film The Best Living American Actresses  

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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
2,314 819
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

The Greatest American Actresses of All Time The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

2
1,257 695
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
1,591 819
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
1,571 721
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Kathy Bates Fried Green Tomatoes, Titanic, Misery

5
1,402 687
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Sally Field Lincoln, Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump

6
1,210 657
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Sigourney Weaver Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters

7
373 205
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
947 639
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
751 682
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Frances McDormand Fargo, Burn After Reading, Almost Famous

10
2,011 871
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Sandra Bullock Miss Congeniality, Gravity, The Blind Side

11
1,031 641
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jessica Lange King Kong, Tootsie, The Vow

12
1,271 666
Amy Adams is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Amy Adams Her, American Hustle, Enchanted

13
985 644
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
1,042 579
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
1,162 700
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

Natural Beauties Who Don't Need No Make-Up Actors You Would Watch Read the Phone Book

16
1,179 633
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
957 617
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
638 573
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
1,500 971
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
694 633
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
814 649
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
397 443
Dianne Wiest is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Dianne Wiest Hannah and Her Sisters, Edward Scissorhands, The Birdcage

23
1,072 596
Jamie Lee Curtis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jamie Lee Curtis Halloween, True Lies, Freaky Friday

24
1,136 597
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
790 561
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
laughingcactus added Sissy Spacek Carrie, JFK, The Help

26
1,719 858
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Julia Roberts Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich, Steel Magnolias

27
243 180
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
849 629
Meg Ryan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Meg Ryan Top Gun, When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless in Seattle

29
509 241
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Betty White The Proposal, The Lorax, Hard Rain

Actors Who Consistently Make Great Movies Famous Actresses You'd Want to Go on a Road Trip With

30
633 559
Ellen Burstyn is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Ellen Burstyn The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

31
846 603
Goldie Hawn is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ColinBoddy added Goldie Hawn Death Becomes Her, Overboard, Seems Like Old Times

32
1,062 525
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
378 327
Elisabeth Shue is listed (or ranked) 33 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

34
1,436 786
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
857 640
Uma Thurman is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Uma Thurman Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Gattica

36
824 608
Marisa Tomei is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Marisa Tomei The Wrestler, My Cousin Vinny, The Ides of March

37
1,241 765
Anne Hathaway is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Anne Hathaway Les Miserables, The Princess Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada

38
196 166
Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jane Fonda 9 to 5, Cat Ballou, The Butler

39
749 569
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
511 508
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
767 647
Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Winona Ryder Edward Scissorhands, Girl, Interrupted

42
1,143 865
Angelina Jolie is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ChrisBateman added Angelina Jolie Kung Fu Panda, Maleficent, Mr. & Mrs. Smith

43
414 417
Renée Zellweger is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Renée Zellweger Dazed and Confused, Jerry Maguire, Chicago

The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time The Best Scottish Actresses Working Today

44
1,133 760
Scarlett Johansson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
AndrewPhillips added Scarlett Johansson The Avengers, Iron Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

45
624 653
Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Claire Danes Temple Grandin, Shop Girl, Romeo + Juliet

46
278 165
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added Reese Witherspoon American Psycho, Legally Blonde, Election

47
951 724
Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Halle Berry Monster's Ball, Swordfish, Cloud Atlas

48
121 151
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
659 565
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
321 377
Gena Rowlands is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Gena Rowlands The Notebook, The Skeleton Key, Gloria