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 1032
    Down 400

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

    open
  2. 2
    Up 1224
    Down 532

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

    open
  3. 3
    Up 805
    Down 332

    Casablanca, Cinema Paradiso, Notorious

    open
  4. 4
    Up 934
    Down 322

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

    open
  5. 5
    Up 724
    Down 420

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

    open
  6. 6
    Up 811
    Down 276

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

    open
  7. 7
    Up 655
    Down 283

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

    open
  8. 8
    Up 667
    Down 531

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

    open
  9. 9
    Up 644
    Down 256

    Monsters University, RED, Excalibur

    open
  10. 10
    Up 669
    Down 223

    Casino Royale, Skyfall, Shakespeare in Love

    open
  11. 11
    Up 609
    Down 218

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

    open
  12. 12
    Up 522
    Down 299

    Misery, The Shootist, Dogville

    open
  13. 13
    Up 545
    Down 317

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

    open
  14. 14
    Up 534
    Down 308

    Mars Attacks!, Hook, Tarzan

    open
  15. 15
    Up 659
    Down 352

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

    open
  16. 16
    Up 604
    Down 426

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

    open
  17. 17
    Up 554
    Down 269

    Rear Window, High Noon, Dial M for Murder

    open
  18. 18
    Up 448
    Down 303

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

    open
  19. 19
    Up 610
    Down 264

    The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Shrek 2

    open
  20. 20
    Up 545
    Down 220

    ranked low on reranks Titanic, The Blind Side, Misery

    open
  21. 21
    Up 455
    Down 305

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Bull Durham, Enchanted

    open
  22. 22
    Up 320
    Down 226

    Mission: Impossible, Cars 2, Deep Impact

    open
  23. 23
    Up 438
    Down 182

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

    open
  24. 24
    Up 414
    Down 201

    Blazing Saddles, The Graduate, The Elephant Man

    open
  25. 25
    Up 385
    Down 255

    Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters

    open
  26. 26
    Up 404
    Down 232

    West Side Story, The Searchers, Rebel Without a Cause

    open
  27. 27
    Up 490
    Down 254

    Double Indemnity, The Lady Eve, Forty Guns

    open
  28. 28
    Up 375
    Down 273

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

    open
  29. 29
    Up 446
    Down 238

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

    open
  30. 30
    Up 332
    Down 234

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

    open
  31. 31
    Up 376
    Down 258

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

    open
  32. 32
    Up 362
    Down 217

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

    open
  33. 33
    Up 380
    Down 203

    Big Fish, Cape Fear, Tootsie

    open
  34. 34
    Up 399
    Down 276

    Scarface, Batman Returns, Stardust

    open
  35. 35
    Up 433
    Down 439

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

    open
  36. 36
    Up 439
    Down 231

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

    open
  37. 37
    Up 350
    Down 227

    Cinema Paradiso, Annie, Grand Hotel

    open
  38. 38
    Up 462
    Down 189

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

    open
  39. 39
    Up 520
    Down 345

    The Blind Side, Crash, Gravity

    open
  40. 40
    Up 299
    Down 167

    The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain

    open
  41. 41
    Up 483
    Down 352

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

    open
  42. 42
    Up 435
    Down 411

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

    open
  43. 43
    Up 421
    Down 344

    The Big Lebowski, Boogie Nights, Children of Men

    open
  44. 44
    Up 264
    Down 176

    Chinatown, Bonnie and Clyde, Network

    open
  45. 45
    Up 347
    Down 207

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

    open
  46. 46
    Up 422
    Down 326

    Some Like It Hot, All About Eve, The Misfits

    open
  47. 47
    Up 287
    Down 211

    Touch of Evil, Judgment at Nuremberg, Get Shorty

    open
  48. 48
    Up 227
    Down 202

    Oz the Great and Powerful, The Mummy, The Fountain

    open
  49. 49
    Up 321
    Down 145

    ranked low on reranks Carrie, JFK, The Help

    open
  50. 50
    Up 191
    Down 110

    Man of Steel, The Outsiders, The Perfect Storm

    open
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