Best Actresses

by juliakillander | created - 12 Jan 2013 | updated - 19 Jan 2013 | Public

Not in order.

1. Jennifer Aniston

Actress | Friends

Jennifer Aniston was born in Sherman Oaks, California, to actors John Aniston and Nancy Dow. Her father is Greek, and her mother was of English, Irish, Scottish, and Italian descent. Jennifer spent a year of her childhood living in Greece with her family. Her family then relocated to New York City ...

2. Angelina Jolie

Actress | Maleficent

Angelina Jolie is an Academy Award-winning actress who became popular after playing the title role in the "Lara Croft" blockbuster movies, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Wanted (2008), Salt (2010) and Maleficent (2014). Off-screen, Jolie has become prominently involved in international ...

3. Winona Ryder

Actress | Little Women

Winona Ryder was born Winona Laura Horowitz in Olmsted County, Minnesota, and was named after a nearby town, Winona, Minnesota. She is the daughter of Cynthia (Istas), an author and video producer, and Michael Horowitz, a publisher and bookseller. Her father's family is Russian Jewish and Romanian ...

4. 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 ...

5. Demi Moore

Actress | G.I. Jane

Demi Moore was born 1962 in Roswell, New Mexico. Her father Charles Harmon left her mother Virginia King before Demi was born. Her stepfather Danny Guynes didn't add much stability to her life either. He frequently changed jobs and made the family move a total of 40 times. The parents kept on ...

6. Ellen Pompeo

Actress | Grey's Anatomy

Ellen Kathleen Pompeo was born in Everett, Massachusetts, to Kathleen B. (O'Keefe) and Joseph E. Pompeo, a salesman. She is of Italian (from her paternal grandfather), Irish, and some English, ancestry.

Pompeo made her major studio screen debut in Brad Silberling's Moonlight Mile (2002), starring ...

7. Katherine Heigl

Actress | One for the Money

Katherine Marie Heigl was born on November 24, 1978 in Washington, D.C., to Nancy Heigl (née Engelhardt), a personnel manager, and Paul Heigl, an accountant and executive. Her father is of German/Swiss-German and Irish descent, and her mother is of German ancestry. A short time after her birth, the...

8. Sandra Oh

Actress | Grey's Anatomy

Sandra Oh was born to Korean parents in the Ottawa suburb of Nepean, Ontario, Canada. Her father, Oh Junsu, a businessman, and her mother, Oh Young-nam, a biochemist, were married in Seoul, South Korea. They both attended graduate school at the University of Toronto. Sandra began her career as a ...

9. Amanda Seyfried

Actress | Les Misérables

Amanda Seyfried was born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, to Ann (Sander), an occupational therapist, and Jack Seyfried, a pharmacist. She is of German, and some English and Scottish, ancestry. She began modeling when she was eleven, and acted in high school productions as well as taking ...

10. Jennifer Connelly

Actress | A Beautiful Mind

Jennifer Connelly was born in the Catskill Mountains, New York, to Ilene (Schuman), a dealer of antiques, and Gerard Connelly, a clothing manufacturer. Her father had Irish and Norwegian ancestry, and her mother was from a Jewish immigrant family. Jennifer grew up in Brooklyn Heights, just across ...

11. Elizabeth Banks

Actress | The Hunger Games

Elizabeth Banks was born Elizabeth Mitchell in Pittsfield, a small city in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts near the New York border, on February 10, 1974. She is the daughter of Ann (Wallace), who worked in a bank, and Mark P. Mitchell, a factory worker. Elizabeth describes herself as ...

12. Emma Watson

Actress | The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born in Paris, France, to English parents, Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson, both lawyers. She moved to Oxfordshire when she was five, where she attended the Dragon School. From the age of six, Emma knew that she wanted to be an actress and, for a number of years,...

13. Jennifer Lawrence

Actress | The Hunger Games

The highest-paid actress in the world, with her films grossing over $5.5 billion worldwide, Jennifer Lawrence is often cited as the most successful actor of her generation. She is thus far the only person born in the 1990s to have won an acting Oscar.

Jennifer Shrader Lawrence was born August 15, ...

14. Julia Roberts

Actress | Pretty Woman

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 ...

15. Jennifer Lopez

Actress | Gigli

Jennifer Lynn Lopez was born in the Castle Hill section of The Bronx on July 24, 1969. She is the middle of three musically-inclined sisters, Leslie Lopez, a homemaker, and Lynda Lopez, a DJ on New York's WKTU, a VH1 VJ, and a morning news show correspondent on New York's Channel 11. Jennifer ...

16. Michelle Pfeiffer

Actress | What Lies Beneath

Michelle Pfeiffer was born in Santa Ana, California, to Donna Jean (Taverna) and Richard Pfeiffer, a heating and air-conditioning contractor. She has an older brother and two younger sisters - Dedee Pfeiffer and Lori Pfeiffer, who both dabbled in acting and modeling but decided against making it ...

17. Hilary Swank

Actress | Boys Don't Cry

Hilary was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Judith Kay (Clough), a secretary, and Stephen Michael Swank, who served in the National Guard and was also a traveling salesman. Her maternal grandmother, Frances Martha Dominguez, was of Mexican descent, and her other roots include German, English, and ...

18. Anne Hathaway

Actress | Les Misérables

Anne Jacqueline Hathaway was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Kate McCauley Hathaway, an actress, and Gerald T. Hathaway, a lawyer, both originally from Philadelphia. She is of mostly Irish descent, along with English, German, and French. Her first major role came in the short-lived television series ...

19. 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 ...

20. Jessica Biel

Actress | The Illusionist

Jessica Biel, with her good looks and talent, has become one of Hollywood's most sought-out actresses. She was born in Ely, Minnesota, to Kimberly (Conroe) and Jonathan Edward Biel, who is a business consultant and GM worker. Biel was raised in Boulder, Colorado. She is of Hungarian Jewish, Danish,...

21. Sarah Jessica Parker

Actress | Sex and the City

Sarah Jessica Parker was born March 25, 1965, in Nelsonville, Ohio, to Barbra Forste (née Keck), a teacher who ran a nursery school, and Stephen Parker, a journalist. Her parents divorced, and her mother later remarried to Paul Forste and had four more children, bringing the total to eight. Sarah ...

22. Helen Hunt

Actress | As Good as It Gets

Helen Hunt began studying acting at the age of eight with her father, respected director and acting coach Gordon Hunt. A year later she made her professional debut and afterwards worked steadily in films, theatre and television.

23. Susan Sarandon

Actress | Thelma & Louise

Susan Sarandon was born Susan Abigail Tomalin in New York City, NY, to Lenora Marie (Criscione), no profession, and Phillip Leslie Tomalin, an advertising executive. She is of Italian (mother) and English, Irish, Welsh, and German (father) descent. Soon after the 1968 Democratic convention, there ...

24. Reese Witherspoon

Actress | Wild

Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon was born on March 22, 1976 at Southern Baptist Hospital (now Memorial Medical Center) in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is the second child of Mary Elizabeth "Betty" (Reese) and Dr. John Draper Witherspoon, Sr. Her father was a military surgeon specializing in ear, nose ...

25. Kate Beckinsale

Actress | Underworld: Evolution

Kate Beckinsale was born on 26 July 1973 in England, and has resided in London for most of her life. Her mother is Judy Loe, who has appeared in a number of British dramas and sitcoms and continues to work as an actress, predominantly in British television productions. Her father was Richard ...

26. Liv Tyler

Actress | Armageddon

Liv Tyler was born in New York City, New York. She is the daughter of Steven Tyler of the band Aerosmith, and Bebe Buell, former model (and Playboy Playmate of the Month) and stalwart of the backstage rock scene of the 1970s. Liv grew up thinking that rock star Todd Rundgren was her father. But as ...

27. Cher

Actress | Moonstruck

The beat goes on ... and on ... and as strong as ever for this superstar entertainer who has well surpassed the four-decade mark while improbably transforming herself from an artificial, glossy "flashionplate" singer into a serious, Oscar-worthy, dramatic actress ... and back again! With more ups ...

28. Julianne Moore

Actress | The Kids Are All Right

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 ...

29. Leslie Mann

Actress | Knocked Up

Leslie Jean Mann was born in San Francisco, California. She was raised in Newport Beach, California by her mother, Janet Ann Ayres. At the age of 17 she launched her career, appearing in various TV commercials.

Her screen break came when she was cast as Nurse Mary in the short-lived Birdland (1994)....

30. Zooey Deschanel

Actress | New Girl

Zooey Deschanel was born in 1980 into a showbiz family. Her father, Caleb Deschanel, is an Academy Award-nominated cinematographer (perhaps most notably for The Passion of the Christ (2004)) and her mother, Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir), is an actress who appeared in Twin Peaks (1990). Her paternal ...

31. Courteney Cox

Actress | Friends

Courteney Cox was born on June 15th, 1964 in Birmingham, Alabama, into an affluent Southern family. She is the daughter of Courteney (Bass) and Richard Lewis Cox (1930-2001), a businessman. She was the baby of the family with two older sisters (Virginia and Dottie) and an older brother, Richard, Jr...

32. Kirsten Dunst

Actress | Spider-Man

Kirsten Caroline Dunst is an American actress, who also holds German citizenship. She was born on April 30, 1982 in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, to parents Inez (née Rupprecht), who owned an art gallery, and Klaus Dunst, a medical services executive. She has a younger brother named Christian Dunst, ...

33. 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 ...

34. Diane Keaton

Actress | Annie Hall

Diane was a California native who studied Drama at Santa Ana College before dropping out to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. After appearing in summer stock for several months, she got her first major stage role in the Broadway rock musical "Hair". As understudy to the lead, she ...

35. Blake Lively

Actress | The Age of Adaline

Blake Lively was born Blake Ellender Brown in Tarzana, California, to a show business family. Her mother, Elaine Lively (née McAlpin), is an acting coach and talent manager, and her father, Ernie Lively (born Ernest Wilson Brown, Jr.), is an actor and teacher. Her brother is actor Eric Lively, and ...

36. Leighton Meester

Actress | Gossip Girl

Leighton Marissa Meester was born in Fort Worth, Texas, to Constance Lynn (Haas) and Douglas Jay Meester. Although born in Texas, Meester spent her early years in Marco Island, Florida with her grandparents. There, she became involved with the local playhouse and made her stage debut in a ...

37. Natalie Portman

Actress | Black Swan

Natalie Portman is the first person born in the 1980s to have won the Academy Award for Best Actress (for Black Swan (2010)).

Natalie was born Natalie Hershlag on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel. She is the only child of Avner Hershlag, an Israeli-born doctor, and Shelley Stevens, an ...

38. 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...

39. Charlize Theron

Actress | Monster

Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, a city in the greater Johannesburg area, in South Africa, the only child of Gerda Theron (née Gerda Jacoba Aletta Maritz) and Charles Jacobus Theron. She was raised on a farm outside the city. Theron is of Afrikaner (Dutch, with some French Huguenot and German) ...

40. Julia Stiles

Actress | 10 Things I Hate About You

Julia O'Hara Stiles was born on March 28, 1981 in New York City, the outgoing daughter of a Greenwich Village artist mother, Judith Newcomb Stiles, and an elementary school teacher father, John O'Hara. She is the eldest of three children, and has Irish, English, and German ancestry. Encouraged to ...

41. Nicole Kidman

Actress | Moulin Rouge!

Elegant blonde Nicole Kidman, known as one of Hollywood's top Australian imports, was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, while her Australian parents were there on educational visas.

Kidman is the daughter of Janelle Ann (Glenny), a nursing instructor, and Antony David Kidman, a biochemist and ...

42. Katie Holmes

Actress | Batman Begins

Born two months premature at four pounds, Kate Noelle Holmes made her first appearance on December 18, 1978, in Toledo, Ohio. She is the daughter of Kathleen Ann (Craft), a philanthropist, and Martin Joseph Holmes, Sr., a lawyer. She is of German, Irish, and English ancestry. Her parents have said ...

43. Meryl Streep

Actress | Out of Africa

Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 20 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 ...

44. Kate Winslet

Actress | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Ask Kate Winslet what she likes about any of her characters, and the word "ballsy" is bound to pop up at least once. The British actress has made a point of eschewing straightforward pretty-girl parts in favor of more devilish damsels; as a result, she's built an eclectic resume that runs the gamut...

45. Cate Blanchett

Actress | Carol

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 ...

46. Christina Aguilera

Soundtrack | The Voice

Christina Maria Aguilera was born on December 18, 1980, in Staten Island, New York, to Shelly Loraine (Fidler) and Fausto Wagner Xavier Aguilera, a U.S. army sergeant. Her father is Ecuadorian and her mother, who is American-born, has English, Scots-Irish, and German ancestry. Her parents divorced ...

47. Jodie Foster

Actress | The Silence of the Lambs

Alicia Christian Foster was born in Los Angeles on November 19, 1962. She is the daughter of Evelyn Ella "Brandy" (Almond) and Lucius Fisher Foster III, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and later real estate broker. Brandy had filed for divorce in 1959 after having three children with Lucius, but ...

48. Scarlett Johansson

Actress | Lost in Translation

Scarlett Johansson was born in New York City. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, is from a Jewish family from the Bronx, and her father, Karsten Johansson, is a Danish-born architect, from Copenhagen. She has a sister, Vanessa Johansson, who is also an actress, a brother, Adrian, a twin brother, Hunter ...

49. Catherine Zeta-Jones

Actress | Chicago

Catherine Zeta-Jones was born September 25, 1969 in Swansea, West Glamorgan, Wales, UK. She is the daughter of Patricia (Fair) and David James "Dai" Jones, who formerly owned a sweet factory. Her father is of Welsh descent and her mother is of English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry. Her brothers are ...

50. Joan Cusack

Actress | Grosse Pointe Blank

Actress Joan Cusack was born in New York City, New York, and is the daughter of Nancy (née Carolan) and Dick Cusack. Her father was an advertising executive, writer and actor, and her mother was a math teacher. Her siblings - Susie Cusack, John Cusack, Ann Cusack and Bill Cusack also act. Her ...

51. 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 ...

52. Zoe Saldana

Actress | Avatar

Zoe Saldana was born on June 19, 1978 in Passaic, New Jersey, to Asalia Nazario and Aridio Saldaña. Her father was Dominican and her mother is Puerto Rican. She was raised in Queens, New York. When she was 10 years old, she and her family moved to the Dominican Republic, where they would live for ...

53. Gwyneth Paltrow

Actress | Shakespeare in Love

A tall, wafer thin, delicate beauty, Gwyneth Kate Paltrow was born in Los Angeles, the daughter of noted producer and director Bruce Paltrow and Tony award-winning actress Blythe Danner. Her father was from a Jewish family, while her mother has German, and some English and Irish, ancestry. When ...

54. Amanda Bynes

Actress | Hairspray

Amanda Laura Bynes was born on April 3, 1986, in Thousand Oaks, California, the youngest of three children of Lynn (Organ), a dental assistant, and Richard Bynes, a dentist. Her father is of Lithuanian, Irish, and Polish descent, and her mother is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family from Toronto. ...

55. Mandy Moore

Actress | A Walk to Remember

Amanda Leigh Moore was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, on April 10, 1984, to Stacy (Friedman), a former news reporter, and Don Moore, an airline pilot. During her childhood, her family moved to Orlando, Florida, where she was raised. She has Russian Jewish (from her maternal grandfather), English, ...

56. Abigail Breslin

Actress | Little Miss Sunshine

Academy Award-nominated actress Abigail Breslin is one of the most sought-after actors of her generation. Her unique and charismatic talents have contributed to her versatile roles in both comedy and drama.

Recently, Breslin headlined the first season of the horror-comedy series, Scream Queens (2015)...

57. 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 ...

58. Anna Faris

Actress | The House Bunny

Anna Kay Faris was born on November 29, 1976 in Baltimore, Maryland, to Karen (Bathurst), a special education teacher, and Jack Faris, a sociologist. She was raised in Edmonds, Washington. Her ancestry includes English, German, Scottish, French, Dutch, and Welsh.

Anna started acting very young but ...

59. Teresa Palmer

Actress | I Am Number Four

Actress and model Teresa Palmer has gathered some impressive film credits. She was born in Adelaide, South Australia, to Kevin Palmer, an investor, and Paula Sanders, a former missionary and nurse. She completed high school at Mercedes College in 2003, where she was a popular student who was ...

60. Ginnifer Goodwin

Actress | Big Love

Ginnifer Goodwin was born Jennifer Michelle Goodwin on May 22, 1978, in Memphis, Tennessee, to Linda (Kantor), who worked at FedEx, and Tim Goodwin, who had a recording studio. Bright and talented, Ginnifer carried her love for theater and acting through her high school years. She graduated from ...

61. Marcia Cross

Actress | Desperate Housewives

Marcia Anne Cross was born on March 25, 1962 in Marlborough, Massachusetts. As a child, Marcia always wanted to be an actress, so she set out to have a career in acting. Cross graduated from the Juilliard School in New York, a naturally gifted girl. Her career began in 1984, when she joined the ...

62. Eva Longoria

Actress | Desperate Housewives

Eva Longoria was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, to Ella Eva (Mireles) and Enrique Longoria, Jr. The youngest of four sisters who grew up on a ranch near Corpus Christi, Longoria attended Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. After ...

63. Teri Hatcher

Actress | Tomorrow Never Dies

Teri Lynn Hatcher was born in Palo Alto, California, the only child of Esther (Beshur), a computer programmer, and Owen Walker Hatcher, Jr., a nuclear physicist and electrical engineer. She has Syrian (from her immigrant maternal grandfather), Irish, English, and Czech ancestry. Teri grew up in ...

64. Felicity Huffman

Actress | Transamerica

Felicity toiled away for 20 years in ill fated television shows, Broadway plays and independent films in the shadow of her successful husband, actor William H Macy, then she got the part of Lynette Scavo in the television series Desperate Housewives and the film Transamerica resulting in a Golden ...

65. Kristen Bell

Actress | Frozen

Kristen Anne Bell (born 1980) is an American actress and singer. She was born and raised in Huntington Woods, Michigan, and is the daughter of Lorelei (Frygier), a nurse, and Tom Bell, a television news director. Her ancestry is Polish (mother) and German, English, Irish, and Scottish (father). ...

66. Jamie Lee Curtis

Actress | True Lies

Jamie Lee Curtis was born on November 22, 1958 in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of legendary actors Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. She got her big break at acting in 1978 when she won the role of Laurie Strode in Halloween (1978). After that, she became famous for roles in movies like Trading...

67. Lindsay Lohan

Actress | Mean Girls

Lindsay Dee Lohan was born in New York City on 2 July 1986. Her mother, Dina Lohan (née Donata Melina Nicolette Sullivan), is a former Wall Street analyst, and her father, Michael Lohan, is a businessman and former Wall Street trader. She has Irish, Italian, and German ancestry.

Lohan began her ...

68. Anna Kendrick

Actress | Up in the Air

Anna Kendrick was born in Portland, Maine, to Janice (Cooke), an accountant, and William Kendrick, a teacher. She has an older brother, Michael Cooke Kendrick, who has also acted. She is of English, Irish, and Scottish descent.

For her role as "Dinah" in "High Society" on Broadway, Anna Kendrick was...

69. Emily Browning

Actress | A Series of Unfortunate Events

Australian actress Emily Browning was born in 1988 in Melbourne, Australia, to Shelley and Andrew Browning. She has two younger brothers. Her start in acting came after a classmate's father, involved in the acting business, noticed her "acting all ditsy" in a school play. Emily found an agent and ...

70. Rebel Wilson

Actress | Pitch Perfect

Rebel Wilson was born in Sydney, Australia. She trained at the Australian Theatre for Young People and at Second City in the US. After a successful stage and television career in Australia, this writer/actress/producer now focuses on feature film projects in the United States and is perhaps most ...

71. Neve Campbell

Actress | Scream 2

Neve Campbell was born and raised in Guelph, Ontario, to Marnie (Neve), a Dutch-born psychologist and yoga instructor (from Amsterdam), and Gerry Campbell, a Scottish-born teacher (from Glasgow). Campbell first came to our TV screens in the hit Drama series Party of Five (1994). Described as TV's ...

72. Denise Richards

Actress | The World Is Not Enough

Denise Richards was born in Downers Grove, Illinois, the older of two daughters of Joni Lee, who owned a coffee shop, and Irv Richards, a telephone engineer. She has German, French-Canadian, Irish, English, and Welsh ancestry. She grew up in the Chicago area, until the family relocated to Oceanside...

73. Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Actress | Seinfeld

Julia Louis-Dreyfus was born on January 13, 1961, in the New York City borough of Manhattan, to Judith (LeFever), a special needs tutor and author, and Gérard Louis-Dreyfus, a billionaire businessman. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she spent her childhood in Washington, D.C., and New ...