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.
5108 36764
2 Barbara Stanwyck
From Double Indemnity to The Lady Eve, Stanwyck was a lean live wire with an alluringly husky voice.
3002 28662
3 Jodie Foster
Precocious child actress Foster matured into a brainy Oscar-winning beauty in dramas like The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs.
1335 20515
4 Myrna Loy
Witty and urbane, Loy excelled in the Thin Man movies, playing the brainier half of society sleuths Nick and Nora.
87 15623
5 Deborah Kerr
British beauty Kerr specialized in channeling the hidden heat beneath the brittle, high-strung facade.
37 17889
6 Claudette Colbert
Colbert could do just about anything -- historical dramas, women's weepies, musicals -- but she was the quintessential runaway heiress.
20 16064
7 Jean Arthur
Arthur excelled at playing brisk, witty, no-nonsense career girls who could go toe-to-toe with any man.
-406 17926
8 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.
-423 37593
9 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.
-526 12610
10 Kate Winslet
At 17, Winslet wowed moviegoers as a sociopathic teen in Heavenly Creatures. She's never shied away from offbeat characters.
-628 25908
11 Ingrid Bergman
Soulful star Bergman made doomed romance look good in Casablanca and self-loathing even better in Notorious.
-711 32857
12 Jane Fonda
Fonda defied the Establishment, going from generic starlet (Walk on the Wild Side) to sex kitten (Barbarella) to Oscar winner (Klute).
-712 13434
13 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.
-793 29157
14 Greta Garbo
The Swedish-born Garbo had plenty of beauty and talent to spare, but her mystery made her a legend.
-889 13517
15 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.
-1080 38282
16 Bette Davis
She had offbeat looks and a quirky voice, but when Davis was onscreen everyone else disappeared.
-1251 43763
17 Carole Lombard
She could have coasted on her platinum-blonde looks, but Lombard showed she had sublime comic timing in My Man Godfrey.
-1307 13769
18 Joan Fontaine
Olivia de Havilland's younger sister was the quintessential cool, classy Hitchcock blonde and won an Oscar for Suspicion.
-1354 15928
19 Audrey Hepburn
In a world of pneumatic blondes, Hepburn made smart, complicated brunette sprites sexy in Roman Holiday and Sabrina.
-1482 23262
20 Meryl Streep
Boss from hell, Holocaust survivor, and frustrated housewife -- is there anyone Streep can't play?
-1712 42364
21 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.
-1769 16005
22 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.
-1806 14968
23 Diane Keaton
Often daffy but never dumb, Keaton was equally at home in Annie Hall and the Godfather trilogy.
-2353 14793
24 Joan Crawford
No one worked harder. From Our Dancing Daughters to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, she remained in the limelight.
-2376 18898
25 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.
-2421 19979
26 Shirley MacLaine
An energetic redhead with a saucy smile, MacLaine made hooking seem wholesome in Irma la Douce and Sweet Charity.
-2421 13251
27 Lauren Bacall
In The Big Sleep, the young Bacall's sultry voice and tough-girl swagger captivated men and women alike.
-2422 15056
28 Mary Pickford
Wholesomely pretty, America's Sweetheart was the first real movie star and co-founded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
-2440 13468
29 Angelina Jolie
The Tesla roadster of actresses, Jolie is the rare woman who looks like Lara Croft and talks like Mother Teresa.
-2450 17722
30 Sandra Bullock
Bullock is the girl next door -- smart, nice, pretty, loyal, and fun. Who cares if her movies are forgettable?
-2486 16970
31 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.
-2499 15619
32 Reese Witherspoon
She may be tiny, but she can go from cute (Legally Blonde) to formidable (Walk the Line) in an instant.
-2503 14735
33 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.
-2521 15245
34 Sophia Loren
An Italian bombshell with talent as generous as her curves, Loren could be sultry, funny, and heartbreaking.
-2578 15288
35 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.
-2626 13216
36 Maureen O’Hara
From The Quiet Man to Miracle on 34th Street, O'Hara brought a dash of color to every movie she made.
-2806 14594
37 Natalie Wood
As a child star (Miracle on 34th Street), teen idol (Rebel Without a Cause), and ingenue (West Side Story), Wood always sparkled.
-3497 15121
38 Rita Hayworth
A Hollywood makeover turned Latina dancer Margarita Cansino into a red-haired pinup and erotic icon.
-3553 18093
39 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).
-3748 14920
40 Julia Roberts
Pretty Woman catapulted the coltish Roberts to stardom, and her megawatt smile continues to light up comedies and dramas.
-3906 16576
41 Nicole Kidman
Kidman's range -- which includes comedy, action, and serious drama -- is as striking as her fiery red hair.
-3957 14959
42 Barbra Streisand
Her mother said she wasn't pretty enough, but brassy Barbra from Brooklyn won an Oscar for her first film, Funny Girl.
-5315 46327
43 Susan Hayward
Modeling got Hayward to Hollywood, where she delivered wrenching performances in Smash-Up and I Want to Live!
-6202 22994
44 Marlene Dietrich
Louche, leggy, and decadently languid, Dietrich brought European sophistication to Hollywood and kissed a girl in thirties Morocco.
-6771 16525
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.
-7010 24498
46 Julie Andrews
She sang like an angel in Mary Poppins and made fun of her sweetness-and-light image in S.O.B.
-7774 30054
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.
-8478 31162
48 Doris Day
Day's perky, fresh-faced image was the antithesis of her hard-knocks life, but she never broke character.
-8725 21621
49 Marilyn Monroe
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, and Some Like it Hot showcased the buxom, blue-eyed blonde's comic gifts.
-9277 52265
50 Grace Kelly
Before becoming Princess Grace of Monaco, she was the impossibly elegant star of Rear Window and Dial M for Murder.
-9508 23316