By the 1930's Hollywood had already perfected the most "beautiful" way to light someone. The formula used three lights: a key, a fill & a backlight.
The key is the main frontal light. It is as big as possible and as soft and diffuse as possible. If you want your film to look like a Rembrandt, you're going to want a huge key to gently wrap your subject in light. One way to make a huge, diffuse key is to pass it through a large white linen sheet placed in front of the light or, to avoid the risk of fire, to use large rolls of plastic gels that the professionals use. Ask for ROSCO 216. Another fast way to setup a soft, large key is to use a Chimera light -- basically a tent with a light inside.
The fill is
weaker additional frontal light that is used to give some illumination
to the dark side of the face. It is therefore placed on the other
side of the camera.