Actresses The Best Living American Actresses  

Ranker Film
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150.2k votes 6.9k voters 732.9k 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
2,508 955
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
1,349 788
Glenn Close is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Albert Nobbs, Dangerous Liaisons, The Big Chill

3
1,692 903
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
1,658 805
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Fried Green Tomatoes, Titanic, Misery

5
1,466 764
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Lincoln, Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump

6
1,280 727
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters

7
1,021 709
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
456 290
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
824 737
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Fargo, Burn After Reading, Almost Famous

10
2,163 929
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Miss Congeniality, Gravity, The Blind Side

11
1,383 705
Amy Adams is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Her, American Hustle, Enchanted

12
1,094 695
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
King Kong, Tootsie, The Vow

13
1,161 629
Nicole Kidman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Batman Forever, Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge!

14
1,043 710
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
1,231 751
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Annie Hall, Something's Gotta Give, The Godfather

16
1,280 663
Julianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Kids Are All Right, Non-Stop, Carrie

17
1,633 1,065
Jennifer Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle

18
684 618
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
743 682
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
892 707
Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Noah, Requiem for a Dream, A Beautiful Mind

21
1,019 662
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
1,149 644
Jamie Lee Curtis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Halloween, True Lies, Freaky Friday

23
1,867 902
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich, Steel Magnolias

24
1,220 623
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
421 493
Dianne Wiest is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Hannah and Her Sisters, Edward Scissorhands, The Birdcage

26
825 603
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
laughingcactus added Carrie, JFK, The Help

27
288 217
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
895 679
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
892 639
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
571 278
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Proposal, The Lorax, Hard Rain

31
656 601
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
1,545 850
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
1,128 551
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Shrek 2

34
902 674
Uma Thurman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Gattica

35
894 641
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
1,353 830
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
405 369
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
270 216
Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
9 to 5, Cat Ballou, The Butler

39
561 538
Laura Linney is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Truman Show, Mystic River, Primal Fear

40
1,220 946
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
804 616
Bette Midler is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ColinBoddy added Oliver & Company, Hocus Pocus, Fantasia 2000

42
826 675
Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Edward Scissorhands, Girl, Interrupted

43
1,225 829
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
362 190
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added American Psycho, Legally Blonde, Election

45
446 455
Renée Zellweger is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Dazed and Confused, Jerry Maguire, Chicago

46
1,005 795
Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Monster's Ball, Swordfish, Cloud Atlas

47
653 684
Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Temple Grandin, Shop Girl, Romeo + Juliet

48
150 188
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
691 598
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Forrest Gump, The Princess Bride, The Congress

50
1,146 838
Jennifer Aniston is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Office Space, The Iron Giant, Bruce Almighty