The Best Actresses in Film History People In Film
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originally by  tags 147,351 votes 7,020 voters 196,906 views 264 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.

  • 70 ReRanks
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2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 2168
    - 1395

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

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 1683
    - 1025

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

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 1283
    - 865

    Casablanca, Cinema Paradiso, Notorious

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 1565
    - 908

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

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 1156
    - 993

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

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 1374
    - 763

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

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 1192
    - 601

    Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons, Albert Nobbs

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 1110
    - 1206

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

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 1064
    - 748

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

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 1081
    - 770

    The Queen, Gosford Park, The Last Station

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 1085
    - 720

    Philomena, Notes on a Scandal, Shakespeare in Love

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 1015
    - 696

    California Suite, Gosford Park, A Room with a View

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 1162
    - 918

    Blue Jasmine, Elizabeth, The Aviator

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 842
    - 807

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

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 1004
    - 1032

    The Reader, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Titanic

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 896
    - 896

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

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 707
    - 434

    ranked low on reranks
    The Heiress, Gone with the Wind, To Each His Own

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 927
    - 775

    Rear Window, High Noon, Dial M for Murder

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 761
    - 650

    Still Alice, The End of the Affair, Boogie Nights

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 896
    - 611

    Misery, About Schmidt, Fried Green Tomatoes

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 987
    - 714

    The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Thoroughly Modern Millie

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 1137
    - 825

    Monster, North Country, Young Adult

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 890
    - 754

    The Fabulous Baker Boys, Scarface, Dangerous Liaisons

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 669
    - 448

    The Miracle Worker, The Graduate, The Turning Point

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 756
    - 521

    Double Indemnity, Sorry Wrong Number, Stella Dallas

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 805
    - 453

    Steel Magnolias, Norma Rae, Forrest Gump

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 613
    - 490

    West Side Story, The Searchers, Rebel Without a Cause

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 635
    - 582

    Aliens, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 778
    - 774

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

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 640
    - 486

    Blue Sky, Tootsie, King Kong

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 722
    - 515

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

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 560
    - 317

    Terms of Endearment, The Apartment, The Turning Point

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 699
    - 436

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

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 570
    - 449

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

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 578
    - 508

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

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 417
    - 169

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

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 666
    - 707

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

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 500
    - 548

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

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 702
    - 820

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

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 551
    - 286

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

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 444
    - 329

    ranked low on reranks
    Network, Bonnie and Clyde, Chinatown

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 821
    - 610

    ranked low on reranks
    The Blind Side, Gravity, Speed

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 595
    - 595

    Fight Club, The King's Speech, The Wings of the Dove

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 522
    - 352

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

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 518
    - 478

    often listed
    The Night of the Iguana, Mogambo, Bhowani Junction

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 445
    - 372

    Morocco, Judgment at Nuremberg, Witness for the Prosecution

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 548
    - 419

    Anna Christie, Ninotchka, Camille

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 394
    - 208

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

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 403
    - 208

    Annie Hall, Marvin's Room, Reds

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 455
    - 338

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

    ) open
265 +

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