The Best Actresses in Film History People In Film
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45  reranks 50,710 votes 2,601 voters 84,359 views more info

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.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 45 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • Expert
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 784
    Down 274
    1907 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 854
    Down 350

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Meryl Streep

    1949 More
    100
  3. 3
    Up 594
    Down 261
    1915 More
    95
  4. 4
    Up 670
    Down 237
    1929 More
    93
  5. 5
    Up 530
    Down 310

    often listed
    Elizabeth Taylor

    1932 More
    87
  6. 6
    Up 584
    Down 201
    1908 More
    85
  7. 7
    Up 457
    Down 178
    1945 More
    84
  8. 8
    Up 479
    Down 156
    1934 More
    84
  9. 9
    Up 435
    Down 150
    1934 More
    84
  10. 10
    Up 490
    Down 370

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Jodie Foster

    1962 More
    83
  11. 11
    Up 394
    Down 176
    1959 More
    82
  12. 12
    Up 465
    Down 210
    1913 More
    82
  13. 13
    Up 365
    Down 220
    1924 More
    80
  14. 14
    Up 432
    Down 282
    1975 More
    79
  15. 15
    Up 453
    Down 225
    1969 More
    78
  16. 16
    Up 331
    Down 229

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Rita Hayworth

    1918 More
    77
  17. 17
    Up 379
    Down 227
    1947 More
    77
  18. 18
    Up 463
    Down 194
    1935 More
    76
  19. 19
    Up 391
    Down 202
    1929 More
    74
  20. 20
    Up 381
    Down 155

    ranked low on reranks
    Kathy Bates

    1948 More
    74
  21. 21
    Up 226
    Down 141
    1937 More
    74
  22. 22
    Up 308
    Down 210
    1946 More
    73
  23. 23
    Up 264
    Down 186
    1966 More
    71
  24. 24
    Up 379
    Down 189
    1907 More
    71
  25. 25
    Up 302
    Down 268

    often listed
    Julia Roberts

    1967 More
    71
  26. 26
    Up 255
    Down 164
    1922 More
    71
  27. 27
    Up 305
    Down 153
    1931 More
    71
  28. 28
    Up 301
    Down 171
    1938 More
    71
  29. 29
    Up 338
    Down 171
    1922 More
    70
  30. 30
    Up 280
    Down 178
    1949 More
    70
  31. 31
    Up 252
    Down 137
    1949 More
    70
  32. 32
    Up 271
    Down 163
    1921 More
    70
  33. 33
    Up 305
    Down 133
    1916 More
    69
  34. 34
    Up 280
    Down 171
    1958 More
    69
  35. 35
    Up 321
    Down 169
    1934 More
    69
  36. 36
    Up 277
    Down 189
    1904 More
    68
  37. 37
    Up 340
    Down 121

    ranked low on reranks
    Sally Field

    1946 More
    67
  38. 38
    Up 301
    Down 219
    1960 More
    67
  39. 39
    Up 262
    Down 171
    1905 More
    67
  40. 40
    Up 347
    Down 214
    1975 More
    67
  41. 41
    Up 309
    Down 273

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Natalie Portman

    1981 More
    66
  42. 42
    Up 206
    Down 109
    1932 More
    66
  43. 43
    Up 379
    Down 209
    1964 More
    66
  44. 44
    Up 176
    Down 119
    1941 More
    65
  45. 45
    Up 260
    Down 160
    1903 More
    65
  46. 46
    Up 300
    Down 245
    1926 More
    64
  47. 47
    Up 144
    Down 133
    1970 More
    63
  48. 48
    Up 209
    Down 163
    1901 More
    62
  49. 49
    Up 102
    Down 53
    1965 More
    62
  50. 50
    Up 222
    Down 87

    ranked low on reranks
    Sissy Spacek

    1949 More
    61
  51. 233 +

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