won scholarships to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The actress went to Los Angeles for modeling and got an uncredited role in the film The French Line.

Her breakthrough came with Vertigo where she portrayed a dual role. She captivated the audience with her amazing acting. The actress is also famous for his sensual photographs, magazine covers, and shoots as a pin-up model. Empire Magazine named her among the list of 100 sexiest stars in the film industry.

4- Marilyn Monroe

50s pin-up models: Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe was one of the famous pin-up models of the 50s. She was born in Los Angeles, California. Monroe signed a contract with Blue Book Model Agency and was featured as a pin-up model in various magazines and ads. Afterward, she also posed topless and nude pictures for a beer brand commercial.

Furthermore, Monroe’s film debut was Dangerous Years she played the role of Evie. She also founded her own production company. She was ranked the sixth greatest female screen legend from the Golden Age of Hollywood(1999) by the American Film Institute.

5- Gina Lollobrigida

Gina Lollobrigida

Next up is the international sex symbol and actress Gina Lollobrigida. She began her career with modeling. She got the third position in the Miss Italy beauty contest. Gina hogged the limelight appearing in the film Bread, Love and Dreams.

Gina Lollobrigida is considered one of the highest-profile European actresses of the era. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018. She also became a photographic journalist. Gina had been a jury head at the 36th Berlin International Film Festival.

6- Jayne Mansfield

Jayne Mansfield

Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer in Bryn Mawr(U.S.) She won multiple beauty contests like Miss Magnesium Lamp and Miss Photoflash. She took the surname Mansfield from her husband Paul Mansfield. Jayne became a Playboy Playmate and gained popularity.

She began her acting career with the film Female Jungle as a supporting role. Jayne Mansfield was one of the blonde bombshells. Apart from being widely popular, she was one of the most controversial Hollywood stars.

7- Ava Gardner

50s pin-up models: Ava Gardner

The list of iconic 50s pin-up models is incomplete without Ava Gardner. She was born in Grabtown, North Carolina, and raised as a Baptist. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer(MGM) talent scouts saw her. She appeared in the romantic comedy film We Were Dancing.

Ava Gardner was a beautiful actress who became one of the sex symbols in the 1950s era. She was also popular for her relationships and marriages. Her role in The Night of the Iguana brought Silver Shell for Best Actress at the San Sebastián International Film Festival in 1964.

8- Hazel Brooks

Hazel Brooks

Hazel Brooks is another famous model and actress. She was born in Cape Town. The actress shared her childhood was not so good due to her family issues. An MGM scout discovered her while she was a model. She appeared in Du Barry Was a Lady.

Some of her best-known films include The Basketball Fix, Body and Soul, and I Don’t Care Girl. The International Society of Photographic Arts selected one of Brooks’ images(by Durward Garyhill) as the “Most Provocative Still of 1947” in January 1948.

9- Carroll Baker

Carroll Baker

Carroll Baker is a popular actress born in Johnstown, U.S. She has performed in roles for television, theater, and movies. She began her career performing on Broadway. Baker played the role of a flirty bride in the black comedy film Baby Doll. Some of her most popular movies include Something Wild, The Big Country, and How the West Was Won.

Later on, Baker appeared as a sex symbol in the films Cheyenne Autumn, Harlow, The Carpetbaggers, and The Greatest Story Ever Told. Baker’s book, Baby Doll: A Book, which describes her life and her career, was released in 1983. She also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

10- Bettie Page

50s pin-up models: Bettie Page

Bettie Page is one of the most prominent pin-up models of the 50s. Born in Kingsport, Tennessee. She started working as a pinup model and appeared in several men’s magazines. The actress appeared in television shows She is considered the Queen of Pinups.

She was among the first Playmates of the Month featured in Playboy magazine. Her iconic bangs and dressing style became a fashion trend for models and actresses. However, Bettie had a short career, she left an indelible mark on pop culture.

11- Suzy Parker

Suzy Parker

Cecilia Ann Renee Parker aka Suzy Parker was a famous model and actress. She appeared on the Life magazine at just 15. Soon, Parker became Coco Chanel’s signature face. She became extremely popular and appeared on more than seventy magazine covers.

Some of the renowned magazines and makeup brands include Vogue, Look, Revlon, Paris Match, and Redbook. Moreover, Suzy Parker was the first model to earn more than $100 per hour and $100,000 annually. She acted in several movies like  Kiss Them for Me, The Best of Everything, and Chamber of Horrors.

12- Betty Grable

Betty Grable

Betty Grable was born Elizabeth Ruth Grable in St. Louis, Missouri. She participated in many beauty contests. She got an uncredited role in the film Happy Days. Grable got her breakthrough with the musical comedy “Springtime in the Rockies.”

She worked with photographer Frank Powolny on a studio picture session that featured Grable in a tight bathing costume. A poster with a joyful smile was released, and it quickly became the most requested photo among foreign G.I.s.

13- Anita Ekberg

50s pin-up models: Anita Ekberg

The next pin-up model is none other than the hot and sexy Anita Ekberg. She was popular for her curvy physique and stunning looks. She became a fashion model in her teenage. Anita won the title of Miss Sweden in the contest. Later, she signed with Universal Studios.

After appearing in a few films with uncredited roles, she appeared as a pin-up for famous magazines like Playboy. Some of her most notable films include La Dolce Vita, Artists and Models, The Cobra, Bambola, and Screaming Mimi.

14- Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte Bardot is a renowned actress and singer from Paris. Her career started as a fashion model. She appeared on the Elle magazine cover. Bardot played minor roles in films like Crazy for Love, The Long Teeth, and The Grand Maneuver. Her breakthrough film was Naughty Girl.

Bardot also tried her hand at singing and became a successful artist. Various publications and magazines named her among the Most Beautiful Women list. A signature neckline named after her has a broad neck revealing shoulders i.e. the Bardot neckline.

15- Cleo Moore

Cleo Moore

Cleo Moore was one of the most popular pin-up models of the 50s. She was born in Galvez, Louisiana. Her debut film was “Embraceable You”. The actress became famous as a blonde bombshell for her roles in multiple films. She portrayed the role of Myrna Bowers in the film On Dangerous Ground.

Moore got retired from acting after the film “Hit and Run”. Afterward, she became a successful businesswoman in the real estate sector. While she had a short acting career, she became popular through her shoots and magazine cover appearances.

16- Josephine Baker

50s pin-up models: Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker was a multitalented personality. She began her career performing in theatrical shows. It was Broadway’s Shuffle Along that propelled her to recognition. Her dance performance was Danse Sauvage in which she wore a revealing skirt made of artificial bananas. The novelist Ernest Hemingway cited her as “the most sensational woman anyone ever saw.”

She assisted the French military intelligence service in obtaining information from Germans during World War II. General Charles de Gaulle appointed Baker a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur, and the French Committee of National Liberation gave him the Resistance Medal and the Croix de Guerre.

17- Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge is one of the black actresses who became successful in Hollywood. She was born in Cleveland, U.S. She performed at various prominent nightclubs including Apollo Theatre and Cotton Club as “The Dandridge Sisters”.

With the film Tarzan’s Peril, she became highly popular for her revealing costumes. She appeared on the magazine cover of Ebony. Dorothy became the first black woman to appear on the cover of the magazine Life. Carmen Jones is one of her most successful films that earned her an Academy Award nomination.

18- Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt was a talented singer and actress. As Katherin Dunham’s Company member, she sang multiple hits including C’est si bon, Kâtibim, and Santa Baby. Kitt portrayed Catwoman in the live-action TV series Batman and BBC series The Good Old Days.

She appeared in several movies including New Faces, Synanon, Fatal Instinct, Preaching to the Choir, and And Then Came Love. Apart from that, she was a dancer and comedian too. Eartha Kitt was one of the black actresses and pin-ups who earned fame.

19- Yvonne De Carlo

50s pin-up models: Yvonne De Carlo

Yvonne De Carlo was born on 1st September 1922 in Vancouver. Her journey started with participating in several beauty contests. She danced in popular nightclubs in Los Angeles. She got recognition as an actress with the movie Salome, Where She Danced. The actress toured the US Army bases to promote her movies.

Additionally, she was the first movie actor from Canada to visit the State of Israel in 1951. De Carlo also acted in television and stage works. She was nominated in 2005 for the American Film Institute’s 100 Years… 100 Stars list, along with 250 other female Hollywood giants.

20- Cyd Charisse

Cyd Charisse

Actress Cyd Charisse was born Tula Ellice Finklea. She suffered from polio in her childhood. She learned ballet dancing in Los Angeles. Later, she joined and danced in the Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo. Charisse also worked with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer(MGM) as a dancer and actress.

Cyd Charisse hogged the limelight with lead roles in films like Sombrero and The Band Wagon. In 2006, she received the National Medal of the Arts and Humanities. Charisse also became a pin-up model for her fashionable trends and photoshoots.

Also, you must know the best famous Latina and Hispanic actresses.

We have considered the best pin-up models of the 1950s. Hope this post was helpful to you, please do like and share it. Follow us to get more anticipated posts.