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

1
3,269 1,569
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Cate Blanchett age 46

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

2
3,801 2,656
Ranker Video
Meryl Streep age 68

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
2,325 1,374
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Julianne Moore age 57

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
2,247 1,227
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Helen Mirren age 72

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

5
2,776 1,532
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Kate Winslet age 42

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

6
2,353 1,072
Ranker Video
Judi Dench age 83

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
2,197 1,109
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Maggie Smith age 83

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

8
2,206 1,140
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Emma Thompson age 58

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

9
2,008 1,348
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Nicole Kidman age 50

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
2,467 1,115
Ranker Video
Amy Adams age 43

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

11
2,092 1,363
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Jodie Foster age 55

Elysium (2013)

12
1,619 991
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Rachel Weisz age 48

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

The Best American Actresses Working Today

13
1,919 847
Ranker Video
MarySSpiegel added Kathy Bates age 69

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
1,563 1,130
Ranker Video
Susan Sarandon age 71

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
2,291 2,246
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Charlize Theron age 42

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)

16
2,066 1,122
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Helena Bonham Carter age 51

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

17
1,406 1,101
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Glenn Close age 71

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)

The Most Famous Actresses of the 70s (Then and Now)

18
2,070 972
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Sandra Bullock age 53

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

19
1,613 1,096
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Julia Roberts age 50

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

20
2,464 2,334
Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Natalie Portman age 36

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

21
1,769 873
Ranker Video
Rachel McAdams age 39

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

22
3,113 2,825
Ranker Video
Jennifer Lawrence age 27

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

The Best English Actresses Working Today

23
1,598 699
Emily Blunt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Emily Blunt age 35

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

24
1,495 926
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Julie Andrews age 80

25
1,084 813
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unintentionalwit added Frances McDormand age 60

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

26
1,227 817
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Naomi Watts age 49

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)

27
1,002 577
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
maguilar added Sigourney Weaver age 68

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

Celebrities Who Weren't Born Where You Think

28
2,137 2,096
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Anne Hathaway age 35

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

29
1,523 1,024
Ranker Video
Mweihn added Reese Witherspoon age 42

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

30
1,169 1,000
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unintentionalwit added Hilary Swank age 43

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

31
879 733
Ranker Video
unintentionalwit added Tilda Swinton age 57

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
1,115 763
Ranker Video
Jessica Chastain age 41

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)

The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

33
978 647
Ranker Video
Marion Cotillard age 42

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

34
912 808
Ranker Video
Annette Bening age 59

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

35
1,119 666
Ranker Video
unintentionalwit added Viola Davis age 52

36
821 480
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Sally Field age 71

37
800 535
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Robin Wright age 51

Actors Who Consistently Make Great Movies

38
1,562 795
Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
ImanBehb added Jessica Biel age 36

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

39
1,876 1,895
Ranker Video

40
1,226 1,174
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41
826 753
Ranker Video

42
1,564 1,735
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jware added Keira Knightley age 33

The Best Movies Directed By Women In 2018

43
914 888
Ranker Video
Claire Danes age 38

44
567 262
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Jessica Lange age 68

45
536 362
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Diane Keaton age 72

46
2,035 2,014
Ranker Video
averagej123 added Emma Watson age 27

47
1,318 1,137
Emma Stone is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Elise Hennigan added Emma Stone age 29

48
873 630
Ranker Video
Marisa Tomei age 53

49
835 507
Elizabeth Banks is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Elizabeth Banks age 44

50
669 591
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MadisonJeannineWallace added Kristen Bell age 37