Julie Andrews
AMC Movie List

The 50 Greatest Actresses of All Time

Filmsite.org‘s Tim Dirks spotlights the top 50 actresses in Hollywood history. Which one is your favorite?

rank title points votes your vote
1 Judy Garland
Talented but insecure, Garland was the little girl with a voice big enough to inspire everyone who felt out of step with the world.
2058 32594
2 Barbara Stanwyck
From Double Indemnity to The Lady Eve, Stanwyck was a lean live wire with an alluringly husky voice.
1078 26342
3 Jean Arthur
Arthur excelled at playing brisk, witty, no-nonsense career girls who could go toe-to-toe with any man.
-130 15744
4 Jean Harlow
"Would you be shocked if I put on something more comfortable?" asked the bombshell in Hell's Angels, and a bad-girl cliche was born.
-174 10628
5 Deborah Kerr
British beauty Kerr specialized in channeling the hidden heat beneath the brittle, high-strung facade.
-318 15568
6 Olivia de Havilland
Gone With the Wind made the dark-haired beauty a star, but ten years later she played a shy spinster in The Heiress.
-408 35334
7 Myrna Loy
Witty and urbane, Loy excelled in the Thin Man movies, playing the brainier half of society sleuths Nick and Nora.
-426 12926
8 Claudette Colbert
Colbert could do just about anything -- historical dramas, women's weepies, musicals -- but she was the quintessential runaway heiress.
-429 14697
9 Katharine Hepburn
She made casual elegant and relocated the seat of sex appeal from the bosom to the brain in Bringing Up Baby and Adam's Rib.
-432 37058
10 Carole Lombard
She could have coasted on her platinum-blonde looks, but Lombard showed she had sublime comic timing in My Man Godfrey.
-531 11999
11 Joan Fontaine
Olivia de Havilland's younger sister was the quintessential cool, classy Hitchcock blonde and won an Oscar for Suspicion.
-532 14116
12 Vivien Leigh
The Gone With the Wind star made fewer than two dozen movies, but the combination of icy beauty and inner fire made her unforgettable.
-660 27410
13 Mary Pickford
Wholesomely pretty, America's Sweetheart was the first real movie star and co-founded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
-703 11237
14 Sophia Loren
An Italian bombshell with talent as generous as her curves, Loren could be sultry, funny, and heartbreaking.
-863 12583
15 Joan Crawford
No one worked harder. From Our Dancing Daughters to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, she remained in the limelight.
-925 15625
16 Kate Winslet
At 17, Winslet wowed moviegoers as a sociopathic teen in Heavenly Creatures. She's never shied away from offbeat characters.
-996 24088
17 Meryl Streep
Boss from hell, Holocaust survivor, and frustrated housewife -- is there anyone Streep can't play?
-1097 40731
18 Judi Dench
Dench has been a woman for all seasons, equally able to steal 1998's Shakespeare in Love and put James Bond in his place.
-1254 14708
19 Diane Keaton
Often daffy but never dumb, Keaton was equally at home in Annie Hall and the Godfather trilogy.
-1306 12516
20 Sally Field
Refusing to be stereotyped as the perky star of TV's Flying Nun, Field reinvented herself as a gutsy movie actress in Norma Rae.
-1383 12979
21 Sandra Bullock
Bullock is the girl next door -- smart, nice, pretty, loyal, and fun. Who cares if her movies are forgettable?
-1389 14307
22 Jodie Foster
Precocious child actress Foster matured into a brainy Oscar-winning beauty in dramas like The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs.
-1407 16447
23 Angelina Jolie
The Tesla roadster of actresses, Jolie is the rare woman who looks like Lara Croft and talks like Mother Teresa.
-1438 14968
24 Halle Berry
A teenage beauty-pageant winner, Berry dressed down to star in Monster's Ball, proving she's more than a (very) pretty face.
-1476 12446
25 Reese Witherspoon
She may be tiny, but she can go from cute (Legally Blonde) to formidable (Walk the Line) in an instant.
-1541 11881
26 Ingrid Bergman
Soulful star Bergman made doomed romance look good in Casablanca and self-loathing even better in Notorious.
-1646 30360
27 Cate Blanchett
Blanchett sexed up the queen in Elizabeth and turned men's blood to ice as a Nazi in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
-1683 13355
28 Maureen O’Hara
From The Quiet Man to Miracle on 34th Street, O'Hara brought a dash of color to every movie she made.
-1756 12230
29 Mae West
The star of the sex farces She Done Him Wrong and I'm No Angel, the full-figured West was queen of the bawdy double entendre.
-1767 10645
30 Natalie Wood
As a child star (Miracle on 34th Street), teen idol (Rebel Without a Cause), and ingenue (West Side Story), Wood always sparkled.
-2025 12525
31 Bette Davis
She had offbeat looks and a quirky voice, but when Davis was onscreen everyone else disappeared.
-2036 40796
32 Rita Hayworth
A Hollywood makeover turned Latina dancer Margarita Cansino into a red-haired pinup and erotic icon.
-2121 15455
33 Audrey Hepburn
In a world of pneumatic blondes, Hepburn made smart, complicated brunette sprites sexy in Roman Holiday and Sabrina.
-2252 20266
34 Susan Hayward
Modeling got Hayward to Hollywood, where she delivered wrenching performances in Smash-Up and I Want to Live!
-2352 16854
35 Greta Garbo
The Swedish-born Garbo had plenty of beauty and talent to spare, but her mystery made her a legend.
-2484 11626
36 Jane Fonda
Fonda defied the Establishment, going from generic starlet (Walk on the Wild Side) to sex kitten (Barbarella) to Oscar winner (Klute).
-2508 11242
37 Lauren Bacall
In The Big Sleep, the young Bacall's sultry voice and tough-girl swagger captivated men and women alike.
-2648 13598
38 Shirley MacLaine
An energetic redhead with a saucy smile, MacLaine made hooking seem wholesome in Irma la Douce and Sweet Charity.
-2663 11819
39 Marlene Dietrich
Louche, leggy, and decadently languid, Dietrich brought European sophistication to Hollywood and kissed a girl in thirties Morocco.
-2682 9612
40 Julia Roberts
Pretty Woman catapulted the coltish Roberts to stardom, and her megawatt smile continues to light up comedies and dramas.
-2764 13354
41 Natalie Portman
Portman gives her all to every role, from a 12-year-old assassin (The Professional) to a ballerina losing her grip on reality (Black Swan).
-2891 11769
42 Nicole Kidman
Kidman's range -- which includes comedy, action, and serious drama -- is as striking as her fiery red hair.
-2913 11825
43 Elizabeth Taylor
Taylor could act when she wanted to, as in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and even when she didn't her looks sufficed.
-3138 18484
44 Ava Gardner
She wasn't much of an actress, but Gardner had the looks that transformed a tobacco farmer's daughter into a pop-culture goddess.
-3345 16873
45 Julie Andrews
She sang like an angel in Mary Poppins and made fun of her sweetness-and-light image in S.O.B.
-4185 22561
46 Ginger Rogers
Rogers could sing, dance, and had enough sex appeal that it rubbed off on Fred Astaire, with whom she starred in Top Hat.
-4489 22765
47 Doris Day
Day's perky, fresh-faced image was the antithesis of her hard-knocks life, but she never broke character.
-5208 13254
48 Marilyn Monroe
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, and Some Like it Hot showcased the buxom, blue-eyed blonde's comic gifts.
-5443 43687
49 Grace Kelly
Before becoming Princess Grace of Monaco, she was the impossibly elegant star of Rear Window and Dial M for Murder.
-5744 14554
50 Barbra Streisand
Her mother said she wasn't pretty enough, but brassy Barbra from Brooklyn won an Oscar for her first film, Funny Girl.
-6138 35892