From fiery tempers and faces full of freckles to pale skin and nicknames like “ginger” and “carrot top,” redheads tend to get a bad rap when it comes to attractiveness. With less than two percent of the world with red hair, it’s no surprise that redheads are the brunt of many jokes when it comes to their locks and their looks. But, since redheads can’t get grey hair, maybe they get the last laugh after all?
While redheads are definitely unique when it comes to the United States, Hollywood in particular has taken on their fair share of these crimson haired beauties. From the legendary Lucille Ball and her iconic knack for comedy to late night funnyman Conan O’Brien and A-listers like Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman and Michael Fassbender, celebrity redheads are far more common than you just might think.
So, out of all the beautiful redheads in Hollywood, which ones are the hottest? While beauty is in undoubtedly in the eye of the beholder, we have no doubt that you’ll agree with our picks for the top 20 hottest redheads in Hollywood. Are you ready? Let’s light the fire of these crimson haired celebs by starting with a child star whose gorgeous red locks still burn bright despite a career that has long cooled off.
#20 – Lindsay Lohan
From child star to mugshots in orange jumpsuits, public breakdowns and rehab, there would have been a time not too long ago when Lindsay Lohan would have easily been at the top of our list of the hottest redheads in Hollywood. Launching her career as a child fashion model at just three years old, Lohan made her television debut at the age of 10 with her motion picture debut to follow a year later in Disney’s blockbuster hit The Parent Trap.
Transforming from the mischievous freckle-faced redhead in The Parent Trap into a teen idol, Lohan landed roles in films like Mean Girls, Herbie: Fully Loaded and Just My Luck. Since then, however, things have taken a turn for the worse as the 29-year-old has turned to drugs and alcohol. With her addictions taking a toll on her health and her looks, we only hope our favorite mean girl gets back on the right track since she has plenty of time to make a huge Hollywood comeback.
#19 – Poppy Montgomery
Not only a redhead but a native Australian as well, Poppy Montgomery had high hopes for a career in acting when she dropped out of high school and headed to Bali with her boyfriend. Finally making her way to the United States by the time she was 18 years old, Montgomery made her television debut with a minor role on NYPD Blue before being cast as Marilyn Monroe in the 2001 television miniseries Blonde.
Hanging up Marilyn’s blonde wig, Montgomery’s breakout performance led to her first leading role in 2002 as Samantha Spade on the CBS hit series Without a Trace. Spending seven years with the show, Montgomery went on to appear in television films and series including Lying to Be Perfect and Magic Beyond Words. Now at 43 years old, fans can find their favorite redhead as Detective Carrie Wells on yet another CBS hit series, Unforgettable.
#18 – Debra Messing
Speaking of favorite redheads, Debra Messing certainly seems to have it all from timeless beauty to quick wit and a dazzling smile. Topping the list as our oldest redhead, 47-year-old Messing got her start on stage long before making her movie debut two decades ago in A Walk in the Clouds. Thanks to her stellar performance, Messing co-starred on Ned & Stacey before the role of Grace Adler in Will & Grace seemingly fell into her lap.
Perhaps best known for her role as the self-proclaimed neurotic interior designer living with her gay best friend, Messing’s celebrity status skyrocketed with her award-winning performance spanning eight incredible seasons. Wrapping up the series in 2006, she has since starred in a variety of film and television roles including The Starter Wife, Smash and Like Sunday, Like Rain with her most recent role as the leading lady in The Mysteries of Laura.
#17 – Judy Greer
Another member of the “Redheads 40+ Club” on our list, Judy Greer isn’t often cast as a leading lady which led the star to try her hand at writing with the 2014 launch of her book: I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star. Often cast as the quirky friend and trusty sidekick, Greer has definitely earned her place in the spotlight thanks in part to her widely recognized role as Kitty Sanchez in Arrested Development.
Since appearing with the Bluth family on the Netflix series, Greer has stayed extremely busy with appearances in films like Tomorrowland, Jurassic World and Ant Man as well as television shows such as Mad Love, The Big Bang Theory and a starring role in Married. So much for “The Judy Greer Effect” when it comes to her life as a co-star! What’s even better is that Greer will reprise her role as Cornelia the chimp in the 2017 film War for the Planet of the Apes. Stay tuned!
#16 – Bella Thorne
Heading to the other end of the age spectrum, we now turn to 18-year-old Bella Thorne who is the youngest redhead on our list. Making her acting debut at just six years old in Stuck on You, the former child model landed her first major role on television in 2007 as Margaux Darling in Dirty Sexy Money. Just three years later, she had an even bigger year when she was cast on Big Love and in a starring role on Disney Channel’s Shake It Up.
With Shake It Up ending in 2013, Thorne then landed a recurring role in MTV’s Scream as well as in films like Blended, The Duff and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip. Praised by Glamour magazine as a beauty icon, we have no doubt that we’ll be seeing plenty more from Thorne in the coming years especially after the upcoming release of films like Amityville: The Reawakening, Shovel Buddies, Midnight Sun and The Babysitter.
#15 – Ellie Kemper
From field hockey and a high school play with Mad Men’s Jon Hamm to improv comedy and Hollywood itself, 35-year-old Ellie Kemper has quite the story to tell when it comes to her rise to stardom. First dabbling in acting at her St. Louis high school where Jon Hamm was her teacher, Kemper honed her acting skills at Princeton while playing on the field hockey team only to hang up her jersey in exchange for a career on stage.
Making numerous guest appearances on shows like Late Night with Conan O’Brien in the late 2000s as well as earning fame on YouTube, Kemper eventually tried out for the lead in Parks & Recreation but instead found herself as Erin on The Office. Since then, the funny redhead has become quite the star with roles in Bridesmaids, 21 Jump Street and They Came Together as well as the lead in the popular Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
#14 – Jayma Mays
Much like Judy Greer from earlier on our list, Jayma Mays is yet another redheaded perennial costar who we would definitely love to see more of on the silver screen. First making a name for herself with a recurring role on the NBC sci-fi series Heroes, Mays made her film debut in 2007 in the unfortunate flop, Epic Movie. Hey, the film had to have at least one good feature, right?
Despite not having the best of luck in her first major film, Mays has gone on to star in Paul Blart: Mall Cop and The Smurfs but has luckily managed to find her niche in television. Best known today for playing Emma Pillsbury on Glee, the 36-year-old Mays continues to work to build her stardom as she has found success in series such as The League and The Millers. We can’t wait to see what’s up next for this darling redhead with the big voice!
#13 – Bryce Dallas Howard
With talent already running in the family, Bryce Dallas Howard was destined for stardom thanks to her legendary father who is none other than one of Hollywood’s favorite actors and directors, Ron Howard. Fortunately for Bryce, she’s more of a looker than her father and quickly caught the attention of M. Night Shyamalan who cast her in The Village in 2004 and again in Lady in the Water in 2006.
Paving her own path to stardom, Howard continued to land big roles over the years in movies like Spider-Man 3, Terminator: Salvation and The Twilight Saga. Luckily enough, 2015 proved to be an even bigger year for the 34-year-old star who made headlines alongside Chris Pratt in the second biggest film of the year, Jurassic World. And guess what! This year should be yet another for the record books as Howard is in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon. We can’t wait!
#12 – Analeigh Tipton
Perhaps one of the most multi-talented redheads on our list, Analeigh Tipton is also one of the most dynamic. Now only 27 years old, Tipton launched her career as a synchronized skater when she was two years old and went on to win a pair of regional championships before retiring from competition at the age of 16. Transitioning into modeling, Tipton’s MySpace photographs led her straight to America’s Next Top Model in 2008 where she placed third in the finale.
Since then, Tipton has expanded her talents yet again, this time as an actress. Making her television debut on The Big Bang Theory, Tipton became a “face to watch” (according to The New York Times) thanks to her performances in The Green Hornet, Warm Bodies and Crazy, Stupid, Love. With her career skyrocketing, she then landed her first lead role in the 2014 film Two Night Stand and earned a spot as the co-lead in the ABC comedy Manhattan Love Story. Hopefully this isn’t the last time we see Tipton as a leading lady!
#11 – Amanda Righetti
While it’s difficult for many to stand out in Sin City, Amanda Righetti proved to be something special when the Las Vegas native signed a modeling contract at just 15 years old. Transitioning from the catwalk to the stage, Righetti landed roles on television series like The O.C., North Shore, Reunion and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation before being cast as the lead in a couple of low budget horror films including Return to the House on Haunted Hill and Friday the 13th.
A career as a fright night star wasn’t in the cards for Righetti, however, as she soon landed the biggest role of her career in 2008. Cast as the sexy and smart Grace Van Pelt on The Mentalist, the 32-year-old actress spent six seasons on the series before announcing that she would leave in 2015. Making guest appearances on the series’ seventh and final season, Righetti’s fans are thrilled to see even more of the gorgeous redhead who has recently joined the cast of the USA Network series, Colony.
#10 – Deborah Ann Woll
From relative unknown to one of HBO’s favorite vampires, Deborah Ann Woll has certainly come a long way since making her acting debut in 2007. Spending much of her early career making guest appearances on series like Life, ER, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, My Name is Earl and The Mentalist, Woll’s fate forever changed in 2008 when she landed the role as Jessica Hamby on HBO’s True Blood.
Cast alongside sexy costars like Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, Woll wrapped up the series with its finale in 2014. By 2015, the 30-year-old star was making headlines yet again only this time among Marvel fans for her stellar performance in the Netflix original series, Daredevil. With her career and star status obviously growing, we have no doubt that Woll will dare to stay in Hollywood for many more years to come.
#9 – Amy Adams
The second 40+ redhead on our list, Amy Adams was a popular B movie actress before catching the eye of legendary director Steven Spielberg who quickly cast her in his 2002 hit Catch Me If You Can. Despite starring alongside A-list actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken, it wasn’t until 2005 when she became a household name thanks to her breakthrough and Academy Award nominated performance in Junebug.
Proving her talents across all genres from horror and drama to romantic comedy and superhero flicks, Adams has taken Hollywood by storm with roles in films such as Enchanted, The Fighter, The Master, Man of Steel, American Hustle and Big Eyes. With an incredible five Academy Award nominations and numerous others, we have no doubt that 2016 will be even bigger for the 41-year-old star as she debuts as Lois Lane in the highly anticipated Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill.
#8 – Jessica Chastain
Perhaps one of the latest Hollywood bloomers on our list, Jessica Chastain spent much of her early career on stage and making minor television appearances before taking Hollywood by surprise with her 2008 film debut in Jolene. By 2011, Chastain was on her way to stardom after gaining international recognition for her starring roles in a series of films including Take Shelter, The Help and The Tree of Life.
Praised as “one of the finest actors of her generation” and “one of the most influential people in the world,” Chastain’s career is still moving at top speed and Hollywood couldn’t be happier. Starring in blockbuster hits such as Zero Dark Thirty, Interstellar and The Martian, the 38-year-old Golden Globe winner has recently wrapped up filming for The Huntsman: Winter’s War and is already working on her next project, The Zookeeper’s Wife. Talk about a real Hollywood workaholic!
#7 – Karen Gillan
The first Scottish redhead on our list, Karen Gillan always dreamed of becoming an actor which led her straight to London at 18 years old where she studied at the illustrious Italia Conti Academy of Theatre. While studying at the Academy, Gillan signed a modeling contract but never lost sight of her dreams for the stage and made several appearances on television before joining a sketch comedy series, The Kevin Bishop Show, in 2008.
With growing fame and obvious sex appeal, Gillan found herself the object of nerd desire by 2010 when she was cast as Amy Pond on Doctor Who. Just a year later, she upped her nerd fan club to comic book status when she joined Chris Pratt in the Marvel megahit, Guardians of the Galaxy. Focusing more on television as of late, the 28-year-old has starred in NTSF: SD: SUV as well as in ABC’s unfortunately short-lived series, Selfie. Thankfully, we won’t have to wait too long to see her again with the upcoming release of The Big Short, The Circle and another Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
#6 – Kate Mara
On a fast track to stardom and two NFL teams in the family, Kate Mara has more than just the New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers to cheer her on. Anxious to make a name for herself apart from her family’s legacy, Mara made her television debut in 1997 on Law & Order which was followed by guest appearances on shows like Nip/Tuck, Cold Case, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and American Horror Story: Murder House.
Quickly becoming a household name as one of the hottest stars in Hollywood, the 32-year-old Mara has taken her talents to the silver screen with hits like Brokeback Mountain, Shooter, Fantastic Four and The Martian. Working diligently to be defined less by her hair color and more for her work, Mara works nonstop to build her star status with her latest project for 2016 as the title character in the biographical drama, Megan Leavey.
#5 – Holland Roden
Wait, she has beauty and brains? If you like redheads and intelligent women, then Holland Roden just might be the perfect girl for you. Before appearing on Lost, Bring It On: Fight to Finish and Teen Wolf, Roden had much different plans for her career. Studying pre-med at UCLA with plans on becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon, Roden gave up her future in the operating room in exchange for her dreams of the stage.
Despite the glamour of Hollywood, Roden is still a science nerd at heart and fears that one day she might be extinct. The 29-year-old star said, “I’m left-handed, and I just found (out) I’m an O negative blood type. I’m the recessive of the recessives of the recessive, the earliest model that’s going to be the next extinct human.” With yet another recessive gene in the form of beautiful green eyes, we only hope that this Hollywood hottie and smarty-pants doesn’t go the way of the dinosaurs anytime soon!
#4 – Alexandra Breckenridge
Launching her acting career at 15 years old, Alexandra Breckenridge made her television debut on Freaks and Geeks in 2000 only to be followed by minor roles in shows like Dawson’s Creek, CSI, Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. By 2002, the young redhead had her first film – Big Fat Liar – on the books and had caught the attention of Seth MacFarlane who hired her as a voice actor on Family Guy.
Still a seemingly unknown star in the mid-2000s, Breckenridge landed her breakout role in the FX series Dirt in 2007 and later appeared on True Blood and American Horror Story: Coven, which expanded her fan club by the droves thanks to a new and brighter shade of red. Breaking a number of hearts with her marriage to guitarist Casey Hooper last year, the 33-year-old has recently won over audiences as Jessie Anderson on the hit series The Walking Dead.
#3 – Isla Fisher
Heading overseas once again to meet the next gorgeous redhead on our list, Isla Fisher was born in Oman and moved to Australia with her Scottish parents when she was six years old. By the time she was nine, Fisher had already made her acting debut only to be followed by the publication of her two teen novels by her 18th birthday. Life as an author, however, simply wasn’t in the cards for this Hollywood star.
Becoming an overnight favorite in 2005 after appearing as the clingy Gloria Cleary in Wedding Crashers, Fisher’s career skyrocketed thanks to hit films like Hot Rod, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Arrested Development, The Great Gatsby and the Now You See Me series. Attributing her red locks to much of her fame (and something to blame her fiery temper on), the 39-year-old Fisher seemingly has it all from a stellar career to a growing family with fellow actor Sacha Baron Cohen of Borat fame.
#2 – Christina Hendricks
Named the “Sexiest Woman in the World” by Esquire magazine, 40-year-old Christina Hendricks is the poster girl for curvy women everywhere. First starting her career in children’s musical theater in Idaho, Hendricks turned to modeling before making a number of guest appearances on shows like ER, Firefly, Without a Trace and Las Vegas until landing her biggest role in 2007 as Joan Harris on Mad Men.
Earning six Emmy Award nominations for Mad Men, Hendricks has worked to build her career on her talent rather than on her looks. Born a natural blonde, Hendricks wasn’t always happy with her looks and, as a matter of fact, admitted that she dyed her hair “about 42 different colors.” Inspired by the book Anne of Green Gables, Hendricks settled on red and, as they say in Hollywood, the rest is history.
#1 – Emma Stone
Ending our list with one of the most gorgeous redheads and biggest names in Hollywood, Emma Stone became an overnight success after making her film debut in the 2007 comedy Superbad. Going on to star in Easy A, the award-winning Stone has landed starring roles ever since in blockbuster hits like Birdman, The Help, The Amazing Spider-Man franchise and Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Much like Christina Hendricks, Stone is also a natural blonde whose switch to red came in 2007 after Superbad producer Judd Apatow told her that a new color would give her a better edge for the film. Trading in her blonde locks for red, we can’t say we blame the 27-year-old star whose beauty and talent will keep her right here on our list of the top 20 hottest redheads in Hollywood for many years to come.