female professionals The Best Actresses Working Today  

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List Rules Working actresses who have starred in major films or TV series in the last ~5 years

List of the best actresses working today, ranked. This list includes many of the greatest actresses in film history, but more importantly, focuses on modern female movie stars. Today, Hollywood features a new crop of popular and respected young actresses who command strong female roles that hold their own on the big screen. Current actresses are more talented than ever before.

While many of the talented women on this list are among familiar favorites (Meryl, Tilda, Glenn...), others are not quite yet household names, even if they have been nominated for - or even won! - Oscars for their performances. This list includes the top female actors who have had starring roles in the last few years, both in film and TV (like "Homeland" star / Emmy award winner Claire Danes) and should give you a good idea of the top 100 actresses who are in the business these days. 

The recent performances of these women have been widely acclaimed, even if their individual films or works were otherwise ignored. Vote up those actresses who you believe have contributed the most to the presence of strong female characters in film, and be sure to add any who we missed...

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Cate Blanchett The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Best American Actresses Working Today The Most Famous Actresses of the 70s (Then and Now)

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Meryl Streep The Devil Wears Prada, Doubt, Fantastic Mr. Fox

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Julianne Moore The Big Lebowski, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Crazy

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Helen Mirren The Queen, Monsters University, The Debt

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Kate Winslet Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Revolutionary Road

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Judi Dench Skyfall, Casino Royale, Philomena

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Maggie Smith The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Downton Abbey, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

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Nicole Kidman Moulin Rouge, The Others, Eyes Wide Shut

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Emma Thompson Howards End, Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually

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Jodie Foster The Silence of the Lambs, Elysium, Panic Room

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Amy Adams Man of Steel, American Hustle, Enchanted

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Rachel Weisz The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Constantine

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Helena Bonham Carter Fight Club, The King's Speech, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

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Kathy Bates Titanic, Misery, About Schmidt

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Charlize Theron Mad Max: Fury Road, Prometheus, Monster

The Best American Actors Working Today 24 Actors Who Died in the Middle of Filming Something

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Susan Sarandon Thelma & Louise, Dead Man Walking, The Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Sandra Bullock Gravity, The Proposal, Crash

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Julia Roberts Notting Hill, Closer, Erin Brockovich

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Glenn Close Dangerous Liaisons, Mars Attacks, Tarzan

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Natalie Portman V for Vendetta, Black Swan, Léon: The Professional

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Rachel McAdams Midnight in Paris, Sherlock Holmes, Mean Girls

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Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Silver Linings Playbook

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Emily Blunt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Emily Blunt Sicario, Edge of Tomorrow, Looper

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Naomi Watts King Kong, Mulholland Drive, The Ring

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Julie Andrews Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Shrek 2

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Anne Hathaway Les Misérables, Rachel Getting Married, The Dark Knight Rises

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Frances McDormand Fargo, Mississippi Burning, Almost Famous

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Reese Witherspoon Walk the Line, Wild, Legally Blonde

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Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Sigourney Weaver Alien, Aliens, Alien³

The Best Current Female Singers Actors Who Consistently Make Great Movies

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Hilary Swank Boys Don't Cry, Insomnia, Million Dollar Baby

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Marion Cotillard The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, La Vie en Rose

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Jessica Chastain The Martian, Zero Dark Thirty, The Help

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Viola Davis The Help, Prisoners, Doubt

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Tilda Swinton We Need to Talk About Kevin, Adaptation., The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion

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Annette Bening Mars Attacks!, The Siege, American Beauty

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Scarlett Johansson Lost in Translation, The Avengers, The Prestige

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Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Robin Wright The Princess Bride, Forrest Gump, House of Cards

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Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Jessica Biel The Illusionist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 7th Heaven

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Keira Knightley Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, The Imitation Game, Pride & Prejudice

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Michelle Pfeiffer Scarface, Batman Returns, Dark Shadows

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Claire Danes Temple Grandin, Homeland, My So-Called Life

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Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Sally Field Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump, Lincoln

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Michelle Williams Dawson's Creek, Blue Valentine, Shutter Island

The Best Actresses Who Won Oscars and Globes for the Same Role The Best Cartoons of the '90s

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Marisa Tomei The Wrestler, The Lincoln Lawyer, Crazy

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Elizabeth Banks is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Elizabeth Banks The Hunger Games, The Lego Movie, Zack and Miri Make a Porno

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Emma Watson Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Diane Keaton The Godfather: Part II, The Godfather, The Godfather: Part III

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Kristen Bell Frozen, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Veronica Mars

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Kirsten Dunst Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

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Emma Stone is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Emma Stone The Help, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Easy A