Actresses The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time  

Ranker Film
1.6k votes 368 voters 9.4k 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.
list ordered by

1
123 35
Deborah Kerr is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
From Here to Eternity, An Affair to Remember, The King and I

2
103 25
Karen Gillan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Guardians of the Galaxy, Oculus, Doctor Who: Space and Time

3
63 23
Maureen O'Hara is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Jerry Vond added Miracle on 34th Street, The Quiet Man, How Green Was My Valley

4
66 28
Isla Fisher is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Wedding Crashers, The Great Gatsby, Rango

5
56 27
Kelly Macdonald is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
No Country for Old Men, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Trainspotting

6
51 27
Rose Leslie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Now Is Good, Purves + Pekkala, Honeymoon

7
32 14
Annette Crosbie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
The Lord of the Rings, Calendar Girls, The Slipper and the Rose

8
35 18
Laura Fraser is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Vanilla Sky, A Knight's Tale, The Man in the Iron Mask

9
25 16
Ashley Jensen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
How to Train Your Dragon, Gnomeo & Juliet, Arthur Christmas

10
26 20
Hayley McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Hayley McLaughlin

11
20 14
Freya Mavor is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Sunshine on Leith, Not Another Happy Ending

12
20 15
Daniela Nardini is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Festival, Sirens, Sunshine on Leith

13
26 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
24 20
Mary Ure is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Where Eagles Dare, Custer of the West, Sons and Lovers

15
17 13
Kari Corbett is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
You Instead

16
21 18
Phyllida Law is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
The Time Machine, Nanny McPhee, Unleashed

17
18 15
Kate Dickie is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Prometheus, Filth, Somers Town

18
17 14
Margaret Mann is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Gone with the Wind, Four Sons, The Bohemian Girl

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

20
19 17
Frieda Inescort is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
A Place in the Sun, Pride and Prejudice, The Letter

21
19 18
Lindsay Duncan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Alice in Wonderland, About Time, Under the Tuscan Sun

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

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

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

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

26
14 15
Dawn Steele is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Surveillance, Club Le Monde, Gregory's Two Girls

27
13 14
Michelle Duncan is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Atonement, Driving Lessons, The Broken

28
11 12
Jayd Johnson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Dear Frankie

29
16 18
Rowena Cooper is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Secret Friends, State of Mind, A Is for Acid

30
15 17
Eileen Herlie is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Hamlet, For Better, for Worse

31
15 17
Elaine C. Smith is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Night Is Day

32
14 16
Holly Jack is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time

33
13 16
Kananu Kirimi is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
The Queen

34
14 18
Barbara Rafferty is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
The Last King of Scotland, Perfect Sense, Women Talking Dirty

35
11 15
Amy Manson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Blood Monkey, Pumpkinhead 4: Blood Feud, Shamrock Boy

36
11 16
Edith MacArthur is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Purves + Pekkala

37
7 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