Actresses

by meganbedford | created - 14 Jan 2015 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

1. 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...

2. Jennifer Lawrence

Actress | The Hunger Games

As the highest-paid actress in the world in 2015 and 2016, and with her films grossing over $5.5 billion worldwide, Jennifer Lawrence is often cited as the most successful actress of her generation. She is also the first person born in the 1990s to have won an acting Oscar.

Jennifer Shrader Lawrence...

3. Mia Wasikowska

Actress | Alice in Wonderland

Mia is an Australian actress, born and raised in the country's capital, Canberra. She is the daughter of photographers Marzena Wasikowska and John Reid. Her mother is Polish and her father is an Australian of British ancestry. She has an older sister, Jess, and a younger brother, Kai. At age eight,...

4. Jessica Chastain

Actress | Zero Dark Thirty

Jessica Michelle Chastain was born in Sacramento, California, and was raised in a middle-class household in a Northern California suburb. Her mother, Jerri Chastain, is a vegan chef whose family is originally from Kansas, and her stepfather is a fireman. She discovered dance at the age of nine and ...

5. Emma Stone

Actress | La La Land

Emily Jean "Emma" Stone was born on November 6, 1988 in Scottsdale, Arizona to Krista Jean Stone (née Yeager), a homemaker & Jeffrey Charles "Jeff" Stone, a contracting company founder and CEO. She is of Swedish, German & British Isles descent. Stone began acting as a child as a member of the ...

6. Keira Knightley

Actress | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Keira Christina Knightley was born March 26, 1985 in the South West Greater London suburb of Richmond. She is the daughter of actor Will Knightley and actress turned playwright Sharman Macdonald. An older brother, Caleb Knightley, was born in 1979. Her father is English, while her Scottish-born ...

7. 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...

8. Scarlett Johansson

Actress | Lost in Translation

Scarlett Ingrid Johansson was born on November 22, 1984 in Manhattan, New York City, New York. Her mother, Melanie Sloan is from a Jewish family from the Bronx and her father, Karsten Johansson is a Danish-born architect from Copenhagen. She has a sister, Vanessa Johansson, who is also an actress, ...

9. Olivia de Havilland

Actress | The Heiress

Olivia Mary de Havilland was born July 1, 1916, in Tokyo, Japan, to British parents, Lilian Augusta (Ruse), a former actress, and Walter Augustus de Havilland, an English professor and patent attorney. Her sister, Joan, later to become famous as Joan Fontaine, was born the following year. Her ...

10. Emma Watson

Actress | The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born in Paris, France, to British 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,...

11. Rachel McAdams

Actress | The Notebook

Rachel Anne McAdams was born on November 17, 1978 in London, Ontario, Canada, to Sandra Kay (Gale), a nurse, and Lance Frederick McAdams, a truck driver and furniture mover. She is of English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish descent. Rachel became involved with acting as a teenager and by the age of 13 ...

12. Maggie Gyllenhaal

Actress | Secretary

Maggie Gyllenhaal was born on November 16, 1977 in New York City, New York as Margalit Ruth Gyllenhaal. Her parents are producer/screenwriter Naomi Foner & director Stephen Gyllenhaal. She's the older sister of Jake Gyllenhaal.

She made her film debut in Waterland (1992). She had sporadic roles ...

13. Michelle Williams

Actress | My Week with Marilyn

A small-town girl born and raised in rural Kalispell, Montana, Michelle Ingrid Williams is the daughter of Carla Ingrid (Swenson), a homemaker, and Larry Richard Williams, a commodity trader and author. Her ancestry is Norwegian, as well as German, British Isles, and other Scandinavian. She was ...

14. Shailene Woodley

Actress | Big Little Lies

Actress and activist Shailene Woodley was born in Simi Valley, California, to Lori (Victor), a middle school counselor, and Lonnie Woodley, a school principal. She has one brother, Tanner. She was educated at Simi Valley High School in California. When Woodley was four years old she began ...

15. Abbie Cornish

Actress | Bright Star

Abbie Cornish, also known by her rap name Dusk, is an Australian actress and rapper. Following her lead performance in 2004's Somersault, Cornish is best-known for her film roles as the titular heroin addict in the drama Candy (2006), courtier Bess Throckmorton in the historical drama Elizabeth: ...

16. Vera Farmiga

Actress | Up in the Air

Vera Farmiga is an American actress who has received an Academy Award nomination for her role in Up in the Air (2009) and Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her roles in Bates Motel (2013) and When They See Us (2019).

She was born Vera Ann Farmiga, the second of seven children, on August 6, 1973, ...

17. 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 ...

18. Bryce Dallas Howard

Actress | Jurassic World Dominion

Bryce Dallas Howard was born on March 2, 1981, in Los Angeles, California. She was conceived in Dallas, Texas (the reason for her middle name). Her father, Ron Howard, is a former actor turned Oscar-winning director. Her mother is actress and writer Cheryl Howard (née Alley). Her famous relatives ...

19. 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, ...

20. Tina Majorino

Actress | Napoleon Dynamite

Tina Majorino is clearly one of the most talented young actresses to come out of the early 1990s. She starred in three feature films that opened within three months of each other. She began her career by appearing in national television commercials before playing Sophie in the ABC television series ...

21. Joan Cusack

Actress | In & Out

Actress Joan Cusack was born on October 11, 1962 in New York City 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 mathematics teacher. Her siblings - Susie Cusack, John Cusack, Ann Cusack and Bill Cusack are...

22. Ashley Judd

Actress | Double Jeopardy

American actress and political activist Ashley Judd was born Ashley Tyler Ciminella on April 19, 1968, in Granada Hills, California. She grew up in a family of successful performing artists as the daughter of country music singer Naomi Judd and the sister of Wynonna Judd. While she is best known ...

23. 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 ...

24. 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...

25. Julia Stiles

Actress | 10 Things I Hate About You

Lovely, slim-eyed blonde Julia (O'Hara) Stiles, of Irish, English and German heritage, was born on March 28, 1981 in New York City, the outgoing daughter and eldest of three children of a Greenwich Village artist mother, Judith Newcomb Stiles, and an elementary school teacher father, John O'Hara.

...

26. Jennifer Carpenter

Actress | The Exorcism of Emily Rose

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 ...

27. Mae Whitman

Actress | The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Mae was born in Los Angeles, California to Pat Musick, a voice artist, and Jeffrey Whitman, a personal manager and set construction coordinator. She began her career with a voice-over for a Tyson Chicken commercial. Whitman attended Ribét Academy, a private preparatory school in Los Angeles.

Whitman...

28. Olivia Cooke

Actress | Ready Player One

Olivia Cooke was born and raised in Oldham, a former textile manufacturing town in Greater Manchester, North West England. She comes from a family of non-actors; her father, John, is a retired police officer, and her mother is a sales representative. Cooke attended Royton and Crompton Secondary ...



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