It all began with a question from a colleague, after we recalled the bomba days in local films, when even big stars took it all off in front of the movie camera.
He wanted to know if the same thing happened in Hollywood productions, and we casually replied that we did recall seeing such respected actresses as Glenda Jackson and Vanessa Redgrave in the nude in some of their starrers.
He was amazed and wanted to know more, so we did additional research and came up with the amazing discovery that not just a few but many of the film capital’s female stars had taken a deep breath and stripped for moviegoers’ nonprurient delectation!
Our list starts as early as 1932, which was the year when the exotic screen beauty, Hedy Lamarr, walked, swam and chased a horse while clad only in her birthday suit, in “Ecstasy.”
Much later, other iconic actresses also went nude in some of their starrers—Meryl Streep in “The Bridges of Madison County,” Julianne Moore in “Boogie Nights,” Virginia Madsen in “Gotham,” Uma Thurman in “Dangerous Liaisons,” Liv Tyler in “Stealing Beauty,” Gwyneth Paltrow in “Shakespeare in Love,” Sharon Stone in “Basic Instinct,” Juliette Binoche in “Rendezvous,” Renee Russo in “The Thomas Crown Affair,” Madonna in “Body of Evidence,” Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman,” Kate Winslet in “Hideous Kinky” and “Titanic,”
Angelina Jolie in “Gia,” Michelle Pfeiffer in “Into the Night,” Bridget Fonda in “Scandal,” Mariel Hemingway in “Personal Best,” Halle Berry in “Monster’s Ball,” Nicole Kidman in “Eyes Wide Shut,” Jennifer Lopez in “U Turn,” Laura Linney in “Maze,” Drew Barrymore in “Boys on the Side,” Jamie Lee Curtis in “Trading Places,” Salma Hayek in “Frida,” Rebecca de Mornay in “Risky Business”—and even Julie Andrews in “Ten” and the distinguished Helen Mirren in “Excalibur.”
More: Diane Keaton in “Something’s Gotta Give,” Jodie Foster in “Back Track,” Holly Hunter in “The Piano,” Farrah Fawcett in “Dr. T and His Women,” Kate Hudson in “Almost Famous,” Bo Derek in “Tarzan,” Marisa Tomei in “Factotum,” Lucy Liu in “Flypaper,” Sandra Bullock in “Fire on the Amazon,” and Demi Moore in “About Last Night.”
In the light of that long and “distinguished” list, perhaps the question should be: Which female star hasn’t done a nude scene in at least one of her movies? —Uh, perhaps Betty White? On second thought, don’t be too sure about that!
Other tantalizing tidbits: In 1978, Susan Sarandon played a 1917 prostitute in a New Orleans brothel and bared her “treasure chest” for all and sundry to admire. By the way, it turns out that Sarandon is described by some show biz observers as “one of our own most-often-nude stars.” —If you’ve got it, flaunt it?
The hottest nude scene ever? There are many contenders, but the title could probably go to the taboo-busting sexual games in “Last Tango in Paris” (1972), enthusiastically participated in by Maria Schneider and Marlon Brando! Some of the positions they took were so pretzel-like and corkscrewy that they had to be seen to be believed!