My Favourite Actresses

A work in progress. Not in any particular order.

Some of these IMDb pictures really don't do them justice!
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3.
Charlize Theron
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) descent, and Afrikaner military figure Danie Theron was her great-great-uncle...
 
4.
Gina Torres
Actress, Serenity
Gina was born in New York City and is youngest of three children in a close-knit Cuban American family. Attended New York City's High School of Music and Art She is a gifted mezzo soprano and was trained in opera and jazz and also sang in a gospel choir.
 
5.
Helen Mirren
Actress, The Queen
Dame Helen Mirren was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital in West London. Her mother, Kathleen Alexandrina Eva Matilda (Rogers), was from a working-class English family, and her father, Vasiliy Petrovich Mironov, was a Russian-born civil servant, from Kuryanovo, whose own father was a diplomat. Mirren attended St...
 
6.
Lena Headey
Actress, 300
Lena Headey is a British actress, she was born in Bermuda, to parents from Yorkshire, England, where she was also raised. She is the daughter of Sue and John Headey, a police officer. Headey is best-known for her role as "Cersei Lannister" in Game of Thrones (2011-present) and The Brothers Grimm, Possession...
 
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8.
Pam Grier
Actress, Jackie Brown
Pam Grier was born in Winston-Salem, NC, one of four children of Gwendolyn Sylvia (Samuels), a nurse, and Clarence Ransom Grier Jr., an Air Force mechanic. Pam has been a major African-American star from the early 1970s. Her career started in 1971, when Roger Corman of New World Pictures launched her with The Big Doll House...
 
9.
Elizabeth Gracen
Actress, Coherence
Elizabeth Gracen arrived in New York City from a small town in Arkansas a year after traveling the world as Miss America 1982. She used her scholarship prize money to study acting at HB Studios and photography at the New School. She later moved to Los Angeles where she has worked as an actress for over twenty years...
 
10.
Rena Owen
Rena is an international award-winning actor and is one of only 6 actors in the world to have worked with both George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg during her illustrious career that spans 3 decades. One of 9 children, she was born and bred in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand to a Maori/Welsh Father and a European Mother...
 
11.
Alex Kingston
Actress, ER
 
12.
Franka Potente
Franka Potente was born on 22 July 1974 in the German town of Dülmen, to Hildegard, a medical assistant, and Dieter Potente, a teacher. After her graduation in 1994, she went to the Otto-Falckenberg-Schule, a drama school in Munich, but soon broke off to study at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York...
 
13.
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...
 
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15.
Cobie Smulders
Amazingly, newcomer Cobie Smulders never gave much thought to acting. She was born on April 3, 1982, in Vancouver, British Columbia, to a Dutch father and an English mother. As a girl, Cobie had set her sights on becoming a doctor or a marine biologist. In fact, it wasn't until high school that Cobie started to explore acting after appearing in several school productions...
 
16.
Jean Marsh
Actress, Willow
Born in London, Jean Marsh became interested in show business while taking dancing and mime classes as therapy for a childhood illness. After attending a charm school and working as a model, she started acting in repertory and took voice lessons. Her repertory work was supplemented by a number of film appearances as a dancer...
 
17.
Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter is an actress of great versatility, one of the UK's finest and most successful. Bonham Carter was born May 26, 1966 in Golders Green, London, England, the youngest of three children of Elena (née Propper de Callejón), a psychotherapist, and Raymond Bonham Carter, a merchant banker...
 
18.
Leni Riefenstahl
Leni Riefenstahl's show-biz experience began with an experiment: she wanted to know what it felt like to dance on the stage. Success as a dancer gave way to film acting when she attracted the attention of film director Arnold Fanck, subsequently starring in some of his mountaineering pictures. With Fanck as her mentor, Riefenstahl began directing films...
 
19.
Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve was born October 22, 1943 in Paris, France. Her parents were actors. She made her movie debut in 1957, when she was thirteen and continued with small parts in minor films, until Roger Vadim gave her a meatier role in Vice and Virtue. But her breakthrough came with the excellent musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg...
 
20.
Sharon Gless
Actress, Burn Notice
Show business is in Sharon Gless' blood. Her grandfather, Neil S. McCarthy (May 6, 1888 - July 25, 1972), was considered by many to have been the most respected and powerful entertainment lawyer of Hollywood's Golden Age. His clients included Howard Hughes, Paramount Pictures, Louis B. Mayer (personally)...
 
21.
Jeri Ryan
Jeri Ryan was born Jeri Lynn Zimmerman on February 22, 1968 in Munich, West Germany, to Sharon, a social worker, and Gerhard Florian Zimmerman, a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army. She and her brother Mark grew up on several military bases, including Kansas, Maryland, Georgia and Texas. Finally, at the age of 11...
 
22.
Jennifer Tilly
An actress who always attracts audiences' attention, Jennifer Tilly is by turns funny, sexy, compassionate, compelling and often all at once. Her breakthrough movie role tapped into all of those qualities failing singer Blanche "Monica" Moran in Steve Kloves' The Fabulous Baker Boys opposite brothers Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges...
 
23.
Tia Carrere
Actress, True Lies
Tia Carrere was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. While attending Sacred Hearts Academy, Tia was discovered in a Waikiki grocery store and landed the female lead in the indie movie Aloha Summer. Although her passion has always been singing (grandmother Rae took Tia to her first singing lesson at age ten)...
 
24.
Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche was born in Paris, France, to Monique Yvette Stalens, a director, teacher, and actress, and Jean-Marie Binoche, a sculptor, director, and actor. Her mother was born in Czestochowa, Poland, of French, Walloon Belgian, and Polish descent, while her father is French. Juliette was only 23 when she first attracted the attention of international film critics with The Unbearable Lightness of Being...
 
25.
Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson was born in London on April 15, 1959, into a family of actors - her father was Eric Thompson, who has passed away, and her mother, Phyllida Law, has co-starred with Thompson in several films (her sister, Sophie Thompson, is an actor as well). Her father was English-born and her mother is Scottish-born...
 
26.
Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston was born on July 8, 1951 in Santa Monica, California, to prima ballerina Enrica "Ricki" (Soma) and director and actor John Huston. Her mother, who was from New York, was of Italian descent, and her father had English, Scottish, and Scots-Irish ancestry. Huston spent most of her childhood overseas...
 
27.
Sophia Loren
Actress, Two Women
Sophia Loren was born as Sofia Scicolone at the Clinica Regina Margherita in Rome, Italy, on September 20, 1934. Her father, Riccardo Scicolone, was married to another woman and refused to marry her mother, Romilda Villani, despite the fact that she was the mother of his two children (Sophia and her younger sister Maria Scicolone)...
 
28.
Rita Moreno
Rita Moreno has had a thriving acting career for the better part of six decades. One of the very few (and very first) performers to win an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony and a Grammy, she was born Rosita Dolores Alverío in Humacao, Puerto Rico, on December 11, 1931, to seamstress Rosa María (Marcano) and farmer Francisco José "Paco" Alverío...
 
29.
Jeanne Moreau
Actress, Jules and Jim
When people gave Louis Malle credit for making a star of Jeanne Moreau in Elevator to the Gallows immediately followed by The Lovers, he would point out that Moreau by that time had already been "recognized as the prime stage actress of her generation." She had made it to the Comédie Française in her 20s...
 
30.
Anna Magnani
Anna Magnani was born in Rome, Italy (not in Egypt, as some biographies claim), on March 7, 1908. She was the illegitimate child of Marina Magnani and an unknown father, often said to be from Alexandria, Egypt, but whom Anna herself claimed was from the Calabria region of Italy although she never knew his name...
 
31.
Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson was born in New York City. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family, and her father, Karsten Johansson, is Danish. She has a sister, Vanessa Johansson, who is also an actress, a brother, Adrian, a twin brother, Hunter Johansson, born three minutes after her, and a paternal half-brother, Christian. Her grandfather was writer Ejner Johansson...
 
32.
Sophia Myles
Actress, Underworld
Sophia Myles, was born March 18, 1980 in England. A few years later, her brother, Oliver, was born. Her parents are Jane and Peter Myles, who is a vicar, a priest in the Anglican Church who is in charge of a parish and receives a salary but not the tithes of the church. Her mother works in publishing...
 
34.
Tara Fitzgerald
Actress, Legend
Tara Fitzgerald was born in Sussex, England. Her mother, Sarah Fitzgerald, is Irish, and her father, Michael Callaby, was Italian. Shortly after her birth, her family moved to Freeport, in the Bahamas where her grandfather, David Fitzgerald, was a well-established lawyer. Her sister, Arabella Fitzgerald...
 
35.
Jane March
Actress, The Lover
March was born Jane March Horwood in Edgware, London. Her father, Bernard Horwood, is a secondary school teacher of English and Spanish ancestry. Her mother, Jean, is Vietnamese and Chinese. March has one brother. At age 14, March won a local "Become a Model" contest. She signed with Storm Model Management and began working as a print model using her middle name March...
 
36.
Kate Beckinsale
Actress, Underworld
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 Beckinsale...
 
37.
Christina Cox
Actress, Elysium
The youngest of three girls, Christina was born just outside Toronto. She carried a double major of theater and dance at the prestigious Arts York at Unionville High School. She went on to further her training at the Ryerson Theatre School of Toronto, among such alumni as Eric McCormack and David James Elliott...
 
38.
Asia Argento
Actress, xXx
Asia Argento was born in Rome, Italy, into a family of actors and filmmakers, both occupations which she has herself pursued. She made her debut when she was only nine years old in Sergio Citti's Sogni e bisogni. In 1988 she had the leading role in Cristina Comencini's first film, Zoo, and was part of the cast of The Church...
 
39.
Marlene Dietrich
Her father was a police lieutenant and imbued in her a military attitude to life. Marlene was known in school for her "bedroom eyes" and her first affairs were at this stage in her life - a professor at the school was terminated. She entered the cabaret scene in 1920s Germany, first as a spectator then as a cabaret singer...
 
40.
Julie Christie
Julie Christie, the British movie legend whom Al Pacino called "the most poetic of all actresses", was born in Chukua, Assam, India, on April 14, 1941, the daughter of a tea planter, Frank St. John Christie, and his wife, Rosemary (Ramsden), who was a painter. Her family was of English, and some Scottish...
 
41.
Alicia Witt
Actor/singer songwriter Alicia Witt has had a nearly three-decade long career, starting with her film debut, in 1984, as "Alia" in David Lynch's science fiction classic, Dune. Witt was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Diane (Pietro), a high school teacher, and Robert Witt, a photographer and science teacher...
 
42.
Hildegard Knef
Hildegard Frieda Albertine Knef was born on December 28, 1925 in Ulm, Germany. In 1940, she began studying acting. Even before the fall of the Third Reich, she appeared in several films, but most of them were only released after the war. To avoid being raped by Soviet soldiers, she dressed like a young man and was sent to a camp for prisoners of war...