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...
list ordered by

1
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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)

2
+ - 3,155 2,342
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Meryl Streep The Devil Wears Prada, Doubt, Fantastic Mr. Fox

3
+ - 1,987 1,105
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Julianne Moore The Big Lebowski, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Crazy

4
+ - 1,887 1,014
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Helen Mirren The Queen, Monsters University, The Debt

5
+ - 2,331 1,318
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Kate Winslet Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Revolutionary Road

6
+ - 2,056 877
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Judi Dench Skyfall, Casino Royale, Philomena

7
+ - 1,857 927
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Maggie Smith The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Downton Abbey, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

8
+ - 1,890 928
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Emma Thompson Howards End, Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually

9
+ - 1,662 1,096
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Nicole Kidman Moulin Rouge, The Others, Eyes Wide Shut

10
+ - 2,045 927
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Amy Adams Man of Steel, American Hustle, Enchanted

11
+ - 1,837 1,139
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Jodie Foster The Silence of the Lambs, Elysium, Panic Room

12
+ - 1,404 800
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Rachel Weisz The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Constantine

13
+ - 1,799 948
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Helena Bonham Carter Fight Club, The King's Speech, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

14
+ - 1,678 691
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Kathy Bates Titanic, Misery, About Schmidt

15
+ - 1,348 888
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Susan Sarandon Thelma & Louise, Dead Man Walking, The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Best American Actors Working Today 15 Celebrities Whose Parents Were Murdered

16
+ - 1,932 2,048
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Charlize Theron Mad Max: Fury Road, Prometheus, Monster

17
+ - 1,714 762
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Sandra Bullock Gravity, The Proposal, Crash

18
+ - 1,212 922
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Glenn Close Dangerous Liaisons, Mars Attacks, Tarzan

19
+ - 1,474 722
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Rachel McAdams Midnight in Paris, Sherlock Holmes, Mean Girls

20
+ - 1,326 906
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Julia Roberts Notting Hill, Closer, Erin Brockovich

21
+ - 2,048 2,124
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Natalie Portman V for Vendetta, Black Swan, Léon: The Professional

22
+ - 2,689 2,545
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Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Silver Linings Playbook

23
+ - 1,289 585
Emily Blunt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Emily Blunt Sicario, Edge of Tomorrow, Looper

24
+ - 1,034 678
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Naomi Watts King Kong, Mulholland Drive, The Ring

25
+ - 1,313 792
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Julie Andrews Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Shrek 2

26
+ - 880 678
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Frances McDormand Fargo, Mississippi Burning, Almost Famous

27
+ - 1,791 1,900
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Anne Hathaway Les Misérables, Rachel Getting Married, The Dark Knight Rises

28
+ - 826 436
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Sigourney Weaver Alien, Aliens, Alien³

29
+ - 1,034 849
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Hilary Swank Boys Don't Cry, Insomnia, Million Dollar Baby

The Best Current Female Singers Actors Who Consistently Make Great Movies

30
+ - 1,284 874
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Reese Witherspoon Walk the Line, Wild, Legally Blonde

31
+ - 831 530
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Marion Cotillard The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, La Vie en Rose

32
+ - 1,408 584
Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Jessica Biel The Illusionist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 7th Heaven

33
+ - 722 609
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Tilda Swinton We Need to Talk About Kevin, Adaptation., The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion

34
+ - 801 690
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Annette Bening Mars Attacks!, The Siege, American Beauty

35
+ - 635 428
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Robin Wright The Princess Bride, Forrest Gump, House of Cards

36
+ - 910 664
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Jessica Chastain The Martian, Zero Dark Thirty, The Help

37
+ - 894 579
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Viola Davis The Help, Prisoners, Doubt

38
+ - 1,605 1,733
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Scarlett Johansson Lost in Translation, The Avengers, The Prestige

39
+ - 1,354 1,624
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Keira Knightley Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, The Imitation Game, Pride & Prejudice

40
+ - 666 384
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Sally Field Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump, Lincoln

41
+ - 1,058 1,088
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Michelle Pfeiffer Scarface, Batman Returns, Dark Shadows

42
+ - 820 775
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Claire Danes Temple Grandin, Homeland, My So-Called Life

43
+ - 690 643
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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 Coconut Milk Brands

44
+ - 767 538
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Marisa Tomei The Wrestler, The Lincoln Lawyer, Crazy

45
+ - 707 409
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

46
+ - 411 273
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Diane Keaton The Godfather: Part II, The Godfather, The Godfather: Part III

47
+ - 1,715 1,868
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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

48
+ - 537 501
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Kristen Bell Frozen, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Veronica Mars

49
+ - 611 544
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Kirsten Dunst Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

50
+ - 1,021 1,030
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