Actresses The Best Living American Actresses  

Ranker Film
Originally by
146.2k votes 6.7k voters 727.2k views 234 items

List Rules Vote up and add all of your favorite living AMERICAN actresses based on their all-time body of work.

It takes a lot to make a movie great. There has to be excellent writing, production, direction, editing, and of course, acting. While the crew draws out the parameters for a movie, the actors are who color in the film to bring it to life, and without great acting, a great film can crumble. 

These actresses are the ones who deliver time and again, regardless of how good the script or the production of the film is. These are the greatest American actors who are alive today. Who are the best actresses? That's up to you to decide. This list is votable and rerankable, and if you don't see someone on here that deserves a spot, feel free to add them, but make sure they're still alive... the top American actresses at any given time may not be the ones who are alive.

1
2,456 917
Meryl Streep is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Meryl Streep The Iron Lady, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Devil Wears Prada

2
1,333 756
Glenn Close is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Glenn Close Albert Nobbs, Dangerous Liaisons, The Big Chill

3
1,663 877
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jodie Foster The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, The Accused

4
1,632 769
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Kathy Bates Fried Green Tomatoes, Titanic, Misery

5
1,450 734
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Sally Field Lincoln, Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump

6
1,256 700
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Sigourney Weaver Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters

7
426 263
Susan Sarandon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added Susan Sarandon The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Thelma & Louise, Bull Durham

8
1,000 690
Diane Lane is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
AndrewPhillips added Diane Lane Man of Steel, The Outsiders, The Perfect Storm

9
798 717
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Frances McDormand Fargo, Burn After Reading, Almost Famous

10
2,111 906
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Sandra Bullock Miss Congeniality, Gravity, The Blind Side

11
1,344 694
Amy Adams is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Amy Adams Her, American Hustle, Enchanted

12
1,070 677
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jessica Lange King Kong, Tootsie, The Vow

13
1,025 686
Helen Hunt is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Helen Hunt As Good As It Gets, What Women Want, Pay it Forward

14
1,114 614
Nicole Kidman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Nicole Kidman Batman Forever, Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge!

15
1,207 726
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Diane Keaton Annie Hall, Something's Gotta Give, The Godfather

16
1,241 651
Julianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Julianne Moore The Kids Are All Right, Non-Stop, Carrie

17
995 650
Hilary Swank is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Hilary Swank Boys Don't Cry, Million Dollar Baby, Freedom Writers

18
668 601
Holly Hunter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Holly Hunter The Piano, Raising Arizona, O Brother Where Art Thou?

19
1,591 1,039
Jennifer Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle

20
728 665
Annette Bening is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Annette Bening The Kids Are All Right, American Beauty, The American President

21
867 689
Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jennifer Connelly Noah, Requiem for a Dream, A Beautiful Mind

22
1,123 623
Jamie Lee Curtis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jamie Lee Curtis Halloween, True Lies, Freaky Friday

23
1,816 881
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Julia Roberts Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich, Steel Magnolias

24
1,192 614
Michelle Pfeiffer is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Michelle Pfeiffer Scarface, Batman Returns, The Prince of Egypt

25
411 482
Dianne Wiest is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Dianne Wiest Hannah and Her Sisters, Edward Scissorhands, The Birdcage

26
812 588
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
laughingcactus added Sissy Spacek Carrie, JFK, The Help

27
269 201
Shirley MacLaine is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added Shirley MacLaine The Apartment, Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment

28
551 264
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Betty White The Proposal, The Lorax, Hard Rain

29
878 660
Meg Ryan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Meg Ryan Top Gun, When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless in Seattle

30
877 625
Goldie Hawn is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ColinBoddy added Goldie Hawn Death Becomes Her, Overboard, Seems Like Old Times

31
651 588
Ellen Burstyn is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Ellen Burstyn The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

32
1,104 540
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Julie Andrews The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Shrek 2

33
883 663
Uma Thurman is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Uma Thurman Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Gattica

34
1,510 840
Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ChrisBateman added Natalie Portman Thor, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

35
879 628
Marisa Tomei is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Marisa Tomei The Wrestler, My Cousin Vinny, The Ides of March

36
253 197
Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jane Fonda 9 to 5, Cat Ballou, The Butler

37
397 354
Elisabeth Shue is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added Elisabeth Shue The Karate Kid, Back to the Future Part II, Back to the Future Part III - Nominated for Academy Award and a Golden Globe

38
1,318 820
Anne Hathaway is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Anne Hathaway Les Miserables, The Princess Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada

39
799 597
Bette Midler is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ColinBoddy added Bette Midler Oliver & Company, Hocus Pocus, Fantasia 2000

40
548 529
Laura Linney is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Laura Linney The Truman Show, Mystic River, Primal Fear

41
1,194 927
Angelina Jolie is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ChrisBateman added Angelina Jolie Kung Fu Panda, Maleficent, Mr. & Mrs. Smith

42
809 664
Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Winona Ryder Edward Scissorhands, Girl, Interrupted

43
1,193 816
Scarlett Johansson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
AndrewPhillips added Scarlett Johansson The Avengers, Iron Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

44
434 440
Renée Zellweger is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Renée Zellweger Dazed and Confused, Jerry Maguire, Chicago

45
336 184
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added Reese Witherspoon American Psycho, Legally Blonde, Election

46
987 785
Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Halle Berry Monster's Ball, Swordfish, Cloud Atlas

47
643 674
Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Claire Danes Temple Grandin, Shop Girl, Romeo + Juliet

48
145 176
Kathleen Turner is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Kathleen Turner Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Virgin Suicides, The War of the Roses

49
683 586
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Robin Wright Forrest Gump, The Princess Bride, The Congress

50
353 386
Rene Russo is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
AndrewPhillips added Rene Russo Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Major League