FurGlamor’s Top 12 Actresses

Comments on the last post got me to thinking a little harder about my favorites, so I decided to try and get them down, all official-like. So here is my entirely subjective personal opinion on the top 12 fur wearing actresses of the last 80 or so years (mostly minus the last 20 since they… sucked). If you’re thinking I started with 10 then remembered some more, then you’re absolutely correct. After I post this, I’ll probably remember a lot more.

Greta Garbo

This list technically covers fur wearers only, but Garbo is also on top of my all time most-attractive list, with or without fur. It’s the face, really. That face is the greatest ever, and for once I’m not alone in having that opinion. Actually, all of these women share that quality, the face is what I first “fall” for, Garbo just does it best.

Greta Garbo - Inspiration - 1931

Greta Garbo - Inspiration - 1931

Notable Fur Films: Inspiration

Marlene Dietrich

I really went controversial with the top 2, picking two of the most highly regarded women in the world. Dietrich has the face and the furs to frame it with, and certainly a sultry voice to back up the entire package.

FurGlamor- Marlene Dietrich - Shanghai-Express - 1932

Marlene Dietrich - Shanghai-Express - 1932

Notable Fur Films: Shanghai Express, Pittsburgh, The Scarlet Empress (lots of fur, but way too “period” for my tastes.)

Barbara Stanwyck

Her films from the 30’s are the source of some of the best furs filmed, and she certainly backed them up with beautiful features and masterful performances. If there’s going to be a “tough broad” in the picture, than Barbara is the one for the job.

FurGlamor - Barbara Stanwyck - The Mad Miss Manton - 1938

Barbara Stanwyck - The Mad Miss Manton - 1938

Notable Fur Films: Breakfast for Two, Baby Face, Lady of Burlesque, The Mad Miss Manton

Joan Crawford

As usual, the sad, wish-it-weren’t-needed, caveat of “early” Joan. Her youth and beauty in the 30’s and early 40’s was exquisite. We can just conveniently overlook what happened later.

FurGalmor - Joan Crawford - The Bride Wore Red - 1937

Joan Crawford - The Bride Wore Red - 1937

Notable Fur Films: Mannequin (1937), The Bride Wore Red, They All Kissed the Bride, Ice Follies of 1939

Ann-Margret

That face and that wonderful red hair, a beautiful combination. Red is my favorite hair color, and I generally like it like I like my fox fur coats: lacking any shred of subtly. Ann’s fame put her in some of the “lean” years of fur fashion, but she managed to find her way into some stunning fox coats from time to time, like this one in Once A Thief, a film I’ve not yet seen.

Ann-Margret - Once A Thief - 1965

Ann-Margret - Once A Thief - 1965

Notable Fur Films: The Swinger, Once A Thief (maybe)

Natalie Wood

Broken record at this point, but I said what I liked at the top and Natalie Wood is, in fact, another pretty face. I could even imply something stereotypical like: Miss Zakharenko’s Russian heritage makes her natural in fur. Much like Ann, she experienced super stardom in the 50’s and 60’s, which makes it more difficult to find her in great furs.

FurGlamor - Natalie Wood - The Great Race - 1965

Natalie Wood - The Great Race - 1965

Notable Fur Films: The Great Race

Sophia Loren

I don’t think Italian heritage can make for any dumb statements about how well you wear fur, but it certainly didn’t hurt Miss Loren’s lovely features. Her most productive years were similar to Natalie’s and Ann’s, so finding Sophia in exceptional furs is a little tricky, but there are a few gems.

FurGlamor - Sophia Loren - The Millionairess - 1960

Sophia Loren - The Millionairess - 1960

Notable Fur Films: The Millionairess

Morgan Fairchild

Ah, the 1980’s report in at last. Miss Fairchild embodied the 80’s blonde in big furs, and she did so with the utmost glamor and class. If there was an 80’s mega fox coat in the picture, she probably wearing it. After saying that, here’s a shot of her in lynx.

FurGlamor - Morgan Fairchild - Paper Dolls - 1984

Morgan Fairchild - Paper Dolls - 1984

Notable Fur Films and TV: Paper Dolls, Any other 80’s soap she was ever on, most likely

Anna May Wong

Absolutely gorgeous in fur, though sadly not afforded nearly as many opportunities to wear it as her contemporaries. If I had a time machine, I’d go back and fix that. If nothing else, that suggests I have really bad priorities.

Anna May Wong - Piccadilly - 1929

Anna May Wong - Piccadilly - 1929

Notable Fur Films: Piccadilly

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy’s lovely features are framed by my second favorite hair color: black. Not dark brown, or really dark brown, or even so-dark-brown-it’s-almost black; no: black. This kind of black is a gleaming obsidian set off so nicely by a thick, white fox. There’s some good films with Hedy in fur, but they’re harder to find for some reason.

Hedy Lamarr in White Fox Fur. 1938

Hedy Lamarr in White Fox Fur. 1938

Notable Fur Films: I Take this Woman

Joan Collins

This may be a controversial choice only because she’s so low on the list. If it makes any ardent Joan fans feel any better, this is like the top 10 of all actresses ever, so, percentile wise, this is still huge. Joan is actually here more for the 70’s than the 80’s, since Morgan covers that. She pretty much nails it in The Bitch. I know, date-wise that’s almost a technicality, but it’s still the 70’s.

Joan Collins - The Man Who Came to Dinner - 1972

Joan Collins - The Man Who Came to Dinner - 1972

Notable Fur Films and TV: The Bitch, Dynasty

Lucille Ball

The downside is strong, but much like ignoring what happened later with Miss Crawford, assuming Miss Ball’s career ended in the mid 40’s means she’s one of the fur wearing greats in film. Back when she was young and doing films, she was quite the classic beauty, and commonly draped in beautiful furs.

FurGlamor - Lucille Ball - Dance Girl Dance - 1940

Lucille Ball - Dance Girl Dance - 1940

Notable Fur Films: Annabel films, Dance, Girl, Dance, Easy to Wed

That wraps up my current top 12, at least until I remember more. Feel free to try and help me out in the comments. Or suggest that I’m wrong, and also a doo-doo head; you can do that too.

Bonus points for throwing out names of any actress from the last 20 years. I should point out you’ll need to do better than one or two furs, and, if you’ve been reading for any amount of time, you should know I’m not going to look kindly on any suggestion that includes mink. There are a number of modern actresses I’d like to put on the list, but they can’t make the grade fur-wise.

5 Comments to “FurGlamor’s Top 12 Actresses”

  1. The top fur wearers of all time according to my collection of publicity pics, stills and candids (excluding Marilyn Monroe and Myrna Loy) The actresses wear a different fur in each photograph ie not the same fur pictured more than once and are only photographs of them in their prime

    14) Alice Faye 42
    13) Bette Grable 45
    12) Bette Davis 49
    11) Ann Sothern 55
    10) Rita Hayworth 57
    9) Kay Francis 60
    8=) Loretta Young 63
    8=) Norma Shearer 63
    8=) Ginger Rogers 63
    7) Lana Turner 64
    6=) Claudette Colbert 69
    6=) Jean Harlow 69
    6=) Joan Bennett 69
    5=) Irene Dunne 77
    5=) Barbara Stanwyck 77
    4) Marlene Dietrich 78
    3) Carole Lombard 84
    2) Mae West 87
    1) Joan Crawford 120

  2. I found it hard to pick twelve actresses that really stood out as fur/film favourites.
    I have lots of fur films films but different actresses appeared in them.
    If i take a quality of fur/quality of film/appeal of actress the I am down to the same six:

    Irene Dunne – my favourite actress. I thought that she was such a brilliant character actress and so beautiful. When I watch her films it makes me express so many different emotions PS some of her films did not appeal to me.

    Marlene Dietrich – she has got to be one of the sexiest women ever, in her prime she was absolutely faultless.

    Loretta Young – not a bad looking woman but boy, did she wear a lot of fur

    Kay Francis – she was so glamorous and also wore a lot of fur.

    Claudette Colbert – again she was so glamorous and so beautiful and she wore lots of fur. I especially liked her as she always played nice ladies; until I watch Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife which was a real shock

    Constance Bennett – furs, furs and more furs. She was also so glamorous and she was the actress that I fancied the most; a shame about the age difference.

  3. I found it hard to pick 10, that’s why I ended up with 12.

    I could probably add more, and Lana Turner and Carole Lombard are strong candidates from your more “scientific” list. I’m actually kind of surprised Dietrich wasn’t the top in a list like that. Mae West is a solid entry, but her face doesn’t do much for me. Actually that applies to most any actress not on my list. Again, entirely subjective to my tastes.

    Irene Dunne will certainly be featured if I ever do a “Top 10 Fur Coats” list.

  4. A number of great names here but a natural bias towards Hollywood greats so allow me to add one of European Cinema’s finest to your list: Catherine Deneuve. Fur wearer on and off screen for years her notable film fur appearances, just from the few of her films that I have seen, include:

    – Belle de Jour (1967)
    – Le dernier métro / The Last Metro (1980)
    – Drôle d’endroit pour une rencontre / A Strange Place to Meet (1988) * Very special mention for mink lovers! *
    – Est – Ouest / East – West (1999)
    – 8 Femmes / 8 Women (2002)
    – Potiche (2010)

    Enjoy!

    Regards,
    Mr Mockle

  5. Ah, Miss Deneuve is certainly a solid choice for any list of famous fur wearers. She’s stuck with it too, admirable trait. She’ll definitely go into consideration for an updated list.

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