Best Actresses


The Top TenXW

1Meryl StreepMary Louise "Meryl" Streep is an American actress. Cited in the media as the "best actress of her generation", Streep is particularly known for her versatility in her roles, transformation into the characters she plays, and her accent adaptation.

"There's no such thing as the greatest living actress. " - Meryl Streep

For once, Meryl got it wrong. Not only is she a superb actress, the woman was able to maintain a private life, raised 4 kids, keep her 32-yr marriage while sustaining a successful film career.

She never plays the same character twice. That time when she lost the Oscar to Sandra Bullock, I thought, "Well, Meryl could do Sandra's role and be better in it. But I bet my life, Sandra can't and won't be able play Julia Child the way Meryl did it. " She is beyond brilliant. Never one to be physically conscious, Meryl Streep just dives in and do whatever it takes to do justice to the role regardless if she'll look glamorous in it or not.

It's time to STOP praising her as the number one actress. Her last oscar wasn't even an oscar she deserved ( The Iron lady ). Really, who cares about a movie that reflects on the life of one of the worst politicians of all time? That movie is almost praising M. Thatcher, so if you accept a script like that I believe it says all about what Meryl Streep is in real life. Nominated at the same time were Michelle Williams in
" My week with Marilyn " and Rooney Mara in " The girl with the dragon tatoo " and without a doubt these two actresses deserved more than Meryl Streep to win an oscar. If Meryl Streep won an oscar it's because the Hollywood executives knew that " The Iron lady " was a crap movie and without an oscar it would be a non - selling movie that was losing money. It's almost an obsession to most of the people to automaticly perceive a role of Meryl Streep as genius even if it's not. She's too overrated and don't deserve to be called the number one best actress. There are ...more

What do I read there? She even deserved an oscar for " Julie and Julia "? Her nomination for that movie was not even deserved. It should be Amy Adams who deserved an oscar for that movie. Even the real Julie said in a interview that she was impressed by Amy Adam's performance by portraying her. Meryl Streep just raises her voice and she gets a nomination. Being very good in accents and dialects doesn't make your acting skills better. She's just too overrated.

You need to look at her work from the beginning starting with Julia in 1977 and watch them going forward. You would never believe it's the same actress in all those roles. It's so hard to pick one movie, but my favorite is Sophie's Choice. Superb in almost all her work, this movie was perfection.

V232 Comments
2Sandra BullockSandra Annette Bullock is an American actress and producer. She is one of Hollywood's highest-paid actresses, and is an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award winner.

AMAZING! My Favorite with her is The Blind Side! She was absolutely fantastic it was a fantastic and inspirational movie. I cried and laughed and awed more then I can even beginning to explain. She nails every single one of her roles weather is it Comedy, Drama, Romantic, or Action she is a fantastic Actress!

I've seen most of her movies and she is very good
Either she makes me laugh or be hypnotized by her complexion
No one can really say she is a bad actress maybe gets every scene in two takes

She's hilarious, yet very professional in her acting skills. She proves to be an excellent actress by challenging herself and by always bringing smiles to her audience.

Sandra and Angelina are the most action girls

V103 Comments
3Jodie FosterAlicia Christian "Jodie" Foster is an American actress, director and producer who has worked in films and on television. She has often been cited as one of the best actresses of her generation.

Jodie is the best best and best actress in Hollywood. Her performance in contact was so remarkable and I love to see her films, what a super actor, she is a born actress. Silence of the lambs and flight plan all made hit only because of her performance. Beauty with acting in right proportion and SHE IS THE BEST

Prefer her earlier roles as they will stand the test of time. Amazing actress as so believable in most of the roles, just a shame she didn't make wise choices near the end of her career but thankfully can be forgiven

People the list is for best actresses. Is that so difficult too understand.. No doubt its all about Jodie, Winslet and Blanchett (among the recent). I choose JODIE for her 3 decades..

Jodie Foster is such an incredible actress.

V30 Comments
4Angelina Jolie


Her ability to fall into a role and tottaly claim it as her own is unparalleled among actresses. When you watch her movies you will never find yourself thinking why didn't they go with whatshername instead. From Hackers to Mr and Mrs Smith, it was always gonna be Angelina Jolie.

She is the best number 1 for sure
She is an amazing and talented actress that is able to portray many different characters who can mold herself into different roles.
She's pure perfection

Before the sun set on your 16 birthday

V162 Comments
5Nicole KidmanNicole Mary Kidman is an Australian-American actress and film producer. Kidman's breakthrough roles were in the 1989 feature film thriller Dead Calm and television thriller miniseries Bangkok Hilton.

The most amazing actress of our time, and is already a Hollywood icon - in fashion and acting. Classy, gorgeous, poised, incredibly talented and concise of the different roles she always takes, she'll always be the Nicole Kidman that we'll always know who even gives an amount of money to various charities. Fact is, she can steal the show even with just a glimpse of her. Her accent and beauty steals the show, that you forget about everything. Get this - she can actually sing and dance, hence Moulin Rouge (2001). She can do drama, (The Hours, Cold Mountain) horror (The Others) and, she's incredible funny (Bewitched, To Die For, Flirting) while winning awards on the way. She'll probably even win three Oscars with that kind of natural talent, poise, and beauty.

Nicole Kidman is the most beautiful woman in the world. Never Ever in my life I've seen somebody prettier than her. She is a pure goddess... Any time I watch her on the screen I'm spellbound by her gorgeous and luxurious beauty and incredible talent. She's a pure GODDESS and a true talent. Ans I was so disappointed when she didn't won an oscar for Moulin Rouge... How come it didn't happen =(( Her performance is shattering, remarkable, AMAZING, HEART-WRENCHING and totally precious... Very very underrated... I LOVE YOU, NICOLE... YOU ARE THE BEST

She is very good and very very diverse
I liked her in the hours, eyes wide shut, and she was so good in the Others

Very diverse, very talented, always elegant and poised. The hours, dogville... And also in films I don't even like, like Moulin rouge and Australia she's good too. - ChatonNoir

V34 Comments
6Kate WinsletKate Elizabeth Winslet, is an English actress and singer. She is the recipient of an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, four Golden Globe Awards, a Grammy Award, and three BAFTA Awards.

I like very much kate winslet. I really appriciate for titanic movie work.

Come on! Kate Winslet is the epitome of acting, with that kind of grace and beauty Kate is born to be a superstar! And mind you, she's very young still but has achieved greater heights than most of the world's actors. Imagine 20 years from now, and voila, she'll collect thousands of awards again and again. Must watch movies of her: Titanic, The Reader, Heavenly Creatures,... Spotless Mind, and Mildred Pierce. You'll be blown away!

Kate winslet performance in "The Reader" and "Revolutionary Road" is the best performance of her generation because of his extraordinary depth in acting she made it to the top! Kate is simply amazing!

Looks, acting.. She has it all

V105 Comments
7Anne HathawayAnne Jacqueline Hathaway is an American actress and singer. Born in Brooklyn, New York and brought up in Millburn, New Jersey, Hathaway was inspired to act by her mother and as a high school student, was nominated for the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award for Best Performance by a High School Actress more.

I love her! She is amazing in movie she does. She was great in One Day because she showed everything that was needed for an excellent book. She was perfect in Devil Wears Prada. All of her work is thanks to the Princess Diaries!

Her unique acting style captures the heart of her fans, tough and strong both physically and mentally! Not to mention, her beauty! Fabulous actress. Can't wait for this Friday's dark knight rises for a different aura of Catwoman by Anne Hathaway!

unique style and personality. all the others are just the sama. blond hair short skirt high heels and tiny top. SHE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE! - vn

Acting wise she may be a bit behind those names above... A bit, but when it comes to charm she's elegant

V64 Comments
8Emma WatsonEmma Charlotte Duerre Watson is a British actress, model, and activist. Born in Paris and brought up in Oxfordshire, Watson attended the Dragon School as a child and trained as an actress at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts.

Emma Watson is not nearly as talented as any of the others actresses on this list. She does not deserve number 14.

Like it was said many times before. Wooden and banal

Talentless lackluster performances. Not belong on this list at all

Get her off this list.

V194 Comments
9Sigourney Weaver

I had to choose her not only because she is a wonderful actress, playing heroes, damsels, and even villains. She also has such a powerful, commanding voice that let her sneak into such films as Wall-E, Cabin in the Woods, Paul and many others. She may be a sci-fi legend but she's also done many well known comedy and drama movies.

Side note. Whoever put Kristen Stewart on this list needs to be smacked upside the head. That girl has the acting range of a potato.

Come on! How is Sigourney Weaver not no. 1! Has anyone even seen her amazing acting. Watch Alien or Aliens sometime soon. I'd like this list better if you did. - vmacmil-1

What a pleasant surprise to see her in the top ten. She is classy, beautiful, and can even play the villain really well (she made Working Girl a good movie). Richly deserved, she is a top ten actress, though I feel she often gets underrated somehow.

Should win. Nothing she can't do.

V15 Comments
10Julia RobertsJulia Fiona Roberts is an American actress and producer. She became a Hollywood star after headlining the romantic comedy Pretty Woman, which grossed US$464 million worldwide.

I can't stand this actress. Hit her by mistake. Big mistake.

Nasty self centered unimpressive phoney pretentious

No you never have to vote for her to write how you truly feel. Just can't stand her. Sorry. Such a phoney

All she does is cry

V48 Comments

The Newcomers

?Nelly Karim
?Ghada Abdel RazekV1 Comment

The Contenders

11Michelle Pfeiffer

She is absolutely the best, the top and by far, number one. I love her chemistry with her leading men. She makes them shine which is also a tribute to her generosity and her consummate acting ability. She was so vulnerable yet funny with Al Pacino in "Frankie and Johnny" and was surely a stand out with him in the cult classic, "Scarface" She inhabits any role to it's fullest and there's never a question that she's the only choice for that role. She is heaven on earth.

This gorgeous woman is by far one of the most underrated actresses, ever to have graced the screen. She is beyond beautiful and luminous in "The Witches of Eastwick" undefinable in "The Fabulous Baker Boys", absolutely adorable and what comedic timing in "Married to the Mob" and richly authentic "News Year Eve". I even loved her in"Icould never be your woman" what an actress, what a talent, what a beauty and what a mother. Probably a great best friend, as well. Love you, michelle, love you michelle, love you michelle. Oh and thanks so much for your gifts.

Amazing actress in all types of movies. Excellent in Dangerous Minds (1995), Up Close & Personal (1996), The Deep End of the Ocean (1999), What Lies Beneath (2000), I Am Sam (2001), White Oleander (2002), Hairspray (2007).

Top of the line acting. Best ever

V827 Comments
12Helena Bonham-Carter

Here are so many awesome actresses on the list like Maggie Smith or Emma Thompson but HELENA BONHAM CARTER is definitely the best!
Movies like Sweeney Todd, Harry Potter or THE KING's SPEECH are just awesome because of her!

She is pretty and talented and always who she really is and that's why she deserves a much better place on this list! (I'm sorry, I come from Germany, so my English isn't very good. :))

She os one of the most inspiring people on this earth and my number 1!

Helena Bonham-Carter is awesome! She gives you such an eerie feeling when she acts, and it's great. Not many people can pull off her roles. She was great in The King's Speech, Fight Club, Harry Potter, just to name a few. She is also so dark and quirky in real life and I love her for that. She deserves a higher ranking on this list.

Helena Bonham carter is my life. She's is by far the best actress, IN THE WORLD, and will never be beaten. Not only does she portray her characters excellently (The Red Queen, Bellatrix Lestrange, Mrs. Lovett, etc etc) but she is truly a differrent and inspiring person.

Great in tim burton movies, harry potter, cinderella

V45 Comments
13Natalie PortmanNatalie Portman is an actress, film producer and film director with dual American and Israeli citizenship.


I fell in love with this actress in the year of 2008 when I went to see the movie "The other Boleyn girl". Natalie Portman portrayed a capricious and a stubborn character (Anne Boleyn) and blew me away with her outstanding performance. Since then she became my favourite actress and I have enjoyed every movie I've seen her in (yes, even "No strings attached" because she is really cute in it). I was so happy for her when she received her Oscar award because she truly deserved it. She is talented and beautiful. She's got it all. - wafflerain

She is amazing. Her role in Black Swan was not easy to play at all. I respect her for playing such a role because I don't think that any other actress could ever pull it off. And then there's her age. Being so young she's so amazing. So hell yeah! Natalie Portman is the best!

No need any comment further...we'll see for 20 years if I'm right or not!

V47 Comments
14Bette Davis

How dumb some people can get! Bette Davis should be at least in top 5! We're talking about ACTING people! You people who voted for kristen Stewart are obviously not familiar with the term! Kristen Stewart is without a doubt the worst actress of her generati or even of all generations.. I'm not quite sure..! Her silly and pretentious attitude is disgusting! I don't need to refer to her acting again because I suppose my sentiments have become very clear. Whereas Bette Davis is a brilliant actress and has been among the geniuses who founded the industry. Placing "actresses" like Kristen Stewart over her is a huge disrespect. - vicmilano

A Fine Artist: she took roles others wouldn't take, she played variety of characters from tough, evil, murderer, to comedic, endearing, businesslike. I believe she would have won more awards but the voters couldn't take her tough, aggressive persona... she should be number 1, thank you.

There is no beating Bette Davis! Period! She is the ultimate in translating any character to the screen. What other actress in the world could have pulled off Whatever Happened to Baby Jane/ Absolutely
Brilliant a piece of work. The only actress since Davis who can drum up the degree of magnetism on the screen would be Meryl Streep. It is interesting that Davis was Streep's mentor.

She was a very good actress but at the same time she was one of the rudest unlikable persons in hollywood. Some might say that she had to be like that ( in a time when hollywood was strictly a " man's world ) but so was Katharine Hepburn. The only difference is that Katharine Hepburn was never rude and unlikable to her fans and Bette Davis was. Should be ranked lower than Katharine Hepburn. She was talented but not as talented as Katharine Hepburn.

V32 Comments
15Dame Maggie Smith

Dame Maggie is my absolute favorite actress of all time. Her ability to play any character there is makes me truly in awe of her talent. Her performances as Jean Brodie, Judith Hearne, Dianna Barrie and Minerva McGonagall make my heart melt. She truly is the best actress of all time. Highly underrated? Of course. Highly under-appreciated? Yes. But she really is the best.

Harry Potter, Sister Act, Tea with Mussolini, The First Wives Club, Hook, Clash of the Titans... She is great in everything she is in. - heather

I love all the movies I have seen Dame Maggie Smith in. I especially like her part in Hook - my favorite movie of all time - as Grandma Wendy. She also plays the part of Professor McGonagall well. I liked her part in The Secret Garden as well.

Love Professor Mcgonagall

V13 Comments
16Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett's range supersedes any other actor of her generation. She has a chameleon like ability to transform herself into any role. All her performances are of a standard rarely seen. Her depth & emotional connection with audiences is evident in all her films. Her convincing & award winning portrayals of real life characters, such as, movie star, Katherine Hepburn in "Aviator", Queen Elizabeth 1 in "Elizabeth" & Jude Quinn(Bob Dylan)in "I'm Not There", are performed with an unsurpassed honesty, empathy & integrity.

She's completely in a league of her own. In every single performance, she embodies all that the character is meant to be from stunning emotional depth to well though personal touches which gives her characters their own unique traits. She stands out from film to film as one of the most versatile actors in the world. She's undoubtedly the best actor (male/female) of our time!

Don't believe me? Elizabeth, I'm Not There, Babel, Notes on A Scandal...
To name a few, but everything she does is golden.

BY FAR Cate should be number one. Streep is overrated and has no business being number one. It has been said, and I agree, Cate is in a league of her own.

Should be ranked at or near the top, certainly well above many others mentioned on this list; an extraordinarily gifted actress with great range in movies and on stage.

V34 Comments
17Nora Aunor


The ultimate in investing authenticity in her most memorable performances. Her eyes alone can already sear the screen. Magnificent!

Who else? She is the GREATEST ACTRESS in THE PHILIPPINES and also one in the WORLD because of the ACHIEVEMENTS she got From ALL OVER THE WORLD... SHE is A GEM...

She's not worth watching.

V777 Comments
18Keira KnightleyKeira Christina Knightley is an English actress. She began acting as a child on television and made her film debut in 1995. She had a supporting role as Sabé in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and her first significant role came in the psychological horror film The Hole.

She is a wonderful young actress. Her performances in Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, The Duchess and the Edge of Love show that she is developing into a very good actress. In my opinion she should definitely be higher on the list. I think she will become one of the leading actresses of her generation. - VocalMimzy

Awesome performance! Sexy and beautiful body! Should definitely be #1! I mean Pirates of the Carri bean? Come on people!

Keira Knightley is beautiful and an overall amazing actress. I like her the best when she is portraying girls named Elizabeth. Mainly Pride and Prejudice and the Pirates of the Caribbean. Either way she is amazing and I could definitely picture her as number one.

A truly talented actor...I've watched The Atonement like 100 times!

V15 Comments
19Jennifer AnistonJennifer Joanna Aniston is an American actress, producer, and businesswoman. The daughter of Greek actor John Aniston and American actress Nancy Dow, Aniston gained worldwide recognition for portraying Rachel Green on the popular television sitcom Friends, a role which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award, more.

Jennifer Aniston in the top20? Are you for real? Her acting skills didn't improve since her " friends " days. She's just a bad actress when it comes to serious roles. Don't tell me that actresses like for instance Naomi Watts, Rachel McAdams and a lot more ranked lower on this list are less talented than she is. That would be ridiculous. She 's just too overrated because of her popularity in certain circles.

Amazing and Beautiful actress. She's great in all roles she does.

Most underrated actress, she never tries to outshine other characters - a true actor. Subtle.

Amazing actress

V43 Comments
20Charlize Theron

Her performance in Monster was the best acting performance I have ever seen. You just forget she's acting, it's incredible.

A top actress. A well deserved winning Oscar and Golden globe for her performance as serial killer in " Monster ". Nominated for a Oscar and Golden globe for a equally outstanding performance in the movie " North country " and well-reviewed performances for " Young adult ", " The cider house rules ". Also exellent acting in " 2 Days in the valley ", " The Italian job " and the lesser known " Aeon flux " and " The road ". Like every actress who are playing so many diverse characters there were some bad choises made in her career ( I didn't like too much her acting in " The devil's advocate " but that was maybe how she was supposed to play and therefore not her fault ). The percentage of her lesser acting is so little as a matter of fact that it can be seen as " learning from mistakes " and she has proved her talent so many times that it is no doubt to concider her as one of the best actresses of all time.

Her performance in Snow White & The Huntsman really made her shine.

She is not only beautiful. She very talented

V15 Comments
PSearch List

Related Lists

Most Overrated Actors/Actresses Best Indian Actors and Actresses Top 10 Best Actresses In the Philippines Top Ten Black Actresses Top Ten Hottest Bollywood Actresses

List StatsUpdated 26 Oct 2016

29,000 votes
549 listings
10 years, 345 days old

Top Remixes (135)

1. Meryl Streep
2. Julie Andrews
3. Dame Maggie Smith
1. Meryl Streep
2. Jessica Lange
3. Anne Bancroft
1. Meryl Streep
2. Geraldine Page
3. Bette Davis

View All 135


Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.