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 Bette Davis
She had offbeat looks and a quirky voice, but when Davis was onscreen everyone else disappeared.
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2 Ingrid Bergman
Soulful star Bergman made doomed romance look good in Casablanca and self-loathing even better in Notorious.
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3 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.
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4 Jane Fonda
Fonda defied the Establishment, going from generic starlet (Walk on the Wild Side) to sex kitten (Barbarella) to Oscar winner (Klute).
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5 Barbara Stanwyck
From Double Indemnity to The Lady Eve, Stanwyck was a lean live wire with an alluringly husky voice.
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6 Audrey Hepburn
In a world of pneumatic blondes, Hepburn made smart, complicated brunette sprites sexy in Roman Holiday and Sabrina.
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7 Deborah Kerr
British beauty Kerr specialized in channeling the hidden heat beneath the brittle, high-strung facade.
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8 Claudette Colbert
Colbert could do just about anything -- historical dramas, women's weepies, musicals -- but she was the quintessential runaway heiress.
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9 Barbra Streisand
Her mother said she wasn't pretty enough, but brassy Barbra from Brooklyn won an Oscar for her first film, Funny Girl.
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10 Jean Arthur
Arthur excelled at playing brisk, witty, no-nonsense career girls who could go toe-to-toe with any man.
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11 Greta Garbo
The Swedish-born Garbo had plenty of beauty and talent to spare, but her mystery made her a legend.
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12 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.
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13 Kate Winslet
At 17, Winslet wowed moviegoers as a sociopathic teen in Heavenly Creatures. She's never shied away from offbeat characters.
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14 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.
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15 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.
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16 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.
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17 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.
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18 Meryl Streep
Boss from hell, Holocaust survivor, and frustrated housewife -- is there anyone Streep can't play?
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19 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.
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20 Joan Crawford
No one worked harder. From Our Dancing Daughters to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, she remained in the limelight.
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21 Mary Pickford
Wholesomely pretty, America's Sweetheart was the first real movie star and co-founded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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22 Lauren Bacall
In The Big Sleep, the young Bacall's sultry voice and tough-girl swagger captivated men and women alike.
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23 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.
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24 Sophia Loren
An Italian bombshell with talent as generous as her curves, Loren could be sultry, funny, and heartbreaking.
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25 Shirley MacLaine
An energetic redhead with a saucy smile, MacLaine made hooking seem wholesome in Irma la Douce and Sweet Charity.
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26 Carole Lombard
She could have coasted on her platinum-blonde looks, but Lombard showed she had sublime comic timing in My Man Godfrey.
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27 Joan Fontaine
Olivia de Havilland's younger sister was the quintessential cool, classy Hitchcock blonde and won an Oscar for Suspicion.
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28 Jodie Foster
Precocious child actress Foster matured into a brainy Oscar-winning beauty in dramas like The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs.
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29 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.
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30 Reese Witherspoon
She may be tiny, but she can go from cute (Legally Blonde) to formidable (Walk the Line) in an instant.
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31 Myrna Loy
Witty and urbane, Loy excelled in the Thin Man movies, playing the brainier half of society sleuths Nick and Nora.
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32 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.
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33 Diane Keaton
Often daffy but never dumb, Keaton was equally at home in Annie Hall and the Godfather trilogy.
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34 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.
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35 Angelina Jolie
The Tesla roadster of actresses, Jolie is the rare woman who looks like Lara Croft and talks like Mother Teresa.
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36 Sandra Bullock
Bullock is the girl next door -- smart, nice, pretty, loyal, and fun. Who cares if her movies are forgettable?
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37 Maureen O’Hara
From The Quiet Man to Miracle on 34th Street, O'Hara brought a dash of color to every movie she made.
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38 Natalie Wood
As a child star (Miracle on 34th Street), teen idol (Rebel Without a Cause), and ingenue (West Side Story), Wood always sparkled.
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39 Rita Hayworth
A Hollywood makeover turned Latina dancer Margarita Cansino into a red-haired pinup and erotic icon.
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40 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).
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41 Julia Roberts
Pretty Woman catapulted the coltish Roberts to stardom, and her megawatt smile continues to light up comedies and dramas.
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42 Nicole Kidman
Kidman's range -- which includes comedy, action, and serious drama -- is as striking as her fiery red hair.
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43 Susan Hayward
Modeling got Hayward to Hollywood, where she delivered wrenching performances in Smash-Up and I Want to Live!
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44 Marlene Dietrich
Louche, leggy, and decadently languid, Dietrich brought European sophistication to Hollywood and kissed a girl in thirties Morocco.
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45 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.
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46 Julie Andrews
She sang like an angel in Mary Poppins and made fun of her sweetness-and-light image in S.O.B.
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47 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.
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48 Doris Day
Day's perky, fresh-faced image was the antithesis of her hard-knocks life, but she never broke character.
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49 Marilyn Monroe
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, and Some Like it Hot showcased the buxom, blue-eyed blonde's comic gifts.
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50 Grace Kelly
Before becoming Princess Grace of Monaco, she was the impossibly elegant star of Rear Window and Dial M for Murder.
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