Stunning photos show the evolution of Hollywood’s beach beauties

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Curator and photo preservationist David Wills has shown the evolution of ‘seaside couture’ in Hollywood through a series of stunning colorized photos in Hollywood Beach Beauties: Sea Sirens, Sun Goddesses, and Summer Style 1930-1970, published by Dey Street, an Imprint of William Morrow. Some stars were sent to Santa Monica beach to be photographed in the sun to promote a new film while others posed on the beach front for movies and private photographers. Click through to see all of the stunning shots…



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Bette Davis 1932. Bette Davis made a bid for bombshell status in rare pin-up publicity photo for her role in the 1932 pre-Code crime melodrama Three on a Match. The beautiful actress is 24 years old here.



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Rita Hayworth, 1938. Hayworth was 19 in 1938 and on the verge of Hollywood stardom when this photo was taken. She became Hollywood’s ‘Love Goddess’ and in 1948, was being pursued by Ari Onassis and the Shah of Iran after her marriage to Orson Welles failed.



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Curator and photo preservationist David Wills has shown the evolution of ‘seaside couture’ in Hollywood.



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Gardner, pictured again here in 1944, quickly became a Hollywood golden girl, constantly in demand. She married three of her leading men, Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra.



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Joan Crawford, 1949. Crawford, pictured here on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii when she was 44 years old, was considered the perfect image of a movie star by director George Cukor. It was noted that you could photograph her from any angle and her face moved beautifully.



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Marilyn Monroe, 1950. Blonde bombshell, Marilyn Monroe, was considered a ‘hot tomato’ in 1950 after signing a contract with 20th Century Fox. She had just appeared in The Asphalt Jungle and was about to become Hollywood’s ultimate sex symbol. She’s 24 in this photograph.



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Janet Leigh, 1950. Leigh, who was best known for her role in Hitchcock’s thriller, Psycho, in 1960, was one of Hollywood’s busiest actresses appearing in six movies in 1949 alone. This photo was taken circa 1950 when the actress was 23 years old.



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Audrey Hepburn on the beach at Rottingdean, East Susses, England, circa 1951. She was on loan that year to Associated British Pictures Corp and appeared in three movies but received little attention. She was still an unknown in 1951 but would go on to become one of the most famous actresses of all time. She’s 22 years old in this shot.



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Ann Blyth, 1952. Blyth, now 91 years old, is one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood. She made several unremarkable films before being cast as Joan Crawford’s daughter in Mildred Pierce in 1945 and skyrocketed to fame. She’s 24 in this beautiful beach photo.



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Grace Kelly, 1955. The future princess of Monaco posed in this yellow beach dress when she was 26 years old. She may not have known it at the time, but her starring role in To Catch a Thief, which debuted later that year, would propel her into the pantheon of Hollywood film stars, onto the best-dressed lists and ultimately Monaco’s royal palace.



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Marilyn Monroe, 1959. When this photo was taken, Monroe’s marriage to playwright Arthur Miller was crumbling and she was pregnant with his child and preoccupied with gaining weight as well as losing the baby — but always stunning, she still looks fabulous in this modest beach shot. She’s 33 years old in this photograph.



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Elizabeth Taylor, 1959. Taylor, pictured here while filming Suddenly Last Summer, would make movie history in this white one-piece. The dazzling suit paired with her iconic black hair and red lip would later become one of the most iconic swimsuits in the history of film. The actress was 27 years old when this photo was taken.



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Natalie Wood, 1961. The same year this photo of Wood was taken on a beach wearing a wrap swimsuit, she cemented herself in film history as Maria in the musical West Side Story. The film, and it’s beautiful leading lady, exploded at the box office. She’s 23 in this shot.



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Ursula Andress, 1962. The original Bond Girl in the 1962 film Dr. No, Ursula made headlines around the world as the striking Honey Ryder when she was 26 years old. ‘This bikini made me a success,’ the actress later said. ‘My entrance in Dr. No wearing the bikini on that beautiful beach now seems to be regarded as a classic moment in cinema.’



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Annette Funicello, 1963. Annette’s career segued from Mouseketeer in the mid-50s to beach party movies when surfing exploded on the scene in music, television shows and commercials in the 60s. She’s pictured here at age 21.



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Tina Louise, 1964. Louise is pictured here as Topaz McQueen in For Those Who Think Young. The actress stunned in the beach movie in 1964 when she was 30 years old, but she’s best known for her role as Ginger Grant in the classic TV show Gilligan’s Island as well as many other TV appearances.



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