In the entertainment world today, there are many beauty queens turned actresses who have succeeded in climbing to the top in grand style. From Miss Universe to Miss World and beyond, these women have demonstrated their acting prowess and have become some of the most sought-after actresses in the industry.
To answer the question of how some actresses can carry themselves effortlessly with so much grace and poise, here is a look at the top 10 beauty queens turned actresses.
Top 10 beauty queens turned actresses
The world of beauty pageants has always been glamorous and alluring. The beauty queens that grace the stage have been admired and adored for their stunning looks and poise.
But what happens when these beauty queens transition into the world of acting? Do they have what it takes to succeed in a different industry altogether?
Well, the following list of the top 10 beauty queens turned actresses is proof that they certainly do.
1. Halle Berry
Halle Berry participated in several beauty pageants in her early years and achieved great success. In 1986, Berry won the Miss Ohio USA title, which allowed her to compete in the Miss USA pageant.
Berry competed in the 1986 Miss USA pageant and finished as the first runner-up. This was a significant achievement, as it helped her to launch her modelling and acting career.
In the same year, the actress also participated in the Miss World pageant and finished in sixth place. She participated in the Miss Teen All-American pageant in 1985 and won the title.
Today, Halle Berry is a renowned American actress and producer who has won several awards and achieved many milestones throughout her career.
In 2002, Berry became the first African American woman to win the Academy Award for “Best Actress” for her role in the movie Monster’s Ball.
The ‘Catwoman’ has won three Golden Globe Awards throughout her career. She won the award for “Best Performance by an Actress” in a mini-series or motion picture made for television in 2000 for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. She also won “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama” in 2002 for Monster’s Ball and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama” in 2011 for Frankie & Alice.
Berry was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in recognition of her contributions to the entertainment industry and has been listed several times on Forbes’ list of the highest-paid actresses in the world.
In 2020, she was ranked 18th on the list with an estimated earnings of $10 million. Overall, Berry’s success in beauty pageants helped her to gain exposure and launch her career in the entertainment industry.
2. Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Priyanka Chopra Jonas seats proudly on the list of beauty queens turned actresses. Chopra is a renowned Indian actress, singer, and film producer who has also achieved great success in the world of beauty pageants.
Chopra won the Femina Miss India title in 2000, which paved the way for her to compete in the Miss World pageant.
In the same year, Chopra represented India in the Miss World pageant and won the title, making her the fifth Indian woman to win the prestigious beauty pageant.
Chopra also won the Miss World Continental Queen of Beauty title, which is awarded to the highest-scoring contestant from each continental group.
Before winning the Femina Miss India title, Chopra had also won the Miss India World title at the age of 17.
After winning the Miss World title in 2000, Chopra became a household name in the entertainment industry. She made her Bollywood debut in 2003 and has gone on to appear in several Hollywood movies and TV shows. Some of her notable works include Quantico, Baywatch and The White Tiger.
Chopra is among the highest-paid actresses in India and has received multiple awards, including two National Film Awards and five Filmfare Awards. In recognition of her contributions, the Government of India awarded her the Padma Shri in 2016.
She has also been named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine. Forbes recognised her as one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Recently, she was included in the BBC 100 Women list for 2022.
3. Gal Gadot
Gal Gadot, the Israeli actress and model, began her career as a beauty pageant contestant. She won the Miss Israel title in 2004, at the age of 18, and went on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant later that year.
It is worth noting that beauty pageants are controversial, as they are often criticised for objectifying women and promoting unrealistic beauty standards. However, they can also provide opportunities for women to showcase their talents, gain confidence, and pursue careers in entertainment or other industries.
Gadot has spoken positively about her experience in beauty pageants, saying that they helped her develop self-discipline, confidence, and a sense of purpose.
She has also acknowledged the criticisms of the industry but maintains that her participation in pageants was a positive experience overall.
The actress has gone on to achieve great success as an actress and has become a role model for many young women around the world.
Today, she is best known for her portrayal of “Wonder Woman” in the DC Extended Universe.
4. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is a renowned Indian actress and former beauty queen. Her beauty is second to none and it is no surprise that she makes the list of beauty queens turned actresses.
Bachchan began her career as a model and competed in several beauty pageants, winning several titles.
In 1994, Bachchan won the Miss World pageant, which was held in Sun City, South Africa. She was the second Indian woman to win the title, after Reita Faria, who won in 1966. Her victory in the pageant brought her a lot of attention and catapulted her to fame.
Before winning the Miss World pageant, Bachchan had also won several other beauty pageants, including the Femina Miss India World, which was held in 1994.
Since then, Bachchan has established herself as a leading actress in the Indian film industry, starring in numerous critically acclaimed and commercially successful films like The Pink Panther 2, Dhoom 2, Guru and Bride and Prejudice.
Bachchan has also been recognised for her beauty and style, being named one of the most beautiful women in the world by various publications.
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5. Sushmita Sen
Sushmita Sen is another Indian actress and model who is among the top 10 beauty queens turned actresses.
Sen won the Miss Universe title in 1994. She was the first Indian woman to win the Miss Universe crown.
Since winning the Miss Universe crown, Sen has gone on to have a successful career in entertainment, appearing in numerous Bollywood films and television shows. She has appeared in several successful movies including Main Hoon Na and Biwi No.1.
While Sen’s experience in beauty pageants has played a significant role in her life and career, she has also used her platform to advocate for important causes and challenge the industry’s narrow definitions of beauty and success.
6. Kenya Moore
Kenya Moore is an American actress, model, producer and television personality who is perhaps best known for her appearances on reality television shows such as The Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Celebrity Apprentice.
Before her career in entertainment, Moore was also a successful beauty pageant contestant.
Moore first gained national attention in 1993 when she was crowned Miss Michigan USA, and later that year went on to win the title of Miss USA. She was the second African-American woman to win the Miss USA title and her victory was particularly significant at the time because it came just two years after Carole Gist became the first African-American woman to win the Miss USA title.
After winning Miss USA, Moore went on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, where she placed in the top six. Moore has often credited her experience in beauty pageants with helping to launch her career in the entertainment industry, and she has remained involved in the pageant world throughout her career.
In 2012, she served as a judge for the Miss USA pageant, and in 2019, she was a contestant on “The Celebrity Apprentice”, where she once again showcased her pageant skills in various challenges.
7. Lara Dutta
Lara Dutta is an Indian actress and former beauty queen who won the Miss Universe title in 2000. Before winning the Miss Universe pageant, she had won the Femina Miss India pageant earlier that year.
Dutta’s win at the Miss Universe pageant made her the second Indian woman to win the prestigious title after Sushmita Sen won it in 1994.
Her win was a significant moment for India and the South Asian community, as it highlighted the growing presence and influence of Indian women on the global stage.
After her successful stint in the pageant world, Dutta went on to have a successful career in Bollywood, starring in films such as Masti, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, and Don 2. She has also acted in several international films, including The Journey Home and Singh Is Bliing.
8. Vanessa Williams
Vanessa Williams is a former beauty pageant contestant who made history by becoming the first African American woman to be crowned Miss America in 1983.
She won the title representing the state of New York and went on to become a successful singer, actress, and model.
Williams’ reign as Miss America was not without controversy, however, as nude photos of her were published without her consent in Penthouse magazine.
As a result, she was forced to resign from her position, but she went on to have a successful career in acting. Williams’ experience with the Miss America pageant system did not deter her from continuing to support and promote the empowerment of women. Her drive and consistency make her one of the most admirable beauty queens turned actresses.
Thirty-two years later after the scandal, during the Miss America 2016 pageant Williams was offered a public apology.
9. Ali Landry
Ali Landry is an American actress and former beauty pageant contestant who became famous after winning the Miss USA pageant in 1996.
She went on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, where she placed in the top six.
After her pageant days were over, Landry pursued a career in acting and modelling. She appeared in several television shows and movies, including Felicity, Eve, and Repli-Kate.
Landry’s beauty pageant win served as a launching pad for her successful career in entertainment and philanthropy.
10. Eva Longoria
Sexy American actress, Eva Longoria, is one of the amazing beauty queens turned actresses.
In 1998, Longoria won the title of Miss Corpus Christi, USA. She went on to compete in the Miss Texas USA pageant but did not win.
Longoria has credited her pageant experience with helping her to gain confidence and develop her public speaking skills, which have been important in her career.
The successful actress has appeared in several successful TV shows, such as Desperate Housewives and Telenovela, and has also used her platform to advocate for greater representation and diversity in the entertainment industry, as well as women’s rights and social justice issues.
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