My Top 50 Actresses

by willowpine | created - 04 Feb 2014 | updated - 09 Jul 2015 | Public

1. 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, ...

2. Maggie Siff

Actress | Push

Maggie Siff was born on June 21, 1974 in Bronx, New York City, New York, USA as Margaret Siff. She is an actress and producer, known for Push (2009), The 5th Wave (2016) and Sons of Anarchy (2008). She has been married to Paul Ratliff since October 2012. They have one child.

3. Julianna Margulies

Actress | ER

Julianna Margulies was born on June 8, 1966 in Spring Valley (near New York City), as the youngest of three daughters of Francesca (Goldberg), a teacher and dancer in American Ballet, and Paul Margulies, an advertising writer and philosopher. She is of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage (from Romania, ...

4. 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,...

5. 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)....

6. Sally Field

Actress | Forrest Gump

Sally Margaret Field was born in 1946 in Pasadena, California, to actress Margaret Field (née Morlan) and salesman Richard Dryden Field. Her parents divorced in 1950 and her mother then married stuntman Jock Mahoney, and they had a daughter, Princess O'Mahoney. She also has a brother, Richard Field...

7. Julie Bowen

Actress | Modern Family

Julie Bowen was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and is the middle daughter of Suzanne and John Luetkemeyer Jr., a real estate developer. Her early education was at Calvert School in Baltimore, and Garrison Forest School, Maryland. She moved on to St. George's School, Rhode Island and then attended ...

8. 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 ...

9. Maura Tierney

Actress | ER

On the viewing horizon since the late 1980s, actress Maura Tierney has been a steady product of independent features, some hits and some misses, for close to a decade and a half. An odd and compelling beauty, she came from an upperscale Bostonian family and was raised in the Hyde Park district. ...

10. Michelle Rodriguez

Actress | Avatar

Known for tough-chick roles, Michelle Rodriguez is proof that there is a cross between beauty and brawn. She was born Mayte Michelle Rodriguez on July 12, 1978, in Bexar County, Texas, to Carmen Milady Pared Espinal, from the Dominican Republic, and Rafael Rodríguez Santiago, who served in the U.S....

11. Jamie-Lynn Sigler

Actress | The Sopranos

Jamie-Lynn Sigler has been acting and singing since the age of 7. She got her start in New York regional theater, and has since starred in over two dozen theatrical productions including "Annie," "The Wizard of Oz," "The Sound of Music," "The Wiz," and "Gypsy." In the summer of 2001, she starred in...

12. Katey Sagal

Actress | Futurama

An extremely gifted and versatile performer adept at both comedy and drama, actress/singer Katey Sagal became a household name in the late 1980s as the fabulously brazen, undomesticated Peg Bundy on the enduring Fox series Married with Children (1986). During its lengthy run, she received three ...

13. 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...

14. Emily Deschanel

Actress | Bones

Emily Erin Deschanel (born October 11, 1976) is an American actress and producer. She is best known for starring in the Fox crime procedural comedy-drama series Bones as Dr. Temperance Brennan since 2005.

Deschanel was born in Los Angeles, California, to cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel ...

15. Carrie Preston

Actress | Claws

Born and raised in Macon, Georgia, where her mother was an artist and art therapist while her dad was a geo-technical engineer, a young Carrie Preston discovered her true calling in life lay in performing arts. At the age of 12, she became the impresario of her own front-yard theater company as ...

16. 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 ...

17. Sigourney Weaver

Actress | Alien

Sigourney Weaver was born Susan Alexandra Weaver in Leroy Hospital in Manhattan, New York City. Her father, TV producer Sylvester L. Weaver Jr., originally wanted to name her Flavia, because of his passion for Roman history (he had already named her elder brother Trajan). Her mother, Elizabeth ...

18. Sandra Bullock

Producer | Miss Congeniality

Sandra Annette Bullock was born in Arlington, a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Her mother, Helga Bullock (née Helga Mathilde Meyer), was a German opera singer. Her father, John W. Bullock, was an American voice teacher, who was born in Alabama, of Irish, English, French, and German descent. ...

19. Cameron Diaz

Actress | There's Something About Mary

A tall, strikingly attractive blue-eyed natural blonde, Cameron Diaz was born in 1972 in San Diego, the daughter of a Cuban-American father and an Anglo-German mother. Self described as "adventurous, independent and a tough kid," Cameron left home at 16 and for the next 5 years lived in such varied...

20. Elisabeth Moss

Actress | The One I Love

Elisabeth Moss was born on July 24, 1982 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Elisabeth Singleton Moss. She is an actress and producer, known for The One I Love (2014), Queen of Earth (2015) and Girl, Interrupted (1999). She was previously married to Fred Armisen.

21. Jennifer Carpenter

Actress | Dexter

Jennifer was born in Kentucky. Her mother is Catherine Mitchell and her father is Robert Carpenter.

She attended St. Raphael the Archangel and then Sacred Heart Academy. During her last two years of high school, she studied drama at the Walden Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky. She then trained at the ...

22. Drew Barrymore

Producer | Never Been Kissed

Since melting audiences' hearts - at the age of six - in Steven Spielberg's beloved sci-fi blockbuster, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Drew Barrymore has emerged as one of the most endearing and talented actresses of her generation.

Drew Blyth Barrymore was born in Culver City, California, to ...

23. Annabella Sciorra

Actress | The Sopranos

Annabella Sciorra was born on March 29, 1960 in Wethersfield, Connecticut, USA as Annabella Gloria Philomena Sciorra. She is an actress and producer, known for The Sopranos (1999), The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992) and Jungle Fever (1991). She was previously married to Joe Petruzzi.

24. 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...

25. Kate Winslet

Actress | Titanic

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...

26. Dominique McElligott

Actress | House of Cards

Dominique McElligott was born on May 3, 1986 in Dublin, Ireland. She is an actress, known for House of Cards (2013), The Guard (2011) and Moon (2009).

27. January Jones

Actress | X: First Class

January Kristen Jones was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but for the first decade of her life, she was raised in Hecla, a small town of some 400 souls, in the Mount Rushmore State. She is the daughter of Karen Sue (Cox), a sporting goods store manager, and Marvin Roger Jones, a gym teacher and ...

28. Lauren Cohan

Actress | The Boy

Lauren Cohan was born in 1982, in Philadelphia and lived in Cherry Hill Township, New Jersey during her childhood before moving to the United Kingdom. Lauren graduated from the University of Winchester / King Alfred's College where she studied Drama and English Literature, before touring with a ...

29. Sarah Hyland

Actress | Modern Family

Sarah Hyland was born in New York City to actors Melissa D. Canaday and Edward James Hyland. She began in the business at the age of 4 with commercial work and voice overs. Her first film was Private Parts (1997). She then moved on to The Object of My Affection (1998) and then spent time on Another...

30. Claire Danes

Actress | My So-Called Life

New Yorker Claire Catherine Danes was born in Manhattan, the daughter of Carla (Hall), a day-care provider and artist, and Christopher Danes, a computer consultant and photographer. She has an older brother, Asa. Her paternal grandfather, Gibson Andrew Danes, was a Dean of the Yale School of Art ...

31. Sofía Vergara

Actress | Hot Pursuit

Sofía Margarita Vergara Vergara was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia. Her mother, Margarita Vergara Dávila de Vergara, is a housewife. Her father, Julio Enrique Vergara Robayo, provides cattle to the meat industry. She has five siblings. She was educated at a private bilingual Spanish/...

32. Sherry Stringfield

Actress | ER

Sherry Stringfield was born in Colorado Springs as the oldest of three children, but mainly raised in Spring, Texas. In high school, she did both athletics and acting. Later, she attended the Acting Conservatory of the State New York at Purchase, from which she graduated in 1989 with a B.F.A. While...

33. Drea de Matteo

Actress | The Sopranos

Andrea Donna de Matteo, called Drea (pronounced "dray"), was born on January 19, 1972 in Queens, New York, into an affluent family, the youngest of three children and the only girl. She is the daughter of Donna, a playwright and playwriting teacher at HB Studio in New York, and Albert A. De Matteo,...

34. Molly Parker

Actress | Kissed

Molly Parker, the extremely talented and versatile Canadian actress is best known in the United States for playing the Western widow "Alma Garret" on the cable-TV series Deadwood (2004). Raised on a commune, she described as "a hippie farm" in Pitt Meadows, B.C., Parker got the acting bug when she ...

35. Frances Conroy

Actress | Six Feet Under

Veteran stage actress Frances Conroy was introduced and encouraged by her parents to explore the elements of theater. Born in 1953 in Monroe, Georgia, she attended high school in Long Island and experienced classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse as a teenager. The pale, blue-eyed redhead also ...

36. Gillian Anderson

Actress | The X Files

Gillian Anderson was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Rosemary Alyce (Lane), a computer analyst, and Homer Edward Anderson III, who owned a film post-production company. She has English, German, and Irish ancestry.

Gillian started her career as a member of an amateur actor group while at high school. ...

37. Amy Poehler

Actress | Inside Out

Amy Meredith Poehler was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to high school teachers Eileen Frances (Milmore) and William Grinstead Poehler. Her brother is comedian Greg Poehler. She is of Irish (from her mother) and English, Irish, German, and Portuguese (from her father) descent. Amy was first ...

38. Tina Fey

Writer | 30 Rock

Elizabeth Stamatina Fey was born in 1970 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia, to Xenobia "Jeanne" (Xenakes), a brokerage employee, and Donald Henry Fey, who wrote grant proposals for universities. Her mother is Greek, born in Piraeus, while her father had German, Northern Irish,...

39. Kristen Wiig

Actress | Bridesmaids

Kristen Carroll Wiig was born on August 22, 1973 in Canandaigua, New York, to Laurie J. (Johnston), an artist, and Jon J. Wiig, a lake marina manager. She is of Norwegian (from her paternal grandfather), Irish, English, and Scottish descent. The family moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, before ...

40. Lauren Graham

Actress | Gilmore Girls

Lauren Graham was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Donna Grant and Lawrence Graham, a candy industry lobbyist. Her father was from New York and her mother was from the American South, and Lauren has Irish, British, and Scottish ancestry. She grew up in Northern Virginia, USA (Fairfax, Arlington, and ...

41. Alexis Bledel

Actress | Gilmore Girls

Kimberly Alexis Bledel was born in Houston, Texas, to Nanette (Dozier) and Martin Bledel. Her parents are both Spanish-speakers (her mother was born in Arizona and raised in Mexico, and her father was born in Argentina), and Alexis's ancestry includes Danish, Welsh, English, Scottish, Irish, and ...

42. Taylor Schilling

Actress | Orange Is the New Black

Taylor Schilling (born July 27, 1984) is an American actress. She is known for her role as "Piper Chapman" on the Netflix original comedy-drama series, Orange Is the New Black (2013) (2013-present), for which she won the 2013 Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Television Series - Musical or ...

43. Lauren Ambrose

Actress | Six Feet Under

Lauren Ambrose was born on February 20, 1978 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA as Lauren Anne D'Ambruoso. She is an actress and producer, known for Six Feet Under (2001), Psycho Beach Party (2000) and Where the Wild Things Are (2009). She has been married to Sam Handel since September 2001. They have ...

44. Rachel Griffiths

Actress | Muriel's Wedding

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 ...

45. Natasha Lyonne

Actress | Orange Is the New Black

Natasha Lyonne is an American stage, film, and television actress.

As a young child, she was signed by the Ford Modeling Agency and, at the age of six, was cast as a role in Pee-Wee's Playhouse. Natasha remained busy with appearances in almost 30 films over the next 10 years, including some starring...

46. Taryn Manning

Actress | Orange Is the New Black

Taryn Manning was born in Falls Church, Virginia, to Bill Manning, a musician, and his wife Sharyn. At two months old, Manning's parents separated, and she moved with her mother and brother to Tucson, Arizona, where she was raised. Manning was active in dance, karate, and acting as a child. At age ...

47. Joey Lauren Adams

Actress | Chasing Amy

Joey Lauren Adams was born on January 9, 1968 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. She is an actress, known for Chasing Amy (1997), Big Daddy (1999) and Dazed and Confused (1993).

48. Rashida Jones

Actress | Parks and Recreation

Rashida Jones was born in Los Angeles, the younger daughter of media mogul, producer, and musician Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton. She has an older sister, Kidada Jones, and five half-siblings by her father's other relationships. Her father is African-American, and also has Welsh ancestry. ...

49. 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...

50. Tiffani Thiessen

Actress | Saved by the Bell

Tiffani-Amber Thiessen was born on January 23, 1974, in Long Beach, California, USA, to Frank Thiessen, a park designer, and Robyn Ernest, a homemaker. She grew up in Long Beach with her parents and her brothers, professional cyclist Todd (born August 1, 1968) and Schyler (born May 10, 1977). When ...