film The Greatest American Actresses of All Time

70k votes 7.1k voters 24k views 132 items Embed

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. 

1
+ - 1,002 618
Meryl Streep is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Meryl Streep The Iron Lady, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Devil Wears Prada

The Best Living American Actors The Greatest Horror Films of All Time

2
+ - 688 573
Katharine Hepburn is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Katharine Hepburn The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen, Bringing Up Baby

3
+ - 622 365
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
+ - 631 613
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jodie Foster The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, The Accused

5
+ - 562 662
Bette Davis is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Bette Davis All About Eve, Dark Victory, Jezebel

6
+ - 353 260
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Sally Field Forrest Gump, The Amazing Spider-Man, Mrs. Doubtfire

7
+ - 302 201
Judy Garland is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Judy Garland The Wizard of Oz, P.S. I Love You, Judgment at Nuremberg

8
+ - 424 514
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jessica Lange Tootsie, Big Fish, Cape Fear

9
+ - 439 534
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Diane Keaton Annie Hall, Something's Gotta Give, The Godfather

10
+ - 372 411
Anne Bancroft is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Anne Bancroft The Graduate, The Miracle Worker, The Elephant Man

11
+ - 423 579
Glenn Close is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Glenn Close Dangerous Liaisons, Cookie's Fortune, The World According to Garp

12
+ - 271 336
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Kathy Bates Titanic, Misery, The Blind Side

13
+ - 373 449
Lauren Bacall is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
+ - 325 496
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Frances McDormand Fargo, Burn After Reading, Almost Famous

15
+ - 393 704
Elizabeth Taylor is listed (or ranked) 15 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?

The Best Actresses Who Won Oscars and Globes for the Same Role 50 Movies That Contained Future Stars

16
+ - 211 167
Myrna Loy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Myrna Loy The Best Years of Our Lives, The Thin Man, The End

17
+ - 394 428
Grace Kelly is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Grace Kelly To Catch a Thief, Rear Window, Dial M for Murder

18
+ - 337 505
Shirley MacLaine is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Shirley MacLaine Terms of Endearment, The Apartment, Steel Magnolias

19
+ - 351 443
Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jane Fonda On Golden Pond, Klute, Monster-in-Law

20
+ - 409 574
Julianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Julianne Moore The Kids Are All Right, Non-Stop, Carrie

21
+ - 212 177
Mary Tyler Moore is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Mary Tyler Moore Ordinary People, Moon, Flirting with Disaster

22
+ - 242 205
Jean Stapleton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jean Stapleton You've Got Mail, Klute, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World

23
+ - 391 490
Michelle Pfeiffer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Michelle Pfeiffer The Family, Scarface, What Lies Beneath

24
+ - 340 383
Helen Hunt is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Helen Hunt As Good As It Gets, What Women Want, Pay it Forward

25
+ - 493 650
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
+ - 348 387
Natalie Wood is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Natalie Wood Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story, Miracle on 24th Street

27
+ - 447 541
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Julia Roberts Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich, Steel Magnolias

28
+ - 355 653
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Sigourney Weaver Alien, Ghostbusters, Avatar

29
+ - 243 210
Shirley Temple is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Shirley Temple Fort Apache, Heidi, The Little Colonel

The Best Living American Actresses The Best Second Careers

30
+ - 434 794
Susan Sarandon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Susan Sarandon Thelma and Louise, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dead Man Walking

31
+ - 205 209
Whoopi Goldberg is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Whoopi Goldberg The Lion King, Toy Story 3, Ghost

32
+ - 85 32
Ginger Rogers is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Ginger Rogers Top Hat, Swing Time, The Gay Divorcee

33
+ - 316 418
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Sissy Spacek Carrie, Coal Miner's Daughter, In the Bedroom

34
+ - 171 204
Jessica Tandy is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jessica Tandy The Birds, Driving Miss Daisy, Fried Green Tomatoes

35
+ - 243 336
Ellen Burstyn is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Ellen Burstyn The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

36
+ - 127 117
Irene Dunne is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Irene Dunne The Awful Truth, Cimarron, Life with Father

37
+ - 411 710
Mary McDonnell is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Mary McDonnell Donnie Darko, Dances with Wolves, Independence Day

38
+ - 241 479
Goldie Hawn is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Goldie Hawn Overboard, First Wives Club, Private Benjamin

39
+ - 201 301
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Lucille Ball All the Right Moves, Top Hat, Stage Door

40
+ - 269 425
Annette Bening is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Annette Bening The Kids Are All Right, American Beauty, The American President

41
+ - 143 149
Kathleen Turner is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Kathleen Turner Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Virgin Suicides, The War of the Roses

42
+ - 107 80
Diane Lane is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Diane Lane Man of Steel, The Outsiders, The Perfect Storm

43
+ - 256 306
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Reese Witherspoon American Psycho, Legally Blonde, Election

The Best Female Directors The Best Teriyaki Sauce Brands

44
+ - 179 203
Doris Day is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Doris Day Pillow Talk, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Lover Come Back

45
+ - 104 114
Thelma Ritter is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Thelma Ritter Rear Window, All About Eve, Miracle on 34th Street

46
+ - 147 160
Donna Reed is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Donna Reed It's a Wonderful Life, From Here to Eternity, Cinema Paradiso

47
+ - 206 270
Gene Tierney is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Gene Tierney Laura, Leave Her to Heaven, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

48
+ - 170 197
Debbie Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Debbie Reynolds Singin' in the Rain, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Charlotte's Web

49
+ - 157 190
Bette Midler is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Bette Midler Oliver & Company, Hocus Pocus, Fantasia 2000

50
+ - 113 160
Claudette Colbert is listed (or ranked) 50 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