Best Actresses of All Time: In this article, we take a look at the most talented actresses in film history. It is well known that the performance of an actress is honored with an Oscar. The following list of the best actresses of all time is based on the number of Oscars won.
1. Katharine Hepburn:
To this day, the American actress Katharine Houghton Hepburn has remained invincible with four Oscars in the “Best Actress” category. The eternal icon of Hollywood received the coveted awards for the films,
Dawn of Fame (1933)
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
The Lion in Winter (1968)
At the golden lake (1982)
Even in her youth, the Oscar queen was involved in acting in an acting ensemble that she founded at the family’s summer residence. The theater gave the young talent a home until their first screen debut in 1932. The good reviews for the exceptional talent Hepburn convinced the film studio to make her a star by winning the respective leading roles film for film. Not long after her first film role in Hollywood, the ambitious actress won her first Oscar for the film “Dawn of Fame”. This highlight was only to be the beginning of a long-lasting film career in which she appeared on screen with celebrities such as Cary Grant, James Stewart, Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart.
In 1938, the trained careerist experienced a career slump that put her at the top of the American Cinema Association’s “box-office poison list”. However, the return to Broadway gave her new success.
After more than 60 years of film career, she was named the greatest female star in American film history by the American Film Institute. Without a doubt, she was considered the best actress of her time.
2. Ingrid Bergman:
Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman is still one of the most unforgettable and best Hollywood icons of her time. She won two Academy Awards for Best Actress and another Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the films
Lady Alquist’s House (1945)
Murder on the Orient Express (1975)
Ingrid Bergman’s acting talent was encouraged at an early age by her father, who raised the then young Swede on her own after her mother’s death. She attended the drama school of the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm, where she got her first speaking role in 1935. The big breakthrough followed just one year later with the film drama “Intermezzo” in 1936. Hollywood became aware of the young and beautiful talent. She played her best-known role together with Humphrey Bogart in the film “Casablanca”. The real highlight – the first Oscar – was won by the beauty in 1945 with the film “The House of Lady Alquist”.
Crucial to her film career was the scandal she conjured up through her romance with Italian director Roberto Rossellini. She left her husband and daughter, married Rossellini, and gave birth to three more children. After seven years of new marriage and final separation, the coveted actress returned to the big screen. She was the best actress of her time.
3. Frances McDormand:
The American actress Frances McDormand is without a doubt one of the most fascinating Hollywood stars. The woman with the unmistakable face won two Academy Awards in the “Best Actress” category for the films
Fargo – Bloody Snow (1997)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2018)
The two-time Oscar winner grew up with several adoptive siblings in pious family backgrounds. From the very beginning of her education she was interested in acting and graduated from the Yale School of Drama with a Master of Fine Arts.
The breakthrough came in 1984 with the film “Blood Simple – A Murderous Night” (1984). With the first Oscar in 1997 for the film “Fargo”, in which she plays a pregnant, stupid sheriff lady, she solidified herself in the minds of moviegoers.
4. Cate Blanchett:
Australian actress Cate Élise Blanchett has starred in more than 40 film and television productions since 1990. As a leading actress, she won two Academy Awards in the “Best Actress” categories for the films
Blue Jasmine (2014)
It was supposed to lead the way into the world of economics and art, but Blanchett, who was always looking for perfection, dropped out of university early on and switched to the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney. There she graduated with multiple awards for best actress in college. She starred in her first feature film alongside Frances McDormand and Glenn Close in the film “Paradise Road” in 1997. Due to the excellent acting performance and the good reviews, she kissed Hollywood. Then, just a year later, she made her breakthrough with the film “Elizabeth”. This was rewarded with the first Oscar nomination. More character roles followed,
The rise of the Hollywood icon resulted in a one-star honor on the Walk of Fame. To this day she is considered one of the best actresses in the world.
5. Meryl Streep:
The American actress Mary Louise “Meryl” Streep, who is without a doubt one of the best actresses of all time, has received 21 Oscar nominations in her career to date and won two Oscars in the category “Best Actress” and another Oscar in the category ” Best Supporting Actress “for the films
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
Sophie’s Decision (1983)
The Iron Lady (2012)
Interest in acting was reflected in the choice of training centers at a young age. The character actress began her acting training at Vassar College in New York. She received her Masters of Fine Arts from the School of Drama at Yale University.
Meryl Streep’s film career began in 1977 with a role in “Julia”. Just a year later, she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the anti-war film “Those Going Through Hell”. She won her first Oscar in the divorce drama “Kramer versus Kramer”. However, she achieved her international breakthrough in the early 1970s with the multi-part TV series “Holocaust”.
6. Jane Fonda:
In the prime of her career, the American actress was not only a coveted sex symbol, but also a serious actress in difficult film roles. Her acting performance was rewarded with two Oscars in the category “Best Actress”. She received the coveted trophy for the following films:
Coming Home (1978)
Jane Fonda is the daughter of the successful actor Henry Fonda († August 12, 1982 in Los Angeles, California). Her late brother Peter Fonda and her niece Jane Fonda also had their roots in the film industry. So it is not surprising that she has already appeared in the theater with her father.
In 1958 she attended Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio. Her first Tony Award nomination followed two years later. After she also took part in international film productions, she achieved her breakthrough in 1962 together with Alain Delon in the psychological thriller “Wie Raubkatzen” in 1964. With “Klute” she finally won her first Oscar.
Fonda was not only active as an actress, but also politically. She fought vehemently against the Vietnam War and participated in issues related to the use of nuclear energy.
Fonda initially did not pursue her career further in 1990. Great film successes did not follow. Meanwhile, her autobiography “My Life So Far” topped the bestseller lists.
The talented actress has also been involved in sports for years. She motivated numerous women with various aerobics videos.
7. Maggie Smith:
British actress Maggie Smith is one of the best stage and film actresses of her time. Not only did she take home a Tony Award, four Emmys, five BAFTAs (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) and three Golden Globes, she also won an Oscar in the “Best Actress” category and another Oscar in the “Best Actress” category Supporting Actress “for the films
Miss Jean Brodie’s Best Years (1969)
The Crazy California Hotel (1978)
She joined the Oxford Playhouse School at the age of only 16, later began working in the theater and in a short time became Assistant Stage Manager. Her big breakthrough came in 1956 with the British Film Academy Award, which honored her as the most promising young actress.
In the 1960s and 1970s she repeatedly cast strong roles, while she continued to appear on stage to celebrate success there too. The trend towards character roles continued and brought her more awards and nominations. The multi-faceted actress also proved her comedic existence in films such as “Sister Act – A Heavenly Career” and “The Devil’s Club”.
To this day, this outstanding woman manages to appear steadily on the big screen. Especially in the film adaptations of the “Harry Potter” novels, she convinces as Minerva McGonagall, Gryffindor’s head of house.
In 1990 she was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. 24 years later, in 2014, Smith was named a Companion of Honor. She is one of the world’s most famous actresses.
8. Olivia de Havilland:
The British-American actress Olivia de Havilland is one of the still little living film legends. She was considered one of the best actresses in the “golden era of Hollywood”. She won two Academy Awards for Best Actress for the films
Mother’s heart (1946)
The Heiress (1949)
Because her mother was a stage actress, de Havilland was trained early on for a career on the stage. For this she attended various drama schools. In the years 1935 to 1939, she managed to become a Hollywood star. She reached one of her climaxes with the dramatic portrayal of the kind-hearted Melanie Hamilton in the film “Gone with the Wind”. With the Oscar nomination in the category “Best Supporting Actress” she achieved her breakthrough.
However, it would be a few more years before she finally became a two-time Oscar winner.
9. Elizabeth Taylor:
The American actress and beauty was a star in the Hollywood sky even as a child. She had a studio contract with MGM as a child, teenager, and adult woman. She won two Academy Awards for Best Actress for the films
Telephone Butterfield 8 (1960)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Taylor spent her childhood in London and Beverly Hills from 1932 to 1942. She belonged to a wealthy family who enabled her to attend a private school as well as ballet and riding lessons. After the family moved to California, they signed MGM.
In 1955, more complex characters followed until she finally became a two-time Oscar winner in 1960 and 1966. But she also achieved particular fame for the monumental film “Cleopatra”. Here she met the greatest romance and scandal of her life. As a married woman, she began an affair with the equally married actor Richard Burton, and they later became a couple. The moral indignation in society was not long in coming. There was even criticism from the Vatican.
Taylor and Burton later married. The audience’s desire to see the couple on screen together was so great that even films that were panned by critics became box office hits. With her death in 2011, Hollywood had to say goodbye to one of the most prominent figures. To this day she is one of the actresses who left a lasting mark on the film world in the USA.
10. Sally Field:
The American actress and director Sally Field has won three Emmy awards and twice the Golden Globe. In addition to these awards, she won an Oscar in the “Best Actress” category and another in the “Best Supporting Actress” category for the films
A woman stands her man (1979)
A Place in the Heart (1984)
As the daughter of an actress, Sally Field followed in her mother’s footsteps. She worked for television in the 1960s before her breakthrough on the big screen in the late 1970s.
With two Oscar wins, two Golden Globes and three Emmys, she is one of the best actresses in the USA today.