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.
  • 49 ReRanks
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 965
    Down 368

    most listed 1907

    open
  2. 2
    Up 1119
    Down 492

    the people's #1 1949

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  3. 3
    Up 749
    Down 313

    1915

    open
  4. 4
    Up 847
    Down 299

    1929

    open
  5. 5
    Up 676
    Down 389

    often listed 1932

    open
  6. 6
    Up 755
    Down 256

    1908

    open
  7. 7
    Up 610
    Down 258

    1913

    open
  8. 8
    Up 623
    Down 487

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1962

    open
  9. 9
    Up 589
    Down 234

    1945

    open
  10. 10
    Up 566
    Down 198

    1934

    open
  11. 11
    Up 613
    Down 205

    1934

    open
  12. 12
    Up 482
    Down 279

    1924

    open
  13. 13
    Up 509
    Down 276

    1959

    open
  14. 14
    Up 605
    Down 314

    1969

    open
  15. 15
    Up 499
    Down 281

    1947

    open
  16. 16
    Up 560
    Down 383

    1975

    open
  17. 17
    Up 419
    Down 280

    often listed 1918

    open
  18. 18
    Up 510
    Down 252

    1929

    open
  19. 19
    Up 564
    Down 240

    1935

    open
  20. 20
    Up 506
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    ranked low on reranks 1948

    open
  21. 21
    Up 424
    Down 274

    1946

    open
  22. 22
    Up 300
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    1937

    open
  23. 23
    Up 359
    Down 228

    1949

    open
  24. 24
    Up 380
    Down 209

    1938

    open
  25. 25
    Up 388
    Down 185

    1931

    open
  26. 26
    Up 399
    Down 165

    1916

    open
  27. 27
    Up 461
    Down 233

    1907

    open
  28. 28
    Up 347
    Down 250

    1966

    open
  29. 29
    Up 414
    Down 217

    1922

    open
  30. 30
    Up 311
    Down 212

    1922

    open
  31. 31
    Up 373
    Down 239

    1958

    open
  32. 32
    Up 340
    Down 200

    1921

    open
  33. 33
    Up 345
    Down 180

    1949

    open
  34. 34
    Up 355
    Down 235

    1904

    open
  35. 35
    Up 393
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    often listed 1967

    open
  36. 36
    Up 432
    Down 164

    ranked low on reranks 1946

    open
  37. 37
    Up 327
    Down 208

    1905

    open
  38. 38
    Up 403
    Down 216

    1934

    open
  39. 39
    Up 274
    Down 143

    1932

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  40. 40
    Up 390
    Down 312

    1960

    open
  41. 41
    Up 242
    Down 155

    1941

    open
  42. 42
    Up 328
    Down 188

    1903

    open
  43. 43
    Up 401
    Down 368

    1981

    open
  44. 44
    Up 475
    Down 315

    1964

    open
  45. 45
    Up 448
    Down 320

    1975

    open
  46. 46
    Up 271
    Down 192

    1901

    open
  47. 47
    Up 386
    Down 299

    1926

    open
  48. 48
    Up 206
    Down 178

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1970

    open
  49. 49
    Up 296
    Down 126

    ranked low on reranks 1949

    open
  50. 50
    Up 171
    Down 87

    1965

    open
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