WEIRDLAND: Movies celebrating blondeness: from Marilyn Monroe to Reese Witherspoon

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Movies celebrating blondeness: from Marilyn Monroe to Reese Witherspoon

Elle Fanning wears a Closed top, $92. Just Cavalli dress. Noir Jewelry choker, $65. Source:

"Being a Southern person and a blonde, it's not a good combination. Immediately, when people meet you, they think of you as not being smart". -Reese Witherspoon

Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe in "Gentlemen prefer blondes" (1953) by Howard Hawks -do our current gentlemen prefer blondes or brunettes better?

Through the years, golden and platinum haired movie stars have garnered plenty of notice; think Jean Harlow, Mae West and Marilyn Monroe, as well as Ms. Monroe’s less famous contemporaries like the late Jayne Mansfield – mother of Law and Order star, Mariska Hargitay and wife of the late Mickey Hargitay, a Mr. Universe and actor – and Mamie Van Doren, who is still alive and by all appearances living la-vida-blonde-bombshell.
In the 1960s, the image of the voluptuous blonde was further promoted, particularly by television actresses like Donna Douglas who played Elly Mae Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, Melody Patterson known for her role as Wrangler Jane on F Troop, the late Sigrid Valdis – wife of the late Bob Crane – as Hilda on Hogan’s Heroes and none other than Barbara Eden on I Dream of Jeannie, to name a few.
The ‘60s also gave us Elizabeth Montgomery playing Samantha Stevens in Bewitched, Beverly Owen as Marilyn Munster in The Munsters and Goldie Hawn, of Private Benjamin and The First Wives Club fame, in Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. Oh, and Ms. Hawn is the mother of talented blonde actress, Kate Hudson.
Not to be forgotten, from that period, is blonde “sex kitten” of French cinema renown, Brigitte Bardot. Other famous, foreign blondes would come along in later years. Two “Bri-blondes”, blonde haired women with names beginning with “Bri” are Britt Ekland and Brigitte Nielsen.
Ms. Ekland, born in Sweden, is most famous as a Bond girl. She was in 1974’s 007 film, The Man With the Golden Gun, starring Roger Moore as James Bond. She was married to actor Peter Sellers, with whom she had a daughter, Victoria Sellers, and was later romantically involved with rock star Rod Stewart. She wrote a book, True Brit.
Each passing decade has presented us with blondes who’ve been looked to for their aesthetic appeal. The 1970s gave us Farrah Fawcett, as Jill Munroe, in the first incarnation of Charlie’s Angels, a then popular television show. Fans of Ms. Fawcett will recall she died at a relatively young age, on June 25th, 2009, the same day as King of Pop Michael Jackson and a couple of weeks before venerable, CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite. (What a sad time that was!)
The 1970s’ Charlie’s Angels also included blondes Cheryl Ladd, as Kris Munroe, and Shelley Hack, as Tiffany Welles. Tanya Roberts, another angel, was not blonde in the show but eventually went that way, making a film outing as a golden haired gal in 1984’s Sheena and then as Bond girl, Stacey Sutton in 1985’s A View to A Kill, starring Roger Moore as 007, and Christopher Walken as villain Max Zoren. Roberts would go on, in later years, to a recurring role, as Midge Pinciotti, in That 70s Show.
Contemporary Charlie’s Angels fans will remember the gorgeous Cameron Diaz as blonde hottie, Natalie Cook, in both 2000s Angels movies. Rachael Taylor is the presumptive blonde cutie for the latest Charlie’s Angels flick, in her role as Abby Sampson, which according to is currently filming.
The 1980s gave us such blonde glamour gals as Heather Locklear, who was on the small screen simultaneously in Dynasty and T.J. Hooker and another, but no lesser blonde Heather, in Heather Thomas, who worked opposite Lee Majors in The Fall Guy.
Lee Majors was married to Farrah Fawcett and starred in the television show The Fall Guy with previously mentioned blonde stunner Heather Thomas. Heather Thomas shares a name with Heather Locklear who was friends of blonde Denise Richards who was married to Charlie Sheen.

Jenny McCarthy and Charlie Sheen in the episode 'Chocolate Diddlers or My Puppy's Dead' of the hit CBS show "Two And A Half Men"

Charlie Sheen starred in Two and a Half Men, where Jenny McCarthy guest starred. The blonde hits just keep on coming.

Of course, looking at blondes in pop culture and the impact they’ve had, via the big or small screen, no list could be complete without the inclusion of perennial blonde vixen and Playboy cover gal, the always fun Pamela Anderson. Ms. Anderson first claimed television fame on Home Improvement, opposite Tim Allen, as Lisa, the “Tool Time” girl and most famously as C.J. Parker on Baywatch.
The music industry has been home, over the years, to any number of women who were natural blondes or took a blonde turn, presumably to capture the imagination of the public.
Blonde, gone blonde or part time blonde singers include Joey Heatherton, Susan Anton, Pia Zadora, Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, Debbie Harry of, yes that’s right, Blondie, the late Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics, Dolly Parton, Madonna – remember the Blonde Ambition tour – Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera – Spears and a brunette Aguilera shared a kiss with Madonna on the MTV Music Awards in 2003 – Jessica Simpson, Avril Lavigne, Stefani Germanotta – the inimitable, Lady Gaga – and Latinas, Charo, ThalĂ­a, Paulina Rubio ( “rubio” means blond in Spanish,) Shakira – whose hips don’t lie – and Gloria Trevi.
There have been movies celebrating blondeness. Marilyn Monroe’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes comes to mind. But more recently, Legally Blonde and Legally Blonde 2 starring Reese Witherspoon, worked to debunk the dumb blonde stereotype.

Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal, co-stars in "Rendition" (2007)
Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, co-stars in "Water for Elephants" (2011)

Reese Witherspoon in Total Film March 2011

Then there’s the late Anna Nicole Smith, who to many, particularly when she was at her best, personified the big, beautiful blonde. She like Marilyn Monroe, Farrah Fawcett, Pamela Anderson, Rena Mero and others, appeared in Playboy Magazine.

Indeed, Playboy has done a lot to promote blonde-appeal. There are Playboy blondes Jenny McCarthy and Shannon Tweed who came to prominence through the magazine. More recently, there’s the trifecta of blonde-dom from E Entertainment’s The Girls Next Door: Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson. The show was cancelled but those gals still get attention.
Holly Madison currently stars in the production, Peep Show, at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

We should not overlook the fact that actress Lindsay Lohan, who garners quite a bit of tabloid attention, is a sometimes blonde.
Is it only a matter of time until the glowing power of golden locks is injected into the United States’ national debt and deficit dialog? Will President Obama face off against Speaker of the House John Boehner and debate ways in which plastic surgery bills can be cut down, by instead leaving overhauls of looks to a change of hair color and resolving aesthetics deficits through a bottle of peroxide?

Then again, the expression, “Blondes have more fun, but brunettes get things done”, comes to mind. Hmmm, smoldering brunettes; that’s a topic that will have to wait for another day, but the list is sure to be long as well". Source:

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