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Susan Young

TV’s Top 10 Brainy Babes

Who says hot girls have to be dumb?

These days, the small screen is filled with women who not only bowl you over with their beauty, but they can bedazzle you with their brains. Flip on any program and you’ll find fewer women characters trading on their physical charms while leaving the heavy mental lifting to the men.

The problem with compiling a top-10 list wasn’t trying to come up with the names, but limiting the list to 10. Most of the women on Grey’s Anatomy and Lost could be on the short list, as well as leading cable ladies Ellen (Rose Byrne) of Damages, Grace (Holly Hunter) from Saving Grace and Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick) of The Closer.

So with apologies to those left off the list, here’s a quick top-10 that really should be in no particular order:

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10. Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), 30 Rock: You can’t hide that beauty under those glasses, Liz Lemon. Liz runs a network variety show, keeping the humor whip smart while dealing with people she could slice and dice with just a withering line. She may be a gawky awkward geek at times, but you can’t deny those cheekbones models would go under the knife to get.

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9. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel), Bones: Ah, those lovely bones. Temperance’s Mensa level IQ doesn’t stop her from having a highly powered sex drive. In fact, the rational forensic anthropologist uses solid scientific ground to explain her high octane sex drive.

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8. Nancy Botwin (Mary Louise Parker), Weeds: If only she would use her brains for good instead of criminal activities. But then none of us would have as much fun. Nancy uses her considerable beauty to get ahead in the pot business, although her sexual escapades may have finally caught up with her. There’s no doubt she’ll have the mental abilities to get herself out of any mess.

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7. Fiona Glenanne, (Gabrielle Anwar), Burn Notice: Fi’s got a lethal look about her, and men should be afraid. Very afraid. And generally, pretty excited to see her stride into a room. She can size up a situation in record time and make tactical decisions like a four-star general.

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6. Sarah Walker, (Yvonne Strezechowki), Chuck: Sarah’s smarts have gotten them out of more bad situations than we can count, and she’s a woman of action. Nerdy Chuck has been smitten by the gorgeous agent since he first set eyes on her. But we know that a man of Chuck’s mental capacity wouldn’t be interested for long if it wasn’t for Sarah’s brain power – and the ability to kick anyone’s ass who messes with her or her man.

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5. Mary Shannon (Mary McCormack), In Plain Sight: This hot blonde is more than just a pretty face. Tough, sexy and smart, Mary’s aggressive style as a U.S. Marshal translates quite well into her steamy relationship with her professional baseball player boyfriend. And while she has a biting wit and solves mysteries like Miss Marple, Mary’s physical beauty can often be as disarming as her police skills.

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4. Wilhelmina Slater, (Vanessa Williams), Ugly Betty: The wily Wilhemina has seduced her way to the top of the fashion world and Meade Publications by relying heavily on her good looks, but she wouldn’t get anywhere without the scheming brains to back up that designer-draped figure. Wilhemina knows what she wants, and she’s got the smarts — and the style — to go after it in a very calculated manner.

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3. Remy “Thirteen” Hadley (Olivia Wilde), House: Thirteen is one of the best and brightest doctors in the country, sussing out solutions to the most complicated medical cases along with a team of bright boys. And yet the sexy siren still found time to play doctor with a succession of both men and women in her quest to satisfy her sexual drive. Maybe it’s that air of mystery that drives the boys (and girls) wild.

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2. Olivia Benson, (Mariska Hargitay), Law & Order: SVU: She’s as tough as they come, using those brain cells to crack some of the most heinous sex crimes in New York City. Olivia can be repressed, which given her job and her background is understandable. But she can’t help seething sexuality. Hargitay, a periennial Emmy nominee, comes by her looks through her late mom, 1950s pin up girl Jayne Mansfield. And her brains. Although better known for her figure and Marilyn Monroe looks, Mansfield’s IQ was in the genius level.

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1. Izzie Stevens, (Katherine Heigl), Grey’s Anatomy: You can fault her for lacking in common sense, but you can’t deny she’s sizzling hot with classic looks that hark back to those 1950s starlets. Izzie paid her way through med school as a model. That came back to haunt her when a patient didn’t want her working on him because he remembered having a poster of her up in his bedroom. Awkward.




Categories: TV

Tags: Emily deschanel, Gabrielle anwar, Katherine heigl, Mary louise parker, Mary mccormack, Tina fey