5 Best 1940’s Female B Movie Stars

The 5 best 1940's female B movie stars are those dames whom you have seen in those old, black and white movies from a long time ago, but whom you can't quite remember. Maybe these dames would be more memorable if they actually starred in more highly publicized films! Still, anytime you turn on Turner Classic Movies, be prepared to have one of these classy dames from the 1940's entertaining you.

  1. Jane Wyman. Today, Jane Wyman is likely remembered as President Reagan's wife number one. However, she enjoyed quite the B movie career throughout the 1940's, appearing in 28 films! For this prolific aggressiveness in her movie work during that decade, she lands atop this countdown of 1940's female B movie stars. Starring in an average of nearly three films every year during the 1940's, her best work of that decade was the movie "The Yearling," which also starred Gregory Peck.
  2. Ella Raines. Ella Raines was a B movie actress who began her career in motion pictures in the 1940's, and she occupies the number two spot because she was the first actress signed to the new production company that was founded by Howard Hawks, himself a screenwriter, director and producer of Hollywood's classic era. She died of throat cancer in 1988, but already had retired from acting in 1957.
  3. Dorothy Lamour. Dorothy Lamour, as far as 1940's female B movie stars go, can be pigeonholed quite easily for her continuous roles in the series of "Road to…" movies, which spanned from the 1940's to the 1960's. It is also the reason that she takes the number three spot, for her team-ups with fellow actors Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in the aforementioned "Road to…" movies were comedy delights for audiences in the 1940's.
  4. Ann Sheridan. Ann Sheridan was the top sex symbol for the Warner Bros. company for a time during her career, but she takes the number four position here due to the 1940's being the heyday of her rather short-lived career. A top pin-up gal in the early 1940's, Ann Sheridan, however, soon found herself struggling to find work by the mid-1950's, and by the 1960's, she was diagnosed with cancer to which she soon succumbed.
  5. Linda Darnell. Linda Darnell sits on this list of 1940's female B movie stars with the indelible reality that, had she not spiraled down into the personal demons which can only come from alcoholism and unstable relationships, she may well have reached superstar status. A former child model, Darnell rose to prominence in the 1940's thanks to the critical acclaim that came from her work in "Unfaithfully Yours" as well as "A Letter to Three Wives." Her inglorious end included barely appearing in movies throughout the 1950's and 1960's, and then dying in a house fire in 1965.
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