film The Greatest American Actresses of All Time  

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List Rules Vote up and add the best AMERICAN actresses to have ever lived. Vote on each actress's entire body of work. Remember, Helen Mirren is not American.

It takes a lot to make a movie great. There has to be excellent writing, production, direction, editing, and of course, acting. While the crew draws out the parameters for a movie, the actors are who color in the film to bring it to life, and without great acting, a great film can crumble. 

 These actresses are the ones who deliver time and again, regardless of how good the script or the production of the film is. These are the greatest American actresses ever. Who are the best actresses? That's up to you to decide. This list is votable and rerankable, and if you don't see someone on here that deserves a spot, feel free to add them. 
list ordered by

1
+ - 869 629
Katharine Hepburn is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Katharine Hepburn The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen, Bringing Up Baby

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2
+ - 1,168 809
Meryl Streep is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Meryl Streep The Iron Lady, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Devil Wears Prada

3
+ - 706 450
Joan Crawford is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Joan Crawford What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Grand Hotel, Mildred Pierce

4
+ - 654 751
Bette Davis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Bette Davis All About Eve, Dark Victory, Jezebel

5
+ - 732 685
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jodie Foster The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, The Accused

6
+ - 535 577
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jessica Lange Tootsie, Big Fish, Cape Fear

7
+ - 363 430
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Kathy Bates Titanic, Misery, The Blind Side

8
+ - 499 669
Glenn Close is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Glenn Close Dangerous Liaisons, Cookie's Fortune, The World According to Garp

9
+ - 518 881
Susan Sarandon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Susan Sarandon Thelma and Louise, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dead Man Walking

10
+ - 459 325
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Sally Field Forrest Gump, The Amazing Spider-Man, Mrs. Doubtfire

11
+ - 513 605
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Diane Keaton Annie Hall, Something's Gotta Give, The Godfather

12
+ - 410 532
Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jane Fonda On Golden Pond, Klute, Monster-in-Law

13
+ - 457 460
Anne Bancroft is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Anne Bancroft The Graduate, The Miracle Worker, The Elephant Man

14
+ - 464 781
Elizabeth Taylor is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Elizabeth Taylor Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cleopatra, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

15
+ - 378 563
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Frances McDormand Fargo, Burn After Reading, Almost Famous

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16
+ - 398 246
Judy Garland is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Judy Garland The Wizard of Oz, P.S. I Love You, Judgment at Nuremberg

17
+ - 426 728
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Sigourney Weaver Alien, Ghostbusters, Avatar

18
+ - 491 617
Julianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Julianne Moore The Kids Are All Right, Non-Stop, Carrie

19
+ - 374 466
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Sissy Spacek Carrie, Coal Miner's Daughter, In the Bedroom

20
+ - 397 585
Shirley MacLaine is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Shirley MacLaine Terms of Endearment, The Apartment, Steel Magnolias

21
+ - 466 529
Michelle Pfeiffer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Michelle Pfeiffer The Family, Scarface, What Lies Beneath

22
+ - 493 465
Grace Kelly is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Grace Kelly To Catch a Thief, Rear Window, Dial M for Murder

23
+ - 432 510
Lauren Bacall is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Lauren Bacall To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, How to Marry a Millionaire

24
+ - 535 598
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Julia Roberts Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich, Steel Magnolias

25
+ - 593 697
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Sandra Bullock Miss Congeniality, Gravity, The Blind Side

26
+ - 319 471
Annette Bening is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Annette Bening The Kids Are All Right, American Beauty, The American President

27
+ - 400 431
Natalie Wood is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Natalie Wood Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story, Miracle on 24th Street

28
+ - 280 290
Whoopi Goldberg is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Whoopi Goldberg The Lion King, Toy Story 3, Ghost

29
+ - 392 428
Helen Hunt is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Helen Hunt As Good As It Gets, What Women Want, Pay it Forward

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30
+ - 222 236
Jessica Tandy is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jessica Tandy The Birds, Driving Miss Daisy, Fried Green Tomatoes

31
+ - 259 209
Myrna Loy is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Myrna Loy The Best Years of Our Lives, The Thin Man, The End

32
+ - 295 372
Ellen Burstyn is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Ellen Burstyn The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

33
+ - 285 530
Goldie Hawn is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Goldie Hawn Overboard, First Wives Club, Private Benjamin

34
+ - 251 235
Mary Tyler Moore is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Mary Tyler Moore Ordinary People, Moon, Flirting with Disaster

35
+ - 258 348
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Lucille Ball All the Right Moves, Top Hat, Stage Door

36
+ - 280 252
Jean Stapleton is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jean Stapleton You've Got Mail, Klute, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World

37
+ - 173 113
Diane Lane is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Diane Lane Man of Steel, The Outsiders, The Perfect Storm

38
+ - 173 189
Kathleen Turner is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Kathleen Turner Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Virgin Suicides, The War of the Roses

39
+ - 165 282
Anjelica Huston is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Anjelica Huston One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, This Is Spinal Tap, The Royal Tenenbaums

40
+ - 322 669
Barbara Stanwyck is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Barbara Stanwyck The Lady Eve, Ball of Fire, Sorry

41
+ - 437 786
Mary McDonnell is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Mary McDonnell Donnie Darko, Dances with Wolves, Independence Day

42
+ - 283 270
Shirley Temple is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Shirley Temple Fort Apache, Heidi, The Little Colonel

43
+ - 258 424
Joanne Woodward is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Joanne Woodward The Three Faces of Eve, Rachel, Rachel

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44
+ - 123 70
Ginger Rogers is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Ginger Rogers Top Hat, Swing Time, The Gay Divorcee

45
+ - 324 477
Amy Adams is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Amy Adams Her, American Hustle, Enchanted

46
+ - 140 148
Thelma Ritter is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Thelma Ritter Rear Window, All About Eve, Miracle on 34th Street

47
+ - 262 438
Meg Ryan is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Meg Ryan When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle

48
+ - 243 301
Gene Tierney is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Gene Tierney Laura, Leave Her to Heaven, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

49
+ - 146 189
Claudette Colbert is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Claudette Colbert It Happened One Night, The Palm Beach Story, It's a Wonderful World

50
+ - 265 493
Ava Gardner is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Ava Gardner The Barefoot Contessa, The Killers, The Sun Also Rises