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Famous Redheads Throughout History

Anna is a writer who wears many other hats and has a wealth of experience that she draws from, sometimes funny, sometimes serious.

Proud to Be Red!

I am proud to be a redhead, and I have some really great company! There have been many famous redheads throughout history! As far back as biblical times, even. Both Adam and Mary Magdalene are often portrayed in art as having red hair. There is no way to know if this is true, and I'm not trying to starting a debate on that issue.

There are many great redheads throughout history; artists, world leaders, actors and actresses, writers and painters. There are also some redheads that I wish we didn't have to claim. Some are natural redheads, and some are just wanna-be's. I can't blame the people that want to be a redhead! Redheaded women are beautiful, and redheaded men are sexy!!!

Prince Harry

Prince Harry

World Leaders

There have been many leaders throughout history that have been 'ginger', if you will. Eric the Red received his name because of his red beard and hair. It may have also been due to his often fiery temper, a rumored trait of many redheads. Richard the Lionheart, a great king was a redhead, as were Henry VII and Henry VIII.

Queen Elizabeth the First was often depicted with red hair in paintings. This hair was actually a wig. Her own hair fell out at a rather young age due to the lead that was in the cream used at the time to whiten her skin. Seems Europe is full of redheads, including Winston Churchill and Napoleon Bonaparte, as well. The troublemaking Prince Harry is the most famous current royal redhead.

Several Presidents have also been redheads, including Thomas Jefferson and Martin Van Buren.

Sexy Redheaded Women of the Early Age of Stage and Screen

When you talk of the early age of stage and screen, several redheads come to mind; Rita Hayworth (who was not a natural redhead) Lucille Ball (who used to joke that she couldn't remember her natural hair color), Ginger Rogers and Katherine Hepburn. There are so many more. Some are better known than others.

Marilyn Monroe was actually born a redhead, though she is most famous as a blonde. Bette Davis, famous for her beautiful eyes, and her role in "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" was also a redhead.

Clara Bow was one of the first stars of the screen, landing a role in "Beyond the Rainbow" in 1921 after winning a magazine contest. She went on to star in many films, an astounding 14 films in the year of 1925 alone. She earned the name, "The It Girl", after her role in the 1927 film, "IT"(not to be confused with the Stephen King movie of the same name).

Other famous redheads of the early years include, Mitzi Gaynor, who started in the musical, South Pacific, and Shirley MacLaine who has starred in numerous films. And who could forget Raquel Welch? Apparently I did...

Beautiful Big Screen Celebs of Today

Now, I have already talked about the sexy redheads of the big screen from the early days, so now it's only fair that I make note of the more recent crop of carrot-topped women on the silver screen.

Some more notable names include the redheaded queen of the eighties, Molly Ringwald, delightfully funny, Madeline Kahn, and the gorgeous Nicole Kidman. Julianne Moore, Julia Roberts and Lindsay Lohan also come quickly to mind. As I said before, some of these may not be natural redheads.

There are a few lesser known redheads that I feel bear mention. One of those is Isla Fisher, who starred in Wedding Crashers alongside Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. Another is Frances Fisher who starred in the mega-hit movie, Titanic, as the mother of Rose. Natasha Lyonne received acclaim in Woody Allen's film, Everyone Says I Love You, and virtual unknown, Franka Potente starred in the amazing movie, Run Lola Run.


I loved Amy Adams in Enchanted, so did my daughter. Emma Stone is another beautiful redheaded actress that I am a huge fan of!

Gorgeous Redheaded Women on TV

Beautiful redheads are not restricted to the big screen alone. The small screen is full of beautiful redheaded women! Comedies and dramas alike star redheads in a variety of roles. From the sometimes evil, and devious character played by Marcia Cross on Desperate Housewives to the funny, and sometimes crazy, character of Grace on Will & Grace, played by Debra Messing, who has gone on to star in the hit show, Smash, which has since been cancelled. I'm not sure why. I loved that show.

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Gillian Anderson is a well known star of The X-Files, where she played a very smart FBI agent who was often at odds with her partner. She now makes appearances on the show Hannibal, but as a blonde. Marilu Henner played the main female character on the much loved TV show, Taxi. Alyson Hannigan got her start on the show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the acclaimed HBO series Six Feet Under had two redheaded actresses in Lauren Ambrose and Frances Conroy.

One of my favorite shows has a redhead among their cast/staff, whatever you want to call it. That show is Mythbusters. Kari Byron does a great job adding a much needed female element to a show that is most often watched by men.

A somewhat lesser known redhead of the small screen is an actress by the name of Felicia Day, who has done voice over work for the Disney show, Fish Hooks, and for video games. She got her start with a web show called The Guild. She has also made appearances on the show Supernatural.

The Redheaded Men

I can't include just the redheaded women of television and films. I have to include the men as well. Most are remarkably talented, some are incredibly sexy. One exception to both of these remarks is Danny Bonaduce. Sorry, but it's true.

Some better examples of sexy redheaded men are Robert Redford, Damian Lewis, who starred in Stephen King's Dreamcatcher, a TV show called Life, where he plays a police officer falsly convited of murder, clears his name and dedicates himself to finding out who framed him, and the new show, Homeland; and the cute and funny, Seth Green, who currently provides the voice for Chris, on the hit cartoon, Family Guy, as well as being one of the minds behind the Cartoon Network show, Robot Chicken.

Other talented redheaded men include Philip Seymore Hoffman, Eric Stoltz, star of many movies, including Mask and Some Kind of Wonderful, and now works behind the camera, as well; and Ron Howard, who got his start on The Andy Griffith Show as Opie, went on to star on Happy Days, and is now an acclaimed director.

Robert Redford

Robert Redford

Redheads in Music

When I originally wrote this, I had intended to include a section on the amazing redheads of the music industry. Truth is, I got tired. I wanted to go to bed. So, thanks for the reminder from Nicole Winter!!

The music industry is full of redheads. Some of them are genuine, and some of them are just wanna-be's, but either way, they make up some of my favorite artists.

Classical music even has a hint of red thanks to composer Antonio Vivaldi, who wrote The Four Seasons , a four part violin concerto, and Tomaso Albinoni, who is most well known for his opera "Zenobia, Regina de Palmireni".

Country has a crop of carrot-topped talent, including Reba McEntire, Jo Dee Messina, and the legendary Willie Nelson. Willie has written and recorded numerous songs, including "Crazy" which was made popular by my favorite country singer, Patsy Cline (sadly, she was not a redhead, but I still love her anyway).

Girly, pop music of the eighties and nineties had it's share of redheads. Belinda Carlisle and Tiffany come to mind. "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" was a popular song that the redheaded Kiki Dee sang as a duet with Elton John. A newer crop of women are making waves on the music scene in a far different way. Tori Amos is a personal favorite of mine! A recent newcomer to the music scene is A Fine Frenzy, with a beautiful redhead singing haunting music, including the song, "Almost Lover".

Axl Rose of Guns 'n' Roses has red hair, as does Dave Mustaine of Megadeath. More redheads make up the fringes of rock, the alternative rock scene. Shirley Manson of Garbage, Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols and Keith Flint of the Prodigy are just a few. Others include Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Trey Anastasio of every stoners favorite band, Phish, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy.

That is a lot of artists, across a wide range of music, and I know I forgot some. I did my best, and know I am still getting comments on artists I have missed. Keep 'em coming.

A young Danny Bonaduce from his days on The Patridge Family

A young Danny Bonaduce from his days on The Patridge Family

© 2008 Anna Marie Bowman

Comments

Margy on January 10, 2018:

You forgot. Lenin, Winston Churchill, Henry the eighth and Elizabeth the first.

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on January 28, 2016:

I said that not all of them are natural redheads, some have gained fame as a redhead, though.

Sbutterb on December 26, 2015:

Allison and Debra are not real redheads

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on November 11, 2013:

Eric--Hmmm..it seems that you are right. I don't know where I got my information from, but when I had originally done the research, it appeared correct. I will fix it immediately. Thank you!!!

Eric on November 09, 2013:

Custer was NOT a redhead. He had very blonde hair, hence his nickname, "Yellow hair" which was given to him by many Indian tribes, his ancestors have blonde hair, and was the name of a book about him and was the name of a documentary film about him. Only 'night at the museum pt.2' shows him as a redhead, but Hollywood always tries to show redheads as negative people, and when making a film about a great redhead (rob Roy, Thomas Jefferson, etc) they change their hair colour to brown or blonde. We hope you correct this on your page. Thank you.