Grable became famous in the ‘40s thanks to roles in Tin Pan Alley and Coney Island, but it was her famous bathing suit shot that’s burned into the memories of World War II vets everywhere. Sure, peeking over your shoulder in a one-piece might be laughable compared to Bar Rafaeli’s 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover, but it wasn’t exactly modest in the ‘40s. Grable became an instant pin-up favorite and the photo was enshrined by Life magazine in it’s list of “100 Photos that Changed the World.”
Her legs - which were insured for $1 million with Lloyds of London, by the way - were often considered as having the ideal proportions: 18.5-inch thighs, 12-inch calves and 7.5-inch ankles. Keira Knightley probably hasn’t measured her legs in a while but I’d imagine they aren’t anywhere near that (girl needs some meat).
And Hugh Hefner’s latest twins can bow at Grable’s memory, as she seems to be the only woman who would truly be able to tell Marilyn Monroe to eat her heart out. Hef admitted himself in April of 2007 that Grable was his inspiration for creating the entire Playboy empire. And let’s face it, where would we be today without The Girls Next Door.