Favorite actresses

My list of favorite actresses in no particular order and not limited to a specific number. "Favorite" could be great performing, hot looking or jus fascinating to watch for some kind of reason...
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1.
Rose Byrne
Rose Byrne was born in Balmain, Sydney, Australia. She is the daughter of Jane, a primary school administrator, and Robin Byrne, a semi-retired statistician and market researcher. She landed her first role in a movie, Dallas Doll, when she was 15 years old. Since then, Rose has appeared in a variety of Australian televisions shows including Heartbreak High...
“ I first noticed her in "The Goddess of 1967", playing a quirky, noticable character. Beautiful face, great acting. She also did a stunning performance in "The Dead Girl", a film that is overlooked easily. ” - schellekens-1
 
2.
Meryl Streep
Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 20 times, and has won it three times. Meryl was born Mary Louise Streep in 1949 in Summit, New Jersey, to Mary Wolf (Wilkinson), a commercial artist, and Harry William Streep...
“ An open door of course, but okay: I - and lots of others with me - have to say she's one of the best. Sophie Choice is the 1st film I think of to watch Streep do the thing only she can do. ” - schellekens-1
 
3.
“ Does a very strong, sober job in "Not here to be loved". Beautiful woman, characteristic and modest at the the same time. ” - schellekens-1
 
4.
Zooey Deschanel
Actress, Elf
Zooey Deschanel was born in 1980 into a showbiz family. Her father, Caleb Deschanel, is an Academy Award-nominated cinematographer (perhaps most notably for The Passion of the Christ) and her mother, Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir), is an actress who appeared in Twin Peaks. Her paternal grandfather was French, and her other roots include English, German, Scottish, Irish, and Dutch...
“ Cute 'n' Quirky! ” - schellekens-1
 
5.
Kate Winslet
Actress, Titanic
Ask Kate Winslet what she likes about any of her characters, and the word "ballsy" is bound to pop up at least once. The British actress has made a point of eschewing straightforward pretty-girl parts in favor of more devilish damsels; as a result, she's built an eclectic resume that runs the gamut from Shakespearean tragedy to modern-day mysticism and erotica...
“ Heavenly Creature! ” - schellekens-1
 
6.
Sophia Myles
Actress, Underworld
Sophia Jane Myles was born on March 18, 1980 in Hammersmith, London, England. She has a younger brother, Oliver. Her parents are Jane and Peter Myles, who is a vicar, a priest in the Anglican Church who is in charge of a parish and receives a salary, but not the tithes of the church. Her mother works in publishing...
“ Bye, Kate! ” - schellekens-1
 
7.
Keira Knightley
Keira Christina Knightley was born in the South West Greater London suburb of Richmond on March 26th 1985. She is the daughter of actor Will Knightley and actress turned playwright Sharman Macdonald. An older brother, Caleb Knightley, was born in 1979. Her father is English, while her Scottish-born mother is of Scottish and Welsh origin...
 
8.
Tilda Swinton
The iconoclastic gifts of the visually striking and fiercely talented actress Tilda Swinton have been appreciated by a more international audience of late. She was born Katherine Mathilda Swinton on November 5, 1960, in London, England. Her mother, Judith Balfour, Lady Swinton (née Killen), was Australian...
“ Well, she's f*cking awesome in "Julia". A fantastic actress who can put down a role like she is just it. At the same level as Meryl Streep. But hey that's my opinion. ” - schellekens-1
 
9.
Julie Delpy
Actress, Before Sunset
Julie Delpy was born in Paris, France, in 1969 to Albert Delpy and Marie Pillet, both actors. She was first featured in Jean-Luc Godard's Détective at the age of fourteen. She has starred in many American and European productions since then, including Disney's The Three Musketeers, Killing Zoe...
 
10.
Irène Jacob
This beautiful, dark-haired Swiss actress made a hit with a supporting role in her first film, as the piano teacher in Louis Malle's "Au revoir, les enfants" (1987). Educated in London and Geneva, and a Paris resident since the age of 18, Jacob became a promising starlet with her Malle success and followed...
 
11.
Marion Cotillard
Actress, Inception
Academy Award-winning actress Marion Cotillard was born on September 30, 1975 in Paris. Cotillard is the daughter of Jean-Claude Cotillard, an actor, playwright and director, and Niseema Theillaud, an actress and drama teacher. Her father's family is Breton. Raised in Orléans, France, she made her acting debut as a child with a role in one of her father's plays...
“ She is gooood. Hope she can arrange some good roles now she supported Leo in the not so great "Inception". Did a great part in "Un long dimanche de fiançailles". ” - schellekens-1
 
12.
Sigourney Weaver
Actress, Aliens
Sigourney Weaver was born Susan Alexandra Weaver in Leroy Hospital in Manhattan, New York City. Her father, TV producer Sylvester L. Weaver Jr., originally wanted to name her Flavia, because of his passion for Roman history (he had already named her elder brother Trajan). Her mother, Elizabeth Inglis (née Desiree Mary Lucy Hawkins)...
“ She KICKS ASS in the 3 Alien movies (forget Alien Resurrection btw). Can put down very convincing characters like Streep and Swinton by realistic and subtle acting. ” - schellekens-1
 
13.
Naomi Watts
Actress, King Kong
Naomi Ellen Watts was born on September 28, 1968 in Shoreham, England, to Myfanwy Edwards "Miv" (Roberts), an antiques dealer and costume/set designer, and Peter Watts (Peter Anthony Watts), the road manager to Pink Floyd. Her maternal grandfather was Welsh. Her father died when Naomi was seven and she began to follow her mother and her brother around England...
“ I think her breakthrough was in "Mulholland Drive". In one scene, she does an auditioning for a film role, in which she completely loses herself in her part. A funny twisted concept, to play a role to play a role. She does that non-stop in "Ellie Parker", hopping between casting agencies in a lo-budget film that really shows how good she is in fact. ” - schellekens-1
 
14.
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn was born Audrey Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston on May 4, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. She was a blue-blood and a cosmopolitan from birth. Her mother, Ella van Heemstra, was a Dutch baroness; Audrey's father, Joseph Victor Anthony Hepburn-Ruston, was born in Úzice, Bohemia, of English and Austrian descent, and worked in business...
“ From another era, and she represents that era in the best way. Such a vulnerable lady. ” - schellekens-1
 
15.
Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve was born October 1943 in Paris, France. Her parents were actors. She made her movie debut in 1957, when she was barely a teenager and continued with small parts in minor films, until Roger Vadim gave her a meatier role in Vice and Virtue. But her breakthrough came with the excellent musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg...
“ How not to show any expression? She probably had a patent on showing a 'blank face'. Must-see: "Belle Du Jour" and "Repulsion". ” - schellekens-1
 
16.
Carey Mulligan
Actress, Drive
Carey Hannah Mulligan is a British actress. She was born May 28, 1985, in Westminster, London, England, to Nano (Booth), a university lecturer, and Stephen Mulligan, a hotel manager. Her mother is from Llandeilo, Wales, and Carey also has Irish and English ancestry. Her first major appearance was playing Kitty Bennet in Pride & Prejudice alongside Keira Knightley...
“ Did one heck of a job in "An education". The film itself is okay though not a classic, however she's outstanding. ” - schellekens-1
 
17.
Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton was born Diane Hall in Los Angeles, California, to Dorothy Deanne (Keaton), an amateur photographer, and John Newton Ignatius "Jack" Hall, a civil engineer and real estate broker. Her ancestry includes Irish, English, German, and Scottish. Keaton studied Drama at Santa Ana College before dropping out to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York...
“ Always a pleasure to just watch her in all the Woody Allen films she did: Play it again Sam (not his direction btw), Manhattan Murder Mystery, Interiors. ” - schellekens-1
 
18.
Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson was born in London on April 15, 1959, into a family of actors - her father was Eric Thompson, who has passed away, and her mother, Phyllida Law, has co-starred with Thompson in several films (her sister, Sophie Thompson, is an actor as well). Her father was English-born and her mother is Scottish-born...
“ One film to see her capabilites: "Remains of the Day". Anthony Hopkins might be even more impressive in that film, allthough he gets most of the attention in that role. ” - schellekens-1
 
19.
Christina Ricci
Actress, Sleepy Hollow
Precocious, outspoken child-teen starlet of the 1990s, Christina Ricci was born in 1980 in Santa Monica, California, the youngest of four children of Sarah (Murdoch), a realtor, and Ralph Ricci, a lawyer and therapist. She is of Italian (from her paternal grandfather), Irish, and Scots-Irish descent...
“ Quirky, peculiar, very charismatic. Fantastic roles in Buffalo '66, The opposite of sex. ” - schellekens-1
 
20.
Sarah Polley
Sarah Polley is an actress and director renowned in her native Canada for her political activism. Blessed with an extremely expressive face that enables directors to minimize dialog due to her uncanny ability to suggest a character's thoughts, Polley has become a favorite of critics for her sensitive portraits of wounded and conflicted young women in independent films...
 
21.
Parker Posey
Parker Posey was born 2 months premature in Baltimore, Maryland, to Lynda (Patton) and Chris Posey. The family moved to Monroe, La. and then Laurel, Mississippi, where Chris became owner of Laurel's own Posey Chevrolet. Parker attended high school at R. H. Watkins High School in Laurel, Mississippi...
“ Cool, quirky and hard to reach. Watch "The Daytrippers", "Broken English" and you know what I mean. ” - schellekens-1
 
22.
Claire Forlani
Claire Forlani was born in the United Kingdom and grew up in London. Educated at Arts Educational School, she moved to the United States with her parents Pier Luigi and Barbara Forlani when she was 19 and began starring in films. Claire has had leading roles in such films as Meet Joe Black, Basquiat...
 
23.
Emmanuelle Seigner
Emmanuelle Seigner is the daughter of a well known photographer and her mother is a journalist. She was born in Paris, France on June 22, 1966. Her grandfather was Louis Seigner, chairman of the Comédie Française and who also appeared in several movies. Emmanuelle was raised at a convent school . At age fourteen she became a model...
“ Did two noticeable parts in Polanski films: "Frantic" and "Bitter Moon". Funny but sad, borderline type characters, that's her trademark. ” - schellekens-1
 
24.
Heather Graham
Actress, The Hangover
Heather Joan Graham was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Joan (Bransfield), a schoolteacher and children's book author, and James Graham, an FBI agent. She and her sister, actress Aimee Graham, were raised by their strictly Catholic parents. They relocated often, as a result of their father's occupation...
 
25.
Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore was born Julie Anne Smith in Fort Bragg, North Carolina on December 3, 1960, the daughter of Anne (Love), a social worker, and Peter Moore Smith, a paratrooper, colonel, and later military judge. Her mother moved to the U.S. in 1951, from Greenock, Scotland. Her father, from Burlington, New Jersey, has German, Irish, German-Jewish, and English ancestry...
“ Damn, together with Tilda Swinton, I think she's from the new generation of top actresses, in the line of Streep, Fonda. Does some crappy films sometimes, but films to watch her shine: "Chloe", "Far from heaven", but in "Magnolia" she is simply amazing. ” - schellekens-1
 
26.
Hope Davis
Actress, About Schmidt
Davis, second of three children, was born in Englewood, New Jersey, the daughter of Joan, a librarian (at one time, for the elementary section of Elisabeth Morrow School), and William Davis, an engineer. Davis has described her mother as a "great storyteller" who would take Davis and her siblings to museums or to "something cultural" every Sunday after church...
 
27.
Jane Fonda
Actress, Nine to Five
Born in New York City to legendary screen star Henry Fonda and New York socialite Frances Seymour Brokaw, Jane Seymour Fonda was destined early to an uncommon and influential life in the limelight. Although she initially showed little inclination to follow her father's trade, she was prompted by...
“ Forget the looks, age thing, ads, training videos for a moment. See "Klute", "The shoot horses don't they" and you'll see a true natural. Also a great performance in "Stanley & Iris", almost too good for that movie which isn't a classic flick. Too bad she didn't do more of that in her later career. ” - schellekens-1
 
28.
Emily Blunt
Actress, Sicario
Emily Olivia Leah Blunt is a British actress known for her roles in The Devil Wears Prada, The Young Victoria, Edge of Tomorrow, and The Girl on the Train, among many others. Blunt was born on February 23, 1983, in Roehampton, South West London, England, the second of four children in the family of Joanna Mackie...
 
29.
Alexandra Maria Lara
Actress, Downfall
Born on 12 November 1978 in Bucharest, Romania, Alexandra Maria Lara fled to Germany with her parents when she was four and half years old. After graduating at the French High School, she studied acting at the Theaterwerkstatt Charlottenburg from 1997 and 2000, but had already played leading characters in several TV shows and movies such as Die Bubi Scholz Story...
 
30.
Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter is an actress of great versatility, one of the UK's finest and most successful. Bonham Carter was born May 26, 1966 in Golders Green, London, England, the youngest of three children of Elena (née Propper de Callejón), a psychotherapist, and Raymond Bonham Carter, a merchant banker...
 
31.
Jennifer Connelly
Jennifer Connelly was born in the Catskill Mountains, New York, to Ilene (Schuman), a dealer of antiques, and Gerard Connelly, a clothing manufacturer. Her father had Irish and Norwegian ancestry, and her mother was from a Jewish immigrant family. Jennifer grew up in Brooklyn Heights, just across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan...
 
32.
Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder was born Winona Laura Horowitz in Olmsted County, Minnesota, and was named after a nearby town, Winona, Minnesota. She is the daughter of Cynthia (Istas), an author and video producer, and Michael Horowitz, a publisher and bookseller. Her father's family is Russian Jewish and Romanian Jewish...
 
33.
Frances McDormand
Actress, Fargo
Frances Louise McDormand was born on June 23, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. She was adopted by Canadian-born parents Noreen Eloise (Nickleson), a nurse from Ontario, and Vernon Weir McDormand, a minister from Nova Scotia, who raised her in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. She earned her B.A. in Theater from Bethany College in 1979 and her MFA from Yale in 1982...
“ She steals the show in "Fargo". ” - schellekens-1
 
34.
Charlotte Rampling
Actress, Swimming Pool
Tessa Charlotte Rampling was born 5 February 1946 in Sturmer, England, to Isabel Anne (Gurteen), a painter, and Godfrey Lionel Rampling, an Olympic gold medalist, army officer, and colonel, who became a NATO commander. She was educated at Jeanne d'Arc Académie pour Jeunes Filles in Versailles, France and at the exclusive St...
“ Swimming Pool, Sous le Sable. Well you can't ignore this woman. ” - schellekens-1
 
35.
Virginie Ledoyen
Actress, The Beach
Virginie Ledoyen was born Virginie Fernandez on 15 November 1976 in Aubervilliers, near Paris. At the age of 2, she was already shooting advertisements for television. At 9, she started going to the École des Enfants du Spectacle, and made her film debut at 10 in What Every Frenchwoman Wants. She was then nominated for the César (the French equivalent of an Oscar) for most promising actress in 1993...
“ The French Natalie Portman? ” - schellekens-1
 
36.
Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman is the first person born in the 1980s to have won the Academy Award for Best Actress (for Black Swan). Natalie was born Natalie Hershlag on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel. She is the only child of Avner Hershlag, an Israeli-born doctor, and Shelley Stevens, an American-born artist (from Cincinnati...
“ Besides being a beauty, she does one hell of a job in "Closer". Especially that scene in which she discovers the flirting of her boyfriend with Julia Roberts, wow. But that could also be credited to the great direction.. anyway, very curious about her part for "Black Swan"!
BTW, she also did a good supporting act in "Heat". ” - schellekens-1
 
37.
Emmanuelle Béart
Emmanuelle Béart was born August 14, 1963, in Gassin, France. She lived with her mother, brothers, and sister on a farm not far from Saint-Tropez in Provence (southern France), because her father, singer and poet Guy Béart, did not want his children to be affected by the glamour world of Paris...
“ Too bad she let people f*ck up her face. Meanwhile, she's a damn good actress, see her in "Nelly & Mr. Arnaud" or "Les Temoins".. ” - schellekens-1
 
38.
Isabelle Huppert
Actress, Elle
Isabelle Huppert was born March 16, 1953, in Paris, France, but spent her childhood in Ville d'Avray. Encouraged by her mother Annick Huppert (who was a teacher of English), she followed the Conservatory of Versailles and won an acting prize for her work in Alfred de Musset's "Un caprice". She then studied at the Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique and followed an illustrious theatrical career...
“ La Pianiste. That's the most impressive role I saw her in so far. The role in which she goes 'till the end. What an emotionally exhausting part must have been that.. She's one of France's cinematic treasures. ” - schellekens-1
 
39.
Holly Hunter
Holly Hunter was born in Conyers, Georgia, to Opal Marguerite (Catledge), a homemaker, and Charles Edwin Hunter, a part-time sporting goods company representative and farmer with a 250 acre farm. She is the youngest of seven children. Her parents encouraged her talent at an early age, and her first acting part was as Helen Keller in a fifth-grade play...
 
40.
Mélanie Laurent
Mélanie Laurent was born in Paris, France. She is the daughter of Annick, a ballet teacher, and Pierre, a voice actor, who is most recognized for the French version of The Simpsons. She has a younger brother, Mathieu, and has both Sephardi Jewish (from Tunisia) and Ashkenazi Jewish (from Poland) ancestry...
 
41.
Natascha McElhone
Natascha McElhone was born in Walton on Thames, London. She attended several schools, Camden School for Girls being the last. Natascha McElhone established herself as a talented leading actress when she left drama school in 1993 to play the lead in her first film, Merchant Ivory's Surviving Picasso, opposite Anthony Hopkins...
“ Okay, she's not the next Meryl Streep. But hey, just look at her and you know what I mean: Solaris, The Truman Show, Californication. ” - schellekens-1
 
42.
Jane Adams
Jane Adams has performed theatre at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. The plays include "Love Diatribe", "The Nice and the Nasty", and "Greetings From Elsewhere Cabaret". She also performed in "Careless Love" at the Empty Space Theatre, "Candide/Len Jenkin" at the Pioneer Square Theatre", "Talking With" at the Group Theatre and "Camino Real" at the Juilliard School...
“ Plays quirky roles. Very good. See her in "Hapiness" and you know what I mean. Too bad she doesn't get more length to do proper main characters. ” - schellekens-1
 
43.
Catherine Keener
Catherine Keener is an American actress, Oscar-nominated for her roles in the independent films Being John Malkovich and Capote. Acclaimed in her community for her quirky roles in independent film and mainstream such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Keener got her start as a casting director in New York City...
 
44.
Keri Russell
Keri Russell was born in Fountain Valley, California, to Stephanie (Stephens) and David Harold Russell, an executive at Nissan Motors. She began her career on the Mickey Mouse Club in 1991. She stayed with the show until 1993. After leaving The All New Mickey Mouse Club (where she, along with her castmates recorded an album...
 
45.
Liane Balaban
Actress, The Trotsky
Born in Toronto in 1980, Liane Balaban is the daughter of a Catholic mother, a medical secretary, and a Jewish father from the former Soviet republic (now an independent country) of Uzbekistan, who works in a real estate. Balaban made her debut as the 15-year-old Mooney Pottie, a '70s misfit longing to escape the Cape Breton coal-mining town in Allan Moyle's New Waterford Girl...
“ The cute 'n' quirky type of girl.
Must do more main parts. Like in "The new Waterford girl". ” - schellekens-1
 
46.
Helen Mirren
Actress, The Queen
Dame Helen Mirren was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital in West London. Her mother, Kathleen Alexandrina Eva Matilda (Rogers), was from a working-class English family, and her father, Vasiliy Petrovich Mironov, was a Russian-born civil servant, from Kuryanovo, whose own father was a diplomat. Mirren attended St...
“ Okay, everybody loves her, so what? My favorite is the role of Mrs. Wilson in Gosford Park. ” - schellekens-1
 
47.
Emily Watson
Actress, Corpse Bride
Emily Watson was born and raised in London, the daughter of Katharine (Venables), an English teacher, and Richard Watson, an architect. After a self-described sheltered upbringing, Watson attended university for three years in Bristol, studying English literature. She applied to drama school and was rejected on her first attempt...
“ Oh I wish she did more main roles. Lots of "supporting actress" parts, but her (debut) main part in Breaking the Waves is astonishing. How strange things can happen that she did not get main parts. ” - schellekens-1
 
48.
Carice van Houten
One of Europe's most celebrated actresses, Carice van Houten is perhaps best known for her lead roles in Paul Verhoeven's award-winning Black Book, Bryan Singer's Valkyrie opposite Tom Cruise and Game of Thrones. Her Dutch-language feature Love Life, gained her further critical acclaim and broke box office records in her native Holland...
“ How does this Dutch actress compare to the international 'competition'? Hard for me to say as a dude from The Netherlands. I saw her for the first time in "Suzy Q" 10 years ago, which also was one of her first roles but she immediately grabbed all the attention. A great small film btw, which sadly hasn't been released on DVD so far. ” - schellekens-1
 
49.
 
50.
Amber Heard
Actress, Zombieland
Amber Laura Heard was born in Austin, Texas, to Patricia Paige Heard (Parsons), an internet researcher, and David C. Heard (David Clinton Heard), a contractor. She has English, Irish, Scottish, German, and Welsh ancestry. Heard appeared in the Academy Award-nominated film, North Country, in which she played Charlize Theron's character in flashbacks...
 
52.
Leslie Coutterand
Leslie Camila-Rose, also known as Leslie Coutterand, was born on October 20 in Chamonix, France. She grew up in the Alps and spent most of her childhood skiing, mountain climbing and hiking. After graduating high school, she moved to New York to study. A year later, she moved to Paris to attend the European acting school Cours Florent...