female professionals The Best Actresses Working Today  

Originally by
211k votes 11k voters 349k views 306 items Follow Embed

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
+ - 2,751 1,234
Ranker Video v
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
+ - 3,152 2,341
Ranker Video v
Meryl Streep The Devil Wears Prada, Doubt, Fantastic Mr. Fox

3
+ - 1,986 1,105
Ranker Video v
Julianne Moore The Big Lebowski, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Crazy

4
+ - 1,886 1,013
Ranker Video v
Helen Mirren The Queen, Monsters University, The Debt

5
+ - 2,330 1,317
Ranker Video v
Kate Winslet Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Revolutionary Road

6
+ - 2,054 876
Ranker Video v
Judi Dench Skyfall, Casino Royale, Philomena

7
+ - 1,854 927
Ranker Video v
Maggie Smith The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Downton Abbey, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

8
+ - 1,888 928
Ranker Video v
Emma Thompson Howards End, Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually

9
+ - 1,661 1,096
Ranker Video v
Nicole Kidman Moulin Rouge, The Others, Eyes Wide Shut

10
+ - 2,039 926
Ranker Video v
Amy Adams Man of Steel, American Hustle, Enchanted

11
+ - 1,837 1,138
Ranker Video v
Jodie Foster The Silence of the Lambs, Elysium, Panic Room

12
+ - 1,403 799
Ranker Video v
Rachel Weisz The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Constantine

13
+ - 1,798 946
Ranker Video v
Helena Bonham Carter Fight Club, The King's Speech, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

14
+ - 1,678 690
Ranker Video v
Kathy Bates Titanic, Misery, About Schmidt

15
+ - 1,347 888
Ranker Video v
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
+ - 1,930 2,047
Ranker Video v
Charlize Theron Mad Max: Fury Road, Prometheus, Monster

17
+ - 1,712 762
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Sandra Bullock Gravity, The Proposal, Crash

18
+ - 1,211 922
Ranker Video v
Glenn Close Dangerous Liaisons, Mars Attacks, Tarzan

19
+ - 1,470 722
Ranker Video v
Rachel McAdams Midnight in Paris, Sherlock Holmes, Mean Girls

20
+ - 1,324 906
Ranker Video v
Julia Roberts Notting Hill, Closer, Erin Brockovich

21
+ - 2,046 2,123
Ranker Video v
Natalie Portman V for Vendetta, Black Swan, Léon: The Professional

22
+ - 2,686 2,543
Ranker Video v
Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Silver Linings Playbook

23
+ - 1,286 585
Emily Blunt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Emily Blunt Sicario, Edge of Tomorrow, Looper

24
+ - 1,032 678
Ranker Video v
Naomi Watts King Kong, Mulholland Drive, The Ring

25
+ - 1,311 792
Ranker Video v
Julie Andrews Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Shrek 2

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

27
+ - 1,790 1,898
Ranker Video v
Anne Hathaway Les Misérables, Rachel Getting Married, The Dark Knight Rises

28
+ - 824 436
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Sigourney Weaver Alien, Aliens, Alien³

29
+ - 1,032 849
Ranker Video v
Hilary Swank Boys Don't Cry, Insomnia, Million Dollar Baby

The Best Current Female Singers Actors Who Consistently Make Great Movies

30
+ - 1,283 874
Ranker Video v
Reese Witherspoon Walk the Line, Wild, Legally Blonde

31
+ - 829 530
Ranker Video v
Marion Cotillard The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, La Vie en Rose

32
+ - 1,406 584
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
Ranker Video v
Tilda Swinton We Need to Talk About Kevin, Adaptation., The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion

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

35
+ - 634 428
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
+ - 909 664
Ranker Video v
Jessica Chastain The Martian, Zero Dark Thirty, The Help

37
+ - 892 579
Ranker Video v
Viola Davis The Help, Prisoners, Doubt

38
+ - 1,604 1,731
Ranker Video v
Scarlett Johansson Lost in Translation, The Avengers, The Prestige

39
+ - 1,353 1,624
Ranker Video v
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
+ - 1,057 1,088
Ranker Video v
Michelle Pfeiffer Scarface, Batman Returns, Dark Shadows

42
+ - 819 775
Ranker Video v
Claire Danes Temple Grandin, Homeland, My So-Called Life

43
+ - 690 643
Ranker Video v
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
Ranker Video v
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
+ - 410 273
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
+ - 1,713 1,866
Ranker Video v
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
+ - 536 501
Ranker Video v
Kristen Bell Frozen, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Veronica Mars

49
+ - 609 544
Ranker Video v
Kirsten Dunst Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

50
+ - 1,017 1,029
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