When: 1993-present Sex symbolism: We used to like our bombshells to stay stateside, but with the international appeal of Pam Anderson on "Baywatch," the bar was forever raised. Therefore, it took Angelina Jolie traveling abroad to adopt children from Cambodia, Ethiopia and Vietnam, while giving birth to other children in Namibia and France, to really cement her sex symbol status. This is after several awkward phases -- including her "rising sex symbol" phase when she was picked to fill out the extremely form-fitting costume of videogame sex icon Lara Croft in the "Tomb Raider" movies, and her "weird" phase that had her wearing husband Billy Bob Thornton's blood in vial on a necklace and behaving a bit too lovingly toward her brother at the Oscars in 2000. Her work with the UN and her travels abroad demonstrate that it takes a lot more than sprawling across the hood of a sports car or twirling your hair to achieve major sex-symbol status in the 21st century.
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times