Marilyn Monroe was known for her beauty, and her presence on screen, not so much for her smarts. Pictured here in 1955, the 31-year-old beauty was reading James Joyce’s Ulysses in a children’s playground. This was the same year that she was awarded a new contract from Fox that offered her more control, and a bigger salary.
Until 1994, Cameron Diaz had no experience working as an actress, she had worked as a model with Elite Model Management. On their recommendation, she got the role of Tina Carlyle in The Mask alongside Jim Carey. The movie went on to be the highest-grossing film of 1994. This was her first year attending the Cannes Film Festival. Since then, her acting career has gone from strength to strength.