From memorable portrayals to gripping performances, here are the great actresses to consider for Best Actress at the 2021 Oscars. This year's nominees feature a diverse mix of legends and newcomers.
From Frances McDormand's raw and passionate journey in Nomadland to Viola Davis's fearless and authentic portrayal of the legendary 'Mother of the Blues' in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, these are the roles that add to a long list of legacy performances. While Vanessa Kirby's realistic and heartfelt depiction in Pieces of a Woman stuck with audiences. Other strong contenders for the award include Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman and Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday.
Make your 2021 Oscars predictions by voting up the nominees you think will win, and don't miss the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday, April 25, 2021.
- Photo: Focus Features
Cassandra "Cassie" Thomas in Promising Young WomanCarey Hannah Mulligan (born 28 May 1985) is a British actress born in London who grew up in Düsseldorf (Germany) and Surrey (England). Mulligan developed an early interest in acting and was the student head of the drama department at Woldingham School. She made her professional acting debut on stage in the Kevin Elyot play Forty Winks at the Royal Court Theatre in 2004. Her film debut was in the role of Kitty Bennet in Pride & Prejudice (2005), followed by supporting roles in numerous television series, including Bleak House (2005) and a Doctor Who episode, "Blink" (2007). She made her Broadway debut in The Seagull in 2008 to critical acclaim; her West End performance garnered her an Ian... more5111Oscar winner?
- Photo: Netflix
Ma Rainey in Ma Rainey's Black BottomViola Davis (born August 11, 1965) is an American actress and producer. Having won an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, and two Tony Awards, she is the first black actress to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2017.Born in St. Matthews, South Carolina, Davis began her acting career in Central Falls, Rhode Island, starring in minor theater productions. After graduating from the Juilliard School in 1993, she won an Obie Award in 1999 for her performance as Ruby McCollum in Everybody's Ruby. She played minor roles in several films and television series in the late 1990s and early 2000s, before winning the Tony... more5014Oscar winner?
- Photo: Searchlight Pictures
Frances McDormand won Best Actress in a leading role for Nomadland.
Fern in NomadlandFrances Louise McDormand (born Cynthia Ann Smith, June 23, 1957) is an American actress. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award, making her one of the few performers to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting. McDormand was educated at Bethany College and Yale University. She has starred in a number of films by the Coen brothers, including Blood Simple (1984), Raising Arizona (1987), Fargo (1996), The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), Burn After Reading (2008), and Hail, Caesar! (2016). For playing Marge Gunderson in Fargo, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her other film roles include Mississippi Burning (1988),... more4217Oscar winner?
- Photo: Paramount Pictures
Billie Holiday in The United States vs. Billie HolidayAndra Day (born Cassandra Monique Batie; December 30, 1984) is an American singer, songwriter and actress from San Diego, California. Her debut album, Cheers to the Fall, was released in 2015 and peaked at number 48 on the US Billboard 200 chart. At the 2016 Grammy Awards, the album was nominated for Best R&B Album and the album's main single, "Rise Up", was nominated for Best R&B Performance. Day also appeared alongside Stevie Wonder, who is partially credited for her discovery, in an ad for Apple TV in late 2015. Her Cheers to the Fall Tour began in November 2016. She is set to star as the iconic singer Billie Holiday in the upcoming biographical drama film The United States vs. Billie... more3415Oscar winner?