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“You’d find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair,” Anne of Green Gables famously remarked. “People who haven’t red hair don’t know what trouble is.”
From Lucy Maud Montgomery’s fictional orphan to Mark Twain, much has been said about the personality traits allegedly linked to a fiery mane. The only people who truly know what it’s like to have red hair, of course, are those who have it, and this weekend, throngs of them will descend on Breda in the Netherlands for Redhead Days (Roodharigen in Dutch).
Here, in celebration of this annual convention, is a collection of portraits of famous redheads from the LIFE Magazine archives. For some of them, their card-carrying membership in the redhead club is sometimes questioned—is Robert Redford’s hair red or sandy blonde?—while others, like Lucille Ball, would be excluded from Redhead Days for being converts, rather than natural-born entrants, into the cult of red. Still, hair dye or not, their legacies will forever burn red.
Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.