Actresses

The Best Living Actresses Over 80  

Buster McDermott
Originally by
54.8k votes 5.7k voters 251.3k views 54 items

List Rules Living actresses born in or before 1938

The best living actresses over 80 (or close to it) include the classic beauties who headlined films and television shows of yesterday and those older female actresses we love today. These women might not all be the fresh faces in Hollywood they once were but their legacy and contributions to the entertainment world are timeless.

For classic movie fans, these actresses born before 1935 include many familiar names from some of the best movies of all time. Who can forget Lauren Bacall starring alongside Humphrey Bogart in several movies in the 1940s or Maureen O'Hara appearing in westerns with the great John Wayne? What about the long and successful careers of Sophia Loren, Shirley MacLaine and Brigitte Bardot? They might not be the leading ladies of today but in their time, they were among the best in the business.

Despite their age, which all deal with gracefully, many of these best living actresses 80 or older are still active today. Betty White might be the best example of that as the Golden Girl continues to entertain audiences with her television shows and books.

Which actress over 80 is the absolute best when comparing them at the peak of their careers? That's your vote and you can exercise it below by voting, adding to or re-ranking this list of the best living actresses over 80! Want to rank the top older male actors next? Head over to add your selections to the best living actors in their 80s too!

list ordered by
1
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
age 97
Betty White Ludden, known professionally as Betty White, is an American actress, comedienne, author, producer, radio host, singer, and television personality. In 2013, the Guinness World Records ...more
2
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Tom Islava added age 83
Dame Julia "Julie" Elizabeth Andrews, DBE, is an English film and stage actress, singer, author, theatre director and dancer. Andrews, a former child actress and singer, appeared on ...more
3
Maggie Smith is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
SampsaMurto added age 82
Dame Margaret Natalie Smith, CH, DBE is an English actress. She made her stage debut in 1952 and has had an extensive, varied career in stage, film and television spanning over sixty years. ...more
4
Judi Dench is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Tom Islava added age 84
Dame Judith Olivia "Judi" Dench, CH, DBE, FRSA is an English actress and author. Dench made her professional debut in 1957 with the Old Vic Company. Over the following few years she ...more
5
Doris Day is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
voting closed at #9 age 94
Doris Day (born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff; April 3, 1922 – May 13, 2019) was an American actress, singer, and animal rights activist. Day began her career as a big band singer in 1939. Her ...more
6
Carol Burnett is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
robwargo added age 85
1933 Carol Creighton Burnett is an American actress, comedian, singer, and writer. She is best known for her long-running TV variety show, The Carol Burnett Show, for CBS. She has achieved success on ...more
7
Angela Lansbury is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
age 93
Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury, DBE is an Anglo-Irish-American actress and singer who has appeared in theatre, television, and films. Her career has spanned seven decades, much of it based in the ...more
8
Carol Channing is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
age 98
Carol Elaine Channing (January 31, 1921 - January 15, 2019) was an American actress, singer, dancer, comedian, and voice artist. She won the Golden Globe Award and was nominated for the Academy ...more
9
Sophia Loren is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
age 84
Sophia Loren is an Italian-French film star. She began her career at age 14 after entering a beauty pageant in 1949. Encouraged to enroll in acting lessons, Loren appeared in several bit parts ...more
10
Shirley MacLaine is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
age 84
Shirley MacLean Beaty, known professionally as Shirley MacLaine, is an American film, television and theater actress, singer, dancer, activist and author. She has won one Academy Award, five ...more
11
Brigitte Bardot is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
FranciscodeSouza added age 84
Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot is a French former actress, singer and fashion model, who later became an animal rights activist. She was one of the best known symbols of the 1950s and 1960s and was ...more
12
Cloris Leachman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
robwargo added age 92
1926 Cloris Leachman is an American actress of stage, film, and television. She has won eight Primetime Emmy Awards and one Daytime Emmy Award. She co-starred in the 1971 film The Last Picture Show ...more
13
Ellen Burstyn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
age 86
Ellen Burstyn is an American actress. Her career began in theatre during the late 1950s, and over the next decade included several films and television series. Burstyn's performance in the ...more
14
Olivia de Havilland is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
age 102
Olivia Mary de Havilland is a British-born American actress known for her early ingenue roles, as well as her later more substantial roles. Born in Tokyo to English parents, de Havilland and her ...more
15
Gena Rowlands is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
age 88
Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands is an American actress of film, stage and television. The four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner is best known for her collaborations with her ...more
16
Joanne Woodward is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
age 89
Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward is an American actress and producer. She is perhaps best known for her Academy Award-winning role in The Three Faces of Eve.
17
Barbara Eden is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Walter Mccabe added age 87
Barbara Eden is an American film, stage, and television actress and singer. She is best known for her starring role of "Jeannie" in the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie.
18
Rita Moreno is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
robwargo added age 87
1931 Rita Dolores Moreno is a Puerto Rican actress and singer. She is the only Hispanic and one of the few performers to have won all four major annual American entertainment awards, which include an ...more
19
Eva Marie Saint is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
age 94
Eva Marie Saint is an American actress and producer. She is known for starring in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and Alfred ...more
20
Cicely Tyson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
FranciscodeSouza added age 91
Cicely L. Tyson is an American actress. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and the Golden Globe Award for her performance as Rebecca Morgan in Sounder. For this role she ...more
21
Charlotte Rae is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
voting closed at #37 JenniferHansen added age 92
Charlotte Rae Lubotsky (April 22, 1926 – August 5, 2018), known professionally as Charlotte Rae, was an American character actress, comedian, and singer whose career spanned six decades. Rae was ...more
22
Shirley Jones is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Walter Mccabe added age 84
Shirley Mae Jones is an American singer and actress of stage, film and television. In her six decades of show business, she has starred as wholesome characters in a number of well-known musical ...more
23
Angie Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Walter Mccabe added age 87
Angie Dickinson is an American actress who has appeared in more than 50 films and starred on television as Sergeant Leann "Pepper" Anderson in the successful 1970s series Police
24
Diahann Carroll is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
FranciscodeSouza added age 83
Diahann Carroll is an American television and stage actress and singer. She has had a long, successful career that has spanned nearly six decades. After appearing in some of the earliest major ...more
25
Jane Powell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
robwargo added age 89
1929 Jane Powell is an American singer, dancer and actress. After rising to fame as a singer in her home state of Oregon, Powell was signed to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer while still in her teens. Once ...more