irish The Best Irish Actresses of All Time  

Ranker Film
1.4k votes 358 voters 9.9k views 33 items

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.
list ordered by

1
127 20
Maureen O'Hara is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Maureen O'Hara Miracle on 34th Street, The Quiet Man, How Green Was My Valley

2
89 21
Saoirse Ronan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Saoirse Ronan The Grand Budapest Hotel, Atonement, The Lovely Bones

3
82 25
Fionnula Flanagan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Fionnula Flanagan The Others, A Christmas Carol, Youngblood

4
52 24
Fiona Shaw is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Fiona Shaw Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

5
42 17
Evanna Lynch is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Evanna Lynch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

6
44 20
Maureen O'Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Maureen O'Sullivan Hannah and Her Sisters, Peggy Sue Got Married, Pride and Prejudice

7
45 24
Brenda Fricker is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Brenda Fricker Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, A Time to Kill, My Left Foot

8
31 17
Maria Doyle Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Maria Doyle Kennedy The Commitments, Jupiter Ascending, Byzantium

9
30 17
Ruth Negga is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Ruth Negga World War Z, 12 Years a Slave, Breakfast on Pluto

10
29 17
Geraldine Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Geraldine Fitzgerald Arthur, Wuthering Heights, Poltergeist II: The Other Side

11
24 16
Sarah Bolger is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Sarah Bolger In America, The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Moth Diaries

12
23 15
Katie McGrath is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Katie McGrath W.E., A Princess for Christmas, Freakdog

13
22 16
Orla Brady is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Orla Brady 32A, Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise, The Luzhin Defence

14
26 21
Sinéad Cusack is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Sinéad Cusack V for Vendetta, Eastern Promises, Stealing Beauty

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15
15 12
Nora-Jane Noone is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Nora-Jane Noone Descent, Ella Enchanted, Doomsday

16
17 15
Peggy Cummins is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Peggy Cummins Gun Crazy, Night of the Demon, Green Grass of Wyoming

17
16 14
Bronagh Gallagher is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Bronagh Gallagher Pulp Fiction, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Sherlock Holmes

18
19 18
Alison Doody is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Alison Doody Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, A View to a Kill, Major League II

19
18 18
Susan Lynch is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Susan Lynch Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, From Hell, Elizabeth: The Golden Age

20
8 9
Dervla Kirwan is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
bigcraig added Dervla Kirwan War of the Buttons, Ondine, School for Seduction

21
10 15
Kitty McShane is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Kitty McShane Old Mother Riley's Circus, Old Mother Riley, Old Mother Riley in Paris

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22
9 14
Kerry Condon is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Kerry Condon Unleashed, Angela's Ashes, Intermission

23
8 13
Dominique McElligott is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Dominique McElligott Moon, The Guard, Leap Year

24
1 4
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25
13 20
Danielle Wickworth is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Danielle Wickworth

26
9 15
Antonia Campbell-Hughes is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Antonia Campbell-Hughes Albert Nobbs, Breakfast on Pluto, Bright Star

27
8 14
Orla Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Orla Fitzgerald The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Infidel, The Woods

28
9 17
Emma Bolger is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Emma Bolger In America, Heidi

29
10 20
Samantha Mumba is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Samantha Mumba The Time Machine, Boy Eats Girl, Cross

30
4 13
Valene Kane is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Valene Kane Jump, The Fading Light, War Games: At the End of the Day

31
4 13
Patricia Driscoll is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Patricia Driscoll The Wackiest Ship in the Army, Charley Moon, Woman's Temptation

32
6 16
Eileen Percy is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Eileen Percy Wild and Woolly, The Third Eye, Within the Law

33
6 20
Emma Ledden is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Irish Actresses of All Time
Emma Ledden