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Bella Donna: Charlotte Rampling


Charlotte Rampling has a lot of nerve. Even though she's had several roles before and several roles after, I'll always remember her odd (to say the least) portrayal of Margaret, a woman in love with a chimpanzee in Max My Love (1986). After beginning her acting career as an uncredited water skier in a 1965 film, she primarily worked as a model in her native England before her breakout role in Georgy Girl, playing a bitchy roommate to Lynn Redgrave's Georgy.

Charlotte continued to take daring roles, never shying away from playing unsympathetic parts. She shared the screen with actors such as Sean Connery, Woody Allen, and Paul Newman. In fact, when asked about her role with the chimp she said, "Difficult acting with a chimp? No, no. The emotions were the same. In a way it was like playing opposite Paul Newman. The chimpanzee reacted differently, that's all." Burn!

Ever outspoken (and prolifically talented), she was most recently seen playing Keira Knightley's mother in The Duchess and looked just as lovely as her modeling days some 40 years earlier. It's this, and her approach to beauty that makes this woman such a Bella Donna in my eyes.

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Read her opinion on beauty and see more photos when you read more.

She told The Independent in 2005:

I think you have to earn beauty. You can use it or abuse it however you want when you're young. It's a God-given gift. You have a visiting card; you can go into any room and someone will come and talk to you. But I've always thought from very early on that you have to be careful with that - not being vain or narcissistic. Have fun, but don't be obsessed with it.

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