Favourite actresses

by MorningStarEveningStar | created - 11 Sep 2011 | updated - 04 Oct 2011 | Public

1. Greta Garbo

Actress | Ninotchka

Greta Garbo was born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson on September 18, 1905, in Stockholm, Sweden, to Anna Lovisa (Johansdotter), who worked at a jam factory, and Karl Alfred Gustafsson, a laborer. She was fourteen when her father died, which left the family destitute. Greta was forced to leave school and ...

2. Marlene Dietrich

Soundtrack | Witness for the Prosecution

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 ...

3. Judy Garland

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland was a much-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals.

She was born Frances Ethel Gumm on 10 June 1922 in ...

4. Joan Blondell

Actress | Grease

With blonde hair, big blue eyes and a big smile, Joan was usually cast as the wisecracking working girl who was the lead's best friend. Born into vaudeville to a comic named Eddie, Joan was on the stage when she was three years old. For years, she toured the circuit with her parents and joined a ...

5. Bette Davis

Actress | All About Eve

Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts, to Ruth Augusta (Favor) and Harlow Morrell Davis, a patent attorney. Her parents divorced when she was 10. She and her sister were raised by their mother. Her early interest was dance. To Bette, dancers led a glamorous life, but...

6. Gena Rowlands

Actress | The Notebook

Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands is an American film, stage, and television actress, whose career in the entertainment industry has spanned over six decades. A four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner, she is known for her collaborations with her late actor-director husband John Cassavetes ...

7. Isabelle Huppert

Actress | Elle

Isabelle Huppert was born March 16, 1953, in Paris, France, but spent her childhood in Ville d'Avray. Encouraged by her mother Annick Huppert (who was a teacher of English), she followed the Conservatory of Versailles and won an acting prize for her work in Alfred de Musset's "Un caprice". She then...

8. Fanny Ardant

Actress | 8 femmes

Fanny Ardent was the youngest of 5 children born to a cavalry officer and his wife. She was raised in Monte Carlo where she was educated at a convent school. A voracious reader, she discovered Proust at age 15 and felt as though his writings were for her.

When she was 17 her father died and the ...

9. Claude Jade

Actress | Topaz

Claude Jade, daughter of English-teachers, was a student on the "Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique" in Dijon. In 1966, she won a Prize for best actress on stage (Agnès in Molière's "L'école des femmes"). She was also a student on the Acedemy in Paris (teacher: Jean-Laurent Cochet), played in TV series...

10. Marie-France Pisier

Actress | Chanel Solitaire

Marie-France first came to the fore as an actress of the Nouvelle Vague movement in the 1960's. She had spent her early childhood in French Indochina, where her father was employed as colonial governor, but the family moved to Paris when she was twelve. Just five years later, she was spotted by a ...

11. Catherine Deneuve

Actress | 8 femmes

Catherine Deneuve was born October 1943 in Paris, France. Her parents were actors. She made her movie debut in 1957, when she was barely a teenager and continued with small parts in minor films, until Roger Vadim gave her a meatier role in Le vice et la vertu (1963). But her breakthrough came with ...

12. Jane Wyman

Actress | Falcon Crest

Jane Wyman was born Sarah Jane Mayfield on January 5, 1917, in St. Joseph, Missouri (she was also known later as Sarah Jane Fulks). When she was only eight years old, and after her parents filed for divorce, she lost her father prematurely. After graduating high school she attempted, with the help ...

13. Deborah Kerr

Actress | The King and I

Deborah Kerr was born on 30 September 1921 in Helensburgh, Scotland, the daughter of Captain Arthur Kerr-Trimmer. She was educated at Northumberland House, Clifton, Bristol. She first performed at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park, London. She subsequently performed with the Oxford Repertory ...

14. Liza Minnelli

Soundtrack | Cabaret

Liza Minnelli was born on March 12, 1946, the daughter of Judy Garland and movie director Vincente Minnelli. She was practically raised at MGM studios while her parents worked long hours there and she made her film debut at fourteen months of age in the movie In the Good Old Summertime (1949). Her ...

15. 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 ...

16. Gene Tierney

Actress | Laura

With prominent cheekbones and the most appealing overbite of her day, her striking good looks helped propel her to stardom. Her best known role is the enigmatic murder victim in Laura (1944). She was also Oscar-nominated for Leave Her to Heaven (1945). Her acting performances were few in the 1950s ...

17. Lucille Ball

Actress | I Love Lucy

The woman who will always be remembered as the crazy, accident-prone, lovable Lucy Ricardo was born Lucille Desiree Ball on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. Her father died before she was four, and her mother worked several jobs, so she and her younger brother were raised by their ...

18. Julie-Marie Parmentier

Actress | Les blessures assassines

Julie-Marie Parmentier was born on June 13, 1981 in Saint-Quentin, Aisne, France. She is an actress, known for Murderous Maids (2000), Évolution (2015) and Sheitan (2006).

19. Barbra Streisand

Soundtrack | Funny Girl

Barbra Streisand is an American singer, actress, director and producer and one of the most successful personalities in show business. She is the only person ever to receive all of the following: Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, National Endowment for the Arts, and Peabody awards,...

20. Gloria Swanson

Actress | Sunset Blvd.

Gloria Swanson went to public schools in Chicago; Key West, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her film debut was as an extra in The Fable of Elvira and Farina and the Meal Ticket (1915). From the following year on, she had leading roles in pictures for Keystone, then a year with Triangle, and, in...

21. Delphine Seyrig

Actress | The Day of the Jackal

Delphine was born in Beirut on the 10th April 1932 into an intellectual Protestant family. Her Alsatian father, Henri Seyrig, was the director of the Archaeological Institute and later France's cultural attaché in New York during World War Two. Her Swiss mother, Hermine De Saussure, was an adept of...

22. Danielle Darrieux

Actress | 8 femmes

Danielle Darrieux was born in 1917 in Bordeaux, France, to Marie-Louise (Witkowski) and Germain Jean Darrieux, a physician. She was raised in Paris. She was only fourteen when she auditioned for a secondary role in Le bal (1931): she got the part, and the producer offered her a five-year contract. ...

23. Alla Nazimova

Actress | Eye for Eye

The grand, highly flamboyant Russian star Alla Nazimova of Hollywood silent films lived an equally grand, flamboyant life off-camera, though her legendary status has not held up as firmly as that of a Rudolph Valentino today.

Alla Nazimova was born Miriam Edez Adelaida Leventon in 1879, in Yalta, ...

24. 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 ...

25. Natalie Wood

Actress | Rebel Without a Cause

Natalie Wood was born on July 20, 1938, in San Francisco, California, as Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko. Her parents, Maria Stepanovna (Zudilova) and Nikolai Stepanovich Zakharenko, were Russian-born émigrés, of Ukrainian and Russian descent, who spoke barely comprehensible English; they changed the...

26. Susan Kohner

Actress | Imitation of Life

Susan Kohner was born on November 11, 1936 in Los Angeles, California. Her mother was actress Lupita Tovar, a successful performer from the 1930s and it was only natural that for Susan to gravitate toward acting. Her first role was in To Hell and Back (1955) in 1955. One more film in 1956 and one in...

27. Vivien Leigh

Actress | A Streetcar Named Desire

If a film were made of the life of Vivien Leigh, it would open in India just before World War I, where a successful British businessman could live like a prince. In the mountains above Calcutta, a little princess is born. Because of the outbreak of World War I, she is six years old the first time ...

28. Shelley Winters

Actress | The Poseidon Adventure

Shelley Winters was born Shirley Schrift of very humble beginnings on August 18, 1920 (some sources list 1922) in East St. Louis, Illinois. Her mother, Rose (Winter), was born in Missouri, to Austrian Jewish parents, and her father, Jonas Schrift, was an Austrian Jewish immigrant. Her father moved ...

29. Elizabeth Taylor

Actress | Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was considered one of the last, if not the last, major star to have come out of the old Hollywood studio system. She was known internationally for her beauty, especially for her violet eyes, with which she captured audiences early on in her youth and kept the world hooked ...

30. Katharine Hepburn

Actress | The Lion in Winter

Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was ...

31. Françoise Dorléac

Actress | L'homme de Rio

The radiant Francoise Dorleac is better remembered today as the elder, ill-fated sister of French film star Catherine Deneuve. The Paris-born actress, however, was actually the first to become a star and had quite a formidable career of her own in the 1960s until it was cut short. Born into a ...

32. Ginger Rogers

Actress | The Major and the Minor

Ginger Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri on July 16, 1911. Her mother, known as Lelee, went to Independence to have Ginger away from her husband. She had a baby earlier in their marriage and he allowed the doctor to use forceps and the baby died. She was kidnapped ...

33. Bernadette Lafont

Actress | Paulette

Bernadette Lafont was born at the Protestant Health Home of Nîmes in Gard, the only child of a pharmacist and a housewife from the Cévennes. Her mother always wanted a boy to name Bernard and, once she gave birth to a girl, she enjoyed to hold this against all the catholics she knew as the proof ...

34. Charlotte Gainsbourg

Actress | Antichrist

Charlotte Gainsbourg was born in London, England in 1971. She is an Anglo-French actress and singer. The daughter of English actress Jane Birkin and French singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, she was raised in Paris. Gainsbourg made her motion picture debut in 1984. In 1986, Gainsbourg won a ...

35. Lucille Bremer

Actress | Meet Me in St. Louis

Arthur Freed discovered Lucille when she was working in a nightclub doing a specialty dance act, and decided to cast her as Rose Smith in Meet Me in St. Louis, and began building up her career which never really took off despite being put in 3 big musical productions at MGM. When she married, she ...

36. Marjorie Main

Actress | The Egg and I

Her father was a minister, and when she joined a local stock company as a youngster she changed her name to avoid embarrassing her family. She worked in vaudeville and debuted on Broadway in 1916. Her film debut was in A House Divided (1931). She repeated her stage role in Dead End (1937) as Baby ...

37. Marisa Berenson

Actress | Cabaret

Marisa Berenson was born on February 15, 1947 in New York City, New York, USA. She is an actress, known for Cabaret (1972), Barry Lyndon (1975) and Branagh Theatre Live: Romeo and Juliet (2016). She was previously married to Aaron Richard Golub and Jim Randall.

38. Wendy Hiller

Actress | Murder on the Orient Express

Wendy Hiller, daughter of Frank and Marie Hiller, was born on 15th August 1912 in Bramhall, near Stockport, Cheshire, England. She was educated at Winceby House School, Bexhill then moved on to Manchester Repertory Theatre. She appeared on stage in Sir John Barry's tour of Evensong, then as Sally ...

39. Shirley MacLaine

Actress | Terms of Endearment

Shirley MacLaine was born Shirley MacLean Beaty in Richmond, Virginia. Her mother, Kathlyn Corinne (MacLean), was a drama teacher from Nova Scotia, Canada, and her father, Ira Owens Beaty, a professor of psychology and real estate agent, was from Virginia. Her brother, Warren Beatty, was born on ...

40. Sarah Miles

Actress | Ryan's Daughter

Sarah Miles is an English actress whose career flourished during the Swinging Sixties and in the early Seventies. The high point of her career came when her husband, screenwriter Robert Bolt, adapted "Madame Bovary" into a story set during the 1916 Easter Rebellion in Ireland. Directed by David Lean...

41. Angela Lansbury

Actress | The Manchurian Candidate

British character actress, long in the United States. The daughter of an actress and the granddaughter of a high-ranking politician, Lansbury studied acting from her youth, departing for the United States as the Second World War began. She was contracted by MGM while still a teenager and nominated ...

42. Jennifer Saunders

Actress | Absolutely Fabulous

Jennifer Saunders was born July 6th 1958 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, UK. She attended Central School of Speech and Drama where she met her comedy partner Dawn French. Like many of the early 80s groundbreaking "alternative" comedians she began her career as comedienne/actress/writer with Dawn French ...

43. Bernadette Lafont

Actress | Paulette

Bernadette Lafont was born at the Protestant Health Home of Nîmes in Gard, the only child of a pharmacist and a housewife from the Cévennes. Her mother always wanted a boy to name Bernard and, once she gave birth to a girl, she enjoyed to hold this against all the catholics she knew as the proof ...

44. Claire Maurier

Actress | Les quatre cents coups

Claire Maurier was born on March 27, 1929 in Ceret, France as Odette Michelle Suzanne Agramon. She is an actress, known for The 400 Blows (1959), Amélie (2001) and Un mauvais fils (1980).