Knowing the best actresses in the industry, from both the past and the present, can come in handy when you don’t know what movie to pick up for the next watching session.
Of course, our top is as objective as such a list can be. In the following, we’ll talk about 20 of the actresses that have made a name for themselves throughout their careers.
1. Marilyn Monroe
Even people who are not into watching movies know who Monroe is. There are almost 6 decades since she’s passed, but she’s still very much the sex symbol she was when alive and dominating the Hollywood scene.
2. Greta Garbo
Like Monroe, Garbo was notorious in the classic era of Hollywood movies and was widely regarded as one of the most beautiful actresses that ever lived and graced the screen.
3. Natalie Wood
You probably know her from the cult classic Rebel Without a Cause and Miracle on 34th Street. She was hugely popular until she died in 1981. Natalie was such a good actress, even at a young age, that when she was 25, she already had 3 nominations for the Academy Awards under her belt.
4. Nicole Kidman
Beautiful, witty and always stylish – Kidman has it all. And obviously, she’s been in Hollywood’s top actresses for years now. We’re still debating whether or not we love her more for her movies or for how beautiful she is.
5. Jennifer Aniston
Even though she’s been in countless movies, she’ll always be known as the one and only Rachel Greene from the show Friends. We’re the Millers, Along Came Polly and Horrible Bosses are other notable films she’s starred in.
6. Kate Beckinsale
Kate’s looks definitely match her acting prowess. She’s held in high regards for her role as the vampire and werewolf slayer in the Underworld series. Total Recall, Whiteout, and Van Helsing should also be on your list if you’ve got a penchant for Kate.
7. Elizabeth Taylor
Women loved her, and men even more. Taylor is seen as the last star to come out of the old Hollywood. It’s safe to say she closed that chapter with style. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf is a must-see in order to get a sense of how good an actress Taylor was.
8. Lucy Lawless
Admit it, you couldn’t wait for the next episode of Xena- The Warrior Princess, couldn’t you? She’ll always be a warrior in our hearts, in spite of the fact that she’s nowhere as near as popular nowadays as she was in the ‘90s.
9. Eva Green
She’s played so many roles as a madwoman that sometimes it’s hard to believe she’s not as such in real life. Regardless, she’s one of the best actresses at the moment and really seems to get more roles than any other actress.
10. Katharine Hepburn
Hepburn was one of the most gigantic and influential personalities in the old Hollywood, having lasted in the industry for more than 6 decades. She was strongly independent and changed society’s perception of women.
11. Maggie Smith
Without a doubt one of the most known English actresses of all time. Of course, you probably only know her as Professor McGonagall from the Harry Potter series, in spite of the fact that the list of movies she’s played in is almost inexhaustible.
12. Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid is mostly known for her role in the huge hit Casablanca, as well as from thrillers like Spellbound and Under Capricorn. If you haven’t watched any of these, you have some catching up to do.
13. Amy Adams
She’s starred in the popular – and equally disturbing – Nocturnal Animals and had a fleeting role as Jim Halpert’s girlfriend in The Office, among other outstanding roles. She’s climbing to the top, no doubt about that.
14. Charlize Theron
Charlize is one of the highest-paid Hollywood actresses at the moment, and understandably so since she’s starred in countless blockbusters like Mad Max and The Devil’s Advocate. She’s also starred in One Million Ways to Die in The West, with Family Guy-creator, Seth MacFarlane.
15. Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Houston is best known for her role as Morticia Addams from the legendary The Addams Family. Obviously, she’s starred in other movies with equal success.
16. Goldie Hawn
Bird on a Wire – remember that? A movie from the era when Mel Gibson was still one of the highest-paid actors of all time. Think Goldie Hawn and you immediately get nostalgic about the ‘90s.
17. Carrie Fisher
Fisher’s name is already synonymous with the Star Wars franchise. For us, she will always be Princess Leia. She is all the more important since she’s managed to be a peerless actress while struggling with an on-off addiction and bipolar disorder.
18. Natalie Portman
She gave the word “swan dive” a whole new meaning when she starred in the hugely successful Black Swan. Natalie has all that it takes to play roles as versatile as possible.
19. Janet Leigh
Psycho, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, was more difficult for the actors involved in it than for the audience. Janet got quite paranoid after this movie, but she definitely nailed it like no one else could.
20. Hilary Swank
Hilary Swank began small in the industry but made a career for herself through her roles in Karate Kid, Insomnia and Million Dollar Baby, in which she’s acted alongside legends like Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman.
Acting is an extremely competitive field. The actresses that are in vogue this year might be downgraded the next. This is how these things go. However, there are a few actresses (at least 20) whose talent has endured the test of time.
Many of them come from the golden age of Hollywood, but new ones are slowly coming into the picture, as it is normal. We’re convinced that all of you might have different choices when it comes to actresses. That’s normal too.
Please feel free to tell us what your favorite actresses are and why you think they should have been included in this top.