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
2,821 1,279
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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)

2
3,225 2,391
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Meryl Streep The Devil Wears Prada, Doubt, Fantastic Mr. Fox

3
2,026 1,147
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Julianne Moore The Big Lebowski, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Crazy

4
1,930 1,053
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Helen Mirren The Queen, Monsters University, The Debt

5
2,381 1,348
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Kate Winslet Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Revolutionary Road

6
2,095 907
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Judi Dench Skyfall, Casino Royale, Philomena

7
1,894 959
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Maggie Smith The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Downton Abbey, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

8
1,708 1,135
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Nicole Kidman Moulin Rouge, The Others, Eyes Wide Shut

9
1,924 963
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Emma Thompson Howards End, Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually

10
2,093 957
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Amy Adams Man of Steel, American Hustle, Enchanted

11
1,871 1,171
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Jodie Foster The Silence of the Lambs, Elysium, Panic Room

12
1,427 834
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Rachel Weisz The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Constantine

13
1,381 914
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Susan Sarandon Thelma & Louise, Dead Man Walking, The Rocky Horror Picture Show

14
1,705 720
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MarySSpiegel added Kathy Bates Titanic, Misery, About Schmidt

15
1,829 981
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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 24 Actors Who Died in the Middle of Filming Something

16
1,980 2,093
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Charlize Theron Mad Max: Fury Road, Prometheus, Monster

17
1,754 800
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Sandra Bullock Gravity, The Proposal, Crash

18
1,238 950
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Glenn Close Dangerous Liaisons, Mars Attacks, Tarzan

19
1,518 750
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Rachel McAdams Midnight in Paris, Sherlock Holmes, Mean Girls

20
1,361 942
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Julia Roberts Notting Hill^! Closer^! Erin Brockovich^! My Best Friend's Wedding

21
2,096 2,163
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Natalie Portman V for Vendetta, Black Swan, Léon: The Professional

22
1,327 605
Emily Blunt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Emily Blunt Sicario, Edge of Tomorrow, Looper

23
2,741 2,605
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Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Silver Linings Playbook

24
1,062 702
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Naomi Watts King Kong, Mulholland Drive, The Ring

25
1,337 818
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Julie Andrews Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Shrek 2

26
899 708
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unintentionalwit added Frances McDormand Fargo, Mississippi Burning, Almost Famous

27
868 462
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
maguilar added Sigourney Weaver Alien, Aliens, Alien³

28
1,834 1,944
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Anne Hathaway Les Misérables, Rachel Getting Married, The Dark Knight Rises

29
1,318 898
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Mweihn added Reese Witherspoon Walk the Line, Wild, Legally Blonde

The Best Current Female Singers Actors Who Consistently Make Great Movies

30
1,055 877
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unintentionalwit added Hilary Swank Boys Don't Cry, Insomnia, Million Dollar Baby

31
1,441 621
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

32
854 550
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Marion Cotillard The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, La Vie en Rose

33
746 630
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unintentionalwit added Tilda Swinton We Need to Talk About Kevin, Adaptation., The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion

34
938 682
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Jessica Chastain The Martian, Zero Dark Thirty, The Help

35
817 711
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Annette Bening Mars Attacks!, The Siege, American Beauty

36
929 592
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unintentionalwit added Viola Davis The Help, Prisoners, Doubt

37
659 448
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Robin Wright The Princess Bride^! Forrest Gump^! House of Cards^! Santa Barbara

38
1,635 1,773
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Scarlett Johansson Lost in Translation, The Avengers, The Prestige

39
690 401
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Sally Field Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump, Lincoln

40
1,385 1,644
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jware added Keira Knightley Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, The Imitation Game, Pride & Prejudice

41
706 662
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Michelle Williams Dawson's Creek, Blue Valentine, Shutter Island

42
1,090 1,104
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Michelle Pfeiffer Scarface, Batman Returns, Dark Shadows

43
831 802
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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 Wedding Registry Websites

44
781 558
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Marisa Tomei The Wrestler, The Lincoln Lawyer, Crazy

45
726 428
Elizabeth Banks is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Elizabeth Banks The Hunger Games, The Lego Movie, Zack and Miri Make a Porno

46
429 289
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

47
631 573
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Kirsten Dunst Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

48
1,751 1,906
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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

49
557 517
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MadisonJeannineWallace added Kristen Bell Frozen, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Veronica Mars

50
1,065 1,056
Emma Stone is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Elise Hennigan added Emma Stone The Help, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Easy A