List: Top 50 Favorite Modern Actresses


I just went through this rant in my intro to my ‘Top 50 Favorite Modern Actors’. So that post will give a general idea for what went into the list.

EDIT: October, 2013
In order of preference i.e who I get most excited to see, whether during this decade or the 70’s. Who I consider my ‘favorites’ on a personal level. There’s a mix of current interests mixed with constants. Brie Larson and Lola Creton are on the cusp. Kirsten Dunst is also getting back in my good graces. Keep in mind there is a fair amount of fluctuation. It’s an arbitrary counter of who I like at any given moment.

A reminder that this list covers actresses who have had the majority of their career take place between the 1960’s and the present.

Actresses I cut from the original Jan 2012 posting: 
Moon So-ri, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Helena Bonham-Carter, Meryl Streep, Katee Sackhoff, Maggie Smith, Saorsie Ronan, Christina Hendricks, Summer Glau, Kelly Macdonald, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Katherine Moennig, Michelle Forbes, Jessica Hynes, Carey Mulligan, Laura Linney, Jeon do-yeon, Gong Li, Lola Creton

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50. Emily Browning
Previously: —
Seen in 5 films:
Ghost Ship, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Uninvited, Sucker Punch, Sleeping Beauty

Marion Cotillard#49. Marion Cotillard
Previously: #46
Seen in 10 films: Big Fish, A Very Long Engagement, La Vie En Rose, Public Enemies, Nine, Inception, Midnight in Paris, Contagion, Rust and Bone, The Dark Knight Rises

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48. Sarah Gadon
Previously: —
Seen in 4 films: A Dangerous Method, The Moth Diaries, Cosmopolis, Antiviral

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47. Laura Dern: 
Previously: —
Seen in: Smooth Talk, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Jurassic Park, Citizen Ruth, October Sky, The Master

Elizabeth Debicki Sydney Photo Shoot
46. Elizabeth Debicki
Previously: —
Seen in 1 film, 1 stage production: The Great Gatsby, The Maids

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45. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Previously: —
Seen in: 
9 seasons of “Seinfeld”, 2 seasons of “Veep”, Hannah and Her Sisters, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Deconstructing Harry, A Bug’s Life

Viola Davis
44. Viola Davis
Previously: —
Seen in:
Doubt, The Help, Traffic, Antwine Fisher, Far From Heaven, Disturbia, Prisoners, State of Play

COFFY43. Pam Grier
Previously: —
Seen in: Foxy Brown, Jackie Brown, “The L Word”, Mars Attacks

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42. Elisabeth Moss
Previously: —
Seen in: 6 seasons of “Mad Men”, Top of the Lake

Thora Birch

41. Thora Birch
Previously: #42

Seen in 9 films: All I Want for Christmas, Hocus Pocus, Monkey Trouble, Now and Then, Alaska, American Beauty, The Hole, Ghost World, The Pregnancy Pact

936full-rinko-kikuchi#39. Rinko Kikuchi
Previously: —
Seen in 3 films: Babel, The Brothers Bloom, Pacific Rim

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38. Brie Larson
Previously: —
Seen in 7 films, 1 TV show: Sleepover, Greenberg, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, “The United States of Tara” (3 seasons), 21 Jump Street, Short Term 12, Rampart, The Spectacular Now

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37. Jessica Chastain
Previously: —
Seen in 6 films: Take Shelter, The Tree of Life, The Help, The Debt, Lawless, Zero Dark Thirty

Mia Wasikowska
36. Mia Wasikowska
Previously: #31

Seen in 6 films, 1 TV show: “In Treatment”, 1 season, Alice in Wonderland, The Kids Are All Right, Jane Eyre, Albert Nobbs, Lawless, Stoker

Keira Knightley

35. Keira Knightley
Previously: #26

Seen in 17 films: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, The Hole, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Love Actually, King Arthur, The Jacket, Domino, Pride and Prejudice, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Atonement, The Edge of Love, The Duchess, Never Let Me Go, Last Night, A Dangerous Method, Anna Karenina

Charlotte Rampling

34. Charlotte Rampling
Previously: #27

Seen in 10 films: The Night Porter, The Verdict, The Wings of the Dove, Swimming Pool, Deception, The Duchess, Life During Wartime, Never Let Me Go, Melancholia, The Mill and the Cross

Michelle Williams

33. Michelle Williams
Previously
: #23
Seen in 17 films: Species, Halloween: H20, Dick, If These Walls Could Talk 2, Prozac Nation, Brokeback Mountain, I’m Not There, Deception, Synecdoche, New York, Wendy and Lucy, Shutter Island, Mammoth, Blue Valentine, Meek’s Cutoff, My Week with Marilyn, Take This Waltz, Oz The Great and Powerful 

Angela Bettis
32. Angela Bettis
Previously: #29

Seen in 4 films, 1 TV show: Girl, Interrupted, Bless the Child, May, The Woman, “Dexter”, 2 episodes

 


31. Hanna Schygulla
Previously: #30
Seen in 3 films: The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, The Marriage of Maria Braun, Edge of Heaven

shelley-duvall-1977#30 Shelley Duvall
Previously: —
Seen in: McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Nashville, 3 Women, Annie Hall, The Shining, Popeye, Time Bandits, “Frankenweenie”, Roxanne, Mother Goose Rock N’ Rhyme, ” Faerie Tale Theatre” (host), Casper Meets Wendy

theresa_russell-22#29. Theresa Russell
Previously: —
Seen in 6 films: Bad Timing, Eureka, Wild Things, Spider Man 3, “Empire Falls”, Liz & Dick


28. Emma Thompson
Previously: #22

Seen in 14 films: Howards End, Much Ado About Nothing, Remains of the Day, In the Name of the Father, Junior, Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Stranger than Fiction, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I Am Legend, An Education, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Brave (voice)


27. Shirley Henderson
Previously: #19

Seen in 12 films, 1 TV show: Trainspotting, Topsy-Turvy, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 24 Hour Party People, Intermission, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Marie Antoinette, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Life During Wartime, Meek’s Cutoff, Anna Karenina, “Doctor Who”, 1 episode


26. Olivia Williams
Previously:
#12
Seen in 8 films, 1 TV show: Rushmore, The Sixth Sense, The Heart of Me, Peter Pan, An Education, The Ghost Writer, Hanna, Anna Karenina, “Dollhouse”, 2 seasons

Vera Farmiga
25. Vera Farmiga
Previously: #18

Seen in 9 filmsReturn to Paradise, The Manchurian Candidate, The Departed, Joshua, Quid Pro Quo, Nothing but the Truth, Orphan, Source Code, The Conjuring

JulieDelpy2#24 Julie Delpy
Previously: —
Seen in 10 films: Europa Europa, Three Colors: White, Three Colors: Blue (cameo), Three Colors: Red (cameo), Before Sunrise, Waking Life, Before Sunset, 2 Days in Paris, 2 Days in New York, Before Midnight

Kate Winslet
23. Kate Winslet
Previously
: #7
Seen in 14 films, 1 TV show: Heavenly Creatures, Sense and Sensibility, Hamlet, Titanic, Quills, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Finding Neverland, Little Children, The Holiday, The Reader, Revolutionary Road, Mildred Pierce, Contagion, Carnage, “Extras”, 1 episode

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22. Katharine Isabelle
Previously: —
Seen in 6 films, 2 TV shows: Cousins, Ginger Snaps, Insomnia, Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed, Freddy vs Jason, American Mary, “Supernatural;” (2 episodes), “Hannibal” (1 season)

Scarlett-Johansson-Photoshoot-422. Scarlett Johansson
Previously: —
Seen in: Under the Skin, Lucy, The Avengers, Her, Ghost World, Match Point, The Spirit, The Man who Wasn’t There, Lost in Translation, Iron Man 2, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Prestige, Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Black Dahlia, In Good Company, “A View from the Bridge” (stage production)

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21. Lili Taylor: 
Previously: —
Seen inSay Anything…, Dogfight, Short Cuts, Rudy, Four Rooms, I Shot Andy Warhol, The Haunting, High Fidelity, The Notorious Bettie Page, Public Enemies, The Conjuring, 2 seasons of “Six Feet Under”

aggelikilo#20. Aggeliki Papoulia
Previously: —
Seen in 2 films: Dogtooth, Alps

Ellen+Page+East+Photo+Call+SXSW+4PTcdtt-hIDl19. Ellen Page
Previously: #14
Seen in 9 films: Hard Candy, X-Men: The Last Stand, Juno, Smart People, Whip It, Peacock, Inception, Super, The East 

Helen Mirren

18. Helen Mirren
Previously: #20

Seen in 14 films: The Long Good Friday, The Cook, the Thief, his Wife & Her Lover, The Madness of King George, Gosford Park, Calendar Girls, The Clearing, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Queen, Inkheart, State of Play, RED, The Debt, Phil Spector, Monsters University (voice)

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17. Eva Green

Previously: —
Seen in 5 films, 1 TV show: The Dreamers, Casino Royale, The Golden Compass, Cracks, Dark Shadows, “Penny Dreadful” (one season)

Christina Ricci16. Christina Ricci
Previously: #15
Seen in 21 films: Mermaids, The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, Caspar, Now and Then, Gold Diggers: Secret of Bear Mountain, That Darn Cat, The Ice Storm, The Opposite of Sex, Small Soldiers (voice), 200 Cigarettes, Sleepy Hollow, Bless the Child, The Man who Cried, Prozac Nation, Monster, Cursed, Black Snake Moan, Penelope, Speed Racer, AfterLife, “Grey’s Anatomy”, 2 episodes

9255257079_7f208b16ab_h15. Michelle Pfieffer
Previously: #44
Seen in: Grease 2, Scarface, Dangerous Liaisons, Batman Returns, The Age of Innocence, Dangerous Minds, One Fine Day, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, What Lies Beneath, Stardust, Hairspray

Ludivine Sagnier

14. Ludivine Sagnier
Previously:
#24
Seen in 9 films: Water Drops on Burning Rocks, 8 Women, Swimming Pool, Peter Pan, Paris je t’aime, A Secret, Mesrine: Public Enemy Number 1, Love Crime, The Devil’s Double

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#13Léa Seydoux
Previously: —
Seen in 7 films: 
Inglourious Basterds, Midnight in Paris, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Farewell My Queen, Sister, Blue is the Warmest Color, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Liv Ullman

12. Liv Ullman
Previously:
#21
Seen in 5 films: Persona, Hour of the Wolf, The Passion of Anna, Cries and Whispers, Autumn Sonata

Nicole Kidman

11. Nicole Kidman
Previously: #9
Seen in 24 films: Dead Calm, Days of Thunder, Flirting, Far and Away, My Life, To Die For, Batman Forever, Practical Magic, Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge!, The Others, The Hours, Dogville, Cold Mountain, The Stepford Wives, Bewitched, Birth, The Interpreter, The Golden Compass, Margot at the Wedding, Nine, Rabbit Hole, Stoker, The Paperboy

10. Sally Hawkins
Previously
: #7
Seen in 11 films: Tipping the Velvet, Vera Drake, Layer Cake, Fingersmith, Cassandra’s Dream, Happy-Go-Lucky, An Education, Never Let Me Go, Submarine, Jane Eyre, Blue Jasmine

Winona Ryder

9. Winona Ryder
Previously:
#11
Seen in 19 films: Beetlejuice, 1969, Mermaids, Edward Scissorhands, Night on Earth, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Age of Innocence, Reality Bites, House of the Spirits, Little Women, How to Make an American Quilt, The Crucible, Girl, Interrupted, Mr. Deeds, The Ten, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Star Trek, Black Swan, Frankenweenie (voice)

Maggie Cheung

8. Maggie Cheung
Previously
: #13
Seen in 9 Films: Centre Stage, Police Story 3: Supercop, Days of Being Wild, The Heroic Trio, Executioners, Irma Vep, In the Mood for Love, Hero, 2046

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7. Isabelle Adjani
Previously: —
Seen in 6 films:  The Tenant, The Driver, Nosferatu the Vampyre, Possession, One Deadly Summer, Ishtar

Bae Doona

6. Bae Doona
Previously
: #8
Seen in 5 films: Barking Dogs Never Bite, Take Care of My Cat, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, The Host, Cloud Atlas


5. Juliette Binoche
Previously:
#5
Seen in 12 films: Lovers on the BridgeDamage, Three Colors: Blue, The English Patient, Chocolat, Code Unknown, Cache, Paris je t’aime, Flight of the Red Balloon, Summer Hours, Certified Copy, Cosmopolis


4. Cate Blanchett
Previously:
#4
Seen in 23 films: Elizabeth, The Talented Mr. Ripley, An Ideal Husband, The Gift, The Man who Cried, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Bandits, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Coffee and Cigarettes, Veronica Guerin, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Aviator, Babel, The Good German, Notes on a Scandal, Hot Fuzz, I’m Not There, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Hanna, Blue Jasmine


3. Tilda Swinton
Previously:
#3
Seen in 13 films: Vanilla Sky, Adaptation, Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Thumbsucker, Stephanie Daley, Michael Clayton, Julia, Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Burn After Reading, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I Am Love, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Moonrise Kingdom 


2. Catherine Deneuve
Previously:
#2
Seen in 12 films: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Repulsion, The Young Girls of Rochefort, Belle de Jour, Donkey Skin, The Last Metro, The Hunger, Dancer in the Dark, 8 Women, Persepolis (voice), A Christmas Tale, The Girl on the Train


1. Isabelle Huppert
Previously:
 #1
Seen in 12 films: Violette Noziere, Story of Women, La Ceremonie, Sentimental Destinies, Merci Pour le Chocolat, The Piano Teacher, 8 Women, Time of the Wolf, I Heart Huckabees, White Material, Amour, In Another Country, Abuse of Weakness

List: Top 30 Favorite Classic Actresses


To recap from the Classic Actors post, I’ve been doing lists like this nearly my whole life or at least as far back as I can remember. I redo my ‘Classic’ and ‘Modern’ Actors and Actresses lists every couple of years and I felt like posting my latest versions of them. They vary a lot throughout the years; I found the Actors in this case to be more difficult. While there were certainly actresses who regrettably did not make the list because there wasn’t room (Myrna Loy, Claudette Colbert, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, Rita Hayworth, Ingrid Bergman and Olivia De Havilland to name a few) or because there were actresses who gave one single performance I cannot get enough of but could not justify picking them over others (Anna Massey, Kathleen Byron, Sue Lyon). Like I said in the ‘Classic Actors’ post, I will not be posting reasons; simply a picture and a list of films I have seen with them. This list is a lot less varied than the previous one; it is almost entirely focused on the studio era in Hollywood.


30. Joan Fontaine
Seen in 5 Films: The Women, Gunga Din, Rebecca, Suspicion, Letter from an Unknown Woman


29. Celeste Holm
Seen in 4 films: Gentleman’s Agreement, A Letter to Three Wives (narrator), All About Eve, Three Men and a Baby


28. Tippi Hedren
Seen in 3 films: The Birds, Marnie, I Heart Huckabees


27. Jean Harlow
Seen in 8 Films: The Public Enemy, Platinum Blonde, Red-Headed Woman, Red Dust, Dinner at Eight, Bombshell, Wife vs. Secretary, Libeled Lady


26. Olga Baclanova
Seen in 4 films: The Docks of New York, The Man Who Laughs, Freaks, Downstairs


25. Lauren Bacall
Seen in 12 films: To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Key Largo, Dark Passage, How to Marry a Millionaire, Written on the Wind, Murder on the Orient Express, Misery, All I Want for Christmas, Dogville, Howl’s Moving Castle (voice), Birth

24. Judy Garland
Seen in 11 films: Love Finds Andy Hardy, The Wizard of Oz, Babes in Arms, Ziegfeld Girl, Girl Crazy, Meet Me in St. Louis, Ziegfeld Follies, The Pirate, A Star is Born, Judgment at Nuremberg, I Could Go On Singing


23. Audrey Hepburn
Seen in 8 films: Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Funny Face, The Nun’s Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Children’s Hour, My Fair Lady, Wait Until Dark


22. Miriam Hopkins
Seen in 7 films: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Smiling Lieutenant, Trouble in Paradise, The Story of Temple Drake, Design for Living, The Heiress, The Children’s Hour


21. Greer Garson
Seen in 3 films: Goodbye Mr. Chips, Mrs. Miniver, Random Harvest


20. Norma Shearer
Seen in 4 films: He Who Gets Slapped, The Divorcee, A Free Soul, The Women


19. Lillian Gish
Seen in 10 Films: The Musketeers of Pig Alley, The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, Broken Blossoms, Way Down East, Orphans of the Storm, La Boheme, The Wind, Portrait of Jennie, The Night of the Hunter


18. Greta Garbo
Seen in 8 films: Flesh and the Devil, Anna Christie, Mata Hari, Grand Hotel, Queen Christina, Camille, Ninotchka, Two-Faced Woman


17. Joan Crawford
Seen in 10 films: The Unknown, Grand Hotel, Dancing Lady, The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, The Women, Mildred Pierce, Possessed, Johnny Guitar, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, I Saw What You Did


16. Simone Simon
Seen in 4 films: La Bete Humaine, The Devil and Daniel Webster, Cat People, La Ronde


15. Shelley Winters
Seen in 10 films: A Place in the Sun, The Big Knife, The Night of the Hunter, The Diary of Anne Frank, Lolita, A Patch of Blue, Alfie, The Poseidon Adventure, The Tenant, Pete’s Dragon


14. Ginger Rogers
Seen in 9 Films: 42nd Street, The Gold Diggers of 1933, Finishing School, The Gay Divorcee, Top Hat, Swing Time, Stage Door, Kitty Foyle, Tales of Manhattan


13. Joan Blondell
Seen in 8 Films: The Public Enemy, Night Nurse, Three on a Match, Gold Diggers of 1933, Footlight Parade, Nightmare Alley, Opening Night, Grease


12. Marilyn Monroe
Seen in 9 films: The Asphalt Jungle, All About Eve, Clash by Night, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Seven Year Itch, Some Like it Hot, Let’s Make Love, The Misfits


11. Vivian Vance
Seen in: “I Love Lucy”, 180 episodes and “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour”


10. Jeanne Moreau
Seen in 7 films: La Notte, Jules and Jim, The Fire Within, Diary of a Chambermaid, Mademoiselle, The Bride Wore Black, Ever After


9. Anna Karina
Seen in 5 films: A Woman is a Woman, Cleo from 5 to 7, Vivre se vie, Band of Outsiders, Alphaville


8. Marlene Dietrich
Seen in 10 films: The Blue Angel, Morocco, Shanghai Express, Blonde Venus, The Scarlet Empress, The Devil is a Woman, Destry Rides Again, Witness for the Prosecution, Touch of Evil, Judgment at Nuremberg


7. Katherine Hepburn
Seen in 13 films: Little Women, Mary of Scotland, Stage Door, Bringing Up Baby, Holiday, The Philadelphia Story, Woman of the Year, Without Love, Adam’s Rib, The African Queen, Suddenly Last Summer, The Lion in Winter, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner


6. Barbara Stanwyck
Seen in 12 films: Night Nurse, Baby Face, Ladies They Talk About, The Bitter Tea of General Yen, Stella Dallas, The Lady Eve, Ball of Fire, Double Indemnity,  The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, The Two Mrs. Carrolls, Sorry, Wrong Number, Clash by Night


5. Monica Vitti
Seen in 3 films: L’Avventura, La Notte, L’Eclisse

4. Ann Dvorak
Seen in 4 films: Scarface, Three on a Match, ‘G’ Men, Girls of the Road


3. Bette Davis
Seen in 14 films: Three on a Match, The Petrified Forest, Jezebel, Dark Victory, The Letter, The Little Foxes, Now, Voyager, Mr. Skeffington, A Stolen Life, Deception, All About Eve, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Hush…Hush Sweet Charlotte, Return to Witch Mountain


2. Lucille Ball
Seen in 9 films, 2 TV shows: Stage Door, Five Came Back, Dance, Girl, Dance, Du Barry was a Lady, Without Love, The Dark Corner, The Long Long Trailer, “I Love Lucy”, 180 episodes, “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour”, Yours, Mine and Ours, Forever Darling


1. Louise Brooks
Seen in 7 films: The Show Off, Pandora’s Box, Diary of a Lost Girl, Beggars of Life, A Girl in Every Port, Prix de Beaute, Windy Riley Goes Hollywood