Pretty in the Past: Anjelica Huston

Anjelica Huston belongs to a generation of women who came of age at a time when their striking looks were celebrated. Just like Jerry Hall, Meryl Streep and Kathleen Turner, she has strong, almost masculine features and a statuesque frame that she fearlessly flaunts.

Sep 19, 2012 at 5:00pm | Leave a comment

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Anjelica Huston in Prizzi’s Honor, 1985, for which she won an Oscar

She is the complete antithesis to that bland, blonde, blue-eyed, button-nosed cliché of cuteness that is so often held up as an ideal that we should all aspire to – no one could ever describe her as ‘pretty’, but with her striking looks, she has the kind of beauty that I admire the most. She started her career as a model after being scouted at 17 by the legendary Diana Vreeland (another gloriously unconventional woman) who sent her off to Ireland for a shoot with Richard Avedon. Her dark, dramatic looks made her a favourite of David Bailey and she has said "In Europe they were interested in unusual girls."

Haughty and just a little scary looking, she was perfect for the roles of matriarch Morticia in The Addams Family as well as the terrifying and hideous Grand High Witch in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches! Still a sought after actress (she's a favourite of Wes Anderson, lending her arch, almost camp presence to The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic and The Darjeeling Limited. Now in her 60s, she's following in her father's and grandfather's footsteps and directing her own films.

In a sea of identikit starlets, it’s a relief to see a few more unconventional beauties in the public eye again, just like back in the ‘70s. Women like Lady Gaga, Lou Doillon, Sophia Coppola and Erin O’Connor stand apart from conventional notions of beauty and are so much more interesting and memorable because of it. I see something of Anjelica in their striking looks and cooler-than-cool attitude.

Picture Credit: Rex Features

 
 

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