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The Greatest Female Villains

Updated December 21, 2020 302.5k votes 27.3k voters 1.3m views262 items

List RulesVote up and add all of your favorite fictional, evil ladies.

The best female villains include women whose roles are truly iconic and evil. Some of the greatest movie and television villains ever made this list. Whether it's a mentally unstable character who stalks her unsuspecting victim or a conniving, totally immoral villain who frames innocent people, this list includes all the big female villain names. It is, however, not complete, so please, feel free to add your favorite female TV and movie villains as well. Vote for the characters you think are the worst villains ever to grace the big or small screen.

What makes a great villain? A character that is morally bankrupt, complex, and tortured - and, more often than not, extremely well dressed. The female villains listed here certainly fit the mold. Some are evil to their very core, allowing heroes to emerge and shine as they (hopefully) triumph against them. A villain is nefarious, vile and generally bad. Many are guilty of criminal behavior, to say the least. Some make us love to hate them (that's a sure sign of a fantastic female villain). We cheer if and when they meet their untimely ends, because they deserved it!

In film, some of the best movie villains of all time are women. Need proof? How about bunny-boiler Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) in Fatal Attraction or mentally deranged "fan" Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) in Misery? Sharon Stone's portrayal of femme fatale Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct earns her a best female villain place on the list, as well as a top spot among the sexiest characters in thrillers.

Some actresses' best roles in movies or on TV shows came when they played villains. Rachel McAdams was unforgettably villainous as Regina George, aka Queen Bee, in Mean Girls. Helena Bonham Carter's played some interesting roles over the years, but none more wicked that Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter movies.

From the psycho exes to the stalkers and the femme fatales, enjoy this list of the best female villains in movies and television, and feel free to rerank it your way, too.

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  • Bellatrix Lestrange1
    7,355
    3,895

    Powers & AbilitiesOcclumency

  • Cersei Lannister2
    6,197
    3,282

    Cersei Lannister

    Game of Thrones

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  • Dolores Umbridge3
    4,939
    2,558

    Dolores Umbridge

    Harry Potter
  • Maleficent4
    5,593
    3,426

    Maleficent

    Sleeping Beauty

    Powers & AbilitiesShapeshifting, Teleportation

  • Cruella de Vil5
    4,043
    2,420

    Cruella de Vil

    101 Dalmatians
  • Queen6
    2,165
    1,188

    Queen

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

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  • Regina George7
    3,430
    2,082

    Regina George

    Mean Girls
  • Poison Ivy8
    2,796
    1,695

    Poison Ivy

    Batman & Robin

    Powers & AbilitiesPoison Emission, Chlorokinesis

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    #223 of 875 The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time#3159 of 3,512 The Best Movie Characters Of All Time

  • Hela9
    973
    368

    Hela

    Requiem

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  • Ursula10
    3,144
    1,930

    Ursula

    The Little Mermaid

    Powers & AbilitiesShapeshifting

  • Other Mother11
    1,532
    742

    Other Mother

    Coraline

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    #9 of 14 The Most Powerful Fantasy Villains, Ranked#1 of 15 Villains In Children’s Movies Who Are Way Too Scary For Children

  • Mystique12
    3,701
    2,521

    Mystique

    Marvel Universe

    Powers & AbilitiesShapeshifting, Healing factor

  • Mother Gothel13
    1,723
    1,024
  • Jadis the White Witch14
    2,803
    1,912

    Jadis the White Witch

    The Chronicles of Narnia

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  • Agatha Trunchbull15
    1,187
    668

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    #19 of 20 20 Film And TV Roles That Were 100% Perfectly Cast#5 of 15 Roald Dahl Movie Characters Who Look Like You Want Them To

  • Catwoman16
    3,104
    2,252

    Catwoman

    Maggie, Catwoman

    Powers & AbilitiesHand-to-hand combat, Empathy

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  • Queen Ravenna17
    2,346
    1,682

    Queen Ravenna

    Snow White and the Huntsman
  • Annie Wilkes18
    3,613
    2,703
  • Yzma19
    1,933
    1,292

    Yzma

    Kronk's New Groove, The Emperor's New Groove
  • Winifred Sanderson20
    853
    435
  • Alien Queen21
    1,487
    1,049

    Alien Queen

    Aliens Universe
  • Azula22
    1,851
    894

    Azula

    Avatar: The Last Airbender, Avatar: Legend of Korra

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  • O-Ren Ishii23
    2,533
    1,805

    O-Ren Ishii

    Kill Bill Universe

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    #269 of 412 The Greatest Female Characters in Film History#5 of 14 14 Villains Whose Backstories Could Be An Entire Movie

  • Samara Morgan24
    1,276
    915

    Samara Morgan

    The Ring Franchise
  • Nancy Downs25
    1,251
    857

    Nancy Downs

    The Craft