Ursula Andress in Dr. No. Photo: YouTube
Its summertime in the city and the heat is on putting us in the mood for the ocean, a long stretch of sand and our itsy-bitsy bikinis (polka-dots optional). Its also the kind of weather that brings to mind the iconic two-pieces that set the tone for sexy swimwear: fur-trimmed jams that would make a caveman sing, a barely-there white bikini equipped with a blade harness and even the outliers a ruby red one-piece that left little to the imagination. Read on to find out which 16 women revolutionized the bikini and defined the standard of rocking bodies to wear them.
1. Bo Derek in 10
This corn-rowed cutie had men everywhere breaking a sweat while watching a hot body rub in the movie 10 (who knew applying your own sunscreen could be an act of seduction?). While not exactly a bikini, Dereks clingy beige one-piece was a sexy, next-to-naked substitute that still remains a classic to this day.
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2. Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Watching just 30 seconds of Cates in her infamous red bikini would leave any Peeping Tom wanting more. The voyeuristic scene made adolescent boys blush and older men pant, but no one was more affected than Judge Reinhold (as Fast Times‘ Brad Hamilton), letting his imagination run wild from behind the bathroom window.
3. Pamela Anderson in Baywatch
Anderson took the lifeguard job description to a whole new level in a skimpy one piece that did more for her career than even the teeniest of two-pieces ever could. The show was a hit and made Anderson a household name, though we wonder if the audience watched more for the opening credits than the beach-action drama that ensued afterwards.
4. Jessica Alba in Into the Blue
Alba left tongues wagging in her perfectly mismatched bikini in 2005s Into the Blue. While she left the bikini behind to pursue a successful television and blockbuster career, this movie was a showcase for her bangin bod and the jumpstart she needed to be noticed in Hollywood.
5. Gloria Hendry in Live and Let Die
Hendry broke the racial barriers of the Bond franchise with her fiery performance as Rosie Carver, the first African American Bond Girl to be romantically involved with 007 (Trina Parks was actually the first black Bond Girl in 1971s Diamonds Are Forever). With a funky fro, killer abs, and tie-dyed two-piece, Hendry left an impression in the minds of Bond fans for years after Live and Let Dies premiere.
6. Nicolette Sheridan in The Sure Thing
Who can forget Sheridan in a white bikini pulled up to there (and no camel-toe in sight a true feat). The beautiful blonde made everything but her body seem irrelevant in a cameo that paved the way for the many sexy roles to come throughout her career.
7. Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C.
Raquels famous fur-trimmed bikini didnt spend much time in the water but that doesnt make it any less iconic. The cave-chic design hugged Welch in all the right places, leaving tongues lolling for centuries to come.
8. Demi Moore in Charlies Angels: Full Throttle
Call it a comeback if you will, but well call it an ode to all women over 40 who think life in a bikini ends after childbirth. Moore showed off her perfectly-toned body in a little black number that was the talk of the town even after Hollywood put the Charlies Angels franchise to rest.
9. Ursula Andress in Dr. No
When the white bikini of all white bikinis made its debut on Andress picturesque frame, it set a the bar for all the Bond Girls thereafter.
10. Carrie Fisher in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
This bikini is part metal, part leather, but 100 percent sexy. Its clear that the potent mix of Leias bravery and bodacious body was how she captured the hearts of Star Wars diehards the world over.
11. Salma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn
Hayek entranced viewers in a seductive wine-colored two-piece in From Dusk Til Dawn. While we could do without the toe sucking, its no wonder a man would take a kick in the face: her erotic dance had even the snake riled up.
12. Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde
As the buxom and bubbly Elle Woods, Witherspoon gave Harvard-hopefuls renewed faith that the admissions process didnt have to be all about grades a well-oiled bikini clad body in an application tape can do the job just as well. We wonder if Elle’s method would work on term papers, too.
13. Jessica Simpson in The Dukes of Hazzard
Full disclosure: men didnt flock to this movie to witness Simpsons acting prowess. In a hot pink string bikini, Simpson proves that a little skin can go a long way when trying to divert the long arm of the law.
14. Halle Berry in Die Another Day
Taking a cue from Ursula Andress’ classic knife-at-hip bikini, Berry took the look up a notch with a fiery orange bikini and a fierce cropped hairdo. Were just surprised that Pierce Brosnans binoculars didnt melt looking directly at Berry could make even the inanimate smolder.
15. Beyonc in Goldmember
Beyonc personified the word bootylicious in her eye-widening turn as Foxxy Cleopatra in the final installment of the Austin Powers series. The film showed Knowles in a range of bikini tops from army green, to a sizzling orange, to a gold number that was hot enough to upstage her freewheeling ‘fro.
16. Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Leave it to Jolie to make a black bikini anything but basic. Her characters haltered bikini had men flocking to the nearest movie theater proving, again, that Angelina in black can make for box office gold.