female professionals The Best Actresses Working Today  

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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

2,835 1,287
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Cate Blanchett The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Best American Actresses Working Today The Most Famous Actresses of the 70s (Then and Now)

3,235 2,399
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Meryl Streep The Devil Wears Prada, Doubt, Fantastic Mr. Fox

2,033 1,150
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Julianne Moore The Big Lebowski, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Crazy

1,934 1,058
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Helen Mirren The Queen, Monsters University, The Debt

2,388 1,353
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Kate Winslet Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Revolutionary Road

2,100 912
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Judi Dench Skyfall, Casino Royale, Philomena

1,901 961
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Maggie Smith The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Downton Abbey, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

1,929 968
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Emma Thompson Howards End, Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually

1,875 1,174
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Jodie Foster The Silence of the Lambs, Elysium, Panic Room

1,718 1,137
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Nicole Kidman Moulin Rouge, The Others, Eyes Wide Shut

1,430 837
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Rachel Weisz The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Constantine

2,101 961
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Amy Adams Man of Steel, American Hustle, Enchanted

1,710 724
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MarySSpiegel added Kathy Bates Titanic, Misery, About Schmidt

1,387 916
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Susan Sarandon Thelma & Louise, Dead Man Walking, The Rocky Horror Picture Show

1,833 984
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Helena Bonham Carter Fight Club, The King's Speech, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

The Best American Actors Working Today 21 Famous Schizophrenics

1,240 954
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Glenn Close Dangerous Liaisons, Mars Attacks, Tarzan

1,985 2,098
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Charlize Theron Mad Max: Fury Road, Prometheus, Monster

1,758 802
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Sandra Bullock Gravity, The Proposal, Crash

1,522 752
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Rachel McAdams Midnight in Paris, Sherlock Holmes, Mean Girls

1,364 944
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Julia Roberts Notting Hill^! Closer^! Erin Brockovich^! My Best Friend's Wedding

2,101 2,169
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Natalie Portman V for Vendetta, Black Swan, Léon: The Professional

1,331 606
Emily Blunt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Emily Blunt Sicario, Edge of Tomorrow, Looper

2,745 2,613
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Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Silver Linings Playbook

1,063 707
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Naomi Watts King Kong, Mulholland Drive, The Ring

1,342 821
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Julie Andrews Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Shrek 2

900 714
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unintentionalwit added Frances McDormand Fargo, Mississippi Burning, Almost Famous

869 468
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
maguilar added Sigourney Weaver Alien, Aliens, Alien³

1,056 883
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unintentionalwit added Hilary Swank Boys Don't Cry, Insomnia, Million Dollar Baby

1,841 1,949
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Anne Hathaway Les Misérables, Rachel Getting Married, The Dark Knight Rises

The Best Current Female Singers Actors Who Consistently Make Great Movies

1,320 903
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Mweihn added Reese Witherspoon Walk the Line, Wild, Legally Blonde

1,446 626
Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
ImanBehb added Jessica Biel The Illusionist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 7th Heaven

747 634
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unintentionalwit added Tilda Swinton We Need to Talk About Kevin, Adaptation., The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion

856 554
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Marion Cotillard The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, La Vie en Rose

819 714
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Annette Bening Mars Attacks!, The Siege, American Beauty

941 685
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Jessica Chastain The Martian, Zero Dark Thirty, The Help

932 595
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unintentionalwit added Viola Davis The Help, Prisoners, Doubt

694 402
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Sally Field Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump, Lincoln

660 451
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Robin Wright The Princess Bride^! Forrest Gump^! House of Cards^! Santa Barbara

1,640 1,776
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Scarlett Johansson Lost in Translation, The Avengers, The Prestige

1,389 1,647
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jware added Keira Knightley Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, The Imitation Game, Pride & Prejudice

1,093 1,105
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Michelle Pfeiffer Scarface, Batman Returns, Dark Shadows

706 665
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Michelle Williams Dawson's Creek, Blue Valentine, Shutter Island

832 805
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Claire Danes Temple Grandin, Homeland, My So-Called Life

The Best Actresses Who Won Oscars and Globes for the Same Role The Best Bars and Pubs in London

728 429
Elizabeth Banks is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Elizabeth Banks The Hunger Games, The Lego Movie, Zack and Miri Make a Porno

782 561
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Marisa Tomei The Wrestler, The Lincoln Lawyer, Crazy

432 291
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Diane Keaton The Godfather: Part II, The Godfather, The Godfather: Part III

631 576
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Kirsten Dunst Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

447 195
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Jessica Lange Tootsie, Cape Fear, Big Fish

1,756 1,909
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averagej123 added Emma Watson Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

560 518
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MadisonJeannineWallace added Kristen Bell Frozen, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Veronica Mars