20 Favourite Actresses

I wasn’t tagged for this meme, but that never stopped me before! Choosing just twenty actresses is daunting, so I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone. I’m sorry to whoever that may be. The meme originates at The Film Experience Blog


Anna Karina
Key role:  Band of Outsiders

Barbara Stanwyck
Key Role: Stella Dallas

Barbara Steele
Key Role: 8 1/2

Bibi Andersson
Key Role: Persona

Carole Lombard
Key Role: To Be or Not To Be

Catherine Deneuve
Key Role: Belle de Jour

Diana Rigg
Key Role: The Avengers

Elizabeth Taylor
Key Role: Suddenly, Last Summer

Gene Tierney
Key Role: Laura

Ingrid Bergman
Key Role: Notorious

Irene Dunne
Key role: The Awful Truth


Irene Jacob
Key Role: The Double Life of Veronique

Jeanne Moreau
Key Role: Jules et Jim
Jennifer Jones
Key Role: Cluny Brown

Louise Brooks
Key Role: Pandora’s Box

Kate Winslet
Key Role: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Marilyn Monroe
Key Role: Some Like it Hot

Myrna Loy
Key Role: The Best Years of Our Lives

Olivia De Havilland
Key Role: Gone with the Wind

Vivien Leigh
Key Role: Gone with the Wind

Zooey Deschanel
Key Role: Almost Famous

18 responses to “20 Favourite Actresses

  1. Marilyn Monroe’s a fascinating choice. I’ve only seen her in Some Like it Hot, and I thought she couldn’t act a lick, but during that singing number with the famous dress and shadows, and when she’s on the boat with Tony Curtis, she IS sex. That’s what makes up for a lack of traditional “acting talent.”

  2. Simon: I think she has a great talent for comedy, she’s hilarious in Some Like it Hot. Want to see a more traditional “acting” role, see “Don’t Bother to Knock”.

    Spengo: No coincidence

    Beau: ❤ Rigg has amazing walking sticks

  3. bergman is probably my favorite actress so you automaticly win. jacob and winslet are great somewhat unexpected choices. that picture of vivien leigh is jaw dropping.

  4. Oh, I’m totally copying this. 😀

    Stanwyck, Deneuve, Dunne, Moreau and Taylor, Loy and Lombard will just miss if in fact they don’t make the cut. So we have pretty high affinity. I love Bergman, Karina, Jacob, Winslet &c &c too… Haven’t seen nearly enough from Leigh and De Havilland, but like them both. Great pictures. I won’t be able to top this, but I can’t resist a good meme or an opportunity to consider my lovely ladies.

  5. ^ [read Stany through Moreau definitely on, rest will be close — yeah. Proper words in the proper order… I keep reminding myself. 😉 )

  6. Babs Stanwyck, Catherine Deneuve, and Irene Jacob are among my favorites as well. I shall have to partake of this meme, because I’m sure I can explore my 20 favorite actresses.

  7. Winslet was a last minute choice… I don’t know, the most uncertain up there. I think most pictures of Leigh are jaw-dropping, she was stunning.

    Lauren: Thanks for the clarification, I really misunderstood you. I can’t wait to see your list 😀

    Allison: Oooo, I’m happy we can agree on a few! I want to see yours too.

  8. It was hard to narrow it down. Jeanne Moreau almost made the cut. I meant to say before that I liked your choice of Bibi Andersson. Oh also, I love your choice of Carole Lombard, and Gene Tierney is fun.

  9. Ha!– that Zooey Deschanel at the end was a surprise! I don’t think I’ve seen her in anything except “Nylon” magazine, where she’s obviously regarded as one of their ‘style icons’ (so is Jenna Malone, who seems to have done nothing for seven years but appear in their pages every so often, wearing Chuck Taylors and a self-inflicted haircut. Which is cute, but where are her movies?!?)

    But otherwise, a very impressive list. It struck me how, though personally I would find Winslet’s character in “Eternal Sunshine” attractive, still it was a kind of ‘ego-free’ thing for someone as Cinema Goddessy as Kate to do a role like that, with the DIY punk haircolors and the general flightiness.

    That’s an awesome Diana Rigg photo. It’s funny, I was lying in bed last night thinking about “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and imagining telling someone who’s never seen it and only heard that it was awful how truly great it is. It’s like The Wizard of Oz, I imagined telling them. I was also trying vaguely to figure out which one of Blofeld’s brainwashed nymphs was Joanna Lumley of “Absolutely Fabulous” fame. But the only one of those girls I can actually recall to mind is the one with the Antinous-like curly mop of hair. Maybe that’s her, I don’t know– but when Rigg skates up to Bond in his moment of darkest need it’s a truly magical moment.

  10. Jason: I’ve never heard of “Nylon” magazine, so you have a step up on me. I’ve seen Zooey in quite a few films, namely;
    Almost Famous
    The Assasination of Jesse James
    All the Real Girls
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
    Winter Passing

    It’s very true, and it actually reminds me of that episode of Extras where she’s playing a nun in a Nazi movie just to win an Oscar. She actually does play quite a few roles that seem to bait for awards, though frankly I think she just chooses films that interest her, and then you have a performance like Clementine in Eternal Sunshine that’s utterly devoid of pretense and expectation. It’s a much better film then I remember it, I should rewatch it soon (I know it’s better because I just skimmed through it a few days ago looking for something for something).

    Rigg is almost always awesome, but I couldn’t not show those legs. You like OHMSS? It’s one of my favourite Bonds personally, probably due to Rigg’s strong presence. I don’t remember Lumley in the film, but I do remember the curly mop one clearly. Maybe they are the same, I wouldn’t know. Rigg had more than any Bond girl, far more grit, intelligence and even more vulnerability. She was the entire package, the first and among the few very real women to be in a Bond film.

  11. Just found this page…great stuff, having fun reading through it all!
    These are some of my favorite actresses as well. I’ve made some tribute videos to my fav. actresses from the 20’s to the 70’s so far. You might dig them. Here are their links:

  12. Sorry to bring negativity to this post, but Jason, I am frankly appalled that you would compare ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ to ‘The Wizard of Oz’. I agree that OHMSS is not terrible and I quite enjoyed it. Partly because I had just seen Kelly’s Heroes, and Blofeld is in that. But also because it’s a pretty good flick, although I don’t like George Lazenby as Bond. However, to compare that movie to The Wizard of Oz, a timeless classic that is one of the best musicals MGM ever produced and contains arguably the greatest song written for any movie ever is really just silly.

    That said, I am unfamiliar with many of the actresses named here. I am a huge fan of Zooey Deschanel (and her eyes), Ingrid Bergman, Marilyn Monroe (for her acting skills I cite ‘The Misfits’), and Liz Taylor. I am also a fan of Myrna Loy, Irene Dunne, and Barbara Stanwyck, and am very quickly becoming a fan of Bibi Andersson and Anna Karina. I am unfamiliar with Louise Brooks, although I have heard praise of her performance in ‘Pandora’s Box’ (and what a profile!). I am personally not a fan of Kate Winslett, but I suppose I can see her appeal. I am thrilled not to see Bette Davis and Meryl Streep, great actresses though they are, there is something about the two of them I can’t describe that makes it impossible for me to watch more than one of their films in a short period of time.

    I must ask, though, where are Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn, Claudette Colbert, Shirley MacLaine, and my personal favorite simply because she is the most lovable person ever to grace silver nitrate, Audrey Hepburn.

    It would be great to see your 20 favorite actors!

  13. Pingback: 20 Favourite Actresses « From Atlantis to Interzone

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