The Best Irish Actresses of All Time

List Rules
Female actresses from Ireland, dead or alive. Vote based on their entire body of work.

From the silent film era to modern Hollywood blockbusters, Ireland has a long legacy of fantastic Irish actresses who have made names for themselves and their country in the film industry. Ranked here are best Irish actresses of all time, the female actresses and movie stars who, whether playing Irish characters or not, have turned in many memorable performances and given life to iconic characters in many films.

Who are the best Irish actresses of all time? Young stars like Saoirse Ronan are giving older established Irish actresses like Fionnula Flanagan a run for their money, but who deserves to be at the top of this Irish actresses list? Great Irish actresses are all over Hollywood films, so it's time to decide who is the best of the best.

This list features the top Irish actresses of all time including Maureen O’Hara, Eileen Percy, Fionnula Flanagan, Susan Lynch, Danielle Wickworth, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Emma Ledden, Maureen O’Sullivan, and Fiona Shaw. Don't see your favorite actress from the Eire? Add her below so other film fans can vote. Then, be sure to vote and rerank the list according to who you think are the best Irish actresses to have ever graced the screen.
Ranked by
  • Maureen O'Hara
    1
    Miracle on 34th Street, The Quiet Man, How Green Was My Valley
    264 votes
    • Birthplace: Ranelagh, Republic of Ireland
    • Nationality: Ireland, United States of America
    Maureen O'Hara (born Maureen FitzSimons; 17 August 1920 – 24 October 2015) was an Irish and American actress and singer. O'Hara was a famous redhead who was known for playing fiercely passionate but ...more
  • Saoirse Ronan
    2
    The Grand Budapest Hotel, Atonement, The Lovely Bones
    269 votes
    • Birthplace: Woodlawn, New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Nationality: Ireland, United States of America
    Saoirse Una Ronan (born 12 April 1994) is an Irish and American actress. Primarily noted for her work in period dramas since a teenager, she has received several awards, including a Golden Globe ...more
  • Brenda Fricker
    3
    Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, A Time to Kill, My Left Foot
    125 votes
    • Birthplace: Republic of Ireland, Dublin
    • Nationality: Ireland
    Brenda Fricker (born 17 February 1945) is an Irish actress of stage and screen. She has appeared in more than 30 films and television roles. In 1990, she became the first Irish actress to win an ...more
  • Fionnula Flanagan
    4
    The Others, A Christmas Carol, Youngblood
    159 votes
    • Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
    • Nationality: Republic of Ireland
    Fionnghuala Manon "Fionnula" Flanagan (born 10 December 1941) is an Irish actress. For her contributions to the entertainment industry, she was given the IFTA Lifetime Achievement Award in ...more
  • Maureen O'Sullivan
    5
    Hannah and Her Sisters, Peggy Sue Got Married, Pride and Prejudice
    111 votes
    • Birthplace: Boyle, County Roscommon, Republic of Ireland
    • Nationality: United States of America
    Maureen Paula O'Sullivan (17 May 1911 – 23 June 1998) was an Irish-American actress best known for playing Jane in the Tarzan series of films starring Johnny Weissmuller.
  • Fiona Shaw
    6

    Fiona Shaw

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    146 votes
    • Birthplace: Republic of Ireland, County Cork
    • Nationality: Ireland
    Fiona Shaw (born Fiona Mary Wilson; 10 July 1958) is an Irish actress and theatre and opera director. She is known for her role as Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter film series (2001–10), as ...more