Ranking them was not easy, but we can't say it wasn't fun.Expect more fun next week, when we get intimate with Paul Newman and forty-nine other male sex symbols; in the meantime, read on. Cameron Diaz An accomplished goofball, Cameron Diaz fits snugly between the "dippy blonde" and "flirtatious spitfire" tropes that define most sex symbols.Her blue eyes and long legs meet sex-symbol prerequisites, but it's her remarkable capacity for playing innocent in the face of overwhelming innuendo that secure her the spot. Helen Mirren A highly-lauded and wise English actress like Helen Mirren should hardly be diffident, but when today asked about her notoriety as a '60s and '70s sex symbol, she blushes.Demure as she may be now, looking at her in earned her a place on this (or any) list of female sex symbols.A style icon is one thing; a great actress another.A sex symbol can be neither, though our favorites are both.The iconic image of her lounging in a bed of hay with an intimidating snarl on her face caused a stir with the censors, thanks to the work of a widely-publicized brassiere. Marlene Dietrich Dietrich's high cheekbones and exotic stare in pummeled audiences into aroused submission without her ever having to say a word.
No one could ever forget the torn fishnets and precocious sexuality of "basic pleasure model" Pris in . Rose Mc Gowan If Jessica Rabbit were not a cartoon character, she would have made this list. Nothing." That and her nudity in made her a uniquely discomfiting jailbait sex symbol. Gina Gershon With her pouting mouth, upturned brow, and long, dark hair, Gina Gershon appeals to men, women, and anyone in between.She's made her mark on contemporary sexual iconography with memorable roles as sexual chameleons, taking both gay and bisexual roles in . Dolores Del Rio Dolores Del Rio's natural beauty hit the screen at a time in the 1930s when makeup and coy mugging were the dominant flavors. Megan Fox An icon for our time, Megan Fox's parted full lips and sloping eyebrows evoke the image of Elizabeth Taylor on a stripper pole. Monica Vitti As Michaelangelo Antonioni's muse and the star of , Italian actress Monica Vitti feasted on the public's gaze like a wolf.As the first Mexican actress to ascend to critical acclaim, Del Rio was an alternative (and for the time, exotic) reprieve from the band of blonde bombshells crowding the sex-symbol market. Charlize Theron The versatile Theron was as comfortable in the absurd universe of , proving that true beauty lies in adaptability. With her long, fawnlike lashes and impeccably structured face, Vitti inspired a sense of adventure and longing that somehow made lust feel like high art. Eva Mendes If Eva Mendes' ass is not insured, it should be. But in that later film, audiences came to appreciate more about Mendes than just her curves — she was able to match Johnny Depp's smoky sex appeal without breaking a sweat. Lucy Liu There's something ominous and commanding about Lucy Liu's sexuality, whether she's in full business wear or a kimono.Her piercing glances and cutting line readings started commanding attention and libidos in , proving that you don't need whips or chains to be every inch the dominatrix. Anita Ekberg You could argue that Fellini made Anita Ekberg a sex symbol with her frolic through the Trevi Fountain in But with a perfect pin-up physique and purposely staged wardrobe malfunctions, the Swedish-American, wide-mouthed blonde probably would've done it on her own. Aishwarya Rai Aishwarya Rai is an unreal, uncommon beauty worthy of the title Miss World, which she took home in 1994.
The women on this list inflamed the lusts of entire generations.
Many of them changed the cultural history of sex itself.