Female Directors from Past & Present

by BatBanks | created - 30 Oct 2014 | updated - 4 weeks ago | Public

Not particular order.

1. Lone Scherfig

Director | An Education

Writer/director Lone Scherfig graduated from The National Film School of Denmark in 1984. Her first feature film, THE BIRTHDAY TRIP (1990), was selected for Panorama in Berlin, the New Directors section at MOMA in New York and won the Grand Jury Prix in Rouen. Her next film, ON OUR OWN (1998), ...

An Education (2009) One Day (2011)

2. Sam Taylor-Johnson

Director | Nowhere Boy

Sam Taylor-Johnson was born on March 4, 1967 in London, England as Samantha Louise Taylor-Wood. She is a director and producer, known for Nowhere Boy (2009), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) and Love You More (2008). She has been married to Aaron Taylor-Johnson since June 21, 2012. They have two ...

Nowhere Boy (2009) Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

3. Lisa Cholodenko

Director | The Kids Are All Right

Lisa Cholodenko earned an MFA at Columbia University Film School where she made an award-winning short film Dinner Party (1997) Her feature High Art (1998) won the National Society of Film Critics award for Ally Sheedy's performance and The Waldo Salt Screenwriting award at Sundance. Both "High Art...

High Art (1998) Laurel Canyon (2002) The Kids Are All Right (2010)

4. Susanna White

Director | Bleak House

Susanna White was born in 1960 in the UK. She is a director and producer, known for Bleak House (2005), Woman Walks Ahead (2017) and Parade's End (2012).

Bleak House (2005) (TV) Jane Eyre (2006) (mini) Nanny McPhee Returns (2010)

5. Lynne Ramsay

Director | You Were Never Really Here

Lynne Ramsay was born on December 5, 1969 in Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland. She is a director and writer, known for You Were Never Really Here (2017), We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) and Morvern Callar (2002). She was previously married to Rory Stewart Kinnear.

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

6. Jennifer Lee

Writer | Frozen

Jennifer Lee was born on October 22, 1971 in Barrington. Rhode Island, USA as Jennifer Michelle Rebecchi. She is a writer and producer, known for Frozen (2013), Wreck-It Ralph (2012) and Zootopia (2016).

Frozen (2013)

7. Mary Harron

Director | American Psycho

Mary Harron (born January 12, 1953) is a Canadian filmmaker and screenwriter. She gained recognition for her role in writing and directing several independent films, including I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), American Psycho (2000), and The Notorious Bettie Page (2005). She co-wrote American Psycho and ...

I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) American Psycho (2000) The Notorious Bettie Page (2006)

8. Valerie Faris

Director | Little Miss Sunshine

Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have built an impressive body of work by perpetually seeking innovative projects in a variety of mediums.

After introducing bands such as REM and The Red Hot Chili Peppers on their ground breaking MTV show The Cutting Edge, Jonathan and Valerie continued to work in ...

Little Miss Sunshine (2006) Ruby Sparks (2012)

9. Brenda Chapman

Writer | Brave

Brenda Chapman was born on November 1, 1962 in Beason, Illinois, USA. She is known for her work on Brave (2012), The Prince of Egypt (1998) and The Lion King (1994). She is married to Kevin Lima. They have one child.

The Prince of Egypt (1998) Brave (2012)

10. Sarah Smith

Writer | Arthur Christmas

Sarah Smith is a producer and writer, known for Arthur Christmas (2011), The Armando Iannucci Shows (2001) and The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012).

Arthur Christmas (2011)

11. Ida Lupino

Actress | High Sierra

Ida was born in London to a show business family. In 1933, her mother brought Ida with her to an audition and Ida got the part her mother wanted. The picture was Her First Affaire (1932). Ida, a bleached blonde, came to Hollywood in 1934 and played small and insignificant parts. Peter Ibbetson (...

Outrage (1950) The Bigamist (1953) The Hitch-Hiker (1953) The Twilight Zone-The Masks (1964) The Trouble with Angels (1966)

12. Amy Heckerling

Writer | Clueless

Amy Heckerling studied Film and TV at New York University and got a Masters Degree in Film from The American Film Institute. Despite this education she couldn't get a break in Hollywood. However, in 1982, she made Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), and people started to take notice. In 1985, ...

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) Johnny Dangerously (1984) National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) Look Who's Talking (1989) Look Who's Talking Too (1990) Clueless (1995) The Carrie Diaries-Hush Hush (2010)

13. Martha Coolidge

Director | Valley Girl

Martha Patterson Coolidge was born on August 17, 1946 in New Haven Connecticut. She studied illustration at Rhode Island School of Design, but changed majors, becoming the first film major at the school. She attended and graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she ...

Valley Girl (1983) Real Genius (1985) Rambling Rose (1991) Crazy in Love (1992) (TV) Lost in Yonkers (1993) Angie (1994) Three Wishes (1995) Out to Sea (1997) Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999) (TV) The Prince & Me (2004) Material Girls (2006)

14. Susan Seidelman

Director | Desperately Seeking Susan

Susan Seidelman was born on December 11, 1952 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She is a director and producer, known for Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Sex and the City (1998) and Smithereens (1982).

Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) She-Devil (1989)

15. Penny Marshall

Actress | Laverne & Shirley

Penny Marshall was born Carole Penny Marshall on October 15, 1943 in the Bronx, New York. The Libra was 5' 6 1/2", with brown hair and green eyes. She was the daughter of Marjorie (Ward), a tap dance teacher, and Anthony "Tony" Marshall, an industrial film director. She was the younger sister of ...

Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986) Big (1988) Awakenings (1990) A League of Their Own (1992) The Preacher's Wife (1996)

16. Mary Lambert

Director | Pet Sematary

Mary Lambert was born in 1951 in Helena, Arkansas, USA. She is known for her work on Pet Sematary (1989), Madonna: Like a Prayer (1989) and The In Crowd (2000). She is married to Jerome Gary.

Madonna Music Video: Borderline (1984), Like a Virgin (1984), Material Girl (1985), La Isla Bonita (1987), Like a Prayer (1989) Pet Sematary (1989) Tales from the Crypt-Collection Completed (1989) Pet Sematary II (1992) Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge (2001) (TV)

17. Jennifer Lynch

Director | Boxing Helena

Jennifer Lynch was born on April 7, 1968 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She is a director and writer, known for Boxing Helena (1993), Chained (2012) and Surveillance (2008).

Boxing Helena (1993) Teen Wolf (2011) (TV Series)

18. Caroline Thompson

Writer | Edward Scissorhands

Caroline Thompson was born on April 23, 1956 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. She is a writer and producer, known for Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Addams Family (1991) and Corpse Bride (2005). She is married to Steve Nicolaides. She was previously married to Henry Bromell.

Black Beauty (1994) Buddy (1997) Snow White: The Fairest of Them All (2001)

19. Gillian Armstrong

Director | My Brilliant Career

Gillian Armstrong was born on December 18, 1950 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Gillian May Armstrong. She is a director and producer, known for My Brilliant Career (1979), Not Fourteen Again (1996) and Little Women (1994). She is married to John Pleffer. They have two children.

My Brilliant Career (1979) Mrs. Soffel (1984) Little Women (1994) Oscar and Lucinda (1997) Charlotte Gray (2001)

20. Agnieszka Holland

Director | Pokot

Agnieszka Holland was born 28 of November 1948 in Warsaw but went to Czechoslovakia to study film directing at FAMU in Prague. She began her film career working in Poland with Krzysztof Zanussi as assistant director, and Andrzej Wajda as her mentor. She wrote several scripts with Wajda before ...

The Secret Garden (1993) Three Colors: Blue (1993) Total Eclipse (1995) Rosemary's Baby (2014) (mini-series)

21. Nora Ephron

Writer | Julie & Julia

Nora Ephron was educated at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. She was an acclaimed essayist (Crazy Salad 1975), novelist (Heartburn 1983), and had written screenplays for several popular films, all featuring strong female characters, such as anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood (Silkwood (1983), ...

This Is My Life (1992) Sleepless in Seattle (1993) Mixed Nuts (1994) Michael (1996) You've Got Mail (1998) Lucky Numbers (2000) Bewitched (2005) Julie & Julia (2009)

22. Kimberly Peirce

Director | Boys Don't Cry

Kimberly Peirce was born on September 8, 1967 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA. She is a director and writer, known for Boys Don't Cry (1999), Stop-Loss (2008) and Carrie (2013).

Boys Don't Cry (1999) Carrie (2013)

23. Vicky Jenson

Director | Shrek

Vicky Jenson's career spans more than two decades in both animation and live action, and crosses the spectrum from TV to feature films to shorts including a commercial campaign for Old Navy of more than 40 spots with Anonymous Content and was at that time the only female feature film director they ...

Shrek (2001) Shark Tale (2004)

24. Gurinder Chadha

Writer | Bend It Like Beckham

Gurinder Chadha was born in Kenya, and grew up in Southall, London, England. She began her career as a news reporter with BBC Radio, directed several award winning documentaries for the BBC, and began an alliance with the British Film Institute (BFI) and Channel Four. In 2001, Chadha set up her own...

Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

25. Callie Khouri

Writer | Thelma & Louise

Raised in Texas and Kentucky by her doctor father and mother. Went to Purdue University to study landscape architecture but switched to drama. Moved to Nashville after college to be with her family before heading to Los Angeles in 1982 to study at the Strasburg Institute. Worked for a commercials ...

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) Mad Money (2008) Nashville (TV Series)

26. Patty Jenkins

Director | Wonder Woman

Patty Jenkins is a writer/director best known for directing Wonder Woman, the Warner Bros./DC Comics blockbuster of 2017, and her debut feature Monster. Patty also works in television where she is best known for the pilot and finale episode of AMC's hit show The Killing.

Patty began her career as a ...

Monster (2003) Wonder Woman (2017)

27. Sofia Coppola

Director | Lost in Translation

Sofia Coppola was born on May 14, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Sofia Carmina Coppola. She is a director, known for Somewhere (2010), Lost in Translation (2003) and Marie Antoinette (2006). She has been married to Thomas Mars since August 27, 2011. They have two children. She was ...

The Virgin Suicides (1999) Lost in Translation (2003) Marie Antoinette (2006) Somewhere (2010) The Bling Ring (2013) The Beguiled (2017)

28. Niki Caro

Director | Whale Rider

Niki Caro is a New Zealand film director and screenwriter, born in 1967. Caro was born in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. She was educated first at the Kadimah College in Auckland, and then the Diocesan School for Girls in Auckland. The School is a private girls' school, and ranks ...

Whale Rider (2003) North Country (2005) McFarland, USA (2015) The Zookeeper's Wife (2017) Mulan (2019)

29. Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum

Director | Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists

Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum ("Liz") is a DGA Award Nominated Director. She recently directed and produced a television pilot for Amazon Studios entitled "The Kicks," based on the NY Times bestselling novel of the same name by Olympic gold medal soccer star, Alex Morgan. The show, which began airing ...

Aquamarine (2006) Ramona and Beezus (2010)

30. Adrienne Shelly

Actress | Waitress

The late Adrienne Shelley was born in Queens, New York, to Sheldon Levine and Elaine Langbaum. After graduating Jericho High School, located in Jericho, New York, she enrolled at Boston University, and majored in film production. After her junior year, she dropped out and moved to Manhattan where ...

Waitress (2007)

31. Kelly Reichardt

Director | Wendy and Lucy

Kelly Reichardt was born and raised in Miami-Dade Country, Florida, to a family of police officers. She had an interest in photography from a very young age. She started by using her father's camera, which he used for photographing crime scenes. She went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in ...

Wendy and Lucy (2008)

32. Jane Campion

Writer | The Piano

Jane Campion was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and now lives in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Having graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington in 1975, and a BA, with a painting major, at Sydney College of the Arts in 1979, she began filmmaking in the early...

The Piano (1993) Bright Star (2009)

33. Jodie Foster

Actress | The Silence of the Lambs

Jodie Foster was born Alicia Christian Foster on November 19, 1962 in Los Angeles. She is the daughter of Evelyn Ella "Brandy" (Almond), a producer, and Lucius Fisher Foster III, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and real estate broker. Brandy had filed for divorce in 1959 after having three children...

Little Man Tate (1991) Home for the Holidays (1995) The Beaver (2011) Money Monster (2016)

34. Barbra Streisand

Soundtrack | Funny Girl

Barbra Streisand is an American singer, actress, director and producer and one of the most successful personalities in show business. She is the only person ever to receive all of the following: Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, National Endowment for the Arts, and Peabody awards,...

Yentl (1983) The Prince of Tides (1991) The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996)

35. Beeban Kidron

Director | Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

She came to prominence with the much lauded adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's autobiographical novel 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'. Since then she's directed feature films, television dramas and documentaries. In 2008, she founded the charity called Filmclub with Lindsay Mackie. It has since ...

Used People (1992) To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Jule Newmar (1995) Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)

36. Betty Thomas

Self | Howard Stern

Betty Thomas was born July 27, 1947 in St. Louis, Missouri, graduating from Ohio University with a BA in fine arts. Initially sidetracked, Betty first taught school in Chicago but found herself restricted and needing more of an open forum for self-expression than a classroom. She found herself drawn...

The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) Doctor Dolittle (1998) John Tucker Must Die (2006) Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squenkquel (2009)

37. Nancy Meyers

Writer | It's Complicated

Nancy Meyers was born on December 8, 1949 in Pennsylvania, USA as Nancy Jane Meyers. She is a writer and producer, known for It's Complicated (2009), Something's Gotta Give (2003) and The Holiday (2006). She was previously married to Charles Shyer.

The Parent Trap (1998) What Women Want (2000) Something's Gotta Give (2003) The Intern (2015)

38. Kathryn Bigelow

Director | The Hurt Locker

A very talented painter, Kathryn spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She was given a studio in a former Offtrack Betting building, literally in an old bank vault, where she made art and waited to be ...

Near Dark (1987) Point Break (1991) Wild Palms (1993) (mini) Strange Days (1995) K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) The Hurt Locker (2008)

39. Sarah Polley

Actress | The Sweet Hereafter

Sarah Polley is an actress and director renowned in her native Canada for her political activism. Blessed with an extremely expressive face that enables directors to minimize dialog due to her uncanny ability to suggest a character's thoughts, Polley has become a favorite of critics for her ...

Away from Her (2007) Take This Waltz (2011)

40. Gabrielle Beaumont

Director | Remington Steele

Gabrielle Beaumont was born on April 7, 1942 in London, England as Gabrielle Amanda Beaumont. She is a director and producer, known for Remington Steele (1982), Hill Street Blues (1981) and L.A. Law (1986).

The Godsend (1980) Nightmare Classics: Carmilla (1989)

41. Mira Nair

Director | Salaam Bombay!

Accomplished Film Director/Writer/Producer Mira Nair was born in India and educated at Delhi University and at Harvard. She began her film career as an actor and then turned to directing award-winning documentaries, including So Far From India and India Cabaret. Her debut feature film, Salaam ...

Mississippi Masala (1992) The Perez Family (1995) Monsoon Wedding (2001) Vanity Fair (2004) New York, I Love You (2009) Amelia (2009) Queen of Katwe (2016)

42. Julie Taymor

Director | Frida

Julie Taymor is an Academy Award-nominated director, known for such films as Frida (2002) and Across the Universe (2007).

She was born on December 15, 1952, in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. Her father, Melvin Lester Taymor, was a gynecologist. Her mother, Elizabeth Bernstein, was a ...

Titus (1999) Frida (2002) Across the Universe (2007) The Tempest (2010)

43. Nadia Tass

Director | Malcolm

Nadia Tass started her career as an actress in the acclaimed TV series "Prisoner," which ran for an unprecedented 692 episodes, while simultaneously directing in Australian theatre. Her 1986 debut feature Malcolm was a worldwide smash, winning 21 international awards and 8 AFI Awards. It starred ...

Pure Luck (1991) The Miracle Worker (2000) Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story (2001) Samantha: An American Girl Holiday (2004) (TV)

44. Patricia Rozema

Director | Into the Forest

Patricia Rozema was born on August 20, 1958 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She is a director and writer, known for Into the Forest (2015), Mansfield Park (1999) and Grey Gardens (2009).

Mansfield Park (1999) Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (2008)

45. Jessica Sharzer

Producer | Speak

Jessica Sharzer is writer, producer, and director best known for her work on Speak (2004), Nerve (2016), American Horror Story (2011-2015), and the new mystery thriller A Simple Favor (2018). Sharzer has been nominated for 3 Primetime Emmy's for her work on American Horror Story. Sharzer is working...

Speak (2004)

46. Sharon Maguire

Director | Bridget Jones's Baby

Sharon Maguire was born on November 28, 1960 in Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire, Wales. She is a director and producer, known for Bridget Jones's Baby (2016), Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) and Incendiary (2008).

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) Bridget Jones's Baby (2016)

47. Sara Sugarman

Director | Vinyl

Sara Sugarman was born on October 13, 1965 in Rhyl, Denbighshire, Wales. She is an actress and director, known for Vinyl (2012), Very Annie Mary (2001) and Sid and Nancy (1986). She was previously married to David Thewlis.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004)

48. Deborah Kampmeier

Director | Hounddog

Deborah Kampmeier was born on November 21, 1964. She is a director and writer, known for Hounddog (2007), Virgin (2003) and Split (2016).

Hounddog (2007)

49. Anjelica Huston

Actress | The Witches

Anjelica Huston was born on July 8, 1951 in Santa Monica, California, to prima ballerina Enrica "Ricki" (Soma) and director and actor John Huston. Her mother, who was from New York, was of Italian descent, and her father had English, Scottish, and Scots-Irish ancestry. Huston spent most of her ...

Bastard Out of Carolina (1996) (TV) Agnes Browne (1999) Riding the Bus with My Sister (2005) (TV)

50. Lesli Linka Glatter

Director | Homeland

Lesli Linka Glatter is a director of film, network, cable and premium cable television drama, with both pilots and episodes to her credit. Lesli's TV work includes Homeland (2011), The Newsroom (2012), The Walking Dead (2010), Justified (2010), Ray Donovan (2013), Masters of Sex (2013), Nashville (...

Now and Then (1995) Amazing Stories (TV Series) Twin Peaks (TV Series) Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series) Gilmore Girls (TV Series) The O.C. (TV Series) Grey's Anatomy (TV Series) The West Wing (TV Series) Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (TV Series) ER (TV Series) Weeds (TV Series) The Mentalist (TV Series) House M.D. (TV Series) The Good Wife (TV Series) Mad Men (TV Series) Lie to Me (TV Series) The Playboy Club (TV Series) Pretty Little Liars (TV Series) True Blood (TV Series) Nashville (TV Series) The Walking Dead (TV Series) Ray Donovan (TV Series) The Newsroom (TV Series) Masters of Sex (TV Series) Homeland (TV Series)

51. 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 ...

Whip It (2009)

52. 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 ...

China Beach-Fever (1990) CBS Schoolbreak Special: The Girl with the Crazy Brother Twin Peaks: Episode #2.15 (1991) Wildflower (1991) (TV) Unstrung Heroes (1995) Hanging Up (2000)

53. Catherine Hardwicke

Director | Twilight

Catherine Hardwicke was born on October 21, 1955 in Cameron, Texas, USA as Helen Catherine Hardwicke. She is a director and production designer, known for Twilight (2008), Thirteen (2003) and Lords of Dogtown (2005).

Thirteen (2003) Lord of Dogtown (2005) The Nativity Story (2006) Twlight (2008) Red Riding Hood (2011) Plush (2013)

Sylvia (2003) Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

55. Andrea Arnold

Director | American Honey

Andrea Arnold was born on April 5, 1961 in Dartford, Kent, England as Andrea P. Arnold. She is an actress and director, known for American Honey (2016), Fish Tank (2009) and Red Road (2006).

Fish Tank (2009) Wuthering Heights (2011)

56. Sally Potter

Director | Orlando

Sally Potter made her first 8mm film aged fourteen. She has since written and directed seven feature films, as well as many short films (including THRILLER and PLAY) and a television series, and has directed opera (Carmen for the ENO in 2007) and other live work. Her background is in choreography, ...

Orlando (1992) The Man Who Cried (2000) Yes (2004) Ginger & Rosa (2012)

57. Debra Granik

Director | Winter's Bone

Debra Granik (born February 6, 1963) is an American New York City-based independent film and documentary film director and screenwriter. She is most known for 2004's Down to the Bone, which starred Vera Farmiga, 2010's Winter's Bone, which starred Jennifer Lawrence in her breakout performance and ...

Winter's Bone

58. Susanne Bier

Director | Hævnen

Though Academy Award®, Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award winning writer and director Susanne Bier's films often play out against a wide-reaching global backdrop, their focus is intimate, carefully exploring the explosive emotions and complexities of familial bonds. This unique combination is part ...

After the Wedding (2006) Things We Lost in the Fire (2007) The Nanny Diaries (2007) Serena (2014) The Night Manager (2016) (mini)

59. Shari Springer Berman

Director | American Splendor

Shari Springer Berman was born on July 13, 1963 in New York City, New York, USA. She is a director and writer, known for American Splendor (2003), The Nanny Diaries (2007) and Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's (1997). She has been married to Robert Pulcini since 1994.

American Splendor (2003)

60. Tamara Jenkins

Director | The Savages

Tamara Jenkins was born on May 2, 1962 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She is married to Jim Taylor.

Slums of Beverly Hills (1998) The Savages (2007)

61. Randa Haines

Producer | Antwone Fisher

Randa Haines was born on February 20, 1945 in Los Angeles, California, USA. She is a director and producer, known for Antwone Fisher (2002), Children of a Lesser God (1986) and Something About Amelia (1984).

Hill Street Blues (1981-83) Something About Amelia (1984) (TV) Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Bang! You're Dead! (1985) Children of a Lesser God (1986) The Doctor (1991) Tales from the Crypt: Judy, You're Not Yourself Today (1990) Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993) Dance With Me (1998) The Ron Clark Story (2006) (TV)

62. Madonna

Actress | Evita

The remarkable, hyper-ambitious Material Girl who never stops reinventing herself, Madonna is a seven-time Grammy Award-winner who has sold over three hundred million records and CDs to adoring fans worldwide. Her film career, however, is another story. Her performances have consistently drawn ...

W.E. (2011)

63. Elaine May

Actress | Small Time Crooks

Elaine May was born on April 21, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Elaine Iva Berlin. She is an actress and writer, known for Small Time Crooks (2000), A New Leaf (1971) and Primary Colors (1998). She was previously married to David L. Rubinfine, Sheldon Harnick and Marvin May.

A New Leaf (1971) The Heartbreak Kid (1972) Ishtar (1987)

64. Penelope Spheeris

Director | Suburbia

Spheeris is often referred to as a 'rock 'n roll anthropologist'.

In 1974 she formed the first Los Angeles music video production company, ROCK 'N REEL. She concluded her music video work with the Grammy-nominated, "Bohemian Rhapsody" video for "Wayne's World". Spheeris' feature film debut was the ...

Wayne's World (1992) The Beverly Hillbillies (1993) The Little Rascals (1994) Black Sheep (1996) Senseless (1998)

65. Tamra Davis

Director | Crossroads

Began her career directing music videos for acts like Tone Loc, Depeche Mode, NWA and Sonic Youth and made her first feature in 92 with Guncrazy starring Drew Barrymore. Ms Barrymore received a Golden Globe Nomination. She then went on to direct feature films starring Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Dave...

Guncrazy (1992) Billy Madison (1995) Best Men (1998) Skipped Parts (2000) Crossroads (2002)

66. Kasi Lemmons

Actress | The Silence of the Lambs

Kasi Lemmons was born on February 24, 1961 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Karen Lemmons. She is an actress, known for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Candyman (1992) and Eve's Bayou (1997). She has been married to Vondie Curtis-Hall since 1995. They have two children.

Eve's Bayou (1997) Talk to Me (2007) Black Nativity (2013)

67. Mimi Leder

Director | On the Basis of Sex

Mimi Leder was born on January 26, 1952 in New York City, New York, USA as Miriam Leder. She is a producer and director, known for On the Basis of Sex (2018), The Leftovers (2014) and Deep Impact (1998). She is married to Gary Werntz. They have one child.

China Beach (1988-91) ER (1994-2009) The Peacemaker (1997) Deep Impact (1998) Pay It Forward (2000) The West Wing: Election Day: Part I (2006) Shameless (2011-2015) Nashville: Lovesick Blues (2012) Smash: The Workshop (2012) & The Dress Rehearsal (2013)

68. Nanette Burstein

Director | On the Ropes

Nanette Burstein was born on May 23, 1970 in Buffalo, New York, USA. She is a director and producer, known for On the Ropes (1999), American Teen (2008) and Going the Distance (2010). She is married to Scott Anderson (XV).

The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002) Going the Distance (2010)

69. Asia Argento

Actress | Land of the Dead

Asia Argento was born in Rome, Italy, into a family of actors and filmmakers, both occupations which she has herself pursued. She made her debut when she was only nine years old in Sergio Citti's Sogni e bisogni (1985). In 1988 she had the leading role in Cristina Comencini's first film, Zoo (1988)...

the Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004)

70. Barbara Kopple

Director | American Dream

Barbara Kopple was born on July 30, 1946 in New York City, New York, USA. She is a director and producer, known for American Dream (1990), Harlan County U.S.A. (1976) and Shut Up & Sing (2006).

Havoc (2005)

How to Deal (2003) The Wedding Date (2005)

72. Rebecca Miller

Writer | Personal Velocity: Three Portraits

Rebecca Miller was born on September 15, 1962 in Roxbury, Connecticut, USA as Rebecca Augusta Miller. She is an actress and writer, known for Personal Velocity (2002), Maggie's Plan (2015) and Angela (1995). She has been married to Daniel Day-Lewis since November 13, 1996. They have two children.

The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005)

73. Anne Fletcher

Actress | The Proposal

Anne Fletcher was born on May 1, 1966 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. She is known for her work on The Proposal (2009), Step Up (2006) and Hairspray (2007).

Step Up (2006) 27 Dresses (2008) The Proposal (2009)

74. 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 (...

2 Days in Paris (2007) The Countess (2009)

75. Marjane Satrapi

Director | Persepolis

Marjane Satrapi was born on November 22, 1969 in Rasht, Iran. She is a director and actress, known for Persepolis (2007), The Voices (2014) and Chicken with Plums (2011). She is married to Mattias Ripa. She was previously married to Reza.

Persepolis (2007)

76. 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.

Mad About You (1998-99) Then She Found Me (2007) Californication: At the Movies (2012) Revenge: Retribution (2013)

77. Susannah Grant

Writer | Erin Brockovich

Susannah Grant was born on January 4, 1963 in New York City, New York, USA as Susannah Rawson Grant. She is a writer and producer, known for Erin Brockovich (2000), The 5th Wave (2016) and Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998). She has been married to Christopher Henrikson since 1995. They have two...

Catch and Release (2006)

78. Phyllida Lloyd

Director | Mamma Mia!

Phyllida Lloyd was born on June 17, 1957 in Bristol, England as Phyllida Christian Lloyd. She is known for her work on Mamma Mia! (2008), The Iron Lady (2011) and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018).

Mamma Mia! (2008) The Iron Lady (2011)

79. Darnell Martin

Director | I Like It Like That

Darnell Martin was born on January 7, 1964 in Bronx, New York, USA. She is a director and writer, known for I Like It Like That (1994), Cadillac Records (2008) and Do the Right Thing (1989). She is married to Giuseppe Ducrot.

I Like It Like That (1994) Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005) (TV) Cadillac Records (2008)

80. Anne Fontaine

Writer | Coco avant Chanel

Anne Fontaine was born on July 15, 1959 in Luxembourg as Anne Sibertin-Blanc. She is an actress and writer, known for Coco Before Chanel (2009), The Innocents (2016) and Reinventing Marvin (2017). She is married to Philippe Carcassonne. They have one child.

Coco Before Chanel (2009) Adore (2013)

81. Lena Dunham

Writer | Tiny Furniture

New Yorker Lena Dunham is the daughter of a painter, Carroll Dunham and Laurie Simmons, a designer and photographer. Dunham was educated at Oberlin College, Ohio, graduating with a creative writing degree. It was while at Oberlin that she began writing shorts and feature films. In 2009, Dunham ...

Tiny Furniture (2010)

82. Shana Feste

Director | Endless Love

Shana Feste was born on August 28, 1976 in Los Angeles, California, USA. She is a director and writer, known for Endless Love (2014), The Greatest (2009) and Boundaries (2018).

Country Strong (2010) Endless Love (2014)

83. 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 ...

In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011)

84. Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Director | Kung Fu Panda 2

Jennifer Yuh Nelson was born on May 7, 1972 in South Korea. She is known for her work on Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011), Todd McFarlane's Spawn (1997) and Kung Fu Panda (2008).

Spawn (Animated Series) (1997) Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) The Darkest Mind (2018)

85. Lynn Shelton

Director | Humpday

Lynn Shelton is a director and actress, known for Humpday (2009), Laggies (2014) and Your Sister's Sister (2011).

Your Sister's Sister (2011)

86. Lana Wachowski

Writer | The Matrix

Lana Wachowski and her sister Lilly Wachowski, (also known as 'The Wachowskis') are the duo behind ground-breaking movies such as The Matrix (1999) and Cloud Atlas (2012). Born to mother Lynne, a nurse, and father Ron, a businessman of Polish descent, Wachowski grew up in Chicago and formed a tight...

Cloud Atlas (2012)

87. Lorene Scafaria

Actress | Coherence

Lorene Scafaria is a writer and actress, known for Coherence (2013), Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012) and The Meddler (2015).

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

88. Jill Soloway

Producer | Transparent

Jill Soloway was born on September 26, 1965 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. She is a producer and writer, known for Transparent (2014), Six Feet Under (2001) and Afternoon Delight (2013). She was previously married to Bruce Gilbert.

Afternoon Delight (2013)

89. Nicole Holofcener

Director | Enough Said

Nicole Holofcener was born on March 22, 1960 in New York City, New York, USA. She is a director and writer, known for Enough Said (2013), Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) and Please Give (2010). She was previously married to Benjamin Allanoff.

Lovely & Amazing (2001) Friends with Money (2006) Enough Said (2013)

90. Tina Gordon

Writer | Drumline

Tina Gordon is a writer and director, known for Drumline (2002), ATL (2006) and Peeples (2013).

Peeples (2013)

91. Debbie Allen

Actress | Fame

Deborah Kaye Allen was born in Houston, Texas, to African-American parents, Vivian Elizabeth (Ayers), a poet and art director, and Andrew Arthur Allen, an orthodontist. As a child, Debbie, her older brother, Andrew (called Tex), and her older sister, actress Phylicia Rashad, lived in Mexico to ...

Fame (TV Series) (1984-87) Family Ties (1988-89) Polly (1989) (TV) The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990) A Different World (1988-93) The Sinbad Show (1993-94) The Jamie Foxx Show (1997-98) The Twilight Zone: The Monsters Are on Maple Street (2003) That's So Raven (2004-06) Life Is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story (2006) (TV) All of Us (2003-07) Girlfriends (2005-08) Everybody Hates Chris (2006-09) Hellcats (2010-2011) The Client List (2013) Grey's Anatomy (2010-2013) Scandal (2014) Witches of East End (2014) Jane the Virgin (2014)

Flowers in the Attic (2014) (TV)

93. Karen Moncrieff

Director | 13 Reasons Why

After receiving a B.S. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, Moncrieff moved to California to pursue a career as an actress. She appeared in numerous TV shows and B-movies and was a series regular on Santa Barbara (as Cassandra Lockridge) and Days of Our Lives (as Gabrielle Pascal.)


Six Feet Under: The Opening (2003) The Dead Girl (2006) Petals on the Wind (2014) (TV)

94. Lori Petty

Actress | Tank Girl

After this feisty, kinetic, highly offbeat actress from Chattanooga, Tennessee, broke into TV in the 1980s, she immediately set herself apart from the norm with the mini-movie Bates Motel (1987). This rather inauspicious beginning would also set Lori Petty off on a career as a fighter and a misfit,...

The Poker House (2008)

95. Holly Dale

Director | Mary Kills People

Holly Dale is one of Canada's premiere film and television directors who has been making award-winning television and cinema for the past twenty-five years. She exhibits great versatility in her craft directing Television Pilots, Series, and Movies of the Week, as well as numerous Commercials, ...

Blood & Donuts (1995) Reign (2013) (TV Series; 6 episodes)

96. Natalie Portman

Actress | Black Swan

Natalie Portman is the first person born in the 1980s to have won the Academy Award for Best Actress (for Black Swan (2010)).

Natalie was born Natalie Hershlag on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel. She is the only child of Avner Hershlag, a Israeli-born doctor, and Shelley Stevens, an American-born...

New York, I Love You (2008)

97. Joyce Chopra

Director | The Lemon Sisters

Joyce Chopra was born on October 27, 1936. She is a director and producer, known for The Lemon Sisters (1989), Smooth Talk (1985) and An American Girl on the Home Front (2006). She was previously married to Tom Cole.

Smooth Talk (1985) The Lemon Sisters (1989) Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Wojas Smart Story (1991) (TV) Murder in a Small Town (1999) (TV) The Lady in Question (1999) (TV) Rip Girls (2000) (TV) Blonde (2001) (mini-series) Hollywood Wives: The Next Generation (2003) (TV) An American Girl on the Home Front (2006) (TV)

98. Janice Karman

Writer | Alvin & the Chipmunks

Janice Karman was born on May 21, 1954 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Janice Felice Karman. She is a writer and actress, known for Alvin & the Chipmunks (1983), The Chipmunk Adventure (1987) and Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007). She has been married to Ross Bagdasarian Jr. since September 27,...

The Chipmunk Adventure (1987)

99. Jennifer Jason Leigh

Actress | The Hateful Eight

Jennifer Jason Leigh was born Jennifer Lee Morrow in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of writer Barbara Turner and actor Vic Morrow. Her father was of Russian Jewish descent and her mother was of Austrian Jewish ancestry. She is the sister of Carrie Ann Morrow and half-sister of actress Mina ...

The Anniversary Party (2001)

100. Julie Dash

Director | Daughters of the Dust

Julie Dash was born on October 22, 1952 in Queens, New York, USA. She is a director and producer, known for Daughters of the Dust (1991), The Rosa Parks Story (2002) and Funny Valentines (1999).

Daughters of the Dust (1991) Funny Valentines (1999) The Rosa Parks Story (2002) (TV)

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