My Favorite Modern Day Actresses

by 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! :)

1. Gemma Arterton

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 ...

2. Marion Cotillard

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 ...

4. Evan Rachel Wood

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. ...

5. Rachel McAdams

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 ...

6. Abbie Cornish

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.

7. Saoirse Ronan

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

Actress | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

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 ...

18. Zoë Tapper

Actress | Stage Beauty

Zoë Tapper was born in 1981 in Bromley, Kent, England. She is an actress, known for Stage Beauty (2004), Affinity (2008) and Blood (2012). She has been married to Oliver Dimsdale since December 30, 2008. They have one child.

19. Andrea Riseborough

Actress | Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

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 ...

31. Kristin Scott Thomas

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 ...

32. Emilia Fox

Actress | The Pianist

Emilia Fox was born on July 31, 1974 in London, England as Emilia Lydia Rose Fox. She is an actress and producer, known for The Pianist (2002), Cashback (2006) and Prendimi l'anima (2002). She was previously married to Jared Harris.

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 ...

34. Nora-Jane Noone

Actress | The Descent

Nora-Jane Noone was born on March 8, 1984 in Galway, Ireland. She is an actress, known for The Descent (2005), The Magdalene Sisters (2002) and Brooklyn (2015).

35. Giovanna Mezzogiorno

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 ...

42. Margherita Buy

Actress | Le fate ignoranti

Margherita Buy was born on January 15, 1962 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. She is an actress, known for Le fate ignoranti (2001), Mia madre (2015) and Saturn in Opposition (2007).

43. Carice van Houten

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 ...

45. Alba Rohrwacher

Actress | Hungry Hearts

Alba Rohrwacher was born on February 27, 1979 in Florence, Tuscany, Italy as Alba Caterina Rohrwacher. She is known for her work on Hungry Hearts (2014), Le meraviglie (2014) and Io sono l'amore (2009).

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...

51. Charlotte Gainsbourg

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 ...

53. Jessica Brown Findlay

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 ...

55. Micaela Ramazzotti

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), ...

58. Dominique McElligott

Actress | House of Cards

Dominique McElligott was born on May 3, 1986 in Dublin, Ireland. She is an actress, known for House of Cards (2013), The Guard (2011) and Moon (2009).

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 ...

61. Hayden Panettiere

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 ...