Actresses The Best Living American Actresses  

Ranker Film
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150.4k votes 7k voters 733.1k views 235 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
2,510 958
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
1,350 788
Glenn Close is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Albert Nobbs, Dangerous Liaisons, The Big Chill

3
1,694 903
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
1,659 806
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Fried Green Tomatoes, Titanic, Misery

5
1,467 764
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Lincoln, Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump

6
1,281 727
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters

7
1,022 709
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
456 291
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
824 739
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Fargo, Burn After Reading, Almost Famous

10
2,165 930
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Miss Congeniality, Gravity, The Blind Side

11
1,383 707
Amy Adams is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Her, American Hustle, Enchanted

12
1,096 696
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
King Kong, Tootsie, The Vow

13
1,164 630
Nicole Kidman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Batman Forever, Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge!

14
1,043 712
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
1,233 752
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Annie Hall, Something's Gotta Give, The Godfather

16
1,282 664
Julianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Kids Are All Right, Non-Stop, Carrie

17
1,635 1,066
Jennifer Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle

18
685 618
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
743 683
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
894 708
Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Noah, Requiem for a Dream, A Beautiful Mind

21
1,020 663
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
1,152 644
Jamie Lee Curtis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Halloween, True Lies, Freaky Friday

23
1,870 903
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich, Steel Magnolias

24
1,222 623
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
421 494
Dianne Wiest is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Hannah and Her Sisters, Edward Scissorhands, The Birdcage

26
826 603
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
laughingcactus added Carrie, JFK, The Help

27
290 217
Shirley MacLaine is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added The Apartment, Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment

28
896 679
Meg Ryan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Top Gun, When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless in Seattle

29
892 640
Goldie Hawn is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ColinBoddy added Death Becomes Her, Overboard, Seems Like Old Times

30
572 278
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Proposal, The Lorax, Hard Rain

31
657 601
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
1,547 850
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
1,129 551
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Shrek 2

34
903 675
Uma Thurman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Gattica

35
894 642
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
1,355 832
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
406 369
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
271 216
Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
9 to 5, Cat Ballou, The Butler

39
562 538
Laura Linney is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Truman Show, Mystic River, Primal Fear

40
1,222 947
Angelina Jolie is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ChrisBateman added Kung Fu Panda, Maleficent, Mr. & Mrs. Smith

41
806 616
Bette Midler is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ColinBoddy added Oliver & Company, Hocus Pocus, Fantasia 2000

42
827 676
Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Edward Scissorhands, Girl, Interrupted

43
1,228 829
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
365 190
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added American Psycho, Legally Blonde, Election

45
447 456
Renée Zellweger is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Dazed and Confused, Jerry Maguire, Chicago

46
1,005 796
Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Monster's Ball, Swordfish, Cloud Atlas

47
654 684
Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Temple Grandin, Shop Girl, Romeo + Juliet

48
151 188
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
692 598
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Forrest Gump, The Princess Bride, The Congress

50
1,149 838
Jennifer Aniston is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Office Space, The Iron Giant, Bruce Almighty