Then and Now: What 6 Biggest Sex Symbols of the 20th Century Cinema Look Like Today

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Where are they now? A look at the 20 century's biggest female sex symbols and what they look like now.

Sophia Loren

Sophia’s rise to fame from a small-time model to one of the most popular actresses of the 20th century was nothing short of spectacular. Sophia says it’s important to remain a child at heart and always expect the best regardless of your age. Since retiring from acting, she’s published several books and dubbed several films.

Brigitte Bardot

Regarded as one of the biggest sex symbols of the second half of the 20th century, Brigitte Bardot became an ardent animal rights activist and retired from acting at a relatively young age of 39, at the peak of her career and popularity. Today, despite being in her 80s, she continues to take part in animal rights campaigns.

Catherine Deneuve

Catherine became world-famous after the triumph of the musical film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg at the Cannes film festival in 1964. A year later she played the lead in Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, which further cemented her status as a major star. Catherine is in her late 70s now but she keeps acting: the most recent film she appeared in is 2021’s Peaceful.

Gina Lollobrigida

Italian actress Gina Lollobridgida’s practically flawless beauty brought her worldwide fame and love of thousands of people, with many generations of viewers becoming fans of the movies she starred in. She retired from film in the late 1990s. She left the gig on 16 January 2023, at a ripe old age of 95.

Raquel Welch

American actress Raquel Welch rose to fame after appearing in a major role in the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage. Her other big project was A Million Years BC, in which she only speaks a few lines but wears a deerskin bikini. The publicity photo for that movie became a best selling pinup; it’s even featured in Stephen King’s Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption as one of the posters Andy Dufresne uses to cover up the hole in the wall of his cell. In Europe she appeared in L’Animal alongside Jean-Paul Belmondo.

Ursula Andress

Originally from Switzerland, Ursula became a 1960s sex symbol after playing Bond girl Honey Ryder in the first James Bond film Dr. No in 1962 alongside Sean Connery. At age 17, Ursula ran away to Rome with a French actor in a bid to succeed as an actress and she pulled it off. Her career kept going strong throughout the 1960s. In the 1970s it started going downhill with the actress appearing in increasingly more obscure projects.