The Best Actresses in Film History People In Film
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The Best Actresses in Film History

List Criteria: Female film actresses only!

The best actresses ever are ranked here in this list of the best actresses in film history. These are the greatest actresses ever to appear on the silver screen - female only (to vote on both genders, check out this list of the greatest film actors and actresses). These women were part of some of the greatest movies of all time (or were perhaps the reason they were the best movies ever), with countless Academy Awards between them.

What are the qualities of the best actresses of all time? Is it the raw emotion they show, the parts they choose, their acting methods, or simply their effortless charm and charisma? There's no denying some of these amazing actresses belong on the list of the hottest celebrities of all time, but behind the 1000 watt smiles lies the talent that defines generations of actresses.

Who is the best actor of all time? Is it a classic actor like Katharine Hepburn, a comedic genius like Tina Fey, a stunner like Catherine Zeta-Jones, or a method actor like Meryl Streep? There are so many choices for the greatest movie actress ever that you may have a hard time choosing just one (although you can vote for as many of the actresses on this list of the greatest actresses ever as you want). If your favorite leading lady isn't on the list, make sure to add her so others can vote for her to receive the title of best actress in film history.
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  1. 1
    Up 1026
    Down 399

    most listed The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner ...

    open
  2. 2
    Up 1215
    Down 529

    the people's #1 The Deer Hunter, Out of Africa, Kramer vs. Kramer

    open
  3. 3
    Up 803
    Down 331

    Casablanca, Cinema Paradiso, Notorious

    open
  4. 4
    Up 925
    Down 321

    Breakfast at Tiffany's, My Fair Lady, Roman Holiday

    open
  5. 5
    Up 721
    Down 414

    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, National Velvet, Cleopatra

    open
  6. 6
    Up 808
    Down 275

    All About Eve, P.S. I Love You, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

    open
  7. 7
    Up 651
    Down 279

    Gone with the Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire, Fire Over England

    open
  8. 8
    Up 658
    Down 526

    often listed & ranked high on reranks The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, Elysium

    open
  9. 9
    Up 635
    Down 254

    Monsters University, RED, Excalibur

    open
  10. 10
    Up 661
    Down 221

    Casino Royale, Skyfall, Shakespeare in Love

    open
  11. 11
    Up 602
    Down 217

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the ...

    open
  12. 12
    Up 520
    Down 297

    Misery, The Shootist, Dogville

    open
  13. 13
    Up 543
    Down 312

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the ...

    open
  14. 14
    Up 530
    Down 307

    Mars Attacks!, Hook, Tarzan

    open
  15. 15
    Up 653
    Down 348

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The ...

    open
  16. 16
    Up 599
    Down 421

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Finding Neverland

    open
  17. 17
    Up 550
    Down 268

    Rear Window, High Noon, Dial M for Murder

    open
  18. 18
    Up 445
    Down 301

    often listed The Shawshank Redemption, Gilda, The Lady from Shanghai

    open
  19. 19
    Up 604
    Down 262

    The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Shrek 2

    open
  20. 20
    Up 541
    Down 219

    ranked low on reranks Titanic, The Blind Side, Misery

    open
  21. 21
    Up 453
    Down 301

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Bull Durham, Enchanted

    open
  22. 22
    Up 320
    Down 223

    Mission: Impossible, Cars 2, Deep Impact

    open
  23. 23
    Up 437
    Down 179

    Gone with the Wind, Cinema Paradiso, The Adventures of Robin Hood

    open
  24. 24
    Up 412
    Down 199

    Blazing Saddles, The Graduate, The Elephant Man

    open
  25. 25
    Up 401
    Down 229

    West Side Story, The Searchers, Rebel Without a Cause

    open
  26. 26
    Up 382
    Down 253

    Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters

    open
  27. 27
    Up 374
    Down 268

    Fight Club, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Alice in ...

    open
  28. 28
    Up 488
    Down 251

    Double Indemnity, The Lady Eve, Forty Guns

    open
  29. 29
    Up 443
    Down 237

    The Wizard of Oz, P.S. I Love You, Judgment at Nuremberg

    open
  30. 30
    Up 376
    Down 254

    Grand Hotel, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Mildred Pierce

    open
  31. 31
    Up 331
    Down 231

    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, The Sentinel, The Killers

    open
  32. 32
    Up 361
    Down 215

    From Here to Eternity, An Affair to Remember, The Innocents

    open
  33. 33
    Up 376
    Down 201

    Big Fish, Cape Fear, Tootsie

    open
  34. 34
    Up 393
    Down 272

    Scarface, Batman Returns, Stardust

    open
  35. 35
    Up 427
    Down 433

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Pretty Woman, Ocean's Eleven, Hook

    open
  36. 36
    Up 350
    Down 225

    Cinema Paradiso, Annie, Grand Hotel

    open
  37. 37
    Up 434
    Down 229

    El Cid, The Fall of the Roman Empire, The Cassandra Crossing

    open
  38. 38
    Up 459
    Down 185

    ranked low on reranks Forrest Gump, The Amazing Spider-Man, Lincoln

    open
  39. 39
    Up 515
    Down 342

    The Blind Side, Crash, Gravity

    open
  40. 40
    Up 297
    Down 164

    The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain

    open
  41. 41
    Up 432
    Down 404

    Thor, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode III: ...

    open
  42. 42
    Up 478
    Down 349

    Prometheus, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Devil's Advocate

    open
  43. 43
    Up 417
    Down 340

    The Big Lebowski, Boogie Nights, Children of Men

    open
  44. 44
    Up 263
    Down 174

    Chinatown, Bonnie and Clyde, Network

    open
  45. 45
    Up 347
    Down 205

    It Happened One Night, It's a Wonderful World, The Palm Beach Story

    open
  46. 46
    Up 287
    Down 209

    Touch of Evil, Judgment at Nuremberg, Get Shorty

    open
  47. 47
    Up 419
    Down 323

    Some Like It Hot, All About Eve, The Misfits

    open
  48. 48
    Up 226
    Down 199

    Oz the Great and Powerful, The Mummy, The Fountain

    open
  49. 49
    Up 319
    Down 143

    ranked low on reranks Carrie, JFK, The Help

    open
  50. 50
    Up 187
    Down 108

    Man of Steel, The Outsiders, The Perfect Storm

    open
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