Angelina Jolie is the only modern beauty who could compete with silver screen legends Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner, according to celebrity photographer Terry O'neill.

The Brit has captured the world's most iconic beauties during his prolific career and he insists the days of the movie siren are numbered - because so few current stars possess the look, the elegance and the class of the greats.

But there is one actress who rises above the rest - Tomb Raider beauty Jolie.

O'Neill tells Parade magazine, "Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe, all of them were stunning. Now, they all seem the same. The only one who really stands out is Angelina Jolie, a different class of girl altogether. She's a stunning, beautiful woman - a rarity."

O'Neill also reveals the stunning stars he caught on camera all had one thing in common - none of them would accept they were beautiful.

The photographer, who was once married to actress Faye Dunaway and who romanced lifestyle queen Martha Stewart, explains, "Beautiful women see all their flaws, not their assets. I said to Ava, 'You are definitely the most beautiful of women'. She said, 'Oh, shut up!'

"I said to Michelle Pfeiffer one day, 'You're stunning!' She said, 'Oh, don't be silly'. Liz Taylor wouldn't have it, either. She never believed it. Audrey Hepburn didn't. You tell them that they're beautiful, but they just don't see it.

"But, of course, when you get to know them, like when you're married to them, all the lust wears off and you're face to face with (just) a human being."