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Top 40 actresses who play icons

Acting is a tricky enough art alone, without the added pressure of emanating a legendary face from history. So a tip of the fedora to these talented thespians, who have risen to the challenge of playing icons in Hollywood and beyond, ably re-living their characters' legacies on-screen. The result is a double take of the highest order, with the movie star's own fame enhancing that of their subject. With Michelle Williams receiving rave reviews for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe this week, we take a look at other actresses who have embodied real-life legends of history. Read on for more details...

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Picture credit: Rex Features

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