Top 10 Greatest 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.
The Top Ten
1 Halle Berry Halle Maria Berry is an American actress. Berry won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the romantic drama Monster's Ball. As of 2018, she is the only black woman to have won the award.

Of course, I have to go with my girl Halle Berry! I've always been extremely impressed with her acting skills from the beginning. I do have many others that I also admire and consider to be great actresses, but we can only choose one! Halle stands out as a great black female actress.

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!

2 Angela Bassett Angela Evelyn Bassett is an American actress and activist. She is best known for her biographical film roles, most notably her performance as Tina Turner in the biopic What's Love Got to Do with It, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won a corresponding Golden Globe... read more

Angela Bassett is the most graceful, beautiful, talented, and passionate actress to ever take the screen. She is very selective about her roles and doesn't take any film just for the money or the co-star list. Beautiful and poised, she is my acting role model, and I want to be just like her.

I like Angela Bassett because she is talented and can make even a bad film tolerable. I have seen her in various films and television shows which showcased her talent, and I think that's what makes her a part of this top ten.

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 forever be grateful for that encounter.
Tiara Williams

3 Whoopi Goldberg Caryn Elaine Johnson, known professionally by her stage name Whoopi Goldberg, is an American actress, comedian, and television host.

I love Whoopi so much. The fact that she is an EGOT - she has an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award - is amazing. When will she get the respect and notoriety that she has long deserved? Whoopi should be in at least two movies a year. What's the problem? Discrimination...

She's believable, versatile, talented, endearing, and possesses brilliant comedic timing.

So awesome, so talented! Why the heck not choose her?

4 Queen Latifah Dana Elaine Owens, known professionally by her stage name Queen Latifah, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, model, television producer, record producer, comedian, and talk show host.

Queen Latifah is the sweetest black woman I can ever adore. She has a resemblance to Ice Cube but with her unique charm. I appreciate her presence and charisma. She might be thick and big-boned, but she still has a sexy body. I like the way God created her, and she's still a fine sweet honey. I hope people aren't judging her based on her size, as that would be unacceptable, inappropriate, and out of hand. But she's alright. I just had a little crush on Queen Latifah, that's all.

Queen Latifah is indeed the prettiest black actress I have ever seen. She should be in first place because she is the most beautiful singer and actress in the universe.

5 Raven-Symoné Raven-Symoné Christina Pearman, sometimes credited as Raven, is an American actress, singer, songwriter, television personality, and producer.

Raven-Symoné is voted the best Black actress of all time because she truly is. She is not overrated like Halle Berry due to her ethnicity. She can actually act and is kind to everyone she meets. Raven also can sing, rap, act, and produce.

Raven-Symoné is quickly leaving a legacy behind as she continues to be a force in the entertainment world. She is a former child star showing no signs of stopping. She is talented in music, producing, and cooking, as well as acting.

I used to watch That's So Raven all the time and I still love her! She is the best there is. This is especially true since all these new Disney shows came out, which are not even good.

6 Gabrielle Union Gabrielle Monique Union-Wade is an American actress. She began her career in 1990s, appearing on television sitcoms, before landing supporting roles in teen comedy films She's All That and 10 Things I Hate About You.

I love her, though. She is stunningly gorgeous and seems like an all-around positive person to be around on and off screen. I watched a documentary about her visiting China to take part firsthand in bringing awareness to young girls and education. It was beautiful.

The only woman to leave me speechless just by looking at her. She can pull off any look: bedroom temptress, sexy evening dress. Heck, she would look good in a potato sack. The only question is, does the personality match her looks?

Just love her! Very good actress. I know for a fact she is one of the best ones out there, I think so anyway.

7 Thandie Newton Melanie Thandiwe Newton OBE (born 6 November 1972), formerly credited as Thandie Newton, is a British actress. She has received various awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award and a BAFTA TV Award, in addition to nominations for two Golden Globe Awards. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the... read more

Thandie Newton is a class act, an excellent and purely talented actor. All her roles are extremely box office material. She has a perfect personality and is more beautiful than all the 10 actresses listed. Her private life is private, and Thandie always delivers a perfect performance. I reiterate, she is the perfect actor, lady, and human being.

Should be listed among the top ten actresses, period.

8 Nia Long

Nia Long is a powerful, black actress. She brings so much force and intensity to a movie. In "The Best Man," she gave an outstanding performance and has a unique beauty. I wish we saw her more often.

I can really relate to Nia Long in the documentary Behind the Color Line.

She has great potential. I love her.

9 Viola Davis Viola Davis is an American actress and producer. After graduating from the Juilliard School in 1993, Davis began her career on stage and won an Obie Award in 1999 for her performance as Ruby McCollum in Everybody's Ruby.

It's ridiculous that she isn't at least in the top 5. Not only is Viola Davis one of the best black actresses working today, but she's also one of the best actresses overall. Her performances in Doubt, The Help, and Fences should speak volumes. Assuming no one has seen these films based on her ranking is disappointing. Viola Davis truly is one of the best actresses working today.

How to Get Away with Murder, Widows, The Help, Fences - these are some of the amazing movies and TV shows Viola Davis has starred in throughout her long acting career, yet she is still terribly underrated. She is a very versatile actress and puts a lot of effort into making her characters both realistic and expressive.

Viola Davis truly deserves more respect and recognition!

10 Lupita Nyong'o

Right up there with Emma Stone as one of the greatest actresses of this current generation.

I loved her performance in 12 Years a Slave, and although I haven't seen Us, it looks promising.

She rocks, it doesn't get better than this. The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice.

The Newcomers

? Femi Taylor
? Gail Fisher
The Contenders
11 Pam Grier Pamela Suzette Grier is an American actress. Grier became known in the early 1970s for starring in a string of 1970s women in prison and blaxploitation films such as The Big Bird Cage, Coffy, Foxy Brown, and Sheba, Baby.

Best Actress, bar none. Black, White, Red, Orange - her courage and fire! O Lord, can someone please dig up the movies from the '70s featuring Pam Grier? Halle Berry tried to bring it in Monster's Ball and was rewarded with an Oscar!

None like her today. No comparison. Awesome, awesome. Unbelievable is all 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?

Beautiful, sexy, and used the camera to her benefit. Not many new stars can measure up to her.

12 Kellie Shanygne Williams Kellie Shanygne Williams is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Laura Lee Winslow, the middle child of Carl and Harriette Winslow, as well as the object of Steve Urkle's affection on the ABC/CBS television series Family Matters which ran from 1989–1998.
13 Uzo Aduba
14 Meagan Good Meagan Monique Good-Franklin is an American actress. Beginning her career in 1985 at the age of four, Good has appeared in numerous television shows, films, and music videos.

She's the impossible, the hope of all, beautiful, cute, sexy, sweet (I hope), loveable, adorable, and inspirational. She is also hot, edgy, street, fun, hood, suburbia, and all of the above. She is my wife... Soon to be my life.

All I can say is she deserves to be at the top of the list. Oh God, she is so fine.

15 Tisha Campbell-Martin
16 Phylicia Rashad

Overshadowed by Bill Cosby and the small children on The Cosby Show, Phylicia Rashad is underappreciated and overlooked for her talents. Watching her guest star in various roles on other series allows one to truly see her pure talent and ability to hold her own and even elevate the talent around her. She makes others look even better.

One of the most beautiful and convincing TV actresses!

17 Oprah Winfrey Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist.

Oprah Winfrey is an amazing actress and she does not disappoint. The triumphant role that she played as Annie Lee Cooper in Selma was phenomenal. She was also wonderful in The Butler. She deserves to be on the actual list. It's a disgrace that she is not above 19th place. She is an actress that leaves me dumbfounded.

This woman should be way up that list. People need to realize the influential roles that she has chosen to do and done well.

18 Zoe Saldana Zoë Yadira Saldaña Nazario (born June 19, 1978) is an American actress and dancer. Following her performances with the theater group Faces, Saldana made her screen debut in a 1999 episode of Law & Order.

She played in Crossroads and although she may have overacted a little, she seems funny. She was great in the small part of Anamarie in Pirates 1.

She's my favorite black actress when she kicks ass in two Star Trek movies, Losers, Avatar, and Columbiana. You rock, Zoe!

The lady can dance, act, and she is not only beautiful but has personality to go with that.

19 Tatyana Ali
20 Vanessa Williams Vanessa Lynn Williams is an American actress, singer, and fashion designer. Williams initially gained recognition as the first African-American recipient of the Miss America title when she was crowned Miss America 1984 in September 1983. However, a few weeks prior to the end of her reign, she learned... read more

Very versatile and talented actress/singer. Not to mention underrated and overlooked!

21 Jada Pinkett Smith Jada Koren Pinkett Smith is an American actress, dancer, singer-songwriter, and businesswoman. She began her career with a guest appearance on the short-lived sitcom True Colors in 1990.

Chris Rock still owes her an apology for that one tasteless joke he made about her at the Oscars.

Jada Pinkett plays well in all her roles. She's very beautiful and she knows how to act.

I like how she voices Gloria in all the Madagascar movies.

22 Kimberly Elise

Honestly, this woman is severely underrated. I wish I could see more from her. She can play any part. She may not be the most beautiful, but she is surely the most dedicated. Kimberly Elise has to be the only actress I see 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 actresses around. A true scene stealer in just about everything she does. She commands attention on screen without having to remove her clothes. Top shelf.

23 Tika Sumpter
24 Octavia Spencer Octavia Lenora Spencer is an American actress and author. She is best known for her role as Minny Jackson in the 2011 film The Help, for which she won the BAFTA, Golden Globe, SAG, Critics' Choice, and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Oh my gosh, I love this woman - great actress! If she is in a movie, I will be watching it.

Octavia Spencer is an amazing actress. I loved her in The Help. She was hilarious!

Love her acting. Wish she had gotten the role in The Butler!

25 Taraji P. Henson

Taraji belongs at the top of this list, not just because she's my favourite, she's the greatest. Her roles in Hidden Figures, Acrimony and of course, Empire as the hilariously crazy Cookie Lyon put her in a place that not many actresses can reach.

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 puts everything into every role she plays. She's versatile and never loses her femininity in any role.

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