award shows The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress  

Ranker Film
Originally by
54.4k votes 3.3k voters 75.7k 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
1,076 423
Katharine Hepburn is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Katharine Hepburn Died at 96 (1907-2003) - Morning Glory (1932), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), On Golden Pond (1984)

2
759 783
Audrey Hepburn is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Audrey Hepburn Died at 64 (1929-1993) - Roman Holiday (1953)

3
1,290 731
Meryl Streep is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Meryl Streep age 69 - Sophie's Choice (1982), The Iron Lady (2011)

4
887 486
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Jodie Foster age 56 - The Accused (1988), Silence of the Lambs (1991)

5
615 549
Vivien Leigh is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Vivien Leigh Died at 54 (1913-1967) - Gone with the Wind (1939), A Streetcar Named Desire  (1951)

6
478 582
Ingrid Bergman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Ingrid Bergman Died at 67 (1915-1982) - Gaslight (1944),  Anastasia (1956)

7
923 452
Joan Crawford is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Joan Crawford Died at 73 (1904-1977) - Mildred Pierce (1945)

8
704 622
Bette Davis is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Bette Davis Died at 81 (1908-1989) - Dangerous (1935), Jezebel (1938)

9
588 478
Kate Winslet is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Kate Winslet age 43 - The Reader (2008)

10
690 382
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Sally Field age 72 - Norma Rae (1979),  Places in the Heart (1984)

11
651 600
Cate Blanchett is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Cate Blanchett age 49 - Blue Jasmine (2013)

12
586 435
Helen Mirren is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Helen Mirren age 73 - The Queen (2006), The Last Station (2010) 

13
559 247
Anne Bancroft is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Anne Bancroft Died at 74 (1931-2005) - The Miracle Worker (1962) 

14
534 304
Grace Kelly is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Grace Kelly Died at 53 (1929-1982) - The Country Girl (1954)

The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever

15
462 394
Julianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Julianne Moore age 58 - Still Alice (2014)

16
508 496
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Kathy Bates age 70 - Misery (1990)

17
281 268
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Frances McDormand age 61 - Three Billboards Over Ebbing, Missouri (2017) 

18
442 396
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Julia Roberts age 51 - Erin Brockovich (2000)

19
420 358
Emma Thompson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Emma Thompson age 59 - Howard's End (1992)

20
429 158
Susan Hayward is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Matthew Baker added Susan Hayward Died at 58 (1917-1975) - I Want to Live! (1959) 

21
287 205
Julie Christie is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Julie Christie age 77 - Darling (1966) 

The Best Current Adventure TV Series

22
564 424
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Julie Andrews age 83 - Mary Poppins (1964)

23
602 227
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Jessica Lange age 69 - Blue Sky (1995) 

24
358 352
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Diane Keaton age 72 - Annie Hall (1977)

25
338 280
Claudette Colbert is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Claudette Colbert Died at 93 (1903-1996) - It Happened One Night (1934)

26
283 191
Ginger Rogers is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Matthew Baker added Ginger Rogers Died at 84 (1911-1995) - Kitty Foyle (1941) 

27
388 702
Elizabeth Taylor is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Elizabeth Taylor Died at 79 (1932-2011) - BUtterfield 8 (1960), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1964)

28
358 388
Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Natalie Portman age 37 - Black Swan (2010)

The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

29
293 241
Ellen Burstyn is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Ellen Burstyn age 86 - Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)

30
532 367
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Reese Witherspoon age 42 - Walk the Line (2005)

31
445 351
Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Jane Fonda age 81 - Klute (1971), Coming Home (1978)

32
356 486
Charlize Theron is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Charlize Theron age 43 - Monster (2003)

33
345 471
Nicole Kidman is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Nicole Kidman age 51 - The Hours (2002)

34
476 432
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Sandra Bullock age 54 - The Blind Side (2009)

35
282 145
Jessica Tandy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Matthew Baker added Jessica Tandy Died at 85 (1909-1994) - Driving Miss Daily (1990) 

The 12 Most Extreme Actor Transformations

36
376 255
Maggie Smith is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Maggie Smith age 84 - California Suite (1979), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1970) 

37
427 365
Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Halle Berry age 52 - Monster's Ball (2001)

38
227 132
Patricia Neal is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Matthew Baker added Patricia Neal Died at 84 (1926-2010) - Hud (1964)

39
244 551
Sophia Loren is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Sophia Loren age 83 - Two Women (1961)

40
281 136
Joanne Woodward is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Matthew Baker added Joanne Woodward age 87 - The Three Faces of Eve (1958)

41
449 157
Mary Pickford is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Matthew Baker added Mary Pickford Died at 87 (1892-1979) - Coquette (1930)

42
295 138
Jane Wyman is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Matthew Baker added Jane Wyman Died at 90 (1917-2007) - Johnny Belinda (1949) 

The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked

43
300 163
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Matthew Baker added Sissy Spacek age 69 - Coal Miner's Daughter (1981)

44
445 411
Jennifer Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Jennifer Lawrence age 28 - Silver Linings Playbook (2013)

45
214 149
Geraldine Page is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Matthew Baker added Geraldine Page Died at 63 (1924-1987) - The Trip to Bountiful (1986)

46
285 111
Helen Hayes is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
FranciscodeSouza added Helen Hayes Died at 93 (1900-1993) - Airport (1971), The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1932)

47
303 286
Liza Minnelli is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Liza Minnelli age 72 - Cabaret (1972)

48
262 350
Marion Cotillard is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Marion Cotillard age 43 - La Vie en Rose (2007)

49
292 143
Loretta Young is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Matthew Baker added Loretta Young Died at 87 (1913-2000) - The Farmer's Daughter (1948) 

50
332 646
Susan Sarandon is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress
Susan Sarandon age 72 - Dead Man Walking (1995)