black and white image of a group of women wearing 1920s attire

100-Year-Old Photos of the Most Beautiful Women of the Last Century

As we all know, our standards of beauty have changed so much. What was considered beautiful 50 years ago, likely is the exact opposite now. Not to mention there is so much more that makes someone beautiful than just their looks – their brains, brain, and what they accomplished are also so important! That said, there are so many women throughout history who are just timelessly stunning. We’ve compiled a list of 21 of these amazingly gorgeous ladies who, no matter what year it is, would still be considered beautiful today. Virtually all of these photos are 100 years old, give or take a decade or two, and are in no particular order. Enjoy!

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Anna May Wong

Considered to be the very first Chinese American Hollywood actress. Anna’s real name was Wong Liu-tsong. It is pretty obvious how she made it onto our list! Not only was she extremely beautiful, but talented too. Her varied career spanned silent film, sound film, television, stage, and radio,

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100-Year-Old Photos of the Most Beautiful Women of the Last Century
© Everett Collection / East News

Gabrielle Ray

Gabrielle Elizabeth Clifford Cook was born in April of 1883. Gabrielle was the star of many comical musicals and was also thought to be one of the world’s most beautiful women.

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Actress Gabrielle Ray, 1913 Painting by Celestial Images
fine art america

Luzon woman of the Philippines

This historical image known as “A woman from Luzon, an island in northern Philippines” is from 1875 and proves that we do not need photoshop and airbrushing to create beauty.

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100-Year-Old Photos of the Most Beautiful Women of the Last Century
© Francisco Van Camp / Wikimedia Commons

Lena Horne

This American dancer, actress, singer, and civil rights activist was born in June 1917. The stunning Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was one of the most stunning women of her time, and still is!

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Lena Horne
essance

Mary Pickford

Canadian-American Mary’s real name was Gladys Marie Smith. Her acting career lasted for five whole decades. Here is one of her most iconic photographs.

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100-Year-Old Photos of the Most Beautiful Women of the Last Century
© Everett Collection / East News

Coretta Scott King

As if her name did not give it away, Coretta Scott King was the wife of Martin Luther King Jr. Not only was Coretta absolutely stunning, but a talented author, activist, and naturally, a civil rights leader.

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essence

Read: There’s a Ghost Among These Women. Do You See It?

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Maude Fealy

Born in 1883, Maude was well known for her acting in silent films as well as on stage. Maude was also one of the few who transitioned into the era of film with sound. Here is an iconic image of her beauty.

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100-Year-Old Photos of the Most Beautiful Women of the Last Century
© Everett Collection / East News

Katherine Dunham

One of the most talented and gorgeous women on our list is an American-born dancer, choreographer, creator of the Dunham Technique, author, educator, anthropologist, and social activist.

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Katherine Dunham | Known as: Dancer, choreographer - Life: 1909-2006 | Katherine Dunham was a change agent in American dance in the 1930s, tapping into the origins of Black dance and Caribbean choreography and integrating them into American entertainment. Dunman had her own dance troupe, and was one of the founders of the anthropological dance movement. She was a director in the Federal Theater Project, a government-sponsored relief program for artists that included Orson Welles and John Houseman. (Library of Congress)
Chicago Tribune

Doris Stocker

The beautiful British actress and singer, especially in Edwardian musical comedy. Doris was born in 1886 in India.

100-Year-Old Photos of the Most Beautiful Women of the Last Century
© maudelynn / tumblr

Agnes Ayres

Another actress from the era of silent movies, Agnes Ayres was one of the most popular silent stars of the 1920’s. It’s pretty obvious why she’s on our list, too. The woman was absolutely stunning!

Agnes Ayres
flickr

Carolina Otero

Carolina’s full name was Agustina del Carmen Otero Iglesias. The stunning woman was a Spanish actress, dancer, and courtesan. Her beauty was renowned, as was her taste for many men!

Carolina Otero
instagram

Gypsy girl with mandolin

A painting by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot in 1875, we are sure the model was as beautiful as her portrait.

Gypsy girl with mandolin
pinterest

Rita Martin

Margareta Rita” Weir Martin was not only beautiful in pictures, but took beautiful photos too. Martin took portraits of many suffragists and was a suffragist herself.

Rita Martin
art

Read: Photographer Captures Women From All Over The World To Challenge The Way We See Beauty

Ione Bright

Born in 1887, the American theatre actress was active in Broadway and other theatres from 1908 to the early 1950s. Ione was one of the most beautiful women of her time.

Ione Bright
wiki

Lily Elsie

Born Elsie Cotton, Another Edwardian era’s most stunning singer/actress.

File:Lily elsie 12.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
wiki

Valli “Valli” Knust

Born in Germany, Valli was a musical comedy actress and silent film performer. Valli spent most of her life in England as she had English accent.

NPG x101926; Valli Valli (née Valli Knust) - Portrait - National Portrait  Gallery
national portrait gallery

Cleo de Merode

Cléopâtre-Diane de Mérode was a ballet dancer born in September 1875. As you can see, her face is as beautiful and exotic as her name

100-Year-Old Photos of the Most Beautiful Women of the Last Century
© akg-images/EAST NEWS

Marian Anderson

Philadelphia-born Marian Anderson was gorgeous as well as extremely talented. Throughout both Europe and the United States, Marian performed with renowned orchestras in major concert and recital venues where she sang both opera and spirituals.

Marian Anderson | Known as: Opera singer - Life: 1897-1993 | Marian Anderson was one of the greatest American contraltos of the 20th century and the first African-American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera. When the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow Anderson to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., in 1939, the public was outraged. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt invited her to sing instead at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday the same year, in a performance heard by millions of radio listeners. She was later a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and a U.S. State Department goodwill ambassador, and in 1963 was one of the first-ever Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients. (London Express/Getty Images)
Chicago tribune

Maude Adams

Maude Ewing Adams Kiskadden was born in 1974. The stunning actress first preformed in a Broadway show of Peter Pan!

100-Year-Old Photos of the Most Beautiful Women of the Last Century
© Portland Center Stage

Josephine Baker

Born in 1906, this American-born French dancer and singer symbolized the beauty and vitality of Black American culture. She captivated Harlem, Paris, and the world with her beauty, flapper spit curls, and rosebud lips.

Josephine Baker
Associated Press via NBC

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Jade Small
Freelance Writer
Jade is a freelance writer and content creator from South Africa with over 7 years of experience writing and creating. She's also a proud single mom to a super 13-year-old boy.
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