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The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress

Updated September 7, 2021 69.3k 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
    1,210
    594

    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
    1,540
    853
    Sophie's Choice (1982), The Iron Lady (2011)
  • 3
    613
    328

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

  • 4
    1,319
    517

    Network (1977) 

  • 5
    751
    482

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

  • 6
    774
    500
    Norma Rae (1979), Places in the Heart (1984)
  • 7
    932
    615
    Blue Jasmine (2013)
  • 8
    982
    662
    The Accused (1988), Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • 9
    598
    354

    Grace Kelly

    Dec. at 52 (1929-1982)

    The Country Girl (1954)

  • 10
    692
    357

    Blue Sky (1995) 

  • 11
    743
    502
    Mary Poppins (1964)
  • 12
    583
    359

    Anne Bancroft

    Dec. at 73 (1931-2005)

    The Miracle Worker (1962) 

  • 13
    856
    606

    Bette Davis

    Dec. at 81 (1908-1989)
    Dangerous (1935), Jezebel (1938)
  • 14
    889
    581

    Joan Crawford

    Dec. at 73 (1904-1977)
    Mildred Pierce (1945)
  • 15
    787
    525
    The Reader (2008)
  • 16
    799
    573

    Vivien Leigh

    Dec. at 53 (1913-1967)
    Gone with the Wind (1939), A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  • 17
    731
    496
    Misery (1990)
  • 18
    941
    793

    Audrey Hepburn

    Dec. at 63 (1929-1993)
    Roman Holiday (1953)
  • 19
    545
    390
    Howard's End (1992)
  • 20
    672
    569

    Ingrid Bergman

    Dec. at 67 (1915-1982)
    Gaslight (1944), Anastasia (1956)
  • 21
    576
    458
    Still Alice (2014)
  • 22
    446
    264

    Susan Hayward

    Dec. at 57 (1917-1975)

    I Want to Live! (1959) 

  • 23
    579
    439
    Walk the Line (2005)
  • 24
    563
    580
    Erin Brockovich (2000)
  • 25
    596
    610
    The Blind Side (2009)