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10 hottest on-screen bathing suits

  • Phoebe Cates wore a skimpy red bikini in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"
  • Bo Derek may have been the best thing to happen to sales of the one-piece
  • Welch's animal-skin bikini may be film's most famous bathing suit that never got wet

( -- History's best bathing suits aren't always practical -- Raquel Welch's Paleolithic two-piece from One Million Years B.C. wouldn't have lasted long in open water--but they're impossible to forget. InStyle fashion director Hal Rubenstein shares the top ten on-screen swimsuits that are forever in our memories.

1. URSULA ANDRESS in "Dr. No" (1962)
As Honey Rider, she stepped out of the Caribbean and into the fantasies of every guy longing to be James Bond. The matching knife belt was a cute touch.

2. PHOEBE CATES in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982)
Backed by a curtain of sprinkler-coated sunbeams, Cates's high school princess joined the pool party in a skimpy bikini as red as her lipstick. A besotted Judge Reinhold -- and a generation of teenage boys in the movie theater -- envisioned unhooking her top.

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3. BO DEREK in "10" (1979)
Her perfect score has never been beaten. But then, how many women fill out a nude maillot like second skin and get spotted running down a beach in slow motion? Derek may have been the best thing to happen to sales of the one-piece.

4. ELIZABETH TAYLOR in "Suddenly, Last Summer" (1959)
In Tennessee Williams brilliantly macabre classic, Catherine Holly's cousin deliberately dressed her in a plunging, stark white maillot so that every man on the beach would come a little bit closer for a better look at her, and then he could get a better look at them. Considering the attraction was Elizabeth Taylor, everyone wound up with a lot to look at.

5. The FARRAH FAWCETT poster (1976)
To promote her instant celebrity in "Charlie's Angels," a Cleveland poster company arranged to shoot Fawcett in a bikini at her house. But the actress wasn't comfortable so exposed. So she pulled this red one-piece from her closet. The company hated the pic, but Farrah had final approval (and retained photo rights). Smart girl: The poster sold over 12 million copies and is still for sale today.

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6. JESSICA ALBA in "Into the Blue" (2005)
Nobody remembers the film: It had something to do with sunken treasure, drugs, bad guys, six-pack abs, and a water park called "Atlantis." But plenty of people took notice of Alba's role as theme-park guide and her unmatched swimsuit: no doubt bikini separates gained in popularity after this promo shot was released.

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7. PAMELA ANDERSON in "Baywatch" (1992)
"The world's most popular series" is gone, but you can still buy a copy of the suit with the sky-high-cut thigh online. However, good luck looking as good in it as Anderson's CJ Parker. Funny, Anderson wasn't in the original cast. But who can imagine "Babewatch" without her?

8. CARRIE FISHER in "Return of the Jedi" (1983)
Today, it may be hard to reconcile the acid tongue and ruthless honesty of this writer, performer and popular Hollywood script doctor with her former role as Sci-fi's most famous princess. But at the height of "Return of the Jedi's" climax, Luke Skywalker rescued Leia from the swirling gold and chain link bondage gear of Jabba the Hut -- and her sexy suit remains one of the most memorable in the galaxy.

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9. RACQUEL WELCH in "One Million Years B.C." (1966)
Ok, so maybe the dates aren't quite accurate. In fact, if most women in prehistoric times really looked and dressed like this, a lot more people today would be studying cave paintings. As fabulous as it is ludicrous, Welch's animal-skin bikini may be film's most famous bathing suit that never got wet.

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10. HALLE BERRY in "Die Another Day" (2002)
Best way to revive a fading franchise? Go back to square one. In "Die Another Day," another breathtaking beauty (this time an Oscar-winner) made an entrance straight from the ocean. An inspired homage to Ursula Andress's original Bond girl, Berry's fire-orange-clad Jinx Johnson killed -- both literally and figuratively.

See if your favorites made our list in our expanded gallery at

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