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1.
Jennifer Jones
One of the world's most underrated Academy Award-winning actresses, Jennifer Jones was born Phylis Lee Isley on 2 March 1919 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Flora Mae (Suber) and Phillip Ross Isley, who ran a travelling stage show. As a young aspiring actress, she met and fell for young aspiring actor Robert Walker and they soon married...
 
2.
Sylvia Sidney
Actress, Sabotage
Sylvia Sidney was born in New York City, in the Bronx borough, on August 8, 1910 with the birth name of Sophia Kosow. Her father was Russian born and her mother was born in Romania. They divorced not long after her birth. Her mother subsequently remarried and Sylvia was adopted by her stepfather, Sigmund Sidney...
 
3.
Ida Lupino
Ida was born in London to a show business family. In 1933, her mother brought Ida with her to an audition and Ida got the part her mother wanted. The picture was Her First Affaire. Ida, a bleached blonde, came to Hollywood in 1934 and played small and insignificant parts. Peter Ibbetson was one of her...
 
4.
Anne Ramsey
Actress, The Goonies
American character actress Anne Ramsey was quite busy in the 1980s despite being in her later years at the time. It wasn't until quite late in her life that Ramsey pursued an acting career in motion pictures. Ramsey was born Anne Mobley in Omaha, Nebraska, to Eleanor (Smith), a national treasurer of the Girl Scouts...
 
5.
Bette Davis
Actress, All About Eve
Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts, to Ruth Augusta (Favor) and Harlow Morrell Davis, a patent attorney. Her parents divorced when she was 10. She and her sister were raised by their mother. Her early interest was dance. To Bette, dancers led a glamorous life, but then she discovered the stage...
 
6.
Eileen Brennan
Actress, The Sting
A supremely gifted, versatile player who could reach dramatic depths, as exemplified in her weary-eyed, good-hearted waitress in The Last Picture Show, or comedy heights, as in her sadistic drill captain in Private Benjamin, Eileen Brennan managed to transition from lovely Broadway singing ingénue to respected film and television character actress within a decade's time...
 
7.
Agnes Moorehead
Actress, Bewitched
Of Irish/English ancestry, Agnes was born near Boston, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister (her mother was a mezzo-soprano) who encouraged her to perform in church pageants. Aged three, she sang 'The Lord is my Shepherd' on a public stage and seven years later joined the St. Louis Municipal Opera as a dancer and singer for four years...
 
8.
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...
 
9.
Flora Robson
Flora Robson knew she was no beauty, but her wise and sympathetic face would become a familiar - indeed, shining - ornament of the 1930s and 40s silver screen. Though not sure of acting as a career in her early years, she nevertheless appeared on stage for the first time at 5 years old. She was educated...
 
10.
Anne Bancroft
Actress, The Graduate
Anne Bancroft was born on September 17, 1931 in the Bronx, New York, the daughter of Italian-American parents Michael Italiano (1905-2001), a dress pattern maker, and Mildred DiNapoli (1908-2010), a telephone operator. She made her cinema debut in Don't Bother to Knock in 1952 and over the next five years appeared in a lot of undistinguished movies as a supporting actress (like...
 
11.
Donna Reed
Donna Reed was born in the midwestern town of Denison, Iowa, on January 27, 1921, as Donna Belle Mullenger. A small town - a population of less than 3,000 people - Denison was located by the Boyer River, and was the county seat of Crawford County. Donna grew up as a farm girl, much like many young girls in western Iowa...
 
12.
Linda Hunt
Veteran character actress Linda Hunt was Born April 2, 1945 in Morristown, New Jersey to Raymond Davy Hunter and Elsie Doying Hunter. She attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, and the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago (now part of DePaul University). Her film debut was in Robert Altman's Popeye...
 
13.
Anne Revere
Veteran character actress Anne Revere became another in the long line of talented artists whose careers would crash under the weight of the "Red Scare" hysteria that tore through Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s. Born in Manhattan and a direct descendant of Revolutionary War figure Paul Revere, Anne graduated from Wellesley College, then trained for the stage at the American Laboratory Theatre...
 
14.
Rachel Roberts
Beautiful, swift and tough-tongued British character actress Rachel Roberts gained notice for her roles on the English stage, before she hit it largely in films. Born in Wales and married to actor Rex Harrison in 1962, Roberts made her film debut in a key role in J. Lee Thompson's Young and Willing a drama film about the life of women in prison...
 
15.
Wendy Hiller
Wendy Hiller, daughter of Frank and Marie Hiller, was born on 15th August 1912 in Bramhall, near Stockport, Cheshire, England. She was educated at Winceby House School, Bexhill then moved on to Manchester Repertory Theatre. She appeared on stage in Sir John Barry's tour of Evensong, then as Sally Hardcastle in Love on the Dole...
 
16.
Eleanor Parker
Eleanor Jean Parker was born on June 26, 1922, in Cedarville, Ohio, the last of three children born to a mathematics teacher and his wife. Eleanor caught the acting bug early and began performing in school plays. She was was so serious about becoming a thespian, she attended the Rice Summer Theatre on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts beginning when she was 15 years old...
 
18.
Patricia Collinge
Irish-born stage actress, in London from 1904, on Broadway from 1908. After appearing as a flower girl in 'The Queen of the Moulin Rouge', she became a celebrated theatrical star of many classic plays by George Bernard Shaw, Henrik Ibsen, J.M. Barrie and others. From 1947 to 1948, she starred as Lavinia Penniman in 'The Heiress' at the Biltmore Theatre...
 
19.
Beatrice Straight
Actress, Poltergeist
In her long career, Beatrice Straight actually did very little work in the movies, plying her trade mostly onstage. But when she did grace the silver screen, she did it with great skill. Her first love was theater, having debuted on Broadway in the 1935 "Bitter Oleander". Her work garnered her much acclaim...
 
20.
Cicely Tyson
Actress, The Help
Cicely Tyson was born in Harlem, New York City, where she was raised by her devoutly religious parents, from the Caribbean island of Nevis. Her mother, Theodosia, was a domestic, and her father, William Tyson, was a carpenter and painter. She was discovered by a fashion editor at Ebony magazine and...
 
21.
Mercedes McCambridge
Actress, The Exorcist
Mercedes McCambridge is a highly-talented radio performer who won a best supporting Actress Oscar for her film debut. Mercedes McCambridge was born in Joliet, Illinois, to Marie (Mahaffry) and John Patrick McCambridge, a farmer. She was of mostly Irish (with a small amount of English and German) ancestry...
 
22.
Evelyn Keyes
No shrinking violet this one, but despite her talent, vivacity and sheer drive, lovely and alluring blonde Evelyn Keyes would remain for the most part typed as a "B" girl on the silver screen. In spite of her ripe contributions to such superior pictures as Here Comes Mr. Jordan, The Jolson Story, Mrs. Mike...
 
23.
Ruth Roman
Ruth Roman was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, the youngest of three daughters of Lithuanian-Jewish parents, Mary Pauline (Gold) and Abraham Roman. Her father, a carnival barker, died when she was a small child, forcing her mother to support the family by working as a waitress and cleaning woman. Ruth grew up in the poor tenement district of Boston...
 
24.
Sissy Spacek
Actress, Carrie
As a kid, Sissy Spacek climbed trees, rode horses, swam, and played in the woods. She was born Mary Elizabeth Spacek on December 25, 1949, in Quitman, Texas, to Virginia Frances (Spilman) and Edwin Arnold Spacek, Sr., a county agricultural agent. Her father's family was of Czech and German origin. Sissy attended Quitman High School and was homecoming queen...
 
25.
Miriam Hopkins
Born in Savannah, Georgia and brought up in nearby Bainbridge, Miriam Hopkins spent most of her formative years with her maternal grandmother. She received her secondary education in Barre, Vermont and then Syracuse University. Upon graduation, she went to New York to become a ballet dancer, but instead gravitated towards Broadway revues and vaudeville instead...
 
26.
Anna Lee
The daughter of a clergyman, Anna Lee was born Joan Boniface Winnifrith and encouraged to pursue an acting career by her father. After training at London's Royal Albert Hall, she took to the boards and later began appearing in English films, first as an extra, then working her way up to featured parts and finally earning the unofficial title "Queen of the Quota Quickies." Lee and her husband...
 
27.
Toni Collette
Toni Collette is an Academy Award-nominated Australian actress, best known for her roles in The Sixth Sense and Little Miss Sunshine. Collette was born Toni Collett (she later added an "e") on November 1, 1972, in Blacktown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She is the first of three children of Judith (Cook)...
 
28.
Florence Bates
Actress, Rebecca
The American character actress, Florence Rabe, was the daughter of an antique store owner. She gained a degree in Mathematics from the University of Texas in 1906 and went on to a career in teaching and social work. She changed course after being persuaded by a friend to study law, and, passing her bar exam in 1914...
 
29.
Carol Kane
Actress, Annie Hall
Carol Kane was born Carolyn Laurie Kane on June 18, 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Elaine Joy (Fetterman), a jazz singer and pianist, and Michael Myron Kane, an architect. Her family is Jewish (from Russia, Poland, and Austria). Due to her parents' divorce, Carol spent most of her childhood in boarding schools...
 
30.
Piper Laurie
Actress, Carrie
Piper Laurie was born Rosetta Jacobs in Detroit, Michigan, on January 22, 1932, to Charlotte Sadie (Alperin) and Alfred Jacobs, a furniture dealer. Her father was a Polish Jewish immigrant and her mother was of Russian Jewish descent. Her father moved the family to Los Angeles, California, when she was 6-years-old...
 
31.
Marsha Mason
She has a wonderful, extremely engaging "feel good" quality about her, an innate warmth that makes you root for her whether she's playing a stubborn single mom, brittle prostitute, or strung-out alcoholic. Marsha Mason was a resoundingly respected and popular film actress of the 1970s and 1980s whose career skyrocketed in the bittersweet comedies/dramas of award-winning Neil Simon...
 
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33.
Joanna Lumley
Joanna Lumley was born in Kashmir, India, on 1st May 1946. Her father was a major in the Gurkha Rifles, and she spent most of her early childhood in the Far East where her father was posted. An aspiring actress, she first came to fame as a model in London's swinging 1960s, where she was photographed by the greats...
 
34.
Siân Phillips
Actress, Dune
Veteran stage actress Sian Phillips is forever identified on television as the tarantula mother/empress Livia in the classic BBC series I, Claudius, and as the Reverend Mother in the science fiction epic film Dune. Her broad range of roles went from endearing to downright deadly. Phillips was born Jane Elizabeth Ailwên Phillips in Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen...
 
35.
Lee Grant
Academy Award winner Lee Grant was born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal on October 31, 1925 in Manhattan, New York City, to Witia (Haskell), a teacher and actress, and Abraham Rosenthal, an educator and realtor. Her father was of Romanian Jewish descent, and her mother was a Russian Jewish immigrant. Lee made her stage debut at age 4 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City...
 
36.
Dorothy McGuire
A genuine model of sincerity, practicality and dignity in most of the roles she inhabited, actress Dorothy McGuire offered Tinseltown more talent than it probably knew what to do with. A quiet, passive beauty, she had a soothing quality to her open-faced looks and voice. She was a natural when he came...
 
37.
Martha Scott
Actress, Ben-Hur
Martha Ellen Scott was born in Jamesport, Missouri, to Letha (McKinley) and Walter Alva Scott, an engineer and garage owner. She entered films in the early 1940s, following an initial appearance in stock. Her first film appearance was Our Town, playing the same character as she played on the stage...
 
38.
Gloria Swanson
Actress, Sunset Blvd.
Gloria Swanson went to public schools in Chicago; Key West, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her film debut was as an extra in The Fable of Elvira and Farina and the Meal Ticket. From the following year on, she had leading roles in pictures for Keystone, then a year with Triangle, and, in 1919, a contract with Cecil B. DeMille. DeMille transformed her from a typical Mack Sennett comedienne into a lively...
 
39.
Susan Blakely
Actress, Over the Top
She stands out easily in a crowd with her wholesome beauty, knock-out figure and dazzling smile. Ever-radiant TV and film resident Susan Blakely found success on several paths she chose for herself over the years -- first as a model, then as an award-winning actress on TV and, finally, as a jewelry designer...