fictional characters The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film  

Ranker Characters
185 votes 92 voters 2.0k views 26 items Embed

Ageism is a long-standing issue in Hollywood. Luckily, that hasn't stopped actresses from bringing some memorable old ladies to life in the movies. Some of these fictional old ladies are cast in the grandmotherly mode and seem optimistic about the future. A few old lady characters, though, are downright resentful of their age and circumstances. These imaginary women are often brought to life by the greatest actresses of all time, and have only gotten better with age.

What memorable roles will you find on this list of the greatest old lady characters in films? Gloria Swanson earned an Academy Award for her portrayal of the aging actress Norma Desmond in the classic film Sunset Boulevard. The film itself mirrors the way that Hollywood disregards its elder actresses in favor of youth. Dina Byrnes, played by Blythe Danner in the Meet the Parents movies, is another great fictional older woman.

Judi Dench is the go-to actress for old women roles. She has played audience-favorite parts including M in the James Bond series and Philomena Lee in Philomena. Other good roles that are featured on this list include Margo Channing from All About Eve and Ninny Threadgoode in Fried Green Tomatoes.

Which fictional old lady do you think is the best? Vote your favorites up to the top of this list and add any roles that are missing.

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Ninny Threadgoode is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Ninny Threadgoode Fried Green Tomatoes

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Daisy Werthan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Daisy Werthan Driving Miss Daisy

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M is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
M Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, Quantum of Solace

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Dame Marjorie "Maude"... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Dame Marjorie "Maude" Chardin Harold and Maude

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Ada Quonsett is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
RobLein added Ada Quonsett Airport

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Minnie Castevet is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
RobLein added Minnie Castevet Rosemary's Baby

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Norma Desmond is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Norma Desmond Sunset Boulevard

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Sarah Morton is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Sarah Morton Swimming Pool

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Veta Louise Simmons is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
RobLein added Veta Louise Simmons Harvey

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Vivi Abbott Walker is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Vivi Abbott Walker Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

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Ethel Thayer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
RobLein added Ethel Thayer On Golden Pond, On Golden Pond

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Doris Miller is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Doris Miller Hello, My Name Is Doris

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Ruth Fowler is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Ruth Fowler In the Bedroom

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Queen Elizabeth II is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Queen Elizabeth II Churchill: The Hollywood Years, The Queen

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Margo Channing is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Margo Channing All About Eve

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Dina Byrnes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Dina Byrnes Meet the Parents, Little Fockers, Meet the Fockers

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Magda is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Magda There's Something About Mary

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Mrs. Robinson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Mrs. Robinson The Graduate

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Landlady is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Landlady Kingpin

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Rosie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Rosie The Wedding Singer

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Erica Barry is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Erica Barry Something's Gotta Give

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Violet Weston is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Violet Weston August: Osage County

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Philomena Lee is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Philomena Lee Philomena

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Julia Lambert is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Julia Lambert Being Julia

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Professor Minerva McGonagall is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Professor Minerva McGonagall Harry Potter series

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Mathilde Girard is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Old Lady Characters in Film
Mathilde Girard My Old Lady