Entertainment

The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress 

Ranker Film
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Updated February 10, 2020 71.6k votes 4.7k voters 89.1k views 76 items

Every year the Academy evaluates a year's worth of brilliant performances and picks what they believe to be the best of the best, nominating these for the most prestigious acting awards in cinema: the Oscars. This in itself is an honor - just to be nominated for an Academy Award. But only one person can win each year, and the women listed here have all taken home Oscar gold for Best Actress in a Leading Role - so which Best Actress Oscar winners are the best?

Of the leading women who have won Best Actress, who is the best Best Actress? Is it the most nominated women of all time Meryl Streep, with 15 nominations? Is it a classic actress like Katharine Hepburn (who has the most wins, with four)? What about Audrey Hepburn, or Grace Kelly? Maybe a more modern choice like Hilary Swank, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, or Julianne Moore?

With so many options choosing the best is hard, but that's where you come in. Vote up the very best actresses of all the Best Actress Academy Award winners below!

list ordered by
1
Katharine Hepburn is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Dec. at 96 (1907-2003)
Morning Glory (1932), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), On Golden Pond (1984)
2
Meryl Streep is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 70
Sophie's Choice (1982), The Iron Lady (2011)
3
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 57
The Accused (1988), Silence of the Lambs (1991)
4
Joan Crawford is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Dec. at 73 (1904-1977)
Mildred Pierce (1945)
5
Helen Mirren is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 74

The Queen (2006), The Last Station (2010) 

6
Anne Bancroft is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Dec. at 74 (1931-2005)

The Miracle Worker (1962) 

7
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 73
Norma Rae (1979), Places in the Heart (1984)
8
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 70

Blue Sky (1995) 

9
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 84
Mary Poppins (1964)
10
Cate Blanchett is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 50
Blue Jasmine (2013)
11
Bette Davis is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Dec. at 81 (1908-1989)
Dangerous (1935), Jezebel (1938)
12
Maggie Smith is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 85

California Suite (1979), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1970) 

13
Kate Winslet is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 44
The Reader (2008)
14
Susan Hayward is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 58 (1917-1975)

I Want to Live! (1959) 

15
Grace Kelly is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Dec. at 53 (1929-1982)

The Country Girl (1954)

16
Vivien Leigh is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Dec. at 54 (1913-1967)
Gone with the Wind (1939), A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
17
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 71
Misery (1990)
18
Audrey Hepburn is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Dec. at 64 (1929-1993)
Roman Holiday (1953)
19
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 43
Walk the Line (2005)
20
Julianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 59
Still Alice (2014)
21
Emma Thompson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 60
Howard's End (1992)
22
Mary Pickford is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 87 (1892-1979)

Coquette (1930)

23
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 52
Erin Brockovich (2000)
24
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Matthew Baker added Age: 70

Coal Miner's Daughter (1981)

25
Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Age: 82
Klute (1971), Coming Home (1978)