Young and pin-thin celebs may line the glossies at the checkout counter, but when it comes to Tinsel Town’s sexiest, neither attribute seems necessary, if even desirable.
If Encino, Calif.-based polling firm E-Poll Market Research is to be believed, the average age of Hollywood’s 15 sexiest celebrities is 36. And unlike the shrinking divas of young Hollywood — a cadre that includes Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and the Olsen twins — most of the women on E-Poll’s list have something else in common: curves.
Topping the list is shapely Latina Salma Hayek. According to the polling firm, which provides appeal rankings for more than 3,000 celebrities (both men and women), 65 percent of the U.S. population would use the term “sexy” to describe the 40-year-old star. To put that in perspective, the average celebrity garners a 15 percent rating on the E-Poll index. And there’s no question she has her male counterparts beat: at 39 percent, Matthew McConaughey may top the celebrity men in E-poll’s exhaustive database, but he ranks only 41st overall.
And while anything but ugly herself, Hayek scored big with ABC’s freshman dramedy “Ugly Betty.” In addition to her role as the show’s executive producer, she won over audiences as Daniel Meade’s love interest and women’s magazine editor Sofia Reyes. Off-screen, Hayek is carrying the baby of billionaire fiancé Francois-Henri Pinault.
She’s not the only 40-something on the list. Fifth-ranked Halle Berry and 14th-ranked Pamela Anderson, both 40, made it, as did Elizabeth Hurley, 42. Hurley tied for the ninth slot on the list.
On screen, Hurley is still best known for her role as Vanessa Kensington in the “Austin Powers” series. But off screen, the beauty, who once dated Hugh Grant, has launched a fashion line and played spokesmodel for Estee Lauder. Earlier this year, she wed Indian businessman Arun Nayar.
Berry, a former Bond girl, has more to offer than good looks, as evidenced by her Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe wins. Earlier this year, she could be seen as an undercover journalist in “Perfect Stranger.” Next, she’ll play opposite Benicio Del Toro in the Dreamworks tearjerker “Things We Lost in the Fire,” slated for release later this year.
Anderson’s curves landed her on the pages of Playboy and the beaches of “Baywatch.” Her latest flick, “Blonde and Blonder,” made its debut at May’s Cannes Film Festival. Currently, she’s using her talent — and looks — as Hans Klok’s assistant in his Las Vegas show, “The Beauty of Magic.”
Perhaps surprisingly, only three women in their 20s made the list: 26-year-old Jessica Alba, who tied for second; Beyoncé Knowles, 25, who tied for fifth; and Jessica Biel, 25, who tied for ninth.
Playboy got it right when it named Alba among its “25 Sexiest Celebrities” last year. Where the magazine went wrong, at least according to Alba: sticking her on the cover without her permission (the A-lister has since dropped the lawsuit). This summer, Alba returns as Sue Storm in the Fox blockbuster “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” And still to come: a leading role in “Sin City 2.”
Beyoncé may have risen to fame as a member of girl group Destiny’s Child, but she has shown she can make music and fans all by herself. Most recently, she wowed the latter with her beauty and skill in the holiday blockbuster “Dreamgirls,” for which she received acting and singing Golden Globe nods. The songstress is currently belting out tunes on her lengthy “The Beyoncé Experience” tour.
And Biel has added to her resume and her fan base since her tenure on “7th Heaven.” She recently graced the silver screen in Warner Brothers’ “The Illusionist,” opposite Edward Norton, and Paramount’s “Next,” opposite Nicolas Cage. Later this month, she’ll return in “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” opposite Adam Sandler and Kevin James.
But how’s this for staying power? Coming in at No. 9, tied with Biel, is Raquel Welch, 66. Welch rose to stardom during the 1960s, long before most of the women on the list were born. Her iconic status continued to open doors, landing her roles in a host of films and magazine spreads. Playboy named the “Fantastic Voyage”star, who still appears on the big screen, the “Most Desired Woman” of the 1970s.
© 2012 Forbes.com