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List of Famous Silent Film Actresses

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List of famous silent film actresses, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top silent film actresses in the world? This includes the most prominent silent film actresses, living and dead, both in America and abroad. Silent film buffs will also enjoy the best silent films available for online streaming and the best horror films from the 1920s silent era. This list of notable silent film actresses is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic silent film actresses were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned silent film actresses.

With silent movie stars ranging from Olive Thomas to Lillian Gish, this is a great starting point for a list of your favorite female silent film actors.

From reputable, prominent, and well known silent film actresses to the lesser known silent film actresses of today, these are some of the best professionals in the silent film actress field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous silent film actresses ever?" and "What are the names of famous silent film actresses?" then you're in the right place. 

  • Gladys Louise Smith (April 8, 1892 – May 29, 1979), known professionally as Mary Pickford, was a Canadian-born American film actress and producer. With a career spanning 50 years, she was a...  more

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  • Mary Louise Brooks (November 14, 1906 – August 8, 1985), known professionally as Louise Brooks, was an American film actress and dancer during the 1920s and 1930s. She is noted as a flapper icon and...  more
  • Lillian Diana Gish (October 14, 1893 – February 27, 1993) was an American pioneering actress of the screen and stage, as well as a director and writer. Her film acting career spanned 75 years, from...  more
  • Norma Marie Talmadge (May 2, 1894 – December 24, 1957) was an American actress and film producer of the silent era. A major box-office draw for more than a decade, her career reached a peak in the...  more
  • Olive Thomas (born Oliva R. Duffy; October 20, 1894 – September 10, 1920) was an American silent-film actress and model. Thomas began her career as an illustrator's model in 1914, and moved on to the...  more
  • Mabel Ethelreid Normand (November 10, 1892 – February 23, 1930) was an American silent-film actress, screenwriter, director, and producer. She was a popular star and collaborator of Mack Sennett in...  more

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  • Gloria May Josephine Swanson (March 27, 1899 – April 4, 1983) was an American actress and producer. A major Hollywood star of the silent era, she later achieved widespread critical acclaim and...  more

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  • Marion Cecilia Davies (born Marion Cecilia Elizabeth Brooklyn Douras; January 3, 1897 – September 22, 1961) was an American film actress, producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist. Davies appeared...  more
  • Barbara La Marr (born Reatha Dale Watson; July 28, 1896 – January 30, 1926) was an American film actress and screenwriter who appeared in 27 films during her career between 1920 and 1926. La Marr was...  more
  • Sarah Blanche Sweet (June 18, 1896 – September 6, 1986) was an American silent film actress who began her career in the earliest days of the Hollywood motion picture film industry....  more
  • Pola Negri (; born Apolonia Chałupec; 3 January 1897 – 1 August 1987) was a Polish stage and film actress and singer who achieved worldwide fame during the silent and golden eras of Hollywood and...  more
  • Constance Alice Talmadge (April 19, 1898 – November 23, 1973) was an American silent film star. She was the sister of actresses Norma and Natalie Talmadge....  more
  • Dorothy Elizabeth Gish (March 11, 1898 – June 4, 1968) was an American actress of the screen and stage, as well as a director and writer. Dorothy and her older sister Lillian Gish were major movie...  more
  • Annette Marie Sarah Kellermann (6 July 1887 – 6 November 1975) was an Australian professional swimmer, vaudeville star, film actress, and writer. Kellermann was one of the first women to wear a...  more
  • Florence Lawrence (born Florence Annie Bridgwood; January 2, 1886 – December 28, 1938) was a Canadian-American stage performer and film actress. She is often referred to as the "first movie star,"...  more
  • Lupe Vélez

    María Guadalupe Villalobos Vélez (July 18, 1908 – December 14, 1944), known professionally as Lupe Vélez, was a Mexican-born stage and screen actress, comedian, singer, dancer, and vedette. Vélez...  more


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  • Theda Bara ( THEE-də BARR-ə; born Theodosia Burr Goodman; July 29, 1885 – April 7, 1955) was an American silent film and stage actress.Bara was one of the most popular actresses of the silent era,...  more
  • Florence Lee can refer to: Florence Lee (born 1864), American actress Florence Lee (born 1888), American actress...  more
  • Mary Miles Minter (born Juliet Reilly; April 25, 1902 – August 4, 1984) was an American actress. She appeared in 53 silent era films from 1912 to 1923. In 1922, Minter was involved in a scandal...  more
  • Virginia Caroline Rappe (; July 7, 1895 – September 9, 1921) was an American model and silent film actress. She worked mostly in small bit parts, and is best known for her death after attending a...  more

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  • Mae Marsh (born Mary Wayne Marsh; November 9, 1894 – February 13, 1968) was an American film actress with a career spanning over 50 years....  more
  • Mary Maguire Alden (June 18, 1883 – July 2, 1946) was an American motion picture and stage actress. She was one of the first Broadway actresses to work in Hollywood. ...  more
  • Renée Adorée (born Jeanne de la Fonte; 30 September 1898 – 5 October 1933) was a French actress who appeared in Hollywood silent movies during the 1920s. She is most famous for her role as Melisande...  more
  • Claire McDowell (November 2, 1877 – October 23, 1966) was an American actress of the silent era. She appeared in 350 films between 1908 and 1945....  more
  • Clara Gordon Bow (; July 29, 1905 – September 27, 1965) was an American actress who rose to stardom in silent film during the 1920s and successfully made the transition to "talkies" after 1927. Her...  more

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    #104 of 206 The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time#824 of 1,883 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History