20 Greatest Female Performances of All Times

by FujiwaraFan | created - 09 Jun 2011 | updated - 18 Oct 2015 | Public

My personal hit of the 20 greatest performances of all time in cinema history. Hope you share my same idea. :)

1. Emily Watson

Actress | Breaking the Waves

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 ...

for her performace in "Breaking the Waves"

2. Kinuyo Tanaka

Actress | Joyû Sumako no koi

Tanaka Kinuyo was a highly regarded and prolific actress best known for her films with director Mizoguchi Kenji. She was immersed in the world of film having received her start in the world of entertainment at age fourteen, being a filmmaker herself, being the cousin of director Kobayashi Masaki ...

for her performance in "Sansho the Bailiff"

3. Gena Rowlands

Actress | The Notebook

Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands is an American film, stage, and television actress, whose career in the entertainment industry has spanned over six decades. A four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner, she is known for her collaborations with her late actor-director husband John Cassavetes ...

for her performance in "Opening Night"

4. Liv Ullmann

Actress | Ansikte mot ansikte

Liv Ullmann's father was a Norwegian engineer who used to work abroad, so as a child she lived in Tokyo, Canada, New York and Oslo. In the mid-'50s she made her stage debut and in 1957 made her film debut. She really became successful, however, when she began to work for Swedish director Ingmar ...

for her performance in "Face to Face"

5. Nobuko Otowa

Actress | Bokuto kidan

Nobuko Otowa was born on October 1, 1924 in Tottori, Japan as Nobuko Kaji. She was an actress, known for The Strange Tale of Oyuki (1992), Shukuzu (1953) and Yabu no naka no kuroneko (1968). She was married to Kaneto Shindô. She died on December 22, 1994.

for her performance in "Onibaba"

6. Rinko Kikuchi

Actress | Babel

Rinko Kikuchi was born on January 6, 1981 in Hadano, Japan as Yuriko Kikuchi. She is an actress and director, known for Babel (2006), Pacific Rim (2013) and The Brothers Bloom (2008). She has been married to Shôta Sometani since December 31, 2014. They have one child.

for her performance in "Babel"

7. Li Gong

Actress | Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia

Born in Shenyang, grew up in Jinan, the daughter of an economics professor. Loved music from childhood, and dreamed of a singing career. After failing to gain entrance to China's top music school in 1985, applied for and was admitted to the Central Drama Academy in Beijing, from which she graduated...

for her performance in "Raise the Red Lantern"

8. Sophia Loren

Actress | Arabesque

Sophia Loren was born as Sofia Scicolone at the Clinica Regina Margherita in Rome, Italy, on September 20, 1934. Her father, Riccardo Scicolone, was married to another woman and refused to marry her mother, Romilda Villani, despite the fact that she was the mother of his two children (Sophia and ...

for her performance in "Matrimonio all'italiana"

9. Florinda Bolkan

Actress | Cari genitori

A sensuous, versatile legend of arthouse and grindhouse Italian cinema, Florinda Bolkan was born Florinda Soares Bulcão in Uruburetama, Ceará, Brazil, as the youngest of three children from a Brazilian father and an Indios mother. Her father, diplomat José Pedro Soares Bulcão, died when she was 14,...

for her performance in "Anonimo Veneziano"

10. Isabelle Adjani

Actress | Possession

Isabelle Yasmine Adjani was born in Gennevilliers, Hauts-de-Seine, a suburb of Paris, to Emma Augusta "Gusti" (Schweinberger) and Mohammed Adjani. Her father was a Kabyle Algerian, from Iferhounène, and her mother was a Bavarian German. She grew up speaking German fluently. After winning a school ...

for her performance in "Possession"

11. Eiko Matsuda

Actress | Ai no korîda

Eiko Matsuda was born on May 18, 1952 in Yokohama, Japan. She was an actress, known for In the Realm of the Senses (1976), Stray Cat Rock: Machine Animal (1970) and Doberman Cop (1977). She died on March 9, 2011 in Tokyo, Japan.

for her performance in "In the Realm of Senses"

12. Fernanda Montenegro

Actress | Central do Brasil

Arlette Pinheiro Esteves da Silva was born on 16th October 1929 in Rio de Janeiro. She adopted the name "Fernanda" because she thought it sounded good. "Montenegro" came after her family doctor.

In late 40s she was translating and adapting famous theater plays to radio. She begun her artistic life ...

for her performance in "Central do Brasil"

13. Emmanuelle Béart

Actress | 8 femmes

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. ...

for her performance in "A Heart in Winter"

14. Maggie Cheung

Actress | Faa yeung nin wa

Maggie Cheung was born on September 20, 1964, in Hong Kong, and moved at the age of eight with her family to England. After finishing secondary school, she returned to Hong Kong, where she began modeling and appearing in commercials. In 1983 she participated in the Ms. Hong Kong pageant, winning ...

for her performance in "In the Mood for Love"

15. Jessica Lange

Actress | Tootsie

Jessica Lange was born in 1949, in Cloquet, Minnesota, USA, where her father worked as a traveling salesman. She obtained a scholarship to study art at the University of Minnesota, but instead went to Paris to study drama. She moved to New York, working as a model, until producer Dino De Laurentiis...

for her performance in "Frances"

16. Julianne Moore

Actress | The Kids Are All Right

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 ...

for her performance in "The Hours"

17. Silvia Monfort

Actress | Les misérables

Silvia Monfort was born on June 7, 1923 in Paris, France as Simone Marguerite Favre-Bertin. She was an actress and writer, known for Les misérables (1958), The Secret of Mayerling (1949) and Emmenez-moi au théâtre (1982). She was married to Pierre Gruneberg. She died on March 30...

for her performance in "Les misérables"

18. 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...

for her performance in "La pianiste"

19. Dominique Sanda

Actress | Il conformista

Dominique Sanda was born in 1948, in Paris, France. When she was 16, she left her upper-class family and married, but divorced two years later. She found a temporary job as a Vogue model, when Robert Bresson gave her the starring part in his absorbing drama Une femme douce (1969); she was quite ...

for her performance in "L'Eredità Ferramonti"

20. Michiyo Kogure

Actress | Aoi sanmyaku

Michiyo Kogure was born on January 31, 1918 in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi, Japan as Tsuma Wada. She was an actress, known for Aoi sanmyaku (1949), Tsukigata Hanpeita: Hana no maki; Arashi no maki (1956) and Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (1956). She died on June 13, 1990.

for her performance in "Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice"