The Best Actresses in Film History People In Film

The Best Actresses in Film History

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298,098 votes 19,757 voters 270,721 views 544 items tags f p @

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 Photo: user uploaded image
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 110 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 3869
    - 2680

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 3017
    - 1615

    ranked low on reranks
    Breakfast at Tiffany's, My Fair Lady, Roman Holiday

    ;
  3. 3
    + 2630
    - 2097


    Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1926
    - 1341


    Gone with the Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire, Ship of Fools

    ;
  5. 5
    + 2071
    - 1695


    Casablanca, Notorious, Cinema Paradiso

    ;
  6. 6
    + 2267
    - 1627


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

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1934
    - 1871

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Cleopatra, National Velvet, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

    ;
  8. 8
    + 2070
    - 1640


    Blue Jasmine, Elizabeth, The Aviator

    ;
  9. 9
    + 1850
    - 1937

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

    ;
  10. 10
    + 1810
    - 1450


    Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons, Albert Nobbs

    ;
  11. 11
    + 1787
    - 1493


    The Queen, Gosford Park, The Last Station

    ;
  12. 12
    + 1711
    - 1365


    California Suite, Gosford Park, A Room with a View

    ;
  13. 13
    + 1794
    - 1412


    Philomena, Notes on a Scandal, Shakespeare in Love

    ;
  14. 14
    + 1774
    - 1714

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    The Reader, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Titanic

    ;
  15. 15
    + 1641
    - 1274


    The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Thoroughly Modern Millie

    ;
  16. 16
    + 1443
    - 1275


    Still Alice, The End of the Affair, Boogie Nights

    ;
  17. 17
    + 1282
    - 915

    ranked low on reranks
    Mildred Pierce, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Four Walls

    ;
  18. 18
    + 1508
    - 1523


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

    ;
  19. 19
    + 1376
    - 1401

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Dead Man Walking, The Client, Thelma & Louise

    ;
  20. 20
    + 1347
    - 941

    ranked low on reranks
    Steel Magnolias, Norma Rae, Forrest Gump

    ;
  21. 21
    + 1331
    - 1397

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    The Big Sleep, To Have and Have Not, The Mirror Has Two Faces

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1430
    - 1218


    Misery, About Schmidt, Fried Green Tomatoes

    ;
  23. 23
    + 1228
    - 979

    ranked low on reranks
    The Wizard of Oz, Judgment at Nuremberg, A Star Is Born

    ;
  24. 24
    + 1418
    - 1549

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    The Fabulous Baker Boys, Scarface, Dangerous Liaisons

    ;
  25. 25
    + 1446
    - 1289


    The Blind Side, Gravity, Speed

    ;
  26. 26
    + 1095
    - 1147


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

    ;
  27. 27
    + 834
    - 565


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

    ;
  28. 28
    + 1076
    - 1224

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Aliens, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl

    ;
  29. 29
    + 1132
    - 1040


    Blue Sky, Tootsie, King Kong

    ;
  30. 30
    + 1111
    - 989


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

    ;
  31. 31
    + 1099
    - 965


    The Heiress, Gone with the Wind, To Each His Own

    ;
  32. 32
    + 1239
    - 1421

    often listed
    Erin Brockovich, Pretty Woman, Steel Magnolias

    ;
  33. 33
    + 1011
    - 1140


    Gilda, Circus World, The Lady from Shanghai

    ;
  34. 34
    + 879
    - 647


    Annie Hall, Marvin's Room, Reds

    ;
  35. 35
    + 961
    - 800

    ranked low on reranks
    Terms of Endearment, The Apartment, The Turning Point

    ;
  36. 36
    + 1422
    - 1552


    Rear Window, High Noon, Dial M for Murder

    ;
  37. 37
    + 1719
    - 1865


    Monster, North Country, Young Adult

    ;
  38. 38
    + 1136
    - 1058


    Double Indemnity, Sorry Wrong Number, Stella Dallas

    ;
  39. 39
    + 1029
    - 896


    The Miracle Worker, The Graduate, The Turning Point

    ;
  40. 40
    + 964
    - 959


    West Side Story, The Searchers, Rebel Without a Cause

    ;
  41. 41
    + 818
    - 936


    The Night of the Iguana, Mogambo, Bhowani Junction

    ;
  42. 42
    + 848
    - 829


    The Hours, Moulin Rouge!, Rabbit Hole

    ;
  43. 43
    + 889
    - 840


    Anna Christie, Ninotchka, Camille

    ;
  44. 44
    + 715
    - 707


    Klute, Coming Home, The China Syndrome

    ;
  45. 45
    + 1173
    - 1374


    Black Swan, Leon: The Professional, Closer

    ;
  46. 46
    + 1131
    - 1139


    Some Like It Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch

    ;
  47. 47
    + 694
    - 562

    ranked low on reranks
    The Man Who Knew Too Much, Pillow Talk, Calamity Jane

    ;
  48. 48
    + 836
    - 887


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

    ;
  49. 49
    + 866
    - 729

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

    ;
  50. 50
    + 730
    - 818


    Morocco, Judgment at Nuremberg, Witness for the Prosecution

    ;
545 +

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