Published April 10, 2009
This week's season finale of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" got us thinking about all the women over the years who've kicked some serious butt on the small screen and the big one, from Angie Dickinson as Pepper Anderson in "Police Woman" to Sigourney Weaver in "Alien."
One of the most iconic tough-chick images is the classic '70s illustration used in the opening credits of "Charlie’s Angels" (you know the one, the silhouette with the three police academy grads holding their firearms in the air). But Jill, Kelly, and Sabrina mostly used their “brains” to solve crimes, and they very rarely pulled a gun on their perps. So to honor these strong — and smart — beauties, we made a list of the toughest butt-kicking TV and movie babes. Doesn’t matter what side of the law they’re on … all that counts here is how they looked doing it.
Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, and Kate Jackson in "Charlie’s Angels"
Sure, maybe they weren't as tough as some of the others on our list, but they inspired a generation of girls in the ’70s to feather their hair and kick butt.
Heather Locklear in "T.J. Hooker"
Stacy Sheridan picked up where Charlie’s gals left off. She was the ’80s version of the hot-chick cop, but she got a little help from Shatner and Zmed.
Diana Rigg in "The Avengers"
Emma Peel was named because producers wanted a character with “man appeal” or “m. appeal.” Newcomer Diana Rigg brought them more man appeal than they ever imagined.
Carrie-Anne Moss in "The Matrix Reloaded"
The Holy Trinity — guns, martial arts, and Keanu Reeves. Now that’s bad-ass.
Vivica A. Fox in "Missing"
Leather-and-lace-clad Nicole Scott finds missing persons using the psychic powers she received after being struck by lightning. We didn’t say it was good… just that she's hot.
Angelina Jolie in "Wanted"
Angie’s first big blockbuster, "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," brought her international success and a string of gun-wielding hot-chick roles, including Illeana in "Taking Lives," Jane Smith in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," and Fox in "Wanted."
Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly in "Cagney & Lacey"
OK, we know they’re not “hot” in the Biblical sense, but you have to admit that Christine Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey always caught the bad guys and showed that female TV cops didn't have to look like bimbos to keep us riveted.
Linda Hamilton in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day"
Now back to hot chicks. In 1984 no chick was cut the way Sarah Connor was in "Terminator," not even Madonna. But we'd wager that Hamilton inspired a whole lot of celebrities to spend hours in the gym trying to re-create her strong, sexy look.
Holly Hunter in "Saving Grace"
Sexy Grace Hanadarko is pretty messed up. But she channels her grief by brandishing her weapon as often as possible.
Pam Grier in "Coffy"
This hot vigilante nurse single-handedly takes on the mob for revenge. And wins.
Bridget Fonda in "Point of No Return"
Maggie Hayward is a government assassin whose weapons include guns, martial arts, high heels, and slinky dresses.
Jane Fonda in "Barbarella"
Sure, Bridget is hot, but she doesn’t hold a candle to Aunt Jane in "Barbarella," who hunts down mad scientist Duran Duran in the skimpiest of space suits.
Elizabeth Hurley in "Austin Powers II"
Model Elizabeth Hurley was first noticed for her “acting” as Vanessa Kensington in the "Austin Powers" movies. Just goes to show, if you give a girl a gun, she can make you believe anything.
Pamela Anderson in "Barb Wire"
Pam Anderson plays "Barb Wire," a nightclub owner/bounty hunter in spandex and thigh-high boots. Just don’t call her babe.
Raquel Welch in "Hannie Caulder"
Who needs clothes when you have a gun like that?