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Bella Donna: Jean Seberg


Welcome back to our newest BellaSugar feature, Bella Donna, where I'll pay tribute to beauty icons through the ages. A Bella Donna could be an actress, a model, or another prominent historical or modern figure. The only requirement is that she have a distinct and influential look. That can certainly be said of this week's Bella Donna, actress Jean Seberg.

During her early career, Seberg's films were largely flops—but then came her leading role in the French New Wave classic Breathless, which transformed her into an international star. Known for her beauty as much as her acting abilities, she stood out from a sea of other starlets by sporting a blonde pixie cut. To see a gallery of photos, read more

As lovely as she looked, Seberg's personal life was turbulent, to put it mildly: Due to her public support of the civil rights and anti-war movements, the FBI created a false story that the child she was carrying was not carrying her husband's, but that of a Black Panther Party member. Seberg blamed the stress of this lie for pushing her into early labor and delivering a stillborn child; she fell into a deep depression that ultimately led to her 1979 suicide.

It's a tragic tale, but the enduring joy of watching Seberg on screen is enough to make fans remember her happier days. Sure, there were blondes before Seberg, but none looked as fresh and contemporary as she did. And the next time you admire modern-day blondes like Sienna Miller and model Agyness Deyn, you'll know where their inspiration came from.

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