What the Iconic Women We’ve Seen in Movies Looked Like in Real Life


Femmes fatales are also the main protagonists in the film. With their beauty, they mesmerise men, and these men in turn change the world in the name of love. But in real life, things are not that easy. To make these women famous and charismatic would require more than their appearance. It had to be something else in history that made their names go down.

Bonnie Parker

© Bonnie and Clyde / Warner Bros.© Eastnews

“A literal” couple “of robbers became world-famous during the Great Depression in the US. Bonnie and Clyde were their names. The way the storey goes is that these two met each other at a mutual friend’s house. The waitress was Bonnie Parker, and she hated her life. It seemed to her that Clyde Barrow was just the man with whom she would never be bored. She was demonised when Bonnie Parker was alive. Not only did the media call her a thief, but also a cop killer, even though it was never confirmed that she had been involved in any of the cases.

A Bonnie and Clyde film that won 2 Oscar awards was released in 1967 and Faye Dunaway played this famous American criminal.

Lina Cavalieri

© La donna più bella del mondo / G.E.S.I. Cinematografica© Eastnews

Lina Cavalieri is an Italian opera singer who began her career in restaurants as a singer and finished it on world-famous stages. She was one of the first photo models, and all European cities sold the cards with her photographs. She was in love with Aleksandr Ivanovich Baryatinsky, but the emperor wouldn’t allow him to marry her. Cavalieri got married several times after that, but she was not satisfied with all of these marriages.

In the movie Beautiful but Dangerous, Gina Lollobrigida portrayed the opera singer.

Barbara Radziwill

© Epitafium dla Barbary Radziwillówny / Zespol Filmowy “Perspektywa”© Wawel Royal Castle / Wikipedia

The Queen of Poland, Barbara Radziwill, was also the Grand Duchess of Lithuania. She was married to Sigismund II Augustus, who loved her madly. But Bona Sforza, her mother-in-law, despised her. It is assumed that, after becoming Queen, she was the one who poisoned Barbara. After the death of his wife, Sigismund II never spoke to his mother again.

There is a legend that goes along with the name of Barbara: it is assumed that her spirit is still roaming around Nesvizh Castle, where a spiritual seance was once held by Sigismund II Augustus just to see his beloved wife at least once more. Barbara remained in the castle, but she made a promise to her husband that he would die in the Castle of Nesvizh so that they could be together. Unfortunately, Sigismund died in Knyszyn, so their souls are forever separated, as the legend goes.

In An Epitaph for Barbara Radziwill, the storey of the Polish Queen was revealed in 1982. Anna Dymna played the principal part.

Anne Boleyn

© The Other Boleyn Girl / BBC Films© anonymous / Wikipedia

Anne was the second wife of King Henry VIII of England. When he saw the young Anne, Henry was already married. He fell in love with her instantly, and this love was so deep at first sight that he even managed to get divorced, which was no easy feat back then. Anne and Henry got engaged and then she revealed her personality’s worst side. She was outrageous, she was spending a lot of money, she was having lavish, indulgent parties. The King was not a dumb man, and he knew this easily and moved on, finding Jane Seymour as another mistress. He then sentenced Anne Boleyn to death for her infidelity.

The English Queen’s sad storey can be seen in The Other Boleyn Girl. Natalie Portman portrayed her.

Wallis Simpson

© W.E. / Lionsgate© Eastnews

In 1936, King Edward VIII of Britain agreed to abdicate the throne only to marry the American actress Wallis Simpson, who was twice divorced. Edward was 36 years of age when they met each other and Wallis was just one year younger. When they first met, she was a married woman, but this did not stop the Prince from telling her during their second meeting about his feelings. The relationship grew rapidly and the pair were not afraid of walking in public together.

Edward was meant to become King after his father’s death, but he never did. His parents gave him a choice: either love or the throne, and he chose love. Up until he died of cancer in 1972, Wallis and Edward lived together.

Madonna directed a movie about the love between an American actress and a British king. In the movie W.E., Andrea Riseborough played the part of Wallis Simpson.

Mata Hari

© Mata Hari / Star Media© Eastnews

Also known as Mata Hari, Margaretha Geertruida ‘Margreet’ MacLeod was a dancer, a courtesan, and… Yeah, a spy. She moved to Paris after an unhappy marriage. Mata Hari began to perform Eastern dances there and soon became a popular star. This made it possible for her to meet a wealthy man, then another one, and another one. Many men wanted to spend their time with Mata Hari, and only the wealthiest and most powerful were the ones she selected.

During World War I, German intelligence recruited the dancer, who maintained the same lifestyle in several European countries. She became an informant for the French at some stage later. She cracked really soon in France, was sued, and executed six months later.

There is a TV series named Mata Hari and Vahina Giocante portrays the primary role.

Queen Victoria

© The Young Victoria / GK Films© Henry Pierce Bone / Wikipedia

Great Britain was booming during the reign of Queen Victoria, and people loved her for that, but also for a different cause. In the lives of the common people, Victoria gradually diminished the power of the monarchy and she was an example of a person who was able to survive without luxury. The Queen was deeply in love with Albert, her husband, and he loved her, too. Together, the spouses had 9 children who later married members of royal dynasties all over Europe.

The Young Victoria is a movie in which the Queen is portrayed by Emily Blunt.

Isadora Duncan

© La Danseuse / Les Productions du Trésor© Charles L. Ritzmann / Wikipedia

Isadora Duncan was Sergei Yesenin ‘s famous dancer, companion, and muse. She travelled across the United States and Europe but still called teaching her calling. In 1921, she came to the Russian Empire, where she was given the chance to open a dance school and get help with funding. This was the time when Yesenin had met her and he had become her husband. The marriage did not last long and the poet grew tired of living with the popular dancer in 1923 and wanted to divorce her because he was used to being the centre of attention in his community.

There are several movies about Isadora Duncan, and very recently a movie called The Dancer was released with Lily-Rose Depp.

Which of the famous ladies do you think has been the best portrayed? And who are you interested in adding to our list? In the comment section below, inform us.

Preview photo credit Mata Hari / Star MediaEastnews