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.
7985 22293
2 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.
4566 15252
3 Ingrid Bergman
Soulful star Bergman made doomed romance look good in Casablanca and self-loathing even better in Notorious.
4067 15171
4 Marilyn Monroe
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, and Some Like it Hot showcased the buxom, blue-eyed blonde's comic gifts.
3666 29620
5 Meryl Streep
Boss from hell, Holocaust survivor, and frustrated housewife -- is there anyone Streep can't play?
3419 20001
6 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.
2769 13471
7 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.
2657 21671
8 Audrey Hepburn
In a world of pneumatic blondes, Hepburn made smart, complicated brunette sprites sexy in Roman Holiday and Sabrina.
2339 7609
9 Barbara Stanwyck
From Double Indemnity to The Lady Eve, Stanwyck was a lean live wire with an alluringly husky voice.
1973 5499
10 Kate Winslet
At 17, Winslet wowed moviegoers as a sociopathic teen in Heavenly Creatures. She's never shied away from offbeat characters.
1675 14463
11 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.
1552 4886
12 Rita Hayworth
A Hollywood makeover turned Latina dancer Margarita Cansino into a red-haired pinup and erotic icon.
1548 4562
13 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.
1537 6379
14 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.
1395 4715
15 Joan Fontaine
Olivia de Havilland's younger sister was the quintessential cool, classy Hitchcock blonde and won an Oscar for Suspicion.
1073 4767
16 Joan Crawford
No one worked harder. From Our Dancing Daughters to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, she remained in the limelight.
1059 4317
17 Claudette Colbert
Colbert could do just about anything -- historical dramas, women's weepies, musicals -- but she was the quintessential runaway heiress.
1037 5175
18 Jodie Foster
Precocious child actress Foster matured into a brainy Oscar-winning beauty in dramas like The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs.
978 6216
19 Natalie Wood
As a child star (Miracle on 34th Street), teen idol (Rebel Without a Cause), and ingenue (West Side Story), Wood always sparkled.
712 4658
20 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.
706 4684
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.
683 4075
22 Maureen O’Hara
From The Quiet Man to Miracle on 34th Street, O'Hara brought a dash of color to every movie she made.
532 3478
23 Lauren Bacall
In The Big Sleep, the young Bacall's sultry voice and tough-girl swagger captivated men and women alike.
497 3405
24 Julie Andrews
She sang like an angel in Mary Poppins and made fun of her sweetness-and-light image in S.O.B.
493 4053
25 Greta Garbo
The Swedish-born Garbo had plenty of beauty and talent to spare, but her mystery made her a legend.
431 3117
26 Myrna Loy
Witty and urbane, Loy excelled in the Thin Man movies, playing the brainier half of society sleuths Nick and Nora.
428 3198
27 Grace Kelly
Before becoming Princess Grace of Monaco, she was the impossibly elegant star of Rear Window and Dial M for Murder.
424 3778
28 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.
417 4115
29 Julia Roberts
Pretty Woman catapulted the coltish Roberts to stardom, and her megawatt smile continues to light up comedies and dramas.
416 5242
30 Sophia Loren
An Italian bombshell with talent as generous as her curves, Loren could be sultry, funny, and heartbreaking.
414 3724
31 Deborah Kerr
British beauty Kerr specialized in channeling the hidden heat beneath the brittle, high-strung facade.
409 3021
32 Sandra Bullock
Bullock is the girl next door -- smart, nice, pretty, loyal, and fun. Who cares if her movies are forgettable?
402 5178
33 Shirley MacLaine
An energetic redhead with a saucy smile, MacLaine made hooking seem wholesome in Irma la Douce and Sweet Charity.
350 4022
34 Marlene Dietrich
Louche, leggy, and decadently languid, Dietrich brought European sophistication to Hollywood and kissed a girl in thirties Morocco.
341 2981
35 Susan Hayward
Modeling got Hayward to Hollywood, where she delivered wrenching performances in Smash-Up and I Want to Live!
341 2915
36 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).
315 4817
37 Diane Keaton
Often daffy but never dumb, Keaton was equally at home in Annie Hall and the Godfather trilogy.
303 4253
38 Nicole Kidman
Kidman's range -- which includes comedy, action, and serious drama -- is as striking as her fiery red hair.
295 4561
39 Carole Lombard
She could have coasted on her platinum-blonde looks, but Lombard showed she had sublime comic timing in My Man Godfrey.
255 2791
40 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.
153 2835
41 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.
109 2663
42 Jean Arthur
Arthur excelled at playing brisk, witty, no-nonsense career girls who could go toe-to-toe with any man.
101 2711
43 Doris Day
Day's perky, fresh-faced image was the antithesis of her hard-knocks life, but she never broke character.
88 2984
44 Jane Fonda
Fonda defied the Establishment, going from generic starlet (Walk on the Wild Side) to sex kitten (Barbarella) to Oscar winner (Klute).
8 4170
45 Mary Pickford
Wholesomely pretty, America's Sweetheart was the first real movie star and co-founded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
-126 2558
46 Reese Witherspoon
She may be tiny, but she can go from cute (Legally Blonde) to formidable (Walk the Line) in an instant.
-193 4379
47 Angelina Jolie
The Tesla roadster of actresses, Jolie is the rare woman who looks like Lara Croft and talks like Mother Teresa.
-329 5379
48 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.
-442 2914
49 Barbra Streisand
Her mother said she wasn't pretty enough, but brassy Barbra from Brooklyn won an Oscar for her first film, Funny Girl.
-528 3892
50 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.
-696 4442