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How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

  • Category: Pics  |
  • 26 Feb, 2021  |
  • Views: 1851  |
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Cruella De Vil

Even though her first visual appearance was the animated adaptation of the novel back in 1961, the first live-action actress to take on the role was Glenn Close in 1996. Now, Emma Stone will be starring in the live-action prequel film Cruella (currently due 2021).

1 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Lara Croft

Lara Croft was first a video game character, but in both the games and the movies, she has changed. In the games, it was partly a natural progression of computer graphics, but the change was a bit more drastic in the tenth title in the series in 2013. The same happened in the movies: Angelina Jolie kicked it off in 2001’s Tomb Raider and continued in 2003’s The Cradle Of Life, and Alicia Vikander took over the role in 2018’s reboot.


2 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Princess Diana

There are at least 40 movies about the British Royal Family out there, with a surprising amount about Princess Diana. Catherine Oxenberg is one of the earliest to play her in the biographical drama The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana from 1982. Many actresses have taken on the role since then, including Caroline Bliss, Genevieve O'Reilly, Julie Cox, and Naomi Watts, among many others.

Emma Corrin is one of the most recent actresses to play the late Princess in the Netflix Original The Crown, but Elizabeth Debicki has been cast in the show and will take over in 2022. Kristen Stewart is also reported to play Princess Diana in the upcoming movie Spencer, which doesn’t yet have a release date, but is said to be in the filming stage.


3 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

April O'Neill

April actually made her debut as a computer programmer in the 1984 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, but was later portrayed as a news reporter in the 1987 animated series of the same name.

It wasn’t until 1990 that the franchise got a movie adaptation. April was first portrayed by Judith Hoag, but just a year later, The Secret Of Ooze came out and Paige Turco took over, which was also the case for Turtles In Time in 1993. After quite a while—in 2014—April made her next physical appearance, played by Megan Fox, who was also cast in the 2016 Out Of The Shadows sequel.


4 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Eva Ernst, The Grand High Witch

Eva Ernst, better known as the Grand High Witch, from Roald Dahl’s famous 1983 fantasy novel The Witches, is the main antagonist in the book, and was portrayed by two people across two films: by Anjelica Huston in the 1990 adaptation, and Anne Hathaway in the 2020 iteration, both of the same name and based on this same novel.


5 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Wonder Woman

Technically, the first live-action appearance of Wonder Woman was the 5-minute-long 1967 TV pilot short film titled Wonder Woman: Who's Afraid of Diana Prince? starring Ellie Wood Walker. Then there was the 1974 full-length live-action movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby. Neither of the two were deemed comic-book-accurate, leading to a bad reception by the public.

Then came the 1975–1979 Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, who many of us remember fondly as the face of the iconic superwoman.

Today, the most recent incarnation of Wonder Woman is Gal Gadot, having starred in Wonder Woman in 2017 and its sequel Wonder Woman 1984 in 2020.



6 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Aunt May

Aunt May has appeared in countless animated versions of Spider-Man, but the first live-action portrayal of Spider-Man and his related characters aired as a TV movie on CBS called The Amazing Spider-Man in 1977, where Aunt May was played by Irene Tedrow. Since then, Aunt May has been played by Rosemary Harris in the Spider-Man trilogy (2000-2007) and Sally Field in The Amazing Spider-Man Franchise (2012-2014). The youngest take on Aunt May so far is currently Marisa Tomei in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's 2017 hit Spider-Man: Homecoming and 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home.


7 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Irene Adler

Irene Adler was only mentioned in one original story by Arthur Conan Doyle, but has become one of the most notable characters in the Sherlock Holmes series. Seemingly the first possible visual representation of Adler was back in 1882, of actress Lillie Langtry. Here we see Larisa Solovyova’s Adler from 1983’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: The Treasures of Agra TV mini series. Many women have played the role since then including Liliana Komorowska, Anne Baxter, Morgan Fairchild, Charlotte Rampling, Anna Chancellor, Rachel McAdams, and many more. The latest live-action incarnation of Adler is seen here: Natalie Dormer in the series Elementary (2012-2019).


8 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Joan of Arc

Jeanne d'Arc films have been gracing the world as early as 1898 with the release of the short film Execution of Joan of Arc, where it’s unknown who played the role of Jeanne, followed by another short film, Joan of Arc from 1900, where she’s played by French film actress Jehanne D'Alcy. Others, like Maria Falconetti (1928), Ingrid Bergman (1948), and Milla Jovovich (1999) have also taken on the role, with the most recent being Lise Leplat Prudhomme in 2019’s Joan of Arc. Yeah, she does look super young, but remember that Jeanne herself is estimated to have been around 17 when she took part in battles and around 19 when she died.


9 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Carrie White

Based on Stephen King's novel, the series' protagonist Carrie was portrayed by Sissy Spacek in the 1976 original and its 1999 sequel. Then in 2002, Angela Bettis got the role for the 2002 re-imagining of the novel, and in the latest film from 2013, Chloë Grace Moretz was cast to play the film’s and novel’s namesake.


10 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Miss Moneypenny

Everyone who is familiar with James Bond is bound to know Ms. Moneypenny. If not under this exact name, then at least under the names Eve or Jane — cause, you know, spy movies. Throughout the years, several different actresses have taken on playing Moneypenny, starting with Lois Maxwell, who played the secretary in Dr. No from 1962. She’s actually made over 15 appearances as Moneypenny in various Bond movies between 1962 and 1985 and is considered the iconic face of the character. Today, Naomie Harris has taken over as Ms. Moneypenny, having done so as early as 2012 for the movie Bond movie Skyfall, but has also voiced the character for the video game 007 Legends. In late 2021, she will appear in No Time To Die.


11 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Esther Hoffman Howard

The original A Star Is Born (1937) starred Janet Gaynor as Esther. The first official remake in 1954 featured Judy Garland. Then in 1976, the film was reimagined with more focus on the fall of John Norman Howard than on the rise of Esther Hoffman (played by Barbra Streisand). The most modern retelling in 2018 stars Lady Gaga (whose character is actually renamed Ally instead of Esther).


12 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Mary Poppins

Though there had been loads of plays and musicals based on Mary Poppins, the only ones to hit the big screen are Julie Andrews in 1964 and Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns in 2018.


13 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Laurie Strode

Halloween is one of the most iconic horror movie franchises in film history. Ever since the first film in 1978, Jamie Lee Curtis has always played the film’s protagonist Laurie Strode. With the exception of 2007’s Halloween, which is dubbed Rob Zombie’s Halloween where Laurie is played by Scout Taylor-Compton, she has been and continues to be Laurie Strode right up until the recently announced Halloween Ends due 2022.


14 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Cleopatra

Throughout history, Cleopatra has been portrayed by a number of actresses, including Claudette Colbert, María Antonieta Pons, Loray White, Janet Suzman, Helen Gardner, Anna Valle, Alessandra Negrini, Theda Bara, Vivien Leigh, Leonor Varela, and many more. Cleopatra’s earliest credited appearance in film was in 1912, played by actress Helen Gardner, while the most recent ones are by Alessandra Negrini and Lyndsey Marshal in 2007.


15 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Sarah Connor

Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor is seen throughout much of the Terminator series. And though the likes of Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey have also played the same role in some of the entries of the franchise, Hamilton has ultimately remained the face of Sarah Connor, starting from the original movie in 1984 up until the sequel Terminator: Dark Fate in 2019.


16 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Jo March

Originally appearing as a two-volume book written by Louisa May Alcott, the book was adapted into a silent drama film in 1918, which is today deemed lost—no longer known to exist in any archives or personal collections. The earliest available Little Women film by default then is the 1933 adaptation of the same name, where Jo is played by Katharine Hepburn. Jo is then played by Winona Ryder in 1994 and Saoirse Ronan in the newest 2019 film.


17 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Meg March

In the 1933 version of Little Women, Frances Dee played the role of Meg. In the 1994 adaptation of the same name, she is played by Janet Leigh. And in the most recent retelling in 2019, Emma Watson plays Meg.


18 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

Elizabeth Bennet

There have been dozens of adaptations of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. The first is the 1940 film of the same name, featuring Greer Garson. Since then, the most notable Elizabeth Bennets have been played by Jennifer Ehle in the 1995 TV series, and the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie starring Keira Knightley.



19 How Popular Female Characters Have Changed Over The Years (19 pics)

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