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The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film

Updated 12 Oct 2018 3.1k votes 367 voters 5.6k views26 items

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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.
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