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. 

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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

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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

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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

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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
+ - 590 678
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
+ - 377 271
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
+ - 450 521
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jessica Lange Tootsie, Big Fish, Cape Fear

8
+ - 319 210
Judy Garland is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Judy Garland The Wizard of Oz, P.S. I Love You, Judgment at Nuremberg

9
+ - 288 355
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Kathy Bates Titanic, Misery, The Blind Side

10
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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

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Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jane Fonda On Golden Pond, Klute, Monster-in-Law

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Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Diane Keaton Annie Hall, Something's Gotta Give, The Godfather

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Glenn Close is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Glenn Close Dangerous Liaisons, Cookie's Fortune, The World According to Garp

14
+ - 335 509
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
+ - 411 436
Grace Kelly is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Grace Kelly To Catch a Thief, Rear Window, Dial M for Murder

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Lauren Bacall is listed (or ranked) 16 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

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Susan Sarandon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Susan Sarandon Thelma and Louise, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dead Man Walking

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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

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Myrna Loy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Myrna Loy The Best Years of Our Lives, The Thin Man, The End

20
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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
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Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Sissy Spacek Carrie, Coal Miner's Daughter, In the Bedroom

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Elizabeth Taylor is listed (or ranked) 22 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?

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+ - 253 214
Jean Stapleton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jean Stapleton You've Got Mail, Klute, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World

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Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Sigourney Weaver Alien, Ghostbusters, Avatar

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Michelle Pfeiffer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Michelle Pfeiffer The Family, Scarface, What Lies Beneath

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+ - 220 189
Mary Tyler Moore is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Mary Tyler Moore Ordinary People, Moon, Flirting with Disaster

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Helen Hunt is listed (or ranked) 27 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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Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Sandra Bullock Miss Congeniality, Gravity, The Blind Side

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Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Julia Roberts Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich, Steel Magnolias

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Natalie Wood is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Natalie Wood Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story, Miracle on 24th Street

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+ - 252 220
Shirley Temple is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Shirley Temple Fort Apache, Heidi, The Little Colonel

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Whoopi Goldberg is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Whoopi Goldberg The Lion King, Toy Story 3, Ghost

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+ - 119 86
Diane Lane is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Diane Lane Man of Steel, The Outsiders, The Perfect Storm

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+ - 282 433
Annette Bening is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Annette Bening The Kids Are All Right, American Beauty, The American President

35
+ - 181 211
Jessica Tandy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jessica Tandy The Birds, Driving Miss Daisy, Fried Green Tomatoes

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Ginger Rogers is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Ginger Rogers Top Hat, Swing Time, The Gay Divorcee

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Ellen Burstyn is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Ellen Burstyn The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

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+ - 149 155
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

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+ - 217 308
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
+ - 134 125
Irene Dunne is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Irene Dunne The Awful Truth, Cimarron, Life with Father

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Goldie Hawn is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Goldie Hawn Overboard, First Wives Club, Private Benjamin

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Mary McDonnell is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Mary McDonnell Donnie Darko, Dances with Wolves, Independence Day

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+ - 271 315
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Reese Witherspoon American Psycho, Legally Blonde, Election

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+ - 168 201
Bette Midler is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Bette Midler Oliver & Company, Hocus Pocus, Fantasia 2000

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+ - 179 210
Debbie Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 45 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

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+ - 142 237
Anjelica Huston is listed (or ranked) 46 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

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+ - 190 215
Doris Day is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Doris Day Pillow Talk, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Lover Come Back

48
+ - 113 120
Thelma Ritter is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Thelma Ritter Rear Window, All About Eve, Miracle on 34th Street

49
+ - 214 277
Gene Tierney is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Gene Tierney Laura, Leave Her to Heaven, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

50
+ - 128 189
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Barbra Streisand What's Up, Doc?, Meet the Fockers