• Entertainment

The Best Actresses In Film History

List RulesVote up the women in film, living or passed, who consistently turned out the best performances.

The best actresses ever are ranked here in this list of the best actresses in film history. These are the greatest actresses ever to appear on the silver screen - female only (for the co-ed list, check out the greatest film actors and actresses). These women were part of some of the greatest movies of all time (or were perhaps the reason they were the best movies ever), with countless Academy Awards between them. Women like Meryl Streep and Ingrid Bergman are some of the most famous actresses of all time.

What are the qualities of the best actresses of all time? Is it the raw emotion they show, the parts they choose, their acting methods, or simply their effortless charm and charisma? There's no denying some of these amazing actresses belong on the list of the hottest celebrities of all time, but behind their 1000 watt smiles is the talent that defines generations of actresses.

Who is the best actor of all time? There are so many choices for the greatest movie actress ever that you don't have to limit yourself to voting for just one! Vote up your favorite famous movie actresses below, and then check back to see how your top actresses ranked!

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  • Lowell, Massachusetts
    11,990
    5,376

    Credits (Film)All About Eve, P.S. I Love You, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, The Watcher in the Woods, Burnt Offerings

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for Dangerous (1936), and Jezebel (1939)

    Nominated for Best Actress Golden Globe for All About Eve (1951), Pocketful of Miracles (1962), and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1963)

    Winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Award (1974)

  • Summit, New Jersey
    15,942
    9,698

    Credits (Film)Sophie's Choice, Kramer vs. Kramer, Out of Africa

    Won for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Best Actress Oscar for Sophie's Choice (1983) and The Iron Lady (2012)

    Won for Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for Kramer vs. Kramer (1980) and Adaptation. (2003) and Best Actress Golden Globe for The French Lieutenant's Woman (1982), Sophie's Choice (1983), Angels in America (2004), The Devil Wears Prada (2007), Julie & Julia (2010), and The Iron Lady (2012)

    Winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Award (2017)

  • Ilford, London
    8,000
    4,536

    Credits (Film)California Suite, Gosford Park, A Room with a View

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1970) and Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Califorina Suite (1979)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for California Suite (1979) and Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for A Room with a View (1987)

    #112 of 344 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person#5 of 76 The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress#38 of 1,883 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

  • Heworth, United Kingdom
    8,069
    4,584

    Credits (Film)Philomena, Notes on a Scandal, Shakespeare in Love

    Won for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Shakespeare in Love (1999)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for Mrs Brown (1998)

  • Hammersmith, London
    8,232
    4,701

    Credits (Film)The Queen, Gosford Park, The Last Station

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for The Queen (2007)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for The Queen (2007)

    #5 of 185 The Best Living English Actresses#8 of 53 The Best English Actresses Working Today#21 of 309 Famous People Most Likely to Live to 100

  • Stockholm, Sweden
    7,471
    4,270

    Credits (Film)Casablanca, Notorious, Cinema Paradiso, Murder on the Orient Express, Spellbound

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for Gaslight (1945) and Anastasia (1957) and Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Murder on the Orient Express (1975)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for Gaslight (1945), The Bells of St. Mary's (1946), and Anastasia (1957)

  • Ixelles, Belgium
    11,902
    7,196

    Credits (Film)Breakfast at Tiffany's, My Fair Lady, Roman Holiday, Charade, Wait Until Dark

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for Roman Holiday (1954)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for Roman Holiday (1954) and Henrietta Award for World Film Favorite Female (1955)

    Winner of the Cecil B DeMille Award (1990)

  • Memphis, Tennessee
    7,484
    4,415

    Credits (Film)Misery, About Schmidt, Fried Green Tomatoes

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for Misery (1991)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for Misery ​​​​​​​(1991)

  • Walton-on-Thames, United Kingdom
    7,744
    4,506

    Credits (Film)The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Thoroughly Modern Millie

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for Mary Poppins (1965)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for Mary Poppins (1965), The Sound of Music (1966), and Victor Victoria (1983) and World Film Favorite Female Golden Globe (1967, 1968)

  • Los Angeles, California
    8,142
    4,977

    Credits (Film)The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, The Accused

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for The Accused (1989) and The Silence of the Lambs (1992)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for The Accused (1989) and Silence of the Lambs (1992) and Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for The Mauritanian (2021)

    Winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Award (2013)

    The Greatest Characters Played by Jodie Foster, Ranked#58 of 253 The Best American Actresses Working Today#1553 of 3,210 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • Reading, United Kingdom
    8,492
    4,975

    Credits (Film)The Reader, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Titanic

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for The Reader (2009)

    Won for Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for The Reader (2009) and Steve Jobs (2016) and Best Actress Golden Globe for Revolutionary Road (2009)

    The Greatest Characters Played by Kate Winslet, Ranked#185 of 447 The Most Beautiful Women Of 2019, Ranked#50 of 244 Actors You Would Watch Read the Phone Book

  • Paddington, London
    7,009
    4,259

    Credits (Film)Sense and Sensibility, Howards End, The Remains of the Day

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for Howards End (1993)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for Howards End ​​​​​​​(1993)

  • Darjeeling, India
    7,395
    4,565

    Credits (Film)Gone with the Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire, Ship of Fools, Waterloo Bridge, Fire Over England

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for Gone with the Wind (1940) and A Streetcar Named Desire (1952)

    Nominated for Best Actress Golden Globe for A Streetcar Named Desire (1952)

    #225 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#90 of 322 The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time#9 of 77 The Best English Actresses of All Time

  • Golders Green, London
    7,441
    4,016

    Credits (Film)Fight Club, The King's Speech, The Wings of the Dove

    Nominated for Best Actress Oscar for The Wings of the Dove (1998) and Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The King's Speech (2011)

    Nominated for Best Actress Golden Globe for The Wings of the Dove (1998) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2008) and Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for The King's Speech (2011)

    Helena Bonham Carter's Grandmother Was Even Cooler Than The Quirky Actress#4 of 23 23 Actors Who Are Known For Nailing Every Single Role#4 of 11 Our Favorite Quirky Interview Moments From The Magical ‘Harry Potter’ Actresses

  • Pasadena, California
    6,029
    3,652

    Credits (Film)Steel Magnolias, Norma Rae, Forrest Gump

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for Norma Rae (1980) and Places in the Heart (1985)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for Norma Rae (1980) and Places in the Heart ​​​​​​​(1985)

  • Grand Rapids, Minnesota
    5,645
    3,456

    Credits (Film)The Wizard of Oz, Judgment at Nuremberg, A Star Is Born

    Nominated for Best Actress Oscar for A Star Is Born (1955) and Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Judgment at Nuremberg (1962)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for A Star Is Born (1955)

    Winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Award (1962)

  • Ivanhoe, Australia
    9,544
    6,598

    Credits (Film)Blue Jasmine, Elizabeth, The Aviator

    Won for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Aviator (2005) and Best Actress Oscar for Blue Jasmine (2014)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for Elizabeth (1999) and Blue Jasmine (2014) and Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for I'm Not There (2008)

    The Best Cate Blanchett Characters#66 of 248 The Best Marvel Movie Actors Ever#2 of 26 Actors Who Somehow Looked Older In The '90s Than They Do Now

  • Hampstead Garden Suburb, United Kingdom
    7,172
    4,536

    Credits (Film)Cleopatra, National Velvet, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Flintstones, Giant

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for Butterfield 8 (1961) and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1967)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for Suddenly, Last Summer (1960) and World Film Favorite Female Golden Globe (1974)

    Winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Award (1985)

  • Hartford, Connecticut
    8,321
    5,660

    Credits (Film)Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, On Golden Pond

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for Morning Glory (1934), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1968), The Lion in Winter (1969) and On Golden Pond (1982)

    Nominated for Best Actress Golden Globe for Pat and Mike (1953), The Rainmaker (1957), Suddenly, Last Summer (1960), Long Day's Journey Into Night (1963), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1968), The Lion in Winter (1969), On Golden Pond (1982), and The Man Upstairs (1993)

  • Santa Ana, California
    6,033
    3,676

    Credits (Film)The Fabulous Baker Boys, Scarface, Dangerous Liaisons

    Nominated for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Dangerous Liaisons (1989) and Best Actress Oscar for The Fabulous Baker Boys (1990) and Love Field (1993)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for The Fabulous Baker Boys (1990)

  • Jerusalem, Mandatory Palestine
    6,406
    3,842

    Credits (Film)Black Swan, Leon: The Professional, Closer

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for Black Swan (2011)

    Won for Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for Closer (2005) and Best Actress Golden Globe for Black Swan (2011)

  • 4,349
    2,718

    Credits (Film)The Heiress, Gone with the Wind, To Each His Own

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for To Each His Own (1947) and The Heiress (1950)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for The Heiress (1950)

  • Honolulu, Hawaii
    6,230
    3,893

    Credits (Film)The Hours, Moulin Rouge!, Rabbit Hole

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for The Hours (2003)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for To Die For (1996), Moulin Rouge! (2002),  and The Hours (2003)

    The Greatest Characters Played by Nicole Kidman, Ranked#103 of 243 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities In The World#20 of 201 The Best Actresses Working Today

  • Virginia, United States of America
    7,381
    4,617

    Credits (Film)The Blind Side, Gravity, Speed

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for The Blind Side (2010)

    Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for The Blind Side (2010)

    #50 of 339 The Most Beautiful Women In Hollywood#4 of 199 Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With#127 of 574 American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures

  • Jackson Heights, New York City
    6,301
    4,248

    Credits (Film)Dead Man Walking, The Client, Thelma & Louise

    Won for Best Actress Oscar for Dead Man Walking (1996)

    Nominated for Best Actress Golden Globe for Bull Durham (1989), White Palace (1991), Thelma & Louise (1992), Lorenzo's Oil (1993), Dead Man Walking (1996), and Stepmom (1999), and Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for Igby Goes Down (2003)

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