This week Queens’ editor Lena Weber is recommending one of her favourite reads – a book on some of the most glamorous and talented actresses to have ever graced the silver screen.

Leading Ladies: The 50 Most Unforgettable Actresses of the Studio Era – Robert Osborne & Molly Haskell

$14.36 on Amazon

Leading Ladies gives a fantastic overview on Hollywood’s most important film starlets during the Twenties, Thirties, Forties and early Fifties.

Listing everyone alphabetically from Jean Arthur to Loretta Young, I have no complaints about the selection of leading ladies, which includes big players such as Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe as well as perhaps lesser known actresses such as Gene Tierney.

Each actress is introduced with a short biographical overview of her life, followed by a detailed listing of her most noteworthy films, a ‘did you know?’ type behind the scenes section and – I loved this – a style notes part on the star’s fashion, make-up and hair styles. Who knew that Vivien Leigh used to be obsessed with wearing gloves to hide her large hands?

I regularly pick up my well-read copy of Leading Ladies to yet again flick through the abundance of amazing film stills and publicity shots, and the images have been a huge inspiration whenever I’ve been keen on trying out new period looks.

The only sad side effect of reading this book is the realization that Hollywood will never be this glamorous and fascinating again.

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