My Favorite Modern Day Actressesby silenceisgolden | created - 06 Sep 2011 | updated - 09 Mar 2013 | Public
These actresses are very talented and I think many of them on my list are highly underrated. I hope others find them as interesting as I do! :)
Actress | Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
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 ...
Actress | La môme
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 ...
3. Emily Blunt
Actress | Edge of Tomorrow
Emily Olivia Leah Blunt is a British actress known for her roles in The Devil Wears Prada (2006), The Young Victoria (2009), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and The Girl on the Train (2016), among many others.
Blunt was born on February 23, 1983, in Roehampton, South West London, England, the second of ...
Actress | Thirteen
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. ...
Actress | The Notebook
Rachel Anne McAdams was born on November 17, 1978 in London, Ontario, Canada, to Sandra Kay (Gale), a nurse, and Lance Frederick McAdams, a truck driver and furniture mover. She is of English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish descent. Rachel became involved with acting as a teenager and by the age of 13 ...
Actress | Candy
Abbie Cornish grew up on her parents' 170 acre farm in the Hunter Valley town of Lochinvar with her 3 brothers and younger sister. Abbie started modeling at age 13. Her first acting job was at age 15 on the Australian Broadcasting Commission series Children's Hospital (1997) playing a quadriplegic.
Actress | Hanna
Saoirse Una Ronan was born in The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States, to Irish parents, Monica Ronan (née Brennan) and Paul Ronan, an actor. When Saoirse was three, the family moved to Ireland, and Saoirse grew up in Dublin and briefly in Co. Carlow before moving back to Dublin with her ...
8. Rebecca Hall
Actress | Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Rebecca Hall was born in London, UK, the daughter of Peter Hall, a stage director and founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Maria Ewing, an opera singer. Her father is English. Her mother, who is American, is of Dutch, Scottish, Sioux, and African American origin. Her parents separated when...
9. Romola Garai
Actress | Atonement
Born in Hong Kong to father Adrian (banker) and mother Janet (journalist), Romola Garai's unusual name is the female version of Romolo, an Italian name for boys (from Latin Romulus, the founder of Rome). She grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong until she was eight when her family returned to lay ...
10. Diane Kruger
Actress | Inglourious Basterds
Diane Kruger was born Diane Heidkrüger in Algermissen, near Hildesheim, Germany, to Maria-Theresa, a bank employee, and Hans-Heinrich Heidkrüger, a computer specialist. She studied ballet with the Royal Ballet in London before an injury ended her career. She returned to Germany and became a top ...
11. Claire Foy
Actress | The Crown
Claire Foy was born on April 16, 1984 in Stockport, England as Claire Elizabeth Foy. She is an actress, known for The Crown (2016), Season of the Witch (2011) and Vampire Academy (2014). She has been married to Stephen Campbell Moore since December 2014. They have one child.
12. Olivia Wilde
Actress | Tron
Actress and activist Olivia Wilde is a modern day renaissance woman, starring in many of Hollywood's acclaimed productions, while simultaneously giving back to the community.
Wilde was born on March 10, 1984 in New York City. Her parents are Leslie Cockburn (née Leslie Corkill Redlich) and Andrew ...
13. Megan Fox
Actress | Transformers
Megan Denise Fox was born in Rockwood, Tennessee, to Gloria Darlene (Cisson) and Franklin Thomas Fox, a parole officer. Megan began her training in drama and dance at age 5 and, at age 10, moved to St. Petersburg, Florida where she continued her training and finished school. Megan began acting and ...
14. Rosamund Pike
Actress | Gone Girl
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 ...
15. 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...
16. Emma Stone
Actress | La La Land
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 ...
17. Carey Mulligan
Actress | Never Let Me Go
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 ...
Andrea Riseborough was born on November 20, 1981 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England as Andrea Louise Riseborough. She is an actress, known for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), Oblivion (2013) and W.E. (2011).
20. Ruth Wilson
Actress | Locke
Ruth Wilson, born on 13 January 1982, is an English actress. She is known for her performances in Suburban Shootout (2006), Jane Eyre (2006), and as "Alice Morgan" in the BBC-TV psychological crime drama, Luther (2010), since 2010. She has also appeared in Anna Karenina (2012), The Lone Ranger (...
21. Gillian Anderson
Actress | The X Files
Gillian Anderson was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Rosemary Alyce (Lane), a computer analyst, and Homer Edward Anderson III, who owned a film post-production company. She has English, German, and Irish ancestry.
Gillian started her career as a member of an amateur actor group while at high school. ...
22. Hayley Atwell
Actress | Captain America: The First Avenger
Born in London, England, Hayley Elizabeth Atwell has dual citizenship of the United Kingdom and the United States. An only child, Hayley was named after actress Hayley Mills. Her parents, Alison (Cain) and Grant Atwell, both motivational speakers, met at a London workshop of Dale Carnegie's ...
23. Natalie Dormer
Actress | Game of Thrones
Natalie Dormer born 11 February 1982 is an English actress. She is best known for her roles as Anne Boleyn on the Showtime series The Tudors (2007-10), as Margaery Tyrell on the HBO series Game of Thrones (2012-14), Irene Adler on the CBS series Elementary (2013-15), and as Cressida in the ...
24. Sally Hawkins
Actress | The Shape of Water
Sally Cecilia Hawkins was born in 1976 in Lewisham hospital, London, England, to Jacqui and Colin Hawkins, authors and illustrators of children's books. She is of English and Irish descent. Hawkins was brought up in Greenwich, in southeast London. She attended James Allen's Girls' School in Dulwich...
25. Samantha Morton
Actress | Minority Report
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 Lowdown (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.
26. Vera Farmiga
Actress | Up in the Air
Vera Farmiga is an American actress who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Up in the Air (2009) and a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role in Bates Motel (2013).
She was born Vera Ann Farmiga, the ...
27. Maria Bello
Actress | A History of Violence
Maria Bello was born on 18 April, 1967 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, to Kathy, a nurse and teacher, and Joe Bello, a contractor. She is of Italian and Polish descent. Maria went to Villanova University, majoring in political science. She had every intention of becoming a lawyer, but she took an ...
28. Anna Friel
Actress | Land of the Lost
Anna Friel is an English actress, born in Rochdale. She has been acting since the age of 13, appearing in a number of British television programmes. She made her West End stage debut in London in 2001, and has subsequently appeared on stage in several productions, including an adaptation of ...
29. 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 ...
30. Kristen Stewart
Actress | Snow White and the Huntsman
Though most famous for her role as Isabella "Bella" Swan in The Twilight (2008) Saga, Kristen Stewart has been a working actor since her early years in Los Angeles, California, where she was born. Her parents, John Stewart and Jules Stewart, both work in film and television. Her mother is ...
Actress | The English Patient
Kristin Scott Thomas was born in Redruth, Cornwall, England, to Deborah (Hurlbatt) and Lieutenant Commander Simon Scott Thomas. Her father was a pilot for the British Royal Navy and died in a flying accident in 1964. Her stepfather, Lt. Cdr Simon Idiens, was also a pilot, and died six years later ...
33. Anne-Marie Duff
Actress | Nowhere Boy
Anne-Marie Duff is an English actress, born on 8 October 1970 in Southall, London. Her parents, Brendan and Mary (née Doherty), are from Donegal, Ireland. Her father worked as a painter and decorator and her mother worked in a shoe shop.
She first came to the attention of the British public for her ...
Actress | Vincere
Giovanna Mezzogiorno was born on November 9, 1974 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. She is an actress and producer, known for Vincere (2009), Facing Windows (2003) and Love in the Time of Cholera (2007). She has been married to Alessio Federico Fugolo since October 24, 2009. They have two children.
36. Anna Torv
Actress | Fringe
Anna Torv (born 7 June 1979) is an Australian actress known for her role as FBI agent Olivia Dunham on the Fox television series Fringe (2008-2013). Torv was born in Melbourne, Victoria, the daughter of Susan (née Carmichael) and Hans Torv, also grew up in Gold Coast, Queensland. Her father is of ...
37. Lena Headey
Actress | Game of Thrones
Lena Headey is a British actress. She was born in Bermuda to parents from Yorkshire, England, where she was raised. She is the daughter John Headey, a police officer, and his wife Sue. Headey is best known for her role as "Cersei Lannister" in Game of Thrones (2011) (2011-present) and The Brothers ...
38. Emilia Clarke
Actress | Game of Thrones
British actress Emilia Clarke was born in London and grew up in Berkshire, England. Her father is a theatre sound engineer and her mother is a businesswoman. Her father was working on a theatre production of "Show Boat" and her mother took her along to the performance. This is when, at the age of 3...
39. Julie Delpy
Actress | Trois couleurs: Blanc
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 (1985) at the age of fourteen. She has starred in many American and European productions since then, including Disney's The Three Musketeers (...
40. Amber Heard
Actress | The Rum Diary
Amber Laura Heard was born in Austin, Texas, to Patricia Paige Heard (née 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 (2005), ...
41. Mélanie Laurent
Actress | Inglourious Basterds
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 (1989). She has a younger brother, Mathieu, and has both Sephardi Jewish (from Tunisia) and Ashkenazi Jewish (from ...
Actress | Game of Thrones
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 as Melisandre on Game of Thrones.
Her Dutch-language feature Love Life, gained her further critical ...
44. Felicity Jones
Actress | Rogue One
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 she was three, and she ...
46. Jennifer Ehle
Actress | Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Ehle was born on December 29, 1969 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA as Jennifer Anne Ehle. She is an actress, known for Zero Dark Thirty (2012), A Quiet Passion (2016) and Little Men (2016). She has been married to Michael Scott Ryan since November 29, 2001. They have two children.
47. Alice Eve
Actress | Before We Go
Alice Sophia Eve was born in London, England. Her father is Trevor Eve and her mother is Sharon Maughan, both fellow actors. She is the eldest of three children. Eve has English, Irish and Welsh ancestry. Her family moved to Los Angeles, California when she was young as her father tried to crack ...
48. Mia Wasikowska
Actress | Alice in Wonderland
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,...
49. Kate Hudson
Actress | Almost Famous
Almost everyone who has spent time with Kate Hudson -including directors, family members, co-stars and interviewers - is quick to comment on her ability to light up a room. Through some combination of a winning smile, solid work ethic, and good old-fashioned talent, the young actress has gone from ...
50. Naomi Watts
Actress | Mulholland Dr.
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...
Actress | Antichrist
Charlotte Gainsbourg was born in London, England in 1971. She is an Anglo-French actress and singer. The daughter of English actress Jane Birkin and French singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, she was raised in Paris. Gainsbourg made her motion picture debut in 1984. In 1986, Gainsbourg won a ...
52. Brenda Blethyn
Actress | Pride & Prejudice
After twenty years of hard work on stage and both television and film, there are not many other actresses who deserved the success, recognition and stardom which Brenda Blethyn has now achieved.
Born in 1946 in Ramsgate, Kent, England, she started her career at British Rail in the 1960s. Saving ...
Actress | Winter's Tale
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....
54. Margot Robbie
Actress | Suicide Squad
Margot Robbie was born on July 2, 1990 in Dalby, Queensland, Australia. Her mother, Sarie Kessler, is a physiotherapist, and her father, is Doug Robbie. She comes from a family of four children, having two brothers and one sister. She graduated from Somerset College in Mudgeeraba, Queensland, a ...
Actress | La pazza gioia
Micaela Ramazzotti was born on January 17, 1979 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. She is an actress, known for La pazza gioia (2016), La prima cosa bella (2010) and Tutta la vita davanti (2008). She has been married to Paolo Virzì since January 17, 2009. They have two children.
56. Rooney Mara
Actress | The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Actress and philanthropist Rooney Mara was born on April 17, 1985 in Bedford, New York. She made her screen debut in the slasher film Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005), went on to have a supporting role in the independent coming-of-age drama Tanner Hall (2009), and has since starred in the horror ...
57. Kate Mara
Actress | Fantastic Four
Kate Mara is an American actress. She starred in the Netflix political drama House of Cards (2013) as Zoe Barnes and appeared in the Fox TV series 24 (2001) as computer analyst Shari Rothenberg. She appeared in Brokeback Mountain (2005), We Are Marshall (2006), Shooter (2007), Transsiberian (2008), ...
59. Bella Heathcote
Actress | The Neon Demon
Born Isabella, "Bella" Heathcote is an actress from Australia. Her first roles include playing "Amanda Fowler" on the Australian television soap opera, Neighbours (1985), for which she is best known. She was a recipient of a Heath Ledger Scholarship in May 2010. Tim Burton cast Heathcote as "...
60. Jodelle Ferland
Actress | Silent Hill
Jodelle Micah Ferland has built up an impressive resume filled with roles in film, television and, at the beginning of her career, commercials. Born on October 9, 1994, she got her start in an episode of CTV's Cold Squad (1998), before landing the lead role in her first film, Mermaid (2000) at an ...
Actress | Heroes
Hayden Leslie Panettiere was born on August 21, 1989 in Palisades, New York, to actress Lesley Vogel and fire department captain Skip Panettiere. Her younger brother is actor Jansen Panettiere. Her parents are both of half Italian descent, along with German and English. Her mother got her started ...
62. Jessica Chastain
Actress | Zero Dark Thirty
Jessica Michelle Chastain was born in Sacramento, California, and was raised in a middle-class household in a northern California suburb. Her mother, Jerri Chastain, is a vegan chef whose family is originally from Kansas, and her stepfather is a fireman. She discovered dance at the age of nine and ...