One of Hollywood's hottest actresses has gone under the radar for years. True fans recognize Linda Cardellini, and they know that she is absolutely gorgeous. Ever since the underrated brunette appeared on Boy Meets World she caught our eye. Then she dazzled us on the short-but-sweet run of Freaks and Geeks. Linda has gone on to star in dozens of films and TV shows, and she's great every time, but for some reason, she never made it to that super-stardom level.
So what makes an actress super famous? Is it that one role in a major blockbuster? Is it the chance to land a critically acclaimed script, and win an Oscar? Is it dating the right person, which leads you into bed with a famous director or producer? Maybe it's all just luck. Superstars like Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, and Jennifer Lawrence aren't prettier or more talented than Linda, but somehow, they're making the big bucks in any movie they want.
Well, we say forget the popularity contest of Hollywood. Linda Cardellini is hot, and if we're the only ones who appreciate her, then so be it. We will celebrate her beauty on this list, as well as all of the projects in which she's shined. We're giving credit where credit is long overdue. Here comes Cardellini's hottest pics ever.
15 Tight Pants
We're not sure if this is a pool or not. At first glance it looks like our favorite hottie, Linda, is sitting poolside. But when you look again, you realize that she's actually wearing pants. So maybe that's a fountain she's wading beside. Perhaps our rebellious girl just got way too hot and had to take a dip. We're not sure when this shot was taken, but we're guessing it's around the time of her starring role in Brokeback Mountain. The film will be forever infamous for its closeted cowboys, and some of that hype left Linda's role in the dust. In the film, she seduces Heath Ledger's character by forgetting to cross her legs while wearing a very short skirt.
14 Mad Men
Did you watch Mad Men? The series launched the careers of many actors, especially the lead, Jon Hamm, who is seen here playing Linda's love interest. Cardellini played
Sylvia Rosen, a friend of Don Draper's, and a married woman. After several episodes of flirty tension, the pair obviously had an affair. Just before the moment pictured, Linda was wearing a smoking hot red dress. She slowly let the dress fall to the floor as she seduces Mr. Draper. The bra came off next. Like much of the show, this shot has that old fashioned look to it. Linda's skin seems untouched by the sun. She may appear pale at first glance, but on second look, that's the beauty of the scene. She is all natural, and still looks fantastic.
13 Black and White
This shot is so hot, gazing into the eyes of Linda. She has beautiful light brown eyes, which look even lighter in this black and white image. Cardellini is wearing a black bustier, a color that shows up quite often in her shots. Also in this pic, we can see the lights shining on her perfect skin. Again, we're not sure when this pic was shot, but let's say it's early on, during her Legally Blonde role. Many fans forgot that she played the culprit in the film that launched Reese Witherspoon's Oscar winning career. In the quirky comedy, Linda played the frizzy haired Chutney, who tried to blame her father's death on his young wife. The hero, Elle Woods, eventually reveals that it was Chutney who shot her own father on accident, when she had intended to kill his unwanted gold digging wife.
12 So Low Cut
Can a shirt be any more low cut? But it's not really even a shirt, is it? If anything, it's more of a wide satin overalls concept. Linda looks gorgeous, but the whole shot is rather odd. Is that an invisible pool cue? And check out the leg things. What are those? Seems to be some type of snap-up leg warmers, or shin chaps. The question is, did she choose these clothes, or was she given them by the photographer? We're guessing the latter. This shot was taken from a Maxim spread that Cardellini did ten years ago. Maxim girls tend to wear odd stuff. There's another shot with Linda wearing this same Maxim outfit, while laying down, but her thighs seem very photoshopped. It's almost like her entire bum was left on the cutting room floor. Maxim has also been heavy with the digital alterations, which Linda does not require.
11 Casual Grace
This is obviously a professional photoshoot, but there is something about it that seems so normal, yet hot. One of Linda's biggest strengths is that girl-next-door appeal. This shot looks like it took place during her run on the famous medical TV series, ER. Linda played nurse Samantha "Sam" Taggart in 126 episodes. Like many of the characters on ER, much of the storylines veered far away from the hospital. In one crazy plotline, Sam and her son Alex, are taken captive by Alex's estranged and psychotic dad. The man invades the hospital, stabs people, and goes crazy. He ties Sam and Alex up, throws them in a van, and drives to Canada, where he proceeds to assault Sam in the worst way. Sam eventually shoots him in his sleep, and then tells the cops that she did it in self defense of the assault. She ends up getting off with a justifiable homicide charge, while Alex is conflicted and ends up being a pretty poorly behaved kid.
10 Young Blonde
This is one of the youngest shots of Linda on the list. At first look, it's difficult to even recognize her. You have to look twice. Pretty brown eyes? Check. Perfect little mouth? Check. Cute as a button nose? Check. Round, natural bust? Yep. It's all there. Okay then, it's Linda for sure. This photo looks like it may precede her run as Lindsay Weir on Freaks and Geeks, but there were plenty of projects before that. Linda starred in the TV spin-off of Clueless. She also appeared on 30 Rock From the Sun, and Boy Meets World, in which she even kissed the lead character, Cory. She also starred in the Nickelodeon film Good Burger. She played the cute girl at the insane asylum at the end. Linda has a way larger resume than most fans realize. She's done it all, from comedy to horror, and the roles keep coming.
9 Grandma's Boy
One of Linda's best traits are her skills in comedy. Have you seen this scene in Grandma's Boy? The woman is dropping it like it's hot. Got her bum swinging all around. At one point she even tries to lick her own breast. It's amazing how long this woman's tongue can stretch. Maybe you could ask about that with her ex, Jason Segel, who she met on the set of Freaks and Geeks. The pair hooked up on the show and in real life. They were young when they dated, and have remained friends since. Candellini is currently engaged to Steven Rodriguez. Steve is not a celebrity, but he is a childhood sweetheart, who Linda has known for years. “He was 11. He was the new kid at my school,” she says. “He could do amazing bike tricks and I was impressed. Not afraid to say it.” The couple has a five-year-old daughter together already.
8 Number One Hit
If you Google "Linda Cardellini hot," this is the first image that appears. This is the type of grueling research we have the pleasure to conduct for our esteemed publication. The first thing you'll notice is those legs. Most of the time, Linda shows off her eyes and her pretty face, but don't forget about those legs. They are thin, like the rest of her body, a healthy trait which has helped her keep her youthful image. Thank goodness she hasn't gone the other route, and gone under the knife. Have you seen any Tiffany Theissen pics lately? That girl definitely had a facelift. Her eyes are buggin'. Then there's the Courteney Cox botox debacle. Or Renee Zellweger, my goodness. Leave your pretty face alone, Linda, we're begging you.
7 Lounging Poolside
Even a normal by-the-pool shot becomes so alluring when Linda is involved. She looks pretty tan for a change. Usually the actress gets by with her beautiful porcelain skin tone. No doubt she's had a tan before, since she is a California girl. Linda was born in Redwood City, CA, and graduated from Catholic high school in Mountain View, CA. Those are both San Francisco Bay Area towns, one of the coolest places to live in the country. The Bay Area combines the laid back ways of LA, but with a much more organic, intellectual vibe, not so plastic like Hollywood. That great atmosphere, combined with the fact that Linda was the youngest of four kids growing up, helped make her the humble, understated actress that she is today.
6 New Girl
Linda guest starred in three episodes of New Girl, and wow, did she look great. Cardellini played Abby Day, the older sister of Jessica Day, the lead role played by Zooey Deschanel. Whoever does casting for this show is on point. Jessica's parents are played to perfection by Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis. When Zooey went on maternity leave, they got Megan Fox to jump in. Brenda Song played Winston's smoking hot girlfriend. Josh Gad played an awesomely dumb bartender. Booger is the high school principal at Jess' school. Other guest stars include the late, great Prince of all people! How did they land that casting? And Linda as Zooey's sis is also a perfect assignment. Here is a screenshot of Linda trying to seduce goofy old Schmidt.
5 Those Eyes
Here's another casual photoshot that was made intense by that Linda stare. She has that look that seems so genuine, and fiery, yet approachable. If you haven't seen Freaks and Geeks, you better crawl out of your cave and queue it up. Linda plays the conflicted high school kid to perfection. Lindsay Weir is a smart girl, but she's tired of being a nerd. She wants to be cool, but doesn't know how. Unless you're a total idiot, everybody in the world has felt that feeling at one point or another. And although Linda has somehow blended into the background, and been forgotten when the awards are handed out, she did manage to win three. A TV Land Icon Award was given to the cast of ER. She won a BTVA best cast voice acting award for a Superman short. Her only solo prize is a Prism Award for acting in the 2011 war film Return. That's it. Crazy, right? Three. Don't worry. Her career ain't over yet.
4 Poorly Timed Phone Call
Don't you hate it when you're about to get busy and the phone rings? There's always an awkward moment, when no matter what is going on, your natural impulse is to answer the damn phone. Or at least see who's calling. Then you realize, wait a minute, I'm way too busy to answer this. But what if the call is important? Who cares! Don't spoil the moment. This is a recent screenshot of Linda from Bloodline, a Netflix original series, currently in its final season. Linda has a couple of getting-it-on type of scenes in this drama. She also has one where she's wearing a killer bikini. Linda does appears in the buff in the creepy horror flick Strangeland. However, we couldn't find a shot of her with her body and her face clearly showing. Her hair was in the way of her face, so we're guessing she may have used a body double. Besides, it is a torturous scene, like most of the film, and her bare skin, all across her body, is threaded with needles. Sometimes films are too creepy to be hot. It's a shame.
3 Classic Linda
This simple shot shows the underrated beauty of Cardellini. She looks younger in this one, perhaps coming off of the cancellation of Freaks and Geeks. We keep mentioning that show, but it was good, and pretty influential. The show, which only lasted for one season, 18 episodes, and was chock full of talent. Names that rose out of the show's ashes include Linda, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Busy Phillips, and don't forget the multiple episode writing/directing, and series producer Judd Apatow. Since when has that much talent been squashed after one season? That's like cancelling SNL. No wonder Freaks and Geeks is a cult classic. The entire concept was about kids trying to find their way through life, and here they were getting rejected by NBC. But the rejection made them stronger, they learned from it, and kept trying harder.
2 Nerdy Dream Girl
What happens when you take one cult-classic babe and cast her in the most cult-classic of all cartoons? Plus, we're going to put said babe in the tightest little orange sweater you've ever seen, and write enough double entendres to kill a horse. Yes, we're obviously talking about Cardellini's role as Velma in the live action Scooby Doo films. We're not sure if the producers of this film quite knew who they were dealing with when they cast Linda. For some reason, she was just oozing with sensuality in this flick. She stole the show. Every scene she had was like, "Oh, my god." Was it her voice? Was it her body? Was it those nerdy glasses? Whatever it was, Linda took the nerd-gone-hot angle and crushed it.
1 Strappy Bikini
Linda Cardellini has got to be the most underrated and undervalued actress in Hollywood. This list proves it. Who else with her level of talent and physical appeal has ever had such a flatline career? Most actresses peak when they're young, and they fall. Maybe there's a second peak when they get older and wiser, but there is generally a bumpy road involved. Candelini has managed to sail more smoothly, but that's only because those peaks weren't as high or the valleys as low. This woman has had an incredible career. She's been in numerous television projects, too many to name, year after year with no gaps. Her film resume isn't quite as large, but it's still no disaster. She's managed to stay out of trouble too. The booze and the drugs never took their toll like they tend to do on many actors. She's strong, dependable, and fine. Her star is still rising. The best is yet to come.
Sources: People, IMDb, EvilBabes, Wikipedia, Maxim