Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Friday, November 5, 1999 Published at 15:01 GMT


Loren voted most beautiful

Still commanding attention: Sophia Loren in Canada this week

Screen legend Sophia Loren has been voted the world's most beautiful woman.

In an age where youth is everything, the 65-year-old actress won a victory for maturity by beating a host of younger stars for prime position in a poll carried out by UK beauty company Beautiko.

[ image: Raquel Welch: Stunning at 59]
Raquel Welch: Stunning at 59
She was joined in the Top Five by two other older beauties - Joanna Lumley, 53, and Raquel Welch, 59.

Caroline Quinn of Beautiko said: "It is a surprising accolade for the more mature stars who have made sure that they still look stunning in their 50s and 60s.

"Sophia Loren, Joanna Lumley and Raquel Welch typify a generation of women who manage to defy the years."

The firm compiled a Top 20 list from a poll of more than 3,000 UK men and women aged between 20 and 40. It will use the results to help in its wider research into attitudes to looks at the close of the century.

Glamorous "granny" Loren beat Liz Hurley to the top spot with Cindy Crawford in third place. Fourth was Pretty Woman Julia Roberts, closely followed by the Absolutely Fabulous Joanna Lumley.

[ image: British beauty Joanna Lumley still looks
British beauty Joanna Lumley still looks "fabulous"
Michelle Pfeiffer, Caprice and Raquel Welch were ahead of Catherine Zeta Jones in the Top 10, in which Gwyneth Paltrow came last.

Countdown number-cruncher Carol Vorderman proved that brains can be attractive by coming in at Number 17, ahead of Coronation Street's Tracy Shaw and Titantic songstress Celine Dion.

While the cool sophistication of Queen Noor of Jordan earned her the Number 20 slot.

Anthony Edwards, who helped Beautiko devise the poll, thinks that asking an equal number of men as women had a significant bearing on the results.

"Young women today may look at someone like Sophia Loren and admire the way she looks, but they aspire more to being sexy, pretty or a ladette," he says.

[ image: Runner-up: Liz Hurley]
Runner-up: Liz Hurley
He continues: "Men however seem to be looking for something more. They are taking better care of themselves and what they want and admire in women are looks that are classically beautiful."

The list, with photographs of the 20 women who attracted the public vote, will be placed in Europe's largest time capsule, the 100 cubic metre Millennium Vault.

This will be sealed for 1,000 years at the start of the millennium and will present a broad spectrum of 20th century trends for the people of the year 3000.

Top 20 for beauty

1. Sophia Loren
2. Elizabeth Hurley
3. Cindy Crawford
4.Julia Roberts
5. Joanna Lumley
6. Michelle Pfeiffer
7. Caprice
8. Raquel Welch
9. Catherine Zeta Jones
10. Gwyneth Paltrow
11. Ulrika Jonsson
12. Pamela Anderson
13. Claudia Schiffer
14. Naomi Campbell
15. Dolly Parton
16. Madonna
17.Carol Vorderman
18. Tracy Shaw
19.Celine Dion
20. Queen Noor of Jordan

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Entertainment Contents

TV and Radio
New Media

Relevant Stories

10 Sep 99 | Wales
Welsh actress's 'best-dressed' accolade

16 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Bogie tops list of screen legends

22 Mar 99 | The Oscars 1999
Italy salutes Oscars hero

17 Aug 98 | Entertainment
Sophia Loren cancels film festival appearance