Watchworthy

The Best Living American Actresses 

Ranker Film
Originally by
Updated June 14, 2019 179.7k votes 8.6k voters 759.1k views 196 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.
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26
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Fargo, Burn After Reading, Almost Famous
27
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added American Psycho, Legally Blonde, Election
28
Marisa Tomei is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Wrestler, My Cousin Vinny, The Ides of March
29
Jennifer Aniston is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Office Space, The Iron Giant, Bruce Almighty
30
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
laughingcactus added Carrie, JFK, The Help
31
Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Noah, Requiem for a Dream, A Beautiful Mind
32
Uma Thurman is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Gattica
33
Angelina Jolie is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ChrisBateman added Kung Fu Panda, Maleficent, Mr. & Mrs. Smith
34
Scarlett Johansson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
AndrewPhillips added The Avengers, Iron Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier
35
Annette Bening is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Kids Are All Right, American Beauty, The American President
36
Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Monster's Ball, Swordfish, Cloud Atlas
37
Holly Hunter is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Piano, Raising Arizona, O Brother Where Art Thou?
38
Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Edward Scissorhands, Girl, Interrupted
39
Jennifer Garner is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
shrapnel529 added Juno, Pearl Harbor, Daredevil
40
Bette Midler is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ColinBoddy added Oliver & Company, Hocus Pocus, Fantasia 2000
41
Ellen Burstyn is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
42
Faye Dunaway is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
FranciscodeSouza added Chinatown, Bonnie and Clyde, The Towering Inferno
43
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Forrest Gump, The Princess Bride, The Congress
44
Viola Davis is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
JamesCrosland added The Help, Traffic, Out of Sight
45
Laura Linney is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Truman Show, Mystic River, Primal Fear
46
Renée Zellweger ... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Dazed and Confused, Jerry Maguire, Chicago
47
Emma Stone is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added The Amazing Spider-Man, Zombieland, Superbad
48
Whoopi Goldberg is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ColinBoddy added The Lion King, Toy Story 3, Ghost
49
Shirley MacLaine is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added The Apartment, Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment
50
Elisabeth Shue is listed (or ranked) 50 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