Four Iconic Hollywood Stars Who Left a Mark on the Acting Industry

To earn a successful career, you need more than a pretty face and burning desire to succeed.

We all know that breaking into the acting industry isn’t easy, but it is possible. In this article, we’re celebrating the hard work of four individuals who never gave up. Here’s our epic list of iconic Hollywood stars who will forever leave a mark on the industry as we know it.

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Four Iconic Hollywood Stars We Love

We could talk for hours about iconic Hollywood stars. However, we’ve randomly selected four actresses who worked hard to achieve success. They’re the epitome of hard work, passion and talent makes success. No matter what was going on during their personal life, they pushed through and remained dedicated to their craft.

1. Judy Garland

Judy Garland is an actress and singer who was born Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922. She’s starred in musical films, and is known for her troubled life and incredible talent. She started her professional career as a child and sang ‘Jingle Bells’ at her first performance when she was younger than three years old.

Even as a young child, Garland was determined to follow her path to stardom and nothing would get in her way of it. One of her first roles was in Pigskin Parade where she played a girl-next-door type character. She then went on to co-star in Love Finds Andy Hardy with friend Mickey Rooney. The two stars worked so well together that they continued working for future Andy Hardy films.

Garland became a workaholic and extremely passionate and dedicated to her craft. She was under pressure from her studio about her looks and weight, and was even given amphetamines to boost her energy and control her weight. However, Garland quickly became hooked on these substances, amongst others to help her sleep. As a result, drug problems negatively impacted her throughout her career.

But, Garland’s legacy will forever live on through her daughters – Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft. Both of these are singers and carry a varying degree of success. Nearly 50 years after Garland’s death, she still maintains a large, devoted following. Specifically, fan sites are still published and biographies continue to explore almost every aspect of her life. Still to this day, there are areas of her life people are still discovering. The Judy Garland Museum at her birthplace annually celebrates her life and triumphs.

2. Marilyn Monroe

Another of the most iconic Hollywood stars is undoubtedly Marilyn Monroe. The actress was born on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California. After overcoming a difficult childhood, she became one of the world’s biggest and most recognized sex symbols. She’s one of the most influential actresses and grossed more than $200 during her career. During 1946, she encountered plenty of changes – both good and bad. She signed her first movie contract. From this, she began calling herself “Marilyn Monroe” and dyed her hair blonde. However, this look and her acting career didn’t take off easily until many years later. But, Monroe continued working hard and staying focused.

In 1950, Monroe earned a small part in a crime drama called The Asphalt Jungle. This earnt a lot of positive attention and impressed audiences and critics around the world. Many say that this was the birth of becoming one of the most iconic Hollywood stars ever. She became recognized as having a huge acting potential and won various honours and awards for her talent. Three years’ later, Monroe featured in a film called Niagara. This film exposed Monroe’s full acting potential – including showing her comedic side.

Also recognized for her hourglass figure, beautiful looks and breathy tone, Monroe quickly became admired for more than just her acting talent. However, she suffered anxiety before performances which made her ill and became a root cause for future problems on film sets. Throughout her acting career, Monroe signed and released several contracts from different film studios. But, she quickly became tired of dumb-blonde roles and moved to New York City to study acting and improve her skills. As a result, she began playing more challenging roles which earned praise for her performances.

3. Meryl Streep

Without a doubt, Meryl Streep is one of the most iconic Hollywood stars. This award-winning actress was born on June 22, 1949, in Summit, New Jersey. In the 1970’s, she transitioned from stage performances to films which eventually earned her Oscars. Becoming recognized for her amazing work in The Devil Wears Prada and The Iron Lady, she’s recognized as one of the greatest actresses in the modern day. Streep’s unbelievable talent and hard work has rewarded her with a record-breaking 21 Oscars, which she took three.

To this day, Streep is considered one of the best actresses of all time. A graduate of Vassar College and Yale Drama School, she performed on stage and in front of cameras all the time. It wasn’t until the late 1960’s that her acting career really took off on the New York stage.  

Unlike other mature actresses in Hollywood, Streep continued to find challenging roles in the 40’s. She received an Academy Award nomination for her work in a variety of films, including Postcards from the Edge and The Bridges of Madison County. Another of her most recognized work was in Music of the Heart in 1999. By 2000, Streep was busy in her acting career and became influential in Hollywood.

She continued to light up the small screen in television adaptions and tackle several challenging roles. Her role as a villain in The Manchurian Candidate exposed her comic skills which audiences weren’t aware of. This new side of her presented herself in a different light to make her even more adored by people around the world. Particularly, she earned an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for best actress in The Devil Wears Prada.

4. Shirley Temple

Another of the most iconic Hollywood stars is Shirley Temple. Born in Santa Monica, California, on April 23, 1928, she’s a leading successful actress. Before entering politics, Temple took on many serious acting roles as an adult. Her commitment and talents earned a special Academy Award.

At the young age of three, she landed a contract with Educational Pictures. This helped to make her acting debut in many low-budget movies. The exposure of her work in Baby Burlesques led her to another contract with the Fox Film Corporation. At the young age of six, she appeared in her first Hollywood film, Carolina. Under this new contract, she made a further eight films. These exposed her acting, singing and dancing in new lights, and provided she was a top earner for the studio.

As Temple began to age, her popularity reduced. But at the age of 19, she co-starred as Susan Turner in The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. It was during this point that audiences struggled to accept that the young actress was growing into a mature woman. As a result, Temple found it forever difficult to land major roles. But, during the 1950’s, she appeared on the small screen. However, her acting career was never quite the same as compared to her earlier years. Following her death, her family and caregivers praised her life as an actor, diplomat and beloved member of the family.

Who Are Your Favourite Iconic Hollywood Stars?

We hope you enjoyed reading about the lives and triumphs of the above four actresses. Each of these stars came from a different background and set out to achieve unique things. They’re proof that nothing is impossible if you remain dedicated to your craft.

Now that you’ve heard our side of this topic, we’d love to hear from you. Who are your favourite iconic Hollywood stars? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments to keep this conversation going.

Related Article: Broadway Legends Who Left Their Mark on Musical Theatre

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