My top 30 actresses/actors

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1.
Laura Linney
Laura Leggett Linney was born in New York City on February 5, 1964, into a theatre family. Her father was prominent playwright Romulus Linney, whose own great-grandfather was a congressman from North Carolina. Her mother, Miriam Anderson (Leggett), is a nurse. Although she did not live in her father's house (her parents having divorced when she was an infant)...
 
2.
Anne Reid
Actress, A Close Shave
After several small roles in the classic 1950s British TV shows 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' and 'Hancock's Half Hour' she found fame as Ken Barlow's wife Valerie in the #1 UK TV show 'Coronation Street' she remained with the show for a decade before leaving to give birth and bring up her son. Her character was accidentally electrocuted while trying to plug in a hairdryer...
 
4.
Olivia Colman
Actress, Locke
 
5.
Julie Walters
Actress, Brave
For decades, Brit actress and comedienne Julie Walters has served as a sturdy representation of the working class with her passionate, earthy portrayals on England's stage, screen and TV. A bona fide talent, her infectious spirit and self-deprecating sense of humor eventually captured the hearts of international audiences...
 
6.
Kathy Burke
Ms. Burke was born in Camden, London in 1964 at the Royal Free Hospital. Kathy's mother died when she was a baby and she was in foster homes for a short time until her father, who was a heavy drinker, could regain custody of Kathy and live with her two brothers. Kathy attended the Maria Fidelis Secondary School in Euston...
 
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8.
Maxine Peake
After graduating from Salford University, Peake trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Her first role out of drama school was in Victoria Wood's sitcom Dinnerladies which ran for two series. She made her professional stage debut at the Bolton Octagon in 1998's "Early One Morning".
 
10.
Michael C. Hall
Actor, Dexter
Michael C. Hall was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, to Janice (Styons), a guidance counselor, and William Carlyle Hall, who worked for IBM. Michael is a graduate of NYU's Master of Fine Arts program in acting. He is known for the titular character "Dexter" in Dexter and as mortician "David Fisher" in Six Feet Under...
 
11.
Olympia Dukakis
Long a vital, respected lady of the classic and contemporary stage this grand lady did not become a household name and sought-after film actress until age 56 when she turned in a glorious, Oscar-winning perf as Cher's sardonic mother in the romantic comedy Moonstruck. Since then movie...
 
12.
Kathy Bates
Actress, Titanic
Multi-talented Kathleen Doyle Bates was born on June 28, 1948, and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the youngest of three girls born to Bertye Kathleen (Talbot), a homemaker, and Langdon Doyle Bates, a mechanical engineer. Her grandfather was author Finis L. Bates. Kathy has English, as well as Irish...
 
13.
Lesley Manville
Actress, Maleficent
Lesley Manville was born on March 12, 1956 in Brighton, East Sussex, England. She is a multi award winning stage and screen actress and has worked extensively with the director Mike Leigh. She is known for Another Year (2010), All or Nothing (2002), Topsy-Turvy (1999), Secrets & Lies (1996). Lesley was made an OBE in the 2015 Queens Birthday Honours List.
 
14.
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)...
 
15.
Rachel Griffiths
Actress, Blow
Her mother, Anna Griffiths, is an art consultant. Her uncle is a Jesuit priest. Has two older brothers. One brother, Ben, is a ski instructor. Lived on the Gold Coast, Queensland until age five, then moved to Melbourne. Attended Star of the Sea Catholic Girls' College, did well at school and learned ballet...
 
17.
Jessica Hynes
As both a writer and performer, Jessica Hynes has worked prolifically in television, film and theatre. Born in Lewisham, South London in 1972, she was brought up in Brighton, Sussex. At school, she would write bizarre sci-fi stories. At age 15, she joined the National Youth Theatre and left home at age 18...
 
18.
Stephanie Cole
Born in Warwickshire, England, UK. At age of 15, she auditioned for and was accepted to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Stephanie began her career at age 17 playing a 90-year-old woman. She went on to play beloved characters on the shows Waiting for God and Doc Martin.
 
21.
Michelle Williams
A small-town girl born and raised in rural Kalispell, Montana, Michelle 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, English, Swedish, Swiss-German, Danish, Welsh, and Scottish...
 
22.
Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore was born Julie Anne Smith in Fort Bragg, North Carolina on December 3, 1960, the daughter of Anne (Love), a social worker, and Peter Moore Smith, a paratrooper, colonel, and later military judge. Her mother moved to the U.S. in 1951, from Greenock, Scotland. Her father, from Burlington, New Jersey, has German, Irish, German-Jewish, and English ancestry...
 
23.
Zawe Ashton
Actress, Blitz
Zawe was born on 21st July 1984 in Hackney, London, to two teachers, Ugandan Victoria and English Paul, and had her first acting experience at the age of six as a member of the Anna Scher Theatre school in Islington. After leaving the City and Islington College in London - where she was an A student - Zawe attended Manchester University School of Theatre...
 
24.
Julia Roberts
Actress, Notting Hill
Julia Fiona Roberts never dreamed she would become the most popular actress in America. She was born in Smyrna, Georgia, to Betty Lou (Bredemus) and Walter Grady Roberts, one-time actors and playwrights, and is of English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, German, and Swedish descent. As a child, due to her love of animals...
 
25.
Hugh Jackman
Hugh Michael Jackman is an Australian actor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer and producer. Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as superhero, period, and romance characters. He is best known for his long-running role as Wolverine in the X-Men film series...
 
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27.
Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett was born on May 14, 1969 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to June (Gamble), an Australian teacher and property developer, and Robert DeWitt Blanchett, Jr., an American advertising executive, originally from Texas. She has an older brother and a younger sister. When she was ten years old...
 
28.
Meryl Streep
Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 19 times, and has won it three times. Meryl was born Mary Louise Streep in 1949 in Summit, New Jersey, to Mary Wolf (Wilkinson), a commercial artist, and Harry William Streep...
 
29.
Victoria Wood
Since the mid-1980s, Wood's appearances on stage and television were always eagerly anticipated, whether it was laugh-a-minute stand-up, a beautifully judged dramatic performance in the TV film Housewife, 49 or the canteen sitcom Dinnerladies. The care and craft she lavished on each look and line of dialogue was as meticulous as it was matchless...
 
30.
Judi Dench
Actress, Skyfall
Judi Dench was born in York, England, to Eleanora Olive (Jones), who was from Dublin, Ireland, and Reginald Arthur Dench, a doctor from Dorset, England. She attended Mount School in York, and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has performed with Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre...