List: Greatest Female Acting Performances

Last week, I published a post about the films of Meryl Streep. This week, I thought through the best acting performances I have seen, wondering how many times Meryl would show up. She shows up once in the top 25 performances I will list here but I will consider making a longer list in the future, which will include, I’m sure, much more of her work. For now, here the 25 best female acting performances that I have seen on film.

25. Greta Garbo, Ninotchka (1939)

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24. Audrey Hepburn, Roman Holiday (1953)

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23. Katharine Hepburn, On Golden Pond (1981)

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22. Bjork, Dancer in the Dark (2000)

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21. Diane Keaton, The Godfather Part II (1974)

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20. Irene Dunn, I Remember Mama (1948)

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19. Nancy Kelly, The Bad Seed (1956) 

 

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18. Elizabeth Taylor, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

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17. Ingrid Bergman, Gaslight (1944)

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16. Bette Davis, All about Eve (1950)

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15. Judy Garland, A Star Is Born (1954)

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14. Janet Gaynor, Sunrise (1927)

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13. Anne Baxter, All about Eve (1950)

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12. Olivia De Havilland, The Snake Pit (1948)

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11. Rita Hayworth, Gilda (1946)

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10. Angela Lansbury, The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

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9. Marion Cotillard, La vie en rose (2007)

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8. Maria Falconetti, The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

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7. Meryl Streep, Sophie’s Choice (1982)

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6. Shirley MacLaine, The Children’s Hour (1961)

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5. Whoopie Goldberg, The Color Purple (1985)

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4. Bette Davis, Now, Voyager (1942)

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3. Vivian Leigh, A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

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2. Gloria Swanson, Sunset Blvd. (1950)

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1. Vivian Leigh, Gone with the Wind (1939)

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