Attack of the Bs – The Greatest B-Movie Actresses
B-movies are a staple of American cinema. The rules don’t apply there, so you might as well check your hang-ups at the door. What follows is a list of the 50 greatest B-movie actresses. Does that mean they are the 50 most talented? Not by a long shot. Enjoy.
Sister of actress Natalie Wood, Lana Wood was best known for her role in the James Bond film Diamonds are Forever but that would be the high point of her career. She would appear in twenty other films of dubious quality, notably A Place Called Today and Demon Rage.
Yes, at one point Drew Barrymore was a B-movie actress. Rebounding from a troubled childhood, Barrymore re-established her career. From 1992-1994, Barrymore starred in B-movie clunkers Gun Crazy, Poison Ivy, and Doppelganger.
Betty Page was more well-known for her modeling than acting. Most of the stuff she did film was burlesque.
Hazel Court was a British film actress who specialized in horror films in the 50s and 60s.
Roman always knew she wanted to act from childhood. Her first role was in the serial called Jungle Queen.
During the blaxploitaition era, Gloria Hendry was the alternative to Pam Grier. Not as endowed in the bra department as Grier, Hendry was still a capable actress managed an air of respectability even if some of her films couldn’t.
Melinda Clarke gained a her first true measure of fame in the television series The OC. Before that, she made her way through some notable B-film sequels, Return of the Living Dead 3 and Return to Two Moon Junction.
Sometimes, your looks typecast you even before your talent, or maybe lack thereof ever has a chance. Diora Baird has big breasts and she is pretty. Hollywood apaying public are blind to anything else.
Married to rock star Gene Simmons, Shannon Tweed came to personify the late eighties, early to mid nineties B-movie stars. Shannon Whirry and she battled it out between the sheets of directic-to-vid erotic thrillers.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Dahl became a lesser version of Grer Garson. She played similar parts that Garson would play in A-list productions.
Best remembered for being murdered by the Manson family, Tate’s acting career was just beginning when her life was ended on that terrible night. What she might have been, we shall never know.
Actress and singer, Dolores Fuller was the one time girlfriend of Ed Wood.She famously gave Ed the sweater off her back, not because he was cold. He just liked how he looked in it.
Mary Beth Hughes
Thw quintesennial 40s and 50s B-Movie starlet.
You know you’re a B-Movie actress when you make a bad movie with the king of B-movies – Gunslinger and Roger Corman respectively.
Lansing would frequently play the arm candy in films and thus, as a result her costumes were never that complicated.
Sherilyn Fenn had the face and the body and the lck of inhibitions for B-movies of the late 80s to the mid 90s. Two Moon Junction is a bad movie. Fenn does what she can bnot wearing clothes.
It would be a stretch to call the signifcant other of cult film director Jess Franco a B-movie actress. Difficult even to call her an actress as Franco probably shot more film of her crotch than anything on Ms. Romay.
Married to B-Movie actor Lorenzo Lamas, Kinmont the acting ladder somewhat slightly. Whereas, in the beginning, she had to take her bra off, she, later was sometimes given the option to leave it on.
A more talented actress than Kinmont, Barbara Crampoton suffered from the worse curse possible, coming of age in 80s film.
Liverpool born Barbara Steele became the queen of Italian gothic horror in Italy in the 1960s and would not relinguish that title for a while.
Stella Stevens was a pretty good actress and not just a pair of big breasts. She got her start posing for Playboy but did some pgood movies before shewould call it a day. Most notably, Slaughter opposite Jim Brown.
lLynley would play the lead in Otto Preminger’s Bunny Lake is Missing. Not too long afterwards, Lynley’s career would go missing as well.
Pretty German Elke Sommer came over to co-star in A Shot in the Dark, the first appearance of Peter Sellers Inspector Closseau.
B-movies. Name your pleasure and Tiffany Shepis has been there and done that. The modern day definition of the Bovie actress. Grab your Oxford and look up B-movie actress and you’ll see Tiffany’s picture.
Old school B-movie actress, Digard, from the sixties and seventies, was the epitome of the hippie sex queen. Well endowed and vibrant, the Swedish born Digard wasn’t a very good actress in the traditional sense. In fact, it was best not having her read lines period.
Phoebe Cates become an icon by getting out of a pool and taking off her top. No, she wasn’t that type of actress.
The key to success in the 1970s even if you weren’t greatly attractive? Take off your clothes. Caffaro’s movies are pure 1970s fun.
Before Dynasty, Joan Collins, for the most part, was a B-movie actress. Don’t believe me? Then, how do you explain The Bitch and The Stud?
Gained a certain level of fame with Lloyd Kaufman and Troma Studios. Debbie Rochon is one of the busiest actresses you will ever meet.
Erin Brown, aka Misty Mundae, has redefined the B-movie Queen and proved the Girl-next-Door is far hotter.
Classic Hollywood actress. Marie Windsor was the epitome of B-movie glamor.
Coming up in 1950s Hollywood, Carroll Baker was the next “It-Girl.” In the mid-60s, she had enough of Hollywood and jumped ship to Italy where she starred in giallo and B-type films.
“The Queen of the Nudies” Marsha Jordan was the first popular B-movie queen in cinema.
Karen Black defied classification. She just made movies, period. Some were good; others, not so much.
Jayne Mansfield loved to play up the fact that she had big breasts. As the 50s became the 60s, that was all she had.
Another one that might get some argument over. Russell’s most famous The Outlaw was pure B-movie and, save for the odd entry, most of her work followed suit.
The English Mamie Van Doren. They were all Marilyn Monroe’s children.
Mamie Van Doren
Imitators are proof you have arrived. Examine cultural pre and post Marilyn Monroe to see what I mean.
One of the leading contenders who could be crowned Queen of the Modern Bs, Quigley has a work ethic like no other.
Exotic and beautiful, Montez was not the traditional doe-eyed blonde, thus her dye was cast.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis started out a scream queen. She had greater ambitions but we remember her beginnings.
Gloria Grahame just looked the part of a Femme Fatale and acted it too. On and off the big screen.
Not very talented, Sylvia Kristel still gave acting her all. She became the embodiment of Emmanuelle Arsan’s sexually voracious alter-ego.
The Queen of Italian Cinema a B-movie actress. Sorry, Sophia Loren, but you ain’t got nothing on Edwige Fenech.
One of the most under-appreciated actresses of all time, Joan Blondell had talent to burn. An equivalent to would be Lucille Ball.
Shannon Whirry was the main rival of Shannon Tweed in the mid-90s direct to video erotic thriller department.
In the mid to late 90s, as Milano was transitioning to adulthood, she starred in Embrace of the Vampire. Enough said.
Ursula Andress became famous as Honey Ryder in James Bond film Dr. No. She formed a career by doing films such as The Sensuous Nurse.
Pam Grier got into acting by chance. She was a secretary at Roger Corman’s AIP Prod. company and Corman saw her and said, “You’re up.” Experience didn’t matter to Corman as long as you didn’t lose him any money.
Lucille Ball a B-movie actor? The queen of TV? In 1951, when I Love Lucy started, no self-respecting actor would be caught dead watching a TV, much less being on one. It took a B-movie actress to show the potential of TV.