Some of today's best younger actresses. Alphabetically.
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas where she graduated Lake Highlands High School, Amy Acker is the oldest of four children; she has two sisters and one brother. An acting major at Southern Methodist University, Amy acted in several college theater productions. She appeared in various roles during the fantasy segments for the popular award-winning children's TV series Wishbone
Amy Lou Adams was born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy, to American parents, Kathryn (Hicken) and Richard Kent Adams, a U.S. serviceman who was stationed at Caserma Ederle in Italy at the time. She was raised in a Mormon family of seven children in Castle Rock, Colorado, and has English, as well as smaller amounts of Danish, Swiss-German, and Norwegian, ancestry...
Grew up on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Attended Wellesley College as a Sociology major and graduated in 1996. She worked with the NYPD as a domestic violence counselor before pursuing acting.
Shiri Appleby was born in Los Angeles, California, on December 7, 1978, to Dina (Bouader), a Hebrew School teacher, and Jerry Appleby, a telecommunications executive. She has a brother, Evan. Her father is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent and her mother, who is from Israel, is of Moroccan Sephardi Jewish background...
Gemma Christina Arterton was born in Gravesend, Kent, England, where she was raised. She is the daughter of Sally-Anne (Heap), a cleaner, and Barry J. Arterton, a welder. Her mother's cousin is singer-songwriter Eric Goulden
. Her parents divorced when she was age five, and Gemma subsequently lived with her younger sister and her mother...
Morena Baccarin was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to actress Vera Setta
and journalist Fernando Baccarin. Her uncle was actor Ivan Setta
. Morena has Italian and Brazilian Portuguese ancestry. She moved to New York at the age of 10, when her father was transferred there. She attended the LaGuardia High School of Music and Performing Arts and then the Juilliard School...
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...
Emily Olivia Leah Blunt is a British actress known for her roles in The Young Victoria
and The Devil Wears Prada
. Blunt was born on February 23, 1983, in Roehampton, South West London, England, the second of four children in the family of Joanna Mackie
, a former actress and teacher, and Oliver Simon Peter Blunt...
Fresh out of Canada, Sarah Carter's career in Hollywood took off quickly, landing a string of series regular roles such as "Madeleine Poe", opposite James Woods
, on CBS' Shark
, and "Maggie", on TNT's Steven Spielberg
-produced Falling Skies
. With an education in fine arts and a background in musical theater...
Erika Jane Christensen was born in 1982 in Seattle, Washington, to Kathy (Hendricks), a construction manager, and Steven Christensen, a human resources executive and insurance worker. She was raised in the suburban outskirts of Los Angeles, California. At age 12, Erika knew that she was going to be an actress...
is an English actress. She is best known for her role as Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO series Game of Thrones
, for which she received two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2013 and 2015. Clarke made her Broadway debut in a production of Breakfast at Tiffany's as Holly Golightly in March 2013...
Emilie de Ravin
Emilie was born on 27th December 1981, and grew up in Mount Eliza, Victoria, Australia. When she was 15, she was accepted at the highly selective Australian Ballet School in Melbourne. However, after only a year, she dropped out and undertook acting courses. Her first starring role was on the fantasy drama...
Emily Erin Deschanel (born October 11, 1976) is an American actress and producer. She is best known for starring in the Fox crime procedural comedy-drama series Bones as Dr. Temperance Brennan since 2005. Deschanel was born in Los Angeles, California, to cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel and actress Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir)...
Michelle Suzanne Dockery born 15 December 1981 is an English actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV drama series Downton Abbey (2010-2015), for which she has been nominated for three consecutive Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. She made her professional stage debut in His Dark Materials in 2004...
America Georgine Ferrera (born April 18, 1984) is an American actress. She is known for her leading role as Betty Suarez on the American Broadcasting Company's comedy-drama television series Ugly Betty (2006-10). Her acting garnered critical acclaim, and she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy...
Jessica Brown Findlay
Jessica Brown Findlay is an English actress. She was born in Cookham, Berkshire, to Beverley, a teacher's aid and nurse, and Christopher Brown-Findlay, who works in finance. She is of Scottish and English descent. Jessica trained with the National Youth Ballet and the Associates of the Royal Ballet...
Joanne Froggatt was born in 1979 in the village of Littlebeck, North Yorkshire, UK. She started going to a drama school in Maidenhead at the age of 13 and was also a member of the "Rounders" youth theatre group at Alan Ayckbourne's Stephen Joseph Theatre, In The Round. Eventually, she was cast in the role of a teenage prostitute in "The Bill"...
Kelli Garner was born in Bakersfield, grew up in Thousand Oaks, and currently resides in Calabasas, California. She began her career when she was discovered at a friends Bar Mitzvah, and made her film debut at age 16 in director Mike Mills
's short Architecture of Reassurance
, a Sundance Film Festival entry...
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...
Olivia has appeared in over 100 productions since the age of seven. She is the youngest of four sisters and grew up in Hounslow, London. Her first ever big role, was playing alongside Cilla Black in the 1991 production of Robin Prince of Sherwood. Since then, she has starred in five stage productions...
Bryce Dallas Howard
Bryce Dallas Howard was born on March 2, 1981, in Los Angeles, California. She was conceived in Dallas, Texas (the reason for her middle name). Her father, Ron Howard
, is a former actor turned Oscar-winning director. Her mother is actress and writer Cheryl Howard
(née Alley). Her famous relatives include her uncle...
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
Felicity Rose Hadley Jones is an English actress. Jones was born in Birmingham, West Midlands, and grew up in Bournville. Her parents met while working at the Wolverhampton Express and Star. Her father was a journalist while her mother was in advertising. They divorced when he was three, and she was brought up with her brother by her mother alone...
Anna Kendrick was born in Portland, Maine, to Janice (Cooke), an accountant, and William Kendrick, a teacher. She has an older brother, Michael Cooke Kendrick
, who has also acted. She is of English, Irish, and Scottish descent. For her role as "Dinah" in "High Society" on Broadway, Anna Kendrick was nominated for a Tony Award (second youngest ever)...
At fourteen years old, Q'orianka Kilcher emerged into the front ranks of young actresses with her portrayal of Pocahontas opposite Colin Farrell and Christian Bale in Terrence Malick's 'The New World', an epic about the encounter between English and North American societies in the early 1600s. Her performance...
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...
Jennifer Shrader Lawrence was born on August 15, 1990 in Louisville, Kentucky, to Karen (Koch), who manages a children's camp, and Gary Lawrence, who works in construction. She has two older brothers, Ben and Blaine, and has English, as well as some German, Irish, and Scottish, ancestry. Her career began when she traveled to Manhattan at the age of 14...
Rose Leslie is a Scottish actress. Her leading on screen debut was at age 21 in the television film New Town (2009). She is famous for playing Ygritte in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones
. Leslie also appeared in the films Now Is Good
and The Last Witch Hunter
. Leslie was born Rose Eleanor Arbuthnot-Leslie in Aberdeen...
Juliette Lewis has been recognized as one of Hollywood's most talented and versatile actors of her generation since she first stunned audiences and critics alike with her Oscar-nominated performance as "Danielle Bowden" in Cape Fear
. To date, she has worked with some of the most revered directors in the industry...
Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald was born and raised in Glasgow. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she was raised by her mother, a sales executive in the garment industry. She has one brother, David. As a hobby, she acted in an amateur theatrical club, which she enjoyed a great deal. Macdonald was working as a barmaid...
Jena Malone was born in Sparks, Nevada, to Deborah Malone and Edward Berge. Her grandfather owned a casino, Karl's Silver Club, in Sparks. She was raised by her mother and her mother's partner. Beginning as a child actress, and then stepping up to roles as a young adult, Malone's career path has been compared to that of Jodie Foster
Rachel Miner wanted to be an actress from age two. She began working with an acting coach at eight, got an agent at nine and, by ten, had not only worked for Woody Allen
, but was cast as "Michelle Bauer" on Guiding Light
(a part that started as recurring and evolved into a contract role lasting nearly five years (1990-1995) and earning her three Young Artist Awards and an Emmy nomination)...
Samantha Morton has established herself as one of the finest actors of her generation, winning Oscar nominations for her turns in Woody Allen
's Sweet and Low Down" (1999) and Jim Sheridan's "In America" (2002). She has the talent to become one of the major performers in the cinema of this young century...
Carey Mulligan is a British actress, born May 28, 1985, in Westminster, London, England, to Nano (Booth), a university lecturer, and Stephen Mulligan, a hotel manager. Her father is of Irish descent and her mother is Welsh, originally from Llandeilo. Her first major appearance was playing Kitty Bennet in Pride & Prejudice
alongside Keira Knightley
Lupita Amondi Nyong'o was born March 1, 1983 in Mexico City, Mexico, to Kenyan parents, Dorothy and Peter Anyang' Nyong'o. Her father, a senator, was then a visiting lecturer in political science. She was raised in Kenya. At age 16, her parents sent her back to Mexico for seven months to learn Spanish...
Adepero Oduye hails from Brooklyn, New York City by way of Nigeria. She is a graduate of Cornell University; and has studied acting with Wynn Handman, Austin Pendleton, and Susan Batson. Her name is pronounced "Add-eh-pair-o Oh-due-yay." Her theatre credits include Danai Gurira's play Eclipsed, at the Yale Repertory Theatre; The Bluest Eye...
Ellen Philpotts-Page was born on February 21, 1987, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Martha Philpotts, a teacher, and Dennis Page, a graphic designer. Page wanted to start acting at an early age and attended the Neptune Theater School. She began her career at the age of 10 on the award-winning television series Pit Pony
Born on January 27, 1979 in London, England, actress Rosamund Mary Elizabeth Pike is the only child of a classical violinist mother, Caroline (Friend), and an opera singer father, Julian Pike. Due to her parents' work, she spent her early childhood traveling around Europe. Pike attended Badminton School in Bristol...
Freida Selena Pinto was born in Bombai (now Mumbai), Maharashtra, India, to Sylvia, a school principal, and Frederick Pinto, a senior bank branch manager. She is from a Mangalorean family. Pinto traversed the modeling circuit in Mumbai (represented by Elite Model Management India) for two years before...
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...
Natalie Portman was born Natalie Hershlag on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel, to a Jewish family. She is the only child of Avner Hershlag, an Israeli-born doctor, and Shelley Stevens, an American-born artist (from Cincinnati, Ohio), who also acts as Natalie's agent. She left Israel for Washington...
Amanda Righetti is a Utah-born, Nevada-raised actor/producer and Best Actress Award winner by the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. Righetti began her career at 14, as a young model, but made waves as the trust-fund squandering, world-traveling black sheep, "Hailey Nichol", on Fox's The O.C.
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...
She passed her 9 GCSEs with A* and A grades in between working for several terms away from school on the Famous Five. From there she went to 6th form college where she got 3 grade A levels and an academic prize in the Arts. Her parents are both freelance broadcasters and she has two cousins who are young film directors - one of them the promising Serbian director Stevan Filipovic
Zoe Saldana was born on June 19, 1978 in Passaic, New Jersey, to Asalia Nazario and Aridio Saldaña. Her father was Dominican and her mother is Puerto Rican. She was raised in Queens, New York. When she was 10 years old, she and her family moved to the Dominican Republic where they would live for the next seven years...
Liliane Rudabet Gloria Elsveta Sobieski was born June 10, 1983 in New York City, New York. She is the daughter of Elizabeth Sobieski
(née Salomon), a writer, and Jean Sobieski
, a painter who has also acted. She has a younger brother, Robert. Her father, born in France, is of Polish and Swiss descent, while her mother is of three quarters Ashkenazi Jewish and one quarter Dutch, ancestry...
Julia O'Hara Stiles was born on March 28, 1981 in New York City, the outgoing daughter of a Greenwich Village artist mother, Judith Newcomb Stiles, and an elementary school teacher father, John O'Hara. She is the eldest of three children, and has Irish, English, and German ancestry. Encouraged to take modern dance lessons at an early age...
Emily Jean "Emma" Stone was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, to Krista (Yeager), a homemaker, and Jeffrey Charles Stone, a contracting company founder and CEO. She is of Swedish (from her paternal grandfather), English, German, Scottish, and Irish descent. Stone began acting as a child as a member of the Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix...
Yvonne was born and raised in Australia. Her parents were Polish immigrants. She attended the Santa Sabina College for her high school education. She then went on to study Performance at the University of Western Sydney's School of Contemporary Arts, graduating in 2003. Shortly afterwards, she landed her first role on television in an episode of Fear Factory
Alona Tal, an Israeli-American singer and actress, was born on October 20, 1983 in Herzlia, Israel. She began her career after serving at the Israeli Defense Forces. Her big break came in 2003 starring in an Israeli film. At the time she also starred in two television series in the country, and also dabbled in music...
Amber Rose Tamblyn was born May 14, 1983 in Santa Monica, California. Amber caught an agent's eye at the age of ten after a performance in "Pippi Longstocking". She has appeared in Live Nude Girls
and Johnny Mysto: Boy Wizard
. In addition, her most popular role has been the role of "Emily Bowen-Quartermaine" of the popular soap General Hospital
Mia is an Australian actress, born and raised in the country's capital, Canberra. She is the daughter of photographers Marzena Wasikowska and John Reid. Her mother is Polish and her father is an Australian of British ancestry. She has an older sister, Jess, and a younger brother, Kai. At age eight, her family moved to Poland for a year...
A small-town girl born and raised in rural Kalispell, Montana, Michelle Ingrid Williams is the daughter of Carla Ingrid (Swenson), a homemaker, and Larry Richard Williams, a commodity trader and author. Her ancestry is Norwegian, as well as German, British Isles, and other Scandinavian. She was first known as bad girl Jen Lindley in the television series Dawson's Creek
Canadian actress Katheryn Winnick stars in the critically acclaimed, Emmy award-winning television series Vikings
. produced by MGM and The History Channel. Entertainment Weekly declared that her role as "Lagertha" may be the most exciting feminist character on TV." Her portrayal of the fierce...
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a gifted actress, known for her versatile work in a variety of film and television projects. Possibly most known for her role as Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
, she has also starred in critically acclaimed independent films such as Smashed
, for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nomination...
Deborah Ann Woll
Deborah was born in 1985, in Brooklyn, New York, from Irish and German heritage. She took acting, piano and dance classes. She went to high school at Packer Collegiate Institute and graduated from the BFA program at the USC School of Theatre at the University of Southern California. Deborah started to work as an actress on television and her breakout was in the highly-acclaimed HBO vampire drama...
Evan Rachel Wood
Evan Rachel Wood was born September 7, 1987, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her father, Ira David Wood III
, is a theatre actor, writer and director, and her mother, Sara Wood
, is an actress and acting coach. She has two older brothers--Dana Wood
, a musician, and Ira David Wood IV
, who has also acted...