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Helen Mirren got it right when she said ‘flesh sells’ In Focus by Richard Crouse METRO CANADA Published: November 30, 2011

02SHAME-articleLarge-v2A website called Mr. Skin notes that Helen Mirren is the only celebrity to appear nude on screen in five different decades.

The Oscar winner became the first British actress to appear in the buff in a mainstream film in 1969, when she was just 24 years old.

On her revealing scene in Age of Consent she said, “Flesh sells. People don’t want to see pictures of churches. They want to see naked bodies.”

Since then Mirren has doffed her clothes several more times, and become one of the most acclaimed actresses of her age.

Appearing nude doesn’t appear to have hurt her career with the public or the Academy, which is probably makes Michael Fassbender, the very naked star of this weekend’s Oscar contender Shame, very happy.

In a performance that bares not only his body but his soul as well, Fassbender might become the most unclothed star to ever be nominated for Best Actor.

But he wouldn’t be the first star to go naked as a jaybird for their craft and take home Oscar gold.

Kate Winslet says there was so much nudity in The Reader, which earned her an Oscar, because the story required it. But, she added in the same interview, she thinks people might be tired of looking at her body.

The first nude film scenes happened almost 100 years before Fassbender drop trou.

In 1915’s Inspiration an actress named Audrey Munson undressed and for the next 20 years stars regularly exposed their hidden talents.

Then came the Hays Code, which banned nudity from the major studios well into the 1960s.

One of the first big stars to break the code was Jayne Mansfield, whose topless role in Promises! Promises! landed her on the Top 10 list of Box Office Attractions for 1963.

Since then many A-listers have taken it off for their art.

Recently both Amanda Seyfried and Julianne Moore stripped in Chloe. Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams wore their birthday suits in Love and Other Drugs and Blue Valentine respectively.

But it’s not just women exposing themselves.

Gerard Butler let it all hang out in Mrs. Brown and Gamer and Daniel Craig is buck naked in Love is the Devil.

Producer Judd Apatow promises more male nudity in his films.

“It really makes me laugh in this day and age that anyone is troubled by seeing any part of the human body.”

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