female professionals The Best Actresses Working Today  

carlybobarly
Originally by
232.2k votes 13k voters 374.2k views 318 items Embed

List Rules Working actresses who have starred in major films or TV series in the last ~5 years

List of the best actresses working today, ranked. This list includes many of the greatest actresses in film history, but more importantly, focuses on modern female movie stars. Today, Hollywood features a new crop of popular and respected young actresses who command strong female roles that hold their own on the big screen. Current actresses are more talented than ever before.

While many of the talented women on this list are among familiar favorites (Meryl, Tilda, Glenn...), others are not quite yet household names, even if they have been nominated for - or even won! - Oscars for their performances. This list includes the top female actors who have had starring roles in the last few years, both in film and TV (like "Homeland" star / Emmy award winner Claire Danes) and should give you a good idea of the top 100 actresses who are in the business these days. 

The recent performances of these women have been widely acclaimed, even if their individual films or works were otherwise ignored. Vote up those actresses who you believe have contributed the most to the presence of strong female characters in film, and be sure to add any who we missed...
list ordered by

1
2,998 1,371
Ranker Video
Cate Blanchett age 47

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Manifesto (2015)
Carol (2015)
The Hobbit series
The Monuments Men (2014)

The Best Actresses in Film History EW.com's Wildly Underrated TV Actresses

2
3,400 2,503
Ranker Video
Meryl Streep age 67

The Post (2017)
Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)
Suffragette (2015)
Ricki and the Flash (2015)
Into the Woods (2014)
The Giver (2014)
August: Osage County (2013)

3
2,143 1,215
Ranker Video
Julianne Moore age 56

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
Suburbicon (2017)
Wonderstruck (2017)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (2014-15)
Still Alice (2014)
Maps to the Stars (2014)
Non-Stop (2014)
Carrie (2013)

4
2,041 1,112
Ranker Video
Helen Mirren age 71

Collateral Beauty (2016)
Trumbo (2015)
Eye in the Sky (2015)
Woman in Gold (2015)
The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)
RED 2 (2013)

5
2,516 1,410
Ranker Video
Kate Winslet age 41

The Mountain Between Us (2017)
Collateral Beauty (2016)
The Dressmaker (2015)
Steve Jobs (2015)
The Divergent Series (2014-15)
Labor Day (2013)

6
2,180 967
Ranker Video
Judi Dench age 82

Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
Victoria & Abdul (2017)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
Spectre (2015)
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015)
Philomena (2013)

7
1,997 1,010
Ranker Video
Maggie Smith age 82

The Lady in the Van (2015)
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015)
Downton Abbey (2010-15)

8
2,024 1,025
Ranker Video
Emma Thompson age 57

The Meyerowitz Stories (2017)
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Alone in Berlin (2016)
Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
Beautiful Creatures (2013)

9
1,823 1,203
Ranker Video
Nicole Kidman age 49

Big Little Lies (2017)
The Beguiled (2017)
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)
Top of the Lake (2017)
Lion (2016)
The Family Fang (2015)
Queen of the Desert (2015)
Paddington (2014)
Before I Go to Sleep (2014)
Grace of Monaco (2014)
The Railway Man (2013)
Stoker (2013)

10
1,942 1,248
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Jodie Foster age 54

Elysium (2013)

11
2,236 1,015
Ranker Video
Amy Adams age 42

Justice League (2017)
Nocturnal Animals (2016)
Arrival (2016)
Big Eyes (2014)
American Hustle (2013)

12
1,495 898
Ranker Video
Rachel Weisz age 45

My Cousin Rachel (2017)
Disobedience (2017)
Denial (2017)
The Light Between Oceans (2016)
Youth (2015)
The Lobster (2015)
Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

13
1,783 767
Ranker Video
MarySSpiegel added Kathy Bates age 68

Disjointed (2017)
Feud: Bette and Joan (2017)
Complete Unknown (2016)
American Horror Story (2013-2016)
The Boss (2016)
The Great Gilly Hopkins (2015)
Tammy (2014)

14
1,453 1,022
Ranker Video
Susan Sarandon age 70

Feud: Bette and Joan (2017)
Ray Donovan (2017)
A Bad Moms Christmas (2017)
Mothers and Daughters (2016)
The Meddler (2015)
Tammy (2014)
The Big Wedding (2013)

15
1,913 1,041
Ranker Video
Helena Bonham Carter age 50

Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
Love, Nina (2016)
Suffragette (2015)
Cinderella (2015)

The Best Living Actresses Over 80 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

16
2,108 2,166
Ranker Video
Charlize Theron age 41

Atomic Blonde (2017)
The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Dark Places (2015)
A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

17
1,311 1,009
Ranker Video
Glenn Close age 70

Crooked House (2017)
The Girl with All the Gifts (2017)
What Happened to Monday (2017)
The Great Gilly Hopkins (2016)
Anesthesia (2016)
The Wife (2016)
5 to 7 (2015)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

18
1,867 867
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Sandra Bullock age 52

Our Brand is Crisis (2015)
Gravity (2013)
The Heat (2013)

19
1,598 802
Ranker Video
Rachel McAdams age 38

Disobedience (2017)
Doctor Strange (2016)
Spotlight (2015)
Southpaw (2015)
Aloha (2015)
A Most Wanted Man (2014)
About Time (2013)
To the Wonder (2013)

20
1,445 1,001
Ranker Video
Julia Roberts age 49

Wonder (2017)
Money Master (2016)
Mother's Day (2016)
Secret in Their Eyes (2015)
The Normal Heart (2014)
August: Osage County (2013)

21
2,215 2,253
Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Natalie Portman age 35

Jackie (2016)
A Tale of Love and Darkness (2016)
Jane Got a Gun (2016)
Thor: The Dark World (2013)

22
2,878 2,701
Ranker Video
Jennifer Lawrence age 26

mother! (2017)
Passengers (2017)
X-Men series (2011-16)
Joy (2015)
The Hunger Games series (2012-15)
Serena (2015)
American Hustle (2013)

23
1,424 649
Emily Blunt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Emily Blunt age 34

The Girl on the Train (2016)
The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)
Sicario (2015)
Into the Woods (2014)
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

24
1,146 751
Ranker Video
Naomi Watts age 48

The Glass Castle (2017)
The Book of Henry (2017)
While We're Young (2015)
The Divergent series (2015-16)
St. Vincent (2014)
Birdman (2014)
Diana (2013)

25
959 752
Ranker Video
unintentionalwit added Frances McDormand age 59

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
Hail, Caesar! (2016)

26
1,402 868
Ranker Video
Julie Andrews age 81

27
924 507
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
maguilar added Sigourney Weaver age 67

Ghostbusters (2016)
Chappie (2015)
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

28
1,978 2,023
Ranker Video
Anne Hathaway age 33

Colossal (2017)
Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
The Intern (2015)
Interstellar (2014)

29
1,104 934
Ranker Video
unintentionalwit added Hilary Swank age 42

Logan Lucky (2017)
The Homesman (2014)
You're Not You (2014)

Famous Jewish Actors and Actresses List The 20 Most Epic Wedding FAILs of All Time

30
1,395 957
Ranker Video
Mweihn added Reese Witherspoon age 41

Home Again (2017)
Big Little Lies (2017)
Hot Pursuit (2015)
Inherent Vice (2015)
Wild (2014)
Gone Girl (2014)
Mud (2013)

31
804 673
Ranker Video
unintentionalwit added Tilda Swinton age 55

Okja (2017)
Letters from Baghdad (2017)
Doctor Strange (2016)
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
Trainwreck (2015)
Snowpiercer (2014)
Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

32
913 588
Ranker Video
Marion Cotillard age 41

Assassin's Creed (2016)
Macbeth (2015)
Dior and I (2014)
Two Days, One Night (2014)
The Immigrant (2014)
 

33
862 752
Ranker Video
Annette Bening age 58

20th Century Women (2017)
Rules Don't Apply (2016)
Danny Collins (2015)
Girl Most Likely (2013)
Ginger & Rosa (2013)

34
1,511 697
Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
ImanBehb added Jessica Biel age 35

The Sinner (2017)
A Kind of Murder (2016)
Bleeding Heart (2015)
Accidental Love (2015)

35
998 721
Ranker Video
Jessica Chastain age 40

Molly's Game (2017)
The Zookeeper's Wife (2017)
Miss Sloane (2017)
The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)
Crimson Peak (2015)
The Martian (2015)
A Most Violent Year (2015)
Miss Julie (2014)
Interstellar (2014)
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (2014)
Mama (2013)
Wilde Salomé (2013)
Zero Dark Thirty (2013)

36
994 625
Ranker Video
unintentionalwit added Viola Davis age 50

37
717 484
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Robin Wright age 51

38
744 437
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Sally Field age 70

39
1,745 1,832
Ranker Video

40
1,456 1,688
Ranker Video
jware added Keira Knightley age 32

41
1,146 1,137
Ranker Video

42
745 702
Ranker Video

43
862 842
Ranker Video
Claire Danes age 37

The Best Rock Vocalists The Best Actresses Working Today

44
819 593
Ranker Video
Marisa Tomei age 52

45
770 461
Elizabeth Banks is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Elizabeth Banks age 43

46
1,873 1,960
Ranker Video
averagej123 added Emma Watson age 26

47
463 328
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Diane Keaton age 71

48
502 223
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Jessica Lange age 67

49
1,169 1,098
Emma Stone is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Elise Hennigan added Emma Stone age 28

50
664 619
Ranker Video
Kirsten Dunst age 34