LIFE With Actresses on the Brink of Fame

Actress Rita Moreno demonstrates the "sexy-sophisticated" type, 1954.
Loomis Dean—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Actress Rita Moreno demonstrates the "sexy-sophisticated" type, 1954.
Actresses
1939
1961

There’s nothing quite like charting the ascent of a major new Hollywood player, and as the premier pictorial weekly of its era, LIFE magazine was uniquely positioned to feature more than a few famous faces early in their careers, well before they became bona fide stars.

Here, LIFE.com offers a gallery of some of moviedom’s most celebrated (and gorgeous) young talents on the very brink of life-altering fame, from Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn to Kim Novak, Ann-Margret, Liz Taylor, Rita Moreno, Catherine Deneuve and other film legends.

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