The Best Actresses in Film History People In Film
Ultimate List
45  reranks 49,898 votes 2,553 voters 80,920 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
  • See list ranked by
</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 774
    Down 267
    1907 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 834
    Down 342

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Meryl Streep

    1949 More
    100
  3. 3
    Up 588
    Down 257
    1915 More
    95
  4. 4
    Up 661
    Down 233
    1929 More
    93
  5. 5
    Up 522
    Down 305

    often listed
    Elizabeth Taylor

    1932 More
    87
  6. 6
    Up 579
    Down 201
    1908 More
    84
  7. 7
    Up 453
    Down 174
    1945 More
    84
  8. 8
    Up 475
    Down 151
    1934 More
    84
  9. 9
    Up 432
    Down 145
    1934 More
    84
  10. 10
    Up 484
    Down 365

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Jodie Foster

    1962 More
    83
  11. 11
    Up 392
    Down 171
    1959 More
    82
  12. 12
    Up 459
    Down 209
    1913 More
    81
  13. 13
    Up 364
    Down 216
    1924 More
    80
  14. 14
    Up 424
    Down 277
    1975 More
    79
  15. 15
    Up 445
    Down 220
    1969 More
    78
  16. 16
    Up 329
    Down 225

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Rita Hayworth

    1918 More
    77
  17. 17
    Up 370
    Down 223
    1947 More
    76
  18. 18
    Up 459
    Down 192
    1935 More
    76
  19. 19
    Up 387
    Down 199
    1929 More
    74
  20. 20
    Up 377
    Down 151

    ranked low on reranks
    Kathy Bates

    1948 More
    74
  21. 21
    Up 223
    Down 139
    1937 More
    74
  22. 22
    Up 305
    Down 206
    1946 More
    73
  23. 23
    Up 261
    Down 178
    1966 More
    72
  24. 24
    Up 373
    Down 186
    1907 More
    71
  25. 25
    Up 299
    Down 263

    often listed
    Julia Roberts

    1967 More
    71
  26. 26
    Up 303
    Down 149
    1931 More
    71
  27. 27
    Up 252
    Down 161
    1922 More
    71
  28. 28
    Up 297
    Down 167
    1938 More
    71
  29. 29
    Up 332
    Down 170
    1922 More
    70
  30. 30
    Up 277
    Down 173
    1949 More
    70
  31. 31
    Up 248
    Down 131
    1949 More
    70
  32. 32
    Up 268
    Down 158
    1921 More
    70
  33. 33
    Up 300
    Down 130
    1916 More
    69
  34. 34
    Up 277
    Down 168
    1958 More
    69
  35. 35
    Up 276
    Down 183
    1904 More
    69
  36. 36
    Up 317
    Down 165
    1934 More
    69
  37. 37
    Up 335
    Down 118

    ranked low on reranks
    Sally Field

    1946 More
    67
  38. 38
    Up 295
    Down 214
    1960 More
    67
  39. 39
    Up 259
    Down 168
    1905 More
    67
  40. 40
    Up 339
    Down 210
    1975 More
    66
  41. 41
    Up 307
    Down 267

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Natalie Portman

    1981 More
    66
  42. 42
    Up 202
    Down 104
    1932 More
    66
  43. 43
    Up 376
    Down 203
    1964 More
    66
  44. 44
    Up 173
    Down 113
    1941 More
    65
  45. 45
    Up 257
    Down 157
    1903 More
    65
  46. 46
    Up 294
    Down 237
    1926 More
    64
  47. 47
    Up 138
    Down 129
    1970 More
    63
  48. 48
    Up 205
    Down 160
    1901 More
    62
  49. 49
    Up 98
    Down 50
    1965 More
    62
  50. 50
    Up 217
    Down 86

    ranked low on reranks
    Sissy Spacek

    1949 More
    61
  51. 234 +

    Something missing? Add it!

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS + 6 MORE

items 1 - 50 of 233

think you can do better?

Rerank This List
why?

got a blog or website?

embed this list
why?

viewers of this list also saw

more popular lists