Through January of next year, the ''Big Miracle'' star is cohosting Turner Classic Movies' ''The Essentials with Robert Osborne,'' presenting and commenting on such female-fronted classics as ''Gilda'' and ''Diabolique.'' So we asked her for her favorite screen sirens of all time

By Tim Stack
Updated March 16, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

Big Miracle

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Julie Christie
The Doctor Zhivago and Don’t Look Now star impresses Barrymore with her subtle sexuality. ”Her sensuality comes from restraint as opposed to some other women who will get in your face. Women are in awe of her, and men are in love with her.”

Faye Dunaway
Barrymore respects the Mommie Dearest star’s ability to completely transform into Joan Crawford. ”I love the sirens who aren’t afraid to look a little less attractive from time to time and go for it. They’ll let the crazy override the sexy.”

Jane Fonda
Barrymore has a bit of a girl crush on this acting (and aerobics) legend. ”The all-time chameleon. Sexy on the dock in On Golden Pond, so differently sexy in Klute, and the best fun, sexy dork ever in 9 to 5. It just doesn’t get better than Jane Fonda.”

”She’s strong and comedic and incredibly brave, but shows vulnerability. I think she’s the epitome of rock & roll,” says Barrymore, citing Silkwood, Moonstruck, Mask, and The Witches of Eastwick as some of her favorite Cher performances.

Annette Bening
Watching Bening in her Oscar-nominated turn in The Grifters, says Barrymore, ”I have a wonderful uncertainty where I don’t know if she’s going to be angry or a bad girl or a really good woman. I have the deepest respect for her.”

Big Miracle

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  • Ken Kwapis