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The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress

Updated September 7, 2021 69.6k votes 5.7k voters 93k views76 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!

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  • 1
    1,213
    598

    Katharine Hepburn

    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
    1,544
    856
    Sophie's Choice (1982), The Iron Lady (2011)
  • 3
    617
    331

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

  • 4
    754
    483

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

  • 5
    1,322
    520
    Matthew Baker added

    Faye Dunaway

    Age: 80

    Network (1977) 

  • 6
    778
    501
    Norma Rae (1979), Places in the Heart (1984)
  • 7
    938
    615
    Blue Jasmine (2013)
  • 8
    600
    357

    Grace Kelly

    Dec. at 52 (1929-1982)

    The Country Girl (1954)

  • 9
    694
    358

    Blue Sky (1995) 

  • 10
    984
    664
    The Accused (1988), Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • 11
    748
    504
    Mary Poppins (1964)
  • 12
    583
    362

    Anne Bancroft

    Dec. at 73 (1931-2005)

    The Miracle Worker (1962) 

  • 13
    859
    607

    Bette Davis

    Dec. at 81 (1908-1989)
    Dangerous (1935), Jezebel (1938)
  • 14
    892
    582

    Joan Crawford

    Dec. at 73 (1904-1977)
    Mildred Pierce (1945)
  • 15
    793
    525
    The Reader (2008)
  • 16
    801
    575

    Vivien Leigh

    Dec. at 53 (1913-1967)
    Gone with the Wind (1939), A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  • 17
    735
    498
    Misery (1990)
  • 18
    944
    796

    Audrey Hepburn

    Dec. at 63 (1929-1993)
    Roman Holiday (1953)
  • 19
    547
    395
    Howard's End (1992)
  • 20
    673
    572

    Ingrid Bergman

    Dec. at 67 (1915-1982)
    Gaslight (1944), Anastasia (1956)
  • 21
    577
    459
    Still Alice (2014)
  • 22
    446
    267
    Matthew Baker added

    Susan Hayward

    Dec. at 57 (1917-1975)

    I Want to Live! (1959) 

  • 23
    582
    441
    Walk the Line (2005)
  • 24
    565
    583
    Erin Brockovich (2000)
  • 25
    599
    611
    The Blind Side (2009)