Best Characters The Greatest Female Characters in Film History  

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125.2k votes 6.8k voters 167.2k views 338 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.

1
1,656 764
Leia Organa is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Leia Organa Star Wars

2
2,195 1,177
Hermione Granger is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Hermione Granger Harry Potter

3
1,248 819
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Mary Poppins Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins

4
1,303 872
Holly Golightly is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Holly Golightly Breakfast at Tiffany's

5
1,017 737
Dorothy Gale is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Dorothy Gale The Wizard of Oz

6
938 839
Scarlett O'Hara is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Scarlett O'Hara Gone with the Wind

7
1,139 639
Ellen Ripley is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Ellen Ripley Alien

8
1,013 515
Clarice Starling is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Clarice Starling The Silence of the Lambs

9
1,110 710
Sarah Connor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Sarah Connor Terminator

10
1,064 709
The Bride is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History

11
1,343 688
Katniss Everdeen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Katniss Everdeen The Hunger Games

12
712 695
Mia Wallace is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Mia Wallace Pulp Fiction

13
733 613
Mathilda is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Mathilda Léon: The Professional

14
466 642
Nurse Ratched is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Nurse Ratched One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

15
466 534
Bonnie Parker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Bonnie Parker Bonnie and Clyde

16
740 646
Jessica Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Jessica Rabbit Who Framed Roger Rabbit

17
616 465
Eliza Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Eliza Doolittle My Fair Lady, Pygmalion, My Fair Lady

18
607 545
Miranda Priestly is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Miranda Priestly The Devil Wears Prada

19
678 426
Galadriel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Tidion6822 added Galadriel The Lord of the Rings

20
385 534
Mrs. Robinson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Mrs. Robinson The Graduate

21
449 511
Amélie Poulain is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Amélie Poulain Amélie

22
607 460
Catwoman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
JennaCarter added Catwoman Batman

23
372 494
Catherine Tramell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Catherine Tramell Basic Instinct

24
589 410
Betty Rizzo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Rizzo Grease, Grease

25
748 522
Ariel is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Ariel The Little Mermaid

26
685 630
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Cinderella Cinderella

27
527 464
Erin Brockovich is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Erin Brockovich Erin Brockovich

28
513 457
Annie Wilkes is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Annie Wilkes Misery

29
444 452
Juno MacGuff is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History

30
385 465
Ilsa Lund Laszlo is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Ilsa Lund Laszlo Casablanca

31
525 350
Éowyn is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
FaithJezek added Éowyn The Lord of the Rings

32
460 387
Marge Gunderson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History

33
344 470
Blanche DuBois is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Blanche DuBois A Streetcar Named Desire, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Streetcar Named Desire

34
489 381
Wicked Witch of the West is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
wiabux added Wicked Witch of the West The Wizard of Oz

35
378 420
Thelma is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Thelma Thelma & Louise

36
380 417
Bridget Jones is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
lyndyloo added Bridget Jones Bridget Jones's Diary

37
332 491
Regan MacNeil is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Regan MacNeil The Exorcist

38
648 353
Elizabeth Swann is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Elizabeth Swann Pirates of the Caribbean

39
422 390
Vivian Ward is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Vivian Ward Pretty Woman

40
690 315
Black Widow is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
FaithJezek added Black Widow Avengers

41
368 473
Marla Singer is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Marla Singer Fight Club

42
470 337
Rapunzel is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Rapunzel Tangled

43
650 138
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Tim Schild added Wonder Woman Justice League Unlimited, Wonder Woman, Batman vs. Superman

44
361 320
Fraulein Maria is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
cleobos added Fraulein Maria The Sound of Music, The Sound of Music, The Sound of Music

45
410 421
Lisbeth Salander is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Lisbeth Salander Millennium, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

46
446 441
Nina Sayers is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Nina Sayers Black Swan

47
470 218
Maleficent is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
AfritTenk added Maleficent Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty

48
669 155
Professor Minerva McGonagall is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
KennethWeaver added Professor Minerva McGonagall Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

49
291 421
Clementine Kruczynski is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Clementine Kruczynski Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

50
386 292
Princess Fiona is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
CraigAlarm added Princess Fiona Shrek the Halls, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third