I know I've done this list before. Why bother with these? One: they're easy to write. Two: it's a nice way to pay tribute to those enchanting ladies whose talents are, at times, undervalued or overlooked. By all means, Google some of these names if you're unfamiliar with them. You will wind up discovering some movies, music, and other things you weren't aware of beforehand. You may even develop a few new crushes of your own.
- Lisa Loeb. While I never became a huge fan of her music (though "Stay" was a catchy tune), Loeb's geek chic won me over. Girls with glasses! Bring 'em on!
- Kelly Macdonald. This Scottish actress made a memorable first impression in Trainspotting and lights up the screen in every film she appears, though starring roles are few. I love her brogue and her bumpy nose.
- Pink. Call it a guilty pleasure. The slightly butch, slightly trashy singer from Philadelphia - born Alecia Moore - has a weird charisma that I find appealing, even if I avoid listening to her music.
- Catalina Sandino Moreno. There was nothing glamorous about her debut role in Maria Full of Grace, but this Colombian actress cleaned up real nice at the parties surrounding her surprise Oscar nomination. Her career is still in its early phases - although an Oscar nom isn't a bad start.
- Lumi Cavazos. Another Latina performer who came out of nowhere to star in an art house hit (in this case, Like Water for Chocolate), the Mexican-born Cavazos never became a name - at least north of the border - but witness her charming turn in Bottle Rocket and you'll fall in love.
- Catherine O'Hara. Nothing wrong with being a little long in the tooth. The bitterly funny O'Hara first made her name in the classic SCTV show, but of her many wacky supporting roles throughout her long career, I will always cherish her strangely sexy performance in Beetlejuice. She was also the best thing in the otherwise middling mockumentary A Mighty Wind.
- Kathleen Hanna. Back to the music world we go for this indie music veteran, who fronted the influential bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, came up with the phrase "Smells Like Teen Spirit", does her damnedest to keep the word "feminist" from becoming an insult, and in general rocks my little fanboy world.
- Birgit Minichmayr.The winner of the "Who?" category on this list, I first saw this actress in Germany's troubling Downfall, about the last days of Hitler. Although her role was small, I was intrigued by her offbeat good looks and mannerisms. Here's to you, Birgit.
- Dr. Julie Gerberding. This may be such an eccentric choice that it borders on the perverse, but recently I saw a few pictures of the 50-year-old director of the Centers for Disease Control and thought, "she's hot!" She's got that cool Susan Sontag thing happening with her two-toned hair. And I dig the smart, confident expression on her face.