best female actresses

in no particular order. I probably forgot a lot of really great ones
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1.
Diane Lane
Actress, Man of Steel
Diane Lane was born on January 22, 1965, in New York. She is the daughter of acting coach Burton Eugene "Burt" Lane and nightclub singer/centerfold Colleen Farrington. Her parents' families were both from the state of Georgia. Diane was acting from a very young age and made her stage debut at the age of six...
 
2.
Elisabeth Shue
Elisabeth Shue was born in Wilmington, Delaware, to Anne Brewster (Wells), who worked for the Chemical Banking Corporation, and James William Shue, a lawyer and real estate developer. She is of German and English ancestry, including descent from Mayflower passengers. Shue's parents divorced while she was in the fourth grade...
 
3.
Brooke Shields
"Want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing". If you have not heard of Brooke Shields before, this tagline from her Calvin Klein Jeans ad had to grab your attention. Not that she has not had a previously noteworthy resume. She was born on May 31, 1965 in New York City and, at age 12...
 
4.
Phoebe Cates
Phoebe Belle Cates was born on July 16, 1963 in New York City, New York, and raised there. She is the daughter of Lily and Joseph Cates, who was a Broadway producer and television pioneer. Her uncle was director/producer Gilbert Cates. Phoebe is of Chinese-Filipino (from her maternal grandfather) and Russian Jewish descent...
 
5.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Emmy Award-winning Sarah Michelle Gellar was born on April 14, 1977 in New York City, the daughter of Rosellen (Greenfield), who taught at a nursery school, and Arthur Gellar, who worked in the garment industry. Her maternal grandparents were Hungarian Jewish immigrants, and her father was also from a Jewish family...
 
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7.
Alyson Hannigan
Alyson Hannigan was born in Washington, D.C., to Emilie (Posner), a real estate agent, and Al Hannigan, a truck driver. She began her acting career in Atlanta at the young age of 4 in commercials sponsoring such companies as McDonald's, Six Flags, and Oreos. She is a seasoned television actress veteran...
 
8.
Emma Caulfield
Born and raised in San Diego, Emma Caulfield began studying drama in at the La Jolla Playhouse and the Old Globe Theatre where she won the distinguished honor of "Excellence in Theatre Arts." She picked up her drama studies once again at The American School in Switzerland (TASIS) in London, all before finishing high school...
 
9.
Michelle Trachtenberg
Trachtenberg grew up in Brooklyn and started her acting career young; she began appearing in commercials at the age of 3. She continued to act and dance through her school years, making regular television appearances from the age of 10. She landed a recurring role in the kids' TV show The Adventures of Pete & Pete and starred in Harriet the Spy...
 
10.
Charisma Carpenter
Actress, Angel
Born July 23, 1970, in Las Vegas, Charisma Carpenter was named after an Avon perfume (a fact that did not sit well with her). She studied classical ballet from age five. Her family moved around often. As a youngster, she entered many local beauty contests, and attended Gorman High School in Las Vegas...
 
11.
Amber Benson
Amber Benson was born on January 8, 1977 in Birmingham, Alabama. As a young girl, she studied singing, dancing as well as acting. While still in her teens, she was involved in productions at the local community theatre. Her family moved to Los Angeles soon afterwards in 1992 so she could pursue a career in acting...
 
12.
Eliza Dushku
Actress, True Lies
Eliza Dushku was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Judith (Rasmussen), a political science professor, and Philip R. Dushku, a teacher and administrator. Her father is Albanian and her mother is American (of Danish, Irish, English, and German descent). She was discovered at the end of a five-month search...
 
13.
Marisa Tomei
Actress, The Wrestler
Marisa Tomei was born on December 4, 1964, in Brooklyn, New York, to Patricia Adelaide "Addie" (Bianchi), an English teacher, and Gary A. Tomei, a lawyer. Marisa has a brother, actor Adam Tomei. Her parents are both of Italian descent, with roots in Tuscany, Sicily, Campania, and Calabria. As a child...
 
14.
Mary Stuart Masterson
Mary Stuart Masterson started acting before the age of ten, when she appeared in The Stepford Wives in 1975 with her father. Afterwards, at the direction of her parents, Mary Stuart led a life outside of the limelight, attending school in New York. She appeared in a few productions at New York's Dalton School...
 
15.
Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson was born in New York City. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family, and her father, Karsten Johansson, is Danish. She has a sister, Vanessa Johansson, who is also an actress, a brother, Adrian, a twin brother, Hunter Johansson, born three minutes after her, and a paternal half-brother, Christian. Her grandfather was writer Ejner Johansson...
 
16.
Drew Barrymore
Producer, Donnie Darko
Since melting audiences' hearts - at the age of six - in Steven Spielberg's beloved sci-fi blockbuster, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Drew Barrymore has emerged as one of the most endearing and talented actresses of her generation. Drew Blyth Barrymore was born in Culver City, California, to actors John Drew Barrymore and Jaid Barrymore (née Ildiko Jaid Mako)...
 
17.
Barbara Eden
Barbara Eden was born as Barbara Jean Morehead in Tucson, Arizona, went on and become one of America's most endearing and enduring actresses. A graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, California. Eden would go on to study at San Francisco's City College as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Elizabeth Holloway School of Theatre...
 
18.
Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Garner, who catapulted into stardom with her lead role on the television series Alias, has come a long way from her birthplace of Houston, Texas. Raised in Charleston, West Virginia by her mother, Patricia Ann (née English), a retired teacher of English, and her father, William John Garner...
 
19.
Lucy Liu
Born to immigrants in Queens, New York, Lucy Liu has always tried to balance an interest in her cultural heritage with a desire to move beyond a strictly Asian-American experience. Lucy's mother, Cecilia, a biochemist, is from Beijing, and her father, Tom Liu, a civil engineer, is from Shanghai. Once relegated to "ethnic" parts...
 
20.
Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz was born in 1972 in San Diego, California, to Billie Joann (Early), an import-export agent, and Emilio Diaz, who worked for an oil company. Her mother has English, Scots-Irish, and German ancestry, and her father was from a Cuban family (of Spanish origin). Self-described as "adventurous...
 
21.
Jean Simmons
Actress, Spartacus
Demure British beauty Jean Simmons was born January 31, 1929 in Crouch End, London. As a 14-year-old dance student, she was plucked from her school to play Margaret Lockwood's precocious sister in Give Us the Moon, and she went on to make a name for herself in such major British productions as Caesar and Cleopatra...
 
22.
Mary-Louise Parker
Actress, Weeds
Southern-bred Mary-Louise Parker, from Fort Jackson, South Carolina, was born on August 2, 1964, the youngest of four born to Judge John Morgan Parker and the former Caroline Louise Morell. She comes from Swedish, English, Scottish, Scotch-Irish, German, and Dutch ancestry. Her father's occupation took the family both around the country and abroad while growing up...
 
23.
Kathy Bates
Actress, Titanic
Multi-talented Kathleen Doyle Bates was born on June 28, 1948, and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the youngest of three girls born to Bertye Kathleen (Talbot), a homemaker, and Langdon Doyle Bates, a mechanical engineer. Her grandfather was author Finis L. Bates. Kathy has English, as well as Irish...
 
24.
Jessica Tandy
A beloved, twinkly blue-eyed doyenne of stage and screen, actress Jessica Tandy's career spanned nearly six and a half decades. In that course of time, she enjoyed an amazing film renaissance at age 80, something unheard of in a town that worships youth and nubile beauty. She was born Jessie Alice Tandy in London in 1909...
 
25.
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...
 
27.
Sharon Stone
Actress, Casino
Sharon Yvonne Stone was born and raised in Meadville, a small town in Pennsylvania, to Dorothy Marie (Lawson), an accountant and homemaker, and Joseph William Stone II, a factory worker. Her father was strict. She was the second of four children, and has English, German, Scottish, and Irish ancestry...
 
28.
Carrie Fisher
Carrie Frances Fisher was born on October 21, 1956 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, to singers/actors Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. She is an actress and writer, known for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (aka Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)), Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. Fisher is also known for her book...
 
29.
Meredith Salenger
Meredith Salenger was born and raised in Malibu, California, the daughter of Dottie, an interior designer, and Gary Salenger, a dentist. As a child, she enjoyed performing in front of her family and friends. When she was eight years old, her mother took her to an acting class and Meredith found her calling...
 
30.
Daryl Hannah
Daryl Christine Hannah was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She is the daughter of Susan Jeanne (Metzger), a schoolteacher and later a producer, and Donald Christian Hannah, who owned a tugboat/barge company. Her stepfather was music journalist/promoter Jerrold Wexler. Her siblings are Page Hannah...
 
31.
Virginia Madsen
Actress, Sideways
One of the hottest stars of the mid-1980s, Virginia Madsen has since played a variety of roles that have cemented her reputation as a fantastic actress who can adapt to any part. Virginia was born in Chicago, Illinois, and belongs to an acting family -- with her brother, Michael Madsen, also an actor...
 
32.
Irene Cara
Actress, Fame
Irene Cara started out in the Spanish market at the tender age of five. Her first American television series was the acclaimed children's series The Electric Company, starring alongside Bill Cosby and Morgan Freeman. In the Late 1970s she starred in the title roles for two Warner Bros. movies, Aaron Loves Angela and Sparkle...
 
33.
Mary-Kate Olsen
Actress, Full House
Mary-Kate Olsen (born June 13, 1986) is an American actress, fashion designer, producer, author, and businesswoman. She co-founded luxury fashion brands The Row, Elizabeth and James, and the more affordable lines Olsenboye and StyleMint alongside her fraternal twin sister Ashley Olsen. Olsen pursued acting independently as an adult until 2012. She is the older sister of actress Elizabeth Olsen...
 
34.
Ashley Olsen
Actress, Full House
Ashley Fuller Olsen (born June 13, 1986) is an American fashion designer, producer, author, businesswoman and former actress. She co-founded luxury fashion brands The Row, Elizabeth and James, and the more affordable lines Olsenboye and StyleMint with her twin sister Mary-Kate Olsen. She is also the older sister of actress Elizabeth Olsen...
 
35.
Candace Cameron Bure
Actress, Full House
Candace Cameron was the youngest of four children, born in southern California to Robert and Barbara Cameron. Following in the footsteps of her older brother Kirk Cameron, (who played Mike Seaver for 7 seasons on the hit show Growing Pains), Candace decided to pursue acting herself. She appeared in several commercials...
 
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37.
Jodie Foster
Alicia Christian Foster was born in Los Angeles on November 19, 1962. She is the daughter of Evelyn Ella "Brandy" (Almond) and Lucius Fisher Foster III, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and later real estate broker. Brandy had filed for divorce in 1959 after having three children with Lucius, but the exes had a brief re-encounter in 1962 which resulted in Alicia's birth...
 
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39.
Alexis Bledel
Actress, Gilmore Girls
Kimberly Alexis Bledel was born in Houston, Texas, to Nanette (Dozier) and Martin Bledel. Her parents are both Spanish-speakers (her mother was born in Arizona and raised in Mexico, and her father was born in Argentina), and Alexis's ancestry includes Danish, German, English, Scottish, Irish, and French...
 
40.
Liv Tyler
Liv Tyler was born in New York City, New York. She is the daughter of Steven Tyler of the band Aerosmith and Bebe Buell, former model (and Playboy Playmate of the Month) and stalwart of the backstage rock scene of the 1970s. Liv grew up thinking that rock star Todd Rundgren was her father...