The Ultimate Resting Bitch Face Icons from Hollywood’s Golden Age

I don’t care who you are, where you come from, or how much you think you suffer from resting bitch face. No one in the history of ever did resting bitch face like the ladies from cinema’s golden years. The shift happened sometime between the 1930s and 1950s when deep red lips with over accentuated cupid’s bows, swooping arched eyebrows a la Marlene Dietrich, and those smoldering looks that could burn right through you became the soup du jour. Without a doubt, old Hollywood was history’s peak resting bitch face era, take a look for yourself.

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No One Cuts Through Your Soul Like Vivien Leigh

Before there was Elizabeth Taylor, there was Vivien Leigh. The two actresses are frequently confused, in part because of their physical resemblance and in part because they both famously played Cleopatra. Leigh’s greatest claim to fame is her starring role in Gone With the Wind where her resting bitch face could really shine.

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Ann Sheridan Just Lounging

Ann Sheridan
Ann Sheridan was known as the “Ooomph Girl” at the studios, a nickname she absolutely abhorred. “Just being known by a nickname indicates that you’re not thought of as a true actress,” she said, “It’s just crap! If you call an actress by her looks or a reaction, then that’s all she’ll ever be thought of as.”

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Hedy Lamarr, Looking Like She Has No Time For Your Shit

Hedy Lamarr
Just like Ann Sheridan above, there was so much more to Hedy Lamarr than her looks. In fact Ms. Lamarr was an honest to god genius inventor (in part we have her to thank for modern GPS technology). We’d like to believe that the intensity of a woman’s resting bitch face is directly proportional to her brilliance.

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Ava Gardner Judging You Through Her Mirror

ava gardner 2
Ava Gardner hated being in the spotlight, born and raised a country girl she spent most of her life a reluctant star. Fame followed her when she tried to escape Hollywood and moved to Spain, and it followed her to London later in life. Most people still consider her the most beautiful actress that ever lived.

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Lauren Bacall Hanging Out, Not a Care in the World

lauren bacall 2
Lauren Bacall is one of the greatest actresses in history, and she has one of the most smoldering cases of RBF in all of old Hollywood. Perhaps not coincidentally she was best know within the Film Noir genre as one of the most sought after femme fatales.

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Elizabeth Taylor, Bitchy Glamor Shots

elizabeth taylor
It’s safe to say that if you were an actress between the 30s and 50s you really reeaaally hated your job. The studios had absolute control over their leading ladies lives and expenses, controlling everything from the color of their hair, to how often they went out. Elizabeth Taylor, despite being one of the most bankable actress, decided to retire in 1950 to break away from the studios control. Resting bitch face was actually totally justified, even if unintentional.

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Joan Crawford Almost Smiling

Producers saw a lot of potential in the young Joan Crawford, but they hated her name (she was born Lucille LeSeur) so they held a public renaming contest with a $1000 reward. The winning entry seemed to satisfy studio executives, but Lucille hated it, explaining that she felt it sounded like “crawfish.”

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Lucille Ball Probably Totally Relaxed and Not Upset at All

Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball was the first woman to run a major Hollywood studio. Formed in 1950 and named Desilu Productions produced everything from “I Love Lucy” to “Star Trek”, and “Mission: Impossible” to the masses. Lucy is different from the other actresses on this list in that her career took off at 40, an age when most women in Hollywood are completely discarded for younger options.

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Marlene Dietrich, Never Not Being Intense

Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich2
Marlene Dietrich was the strangest, but also the most passionate actresses on this list. She was a life-long germaphone, refused to work without the constant presence of a mirror, and took great pride in having slept with three members of the Kennedy family: Joseph P. Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. and John F. Kennedy. Her RBF was as much part of her persona as her active love life.

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Cute As a Button Rita Hayworth

rita hayworth
The legendary redhead was born Margarita Carmen Cansino, and before the studios got a hold of her and turned her into Hayworth, she looked every bit the Hispanic she was. Her agent believed that Hayworth’s image was too Mediterranean and that her last name sounded too Spanish. The transformation is remarkable.

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The Undisputed RBF Queen, Jane Russell

Jane russell 3
Best known for her role in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Jane Russell takes home the ultimate prize for her smoldering Resting Bitch Face. Remarkably, even when she smiles she still kind of looks upset.

Natalia Borecka

Natalia is the editor in chief and publisher of Lone Wolf Magazine. She founded the publication in 2012.

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