Parenting The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film  

Ranker Film
2.8k votes 326 voters 4.3k views 26 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite characters

Most mothers will do anything for their children – and that includes the fictional ones, too. That maternal instinct has proven inspiring for Hollywood screenwriters, and over the years they've penned a number of memorable single mother characters in their movies. Whether these fictional figures are fighting for custody of their kids, trying to make their way in the world, or even struggling for survival, the women on this list are some of the greatest fictional single moms of all time.

So, who is the greatest single mother character in film history? Maybe it's the eternally tough Sarah Conner, as played by Linda Hamilton in the Terminator films. She battled evil cyborgs and her own sanity to protect her son John's future. Or maybe it's Dorothy Boyd, who captured moviegoers' hearts in Cameron Crowe's classic 1996 film Jerry Maguire. And who could forget Erin Brockovich? The real-life woman who inspired the Julia Roberts-starring movie fought for environmental regulations for a small town. But not every single mother on this list is the maternal type. Margaret White (Carrie) and Joan Crawford (Mommie Dearest) are the kinds of single moms who would make you think twice about breaking curfew.

Which single mom character is your favorite? Vote up the fictional women that you find the most inspiring or iconic, and vote down those that don't quite make the cut. Remember to add in any characters that were overlooked, too.
list ordered by

1
78 9
Mrs. Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Forrest Gump

2
99 15
Mildred Pierce is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
2probb_1449163300222 added Mildred Pierce, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

3
117 25
Sarah Connor is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
The Terminator, Terminator Salvation, Terminator 2: Judgment Day

4
121 27
Erin Brockovich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Erin Brockovich

5
103 22
Lynn Sear is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
The Sixth Sense

6
95 19
Mary is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Mary E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

7
108 27
Carol Connelly is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
As Good as It Gets

8
106 26
Dorothy Boyd is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Jerry Maguire

9
98 22
Meg Altman is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Panic Room

10
98 24
Mrs. Flax is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Mrs. Flax Mermaids

11
94 22
Mollie Ubriacco is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Mollie Ubriacco Look Who's Talking Now, Look Who's Talking, Look Who's Talking Too

12
94 22
Christine Collins is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Changeling

13
88 21
J.C. Wiatt is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
J.C. Wiatt Baby Boom

14
86 21
Mrs. Brisby is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Tom Islava added The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue, The Secret of NIMH

15
84 21
Fiona Brewer is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Fiona Brewer About a Boy

16
78 18
Jenny Fields is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
2probb_1449163300222 added Jenny Fields The World According to Garp

17
88 24
Dede Tate is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Little Man Tate

18
80 22
Dahlia is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Dahlia Dark Water

19
82 24
Alice Hyatt is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

20
78 24
Molly is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Molly Cyrus

21
52 11
Annie Hughes is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Tom Islava added The Iron Giant

22
77 29
Ms. Cartman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Tom Islava added South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

23
79 38
Margaret White is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Carrie, Carrie

24
17 3
Mrs. Jumbo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Dumbo

25
42 26
Lady Tremaine is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Cinderella, Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, Cinderella III: A Twist in Time

26
38 103
Joan Crawford is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Mommie Dearest