TOP 20 Underrated Performances by an Actress

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1.
Edith Evans
Edith Evans was the greatest actress on the English stage in the 20th century, treading the boards for over half-a-century. She made her professional stage debut in 1912 and excelled in both classic and modern roles in the West End of London and on Broadway, as well as the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon and the Old Vic...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "THE WHISPERERS" ” - dino45-1
 
2.
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "OUT OF THE BLUE" ” - dino45-1
 
3.
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "MINNIE AND MOSKOWITZ" ” - dino45-1
 
4.
Miranda Richardson
Actress, Sleepy Hollow
Miranda Richardson was born in Southport, Lancashire, England on March 3, 1958, to Marian Georgina (Townsend) and William Alan Richardson, a marketing executive. She has one sister, eight years her senior. Her parents and sister are not involved in the performing arts. At an early age she performed in school plays...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "DANCE WITH A STRANGER" ” - dino45-1
 
5.
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "36 CHOWRINGHEE LANE" ” - dino45-1
 
6.
Wendy Hughes
Wendy Hughes was an accomplished actress who had won over 13 major awards. She had been called "one of the world's great actresses" with "the beauty and talent to become an international star". Hughes was born in Melbourne and studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Art. She has two children, Charlotte (17) and Jay (13).
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "LONELY HEARTS" ” - dino45-1
 
7.
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "WONDERLAND" ” - dino45-1
 
8.
Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton was born Diane Hall in Los Angeles, California, to Dorothy Deanne (Keaton), an amateur photographer, and John Newton Ignatius "Jack" Hall, a civil engineer and real estate broker. Her ancestry includes Irish, English, German, and Scottish. Keaton studied Drama at Santa Ana College before dropping out to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "SHOOT THE MOON" ” - dino45-1
 
9.
Maggie Smith
One of the world's most famous and distinguished actresses, Dame Maggie Smith was born Margaret Natalie Smith in Essex. Her Scottish mother, Margaret (Hutton), worked as a secretary, and her English father, Nathaniel Smith, was a teacher at Oxford University. Smith has been married twice: to actor Robert Stephens and to playwright Beverley Cross...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE" ” - dino45-1
 
10.
Holly Hunter
Holly Hunter was born in Conyers, Georgia, to Opal Marguerite (Catledge), a homemaker, and Charles Edwin Hunter, a part-time sporting goods company representative and farmer with a 250 acre farm. She is the youngest of seven children. Her parents encouraged her talent at an early age, and her first acting part was as Helen Keller in a fifth-grade play...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "LIVING OUT LOUD" ” - dino45-1
 
11.
Alison Steadman
Actress, Life Is Sweet
Liverpool-born actress Alison Steadman was born in 1946, the daughter of George Percival Steadman and Marjorie Evans. Educated at Childwall Valley High School, she studied at the East-15 Acting School from 1966-1969, then toiled as a secretary at the Liverpool Probation Service before deciding on a full-time acting career...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "LIFE IS SWEET" ” - dino45-1
 
12.
Shelley Duvall
Actress, The Shining
Shelley Alexis Duvall was born in Houston, Texas, to Bobbie Ruth (Massengale) and Robert Richardson Duvall, a lawyer. During her childhood, Shelley's mother humorously gave Shelley the nickname "Manic Mouse", because she would often run around her house and tip over furniture. Shelley however was more than a mouse...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "3 WOMEN" ” - dino45-1
 
13.
Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow was born in Los Angeles, California, to director John Farrow and actress and Tarzan-girl Maureen O'Sullivan. Her father was Australian-born (of English descent) and her mother was Irish-born (of Irish, Scottish, and English ancestry). Farrow debuted at the movies in 1959 in very small roles...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "BROADWAY DANNY ROSE" ” - dino45-1
 
14.
Lili Taylor
Lili Taylor is a well-known and successful American actress. She acts in film, TV and stage. She was born in Glencoe, Illinois, to Marie (Lecour) and George Park Taylor, an artist and hardware store operator. Lili graduated from New Trier High School in 1985. Then, she attended the Theatre School at DePaul University and the Piven Theatre Workshop...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "I SHOT ANDY WARHOL" ” - dino45-1
 
15.
Melanie Lynskey
Actress, Up in the Air
At 16 years of age, Melanie Lynskey captivated audiences with her explosive debut in Peter Jackson's Academy Award-nominated Heavenly Creatures, achieving worldwide acclaim and a Best Actress prize for her portrayal of an outcast teen whose relationship with her best friend (Kate Winslet) spirals dangerously out of control...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "HEAVENLY CREATURES" ” - dino45-1
 
16.
Kim Hunter
Her father, Donald Cole, was a consulting engineer, and died in 1926 when Kim was only 3 years old. Her mother, Grace Lind, once performed as a concert pianist. She had one brother who was eight years older than she, and she was educated at Miami Beach High. According to an in-depth article on Kim Hunter by Joseph Collura in the October 2009 issue of "Classic Images"...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH" ” - dino45-1
 
17.
Irene Dunne
Irene Marie Dunne was born on December 20, 1898, in Louisville, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Joseph Dunne, who inspected steamships, and Adelaide Henry, a musician who prompted Irene in the arts. Her first production was in Louisville when she appeared in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the age of five...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN " THE AWFUL TRUTH" ” - dino45-1
 
18.
Jean Arthur
This marvelous screen comedienne's best asset was only muffled during her seven years' stint in silent films. That asset? It was, of course, her squeaky, frog-like voice, which silent-era cinema audiences had simply no way of perceiving, much less appreciating. Jean Arthur, born Gladys Georgianna Greene in upstate New York...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "TALK OF THE TOWN" ” - dino45-1
 
19.
Joanne Woodward
Actress, Philadelphia
Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward was born on February 27, 1930, in Thomasville, Georgia, to Wade Woodward and Elinor Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward in a modest household. Her one older brother, Wade Jr., who was the favorite of her father, eventually became an architect. Elinor Woodward was a quite a movie buff and enjoyed going to picture shows often...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "EFFECTS OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN IN THE MOON MARIGOLDS" ” - dino45-1
 
20.
Vanessa Redgrave
On January 30, 1937, renowned theatre actor Michael Redgrave was performing in a production of Hamlet in London. During the curtain call, the show's lead, Laurence Olivier, announced to the audience: "tonight a great actress was born". This was in reference to his co-star's newborn daughter, Vanessa Redgrave...
“ FOR HER ROLE IN "WETHERBY" ” - dino45-1