actors The Greatest Non-White Actresses  

Ranker Film
2.6k votes 261 voters 7.7k views 58 items

List Rules Vote up any great actress who is a person of color.

In 1939, Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to win an Academy Award. She was recognized for her work in Gone With the Wind, a role that remained her most famous credit throughout her career. Hattie McDaniel helped blaze a trail for many non-white actresses that followed. Some of the best non-white actresses thrive in dramas, while other great actresses specialize in comedies. Many of the greatest non-white actresses, like McDaniel, have received Academy Award nominations for their performances.

Who will you find on this list of the best non-white actresses? Halle Berry made history in 2002 when she became the first African-American woman to win the Best Actress Academy Award. Viola Davis is also one of the most talented non-white actresses to ever grace the silver screen. Lucy Liu is a favorite in action films and beyond with memorable roles in films like Kill Bill and Charlie's Angels. Other great actresses who are featured on this list include Salma Hayek, Kerry Washington, and Michelle Rodriguez.

Which performances will stand the test of time? Keep reading and decide which star deserves the top spot on this list. Vote your favorite performers up to number one and add any notable people who are missing.
list ordered by

1
76 29
Lupita Nyong'o is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

2
73 29
Priyanka Chopra is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

3
64 24
Salma Hayek is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Salma Hayek age 51

4
58 24
Zoe Saldana is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Zoe Saldana age 39

5
61 27
Taraji P. Henson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

6
42 13
Zendaya is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
lolavastel added Zendaya age 21

7
60 28
Viola Davis is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Viola Davis age 52

8
58 28
Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Halle Berry age 51

9
53 25
Octavia Spencer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

10
53 26
Rosario Dawson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

11
44 19
Angela Bassett is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

12
42 20
Lucy Liu is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Lucy Liu age 49

13
42 23
Penélope Cruz is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

14
42 23
Kerry Washington is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

The Best Actors in Film History

15
34 21
Thandie Newton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

16
33 21
Michelle Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

17
26 16
Pam Grier is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Pam Grier age 68

18
26 16
Gina Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

19
26 16
Nia Long is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Nia Long age 47

20
28 19
Eva Mendes is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Eva Mendes age 44

21
30 21
Queen Latifah is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Queen Latifah age 48

The Most Beautiful Women In Hollywood

22
24 16
Lena Horne is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Lena Horne Died at 93 (1917-2010)

23
19 12
Ruby Dee is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Ruby Dee Died at 92 (1922-2014)

24
22 15
Tracee Ellis Ross is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

25
23 16
Quvenzhané Wallis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

26
26 19
Alfre Woodard is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Alfre Woodard age 65

27
27 20
Regina King is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Regina King age 47

28
10 4
Kelly Marie Tran is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Liz_NPP added Kelly Marie Tran

The Most Intense Method Actor Performances in Movie History

29
24 18
Cicely Tyson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Cicely Tyson age 84

30
28 22
Jessica Alba is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Jessica Alba age 36

31
33 27
Jennifer Lopez is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

32
22 17
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
1510765623048 added Beyoncé Knowles age 36 - She is the best

33
17 12
Rita Moreno is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Rita Moreno age 86

34
19 15
America Ferrera is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

35
19 16
Zhang Ziyi is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Zhang Ziyi age 39

15 Famous People Who Have Donated Organs

36
20 18
Diahann Carroll is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

37
17 15
Sophie Okonedo is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

38
15 13
Dorothy Dandridge is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Dorothy Dandridge Died at 43 (1922-1965)

39
15 13
Lisa Bonet is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Lisa Bonet age 48

40
21 20
Whoopi Goldberg is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

41
5 3
Hannah Simone is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Liz_NPP added Hannah Simone age 37

42
17 17
Gabourey Sidibe is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

26 Actors Who Stay in Character Off Camera

43
15 15
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

44
15 15
Hattie McDaniel is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Hattie McDaniel Died at 57 (1895-1952)

45
4 3
Andrea Navedo is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Liz_NPP added Andrea Navedo

46
13 13
Marianne Jean-Baptiste is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

47
20 21
Eva Longoria is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Eva Longoria age 43

48
14 15
S. Epatha Merkerson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses

49
18 20
Oprah Winfrey is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Oprah Winfrey age 64

50
15 17
Constance Wu is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actresses
Constance Wu age 30