This list ranks the very best Black and African American actresses of all time. These great Black actresses have starred in every genre of film from musicals and dramas to comedies. Some of these Black actresses, like Viola Davis, have even won Academy Awards for their work.
Who are some of the greatest African American actresses? Halle Berry made our list. She has starred in memorable movies like Jungle Fever and Monster's Ball. Kerry Washington also appears on this list of the top Black actresses. Though she is best known for her work on TV's Scandal, Washington has starred in such movies as Django Unchained and Lakeview Terrace.
Whoopi Goldberg won an Oscar for best actress in a supporting role for her performance in Ghost. She was also nominated for her role in Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple. Jackie Brown actress Pam Grier also made this list, as did the striking Think Like a Man beauty, Meagan Good. Angela Bassett is another of the famous Black actresses.
Who do you think is the best African American actress in the history of film? Vote up your favorite Black female actors below. Then check back to see if your favorite popular Black actresses topped the list!
- Credits: The Help, How to Get Away with Murder, Fences, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Won for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Fences (2016)
- Credits: The Help, Hidden Figures, The Shape of Water
Won for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Help (2012)
- Credits: The Help, How to Get Away with Murder, Sounder, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittmanan
Won for Best Actress Emmy for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1982)
- Credits: If Beale Street Could Talk, Watchmen, One Night in Miami...
Won for Best Supporting Actress Oscar forIf Beale Street Could Talk (1994)
- Credits: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, 12 Years a Slave, Us
Won for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 12 Years a Slave (2014)
- Credits: What's Love Got to Do with It, Malcom X, Black Panther
Won for Best Actress Golden Globe for What's Love Got To Do With It (1994)
- Credits: Empire, Hidden Figures, The Karate Kid, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Nominated for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2009)
- Credits: Clemency, Cross Creek, Juanita
Won for Best Actress Emmy for Miss Evers' Boys (1997)
- Credits: The Pursuit of Happyness, Mission: Impossible II, 2012, Westworld
Won for Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy for Westworld (2016)
- Credits: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Big Momma's House, Are We There Yet?
- Credits: Girls Trip, Law Abiding Citizen, Think Like A Man
- Credits: Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Trek
- Credits: The Equalizer, Last Holiday, Girls Trip
Nominated for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Chicago (2003)
- Credits: X-Men, Boomerang, Monster's Ball
Won for Best Actress Oscar for Monster's Ball (2002)
- Credits: 10 Things I Hate About You, Bring It On, Bad Boys II, Being Mary Jane
- Credits: Django Unchained, Confirmation, The Prom
Nominated for Best Actress Emmy for Little Fires Everywhere (2020)
- Credits: For Colored Girls, Creed, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Won for Best Actress Emmy For The Bill Cosby Show (1985 & 1986)
- Credits: Trance, Kids, Men in Black II
- Credits: Love & Basketball, Nappily Ever After, The Perfect Guy
- Credits: The Josephine Baker Story, Greenleaf, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate
Won for Best Actress Emmy for The Josephine Baker Story (1991)
- Credits: Spell, Waiting to Exhale, Grey's Anatomy
Won for Best Guest Actress Emmy for Grey's Anatomy (2011)
- Credits: Ghost, The Color Purple, Sister Act
Won For Best Actress Oscar for Ghost (1991)
- Credits: Carmen Jones, Porgy and Bess, Bright Road, Sun Valley Serenade
Nominated for Best Actress Oscar for Carmen Jones (1954)
- Credits: Touched by an Angel, Harlem Nights, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate
Nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Touched By An Angel (1997 & 1998)
- Credits: The Wiz, Stormy Weather, That's Entertainment!