The Best Actresses in Film History People In Film

The Best Actresses in Film History

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310,001 votes 20,227 voters 274,800 views 546 items tags f p @

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 Photo: user uploaded image
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 112 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 4034
    - 2801

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Sophie's Choice, Kramer vs. Kramer, Out of Africa

    ;
  2. 2
    + 3176
    - 1669

    ranked low on reranks
    Breakfast at Tiffany's, My Fair Lady, Roman Holiday

    ;
  3. 3
    + 2713
    - 2181


    Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen

    ;
  4. 4
    + 2019
    - 1390


    Gone with the Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire, Ship of Fools

    ;
  5. 5
    + 2132
    - 1775


    Casablanca, Notorious, Cinema Paradiso

    ;
  6. 6
    + 2041
    - 1916


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

    ;
  7. 7
    + 2342
    - 1706


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

    ;
  8. 8
    + 2176
    - 1712


    Blue Jasmine, Elizabeth, The Aviator

    ;
  9. 9
    + 1929
    - 2021

    often listed
    The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, The Accused

    ;
  10. 10
    + 1864
    - 1559


    The Queen, Gosford Park, The Last Station

    ;
  11. 11
    + 1893
    - 1496


    Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons, Albert Nobbs

    ;
  12. 12
    + 1778
    - 1418


    California Suite, Gosford Park, A Room with a View

    ;
  13. 13
    + 1857
    - 1460


    Philomena, Notes on a Scandal, Shakespeare in Love

    ;
  14. 14
    + 1860
    - 1766

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Reader, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Titanic

    ;
  15. 15
    + 1512
    - 1323


    Still Alice, The End of the Affair, Boogie Nights

    ;
  16. 16
    + 1710
    - 1315


    The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Thoroughly Modern Millie

    ;
  17. 17
    + 1324
    - 955

    ranked low on reranks
    Mildred Pierce, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Four Walls

    ;
  18. 18
    + 1570
    - 1564


    Sense and Sensibility, Howards End, The Remains of the Day

    ;
  19. 19
    + 1438
    - 1448

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Dead Man Walking, The Client, Thelma & Louise

    ;
  20. 20
    + 1397
    - 982

    ranked low on reranks
    Steel Magnolias, Norma Rae, Forrest Gump

    ;
  21. 21
    + 1366
    - 1437

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Big Sleep, To Have and Have Not, The Mirror Has Two Faces

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1481
    - 1253


    Misery, About Schmidt, Fried Green Tomatoes

    ;
  23. 23
    + 1282
    - 1011


    The Wizard of Oz, Judgment at Nuremberg, A Star Is Born

    ;
  24. 24
    + 1507
    - 1343


    The Blind Side, Gravity, Speed

    ;
  25. 25
    + 1159
    - 1185


    Fight Club, The King's Speech, The Wings of the Dove

    ;
  26. 26
    + 1462
    - 1592


    The Fabulous Baker Boys, Scarface, Dangerous Liaisons

    ;
  27. 27
    + 1124
    - 1259

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Aliens, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl

    ;
  28. 28
    + 1177
    - 1073


    Blue Sky, Tootsie, King Kong

    ;
  29. 29
    + 871
    - 596

    ranked low on reranks
    Miracle on 34th Street, The Quiet Man, How Green Was My Valley

    ;
  30. 30
    + 1300
    - 1471

    often listed
    Erin Brockovich, Pretty Woman, Steel Magnolias

    ;
  31. 31
    + 934
    - 680

    ranked low on reranks
    Annie Hall, Marvin's Room, Reds

    ;
  32. 32
    + 1136
    - 997


    The Heiress, Gone with the Wind, To Each His Own

    ;
  33. 33
    + 1150
    - 1026


    Two Women, Marriage Italian-Style, It Started in Naples

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1002
    - 834


    Terms of Endearment, The Apartment, The Turning Point

    ;
  35. 35
    + 1469
    - 1594


    Rear Window, High Noon, Dial M for Murder

    ;
  36. 36
    + 1051
    - 1170


    Gilda, Circus World, The Lady from Shanghai

    ;
  37. 37
    + 1777
    - 1928


    Monster, North Country, Young Adult

    ;
  38. 38
    + 1178
    - 1090


    Double Indemnity, Sorry Wrong Number, Stella Dallas

    ;
  39. 39
    + 1059
    - 927

    ranked low on reranks
    The Miracle Worker, The Graduate, The Turning Point

    ;
  40. 40
    + 995
    - 991


    West Side Story, The Searchers, Rebel Without a Cause

    ;
  41. 41
    + 843
    - 969


    The Night of the Iguana, Mogambo, Bhowani Junction

    ;
  42. 42
    + 899
    - 871


    The Hours, Moulin Rouge!, Rabbit Hole

    ;
  43. 43
    + 1224
    - 1436


    Black Swan, Leon: The Professional, Closer

    ;
  44. 44
    + 865
    - 915


    From Here to Eternity, The King and I, Heaven Knows

    ;
  45. 45
    + 753
    - 740


    Klute, Coming Home, The China Syndrome

    ;
  46. 46
    + 893
    - 760


    Carrie, Coal Miner's Daughter, In the Bedroom

    ;
  47. 47
    + 1172
    - 1176


    Some Like It Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch

    ;
  48. 48
    + 913
    - 875


    Anna Christie, Ninotchka, Camille

    ;
  49. 49
    + 722
    - 592


    The Man Who Knew Too Much, Pillow Talk, Calamity Jane

    ;
  50. 50
    + 787
    - 750


    American Hustle, The Master, Doubt

    ;
547 +

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