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
2,301 795
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 Best Living American Actors The Best Science Podcasts

2
1,236 685
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
1,579 809
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
1,562 710
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Kathy Bates Fried Green Tomatoes, Titanic, Misery

5
1,389 682
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Sally Field Lincoln, Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump

6
1,197 646
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Sigourney Weaver Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters

7
356 191
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
937 628
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
745 670
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Frances McDormand Fargo, Burn After Reading, Almost Famous

10
1,996 859
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Sandra Bullock Miss Congeniality, Gravity, The Blind Side

11
1,253 657
Amy Adams is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Amy Adams Her, American Hustle, Enchanted

12
1,018 635
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jessica Lange King Kong, Tootsie, The Vow

13
1,156 691
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Diane Keaton Annie Hall, Something's Gotta Give, The Godfather

14
975 638
Helen Hunt is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Helen Hunt As Good As It Gets, What Women Want, Pay it Forward

15
1,022 572
Nicole Kidman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Nicole Kidman Batman Forever, Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge!

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16
1,164 626
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
1,489 948
Jennifer Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle

18
686 625
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
946 606
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
624 570
Holly Hunter is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Holly Hunter The Piano, Raising Arizona, O Brother Where Art Thou?

21
802 642
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
392 438
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
1,120 593
Michelle Pfeiffer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Michelle Pfeiffer Scarface, Batman Returns, The Prince of Egypt

24
1,064 586
Jamie Lee Curtis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Jamie Lee Curtis Halloween, True Lies, Freaky Friday

25
1,702 846
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Julia Roberts Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich, Steel Magnolias

26
784 554
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
laughingcactus added Sissy Spacek Carrie, JFK, The Help

27
235 174
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
841 618
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
630 551
Ellen Burstyn is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Ellen Burstyn The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

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30
837 597
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
501 234
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Betty White The Proposal, The Lorax, Hard Rain

32
1,419 774
Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 32 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

33
372 321
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
1,052 518
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Julie Andrews The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Shrek 2

35
813 603
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

36
1,227 751
Anne Hathaway is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Anne Hathaway Les Miserables, The Princess Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada

37
844 632
Uma Thurman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Uma Thurman Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Gattica

38
184 155
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
743 561
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
505 501
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
759 639
Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Winona Ryder Edward Scissorhands, Girl, Interrupted

42
1,134 850
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
1,125 746
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

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44
403 411
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
619 648
Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Claire Danes Temple Grandin, Shop Girl, Romeo + Juliet

46
946 712
Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Halle Berry Monster's Ball, Swordfish, Cloud Atlas

47
654 559
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Robin Wright Forrest Gump, The Princess Bride, The Congress

48
264 162
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
115 146
Kathleen Turner is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Kathleen Turner Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Virgin Suicides, The War of the Roses

50
335 355
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