Actresses The Best Living American Actresses  

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147k votes 6.8k voters 728.5k 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
2,467 926
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
1,334 762
Glenn Close is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Albert Nobbs, Dangerous Liaisons, The Big Chill

3
1,670 882
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
1,638 778
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Fried Green Tomatoes, Titanic, Misery

5
1,452 742
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Lincoln, Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump

6
1,263 704
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters

7
431 269
Susan Sarandon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Thelma & Louise, Bull Durham

8
1,005 694
Diane Lane is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
AndrewPhillips added Man of Steel, The Outsiders, The Perfect Storm

9
802 723
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Fargo, Burn After Reading, Almost Famous

10
2,121 911
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Miss Congeniality, Gravity, The Blind Side

11
1,352 698
Amy Adams is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Her, American Hustle, Enchanted

12
1,074 681
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
King Kong, Tootsie, The Vow

13
1,031 691
Helen Hunt is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
As Good As It Gets, What Women Want, Pay it Forward

14
1,128 616
Nicole Kidman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Batman Forever, Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge!

15
1,214 730
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Annie Hall, Something's Gotta Give, The Godfather

16
1,248 654
Julianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Kids Are All Right, Non-Stop, Carrie

17
1,000 654
Hilary Swank is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Boys Don't Cry, Million Dollar Baby, Freedom Writers

18
671 604
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
1,598 1,045
Jennifer Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle

20
733 668
Annette Bening is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Kids Are All Right, American Beauty, The American President

21
873 693
Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Noah, Requiem for a Dream, A Beautiful Mind

22
1,134 625
Jamie Lee Curtis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Halloween, True Lies, Freaky Friday

23
1,827 886
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich, Steel Magnolias

24
1,199 617
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
413 483
Dianne Wiest is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Hannah and Her Sisters, Edward Scissorhands, The Birdcage

26
814 591
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
laughingcactus added Carrie, JFK, The Help

27
274 204
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
554 267
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Proposal, The Lorax, Hard Rain

29
883 628
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
882 666
Meg Ryan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Top Gun, When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless in Seattle

31
653 589
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
1,109 542
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Shrek 2

33
888 664
Uma Thurman is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Gattica

34
1,520 840
Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 34 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

35
883 631
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
257 201
Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
9 to 5, Cat Ballou, The Butler

37
1,325 823
Anne Hathaway is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Les Miserables, The Princess Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada

38
399 356
Elisabeth Shue is listed (or ranked) 38 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

39
799 602
Bette Midler is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
ColinBoddy added Oliver & Company, Hocus Pocus, Fantasia 2000

40
551 531
Laura Linney is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Truman Show, Mystic River, Primal Fear

41
1,199 932
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
814 664
Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Edward Scissorhands, Girl, Interrupted

43
1,200 820
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
439 443
Renée Zellweger is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
MeghanaJoshi added Dazed and Confused, Jerry Maguire, Chicago

45
343 186
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
looksharp added American Psycho, Legally Blonde, Election

46
992 787
Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Monster's Ball, Swordfish, Cloud Atlas

47
646 677
Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Temple Grandin, Shop Girl, Romeo + Juliet

48
146 180
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
685 589
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
Forrest Gump, The Princess Bride, The Congress

50
334 399
Gena Rowlands is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Living American Actresses
The Notebook, The Skeleton Key, Gloria