Actresses The Best Living American Actresses  

Ranker Film
Originally by
148.7k votes 6.9k voters 731.2k 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.
list ordered by

1
2,489 945
Meryl Streep is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Iron Lady, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Devil Wears Prada

2
1,344 780
Glenn Close is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Albert Nobbs, Dangerous Liaisons, The Big Chill

3
1,683 897
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, The Accused

4
1,651 793
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Fried Green Tomatoes, Titanic, Misery

5
1,460 756
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Lincoln, Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump

6
1,276 716
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters

7
1,017 704
Diane Lane is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
AndrewPhillips added Man of Steel, The Outsiders, The Perfect Storm

8
448 281
Susan Sarandon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Thelma & Louise, Bull Durham

9
816 731
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Fargo, Burn After Reading, Almost Famous

10
2,141 920
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Miss Congeniality, Gravity, The Blind Side

11
1,375 702
Amy Adams is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Her, American Hustle, Enchanted

12
1,088 688
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
King Kong, Tootsie, The Vow

13
1,147 623
Nicole Kidman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Batman Forever, Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge!

14
1,040 703
Helen Hunt is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
As Good As It Gets, What Women Want, Pay it Forward

15
1,222 741
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Annie Hall, Something's Gotta Give, The Godfather

16
1,269 658
Julianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Kids Are All Right, Non-Stop, Carrie

17
1,618 1,059
Jennifer Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle

18
681 611
Holly Hunter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Piano, Raising Arizona, O Brother Where Art Thou?

19
740 675
Annette Bening is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Kids Are All Right, American Beauty, The American President

20
884 701
Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Noah, Requiem for a Dream, A Beautiful Mind

21
1,014 657
Hilary Swank is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Boys Don't Cry, Million Dollar Baby, Freedom Writers

22
1,142 635
Jamie Lee Curtis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Halloween, True Lies, Freaky Friday

23
1,846 898
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich, Steel Magnolias

24
1,214 620
Michelle Pfeiffer is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Scarface, Batman Returns, The Prince of Egypt

25
419 488
Dianne Wiest is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Hannah and Her Sisters, Edward Scissorhands, The Birdcage

26
286 209
Shirley MacLaine is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added The Apartment, Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment

27
822 597
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
laughingcactus added Carrie, JFK, The Help

28
888 633
Goldie Hawn is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ColinBoddy added Death Becomes Her, Overboard, Seems Like Old Times

29
889 674
Meg Ryan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Top Gun, When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless in Seattle

30
563 270
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Proposal, The Lorax, Hard Rain

31
654 595
Ellen Burstyn is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

32
1,533 844
Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ChrisBateman added Thor, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

33
1,122 547
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Shrek 2

34
895 668
Uma Thurman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Gattica

35
887 636
Marisa Tomei is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Wrestler, My Cousin Vinny, The Ides of March

36
1,338 827
Anne Hathaway is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Les Miserables, The Princess Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada

37
402 363
Elisabeth Shue is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added The Karate Kid, Back to the Future Part II, Back to the Future Part III - Nominated for Academy Award and a Golden Globe

38
265 210
Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
9 to 5, Cat Ballou, The Butler

39
556 533
Laura Linney is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Truman Show, Mystic River, Primal Fear

40
803 610
Bette Midler is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ColinBoddy added Oliver & Company, Hocus Pocus, Fantasia 2000

41
1,209 942
Angelina Jolie is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ChrisBateman added Kung Fu Panda, Maleficent, Mr. & Mrs. Smith

42
820 669
Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Edward Scissorhands, Girl, Interrupted

43
1,216 825
Scarlett Johansson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
AndrewPhillips added The Avengers, Iron Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

44
352 187
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added American Psycho, Legally Blonde, Election

45
441 449
Renée Zellweger is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Dazed and Confused, Jerry Maguire, Chicago

46
998 792
Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Monster's Ball, Swordfish, Cloud Atlas

47
651 679
Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Temple Grandin, Shop Girl, Romeo + Juliet

48
150 183
Kathleen Turner is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Virgin Suicides, The War of the Roses

49
690 592
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Forrest Gump, The Princess Bride, The Congress

50
357 393
Rene Russo is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
AndrewPhillips added Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Major League