Best Characters The Greatest Female Characters in Film History  

Ranker Characters
Originally by
132k votes 7.3k voters 182.9k views 341 items

List Rules The most memorable, strongest, funniest, and greatest women & girls in film

List of the best female movie characters of all time, whether young or old. This list includes the best female movie characters to have graced the silver screen, from the beautiful yet willful Scarlett O’Hara to the tirelessly valiant Erin Brockovich. You have laughed with these characters and empathized with their plights, so now is your chance to vote for your favorites on this, the list of the best female characters in movies.

 The greatest female movie characters can be broadly sorted into two categories: those based on real women and those created by authors and filmmakers. Perhaps one of the most famous of the first category is Erin Brockovich (“Erin Brockovich”), who stood up for the health of her community. Fictional great female characters can be just as engaging, however. Can you forget the grit of Trinity (“The Matrix”) -- or her catsuit?

 Top female characters in movies might also be classed according to their morals. Some, such as Annie Wilkes (“Misery”), have no problem harming helpless people, while others, including Evelyn Couch (“Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe”), are the very pictures of worthy womanhood. Although viewers might pass judgement on the so-called ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ female characters, there’s no doubt that female movie characters of either morality can land among the greatest female characters of all time.

 This list includes female movie characters, old and young, whom film fans continually name as favorites. Viewers identify with these characters’ struggles and lives, and it is this identification that makes female movie characters truly great. You may not agree with the best female movie characters’ choices, but chances are, you enjoy watching these leading characters’ films again and again.
list ordered by

1
2,378 1,241
Hermione Granger is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Harry Potter

2
1,776 828
Leia Organa is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Star Wars

3
1,335 860
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins

4
1,385 921
Holly Golightly is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Breakfast at Tiffany's

5
1,078 779
Dorothy Gale is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Wizard of Oz

6
975 891
Scarlett O'Hara is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Gone with the Wind

7
1,185 674
Ellen Ripley is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Alien

8
1,060 550
Clarice Starling is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Silence of the Lambs

9
1,152 744
Sarah Connor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Terminator

10
1,121 745
The Bride is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History

11
1,449 728
Katniss Everdeen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Hunger Games

12
764 734
Mia Wallace is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Pulp Fiction

13
775 643
Mathilda is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Léon: The Professional

14
484 676
Nurse Ratched is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

15
491 564
Bonnie Parker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Bonnie and Clyde

16
775 683
Jessica Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Who Framed Roger Rabbit

17
634 494
Eliza Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
My Fair Lady, Pygmalion, My Fair Lady

18
642 575
Miranda Priestly is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Devil Wears Prada

19
725 451
Galadriel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Tidion6822 added The Lord of the Rings

20
471 548
Amélie Poulain is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Amélie

21
646 489
Catwoman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
JennaCarter added Batman

22
395 568
Mrs. Robinson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Graduate

23
626 437
Betty Rizzo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Grease, Grease

24
795 553
Ariel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Little Mermaid

25
386 522
Catherine Tramell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Basic Instinct

26
719 662
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Cinderella

27
545 491
Erin Brockovich is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Erin Brockovich

28
470 476
Juno MacGuff is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History

29
530 485
Annie Wilkes is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Misery

30
531 395
Wicked Witch of the West is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
wiabux added The Wizard of Oz

31
395 488
Ilsa Lund Laszlo is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Casablanca

32
554 369
Éowyn is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
FaithJezek added The Lord of the Rings

33
397 441
Thelma is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Thelma & Louise

34
356 495
Blanche DuBois is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
A Streetcar Named Desire, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Streetcar Named Desire

35
473 412
Marge Gunderson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History

36
407 446
Bridget Jones is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
lyndyloo added Bridget Jones's Diary

37
752 327
Black Widow is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
FaithJezek added Avengers

38
698 372
Elizabeth Swann is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Pirates of the Caribbean

39
449 412
Vivian Ward is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Pretty Woman

40
387 498
Marla Singer is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Fight Club

41
339 526
Regan MacNeil is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Exorcist

42
733 149
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Tim Schild added Justice League Unlimited, Wonder Woman, Batman vs. Superman

43
507 355
Rapunzel is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Tangled

44
390 340
Fraulein Maria is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
cleobos added The Sound of Music, The Sound of Music, The Sound of Music

45
470 460
Nina Sayers is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Black Swan

46
422 445
Lisbeth Salander is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Millennium, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

47
502 238
Maleficent is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
AfritTenk added Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty

48
729 172
Professor Minerva McGonagall is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
KennethWeaver added Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

49
306 447
Clementine Kruczynski is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

50
420 310
Princess Fiona is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
CraigAlarm added Shrek the Halls, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third