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Top 20 Screen Actresses

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In response to a reader that wanted me to list my favorite actors and actresses, I will list my favorite actresses here today, and actors tomorrow. Then I will move on to movies and plays.

Top 20 Film Actresses

1. Meryl Streep (Angels In America, The Hours, Sophie’s Choice, Kramer v. Kramer, The Manchurian Candidate)

2. Julianne Moore (The Hours, Far From Heaven)

3. Nicole Kidman (The Hours, Moulin Rouge)

4. Sandra Bullock (Speed, A Time To Kill)

5. Mary-Louise Parker (Angels In America, Boys On The Side)

6. Angela Bassett (What’s Love Got To Do With It?)

7. Sally Field (Steel Magnolias, Mrs. Doubtfire, Norma Rae)

8. Glenn Close (Lion In Winter, Fatal Attraction, Heights)

9. Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl, Yentl, Meet The Fockers)

10. Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich, Pretty Woman)

11. Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking)

12. Natalie Portman (The Professional, Where The Heart Is, Garden State, Closer)

13. Kate Winslet (Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Finding Neverland)

14. Renee Zelweger (Chicago, White Oleander, Jerry Maguire, Cold Mountain)

15. Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns, Dangerous Minds, White Oleander, One Fine Day)

16. Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost, Sister Act 2, Boys On The Side, The Color Purple)

17. Cate Blanchett (The Gift, The Aviator, Heaven)

18. Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River)

19. Queen Latifah (Set It Off, Chicago, Bringing Down The House)

20. Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago, The Terminal)

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About Chris Evans

  • Rayne

    Oh my God….Angela Bassett does NOT get the credit she deserves. She should have been the first black woman to win a lead oscar….NOT crappy Halle Berry.

  • This would be a more exciting post with pictures of the actresses under discussion, IMHO, as well as some reasoning behind the selection – why one actress and not another.

    Rayne, Sidney Poitier won Best Actor way back when. Also, Hattie Mcdaniel won for Best Supporting Actress for “Gone With The Wind” in 1940

  • Aaman, Sidney Poitier is not a black woman, nor is Best Supporting Actress a lead Oscar. I think you just misread her comment. 😉

  • In toto though, I did address her point I think. 🙂

    Coming to this list, where is Angelina Jolie?

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks, very interesting – more of these movies (up to 19) linked would make for really great art work, he hinted

  • Rayne

    Uh…If you look…I said first black WOMAN to win for a LEADING role. Thanks.

  • Already cleared that up, Rayne. It was a harmless mistake – one of the side effects of reading and commenting on dozens of posts per day – no need to get snippy.

  • Nancy

    Is this just recent actresses, or all of them? If the latter, where’s Audrey Hepburn, B. Davis, & a few others?

  • Oh, maybe I should clear that up. The person who asked, they asked for actresses from the past 15 years.

  • Nancy

    Emma Thompson. She’s not all T&A & pouty lips like a lot on your list, but she’s a far better actress.

  • Omni Temporal

    The list is favorite actresses, not best actresses.

  • I do like Emma Thompson (her performance in Love, Actually <3 <3), but I haven't seen enough of her performances to list her as a favorite.

  • And who’s pouty lips??

  • Nancy

    3, 4, 6, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17. IMO these young ladies are popular less for their talent than their looks, but that’s just my opinion. Pls note I exempt the rest, who while quite a few are also ‘babes’ visually, also seem to be able to act, w/the exception of Ms. Streisand, who I don’t think of as T&A, but I don’t think can act, either. Follow any of that, lol? Just my opinion.

  • Nancy

    I was thinking of Emma in more classic stuff like that Shakespeare thing (mind went blank at last moment, as usual) & Sense & Sensibility.

  • …..Angela Bassett……You’ve GOT to be kidding me. Have you ever even SEEN What’s Love Got To Do With It?

    And you don’t think Barbra can act? You MUST have been sleeping through Funny Girl

  • Never seen Sense & Sensibility. Really want to, though. God, there’s so much I need to see.

  • Nancy

    I saw Funny Girl. Several times. My ex-roomie’s fave flick. Babs gets VERY wearing after a very short while. S&S was very good; Thompson, Winslet, all did a wonderful job altho I have to admit I love it for Alan Rickman 😉

  • …Yet you just described Winslet as a pouty lips actress.

  • Nancy

    I was surprised at how good Q.Latifah was in ‘Chicago’. She was tremendous – equally as good as Z-J, IMO, which I hadn’t expected from a rapper (? I’m not into modern music, so I’m not sure if that’s the right category?), as well as a great voice & great looks; very glam. Haven’t seen her in anything else yet, but I look forward to her having a long future in the films. Meryl & Whoopi I’ve always loved in just about anything. I was so gratified when Meryl showed a turn for comedy in Death Becomes Her. For that matter, I like Goldie Hawn & Bette Midler, too, altho Bette is another ethnic NY scene-chewer like Babs.

  • Okay…seriously…if you want to know the full talent of Queen Latifah, watch Set It Off. Her performance in that movie–I’m talking Academy Award worthy. But of course, those nominations go to less capable but more skinny, beautiful, and half-white actresses like Halle Berry.

  • Again, some explanation for the choices would have given this post something of actual interest.

  • O.K.
    I guess I’ll have to write one of my own, which will be fun. Favourite 20 female actors of the last fifteen years huh.(actress: less then actor, ess being a dimunative, pendantic word comment for the day)

    p.s. maybe I’ll even get the link information right to this post, I’ll do my darndest. HTML and I are having a bad spot in our relationship right now.

  • Mr. Gypsyman, if you were within reach I would kiss you right on the mouth! THANK YOU for calling out the use of that hideous term “actress”; wussy me just seethed silently.

    Your list is one I look forward to seeing.

  • Just a note, the reason I didn’t feel the need to explain my choices, is because I put the movies next to their names that justified my choices. I thought maybe the performances in those movies would speak for themselves. Oh well, guess I was wrong. Haha…Well, I’m working on a favorite actor list now, and I’m explaining on that one.

  • That would help, really. The movie titles aren’t sufficient IMO because people have differing views on the quality of the films and the performances within them. If readers had some idea as to the reasonings behind your choices, it would make for better understanding and a better launch point for discussion. For example, Sandra Bullock? At #4? For Speed? Makes no sense to me at all. But if I had an idea of what was behind your thought there, I could understand even as I vehemently disagree.

    Seriously, this is nothing to get upset over. Just trying to offer some constructive advice.

  • Oh, well it make more sense if I tell you that these actresses aren’t in any particular order. Lol, I mean, the first three came to mind the quickest because The Hours has made them my three favorites, but after that everyone’s pretty much on the same level for me. The numbers were just who came to mind first.

  • Here y’go, sots, ASINs all ready to pop into your post, in order mentioned (just remove spaces):

    B00005JLQH,B00005QZ7U,B000067G3C,B000765HVY, 0790741822,6305428409,6305428409,630558365X, B000059HAN,B000255LIY,B00003CXA0,B00070HK24, 6301978587,B00005JN5T,B00003CXFV,6305696071

  • See, that’s part of it: When writing a piece of this nature, you have to do so with the readers in mind. Which means you have to explain the numbering system (if any) or make it clear within the body of the article that the list was based on the last 15 years. If you state these things clearly up front, you don’t leave room for people to make assumptions (which are rarely positive).

  • But wait…if I put those ASINs in, I’d have to re-submit my list, right?

  • Easily done. Just go to the Blogcritics entry interface, hit the edit entry link, paste the ASINs Dr. Pat provided into the ASIN text field, and hit save.

  • Okay, just did it

  • Eric Olsen

    super cool, thanks!

  • Only 19 items would appear, so we lost Pretty Woman.

  • Eric Olsen

    yes, at some point our max became 19 – don’t know why or how

  • Looking good, Ms. Evans.

  • Ahem…Er…Mr. Evans.

  • So let me get this straight, you left the words ‘most annoying’ out of your title, right?


  • We all are entitled to our opinions, Dave. Simmer down.

  • Oops! *blush* Sorry, Mr. Evans.

  • Haha, it’s okay.

  • No Lauren Bacall or Audrey Hepburn huh? When did Sandra Bullock become a better actress than these 2?

  • Sharly Farley

    I’m with the one who suggested Angelina Jolie – definitely worth another look. Not only does she carry both Lara Croft movies (silly fun that they are) she’s first-rate in Bone Collector, Gia, True Women, even Taking Lives…

    Wanna blow your mind? Think Angelina and Brad in the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon…

  • katherine

    Where is Demi Moore in this list. GI Jane is one of the greatest movies of all time in my opinion also what about Jennifer Lopez. She kicks butt in Enough great movie. I must agree about Meryll Streep though one of the all time greatest

  • lol..jeniffer lopez…lmao!! Garner and love-hewitt would have to be on the list first.

    Jolie in ‘Original Sin’. Enough said