Ranking Academy Awards for Best Actressby luke-a-mcgowan | created - 03 Apr 2015 | updated - 29 Mar 2016 | Public
All of the Academy Awards for Best Actress, ranked from Best to Worst. This is based on memorability, difficulty of character, whether they were the best of the nominees and the impression put on the audience.
Actress | Carol
Cate Blanchett was born on May 14, 1969 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to June (Gamble), an Australian teacher and property developer, and Robert DeWitt Blanchett, Jr., an American advertising executive, originally from Texas. She has an older brother and a younger sister. When she was ten ...
2. Kathy Bates
Actress | Misery
Multi-talented Kathleen Doyle Bates was born on June 28, 1948, and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the youngest of three girls born to Bertye Kathleen (Talbot), a homemaker, and Langdon Doyle Bates, a mechanical engineer. Her grandfather was author Finis L. Bates. Kathy has English, as well as...
3. Diane Keaton
Actress | Annie Hall
Diane Keaton was born Diane Hall in Los Angeles, California, to Dorothy Deanne (Keaton), an amateur photographer, and John Newton Ignatius "Jack" Hall, a civil engineer and real estate broker. She studied Drama at Santa Ana College, before dropping out in favor of the Neighborhood Playhouse in New ...
4. Jodie Foster
Actress | The Silence of the Lambs
Jodie Foster started her career at the age of two. For four years she made commercials and finally gave her debut as an actress in the TV series Mayberry R.F.D. (1968). In 1975 Jodie was offered the role of prostitute Iris Steensma in the movie Taxi Driver (1976). This role, for which she received ...
The Silence of the Lambs
5. Hilary Swank
Actress | Million Dollar Baby
Hilary was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Judith Kay (Clough), a secretary, and Stephen Michael Swank, who served in the National Guard and was also a traveling salesman. Her maternal grandmother, Frances Martha Dominguez, was of Mexican descent, and her other roots include German, English, and ...
Million Dollar Baby
Actress | Fargo
Frances Louise McDormand was born on June 23, 1957 in Gibson City, Illinois. She was adopted by Canadian-born parents, Noreen Eloise (Nickleson), a nurse from Ontario, and The Rev. Vernon Weir McDormand, a Disciples of Christ minister from Nova Scotia, who raised her in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. ...
Actress | The Kids Are All Right
Julianne Moore was born Julie Anne Smith in Fort Bragg, North Carolina on December 3, 1960, the daughter of Anne (Love), a social worker, and Peter Moore Smith, a paratrooper, colonel, and later military judge. Her mother moved to the U.S. in 1951, from Greenock, Scotland. Her father, from ...
8. Halle Berry
Actress | Catwoman
Halle Berry was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father, Jerome Jesse Berry, was African-American, and worked as a hospital attendant. Her mother, Judith Ann (Hawkins), who is Caucasian, has English and German ancestry, and is a retired psychiatric nurse. Halle has an older sister, Heidi Berry. Halle ...
Producer | The Proposal
Sandra Annette Bullock was born in Arlington, a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Her mother, Helga Bullock (née Helga Mathilde Meyer), was a German opera singer. Her father, John W. Bullock, was an American voice teacher, who was born in Alabama, of German descent. Sandra grew up on the road ...
The Blind Side
10. Brie Larson
Actress | Room
Brie Larson has built an impressive career as an acclaimed television actress, rising feature film star and emerging recording artist. A native of Sacramento, Brie started studying drama at the early age of 6, as the youngest student ever to attend the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco...
11. 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 ...
Terms of Endearment
Producer | Wild
Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon was born on March 22, 1976 at Southern Baptist Hospital (now Memorial Medical Center) in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is the second child of Mary Elizabeth "Betty" (Reese) and Dr. John Draper Witherspoon, Sr. Her father was a military surgeon specializing in ear, nose ...
Walk the Line
13. Louise Fletcher
Actress | One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, to Episcopal minister Robert Fletcher and his wife Estelle, both of whom were deaf, Louise Fletcher was introduced to performing at a young age by the aunt who taught her to speak. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, she took a trip out west with her...
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
14. Helen Hunt
Actress | As Good as It Gets
Helen Hunt began studying acting at the age of eight with her father, respected director and acting coach Gordon Hunt. A year later she made her professional debut and afterwards worked steadily in films, theatre and television.
As Good As It Gets
Actress | The Hunger Games
Was the highest-paid actress in the world in 2015 and 2016. With her films grossing over $5.5 billion worldwide, Jennifer Lawrence is often cited as the most successful actor of her generation. She is also thus far the only person born in the 1990s to have won an acting Oscar.
Jennifer Shrader ...
Silver Linings Playbook
Should've won: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
16. Gwyneth Paltrow
Actress | Shakespeare in Love
A tall, wafer thin, delicate beauty, Gwyneth Kate Paltrow was born in Los Angeles, the daughter of noted producer and director Bruce Paltrow and Tony Award-winning actress Blythe Danner. Her father was from a Jewish family, while her mother is of mostly German descent. When Gwyneth was eleven, the ...
Shakespeare in Love
17. Helen Mirren
Actress | RED
Dame Helen Mirren was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital in West London. Her mother, Kathleen Alexandrina Eva Matilda (Rogers), was from a working-class English family, and her father, Vasiliy Petrovich Mironov, was a Russian-born civil servant, from Kuryanovo, whose own father was a diplomat. ...
Should've won: Kate Winslet (Little Children)