The Ten: Best Actresses of all time “relay race”

top 10 actresses all time relay race

With the actor relay race going strong thanks to a lot of great bloggers, I have been getting questions about a list for the actresses. Well, the wait is over as I’ve decided to kick of “The Ten” for the best female actresses. The rules will be exactly the same, but for those not in the know:

I’ve created a list of what I think are the best actresses of all time. At the end of the post I, just like in a real relay race, hand over the baton to another blogger who will write his own post. This blogger will have to remove one actress (that is an obligation) and add his/her own choice and describe why he/she did this. At the end the blogger chooses another blogger to do the same. The idea is to make this a long race, so that enough bloggers get a chance to remove and add an actress. We will end up with a list (not ranked in order) which represents a common agreement of the best actresses. It will also mean that those who follow this relay race will get to know new blogs as well!

So let’s start the race. Who have I chosen for the starting grid? Who are The Ten?


Julie Delpy
I’ve only seen her in Before and After Sunset, but her performance in those two movies was amazing. She shows a range of emotions, it doesn’t feel like she’s acting and her character is completely real. Reason enough for me to put her on the list.


Katharine Hepburn
This is an actress I really don’t know much about (only saw her in The African Queen), but not adding her to the initial list would probably get me some very angry responses. I’m not going to pretend I know a lot either. A quick look at IMDB shows she has won 4 Oscars, so that’s a pretty good indication she could act.


Natalie Portman
With one of her first roles in Léon(The Professional) she made clear that she was born to give great performances. She was amazing in it and also impressed me in Garden State and of course my all time favorite movie Black Swan. Portman manages to portray her characters in a way that you believe their fears, pain and joy.


Meryl Streep
Although I personally try to not watch any movies she’s in (something about her just makes me feel very uncomfortable), I can’t deny she is a good actress (won 3 Oscars). She does not appear in my personal list of favorite actresses, but deserves a mention here.


Julianne Moore
She started her career playing in a soap opera, but through the years has appeared in an impressive list of movies. Recently she was great as Sara Palin in Game Change, but has many more great roles to her name. One of my favorite actresses, I couldn’t leave her out of the list.


Frances McDormand
I will have to admit that I haven’t seen many movies she’s in, but those I have seen her in she has blown me away. She acts so convincingly and natural I think she deserves to be mentioned. Just look at Fargo and Burn After Reading.


Tilda Swinton
She has starred in great movies like Michael Clayton, Adaptation and We Need to Talk About Kevin and has managed to mesmerize me with her acting. Some have described her as having an otherwordly look, which I think makes her stand out as an actress and only adds to her screen presence.


Overview of the roles of actress Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett
Oscar winner Cate Blanchett seems to be able to put in nothing less than stellar performances. Whether it’s an elf in Lord of the Rings or Queen Elizabeth I, she has a stellar screen presence and more than deserves a spot in the top 10.


Marilyn Monroe
Now you might say that she wasn’t a good actress, but I don’t think there has been another actress that could light up a scene as much as she did. The camera loved her and so did the audiences that went out to see her movies.

The Many Faces of... Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
Although I initially wasn’t that impressed with her, but with roles in both The Reader and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind she won me over. An actress that can prove herself in any genre, whether it’s comedy, drama or romance.

Now I know you are missing out some classic actresses, but since I don’t know enough about them I don’t feel qualified to add them. I assume some of you do have that knowledge and will make the necessary changes. As a matter of fact I count on it!

So with that said it’s time to pass the baton for the first time and I’ve decided that the honour will fall upon Jessica from the Velvet Café.

55 thoughts on “The Ten: Best Actresses of all time “relay race”

  1. I put up a song list up on my blog, and all people did was say, “Why didn’t you put this (blank) song on?” So, I’m just going to say great list (and it is). Well done.

    • It will always happen, which of course makes lists so much fun, people are always missing things and I think it is a great way to get to know things you might not be familiar with yet.

    • Looking forward to what you will be doing with the actor one (which I think is now in your hands). Hope you will get tagged for this one too!

  2. What a great list! So glad to see Winslet, Streep, Moore, Swinton and Blanchett on there. Looking forward to seeing how this develops. Hope none of those disappear though!

    • I had a really hard time making this one. To me the male one was much easier to make. Well, some will start disappearing, we’ll find out who they are soon enough!

  3. Great to see you’ve got this going, Nostra!

    Love the list – it’s got a great selection of classic and new blood. Natalie Portman has always been a big favourite of mine. Ever since Leon, she’s just an incredibly talented young actress.

    I always find it harder picking out favourite actresses than actors. Don’t know why, but it feels like it takes a lot more for me to have an actress stand out.

    Looking forward to seeing this evolve :)

    • Yeah, I had the same issue getting the list together. Somehow actress names don’t come to me easy although when I finally had names it was hard to narrow them down.

  4. Nice, I was hoping you’d start this up. I gotta be honest, I do think Marilyn Monroe was a terrible actress, but I can’t argue with you: she ignited the screen like no other.

    At any rate, I hope this makes its way to me eventually! Thanks for starting it.

    • Yeah, she wasn’t great and notorious for forgetting her lines, but to me she deserves to be mentioned even though she’ll disappear…

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  6. Nicely done, Nostra!

    Patiently waiting for Marilyn Monroe to drop and have Myrna Loy installed.

    This listing should get interesting once Ruth, Claire, iluv, Paula and other ladies in attendance have their chance to opine!

  7. So, my take on this is up! I’m afraid a few people here are going to get a little disappointed. But remember: it’s just the beginning! This list won’t look anything the same within a week!

    • Great to see Jessica. Each person gets a week to put up their list, but lately it seems people need a day or less to make the changes 😉

      • I know the next in line is already working on his take. I can’t imagine we’ll have to wait a week for it. This creater you’ve made runs quickly!

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    • Thanks for the quick update! I will do an update post during the weekend as with the speed these are currently going my homepage would be filled with update posts :)

  9. I’m next up on this and will have it posted in the morning. Interesting to trace back and see that the original list wasn’t a personal list so much as a list made with a look at a general sense of who would be popular picks. Makes it tougher to pick one to take off because you can’t just go with the one you don’t know.

    • Yeah, I though I’d not pick my favorites (some of them wouldn’t be on there otherwise). Nice to see you’ve put your post so quickly, really impressed with the speed :)

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    • Well, more entries were written (that’s the idea of the relay race). Not sure if she was included, but as things go with lists everyone will miss someone or not agree with the choices.

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