The Best Actresses in Film History People In Film
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originally by  tags 137,310 votes 6,495 voters 190,488 views 259 items f p @

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.

  • 64 ReRanks
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    • Men
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    • Region
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  1. 1
    + 1999
    - 1287

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

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 1568
    - 963


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

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 1186
    - 822


    Casablanca, Cinema Paradiso, Notorious

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 1443
    - 865


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

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 1084
    - 942

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, National Velvet, Cleopatra

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 1139
    - 536


    Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons, Albert Nobbs

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 1272
    - 729


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

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 1025
    - 1152

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

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 1008
    - 725


    The Queen, Gosford Park, The Last Station

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 947
    - 662


    California Suite, Gosford Park, A Room with a View

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 977
    - 723


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

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 1011
    - 681


    Philomena, Notes on a Scandal, Shakespeare in Love

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 1077
    - 882


    Blue Jasmine, Elizabeth, The Aviator

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 784
    - 770


    The Big Sleep, To Have and Have Not, The Mirror Has Two Faces

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 828
    - 859


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

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 921
    - 995

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

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 1085
    - 737

    ranked low on reranks
    Monster, North Country, Young Adult

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 866
    - 739


    Rear Window, High Noon, Dial M for Murder

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 835
    - 675


    The Fabulous Baker Boys, Scarface, Dangerous Liaisons

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 927
    - 684


    The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Thoroughly Modern Millie

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 753
    - 421

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

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 691
    - 598


    Still Alice, The End of the Affair, Boogie Nights

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 718
    - 736

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

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 577
    - 460


    West Side Story, The Searchers, Rebel Without a Cause

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 650
    - 409


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

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 834
    - 579


    Misery, About Schmidt, Fried Green Tomatoes

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 657
    - 406


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

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 705
    - 491


    Double Indemnity, Sorry Wrong Number, Stella Dallas

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 523
    - 286


    Terms of Endearment, The Apartment, The Turning Point

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 619
    - 418


    The Miracle Worker, The Graduate, The Turning Point

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 637
    - 675

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Gilda, Circus World, The Lady from Shanghai

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 587
    - 550


    Aliens, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 671
    - 490


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

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 383
    - 141

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

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 536
    - 415


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

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 469
    - 512

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Julia, Isadora, Howards End

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 587
    - 453


    Blue Sky, Tootsie, King Kong

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 541
    - 477


    Mildred Pierce, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Four Walls

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 650
    - 778

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Erin Brockovich, Pretty Woman, Steel Magnolias

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 519
    - 260

    ranked low on reranks
    Carrie, Coal Miner's Daughter, In the Bedroom

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 488
    - 446


    The Night of the Iguana, Mogambo, Bhowani Junction

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 761
    - 575


    The Blind Side, Gravity, Speed

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 410
    - 303


    Network, Bonnie and Clyde, Chinatown

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 490
    - 327


    It Happened One Night, Since You Went Away, Private Worlds

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 412
    - 345


    Morocco, Judgment at Nuremberg, Witness for the Prosecution

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 367
    - 178


    I Want to Live!, My Foolish Heart, With a Song in My Heart

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 547
    - 568

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Fight Club, The King's Speech, The Wings of the Dove

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 510
    - 396


    Anna Christie, Ninotchka, Camille

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 434
    - 309


    The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 638
    - 516


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

    ) open
260 +

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