My 40 Best Actresses

by soundwave_be | created - 01 Oct 2010 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

1. Dina Meyer

Actress | Starship Troopers

Dina Meyer is an American film and television actress best known for her roles as Barbara Gordon in Birds of Prey (2002), Dizzy Flores in Starship Troopers (1997) and Detective Allison Kerry in the Saw installments. Meyer started acting in 1993, with her first major role playing Lucinda Nicholson ...

2. Glenn Close

Actress | Fatal Attraction

Eight time Academy Award-nominated actress Glenn Close was born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. She is the daughter of Elizabeth Mary H. "Bettine" (Moore) and William Taliaferro Close (William Close), a prominent doctor. Both of her parents were from upper-class families.

Glenn was a noted ...

3. Isabelle Adjani

Actress | Possession

Isabelle Yasmine Adjani was born in Gennevilliers, Hauts-de-Seine, a suburb of Paris, to Emma Augusta "Gusti" (Schweinberger) and Mohammed Adjani. Her father was a Kabyle Algerian, from Iferhounène, and her mother was a Bavarian German. She grew up speaking German fluently. After winning a school ...

4. Rachel Weisz

Actress | The Constant Gardener

Rachel Hannah Weisz was born on 7 March, 1970, in London, U.K., to Edith Ruth (Teich), a psychoanalyst, and George Weisz, an inventor. Her parents both came to England around 1938. Her father is a Hungarian Jewish immigrant, and her mother, from Vienna, was of Italian and Austrian Jewish heritage. ...

5. Karin Viard

Actress | Polisse

Karin Viard was born on January 24, 1966 in Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France. She is an actress and writer, known for Polisse (2011), The Bélier Family (2014) and Delicatessen (1991).

6. Nicole Kidman

Actress | Moulin Rouge!

Elegant 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 clinical ...

7. Golshifteh Farahani

Actress | Paterson

Golshifteh started her acting career in theater at the age of 6 and has always kept a strong link with theater, but it was at the age of 14 that she acted in her first film The Pear Tree (1998), for which she won the prize for the Best Actress from the international section of the Fajr film ...

8. Virginie Efira

Actress | Elle

Virginie Efira was born on May 5, 1977 in Brussels, Belgium. She is an actress and writer, known for Elle (2016), Benedetta (2021) and Victoria (2016). She was previously married to Patrick Ridremont.

9. Naomi Watts

Actress | Mulholland Dr.

Naomi Ellen Watts was born on September 28, 1968 in Shoreham, England, to Myfanwy Edwards "Miv" (Roberts), an antiques dealer and costume/set designer, and Peter Watts (Peter Anthony Watts), the road manager to Pink Floyd. Her maternal grandfather was Welsh. Her father died when Naomi was seven and...

10. Carice van Houten

Actress | Game of Thrones

One of Europe's most celebrated actresses, Carice van Houten is perhaps best known as 'Melisandre' in the iconic TV show Game of Thrones, a performance for which she has been recognized with an Emmy Award nomination in 2019. Other projects include Paul Verhoeven's award-winning Black Book and Bryan...

11. Charlize Theron

Producer | Monster

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

12. Marcia Gay Harden

Actress | Mystic River

Marcia Gay Harden was born on August 14, 1959, in La Jolla, California, the third of five children. Her mother, Beverly (Bushfield), was a homemaker, and her father, Thad Harold Harden, was in the military. The family relocated often -- she first became interested in the theatre when the family was...

13. Susan Sarandon

Actress | Thelma & Louise

It was after the 1968 Democratic convention and there was a casting call for a film with several roles for the kind of young people who had disrupted the convention. Two recent graduates of Catholic University in Washington DC, went to the audition in New York for Joe (1970). Chris Sarandon, who ...

14. Kathy Bates

Actress | Misery

Multi-talented, multi-award-winning actress 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...

15. Emily Blunt

Actress | Edge of Tomorrow

Emily Olivia Leah Blunt is a British actress known for her roles in The Devil Wears Prada (2006), The Young Victoria (2009), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and The Girl on the Train (2016), among many others.

Blunt was born on February 23, 1983, in Roehampton, South West London, England, the second of ...

16. Michelle Pfeiffer

Actress | What Lies Beneath

Michelle Pfeiffer was born in Santa Ana, California to Dick and Donna Pfeiffer. 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 their lives' work. She graduated from Fountain Valley High ...

17. Clea DuVall

Actress | The Faculty

Clea DuVall was born in Los Angeles on September 25, 1977, to Rosemary (Hatch) and actor Steph DuVall. DuVall's teenage years presented her with many challenges. Her parents divorced when she was twelve, and, when her mother remarried, DuVall moved out because she did not feel at home in the ...

18. Jodie Foster

Actress | The Silence of the Lambs

Jodie Foster started her career at the age of two. For four years she made commercials and finally gave her debut as an actress in the TV series Mayberry R.F.D. (1968). In 1975 Jodie was offered the role of prostitute Iris Steensma in the movie Taxi Driver (1976). This role, for which she received ...

19. Helena Bonham Carter

Actress | Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

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 ...

20. Juliette Binoche

Actress | The English Patient

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...

21. Asia Argento

Actress | Land of the Dead

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 (1985). In 1988 she had the leading role in Cristina Comencini's first film, Zoo (1988)...

22. Marilyn Monroe

Actress | Some Like It Hot

Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, comedienne, singer, and model. She became one of the world's most enduring iconic figures and is remembered both for her winsome embodiment of the Hollywood sex symbol and her tragic personal and professional struggles within the film industry. Her life and ...

23. Jessica Lange

Actress | Tootsie

Jessica Lange was born in 1949, in Cloquet, Minnesota, USA, where her father worked as a traveling salesman. She obtained a scholarship to study art at the University of Minnesota, but instead went to Paris to study drama. She moved to New York, working as a model, until producer Dino De Laurentiis...

24. Rose Byrne

Actress | Spy

Rose Byrne was born in Balmain, Sydney, Australia. She is the daughter of Jane, a primary school administrator, and Robin Byrne, a semi-retired statistician and market researcher.

She landed her first role in a movie, Dallas Doll (1994), when she was 15 years old.

Since then, Rose has appeared in a ...

25. Sandra Bullock

Producer | The Proposal

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 German descent. Sandra grew up on the road ...

26. Sigourney Weaver

Actress | Alien

Sigourney Weaver was born Susan Alexandra Weaver, on October 8, 1949, in Leroy Hospital in 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, ...

27. 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 21 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 ...

28. Julianne Moore

Actress | Far from Heaven

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. Saoirse Ronan

Actress | Hanna

Saoirse Una Ronan was born in The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States, to Irish parents, Monica Ronan (née Brennan) and Paul Ronan, an actor. When Saoirse was three, the family moved back to Dublin, Ireland. Saoirse grew up in Dublin and briefly in Co. Carlow before moving back to Dublin ...

30. Frances McDormand

Actress | Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Frances Louise McDormand was born on June 23, 1957, in Gibson City, Illinois. She was adopted by Canadian-born parents Noreen Eloise (Nickleson), a nurse from Ontario, and Rev. Vernon Weir McDormand, a Disciples of Christ minister from Nova Scotia, who raised her in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. She ...

31. Elisabeth Shue

Actress | Leaving Las Vegas

Elisabeth Shue was born in Wilmington, Delaware, to Anne Brewster (Wells), who worked for the Chemical Banking Corporation, and James William Shue, a lawyer and real estate developer. She is of German and English ancestry, including descent from Mayflower passengers. Shue's parents divorced while ...

32. 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. ...

33. Audrey Tautou

Actress | Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain

Audrey Justine Tautou was born on August 9, 1976 in Beaumont, France, to Evelyne Marie Laure (Nuret), a teacher, and Bernard Tautou, a dental surgeon. Audrey showed an interest for comedy at an early age and started her acting lessons at 'Cours Florent'. In 1998 she won the best young actress award...

34. Kim Basinger

Actress | L.A. Confidential

Kim Basinger was born December 8, 1953, in Athens, Georgia, the third of five children. Both her parents had been in entertainment, her dad had played big-band jazz, and her mother had performed water ballet in several Esther Williams movies. Kim was introspective, from her father's side. As a ...

35. Grace Kelly

Actress | Dial M for Murder

On November 12, 1929, Grace Patricia Kelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to wealthy parents. Her girlhood was uneventful for the most part, but one of the things she desired was to become an actress which she had decided on at an early age. After her high school graduation in 1947, Grace ...

36. Demi Moore

Actress | G.I. Jane

Demi Moore was born 1962 in Roswell, New Mexico. Her father Charles Harmon left her mother Virginia Guynes (née 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 ...

37. Diane Kruger

Actress | Inglourious Basterds

Diane Kruger was born Diane Heidkrüger in Algermissen, near Hildesheim, Germany, to Maria-Theresa, a bank employee, and Hans-Heinrich Heidkrüger, a computer specialist. She studied ballet with the Royal Ballet in London before an injury ended her career. She returned to Germany and became a top ...

38. Aïssa Maïga

Actress | Paris, je t'aime

Aïssa Maïga is a Senegalsese actress working in France. She was born in Dakar, Senegal, in 1975 to a Senegalese-Gambian mother and Malian father, an acclaimed journalist. She moved with her family to France when she was 4. She discovered her vocation as an actress in middle school, and won various ...

39. Patricia Arquette

Actress | True Romance

With her expressive blue eyes, soft, Southern-tinged voice and an acting range that can carry her from hysterically funny to terrifying in seconds, Patricia Arquette is one of the most underrated and talented actresses of her generation. Though she has been working for years, she's always stayed ...

40. Laure Calamy

Actress | Antoinette dans les Cévennes

Laure Calamy was born on March 22, 1975 in Orléans, Loiret, France. She is an actress, known for My Donkey, My Lover & I (2020), Full Time (2021) and Only the Animals (2019).



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