actresses The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time  

Ranker Film
1.5k votes 345 voters 8.2k 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
118 30
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
89 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
58 21
Maureen O'Hara is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
61 25
Isla Fisher is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Isla Fisher Wedding Crashers, The Great Gatsby, Rango

5
50 23
Rose Leslie is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Rose Leslie Now Is Good, Purves + Pekkala, Honeymoon

6
52 26
Kelly Macdonald is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
30 13
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
33 17
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 15
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
18 13
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
23 19
Hayley McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Hayley McLaughlin

12
18 14
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

The Best Scottish Actresses Working Today

15
19 16
Phyllida Law is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Phyllida Law The Time Machine, Nanny McPhee, Unleashed

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

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

18
18 17
Phyllis Logan is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
16 15
Kate Dickie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Kate Dickie Prometheus, Filth, Somers Town

20
15 14
Margaret Mann is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Margaret Mann Gone with the Wind, Four Sons, The Bohemian Girl

21
15 14
Sophia Knight is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time

The Best Wingstop Flavors

22
17 17
Lindsay Duncan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Lindsay Duncan Alice in Wonderland, About Time, Under the Tuscan Sun

23
15 15
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
13 13
Georgia King is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Georgia King Wild Child, The Duchess, One Day

25
14 16
Katie Leung is listed (or ranked) 25 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

26
14 16
Elaine C. Smith is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Elaine C. Smith Night Is Day

27
13 15
Holly Jack is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time

28
13 15
Dawn Steele is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Dawn Steele Surveillance, Club Le Monde, Gregory's Two Girls

Braveheart Might Be The Most Historically Inaccurate Movie Ever Made

29
12 14
Michelle Duncan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Michelle Duncan Atonement, Driving Lessons, The Broken

30
15 18
Rowena Cooper is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Rowena Cooper Secret Friends, State of Mind, A Is for Acid

31
10 12
Jayd Johnson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Jayd Johnson Dear Frankie

32
14 17
Eileen Herlie is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Scottish Actresses of All Time
Eileen Herlie Hamlet, For Better^! for Worse, Hamlet

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