My favorite character actresses.

by choyt19 | created - 15 Aug 2011 | updated - 9 months ago | Public

Certainly, I can't leave the ladies out. These actresses know how to light up the screen.

1. Glenne Headly

Actress | Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

For the past fourteen years, she has said that family has been the most important thing to her and she has set most of her time aside to be a "present" mother to her son. Movies, plays and television are chosen, for the most part, when they occur in town or on a school break. She has taken the ...

2. 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 ...

3. Viola Davis

Actress | Fences

Actress Viola Davis was born on her grandmother's farm, at the then-Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews, South Carolina. When she was two months old her family moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island, where her father, Dan Davis, worked as a horse groomer and trainer. Her mother, Mary Alice (Logan), ...

4. Nancy Travis

Actress | So I Married an Axe Murderer

Nancy Travis was born in New York City, to Theresa, a social worker, and Gordon Travis, a sales executive. She lived in Baltimore and Boston before returning to her birthplace to study drama at New York University. Her first job out of school was with New York's American Jewish Theater, after which...

5. Jane Lynch

Actress | Glee

Jane Lynch was born on July 14, 1960 in Dolton, Illinois, USA as Jane Marie Lynch. She is an actress, known for Glee (2009), Wreck-It Ralph (2012) and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006). She was previously married to Lara Embry.

6. Christine Baranski

Actress | Chicago

Christine Baranski was born on May 2, 1952 in Buffalo, New York, USA as Christine Jane Baranski. She is an actress, known for Chicago (2002), Mamma Mia! (2008) and Into the Woods (2014). She was previously married to Matthew Cowles.

7. Lin Shaye

Actress | Insidious

Lin attended the University of Michigan, where she was an Art History major, although acting in as many University productions as possible, including "Bye Bye Birdie" and "On The Town". After U of M, she attended Columbia University School of the Arts, and acquired a Master of Fine Arts degree in ...

8. Edie McClurg

Actress | Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Born on July 23, 1951 in Kansas City, Missouri, Edie McClurg began her performing career at age five with the oxymoronic Kansas City Rhythm Kids. She retired when the dance teacher was arrested on a morals charge for "dating" the tall and lissome, yet underage, star dancer in the troupe. That ...

9. CCH Pounder

Actress | The Shield

CCH Pounder (the CCH standing for Carol Christine Hilaria, her birth name). As can be said of other similarly styled actresses such as Alfre Woodard and Cicely Tyson, most of Pounder's characters are enriched with these same positive attributes and it is a testament to this actress' abilities that ...

10. Mary Wickes

Actress | Sister Act

From the grand old school of wisecracking, loud and lanky Mary Wickes had few peers while forging a career as a salty scene-stealer. Her abrupt, tell-it-like-it-is demeanor made her a consistent audience favorite on every medium for over six decades. She was particularly adroit in film parts that ...

11. Veronica Cartwright

Actress | Alien

Born in Bristol, England, Veronica is the older sister of the popular child actress Angela Cartwright. In her early career, Veronica was cast in a number of popular movies such as The Children's Hour (1961), Spencer's Mountain (1963) and Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963). As such, she was cast as...

12. Loretta Devine

Actress | Crash

Loretta Devine was born August 21, 1949 in Houston, Texas, to Eunice O'Neal (née Toliver), a beautician, and James Devine, who worked as a laborer. Loretta grew up in the Acres Home area of Houston and later enrolled at the University of Houston, where she earned a a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and ...

13. Frances Sternhagen

Actress | Misery

Raised in Washington, D.C., Frances Sternhagen taught acting, singing and dancing to school children before first performing herself with the Arena Stage Group. Since that time, she has been seen in numerous Broadway show, has been nominated five times for a Tony Award and received one for "The ...

14. Catherine O'Hara

Actress | Best in Show

Born March 4, 1954 in Ontario, Canada. Attended Burnhamthorpe Collegiate Institute. Began career with starring on television series SCTV (1976). Notable films roles include: the over-dramatic and self-centered Delia Deetz in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice (1988), Kate McCallister, Macaulay Culkin's ...

15. Imelda Staunton

Actress | Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Imelda Staunton was born on January 9, 1956 in Archway, London, England as Imelda Mary Philomena Bernadette Staunton. She is an actress, known for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Shakespeare in Love (1998) and Pride (2014). She has been married to Jim Carter since October 1983. ...

16. Brenda Vaccaro

Actress | Midnight Cowboy

A leading lady on screen, stage and sometimes television, Brenda Vaccaro, was born in Brooklyn but was actually raised in Dallas, Texas.

Her appetite for acting increased following several appearances in high school productions, and she finally started a professional career in the 1960s. Memorable ...

17. Kathleen Freeman

Actress | The Blues Brothers

Kathleen Freeman's introduction to show business came very early in life. Her parents were vaudevillians, and she made her debut at age 2 in their act. Later she attended UCLA with intentions of becoming a pianist, but was bitten by the acting bug and never looked back. She gained experience on ...

18. Lupe Ontiveros

Actress | Chuck & Buck

Lupe Ontiveros was born on September 17, 1942 in El Paso, Texas, USA as Guadalupe Moreno. She is known for her work on Chuck & Buck (2000), Real Women Have Curves (2002) and The Goonies (1985). She was married to Elias P. Ontiveros. She died on July 26, 2012 in Whittier, California, USA.

19. Madeline Kahn

Actress | Paper Moon

Madeline Kahn was born Madeline Gail Wolfson on September 29, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Freda (Goldberg) and Bernard B. Wolfson, a garment manufacturer. She was of Russian Jewish descent. Madeline began her acting career in high school and went on to university where she trained as an opera...

20. Wendie Malick

Actress | Waiting...

The actress Wendie Malick was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1950 and attended Ohio Wesleyan University, from which she graduated in 1972. The 5-foot, 10-inch beauty was a Wilhelmina model in the 1970s, giving it up to go to work for Buffalo-area Congressman Jack Kemp. She quickly left Washington, ...

21. Andrea Martin

Actress | My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Andrea Martin was born on January 15, 1947 in Portland, Maine, USA as Andrea Louise Martin. She is an actress and writer, known for My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) and Innerspace (1987).

22. Jennifer Coolidge

Actress | A Cinderella Story

Jennifer Coolidge is a versatile character actress and experimental comedienne, best known for playing Stifler's mom in American Pie (1999).

She was born on August 28, 1961, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, to Gretchen (Knauff) and Paul Constant Coolidge, a plastics manufacturer. Young Coolidge was ...

23. Jessica Walter

Actress | Arrested Development

A graduate of New York's High School of the Performing Arts and the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, Walter's extensive theater credits include productions both on- and off-Broadway. On Broadway, she has appeared in Peter Ustinov's "Photo Finish" (which earned her the Clarence Derwent ...

24. Colleen Camp

Actress | Clue

Colleen Camp was born in San Francisco, California. She began working as a juvenile actress at the age of 3 and was eventually 'discovered' while working as a bird trainer at Busch Gardens. She appeared on The Dean Martin Show (1965) and made her film debut in Battle for the Planet of the Apes (...

25. Carol Kane

Actress | The Princess Bride

American stage, screen and television actress, and comedian Carol Kane (b. Carolyn Laurie Kane, June 18, 1952, in Cleveland, Ohio), was born to Elaine Joy (née Fetterman), a jazz singer and pianist, and Michael Myron Kane, an architect. Her family is Jewish (from Russia, Poland, and Austria). Due ...

26. Marian Seldes

Actress | Home Alone 3

Tony Award-winner Marian Hall Seldes, one of the premier stage actresses in America, was born on August 23, 1928 in Manhattan, New York, to writer and journalist Gilbert Seldes, and his socialite wife, the former Alice Wadhams Hall. Her paternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, and her ...

27. Bebe Neuwirth

Actress | Cheers

Beatrice "Bebe" Neuwirth is the daughter of Sydney Anne, an artist, and Lee Paul Neuwirth, a mathematician. Born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey, she started out as a dancer. Her New York career started out in "A Chorus Line". She won a Tony Award for her part in "Sweet Charity" and two Emmy ...

28. Linda Hunt

Actress | The Year of Living Dangerously

Veteran character actress Linda Hunt was Born April 2, 1945 in Morristown, New Jersey to Raymond Davy Hunter and Elsie Doying Hunter. She attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, and the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago (now part of DePaul University). Her film debut was in Robert Altman's Popeye (...

29. Jean Smart

Actress | 24

Seattle native Jean Smart was born on September 13, 1951. Attending the University of Washington after high school, she received her BA degree in fine arts. Her first professional season was with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where she performed in "Much Ado About Nothing," among others. During ...

30. Holland Taylor

Actress | Legally Blonde

Holland Taylor was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the third-born (and last) daughter of her mother, Virginia (Davis), a painter, and the only child of her father, C. Tracy Taylor, an attorney. She spent her teen years in nearby Allentown, PA, where Holland got the nickname, "Penny Taylor" ...

31. Jenifer Lewis

Actress | The Princess and the Frog

Jenifer Lewis is one of Hollywood's most familiar faces, with more than 300 appearances in film and television. Dubbed a "national treasure" by TV Guide.com, Jenifer stars on the hit show Black-ish (ABC), where her hilarious portrayal of "Ruby Johnson" earned her a nomination for the 2016 Critics ...

32. Amy Hill

Actress | 50 First Dates

Amy Hill's television and film credits number over 168. She is recurring on "Crazy Ex Girlfriend", "UnReal", "Preacher" and "MOM". She's a regular on Amazon Prime's "Just Add Magic" which is streaming the first, second and season 2 part 2. As a voice actor, she's been heard as recurring characters ...

33. Nora Dunn

Actress | Three Kings

Nora Dunn got her start working at the famous Second City comedy troupe, where she was eventually spotted by Saturday Night Live (1975) casting directors, and she joined the SNL cast (among them Joan Cusack, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Michael Hall, Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, Randy Quaid, Terry ...

34. Kathy Najimy

Actress | Sister Act

Kathy Najimy was born and raised in San Diego, California. She is the daughter of Samia (Massery) and Fred Najimy, a postal worker, both of Lebanese ancestry. Kathy attended Crawford High School, and began her film career in the early 1990s, with several minor roles. Kathy got her breakthrough ...

35. Allison Janney

Actress | The Help

Allison Janney is an award-winning actress who has earned a solid reputation in stage productions and in many supporting roles on screen, and who more recently has become prominent by portraying one of the major characters in the popular TV series The West Wing (1999).

Entertainment Weekly magazine ...

36. Lily Tomlin

Actress | Nashville

Lily Tomlin was born September 1, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, to Lillie Mae (Ford) and Guy Tomlin, who moved to Michigan from Paducah, Kentucky, during the Great Depression. Her mother was a nurse's aide and her father was a factory worker. She graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1957, and ...

37. Irma P. Hall

Actress | The Ladykillers

Irma P. Hall was born on June 3, 1935 in Beaumont, Texas, USA as Irma Dolores Player Hall. She is an actress and producer, known for The Ladykillers (2004), Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) and Soul Food (1997).

38. Ruth Gordon

Actress | Rosemary's Baby

When Ruth Gordon convinced her father, a sea captain, to let her pursue acting she came to New York and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She acted in a few silents made at Fort Lee, New Jersey, in 1915. She made her Broadway debut in "Peter Pan" as Nibs the same year. The next 20 ...

39. Miriam Margolyes

Actress | The Age of Innocence

A veteran of stage and screen, award-winning actress Miriam Margolyes has achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic. Winner of the BAFTA Best Supporting Actress award in 1993 for The Age of Innocence (1993) she also received Best Supporting Actress at the 1989 LA Critics Circle Awards for her ...

40. Beth Grant

Actress | Donnie Darko

Raised in the South, Beth Grant moved frequently as a child and enjoys claiming several towns and cities in Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina as home. She was a Page in the North Carolina Senate, attended the North Carolina Governor's School for Gifted and Talented students, and received a ...

41. Margo Martindale

Actress | August: Osage County

Margo Martindale was born July 18, 1951 in Jacksonville, Texas, to Margaret (Pruitt) and William Everett Martindale, a lumber company owner and dog handler. She is the youngest of three children, and the only daughter. Margo attended Lon Marris College, and later transferred to University of ...

42. Sylvia Miles

Actress | Midnight Cowboy

Sylvia Miles was born on September 9, 1924 in New York City, New York, USA. She is an actress, known for Midnight Cowboy (1969), Wall Street (1987) and Evil Under the Sun (1982). She was previously married to Ted Brown, Gerald Price and William Miles.

43. Rutanya Alda

Actress | The Deer Hunter

Rutanya Alda was born on October 13, 1942 in Riga, Latvia as Rutanya Skrastina. She is known for her work on The Deer Hunter (1978), Mommie Dearest (1981) and Amityville II: The Possession (1982). She was previously married to Richard Bright.

44. Doris Belack

Actress | Tootsie

A New York native, Doris Belack began her acting career as an audio reader and lent her voice to the 1955 album "Poetry of the Negro" with Sidney Poitier. She later was active in television; she was best known for her roles as Anna Wolek on the television soap opera One Life to Live (1968) and ...