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.
  • 55 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1561
    - 839

    the people's #1 The Deer Hunter, Out of Africa, Kramer vs. Kramer

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 1297
    - 662

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

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 1000
    - 582

    Casablanca, Cinema Paradiso, Notorious

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 1195
    - 575

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

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 913
    - 693

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

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 834
    - 399

    Mars Attacks!, Hook, Tarzan

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 1022
    - 515

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

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 824
    - 850

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

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 821
    - 520

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

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 808
    - 498

    Monsters University, RED, Excalibur

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 779
    - 456

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the ...

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 831
    - 466

    Casino Royale, Skyfall, Shakespeare in Love

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 657
    - 556

    Misery, The Shootist, Dogville

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 837
    - 641

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The ...

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 760
    - 727

    Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Finding Neverland

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 673
    - 619

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the ...

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 689
    - 516

    Rear Window, High Noon, Dial M for Murder

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 779
    - 466

    ranked low on reranks Prometheus, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Devil's Advocate

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 596
    - 563

    often listed & ranked high on reranks The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Bull Durham, Enchanted

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 558
    - 545

    often listed & ranked high on reranks The Shawshank Redemption, Gilda, The Lady from Shanghai

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 752
    - 505

    The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Shrek 2

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 686
    - 456

    Titanic, The Blind Side, Misery

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 582
    - 433

    Scarface, Batman Returns, Stardust

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 626
    - 323

    Forrest Gump, The Amazing Spider-Man, Lincoln

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 525
    - 359

    Blazing Saddles, The Graduate, The Elephant Man

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 401
    - 448

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Mission: Impossible, Cars 2, Deep Impact

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 486
    - 484

    Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 420
    - 394

    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, The Sentinel, The Killers

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 555
    - 340

    ranked low on reranks Gone with the Wind, Cinema Paradiso, The Adventures of Robin Hood

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 605
    - 415

    Double Indemnity, The Lady Eve, Forty Guns

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 454
    - 364

    From Here to Eternity, An Affair to Remember, The Innocents

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 467
    - 500

    Fight Club, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Alice in ...

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 459
    - 420

    Grand Hotel, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Mildred Pierce

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 574
    - 424

    The Wizard of Oz, P.S. I Love You, Judgment at Nuremberg

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 560
    - 672

    often listed Pretty Woman, Ocean's Eleven, Hook

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 497
    - 393

    Big Fish, Cape Fear, Tootsie

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 506
    - 394

    West Side Story, The Searchers, Rebel Without a Cause

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 542
    - 508

    often listed & ranked high on reranks The Big Lebowski, Boogie Nights, Children of Men

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 413
    - 236

    Steel Magnolias, The Apartment, Terms of Endearment

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 548
    - 349

    El Cid, The Fall of the Roman Empire, The Cassandra Crossing

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 427
    - 213

    ranked low on reranks Carrie, JFK, The Help

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 442
    - 345

    Cinema Paradiso, Annie, Grand Hotel

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 661
    - 485

    The Blind Side, Crash, Gravity

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 362
    - 267

    The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 348
    - 293

    Touch of Evil, Judgment at Nuremberg, Get Shorty

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 287
    - 278

    Oz the Great and Powerful, The Mummy, The Fountain

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 527
    - 445

    Some Like It Hot, All About Eve, The Misfits

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 330
    - 263

    Chinatown, Bonnie and Clyde, Network

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 415
    - 280

    It Happened One Night, It's a Wonderful World, The Palm Beach Story

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 535
    - 564

    Thor, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode III: ...

    ) open
266 +

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