Actresses The Best Living American Actresses  

Ranker Film
Originally by
148.5k votes 6.9k voters 731k 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
2,485 942
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
1,343 778
Glenn Close is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Albert Nobbs, Dangerous Liaisons, The Big Chill

3
1,681 896
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
1,650 790
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Fried Green Tomatoes, Titanic, Misery

5
1,459 755
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Lincoln, Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump

6
1,274 716
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters

7
1,016 703
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
448 280
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
816 730
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Fargo, Burn After Reading, Almost Famous

10
2,140 920
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Miss Congeniality, Gravity, The Blind Side

11
1,372 702
Amy Adams is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Her, American Hustle, Enchanted

12
1,087 687
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
King Kong, Tootsie, The Vow

13
1,146 622
Nicole Kidman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Batman Forever, Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge!

14
1,039 702
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
1,221 740
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Annie Hall, Something's Gotta Give, The Godfather

16
1,268 658
Julianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Kids Are All Right, Non-Stop, Carrie

17
1,613 1,057
Jennifer Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle

18
680 610
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
739 674
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
883 699
Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Noah, Requiem for a Dream, A Beautiful Mind

21
1,012 656
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
1,139 634
Jamie Lee Curtis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Halloween, True Lies, Freaky Friday

23
1,839 898
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich, Steel Magnolias

24
1,210 620
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
419 487
Dianne Wiest is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Hannah and Her Sisters, Edward Scissorhands, The Birdcage

26
285 208
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
822 596
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
laughingcactus added Carrie, JFK, The Help

28
888 631
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
888 672
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
561 270
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
1,532 844
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
1,119 547
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Shrek 2

34
894 668
Uma Thurman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Gattica

35
887 635
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
1,337 827
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
401 362
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
263 209
Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
9 to 5, Cat Ballou, The Butler

39
555 533
Laura Linney is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Truman Show, Mystic River, Primal Fear

40
803 609
Bette Midler is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ColinBoddy added Oliver & Company, Hocus Pocus, Fantasia 2000

41
1,207 940
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
1,212 825
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
996 791
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
689 592
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Forrest Gump, The Princess Bride, The Congress

50
357 392
Rene Russo is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
AndrewPhillips added Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Major League