The Greatest Female Broadway Stars

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List Criteria: Vote up the top women on Broadway based on their careers on the stage

These leading ladies have made audiences laugh, cry and wish that the show would never end. Some have had long-running careers, while others are just starting out, but they all have one thing in common: they’re all the best female performers to have ever graced Broadway stages. For that reason, they all deserve a spot on this list of the greatest female Broadway stars. 

Broadway and music fans everywhere have heard of Barbra Streisand, but did you know she only performed in two shows on Broadway: I Can Get It for You Wholesale and Funny Girl? Of course, her star power was so bright that she was nominated for a Tony Award each time. The year she was nominated for Funny Girl (1964), she lost out to a performer many consider to be one of the top Broadway performers of all time - Carol Channing.

Channing not only won a total of three Tony Awards but also originated two of the most iconic Broadway roles in history: Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! and Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Because of these stunning performances, Carol Channing is regarded as one of the most amazing Broadway stars in history, alongside greats like Bernadette Peters, Ethel Merman, and Liza Minnelli. Other rising Broadway stars such as Megan Hilty and Lea Michele are joining the ranks of these great Broadway stars, making Broadway more fantastic as time goes on.

Whether for their powerful voices or skilled acting, the leading Broadway ladies on this list are known as the greatest female Broadway stars. Cast your votes below for the best female Broadway stars.

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  1. 1
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    Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars

    the people's #1
    Walton-on-Thames, United Kingdom Well-known for her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.

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  2. 2
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    Lea Salonga is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Angeles, Philippines Acclaimed for her performance on Broadway in Miss Saigon.

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  3. 3
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    Chita Rivera is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Washington, D.C., United States of America Remembered for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story.

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  4. 4
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    Kristin Chenoweth is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars

    most listed
    Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, United States of America Captured a Tony Award for her performance in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

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  5. 5
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    Bernadette Peters is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Ozone Park, New York City, New York Earned a Tony nomination for her performance as Mama Rose in Gypsy.

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  6. 6
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    Angela Lansbury is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Poplar, London, United Kingdom Well-known for starring in Mame.

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  7. 7
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    Carol Burnett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    San Antonio, Texas, United States of America Nominated for a Tony Award after her first Broadway role (in Once Upon a Mattress).

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  8. 8
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    Audra McDonald is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Berlin, Germany Had won three Tony Awards by the age of 28.

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  9. 9
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    Patti LuPone is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Northport, Huntington, New York Debuted on Broadway in Three Sisters.

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  10. 10
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    Idina Menzel is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars

    ranked low on reranks
    New York City, New York, United States of America Originated the role of Maureen Johnson in Rent.

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  11. 11
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    Carol Channing is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Seattle, Washington, United States of America Originated the role of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

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  12. 12
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    Ethel Merman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Astoria, New York City, New York Debuted many Broadway standards, including "Anything Goes" and "Friendship."

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  13. 13
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    Sutton Foster is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Statesboro, Georgia, United States of America Won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes.

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  14. 14
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    Liza Minnelli is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Hollywood, Los Angeles, California Won a Tony Award for her performance in Flora the Red Menace.

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  15. 15
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    Mary Martin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Weatherford, Texas, United States of America Originated the role of Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music.

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  16. 16
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    Gwen Verdon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Culver City, Los Angeles, California Picked up four Tony Awards in her career.

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  17. 17
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    ranked low on reranks & added by looksharp
    New York City, New York, United States of America

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  18. 18
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    Kelli O'Hara is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    USA, Oklahoma, Elk City Starred in Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick.

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  19. 19
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    Elaine Stritch is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars

    ranked low on reranks
    Detroit, Michigan, United States of America Debuted on Broadway in 1946 in Loco.

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  20. 20
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    Bebe Neuwirth is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Princeton, New Jersey, United States of America Played Velma in Chicago.

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  21. 21
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    Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Williamsburg, New York City, New York Performed in both Funny Girl and I Can Get It for You Wholesale.

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  22. 22
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    ranked low on reranks
    Bellevue, Washington, United States of America Well-known for portraying the character Doralee in 9 to 5: The Musical.

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  23. 23
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    Donna Murphy is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Corona, New York City, New York Well-known for her portrayal of Anna in The King and I.

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  24. 24
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    Christine Ebersole is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Winnetka, Illinois, United States of America Played Ado Annie in a revival of Oklahoma!

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  25. 25
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    Barbara Cook is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America Earned a Tony Award for her performance in The Music Man.

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  26. 26
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    England, Berkhamsted Acclaimed for her performance as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera.

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  27. 27
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    Rockford, Illinois, United States of America

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  28. 28
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    Gertrude Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    England, London Portrayed Eliza Doolittle in a revival of My Fair Lady.

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  29. 29
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    Pageland, South Carolina, United States of America

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  30. 30
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    Dorothy Loudon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Boston, Massachusetts, USA Introduced the tunes "Easy Street" and "Little Girls" in Annie.

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  31. 31
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    Rebecca Luker is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Helena, Alabama, United States of America Replaced Sarah Brightman in as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera.

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  32. 32
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    San Leandro, California, USA Nominated for a Tony Award for her work in Side Show.

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  33. 33
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    Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey, United States of America Garnered a Tony Award for her work in Nine.

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  34. 34
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    Heather Headley is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    Barataria, Trinidad and Tobago Introduced the role of Nala in the Broadway production of The Lion King.

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  35. 35
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    Marissa Jaret Winokur is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars


    New York City, USA, New York Remembered for her portrayal of Tracy in Hairspray.

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  36. 36
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    Manhattan, New York City, New York Nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in The Crucible.

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  37. 37
    + 25
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    Kentucky, United States of America Nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

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  38. 38
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    ranked low on reranks & added by Anna Wray

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  39. 39
    + 19
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Chicago, Illinois, USA Performed in Chicago, Pal Joey, and more.

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  40. 40
    + 54
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    added by mercedesr
    Denver, Colorado, United States of America

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  41. 41
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    new! & added by Ekir75
    Pontiac, Michigan, United States of America

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  42. 42
    + 3
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    added by ColinBoddy
    Basildon, United Kingdom

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