They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And while that’s true, it’s also true that some people are just downright pretty. I think what’s more important to recognize, however, is that some people are beautiful on the inside and out. Virginia is full of beauty – from the scenery to the people. The following 12 people are just a few of the folks that stand out, both for their outward appearance, as well as their incredible accomplishments in entertainment, activism and athleticism.
1. Sandra Bullock, Arlington
Known as one of the highest paid actresses in film, Sandra Bullock has won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, both for Best Actress in the film “The Blind Side.” And recently, she was named People Magazine's 2015 Most Beautiful Woman in the World. With her class on and off the screen, there's no doubt that, at 50, Bullock's beauty is timeless.
2. Rob Lowe, Charlottesville
Rob Lowe became a household name - and the object of every teenaged girls' dreams - in the 80s for film roles such as “The Outsiders” and “St.Elmo’s Fire”, as well as other smaller parts. Best known in recent years for TV roles including “West Wing”, “Brothers and Sisters” and “Parks and Rec,” time has not taken anything from Lowe's pretty boy appeal.
3. Ella Fitzgerald, Newport News
(1917-1996) In addition to being known as the “First Lady of Jazz”, the “Queen of Jazz” and “Lady Ella,” Ella Fitzgerald was known for her grace on and off the stage. Still one of the best-known voices of all times, Fitzgerald supported many charities and non-profit organizations and in 1993, established the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation.
4. Shirley MacLaine, Richmond/Arlington...
As one of the most accomplished actresses in Hollywood, Shirley MacLaine has been a longtime legend on the big screen. She boasts an Academy Award for Best Actress in “Terms of Endearment”, 5 Golden Globes, the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award and the Cecil B. DeMille Award. MacLaine is one of those special people that makes being beautiful AND talented look easy.
5. …and Warren Beatty, Richmond/Arlington
As we can see from Shirley MacLaine's younger brother, Warren Beatty, good looks run in the family. This long time Hollywood heartthrob has been nominated for 14 Academy Awards and 18 Golden Globes, winning an Oscar for Best Director, along with 6 Golden Globes. As the recipient of the Irving G. Thalberg Award and the Cecil B. DeMille Award, he has no problem keeping up with his sister, in looks or talent.
6. Pharrell Williams, Virginia Beach
Williams is best known for…well, for everything. There’s not much Williams hasn’t done, including fronting bands like The Neptunes, designing multiple fashion lines, producing Top 40 hits and recently, serving as a coach on “The Voice.” His handsome face is matched only by his kind demeanor and classy public persona.
7. Patsy Cline, Gore / Winchester
(1932-1963) Patsy Cline stands as one of the most influential and acclaimed vocalist of the 20th century for her powerful voice and ability to cross the line from country to pop music. She wowed the world with her wits, charm and beauty before tragically dying at the height of her career in a plane crash at the age of 30.
8. Booker T. Washington, Franklin County
Thanks to the invention of photography, we have a clear picture of what Booker T. Washington looked like. And while he was clearly a handsome man, his beauty lies as much in WHO he was as anything. Born a slave, Washington went on to found the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama, as well as serving as a political advisor, writer and powerful Civil Rights activist.
9. Casey Wilson, Alexandria
This lovely leading lady was born and raised in Alexandria where she graduated from T.C. Williams High School. Following a brief stint on Saturday Night Live, Wilson is best known for her roles on TV’s “Marry Me” and “Happy Endings” and for a strong supporting role in the 2014 blockbuster, "Gone Girl."
10. June Carter Cash, Mace’s Spring
(1929-2003) June Carter Cash began her career with her famous mother, Maybelle Carter, and the Carter Family band. Well known as the 2nd wife of Johnny Cash, with whom she performed and toured, Carter-Cash was a super star in her own right, with beauty, charm and talent to match.
11. Ronde and Tiki Barber, Roanoke
Since they're identical twins, it seems only fair to keep these handsome brothers as a pair. The Barbers got their start playing football at Cave Spring High School in Roanoke before going on to be standouts at the University of Virginia. After graduation, Ronde went on to play 16 successful seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while Tiki spent 10 seasons with the New York Giants. The brothers are known for their intelligence, good looks - and of course, incredible athleticism.
12. Gabby Douglas, Newport News
Born in 1995 in Newport News, Gabby Douglas became a role model and inspiration for young girls of all races when she became the first African American woman in Olympic history to win all-around gymnastics gold in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Douglas won gold medals in both the individual all-around and team competitions. Her beauty and grace go beyond the gymnastics arena as she continues to inspire those around her with accomplishments like an autobiography, "Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith," which hit #4 on The New York Times Young Adult Bestseller List and "The Gabby Douglas Story," a 2014 Lifetime documentary in which she performed all the stunts.
From the people that you pass on the street every day to the famous stars of Virginia that you see here, there’s no denying that our state is full of beautiful, talented, passionate people. So while these are just a few of the standouts in the state, there are certainly more. Who are some of the people from Virginia that you recognize for their beauty? We would love to hear about them in the comments below!