Entertainment

The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time 

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List Rules Vote up and add the best AMERICAN actresses to have ever lived. Vote on each actress's entire body of work. Remember, Helen Mirren is not American.

It takes a lot to make a movie great. There has to be excellent writing, production, direction, editing, and of course, acting. While the crew draws out the parameters for a movie, the actors are who color in the film to bring it to life, and without great acting, a great film can crumble. Who is the greatest American actress of all time? 

These actresses are the ones who deliver time and again, regardless of how good the script or the production of the film is. From classic Hollywood legends to new rising stars, these are the greatest American actresses ever. Who are the best actresses? That's up to you to decide. This list is votable and rerankable, and if you don't see someone on here that deserves a spot, feel free to add them. 

list ordered by
1
Katharine Hepburn is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen, Bringing Up Baby
2
Meryl Streep is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
The Iron Lady, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Devil Wears Prada
3
Bette Davis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
All About Eve, Dark Victory, Jezebel
4
Joan Crawford is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
stefan-komisch added
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Grand Hotel, Mildred Pierce
5
Judy Garland is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
stefan-komisch added
The Wizard of Oz, P.S. I Love You, Judgment at Nuremberg
6
Kathy Bates is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
DolittleD added
Titanic, Misery, The Blind Side
7
Anne Bancroft is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
The Graduate, The Miracle Worker, The Elephant Man
8
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
DolittleD added
Forrest Gump, The Amazing Spider-Man, Mrs. Doubtfire
9
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
looksharp added
Tootsie, Big Fish, Cape Fear
10
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, The Accused
11
Grace Kelly is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
To Catch a Thief, Rear Window, Dial M for Murder
12
Glenn Close is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
jsnungaray added
Dangerous Liaisons, Cookie's Fortune, The World According to Garp
13
Myrna Loy is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
CraigAlarm added
The Best Years of Our Lives, The Thin Man, The End
14
Frances McDormand is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
Fargo, Burn After Reading, Almost Famous
15
Claudette Colbert is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
screwballcomedyfan added
It Happened One Night, The Palm Beach Story, It's a Wonderful World
16
Elizabeth Taylor is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cleopatra, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
17
Lauren Bacall is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, How to Marry a Millionaire
18
Jane Fonda is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
On Golden Pond, Klute, Monster-in-Law
19
Natalie Wood is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story, Miracle on 24th Street
20
Susan Sarandon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
Thelma and Louise, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dead Man Walking
21
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
Miss Congeniality, Gravity, The Blind Side
22
Helen Hayes is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
looksharp added
Cinema Paradiso, Airport, Herbie Rides Again
23
Agnes Moorehead is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
punksnotdead added
Citizen Kane, Charlotte's Web, How the West Was Won
24
Sissy Spacek is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
Carrie, Coal Miner's Daughter, In the Bedroom
25
Diane Keaton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time
Annie Hall, Something's Gotta Give, The Godfather