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
3,454 1,696
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Cate Blanchett age 46

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

2
4,015 2,760
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
2,432 1,469
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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
2,372 1,305
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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
2,928 1,608
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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
2,312 1,179
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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)

7
2,464 1,145
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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)

8
2,120 1,450
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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)

9
2,322 1,212
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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)

10
1,709 1,060
Ranker Video
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)

11
2,605 1,185
Ranker Video
Amy Adams age 43

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

12
2,198 1,443
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Jodie Foster age 55

Elysium (2013)

The Best American Actresses Working Today

13
2,005 906
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
2,419 2,297
Ranker Video
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)

15
1,640 1,192
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)

16
1,467 1,165
Ranker Video
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)

17
2,152 1,189
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Helena Bonham Carter age 51

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

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

18
1,721 1,169
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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)

19
2,208 1,039
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Sandra Bullock age 53

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

20
2,618 2,383
Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Natalie Portman age 34

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

21
1,892 917
Ranker Video
Rachel McAdams age 37

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

22
1,707 741
Emily Blunt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Emily Blunt age 32

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

The Best English Actresses Working Today

23
3,252 2,889
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)

24
1,551 976
Ranker Video
Julie Andrews age 82

25
1,154 861
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unintentionalwit added Frances McDormand age 60

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

26
2,234 2,141
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Anne Hathaway age 33

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

27
1,066 623
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 You Didn't Know Use Stage Names

28
1,275 874
Ranker Video
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)

29
1,606 1,071
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
1,213 1,054
Ranker Video
unintentionalwit added Hilary Swank age 43

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

31
937 783
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
1,191 801
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
952 849
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)

34
1,201 693
Ranker Video
unintentionalwit added Viola Davis age 52

35
1,024 692
Ranker Video
Marion Cotillard age 42

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

36
864 520
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Sally Field age 71

37
851 573
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
1,285 1,209
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39
1,961 1,935
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40
870 791
Ranker Video

41
1,598 848
Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 41 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)

42
1,631 1,770
Ranker Video
jware added Keira Knightley age 33

The Best Movies Directed By Women In 2018

43
948 929
Ranker Video
Claire Danes age 38

44
626 298
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Jessica Lange age 68

45
1,408 1,164
Emma Stone is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Elise Hennigan added Emma Stone age 29

46
2,112 2,054
Ranker Video
averagej123 added Emma Watson age 27

47
585 393
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Diane Keaton age 72

48
899 666
Ranker Video
Marisa Tomei age 53

49
870 532
Elizabeth Banks is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Elizabeth Banks age 44

50
808 349
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Betty White age 96