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
+ - 611 702
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
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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

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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
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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
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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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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

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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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Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jane Fonda On Golden Pond, Klute, Monster-in-Law

14
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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
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Lauren Bacall is listed (or ranked) 15 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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16
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Julianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Julianne Moore The Kids Are All Right, Non-Stop, Carrie

17
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Myrna Loy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Myrna Loy The Best Years of Our Lives, The Thin Man, The End

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Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Sissy Spacek Carrie, Coal Miner's Daughter, In the Bedroom

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Grace Kelly is listed (or ranked) 19 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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Susan Sarandon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Susan Sarandon Thelma and Louise, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dead Man Walking

21
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Shirley MacLaine is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Shirley MacLaine Terms of Endearment, The Apartment, Steel Magnolias

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Michelle Pfeiffer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Michelle Pfeiffer The Family, Scarface, What Lies Beneath

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Elizabeth Taylor is listed (or ranked) 23 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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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

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

26
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Jean Stapleton is listed (or ranked) 26 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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Mary Tyler Moore is listed (or ranked) 27 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) 28 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Helen Hunt As Good As It Gets, What Women Want, Pay it Forward

29
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Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Sandra Bullock Miss Congeniality, Gravity, The Blind Side

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Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Sigourney Weaver Alien, Ghostbusters, Avatar

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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

32
+ - 241 245
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

33
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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

34
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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

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Annette Bening is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Annette Bening The Kids Are All Right, American Beauty, The American President

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Ellen Burstyn is listed (or ranked) 36 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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+ - 102 52
Ginger Rogers is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Ginger Rogers Top Hat, Swing Time, The Gay Divorcee

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Irene Dunne is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Irene Dunne The Awful Truth, Cimarron, Life with Father

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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
+ - 156 169
Kathleen Turner is listed (or ranked) 40 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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Doris Day is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Doris Day Pillow Talk, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Lover Come Back

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+ - 123 131
Thelma Ritter is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Thelma Ritter Rear Window, All About Eve, Miracle on 34th Street

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Anjelica Huston is listed (or ranked) 43 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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Debbie Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 44 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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Mary McDonnell is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Mary McDonnell Donnie Darko, Dances with Wolves, Independence Day

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+ - 227 284
Gene Tierney is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Gene Tierney Laura, Leave Her to Heaven, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

47
+ - 268 505
Goldie Hawn is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Goldie Hawn Overboard, First Wives Club, Private Benjamin

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+ - 292 324
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Reese Witherspoon American Psycho, Legally Blonde, Election

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+ - 180 214
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

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Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest American Actresses of All Time
Jessica Biel Blade: Trinity, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Illusionist