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The Best Actresses Who Played Cleopatra, Ranked

Updated June 3, 2021 3.5k votes 561 voters 20.9k views20 items

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We’re ranking the best Cleopatra actresses of all time. As one of the most enigmatic and fascinating characters in antiquity, Cleopatra is often portrayed as being powerful, pragmatic, and sensual. Yes, she might have conquered Julius Caesar’s heart, but there’s still so much we don’t know about her. In fact, the mythos of Cleopatra has become so popular that it’s hard to separate fact from fiction.

From the very first films, actresses have portrayed their own unique version of Cleopatra. While Vivien Leigh captured Cleopatra’s charm in 1945’s Caesar and Cleopatra, Sophia Loren brought the heat to the big screen in her breakout performance in 1954’s Due notti con Cleopatra, which translates to Two Nights with Cleopatra. Elizabeth Taylor also turned a few heads with her classic portrayal in 1963’s Cleopatra, and Monica Bellucci played Cleopatra in Asterix & Obelix. Which actress is your favorite?

Vote up the best Cleopatra actresses to see who tops the list.

  • Photo: user uploaded image

    Cleopatra (1963)

    Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011) was a British-American actress, businesswoman, and humanitarian. She began her career as a child actress in the early 1940s, and was one of the most popular stars of classical Hollywood cinema in the 1950s. She continued her career successfully into the 1960s, and remained a well-known public figure for the rest of her life. In 1999, the American Film Institute named her the seventh-greatest female screen legend. Born in London to socially prominent American parents, Taylor moved with her family to Los Angeles in 1939. She made her acting debut in a minor role in the Universal Pictures film There's One Born Every Minute  ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 79 (1932-2011)
    • Birthplace: Hampstead Garden Suburb, United Kingdom
    • Nationality: United States of America, England
    Best Cleopatra?

    This May Have Been The Strangest Road Trip Ever – If It Indeed Happened Like They Say It Did#188 of 199 Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With#195 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • Photo: user uploaded image

    Caesar and Cleopatra (1945)

    Vivien Leigh (; born Vivian Mary Hartley and styled as Lady Olivier after 1947; 5 November 1913 – 8 July 1967) was a British stage and film actress. She won two Academy Awards for Best Actress, for her definitive performances as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939) and Blanche DuBois in the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), a role she had also played on stage in London's West End in 1949. She also won a Tony Award for her work in the Broadway musical version of Tovarich (1963). After completing her drama school education, Leigh appeared in small roles in four films in 1935 and progressed to the role of heroine in Fire Over England (1937). Lauded for her beauty, Leigh  ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 54 (1913-1967)
    • Birthplace: Darjeeling, India
    • Nationality: England
    Best Cleopatra?

    #7 of 77 The Best English Actresses of All Time#23 of 80 The Hottest Classic Actresses#93 of 141 The Greatest Broadway Stars of All Time

  • Photo: user uploaded image

    Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra (2002)

    Monica Anna Maria Bellucci (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmɔːnika belˈluttʃi]; born 30 September 1964) is an Italian actress and model. Bellucci began her career as a fashion model, modeling for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Dior, before making a transition to Italian films and later Hollywood films and French films. She is often considered among the most beautiful women in the world.She is perhaps best known to American audiences for her role as Persephone in the 2003 science-fiction films The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. She also played a Bride of Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola's gothic romance film Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) and Malèna Scordia in the Italian-language  ...more
    • Age: 57
    • Birthplace: Città di Castello, Italy
    • Nationality: Italy
    Best Cleopatra?

    #241 of 349 The Best Actresses In Film History#6 of 153 The Most Stunning Celebrity Women Over 50#5 of 355 The Hottest Women Over 40 in 2013

  • Photo: user uploaded image

    Due notti con Cleopatra (1954)

    Sofia Villani Scicolone Dame Grand Cross OMRI (born 20 September 1934), known professionally as Sophia Loren, is an Italian actress. A recognizable star of Hollywood's Golden Age, she was named by the American Film Institute as the 21st greatest female star of Classic Hollywood Cinema. Encouraged to enroll in acting lessons after entering a beauty pageant, Loren began her film career at age 16 in 1950. In 1956, Loren had a five-picture contract with Paramount, which launched her international career. Notable film appearances around this time include The Pride and the Passion, Houseboat, and It Started in Naples. She has also won a Grammy Award, five special Golden Globes (including the  ...more
    • Age: 87
    • Birthplace: Rome, Italy
    • Nationality: France, Italy
    Best Cleopatra?

    #289 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021#32 of 309 Famous People Most Likely to Live to 100#122 of 322 The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time