actresses The Best Actresses in Film History

464k votes 25k voters 260k views 759 items Embed

List Rules 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.

1
+ - 5,463 4,451
Meryl Streep is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Meryl Streep Sophie's Choice, Kramer vs. Kramer, Out of Africa

The Best Actresses Who Won Oscars and Globes for the Same Role 33 Comedic Actors Who Have Been Nominated for Oscars

2
+ - 4,710 2,650
Audrey Hepburn is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany's, My Fair Lady, Roman Holiday

3
+ - 3,117 2,747
Cate Blanchett is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Cate Blanchett Blue Jasmine, Elizabeth, The Aviator

4
+ - 3,469 2,453
Bette Davis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Bette Davis All About Eve, P.S. I Love You, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

5
+ - 3,080 2,049
Vivien Leigh is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Vivien Leigh Gone with the Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire, Ship of Fools

6
+ - 3,034 2,454
Ingrid Bergman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Ingrid Bergman Casablanca, Notorious, Cinema Paradiso

7
+ - 3,047 2,657
Elizabeth Taylor is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra, National Velvet, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

8
+ - 2,707 3,136
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Jodie Foster The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, The Accused

9
+ - 2,723 2,603
Kate Winslet is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Kate Winslet The Reader, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Titanic

10
+ - 2,584 2,024
Judi Dench is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Judi Dench Philomena, Notes on a Scandal, Shakespeare in Love

11
+ - 2,537 1,997
Maggie Smith is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Maggie Smith California Suite, Gosford Park, A Room with a View

12
+ - 2,631 2,312
Helen Mirren is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Helen Mirren The Queen, Gosford Park, The Last Station

13
+ - 2,420 2,125
Glenn Close is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Glenn Close Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons, Albert Nobbs

14
+ - 2,171 1,863
Julianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Julianne Moore Still Alice, The End of the Affair, Boogie Nights

15
+ - 2,054 1,949
Susan Sarandon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Susan Sarandon Dead Man Walking, The Client, Thelma & Louise

The Greatest Female Characters in Film History The Most Beautiful Actresses Ever

16
+ - 2,185 1,668
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Kathy Bates Misery, About Schmidt, Fried Green Tomatoes

17
+ - 2,132 2,039
Emma Thompson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Emma Thompson Sense and Sensibility, Howards End, The Remains of the Day

18
+ - 2,361 1,756
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Julie Andrews The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Thoroughly Modern Millie

19
+ - 1,856 1,363
Joan Crawford is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Joan Crawford Mildred Pierce, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Four Walls

20
+ - 1,789 1,455
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Jessica Lange Blue Sky, Tootsie, King Kong

21
+ - 1,939 1,423
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Sally Field Steel Magnolias, Norma Rae, Forrest Gump

22
+ - 1,634 1,707
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Sigourney Weaver Aliens, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl

23
+ - 1,768 1,651
Helena Bonham Carter is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Helena Bonham Carter Fight Club, The King's Speech, The Wings of the Dove

24
+ - 1,851 1,832
Lauren Bacall is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Lauren Bacall The Big Sleep, To Have and Have Not, The Mirror Has Two Faces

25
+ - 1,787 1,408
Judy Garland is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Judy Garland The Wizard of Oz, Judgment at Nuremberg, A Star Is Born

26
+ - 1,618 1,433
Sophia Loren is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Sophia Loren Two Women, Marriage Italian-Style, It Started in Naples

27
+ - 2,144 1,904
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Sandra Bullock The Blind Side, Gravity, Speed

28
+ - 1,483 1,244
Shirley MacLaine is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Shirley MacLaine Terms of Endearment, The Apartment, The Turning Point

29
+ - 1,288 1,105
Amy Adams is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Amy Adams American Hustle, The Master, Doubt

Things People Lie About Most Often The Best First Roles Played by Your Favorite Actresses

30
+ - 1,430 1,084
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Diane Keaton Annie Hall, Marvin's Room, Reds

31
+ - 1,990 2,071
Michelle Pfeiffer is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Michelle Pfeiffer The Fabulous Baker Boys, Scarface, Dangerous Liaisons

32
+ - 1,952 1,991
Grace Kelly is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Grace Kelly Rear Window, High Noon, Dial M for Murder

33
+ - 1,591 1,354
Olivia de Havilland is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Olivia de Havilland The Heiress, Gone with the Wind, To Each His Own

34
+ - 1,332 1,085
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Sissy Spacek Carrie, Coal Miner's Daughter, In the Bedroom

35
+ - 1,480 1,266
Anne Bancroft is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Anne Bancroft The Miracle Worker, The Graduate, The Turning Point

36
+ - 1,383 1,191
Greta Garbo is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Greta Garbo Anna Christie, Ninotchka, Camille

37
+ - 1,859 2,015
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Julia Roberts Erin Brockovich, Pretty Woman, Steel Magnolias

38
+ - 1,394 1,364
Natalie Wood is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Natalie Wood West Side Story, The Searchers, Rebel Without a Cause

39
+ - 978 987
Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Jennifer Connelly A Beautiful Mind, Requiem for a Dream, House of Sand and Fog

40
+ - 2,404 2,631
Charlize Theron is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Charlize Theron Monster, North Country, Young Adult

41
+ - 1,256 951
Maureen O'Hara is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Maureen O'Hara Miracle on 34th Street, The Quiet Man, How Green Was My Valley

42
+ - 1,112 1,162
Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Jane Fonda Klute, Coming Home, The China Syndrome

43
+ - 919 749
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Frances McDormand Fargo, Mississippi Burning, North Country

The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History The 50 Most Absurd Translations of Film Titles

44
+ - 960 867
Annette Bening is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Annette Bening American Beauty, The Grifters, Being Julia

45
+ - 1,402 1,555
Rita Hayworth is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Rita Hayworth Gilda, Circus World, The Lady from Shanghai

46
+ - 1,668 1,643
Marilyn Monroe is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Marilyn Monroe Some Like It Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch

47
+ - 1,570 1,470
Barbara Stanwyck is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Barbara Stanwyck Double Indemnity, Sorry Wrong Number, Stella Dallas

48
+ - 941 766
Diane Lane is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Diane Lane Unfaithful, Rumble Fish, A Walk on the Moon

49
+ - 1,411 1,353
Nicole Kidman is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Nicole Kidman The Hours, Moulin Rouge!, Rabbit Hole

50
+ - 1,194 1,245
Deborah Kerr is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Actresses in Film History
Deborah Kerr From Here to Eternity, The King and I, Heaven Knows