10 Walks To Remember!

Sometimes, actors use their bodies to make more impact than their words, and I've always been a sucker for an interesting walk.

Check out 10 of the most memorable walks in movie and music-video history ...

#10 Mae West (1893-1980)

One of the most unforgettable shimmies certainly belonged to Mae West, seen here in her final film, 1978's Sextette. Her personality was all about "more is more," but her walk was actually arresting for its restraint. By holding back, she created she illusion of far more wiggle than she needed to produce.

And she was still cranking it out well into her eighties.

#9 Pam Grier (b. 1949)

The blaxploitation babe always knew how to swerve her curves on the big screen, but perhaps her most effective walk was the extended opening of Quentin Tarantino's (b. 1953) masterpiece, 1997's Jackie Brown.

#8 Marty Feldman (1934-1982)

The late, great Marty Feldman was a riot as Igor (Eye-gor) in 1974's classic comedy Young Frankenstein. One of his best moments came when asking Dr. Frankenstein to "walk this way" — and meaning it literally.

#7 Grace Jones (b. 1948)

The indomitable diva Grace Jones used her physicality as much as any musical performer who's ever lived. Mannish, manic, and statuesque, she was unforgettable performing "Demolition Man" like some kind of futuristic robot.

#6 Jayne Mansfield (1933-1967) & Divine (1945-1988)

Silver-screen sex bomb Jayne Mansfield's figure was a caution, and was never more cartoonishly used than in her 1956 musical comedy The Girl Can't Help It.

With an impossibly tiny waist and impossibly large everything else, she had only to sway through a city scene to cause ice to melt, milk to boil and one gent's spectacles to shatter.

In a parody of the scene, zaftig drag queen Divine made a similar walk, decidedly uncinched, mugging for nonexistent spectators. It's like watching punk being born.

#5 Madonna (b. 1958)

Then a bona fide teenybopper idol on whose every move teen girls hung, Madonna delivered a classic and classy gait in her phenomenally popular "Papa Don't Preach" music video. Playing a pregnant gamine, she strutted up a set of outdoor stairs in time with the song's beat, inviting imitators who were more concerned with her cool moves and looks than whether the song was pro-life or pro-choice.

#4 C-3P0 aka Anthony Daniels (b. 1946)

The charm of the character of C-3P0 in Star Wars comes not only from Anthony Daniels's British accent, but also from that adorably fawn-like walk.

#3 Ursula Andress (b. 1936)

Stunning Ursula Andress contributed nearly as much to 1962's Dr. No as Sean Connery (b. 1930), and all she had to do was rise from the sea (like Venus) in that unforgettable bikini.

#2 John Travolta (b. 1954)

The most memorable male hoofer on-screen has to have been John Travolta, making his way down a Brooklyn sidewalk to "Stayin' Alive" in Saturday Night Fever (1977). His training as a dancer was evident in his meticulous moves, setting the tone for the entire movie — and helping to define the disco era.

#1 Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962)

The biggest movie star of all time, Marilyn Monroe, had — by far — the biggest walk. As exaggerated as her breathy persona, her va-va-voom walk was never used more effectively than in 1953's Niagara, which contains a famous scene of her character walking away from the camera that's held for nearly 30 seconds:

1 Response

  1. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out why the reactions to Jayne Mansfield’s walk were so cartoonish: this was director Frank Tashlin’s first full live action movie after working a just about every animation studio in Hollywood (including Warner Brothers).

    However, I was a little disappointed to find out that, after directing “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter”, Tashlin moved on to a string of Jerry Lewis movies.

Leave a comment