Culture The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film  

Ranker Film
2.7k votes 317 voters 4.2k 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.

1
99 13
Mildred Pierce is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
2probb_1449163300222 added Mildred Pierce Mildred Pierce, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

2
75 9
Mrs. Gump is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Mrs. Gump Forrest Gump

3
118 24
Erin Brockovich is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Erin Brockovich Erin Brockovich

4
114 23
Sarah Connor is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Sarah Connor The Terminator, Terminator Salvation, Terminator 2: Judgment Day

5
100 21
Lynn Sear is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Lynn Sear The Sixth Sense

6
107 25
Carol Connelly is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Carol Connelly As Good as It Gets

7
97 20
Meg Altman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Meg Altman Panic Room

8
93 18
Mary is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Mary E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

9
96 20
Mrs. Flax is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Mrs. Flax Mermaids

10
105 25
Dorothy Boyd is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Dorothy Boyd Jerry Maguire

11
93 20
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
93 20
Christine Collins is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Christine Collins Changeling

13
87 19
J.C. Wiatt is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
J.C. Wiatt Baby Boom

14
88 21
Dede Tate is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Dede Tate Little Man Tate

15
78 16
Jenny Fields is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
2probb_1449163300222 added Jenny Fields The World According to Garp

16
85 20
Mrs. Brisby is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Mrs. Brisby The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue, The Secret of NIMH

17
83 19
Fiona Brewer is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Fiona Brewer About a Boy

18
80 20
Dahlia is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Dahlia Dark Water

19
81 22
Alice Hyatt is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Alice Hyatt Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

20
78 22
Molly is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Molly Cyrus

21
77 24
Ms. Cartman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Ms. Cartman South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

22
51 10
Annie Hughes is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Annie Hughes The Iron Giant

23
79 33
Margaret White is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Margaret White Carrie, Carrie

24
40 21
Lady Tremaine is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Lady Tremaine Cinderella, Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, Cinderella III: A Twist in Time

25
13 3
Mrs. Jumbo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Mrs. Jumbo Dumbo

26
36 99
Joan Crawford is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Single Mother Characters in Film
Joan Crawford Mommie Dearest