Best Characters The Greatest Female Characters in Film History  

Ranker Characters
Originally by
134k votes 7.5k voters 188k 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
2,442 1,267
Hermione Granger is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Harry Potter

2
1,829 848
Leia Organa is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Star Wars

3
1,375 876
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins

4
1,410 942
Holly Golightly is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Breakfast at Tiffany's

5
1,105 792
Dorothy Gale is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Wizard of Oz

6
989 914
Scarlett O'Hara is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Gone with the Wind

7
1,210 690
Ellen Ripley is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Alien

8
1,082 562
Clarice Starling is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Silence of the Lambs

9
1,172 758
Sarah Connor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Terminator

10
1,149 755
The Bride is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History

11
1,480 747
Katniss Everdeen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Hunger Games

12
787 748
Mia Wallace is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Pulp Fiction

13
791 657
Mathilda is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Léon: The Professional

14
492 689
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
500 576
Bonnie Parker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Bonnie and Clyde

16
794 696
Jessica Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Who Framed Roger Rabbit

17
643 504
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
652 586
Miranda Priestly is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Devil Wears Prada

19
740 463
Galadriel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Tidion6822 added The Lord of the Rings

20
659 498
Catwoman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
JennaCarter added Batman

21
402 577
Mrs. Robinson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Graduate

22
481 562
Amélie Poulain is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Amélie

23
817 563
Ariel is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Little Mermaid

24
737 670
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Cinderella

25
636 446
Betty Rizzo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Grease, Grease

26
392 532
Catherine Tramell is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Basic Instinct

27
554 501
Erin Brockovich is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Erin Brockovich

28
542 497
Annie Wilkes is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Misery

29
477 490
Juno MacGuff is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History

30
544 403
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
400 498
Ilsa Lund Laszlo is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Casablanca

32
564 379
Éowyn is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
FaithJezek added The Lord of the Rings

33
406 453
Thelma is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Thelma & Louise

34
361 506
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
482 422
Marge Gunderson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History

36
412 459
Bridget Jones is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
lyndyloo added Bridget Jones's Diary

37
775 333
Black Widow is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
FaithJezek added Avengers

38
713 381
Elizabeth Swann is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Pirates of the Caribbean

39
456 419
Vivian Ward is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Pretty Woman

40
396 505
Marla Singer is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Fight Club

41
343 533
Regan MacNeil is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
The Exorcist

42
524 358
Rapunzel is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Tangled

43
755 154
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Tim Schild added Justice League Unlimited, Wonder Woman, Batman vs. Superman

44
396 344
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
477 466
Nina Sayers is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Black Swan

46
513 239
Maleficent is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
AfritTenk added Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty

47
429 449
Lisbeth Salander is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Millennium, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

48
749 174
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
311 450
Clementine Kruczynski is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Female Characters in Film History
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

50
430 316
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