Actresses The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time  

Ranker Film
1.6k votes 360 voters 9.1k views 37 items

List Rules Female actors from Scotland, dead or alive. Vote based on their entire body of work.

It's no easy task determining the best Scottish actresses of all time. But this list, ranked but movie goers and film buffs just like you, features all the Scottish women who are known for their incredible acting and have made names for themselves in Hollywood as some of the top actresses from Scotland in the history of film. Who are the all-time top Scottish actresses?

These women have portrayed memorable characters, turned in top notch performances, and been celebrated with many prestigious awards. From great Scottish actresses like Deborah Kerr and Rowena Cooper, to younger actresses like Game of Thrones's newcomer Rose Leslie, many of the best actresses in the world hail from Scotland.

This list features the most talented Scottish actresses of all time including Rowena Cooper, Tilda Swinton, Margo Cunningham, Deborah Kerr, Barbara Rafferty, and Eileen Herlie. Don't see your favorite actress from Scotland? 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 Scottish actresses to have ever graced the screen.

1
121 34
Deborah Kerr is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Deborah Kerr From Here to Eternity, An Affair to Remember, The King and I

2
99 24
Karen Gillan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Karen Gillan Guardians of the Galaxy, Oculus, Doctor Who: Space and Time

3
65 26
Isla Fisher is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Isla Fisher Wedding Crashers, The Great Gatsby, Rango

4
60 23
Maureen O'Hara is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Jerry Vond added Maureen O'Hara Miracle on 34th Street, The Quiet Man, How Green Was My Valley

5
53 27
Kelly Macdonald is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Kelly Macdonald No Country for Old Men, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Trainspotting

6
51 26
Rose Leslie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Rose Leslie Now Is Good, Purves + Pekkala, Honeymoon

7
31 14
Annette Crosbie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Annette Crosbie The Lord of the Rings, Calendar Girls, The Slipper and the Rose

8
34 18
Laura Fraser is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Laura Fraser Vanilla Sky, A Knight's Tale, The Man in the Iron Mask

9
24 16
Ashley Jensen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Ashley Jensen How to Train Your Dragon, Gnomeo & Juliet, Arthur Christmas

10
19 14
Freya Mavor is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Freya Mavor Sunshine on Leith, Not Another Happy Ending

11
24 20
Hayley McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Hayley McLaughlin

12
19 15
Daniela Nardini is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Daniela Nardini Festival, Sirens, Sunshine on Leith

13
25 22
Margo Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Margo Cunningham The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

14
23 20
Mary Ure is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Mary Ure Where Eagles Dare, Custer of the West, Sons and Lovers

15
16 13
Kari Corbett is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Kari Corbett You Instead

16
20 18
Phyllida Law is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Phyllida Law The Time Machine, Nanny McPhee, Unleashed

17
17 15
Kate Dickie is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Kate Dickie Prometheus, Filth, Somers Town

18
16 14
Margaret Mann is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Margaret Mann Gone with the Wind, Four Sons, The Bohemian Girl

19
18 17
Phyllis Logan is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Phyllis Logan Nineteen Eighty-Four, Secrets & Lies, Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life

20
18 17
Frieda Inescort is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Frieda Inescort A Place in the Sun, Pride and Prejudice, The Letter

21
18 18
Lindsay Duncan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Lindsay Duncan Alice in Wonderland, About Time, Under the Tuscan Sun

22
16 17
Katie Leung is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Katie Leung Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

23
15 16
Shirley Manson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Shirley Manson Knife Fight, Garbage: Absolute Garbage

24
15 16
Sophia Knight is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time

25
13 14
Georgia King is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Georgia King Wild Child, The Duchess, One Day

26
13 15
Dawn Steele is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Dawn Steele Surveillance, Club Le Monde, Gregory's Two Girls

27
12 14
Michelle Duncan is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Michelle Duncan Atonement, Driving Lessons, The Broken

28
15 18
Rowena Cooper is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Rowena Cooper Secret Friends, State of Mind, A Is for Acid

29
10 12
Jayd Johnson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Jayd Johnson Dear Frankie

30
14 17
Eileen Herlie is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Eileen Herlie Hamlet, For Better, for Worse

31
14 17
Elaine C. Smith is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Elaine C. Smith Night Is Day

32
13 16
Holly Jack is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time

33
12 16
Kananu Kirimi is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Kananu Kirimi The Queen

34
13 18
Barbara Rafferty is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Barbara Rafferty The Last King of Scotland, Perfect Sense, Women Talking Dirty

35
10 15
Amy Manson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Amy Manson Blood Monkey, Pumpkinhead 4: Blood Feud, Shamrock Boy

36
10 16
Edith MacArthur is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Edith MacArthur Purves + Pekkala

37
6 15
Helena Gloag is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Helena Gloag Ring of Bright Water, My Ain Folk, My Childhood