Actresses

The Best Living Actresses Over 80 

Buster McDermott
Originally by
Updated October 4, 2019 57.8k votes 6k voters 266.6k views 53 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
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Tom Islava added Age: 83

Birthplace: Walton-on-Thames, United Kingdom

Dame Julie Andrews, (born 1 October 1935) is an English actress, singer and author. Andrews, a child actress and singer, appeared in the West End in 1948 and made her Broadway debut in The Boy ...more

More Julie Andrews 

#9 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History #35 of 273 The Greatest British Actors of All Time

2
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Age: 97

Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States of America

Betty Marion White Ludden (born January 17, 1922) is an American actress and comedian, with the longest television career of any entertainer, spanning 80 years. Regarded as a pioneer of ...more

More Betty White 

#3 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #273 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

3
Maggie Smith is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
SampsaMurto added Age: age 82

Birthplace: Ilford, London, United Kingdom

Dame Margaret Natalie Smith (born 28 December 1934) is an English actress. She has had an extensive, varied career on stage, film, and television, spanning over 67 years. Smith has appeared in ...more

More Maggie Smith 

#2 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #7 of 326 The Best Actresses Working Today #3 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History

4
Carol Burnett is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
robwargo added Age: 85

Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, United States of America

1933 Carol Creighton Burnett (born April 26, 1933) is an American actress, comedian, singer and writer, whose career spans seven decades of television. She is best known for her groundbreaking comedy ...more

More Carol Burnett 

#20 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #486 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History

5
Angela Lansbury is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Age: 93

Birthplace: England, Poplar, London

Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury (born October 16, 1925) is a British-American-Irish actress who has appeared in theatre, television, and film. Her career has spanned eight decades, much of it in the ...more

More Angela Lansbury 

#183 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History #198 of 373 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

6
Judi Dench is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Tom Islava added Age: 84

Birthplace: Heworth, United Kingdom

Dame Judith Olivia Dench (born 9 December 1934) is an English actress. Dench made her professional debut in 1957 with the Old Vic Company. Over the following few years, she performed in several ...more

More Judi Dench 

#4 of 326 The Best Actresses Working Today #10 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History The Best Judi Dench Movies

7
Doris Day is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
voting closed at #9 Dec. at 97 (1922-2019)

Birthplace: USA, Cincinnati, Ohio

Doris Day (born April 3, 1922 – May 13, 2019) was an American actress, singer, and animal welfare activist. She began her career as a big band singer in 1939, achieving commercial success in ...more

More Doris Day 

#59 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History #137 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History The Best Doris Day Movies

8
Sophia Loren is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Age: 84

Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Sofia Villani Scicolone (Italian: [soˈfiːa vilˈlaːni ʃʃikoˈloːne]; born 20 September 1934), known professionally as Sophia Loren (Italian: [ˈlɔːren], English: ), is an Italian film actress and ...more

More Sophia Loren 

#57 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History #67 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History The Best Sophia Loren Movies

9
Shirley MacLaine is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Age: 84

Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States of America

Shirley MacLaine (born Shirley MacLean Beaty; April 24, 1934) is an American film, television, and theater actress, singer, dancer, activist, and author. An Academy Award winner, MacLaine ...more

More Shirley MacLaine 

#141 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History #56 of 76 The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress The Best Shirley MacLaine Movies

10
Brigitte Bardot is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
FranciscodeSouza added Age: 84

Birthplace: Paris, France

Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot (French: [bʁiʒit baʁdo]; born 28 September 1934), often referred to by the initials B.B., is a French former actress and singer, and animal rights activist. Famous for ...more

More Brigitte Bardot 

#187 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History #312 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History The Best Brigitte Bardot Albums of All Time

11
Carol Channing is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Age: 98

Birthplace: USA, Washington, Seattle

Carol Elaine Channing (January 31, 1921 – January 15, 2019) was an American actress, singer, dancer, and comedian, known for starring in Broadway and film musicals. Her characters usually ...more
12
Barbara Eden is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Walter Mccabe added Age: 87

Birthplace: Tucson, Arizona, United States of America

Barbara Eden (born Barbara Jean Morehead, August 23, 1931) is an American film, stage, and television actress, and singer, best known for her starring role of "Jeannie" in the sitcom I ...more

More Barbara Eden 

#627 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History #54 of 283 The Funniest Female Comedians of All Time Facts About The Life Of Barbara Eden

13
Olivia de Havilland is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Age: 102

Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Dame Olivia Mary de Havilland (; born July 1, 1916) is a British-American-French retired actress whose film career spanned from 1935 to 1988. She appeared in 49 feature films, was one of the ...more

More Olivia de Havilland 

#154 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History #45 of 76 The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress #34 of 185 The Best Living English Actresses

14
Ellen Burstyn is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Age: 86

Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States of America

Ellen Burstyn (born Edna Rae Gillooly; December 7, 1932) is an American actress best known for her roles in films of the 1970s, such as The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist, and Alice Doesn't ...more

More Ellen Burstyn 

#175 of 326 The Best Actresses Working Today #86 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History #181 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

15
Cloris Leachman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
robwargo added Age: 92

Birthplace: Des Moines, Iowa, United States of America

1926 Cloris Leachman (born April 30, 1926) is an American actress and comedian. In a career spanning over seven decades she has won eight Primetime Emmy Awards, a Daytime Emmy Award, and an Academy ...more

More Cloris Leachman 

#125 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History #13 of 283 The Funniest Female Comedians of All Timelisted on The Best 'Dancing With The Stars' Contestants, Ranked

16
Gena Rowlands is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Age: 88

Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America

Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands (born June 19, 1930) is an American actress, whose career in film, stage, and television has spanned over six decades. A four-time Emmy and two-time ...more
17
Angie Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Walter Mccabe added Age: 87

Birthplace: Kulm, North Dakota, United States of America

Angeline Dickinson (née Brown; born September 30, 1931) is an American actress. She began her career on television, appearing in many anthology series during the 1950s, before landing her ...more
18
Rita Moreno is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
robwargo added Age: 87

Birthplace: Humacao, Puerto Rico

1931 Rita Moreno (born December 11, 1931) is a Puerto Rican actress, dancer and singer. Her career has spanned over 70 years; among her notable acting work are supporting roles in the musical films ...more

More Rita Moreno 

#206 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years #469 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History

19
Joanne Woodward is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Age: 89

Birthplace: Thomasville, Georgia, United States of America

Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward (born February 27, 1930) is an American actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is best known for her performance in The Three Faces of Eve (1957), which ...more

More Joanne Woodward 

#418 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History #41 of 76 The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress

20
Eva Marie Saint is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Age: 94

Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States of America

Eva Marie Saint (born July 4, 1924) is an American actress. In a career spanning 70 years, she is known for starring in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront (1954), for which she won an Academy Award ...more

More Eva Marie Saint 

#50 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History #526 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

21
Shirley Jones is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Walter Mccabe added Age: 84

Birthplace: Charleroi, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Shirley Mae Jones (born March 31, 1934) is an American singer and actress. In her six decades in show business, she has starred as wholesome characters in a number of well-known musical films, ...more

More Shirley Jones 

#331 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History #91 of 122 The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Everlisted on Republicans in Hollywood: Republican Celebrities List

22
Joan Collins is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
Age: 85

Birthplace: Paddington, London, United Kingdom

Dame Joan Henrietta Collins, (born 23 May 1933) is an English actress, author, and columnist. She made her stage debut at the age of nine, trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in ...more

More Joan Collins 

#194 of 326 The Best Actresses Working Today #398 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History

23
Diahann Carroll is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
voting closed at #21 FranciscodeSouza added Dec. at 84 (1935-2019)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Diahann Carroll (born July 17, 1935) is an American actress, singer and model. She rose to stardom in performances in some of the earliest major studio films to feature black casts, including ...more

More Diahann Carroll 

#1,743 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History #117 of 771 American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures #28 of 226 The Greatest Black Actresses of All Time

24
Cicely Tyson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
FranciscodeSouza added Age: age 91

Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York, United States of America

Cicely L. Tyson (born December 19, 1924) is an American actress and former fashion model. In a career spanning more than six decades, she became known for her portrayal of strong ...more

More Cicely Tyson 

#161 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History #927 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History #244 of 378 The Best American Actresses Working Today

25
Jane Powell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living Actresses Over 80
robwargo added Age: 89

Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States of America

1929 Jane Powell (born Suzanne Lorraine Burce; April 1, 1929) is an American singer, dancer and actress who rose to fame in the mid-1940s with roles in various Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals. Powell ...more