The Best Actresses in Film History People In Film
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46  reranks 56,421 votes 2,921 voters 98,783 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
  • 46 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • Expert
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 850
    Down 316
    1907 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 956
    Down 426

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Meryl Streep

    1949 More
    100
  3. 3
    Up 664
    Down 284
    1915 More
    96
  4. 4
    Up 734
    Down 266
    1929 More
    93
  5. 5
    Up 597
    Down 340
    1932 More
    89
  6. 6
    Up 658
    Down 225
    1908 More
    86
  7. 7
    Up 537
    Down 423

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Jodie Foster

    1962 More
    84
  8. 8
    Up 506
    Down 202
    1945 More
    84
  9. 9
    Up 528
    Down 228
    1913 More
    84
  10. 10
    Up 490
    Down 170
    1934 More
    84
  11. 11
    Up 527
    Down 181
    1934 More
    83
  12. 12
    Up 439
    Down 219
    1959 More
    82
  13. 13
    Up 416
    Down 247
    1924 More
    80
  14. 14
    Up 488
    Down 329
    1975 More
    79
  15. 15
    Up 435
    Down 248
    1947 More
    79
  16. 16
    Up 365
    Down 252

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Rita Hayworth

    1918 More
    78
  17. 17
    Up 515
    Down 272
    1969 More
    78
  18. 18
    Up 502
    Down 216
    1935 More
    76
  19. 19
    Up 444
    Down 228
    1929 More
    76
  20. 20
    Up 429
    Down 178
    1948 More
    74
  21. 21
    Up 256
    Down 168
    1937 More
    73
  22. 22
    Up 354
    Down 236
    1946 More
    73
  23. 23
    Up 279
    Down 187
    1922 More
    72
  24. 24
    Up 332
    Down 190
    1938 More
    72
  25. 25
    Up 340
    Down 164
    1931 More
    71
  26. 26
    Up 298
    Down 211

    often listed
    Helena Bonham Carter

    1966 More
    71
  27. 27
    Up 372
    Down 188
    1922 More
    71
  28. 28
    Up 409
    Down 211
    1907 More
    71
  29. 29
    Up 306
    Down 203
    1949 More
    70
  30. 30
    Up 349
    Down 145

    ranked low on reranks
    Olivia de Havilland

    1916 More
    70
  31. 31
    Up 302
    Down 178
    1921 More
    70
  32. 32
    Up 336
    Down 333

    often listed
    Julia Roberts

    1967 More
    70
  33. 33
    Up 281
    Down 155
    1949 More
    69
  34. 34
    Up 310
    Down 207
    1958 More
    69
  35. 35
    Up 354
    Down 185
    1934 More
    68
  36. 36
    Up 306
    Down 212
    1904 More
    68
  37. 37
    Up 290
    Down 185
    1905 More
    67
  38. 38
    Up 392
    Down 261
    1975 More
    67
  39. 39
    Up 372
    Down 136

    ranked low on reranks
    Sally Field

    1946 More
    67
  40. 40
    Up 337
    Down 262
    1960 More
    66
  41. 41
    Up 231
    Down 121
    1932 More
    66
  42. 42
    Up 415
    Down 255
    1964 More
    66
  43. 43
    Up 337
    Down 319
    1981 More
    65
  44. 44
    Up 287
    Down 169
    1903 More
    65
  45. 45
    Up 200
    Down 133
    1941 More
    65
  46. 46
    Up 331
    Down 266
    1926 More
    65
  47. 47
    Up 231
    Down 175
    1901 More
    64
  48. 48
    Up 163
    Down 149
    1970 More
    64
  49. 49
    Up 126
    Down 66
    1965 More
    62
  50. 50
    Up 251
    Down 99

    ranked low on reranks
    Sissy Spacek

    1949 More
    61
  51. 235 +

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