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16 Actors Who Have Played Lady Macbeth 

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Updated April 9, 2019 31.6k views 13 items

Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare's darkest tragedies. It tackles political themes and the lengths men will go to in order to achieve power. Several famous actresses have taken on the role of Lady Macbeth. The character of Lady Macbeth is incredibly challenging for actresses to take on. She is the wife of the title character Macbeth and becomes Queen of Scotland. Lady Macbeth is a powerful presence in the first two acts of the play and is often seen as a personification of the conflict between femininity and masculinity in cultural norms.

Who is the most famous actress who has played Lady Macbeth? Marion Cotillard tops our list. Cotillard played Lady Macbeth in a 2015 film adaption simply titled Macbeth, directed by Justin Kurzel. Most recently, English actress Florence Pugh took on the leading role in William Oldroyd's 2016 independent drama Lady Macbeth. Her performance won her the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress.

Which actress do you think did the best job portraying Lady Macbeth? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Marion Cotillard is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 16 Actors Who Have Played Lady Macbeth
Photo:  BBC Films/Amazon/Fair Use

Marion Cotillard played Lady Macbeth in a 2015 film adaption directed by Justin Kurzel.

Age: 43

Birthplace: Paris, France

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Helen Mirren is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 16 Actors Who Have Played Lady Macbeth
Photo: GabboT/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA 2.0

Helen Mirren portrayed Lady Macbeth in productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1974 and 1975.

Age: 73

Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom

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Vivien Leigh is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 16 Actors Who Have Played Lady Macbeth
Photo: Roloff Beny/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
Vivien Leigh played Lady Macbeth in a 1955 production with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She played opposite her then-husband, Laurence Olivier.

Age: Dec. at 54 (1913-1967)

Birthplace: Darjeeling, India

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Judi Dench is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 16 Actors Who Have Played Lady Macbeth
Photo: Caroline Bonarde Ucci/Wikimedia Commons/GNU Free Documentation License

Judi Dench played Lady Macbeth in a 1979 production of Macbeth that was filmed as a TV movie.

Age: 84

Birthplace: Heworth, United Kingdom

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