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The Most Lethal Female Assassins in Film & TV

Updated November 5, 2019 1.9k votes 269 voters 8.8k views29 items

List RulesVote up the female assassins you would hire.

It's time to vote for your favorite female assassins from film and TV. There have been many over the years, and some of them have made an indelible impact on pop culture. It's no wonder that actresses want to play female assassin characters. Such roles allow them to do a lot of things. Typically, these characters have some kind of troubled backstory that impacts them in the present. That provides an opportunity to portray someone with multiple dimensions, rather than the stereotypical "wife" or "girlfriend" roles that many actresses rightfully complain is all they're offered. Of course, the chance to engage in thrilling action sequences is another draw. Why should the guys have all the fun?

The greatest female assassin characters even have softer sides. Few, if any, of the individuals on this list are cold-blooded elimination machines. There's great humanity inside of them, which makes us empathize with whatever situation they're enduring. Household name actresses as diverse as Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman, and Taraji P. Henson have played such characters, in several cases earning some of the best reviews and biggest successes of their careers. They are listed with the names of their characters and the movie or television show where they make an appearance.

Vote up your favorite fictional women assassins from the list below, regardless of whether they appear on television or in movies.  

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    Villanelle - 'Killing Eve'

    Villanelle - 'Killing Eve'
    Photo: Killing Eve / IMG

    Known as a brutal assassin, the Russian Villanelle (Jodie Comer) is caught in a cat and mouse game with the MI5 agent Eve Polastri. While she is considered to be ruthless and irredeemable, she has an equally harrowing back story. While she carries a charming exterior, she is an assassin in the truest sense of the occupation and the enjoyment she takes in her work shows through.

    Skills/weapons/abilities:

    • Marksmanship
    • Fluent in Russian, English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian
    150
    24
    Is she great?
  • Scarlett Johansson has brought a great deal to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with her portrayal of Black Widow. The character's background is that she was trained as an assassin by the Russian government. Now, she uses her skills for good as a core member of the Avengers. That memory of Budapest keeps haunting her, though.

    Skills/weapons/abilities:

    • Guns
    • Physical fighting
    • Rides a mean motorcycle
    151
    26
    Is she great?

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  • Selene - 'Underworld'
    Photo: Underwrold / Screen Gems

    Kate Beckinsale has played Selene throughout the Underworld series. The character is a vampire whose life is dedicated to assassinating the Lycans that are her people's enemy. 

    Skills/weapons/abilities:

    • Guns
    • Exceptional agility
    • Fast healing from injuries
    • Heightened senses
    75
    12
    Is she great?

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  • Evelyn Salt - 'Salt'
    Photo: Salt / Columbia Pictures

    Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is a highly trained CIA agent and assassin. And by "highly trained," that means she can do just about anything. That comes in handy when she's accused of being a Russian spy and has to prove her innocence while being chased by her own colleagues.

    Skills/weapons/abilities:

    • Guns
    • Creating a makeshift cannon out of handy ingredients
    • Making near-impossible jumps without getting harmed
    • Hand-to-hand combat
    • Out-thinking those around her
    67
    8
    Is she great?