attractive person of either sex, but usually applied to women, possibly derived from the baby dolls that children love to dress up or from its use as a nicknames for Dorothy.
(1) Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb) to Det. Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) in Laura (1944):
-- Waldo: ' Did you ever know a woman who wasn't a doll or a dame? '
-- Mark: ' Yes, one, but she kept walking me past furniture windows to look at the parlor suites.'
(2) Gamblers Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando) and Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) discussing women in Guys and Dolls (1955): ' I am not putting the knock on dolls. It's just that they're something to have around only when they come in handy... like cough drops.
(3) Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando) in Guys and Dolls (1955): ' A doll is a doll, all dolls, any doll.'
4. A helpful or obliging person.