actresses The Best Living American Actresses  

Ranker Film
Originally by
143.8k votes 6.6k voters 724k 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
2,414 901
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
1,320 735
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
1,642 860
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
1,617 750
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Kathy Bates Fried Green Tomatoes, Titanic, Misery

5
1,433 721
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Sally Field Lincoln, Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump

6
1,236 690
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Sigourney Weaver Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters

7
412 246
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
987 674
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
784 704
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Frances McDormand Fargo, Burn After Reading, Almost Famous

10
2,074 900
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Sandra Bullock Miss Congeniality, Gravity, The Blind Side

11
1,059 664
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jessica Lange King Kong, Tootsie, The Vow

12
1,320 684
Amy Adams is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Amy Adams Her, American Hustle, Enchanted

13
1,011 675
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
1,090 606
Nicole Kidman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Nicole Kidman Batman Forever, Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge!

The Best Living American Actors

15
1,193 720
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
1,221 646
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
662 591
Holly Hunter is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Holly Hunter The Piano, Raising Arizona, O Brother Where Art Thou?

18
719 655
Annette Bening is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Annette Bening The Kids Are All Right, American Beauty, The American President

19
980 644
Hilary Swank is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Hilary Swank Boys Don't Cry, Million Dollar Baby, Freedom Writers

20
1,563 1,028
Jennifer Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle

21
860 679
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

The Best '60s Kung Fu Movies

22
1,111 613
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
407 468
Dianne Wiest is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Dianne Wiest Hannah and Her Sisters, Edward Scissorhands, The Birdcage

24
1,779 877
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Julia Roberts Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich, Steel Magnolias

25
1,170 607
Michelle Pfeiffer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Michelle Pfeiffer Scarface, Batman Returns, The Prince of Egypt

26
806 577
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
laughingcactus added Sissy Spacek Carrie, JFK, The Help

27
260 194
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
867 651
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

16 Movie "In Jokes" You Probably Didn't Notice

29
534 257
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Betty White The Proposal, The Lorax, Hard Rain

30
866 621
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
644 576
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
1,087 536
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
872 656
Uma Thurman is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Uma Thurman Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Gattica

34
1,493 834
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
874 619
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

The Greatest Female Characters in Film History

36
393 345
Elisabeth Shue is listed (or ranked) 36 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

37
240 190
Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jane Fonda 9 to 5, Cat Ballou, The Butler

38
1,292 815
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
789 590
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
538 521
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
1,179 922
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
797 659
Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Winona Ryder Edward Scissorhands, Girl, Interrupted

100 Amazing BTS Pictures from 2014's Best Movies

43
1,172 812
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
425 436
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
639 667
Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Claire Danes Temple Grandin, Shop Girl, Romeo + Juliet

46
142 168
Kathleen Turner is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Kathleen Turner Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Virgin Suicides, The War of the Roses

47
975 778
Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Halle Berry Monster's Ball, Swordfish, Cloud Atlas

48
312 180
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added Reese Witherspoon American Psycho, Legally Blonde, Election

49
675 580
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
349 376
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