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The Best Actresses Working Today

Updated April 21, 2020 385.8k votes 23.9k voters 587.7k views256 items

List RulesWorking 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 and TV actresses. Today, Hollywood features a new crop of popular and respected young actresses who command strong female roles that hold their own on the big and small screens. 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 TV, and be sure to add any who we missed...

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  • 1
    Amy Adams is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    4,106
    1,914

    Amy Adams

    Age: 46

    BirthplaceVicenza, Italy

    Vice (2018)
    Sharp Objects (2018)
    Justice League (2017)
    Nocturnal Animals (2016)
    Arrival (2016)

  • 2
    Cate Blanchett is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    5,511
    2,801

    BirthplaceIvanhoe, Melbourne, Australia

    Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019)
    The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)
    Ocean's 8 (2018)
    Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

  • 3
    Viola Davis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    2,322
    1,088

    BirthplaceSt. Matthews, South Carolina, United States of America

    How to Get Away with Murder (2014-present)
    Troop Zero (2019
    Widows (2018)
    Fences (2016)
    Suicide Squad (2016)
    Custody (2016)

  • 4
    Emily Blunt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    3,548
    1,348

    BirthplaceRoehampton, London, United Kingdom

    Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
    A Quiet Place (2018)
    The Girl on the Train (2016)

  • 5
    Kate Winslet is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    4,336
    2,259

    BirthplaceReading, United Kingdom

    Wonder Wheel (2017)
    The Mountain Between Us (2017)
    Collateral Beauty (2016)

  • 6
    Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    3,859
    1,868

    BirthplaceVirginia, United States of America

    Bird Box (2018)
    Ocean's 8 (2018)

  • 7
    Helena Bonham Carter is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    3,351
    1,677

    BirthplaceEngland, London

    The Crown (2019)
    Ocean's 8 (2018)
    55 Steps (2017)

  • 8
    Margot Robbie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    2,023
    679

    BirthplaceGold Coast, Australia

    Birds of Prey (2019)
    Bombshell  (2019)
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
    Mary Queen of Scots (2018)
    I, Tonya  (2017)
    Suicide Squad (2016)
    The Legend of Tarzan (2016)
    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)

  • 9
    Meryl Streep is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    6,141
    3,325

    BirthplaceSummit, New Jersey, United States of America

    Little Women (2019)
    The Laundromat (2019)
    Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
    Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)
    The Post (2017)
    Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)

  • 10
    Emma Thompson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    3,444
    1,826

    BirthplacePaddington, London, United Kingdom

    Late Night (2019)
    King Lear (2018)
    Johnny English Strikes Again (2018)
    Upstart Crow (2017)
    The Children Act (2017)
    The Meyerowitz Stories (2017)
    Beauty and the Beast (2017)
    Alone in Berlin (2016)

  • 11
    Maggie Smith is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    3,606
    1,873

    BirthplaceIlford, London, United Kingdom

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

  • 12
    Rachel McAdams is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    3,194
    1,478

    BirthplaceLondon, Canada

    Game Night (2018)
    Disobedience (2017)
    Doctor Strange (2016)

  • 13
    Judi Dench is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    3,464
    1,924

    Judi Dench

    Age: 85

    BirthplaceEurasia, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom, United Kingdom, with Dependencies and Territories

    Red Joan (2018)
    Victoria & Abdul (2017)
    The Hollow Crown (2016)
    Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
    Spectre (2015)

  • 14
    Emma Stone is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    2,887
    1,477

    Emma Stone

    Age: 31

    BirthplaceScottsdale, Phoenix, Arizona, United States of America

    The Favourite (2018)
    Maniac (2018)
    La La Land (2016)
    Irrational Man (2015)
    Aloha (2015)
    Birdman (2014)
    Magic in the Moonlight (2014)
    The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

  • 15
    Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    2,843
    1,597

    BirthplaceMemphis, Tennessee, United States of America

    Richard Jewell (2019)
    On the Basis of Sex (2018)
    Krystal (2017)
    Disjointed (2017-18)
    Feud: Bette and Joan (2017)
    Complete Unknown (2016)
    American Horror Story (2013-2016, 2018)
    The Boss (2016)

  • 16
    Helen Mirren is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    3,562
    2,048

    BirthplaceHammersmith, London, United Kingdom

    Hobbs & Shaw (2019)
    The Good Liar (2019)
    Anna (2018)
    The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)
    Winchester (2018)
    The Leisure Seeker (2017)
    Collateral Beauty (2016)

  • 17
    Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    4,288
    2,452

    BirthplaceJerusalem, Israel

    Vox Lux (2018)
    Annihilation (2018)
    Song to Song (2017)
    Planetarium (2016)
    Jackie (2016)
    A Tale of Love and Darkness (2016)

  • 18
    Rachel Weisz is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    2,704
    1,710

    BirthplaceWestminster, London, United Kingdom

    The Favourite (2018)
    The Mercy (2018)
    My Cousin Rachel (2017)
    Disobedience (2017)
    Denial (2017)
    The Light Between Oceans (2016)

  • 19
    Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    2,544
    1,531

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
    Home Again (2017)
    Big Little Lies (2017-present)
    Hot Pursuit (2015)
    Inherent Vice (2015)
    Wild (2014)
    Gone Girl (2014)

  • 20
    Jessica Chastain is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    2,075
    1,159

    BirthplaceSacramento, California, United States of America

    It Chapter Two (2019)
    Dark Phoenix (2019)
    Woman Walks Ahead (2017)
    Molly's Game (2017)
    The Zookeeper's Wife (2017)
    Miss Sloane (2017)

  • 21
    Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    2,948
    1,870

    BirthplaceSmyrna, Georgia, United States of America

    Ben Is Back (2018)
    Homecoming (2018)
    Wonder (2017)
    Money Master (2016)
    Mother's Day (2016)

  • 22
    Nicole Kidman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    3,520
    2,284

    BirthplaceHonolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

    Bombshell (2019)
    The Goldfinch (2019)
    Big Little Lies (2017-present)
    Aquaman (2018)
    Boy Erased (2018)
    Destroyer (2018)
    Top of the Lake (2017)
    The Beguiled (2017)
    The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)
    Top of the Lake (2017)
    Lion (2016)

  • 23
    Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    1,938
    1,247

    BirthplaceNew York City, Manhattan, USA, New York

    The Meyerowitz Stories (2017)
    The Defenders (2017)
    Ghostbusters (2016)
    Chappie (2015)
    Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

  • 24
    Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    1,362
    763

    BirthplaceCloquet, Minnesota, United States of America

    Wild Oats (2016)
    The Gambler (2014)
    Feud: Bette and Joan (2017)
    American Horror Story (2011-15, 2018)

  • 25
    Sarah Paulson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
    951
    493

    BirthplaceTampa, Florida, United States of America

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