female professionals The Best Actresses Working Today  

carlybobarly
Originally by
272.8k votes 15.6k voters 424.5k views 321 items

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...

1
3,559 1,771
Ranker Video
Cate Blanchett age 46

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

2
4,120 2,821
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
2,461 1,503
Ranker Video
marajanerogers added 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
2,436 1,356
Ranker Video
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
3,004 1,663
Ranker Video
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
2,377 1,224
Ranker Video
Maggie Smith age 83

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

7
2,519 1,189
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)

8
2,193 1,501
Ranker Video
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
2,373 1,252
Ranker Video
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
2,692 1,215
Ranker Video
Amy Adams age 43

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

11
1,741 1,109
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)

12
2,246 1,488
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Jodie Foster age 55

Elysium (2013)

The Best Actresses in Film History

13
2,052 941
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
2,494 2,322
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
1,642 1,231
Ranker Video
marajanerogers added 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
1,497 1,204
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
2,205 1,227
Ranker Video
Helena Bonham Carter age 51

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

EW.com's Wildly Underrated TV Actresses

18
2,308 1,065
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
1,785 1,211
Ranker Video
Julia Roberts age 48

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

20
2,714 2,406
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
1,962 948
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
1,792 760
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 Living Actresses Over 80

23
3,351 2,923
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
1,585 1,016
Ranker Video
Julie Andrews age 82

25
1,207 890
Ranker Video
unintentionalwit added Frances McDormand age 60

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

26
2,314 2,173
Ranker Video
Anne Hathaway age 35

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

27
1,106 654
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)

The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

28
1,309 898
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
1,670 1,102
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
1,238 1,093
Ranker Video
unintentionalwit added Hilary Swank age 43

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

31
972 812
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
1,237 826
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)

Famous Jewish Actors and Actresses List

33
1,247 715
Ranker Video
unintentionalwit added Viola Davis age 52

34
978 878
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
1,057 715
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
898 547
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Sally Field age 71

37
883 600
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Robin Wright age 51

The 20 Most Epic Wedding FAILs of All Time

38
1,317 1,237
Ranker Video

39
2,024 1,957
Ranker Video

40
902 811
Ranker Video

41
1,666 1,793
Ranker Video
jware added Keira Knightley age 33

42
1,621 884
Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 42 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)

The Best Actors in Film History

43
1,482 1,176
Emma Stone is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Elise Hennigan added Emma Stone age 27

44
968 956
Ranker Video
Claire Danes age 38

45
662 316
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Jessica Lange age 68

46
2,161 2,070
Ranker Video
averagej123 added Emma Watson age 27

47
620 414
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
Diane Keaton age 72

48
900 549
Elizabeth Banks is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Actresses Working Today
rom0618 added Elizabeth Banks age 44

49
921 689
Ranker Video
Marisa Tomei age 53

50
756 634
Ranker Video
MadisonJeannineWallace added Kristen Bell age 37