Beauty, Truth and Daring - Amazing Actresses

by peterdi315 | created - 24 Mar 2012 | updated - 16 Oct 2015 | Public

Some seriously awesome actresses, not new to the game. Alphabetically.

1. Amy Adams

Actress | Arrival

Amy Lou Adams was born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy, to American parents, Kathryn (Hicken) and Richard Kent Adams, a U.S. serviceman who was stationed at Caserma Ederle in Italy at the time. She was raised in a Mormon family of seven children in Castle Rock, Colorado, and has English, as well as ...

2. Jane Adams

Actress | Happiness

Jane Adams has performed theatre at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. The plays include "Love Diatribe", "The Nice and the Nasty", and "Greetings From Elsewhere Cabaret". She also performed in "Careless Love" at the Empty Space Theatre, "Candide/Len Jenkin" at the Pioneer Square Theatre", "Talking ...

3. Gabrielle Anwar

Actress | Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead

Her father is Tariq Anwar and her mother is Shireen Anwar. Anwar attended Laleham Church of England Primary and Middle School from 1975 to 1982. Trinian's sketch in the school concert of 1982 gave an early indication of her theatrical leanings. She studied at the London drama and dance school, "...

4. Patricia Arquette

Actress | True Romance

With her expressive blue eyes, soft, Southern-tinged voice and an acting range that can carry her from hysterically funny to terrifying in seconds, Patricia Arquette is one of the most underrated and talented actresses of her generation. Though she has been working for years, she's always stayed ...

5. Drew Barrymore

Producer | Never Been Kissed

Since melting audiences' hearts - at the age of six - in Steven Spielberg's beloved sci-fi blockbuster, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Drew Barrymore has emerged as one of the most endearing and talented actresses of her generation.

Drew Blyth Barrymore was born in Culver City, California, to ...

6. Jennifer Beals

Actress | Flashdance

Jennifer Beals is an internationally renowned actress who has over 90 credits to her name, including critically acclaimed feature films and some of the highest rated television series to date. Beals is currently executive producing and returning as a lead cast member in the revival of her hit ...

7. Maria Bello

Actress | The Cooler

Maria Bello was born on 18 April, 1967 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, to Kathy, a nurse and teacher, and Joe Bello, a contractor. She is of Italian and Polish descent. Maria went to Villanova University, majoring in political science. She had every intention of becoming a lawyer, but she took an ...

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 ...

9. Juliette Binoche

Actress | The English Patient

Juliette Binoche was born in Paris, France, to Monique Yvette Stalens, a director, teacher, and actress, and Jean-Marie Binoche, a sculptor, director, and actor. Her mother was born in Czestochowa, Poland, of French, Walloon Belgian, and Polish descent, while her father is French. Juliette was only...

10. Cate Blanchett

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 ...

11. Lara Flynn Boyle

Actress | Happiness

Lara Flynn Boyle was born in Davenport, Iowa on March 24, 1970 to 21-year old Sally Boyle. For Sally and young Lara, money was not plentiful so Sally was required to work three jobs in addition to raising baby Lara by herself. Since Lara was mostly around Sally, they developed a bond that still ...

12. Helena Bonham Carter

Actress | Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Helena Bonham Carter is an actress of great versatility, one of the UK's finest and most successful.

Bonham Carter was born May 26, 1966 in Golders Green, London, England, the youngest of three children of Elena (née Propper de Callejón), a psychotherapist, and Raymond Bonham Carter, a merchant ...

13. Jessica Chastain

Actress | Molly's Game

Jessica Michelle Chastain was born in Sacramento, California, and was raised in a middle-class household in a northern California suburb. Her mother, Jerri Chastain, is a vegan chef whose family is originally from Kansas, and her stepfather is a fireman. She discovered dance at the age of nine and ...

14. Toni Collette

Actress | Little Miss Sunshine

Toni Collette is an Academy Award-nominated Australian actress, best known for her roles in The Sixth Sense (1999) and Little Miss Sunshine (2006).

Collette was born Toni Collett (she later added an "e") on November 1, 1972, in Blacktown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She is the first of three...

15. Jennifer Connelly

Actress | A Beautiful Mind

Jennifer Connelly was born in the Catskill Mountains, New York, to Ilene (Schuman), a dealer of antiques, and Gerard Connelly, a clothing manufacturer. Her father had Irish and Norwegian ancestry, and her mother was from a Jewish immigrant family. Jennifer grew up in Brooklyn Heights, just across ...

16. Marion Cotillard

Actress | La Môme

Academy Award-winning actress Marion Cotillard was born on September 30, 1975 in Paris. Cotillard is the daughter of Jean-Claude Cotillard, an actor, playwright and director, and Niseema Theillaud, an actress and drama teacher. Her father's family is Breton.

Raised in Orléans, France, she made her ...

17. Penélope Cruz

Actress | Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Known outside her native country as the "Spanish enchantress", Penélope Cruz Sánchez was born in Madrid to Eduardo Cruz, a retailer, and Encarna Sánchez, a hairdresser. As a toddler, she was already a compulsive performer, re-enacting TV commercials for her family's amusement, but she decided to ...

18. Hope Davis

Actress | American Splendor

Davis, second of three children, was born in Englewood, New Jersey, the daughter of Joan, a librarian (at one time, for the elementary section of Elisabeth Morrow School), and William Davis, an engineer. Davis has described her mother as a "great storyteller" who would take Davis and her siblings ...

19. Viola Davis

Actress | Fences

Actress Viola Davis was born on her grandmother's farm, at the then-Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews, South Carolina. When she was two months old her family moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island, where her father, Dan Davis, worked as a horse groomer and trainer. Her mother, Mary Alice (Logan), ...

20. Julie Delpy

Actress | Trois couleurs: Blanc

Julie Delpy was born in Paris, France, in 1969 to Albert Delpy and Marie Pillet, both actors.

She was first featured in Jean-Luc Godard's Détective (1985) at the age of fourteen. She has starred in many American and European productions since then, including Disney's The Three Musketeers (...

21. Laura Dern

Actress | Jurassic Park

Laura Dern was born on February 10, 1967 in Los Angeles, the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Dern was exposed to movie sets and the movie industry from infancy, and obtained several bit parts as a child. Her parents divorced when Dern was two and Dern lost contact with her father for ...

22. Cameron Diaz

Actress | There's Something About Mary

A tall, strikingly attractive blue-eyed natural blonde, Cameron Diaz was born in 1972 in San Diego, the daughter of a Cuban-American father and a German mother. Self described as "adventurous, independent and a tough kid," Cameron left home at 16 and for the next 5 years lived in such varied ...

23. Kim Dickens

Actress | Gone Girl

Kim Dickens was born on June 18, 1965 in Huntsville, Alabama, USA as Kimberly Jan Dickens. She is an actress, known for Gone Girl (2014), Hollow Man (2000) and Deadwood (2004).

24. Vera Farmiga

Actress | Up in the Air

Vera Farmiga is an American actress who has received an Academy Award nomination for her role in Up in the Air (2009) and Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her roles in Bates Motel (2013) and When They See Us (2019).

She was born Vera Ann Farmiga, the second of seven children, on August 6, 1973, ...

25. Jorja Fox

Actress | CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Jorja Fox has become a familiar face by playing major roles in three of the most successful television dramas in history: ER (1994), The West Wing (1999) and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000).

As a teenager, Fox had a career as a fashion model. She then turned to formal study of the acting craft...

26. Laura Harring

Actress | Mulholland Dr.

A respected actress, Laura Harring is best known for her role as the mysterious amnesiac Rita in David Lynch's enigmatic film Mulholland Drive, which was recently voted the best film of the 21st century in multiple polls. Film critic Roger Ebert compared Harring to screen legend Rita Hayworth, ...

27. Salma Hayek

Actress | Frida

One of Hollywood's most dazzling leading actresses, Salma Hayek was born on September 2, 1966, in the oil boomtown of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. Hayek has freely admitted that she and her brother, Sami, were spoiled rotten by her well-to-do businessman father, Sami Hayek Dominguez, and her ...

28. Anne Heche

Actress | Six Days Seven Nights

Anne Heche was born on May 25, 1969 in Aurora, Ohio, USA as Anne Celeste Heche. She is an actress and writer, known for Six Days Seven Nights (1998), Donnie Brasco (1997) and Wag the Dog (1997). She was previously married to Coleman 'Coley' Laffoon.

29. Angelina Jolie

Actress | Maleficent

Angelina Jolie is an Academy Award-winning actress who rose to fame after her role in Girl, Interrupted (1999), playing the title role in the "Lara Croft" blockbuster movies, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Wanted (2008), Salt (2010) and Maleficent (2014). Off-screen, Jolie has become ...

30. Catherine Keener

Actress | Capote

Catherine Keener is an American actress, Oscar-nominated for her roles in the independent films Being John Malkovich (1999) and Capote (2005). Acclaimed in her community for her quirky roles in independent film and mainstream such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Keener got her start as a casting ...

31. Diane Lane

Actress | Unfaithful

Diane Lane was born on January 22, 1965, in New York. She is the daughter of acting coach Burton Eugene "Burt" Lane and nightclub singer/centerfold Colleen Farrington. Her parents' families were both from the state of Georgia. Diane was acting from a very young age and made her stage debut at the ...

32. Bai Ling

Actress | Red Corner

Bai Ling is recognized for unbridled freedom and creativity, Bai Ling has become undoubtedly one of the world's most diverse and captivating actresses! Born in the city of Cheng Du in southern China, Bai Ling began her career at age of 14. She enlisted In the Chinese People's Liberation Army, where...

33. Laura Linney

Actress | The Big C

Laura Leggett Linney was born in New York City on February 5, 1964, into a theatre family. Her father was prominent playwright Romulus Linney, whose own great-grandfather was a congressman from North Carolina. Her mother, Miriam Anderson (Leggett), is a nurse. Although she did not live in her ...

34. Lucy Liu

Actress | Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Born to immigrants in Queens, New York, Lucy Liu has always tried to balance an interest in her cultural heritage with a desire to move beyond a strictly Asian-American experience. Lucy's mother, Cecilia, a biochemist, is from Beijing, and her father, Tom Liu, a civil engineer, is from Shanghai. ...

35. Julianna Margulies

Actress | ER

Julianna Margulies was born on June 8, 1966 in Spring Valley (near New York City), as the youngest of three daughters of Francesca (Goldberg), a teacher and dancer in American Ballet, and Paul Margulies, an advertising writer and philosopher. She is of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage (from Romania, ...

36. Marlee Matlin

Actress | Children of a Lesser God

Marlee Beth Matlin was born in Morton Grove, Illinois, to Libby (Hammer) and Donald Matlin, an automobile dealer. She has two older brothers. Her family is of Russian Jewish and Polish Jewish descent.

Marlee lost much of her hearing at the age of eighteen months. That did not stop her from acting in...

37. Mary McCormack

Actress | Deep Impact

Mary McCormack began her acting career performing in a stage production of Gian Carlo Menotti's Christmas opera, "Amahl and the Night Visitors". "I was twelve but looked like an eight-year-old boy" she recalls. "As luck would have it, none of the boys in town could sing, so I got the part and wore ...

38. Julianne Moore

Actress | Still Alice

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 ...

39. Carrie-Anne Moss

Actress | The Matrix

Carrie-Anne Moss was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. At age 20, after studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she moved to Europe to pursue a career in modeling. While in Spain she was cast in a regular role in the TV show Dark Justice which was produced in Barcelona for its first ...

40. Thandie Newton

Actress | Crash

Thandie Newton was born in London. She is the daughter of Zimbabwean mother Nyasha, a health-care worker from the Shona tribe, and British father Nick Newton, who worked as a lab technician. She lived in Zambia until political unrest caused her family to move back to the UK, where she lived in ...

41. Sandra Oh

Actress | Sideways

Sandra Oh was born to Korean parents in the Ottawa suburb of Nepean, Ontario, Canada. Her father, Oh Junsu, a businessman, and her mother, Oh Young-Nam, a biochemist, were married in Seoul, Korea. They both attended graduate school at the University of Toronto. Sandra began her career as a ballet ...

42. Sophie Okonedo

Actress | Hotel Rwanda

Sophie Okonedo is a British actress. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Tatiana Rusesabagina in Hotel Rwanda (2004).

Okonedo was born within London in 1968. Her parents were Henry Okonedo (1939-2009) and Joan Allman. Her father was British Nigerian, ...

43. Archie Panjabi

Actress | Yasmin

Archie is an Emmy Award winning British actress best known for her role as Kalinda Sharma in The Good Wife, for which she was nominated for an Emmy three times in a row and went on to to be honored with a Golden Globe Nomination. She made her film debut in the critically acclaimed East Is East ...

44. Grace Park

Actress | Battlestar Galactica

Grace Park (born March 14, 1974) is an American-Canadian actress. She gained recognition as Lt. Sharon 'Boomer' Valerii and Lt. Sharon 'Athena' Agathon on Battlestar Galactica (2004), as well as Shannon Ng in the Canadian television series teen soap Edgemont (2000). From 2010 to 2017, Park starred ...

45. Mary-Louise Parker

Actress | RED

Southern-bred Mary-Louise Parker was born on August 2, 1964 in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, the youngest of four children of Judge John Morgan Parker, and the former Caroline Louise Morell. She is of mostly Swedish, English, and Scottish descent. Her father's occupation took the family both around...

46. Molly Parker

Actress | Deadwood

Molly Parker, the extremely talented and versatile Canadian actress is best known in the United States for playing the Western widow "Alma Garret" on the cable-TV series Deadwood (2004). Raised on a commune, she described as "a hippie farm" in Pitt Meadows, B.C., Parker got the acting bug when she ...

47. Sarah Jessica Parker

Actress | Sex and the City

Sarah Jessica Parker was born March 25, 1965, in Nelsonville, Ohio, to Barbra Forste (née Keck), a teacher who ran a nursery school, and Stephen Parker, a journalist. Her parents divorced, and her mother later remarried to Paul Forste and had four more children, bringing the total to eight. Sarah ...

48. Amanda Peet

Actress | 2012

Amanda Peet was born and raised in New York City. She is the daughter of Penny (Levy), a social worker, and Charles Peet, a lawyer, and has an older sister. Her father was of mostly English and German ancestry, and her mother was from a Jewish family (from Germany, Russia, and Hungary). Peet's ...

49. Pauley Perrette

Actress | NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service

Pauley Perrette is known to millions around the world as Abby Sciuto, the brilliant but offbeat forensic scientist on CBS's NCIS (2003), the #1-rated drama in the world. Her additional credits include appearances on such shows as Almost Famous (2000), The Ring (2002), 24 (2001), CSI: Crime Scene ...

50. Rosamund Pike

Actress | Gone Girl

Born on January 27, 1979 in London, England, actress Rosamund Mary Elizabeth Pike is the only child of a classical violinist mother, Caroline (Friend), and an opera singer father, Julian Pike. Due to her parents' work, she spent her early childhood traveling around Europe. Pike attended Badminton ...

51. Martha Plimpton

Actress | The Goonies

She has show biz in her blood. Martha Plimpton was born November 16, 1970, in New York City to two actors: Keith Carradine and Shelley Plimpton. Martha began her career at age 8, when her mom had a friend of hers, composer Elizabeth Swados, enroll her in an actors' workshop. At age 10, she got a ...

52. Ellen Pompeo

Actress | Grey's Anatomy

Ellen Kathleen Pompeo was born in Everett, Massachusetts, to Kathleen B. (O'Keefe) and Joseph E. Pompeo, a salesman. She is of Italian (from her paternal grandfather), Irish, and some English, ancestry.

Pompeo made her major studio screen debut in Brad Silberling's Moonlight Mile (2002), starring ...

53. Parker Posey

Actress | Scream 3

Parker Posey was born two months premature in Baltimore, Maryland, to Lynda (Patton) and Chris Posey. The family moved to Monroe, La. and then Laurel, Mississippi, where Chris became owner of Laurel's own Posey Chevrolet. Parker attended high school at R. H. Watkins High School in Laurel, and ...

54. Franka Potente

Actress | Lola rennt

Franka Potente was born on 22 July 1974 in the German city of Münster, to Hildegard, a medical assistant, and Dieter Potente, a teacher, and raised in the nearby town of Dülmen. After her graduation in 1994, she went to the Otto-Falckenberg-Schule, a drama school in Munich, but soon broke off to ...

55. Elizabeth Reaser

Actress | Twilight

Elizabeth Ann Reaser was born July 2, 1975 in Bloomfield, Michigan, to Karen (Weidman) and John Reaser. As the middle child in a trio of sisters, she grew up in rural Milford, MI. Her mother, a homemaker, and her father, an attorney turned restaurateur turned substitute teacher, divorced, and her ...

56. Kyra Sedgwick

Actress | The Closer

Kyra Minturn Sedgwick was born on August 19, 1965 in New York City, to Patricia (Rosenwald), a family and speech therapist, and Henry Dwight Sedgwick V, a venture capitalist. Her mother was from an upper-class German Jewish family, and her father was from a wealthy Massachusetts clan of English ...

57. Octavia Spencer

Actress | Hidden Figures

Spencer is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, which she claims is the proverbial buckle of the Bible belt. She's the sixth of seven siblings and holds a BS in Liberal Arts from Auburn University. A "closet" lover of acting, this practical Alabamian knew that she'd someday work in the film industry, ...

58. Hilary Swank

Actress | Boys Don't Cry

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 ...

59. Lili Taylor

Actress | American Crime

Lili Taylor is a well-known and successful American actress. She acts in film, TV and stage. She was born in Glencoe, Illinois, to Marie (Lecour) and George Park Taylor, an artist and hardware store operator. Lili graduated from New Trier High School in 1985. Then, she attended the Theatre School ...

60. Audrey Tautou

Actress | Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain

Audrey Justine Tautou was born on August 9, 1976 in Beaumont, France, to Evelyne Marie Laure (Nuret), a teacher, and Bernard Tautou, a dental surgeon. Audrey showed an interest for comedy at an early age and started her acting lessons at 'Cours Florent'. In 1998 she won the best young actress award...

61. Charlize Theron

Producer | Monster

Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, a city in the greater Johannesburg area, in South Africa, the only child of Gerda Theron (née Maritz) and Charles Theron. She was raised on a farm outside the city. Theron is of Afrikaner (Dutch, with some French Huguenot and German) descent, and Afrikaner ...

62. Marisa Tomei

Actress | My Cousin Vinny

Marisa Tomei was born on December 4, 1964, in Brooklyn, New York, to Patricia "Addie" (Bianchi), a teacher of English, and Gary Tomei, a lawyer, both of Italian descent. Marisa has a brother, actor Adam Tomei. As a child, Marisa's mother frequently corrected her speech as to eliminate her heavy ...

63. Robin Tunney

Actress | The Craft

Robin Tunney studied acting at the Chicago Academy for the Arts, spending her summer performing in such plays as "Bus Stop" and "Agnes of God". She moved to Los Angeles at the age of eighteen and shortly landed roles in such television shows as Life Goes On (1989), Class of '96 (1993) (recurring), ...

64. Deborah Kara Unger

Actress | The Game

Deborah Kara Unger was the first Canadian accepted into the prestigious Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art. She made her feature film debut in Prisoners of the Sun (1990), followed by roles in Christopher Crowe's Whispers in the Dark (1992), Till There Was You (1991), and Highlander: The...

65. Luna Lauren Velez

Actress | Dexter

Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, New York among eight siblings, including her twin sister Lorraine, Lauren Velez dreamed of becoming an actress ever since she played a groundhog in a school play in second grade. Immediately following high school, she received a scholarship from the Alvin Ailey...

66. Emily Watson

Actress | Breaking the Waves

Emily Watson was born and raised in London, the daughter of Katharine (Venables), an English teacher, and Richard Watson, an architect. After a self-described sheltered upbringing, Watson attended university for three years in Bristol, studying English literature. She applied to drama school and ...

67. Naomi Watts

Actress | Mulholland Dr.

Naomi Ellen Watts was born on September 28, 1968 in Shoreham, England, to Myfanwy Edwards "Miv" (Roberts), an antiques dealer and costume/set designer, and Peter Watts (Peter Anthony Watts), the road manager to Pink Floyd. Her maternal grandfather was Welsh. Her father died when Naomi was seven and...

68. Rachel Weisz

Actress | The Constant Gardener

Rachel Hannah Weisz was born on 7 March, 1970, in London, U.K., to Edith Ruth (Teich), a psychoanalyst, and George Weisz, an inventor. Her parents both came to England around 1938. Her father is a Hungarian Jewish immigrant, and her mother, from Vienna, was of Italian and Austrian Jewish heritage. ...

69. Olivia Williams

Actress | The Ghost Writer

Olivia Williams was born July 26, 1968 in Camden Town, London. She was educated at South Hampstead High School, an independent school for girls in Hampstead, North London, followed by Newnham College at the University of Cambridge. She graduated with a degree in English literature. She went on to ...

70. Chandra Wilson

Actress | Grey's Anatomy

Houston, Texas native Chandra Wilson began performing in musicals at the age of five with Theatre Under the Stars. She attended Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and later went on to acquire her BFA in Drama from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts through which she spent four ...

71. Kate Winslet

Actress | Revolutionary Road

Ask Kate Winslet what she likes about any of her characters, and the word "ballsy" is bound to pop up at least once. The British actress has made a point of eschewing straightforward pretty-girl parts in favor of more devilish damsels; as a result, she's built an eclectic resume that runs the gamut...

72. Michelle Yeoh

Actress | Wo hu cang long

Born as Yang Zi Qiong in the mining town of Ipoh, in West Malaysia, in the lunar year of the Tiger, Michelle is the daughter of Janet Yeoh and Yeoh Kian Teik, a lawyer and politician. She is of Han Chinese (Hokkien) descent, and spoke English and Malay before Chinese. A ballet dancer since age 4, ...

73. Renée Zellweger

Actress | Chicago

Renée Kathleen Zellweger was born on April 25, 1969, in Katy, Texas, USA. Her mother, Kjellfrid Irene (Andreassen), is a Norwegian-born former nurse and midwife, of Norwegian, Kven (Finnish), and Swedish descent. Her father, Emil Erich Zellweger, is a Swiss-born engineer. The two married in 1963. ...

74. Catherine Zeta-Jones

Actress | Chicago

Catherine Zeta-Jones was born September 25, 1969 in Swansea, Wales (and raised in the nearby town of Mumbles), the only daughter of Patricia (nee Fair) and David James "Dai" Jones, who formerly owned a sweet factory. She attended Dumbarton House School (Swansea). Her father (the son of Bertram (...



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