Actresses The Best Living English Actresses  

Ranker Film
Originally by
31.3k votes 2.6k voters 53.9k views 187 items

List Rules Living female actors from England only. Vote based on their entire body of work so far.

Hailing from England, these women in film are acting circles around some of their male counterparts. These actresses from England included established, household names like Judi Dench and Helen Mirren, as well as younger English actresses like Emma Watson and Carey Mulligan. Who are the best living English actresses? They're all listed here, and your votes can help determine who is ranked as the best!

The top living actresses from England ranked on this list have decorated careers that have spanned decades and many are still working today. Their long lists of credits include movies and TV shows from all over the world, namely the United States and Great Britain. From Oscar winners to consistently great English actresses, these women are changing film and turning in amazing performances time and time again.

This list features the greatest English actresses alive today including Julie Andrews, Tilda Swinton, Vanessa Redgrave, Kate Winslet, Kate Beckinsale, Judi Dench, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, and Emily Blunt. Don't see your favorite living actress from England? Add her below so other film fans can vote. Then, be sure to vote and rerank the list according to who you think are the best English actresses still alive today.
list ordered by

1
716 347
Kate Winslet is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
The Reader, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Titanic

2
577 281
Helen Mirren is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
The Queen, Gosford Park, The Long Good Friday

3
657 350
Rachel Weisz is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
The Constant Gardener, Sunshine, About a Boy

4
549 250
Judi Dench is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Philomena, Shakespeare in Love, Skyfall

5
501 227
Emma Thompson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Sense and Sensibility, The Remains of the Day, Harry Potter series

6
550 232
Maggie Smith is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
A Room with a View, Gosford Park, Harry Potter series

7
612 237
Emily Blunt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Charlie Wilson's War, The Devil Wears Prada, Sunshine Cleaning

8
517 284
Helena Bonham Carter is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Fight Club, The King's Speech, Howards End

9
749 294
Emma Watson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Harry Potter series, Noah, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

10
631 267
Keira Knightley is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
The Imitation Game, Pride and Prejudice, Atonement

11
562 226
Kate Beckinsale is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Brokedown Palace, The Aviator, Underworld series

12
366 206
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Mary Poppins, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Americanization of Emily

13
344 182
Rosamund Pike is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Gone Girl, The World's End, Pride and Prejudice

14
442 226
Emilia Clarke is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Game of Thrones, Terminator Genisys

15
343 189
Lena Headey is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Game of Thrones, 300, Aberdeen

16
240 238
Vanessa Redgrave is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Coriolanus, Howards End, Atonement

17
264 219
Tilda Swinton is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Michael Clayton, Snowpiercer, The Chronicles of Narnia

18
228 161
Felicity Jones is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
The Theory of Everything, Brideshead Revisited, Page Eight

19
297 168
Catherine Zeta-Jones is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
ColinBoddy added Chicago, Traffic, Ocean's Twelve

20
188 174
Julie Walters is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

21
265 187
Gemma Arterton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
The Disappearance of Alice Creed, The Voices, Gemma Bovery

22
146 194
Imelda Staunton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
MatthewGill added Vera Drake, Sense and Sensibility, Harry Potter series

23
221 169
Kristin Scott Thomas is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
The English Patient, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Gosford Park

24
214 172
Thandie Newton is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Crash, Beloved, Besieged

25
241 202
Sienna Miller is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Foxcatcher, Factory Girl, Layer Cake

26
123 170
Charlotte Rampling is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
The Verdict, The Damned, Swimming Pool

27
195 182
Carey Mulligan is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
An Education, Drive, Shame

28
165 137
Hayley Atwell is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers: Age of Ultron

29
150 129
Jane Seymour is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
ColinBoddy added Wedding Crashers, Live and Let Die, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger

30
170 172
Imogen Poots is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Me and Orson Welles, Jane Eyre, Fright Night

31
141 102
Elizabeth Hurley is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
johnbamf added Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Bedazzled

32
99 71
Lily Collins is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
OliverDavis added The Blind Side, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Abduction

33
193 171
Alice Eve is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Star Trek Into Darkness, Men in Black 3, Sex and the City 2

34
95 67
Emily Watson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Gerri Foudy added Corpse Bride, Red Dragon, Punch-Drunk Love

35
101 45
Claire Foy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Gerri Foudy added Season of the Witch, Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, Vivaldi

36
109 139
Samantha Morton is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
looksharp added In America, Minority Report, John Carter

37
169 180
Minnie Driver is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Good Will Hunting, Big Night, Circle of Friends

38
118 100
Jenna Coleman is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
bigcraig added Captain America: The First Avenger, Room at the Top

39
119 127
Naomie Harris is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Skyfall, 28 Days Later, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

40
125 134
Diana Rigg is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
AaronYeaton added On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Great Muppet Caper, The Hospital

41
84 97
Brenda Blethyn is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Kasir Radojica added Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, A River Runs Through It

42
77 53
Jacqueline Bisset is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Gerri Foudy added Bullitt, Murder on the Orient Express, Airport

43
73 52
Miranda Richardson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Gerri Foudy added Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Sleepy Hollow, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I

44
56 38
Angela Lansbury is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
SandyQ8 added Beauty and the Beast, The Manchurian Candidate, Bedknobs and Broomsticks

45
127 143
Olivia de Havilland is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Gone with the Wind, Cinema Paradiso, The Adventures of Robin Hood

46
69 113
Jessica Tandy is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
ColinBoddy added The Birds, Driving Miss Daisy, Fried Green Tomatoes

47
71 67
Emilia Fox is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
johnbamf added The Pianist, Cashback, Dorian Gray

48
65 67
Joely Richardson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
johnbamf added The Patriot, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 101 Dalmatians

49
167 185
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Mad Max: Fury Road

50
67 106
Joanna Lumley is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Living English Actresses
ColinBoddy added The Wolf of Wall Street, Corpse Bride, James and the Giant Peach