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 TowersThe 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 ParkCrazy

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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 AbbeyHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

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

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Charlize Theron Mad Max: Fury Road, Prometheus Monster

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Nicole Kidman Moulin Rouge, The Others Eyes Wide Shut

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Rachel Weisz The Mummy, The Mummy Returns Constantine

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Amy Adams Man of Steel, American Hustle Enchanted

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Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Sandra Bullock Gravity, The Proposal Crash

The Best American Actors Working Today 33 Child Actors Who Died Young

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Kathy Bates Titanic, MiseryAbout Schmidt

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Julia Roberts Notting Hill, Closer Erin Brockovich

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

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Glenn Close Dangerous Liaisons, Mars Attacks Tarzan

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

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

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Emily Blunt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Emily Blunt Sicario, Edge of Tomorrow Looper

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Rachel McAdams Midnight in Paris, Sherlock Holmes Mean Girls

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Naomi Watts King Kong, Mulholland Drive The Ring

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

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Reese Witherspoon Walk the Line, Wild Legally Blonde

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Julie Andrews Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music Shrek 2

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Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Sigourney Weaver Alien, Aliens Alien³

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

The Best Scottish Actresses Working Today Actors Who Consistently Make Great Movies

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

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Frances McDormand Fargo, Mississippi Burning Almost Famous

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Scarlett Johansson Lost in Translation, The Avengers The Prestige

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

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Claire Danes Temple Grandin, Homeland My So-Called Life

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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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Michelle Pfeiffer Scarface, Batman Returns Dark Shadows

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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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Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Sally Field Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump Lincoln

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Elizabeth Banks is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Elizabeth Banks The Hunger Games, The Lego MovieZack and Miri Make a Porno

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Michelle Williams Dawson's Creek, Blue Valentine Shutter Island

The Best Actors Working Today The Best Werewolf Movies Ever Made

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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) 45 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Diane Keaton The Godfather: Part II, The Godfather The Godfather: Part III

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Marisa Tomei The Wrestler, The Lincoln Lawyer Crazy

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Drew Barrymore Donnie Darko, Charlie's Angels Scream

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Emma Stone is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Emma Stone The Help, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Easy A

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Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Jessica Biel The Illusionist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 7th Heaven

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Penélope Cruz Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Vanilla Sky) Volver