Top Ten Black Actresses

Talented, beautiful and all too often overlooked, these are the very best black actresses. Hopefully some of the recent accolades directed towards these women will bring them even more prominent and important roles in films to come. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Halle Berry
I have been one of her fans for a long run! I've seen almost all her movies! I am so glad she made oscar history by being the first black woman to win best actress for her wonderful performance in Monster's Ball!
I love this actress. Her skills shows in everything she does. I have been a fan for over 10 years. I will continue to show my support. I am waiting to see more things from her in the future
[Newest]Pretty sexy nice ass

2Whoopi Goldberg
No doubt! Whoopi is #1 here


She is the most succesful black actress according to box office and the oscars.


She's believable, versatile, talented, endearing and in possession of brilliant comedic timing.
[Newest]So awesome so talented! Why the heck not choose her?

3Angela Bassett
I love Angela Bassett. I think she's beautiful and graceful. She sets a perfect example for actresses like myself. I had the pleasure of meeting her once and she told me to be persistent. I will always remember and forver be greatful for that encounter.
Tiara Williams
I like Angela Bassett because she is talented, and she can make even a bad film tolerable. I have seen in various films and television shows, that showed off her talent, and I think that what makes a part of this top ten.
I know for a fact that Angela Basset is an aspiring and great person t look up to. I love her work and she was the perfect person to play Tina Turner. I look up to her and she has inspired me
[Newest]She is simply put "Beautiful"

Raven-Symone is Voted the best Black Actress of all-Time because she Truly is. She is not Overrated like Halle Berry because her Ethnicity she can actually Act, and is Kind to everyone she meets. Raven also can Sing, Rap, Act, and Produce.
rose from a show in Disney and becoming very popular


The best Actress Ever, and should be doing big things in 2010.. We haven't seen much of her lately
She is incredibly sweet and an excellent actress. Plus she is beautiful and can sing, very kind and humble


5Thandie Newton
so beautiful and talented its amazing she doesnt own Hollywood!!
definately one of the better actresses. She was superb in Beloved, Crash and MI but also some of her lesser known british films
Thandie newton is a class act, an excellent pure talented actor, all her roles are extrememy box office material; Perfect personality, more beautiiful then all the 10 actress listed, her private life is private and thandie is always in a perfect performance I reiterate the perfect actor, lady, human eing
[Newest]She was great in good deeds

6Gabriel Union
She looks and acts like the perfect angel. Gorgeous, sexy and very talented.
Just love her! Very Good actress, I know for a fact she is one of the best ones out there, I think so anyway..
I Love her so much
Beautiful & talented woman!
[Newest]I am upset that you guys have her name spelled wrong. I love her though. Stunningly gorgeous and seems like she is an all around positive person to be around on and off screen. I watched a documentary about her visiting China to take part firsthand bringing awareness to young girls and education. It was beautiful.

7Viola Davis
It's ridiculous that she isn't at LEAST in the top 5. Not only is she one of the best black actresses working today, she's one of the best actresses working PERIOD. I don't know if everyone here hasn't seen Doubt, The Help, or Fences but by seeing her so far on this list I'm just gonna assume that no one has. Viola Davis is one of the best actresses working today.
A wonderful actress who brings passion and dignity to the screen
She was amazing in The Help!
[Newest]She acts good in her movies

8Octavia Spencer
She's the best she started from nothing and now an oscar winning actor I love her acting so much
Love her acting wish she had gotten the role in the Butler!
Octavia Spencer is an amazing actress. I loved her in The Help, she was hilarious!

9Queen Latifah
Come On! Quenn Latifah should be much further up then this are you kidding? Have you not seen The Secret Life Of Bees?


She looks good and I love hearing her voice very soothing! Can relax when ever a queen latifah movie is on! Very good actress
Like her voice and his commitment in acting as she is simply actress. She may give the best shot in every movie she act
[Newest]The Queen has so many talents it's hard to talk about all of then at once, but all in all she's amazing.

10Pam Grier
Beautiful, sexy and used the camera to her benefit. Not many new stars can
Measure up to her.
None like her today. No comparison... Awesome Awemsome... Unbelievable is I can say... Endless love for this lady... Utmost quality... Epitome of talent beauty and brains... All rolled into one... What more can one ask for
Going to a party and have to dress as favorite ac tor and Pam it is wish me luck

The Contenders

11Vanessa Williams
Very versatile and talented actress/singer. Not to mention Underrated and overlooked!


Beautiful and good actress
Hard working beautiful woman, who also happened to be black, and beautiful, as said earlier. definitely. top 10!

12Nia Long
Nia Long is a powerful, black actress.She brings so much force and intensity to a movie "The Best Man" she gave an outstanding performance and have a unique beauty I wish we seen her more often.
She has great potential. I love her.
Underrated power actress that is remembered too much for Friday and not enough for "Love Jones" and "Are we there yet"

13Kimberly Elise
Honestly, this woman is severely underrated.. I wish I could see more from her, she can play any part, she is not the most beautiful but surely the most dedicated. Kimberly elise has to be the only actress I see to come on looking horrible and acting broken. Then totally switch to a role of strong and radiantly gorgeous character
Easily one of the best young actress around. A true scene stealer in just about everything she does. Commands attention on screen without having to remove her clothes. Top shelf.
Someone must have been napping, this fine actress belongs in the top 10. Let's put it this way, she will be the next black actress to win an Oscar, wait and see.

14Ruby Dee
Great on screen presence and longevity


15Taraji P. Henson
I thank she is wonderful, I have enjoyed every movie she has appeared in. She has been great as a supportive actress. I know she would be great in a lead role. So please give her the recognition she deserves.
She is Hot Hot Hot! Loved her since 'Baby Boy'! Cried at 'I Can Do Bad By My Self'. Rejoiced when she got got Oscar nod for ;Benjamin.. As Brad "Mom".
She puts everything into every role she plays. She's versatile and never loses her femininity in any role.
[Newest]This is an outrage she is so good in empire

16Loretta Devine
This woman is phenominal. No matter what she is in, I stop to see her perform. I am always proud to say to anyone else that she is an educated woman and can act with the very best.
Excellent actress, would like to see her on this list

17Sanaa Lathan
sanaa should be number 1 she is gorgeous andd she starred in the best movie ever love and basketball also she has her own natural hair and she is a philanthripist. she's amazing


I loved her in Love and Basketball. I know that movie is loved by everyone because of her perfomace with Omar Epps. They both did the damn thing! I give her props for that one. And also for Brown Sugar and AVP.
Hands down. Did you see her in the family that prays. She was an evil bitch. She was also in love and Basketball which was a good movie.
[Newest]Single, beautiful, talented... Sweet Brown Sugar! None better!

18Alfre Woodard
I could not believe she was not on this list. She is an outstanding actress.
Truly a great actress. This list got it wrong because all the great actresses are not at the top of the list.
She has truly made history. Hands down the greatest actress to ever live.

19Regina King
Regina is great actress. She needs more work. I remember growing up with her on "227". Who would thought, she had such an edge to herself
Regina is not seen often enough, another very beautiful good actress
Great actor, does multiple roles well. Comedy and drama. Under-rated
[Newest]She chooses excellent diverse roles, very talented sister!

20Oprah Winfrey
This women should be way up that list people need to realize the influential roles that she has chosen to do and do well.

21Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada Pinkett plays good in all her roles. She's very beautiful and she knows how to act.
She's the best actress remember the set it off movies she is so greater

22Rosario Dawson
Her acting is flawless and she looks like me! Her roles are versatile and she really gets into character for every film
love her acting in the movie LIGHT IT UP next to usher gosh I would watch dat movie all day
Has so much feeling in her craft!

23Lupita Nyong'o
She rocks, it doesn't get better than this. The darker the berry the sweeter the juice.
No she should be taken of the list,
I'm tired of her being shoved down my throat.

24Jennifer Hudson
An oscar award, she overshadows Beyonce in Dreamgirls! She can sing really well and also being well recognised as a great singer and role model.
THIS is who should play Nina Simone! Very similar facial features,
Amazing vocalist, & talented actress. Remember dream girls?
One of the best young actress 2 come around in awhile dream girl is an all time favorite

25Phylicia Rashad
Overshadowed by Bill Cosby and the small children on the Cosby Show she is under appreciated and overlooked for her talents. Watching her guest star in various roles on other series allows one to truly see the pure talent and ability she has to hold her own and even rise above the talent around her. She makes others look even better.
One of the most beautiful and convincing T.V. actresses!

26Kerry Washington
Kerry is by far one of the most talented actresses on the big and small screens. It's amazing she's not in the top five of this list or any other list. Her humility and work ethic makes her an example for all to follow. I've seen many of her movies and she brings 200% to each role. I love that her private life is just that... "Private". Her legacy on and off the screen will go on forever. I hope she wins the Emmy. Not because she will be the first black actress to win, but because she deserves to win. AND SHE DOES DESERVE TO WIN IT!
Kerry Washington should definitely be in the top list of 10 black actresses. She has done amazing work from save the last dance, to The Last King of Scotland. I aspire to have a career as diverse and interesting as hers.
Best black actress and one of the most beautiful women in the world. Put $ that she will become one of the best actresses of any ethnic background

27Naomi Harris
When it comes to acting Naomi Harris is the best black actress by miles. White Teeth, 28 Days and Pirates of the Caribbean.

28Marianne Jean-Baptiste

29Whitney Houston
She is one of the most successful singer turned actress and producer without a flop to her name.

30Tisha Campbell-Martin
She is funny pretty too

31Meagan Good
She's the impossible, the hope of all, beautiful, cute, sexy, sweet, (I hope), loveable, adorable, inspirational... Hot, edgy, street, fun, hood, suburbia, and all of the above... MY WIFE...! Soon to be my life...
Meagan good is the most beautiful african american actress
all I can say is this girl is too hot for t. v. this girl is one of my favorite I wish she was mine
[Newest]She is hot women

32Tika Sumpter
Be sure to watch her on THE haves And The Have Nots. what talent.

33Cicely Tyson
She's phenomenal. Period. What's sad is that as iconic and influential as she has been to women like Viola Davis, Oprah, and Angela Bassett, she is not universally known to the younger generation, and THAT is the definition of tragic.
Cicely Tyson is by far the best actress of any race to have ever acted and also the most unrecognized and underrated ever.
Incredible range, every performance that I've seen was absorbing. One of best actors of any sex.
[Newest]She should be in the top 5 if not #1. This is outrageous.

34Tamala Jones
She is a great Actress she, and is very attractive. She was Chris Rock love interest in the Head Of State.

35Carmen Ejogo

36Dorothy Dandridge
Dorothy Dandridge has to be the MOST GREATEST actress ever... she was the first African-American woman to appear at the Las Vegas Frontier and to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress!.. She broke color lines back then... she is the person that gives confidence and inspiration to African-American actresses and inspiring actresses, like myself, to go out for those big roles!
I CAN'T believe you people have Dorothy at no. 17! It's obvious that you don't know great actresses when you see them. This list is bias! How can you rate actresses that are alive with actresses that are NOT ALIVE! Sorry! I hate this listing!
she was wonderful and very beautiful.

37Hattie McDaniel
Had one of the great comebacks of all-time when black journalists criticized her for playing maids. "I'd rather play a maid than be one, " said Hattie.
One of the true "original black actresses". The FIRST African-American to win an Oscar.

38Zoe Saldana
I discovered zoe in Centerstage. she is multitalented, a terrific dancer and a fabulous actress. its a shame she's not in more films. in crossroads her role was to overact, but in centerstage, she's easygoing and relaxed
She's played in Crossroads, and although maybe over-acted a little, she seems funny. And she was great in the small part of Anamarie in Pirates 1.
Definitely a star on the rise! Love everything she has done the last few years.
[Newest]The lady can dance, act and she is not only beautiful but has personality to go with that.

39Jordin Sparks
Love her and she can sing

40Yaourou Konate
Beautiful model and good actress
The best Beautiful women...

41CCH Pounder
one of the most overlooked actresses of all

42Beyonce Knowles
The thing with beyonce is that she is more versatile when it comes to acting. As she can act in a dramatic film - obsessed
an action film - obsessed
a comedy - the pink panther and austin powers:goldmember
BUT, she can also act in a musical film because of her being a singer also as she's acted in dreamgirls. This makes her a better actress as most of the other actresses do not have a good enough voice to act in a musical.


For what I've known of Beyonce... She's so perfect in talent... She have a lots of talents.. Not only as a singer, but she can do actor, a stylist and also she can dance. So I think that Beyonce should be in the above list the top ten...
She is the best and always will did you not see her movies or what

43Elise Neal
She's just an amazing' actress period. Been in the game for along time and she still looks beautiful as ever!
Elise Neal is the finest. Malinda Williams is fine too.
I like Elise Neal she playsed Tia on All of Us

44Sheila Frazier
Very pretty in Neil Simon's California Suite. Hope to meet her some day.

45Lonette McKee
I'm 25 yrs old and most would be surprised I even know who this woman is, but she's one of my favorites... Sparkle is my favorite movies. I still watch clips of this woman on YouTube lol
I really wished she had gotten more significant parts in movies. She really has acting chops. She should have been pushed long before someone like Halle Berry :-/

46Lynn Whitfield
I'll say this. She's a great actress and a total fox. I imagine that she's my drama teacher ('because I'm sure she could teach it well) and that I have a thing for her, then we eventually make love on the sofa of the drama room. That's how great I think she is, in more than one way.
In her appearances on Martin and The Cheetah Girls 2, she looked smoking hot that I couldn't control myself. If I ever met her in the street and she looked the way she did then, I'd grab that sweet ass and kiss her hard. It's a compliment.
A very beautiful underrated actress from the old school who deserves more leading roles in a time that's short on black actresses that don't have talent but just good looks.

47Paula Patton
I like to see her do more work. I think there is something to her. I enjoyed her performance in Idlewild. She really resonates with the camera. I hope one day she can give Halle Berry a run for her money. She's just as pretty and more importantly...she can Act, unlike Ms. Berry

Did she get a grammy for Precious laugh out loud but for real I don't have cable! But even before Precious I have always loved Mo'Nique... she is truly an inspiration!

49Angelle Brooks
Beautiful and acts so refined. Her films include Ritual (2000), The TV series V. I. P.
Very Beautiful, I like her role in one of Martins sitcom.. Plus she has a good voice.. Know I would love to meet this women!

Aaliyah had great success with her Dance skills her beauty and her acting skills and music she was a entertainer she could do it all her Dance moves were precise and good her acting was really good too, Queen of the Damned was her role of portraying a vampire she made Queen Akasha look so scary channel T.V. guide's ranked her number 18 on T.V. guide's sexiest beasts of All time she is a great Dancer, singer and actress love Aaliyah.
She was amazing in Romeo Must Die with Jet Li... it's jst a pity we didn't get to see more of her. She was the evil Queen In Queen Of The Damned as well.
Aaliyah is a legend and was an incredible actress who was destined for so much success, shame she's no longer with us :'(
[Newest]I wish she was still here. Man she looks so beautiful.

51Vonetta McGee

52Paula Kelly

53Heather Headley
drop dead gorgeous, fierce yet with a dose of simplicity and great charm on the stage, an immense strength shining from somewhere within... but when her mouth opens and her voice takes flight, oh man, nobody can sing and act Aida like she does. Beyonce doesn't stand a chance.

54Alicia Keys
Was in the movie The Secret Life of Bees. Just starting to act.


55Tania Benjamin

56Taís Araújo
Brazilian actress who became the first black actress to appear as a main character in a telenovela (soap) on Brazilian television.


57Gloria Hendry

58Margaret Avery
Ms. Avery is a screen legend and acting Royalty. Her emmy-nominated performance in 'the color purple' is unforgettable. As a young child, I remember watching her play "shug" and thinking "if she's beautiful, successful and colored" (as my grandma used to say) than I can be, too.

59Porter McKenna Posey
Kady, My wife and kids, Sure she's only a child actress but she's an extremely natural talent and will no doubt go on to be a very good adult actress.

60Diana Sands

61Rosalind Cash

62Aissa Maiga
French Actress who is one of the highest paid black women in Europe.


63Tamara Dobson
I want to join
Please help me

64Josephine Baker
"Baker was the first African American female to star in a major motion picture, to integrate an American concert hall, and to become a world-famous entertainer. (wikipedia)" she broke the glass ceiling for all these other women. she was a visionary and revolutionary and knew how to sell the goods. she rocks on forEVER.
Above all others! She is who we are and what we should all hope to be. So many firsts came from this visionary and revolutionary artist. ALL Americans should know about her and what she did not just as an artist but a person, most of all BLACK AMERICA!
Love her. Saw her in Newark, N.J. when I was about nine years old..
Being a shy kid I did not go to the stage when she (Ms Baker) asked the children in the audience to come to the stage to receive a gift.. It was a silk handkerchief... Now I am 71 years and still wish I had gone to meet her.. Chmaroki4

65Ildi Silva
Brazilian television actress. She was discovered on the streets of Salvador and became a model.


66Jasmine Guy

67Monyque Thompson Scott
She's the brilliant actress from Lie To Me, Touye Pwen, and Champion Road 1 & 2. Not only is she beautiful, but she's uber talented... definitely leading lady material. Sexy, intelligent, powerful, and an action star. What more can I say?


68Stacey Dash
Still looks like a teenager


70Kyla Pratt

71Quvenzhané Wallis

72Wanda Sykes
Funny funny funny! Not a dull moment!

73Regina Hall

74Sophie Okonedo
Hotel Rwanda, Secret Life of Bees and Skin were really good because of Spohie's stupendous acting skills!
Beautiful. Talented. Among the best. Period.

75Debbie Allen
Loved her in the T.V. Series Fame, as Lydia Grant. Great actress and dancer.



77Diahann Carroll

78Gina Torres
Beautiful and sexy and is a really good actor
Tina is a super actress and so sexy

79Jessica Parker Kennedy

80Denise Nicholas

81Skai Jackson
She hasn't been acting for long because she's 10, but she plays the amazing role of Zuri Ross in the Disney Channel show JESSIE. I think that they couldn't have chosen a cuter and better actress than her! With her sass and her cuteness than you've got yourself the best Zuri Ross on the market.
She is just amazing for her age.


82China Anne McClain

83Willow Smith

84Tatyana Ali

85Tyler Perry
This says female. Not to be rude or anything.
He the best at of all

86Monique Coleman

87Sara Martins

88Sierra McClain

89Kim Fields
I don't know who came up with this list but I think it's favoritism more than reality. Some really good actresses were overlooked or rated far below their talent level...

90Tia Mowry

91Vivica A. Fox
Aside from being exceptionally beautiful, sexy and classy, Vivica is A FOX who has superb acting skills. She is great in film and on stage. I think she was especially dynamic in "Two Can Play That Game. "
She be in the top 10 if not #1 she has style, class, beauty, she just it going. I just love the woman to death.
She has made so many crossovers

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This list was created 8 years, 348 days ago and has been voted on over 7,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 6 times.

Updated Friday, April 17, 2015

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