The Best Actress category at the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, celebrates the extraordinary performances of actresses in the film industry. 

It recognizes the exceptional talent, dedication, and artistic achievements of women who have delivered unforgettable portrayals on the silver screen. 

The Best Actress award has been an integral part of the Oscars since its inception in 1929 and continues to be one of the most highly regarded honors in the industry.

Throughout the history of the Academy Awards, many remarkable actresses have received this prestigious accolade for their outstanding contributions to cinema. 

These actresses have captivated audiences with their nuanced performances, compelling characters, and emotional depth, leaving an indelible mark on the art of acting.

Best Actress Oscar

The Best Actress Oscar winners represent a diverse range of talents and have portrayed a wide array of characters in various genres.

From dramatic roles that explore complex emotions to comedic performances that bring laughter to audiences, these actresses have showcased their versatility and artistry.

Renowned actresses such as Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, and Bette Davis are among the iconic figures who have received the Best Actress Oscar. 

Their exceptional work has not only garnered critical acclaim but has also inspired future generations of actresses and contributed to the advancement of women in the film industry.

In this exploration of the Best Actress Oscar winners, we delve into the remarkable careers of these talented actresses, their notable performances, and the impact they have had on the world of cinema.

1. Janet Gaynor

Janet Gaynor was an American actress and one of the most popular stars of the silent film era. She was born on October 6, 1906, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and passed away on September 14, 1984, in Palm Springs, California.

Gaynor began her acting career in the 1920s and quickly rose to prominence, becoming one of the era’s most beloved actresses. She had a delicate and endearing screen presence, known for her expressive eyes and natural charm.

Gaynor’s breakthrough came with her role in the film “Seventh Heaven” (1927), directed by Frank Borzage. Her performance as a young Parisian girl in love earned her the first-ever Academy Award for Best Actress at the inaugural Academy Awards ceremony in 1929.

She also received critical acclaim for her roles in other silent films, including “Street Angel” (1928) and “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” (1927), both directed by F.W. Murnau.

As the film industry transitioned into the sound era, Gaynor successfully made the leap and continued her success. She starred in the romantic drama “A Star Is Born” (1937), opposite Fredric March, which received critical acclaim and further solidified her acting prowess.

Despite her popularity, Gaynor’s career began to slow down in the 1940s, and she gradually transitioned to television and stage work. She made occasional appearances in films and appeared in the sitcom “The Love Boat” in the 1980s.

Throughout her career, Janet Gaynor’s performances were marked by her ability to convey vulnerability, innocence, and emotional depth. She had a naturalistic acting style that resonated with audiences and made her a beloved figure in Hollywood.

In recognition of her contributions to film, Gaynor received a special Honorary Academy Award in 1957 for her distinguished performances. She left a lasting legacy as one of the iconic stars of the silent film era and paved the way for future actresses in Hollywood.

   

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7th Heaven (1927) ( Seventh Heaven ) [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.0 Import - Spain ]
  • 7th Heaven (1927) ( Seventh Heaven )
  • 7th Heaven (1927)
  • Seventh Heaven
  • Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Ben Bard (Actors)
  • Frank Borzage (Director) - 7th Heaven (1927) ( Seventh Heaven ) (Producer)

2. Mary Pickford

Mary Pickford, born Gladys Louise Smith on April 8, 1892, was a Canadian-American actress, producer, and co-founder of the film studio United Artists.

She is often referred to as “America’s Sweetheart” and was one of the most popular and influential silent film stars of the early 20th century.

Pickford began her acting career in the theater and later transitioned to film. She quickly gained popularity and became known for her expressive acting style and her ability to portray both innocence and strength on screen.

Her curly hair and youthful appearance contributed to her iconic image.

In 1919, Pickford, along with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith, co-founded United Artists, a film distribution company that allowed filmmakers to have greater control over their work.

This move was groundbreaking at the time and marked an important step in the development of the film industry.

Throughout her career, Pickford starred in numerous successful films, including “Tess of the Storm Country” (1914), “Daddy Long Legs” (1919), and “Little Lord Fauntleroy” (1921).

However, one of her most memorable roles came in 1920 with the film “The Mark of Zorro,” in which she starred opposite Douglas Fairbanks.

Pickford’s talent and business acumen made her one of the highest-paid actresses of her time. She was known for her meticulous attention to detail and her involvement in various aspects of filmmaking, including writing, producing, and directing.

She often took creative control of her projects and was involved in selecting scripts, costumes, and even the casting of other actors.

With the advent of sound in cinema, Pickford faced challenges in transitioning to talking pictures. Although she continued to act in a few sound films, her star power began to wane, and she eventually retired from acting in 1933.

However, she remained a prominent figure in the film industry and continued her involvement with United Artists.

Mary Pickford received numerous accolades throughout her career, including an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in “Coquette” (1929). She was also a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Pickford’s impact on the film industry cannot be overstated. Her contributions to both the art of acting and the business of filmmaking helped shape the early days of Hollywood. She was a trailblazer for women in the industry and remains an enduring symbol of the silent film era.

America's Sweethearts
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Hank Azaria, Julie Wagner, Billy Crystal (Actors)
  • Joe Roth (Director) - Billy Crystal (Writer) - Billy Crystal (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

3. Norma Shearer

Norma Shearer, born Edith Norma Shearer on August 10, 1902, was a Canadian-American actress who achieved great success in the early years of sound cinema.

She was known for her versatility and ability to portray a wide range of characters, from strong and independent women to vulnerable and conflicted individuals.

Shearer began her acting career in the late 1910s, working in silent films. However, it was during the transition to sound that she truly made her mark.

She signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and became one of their top stars, often portraying sophisticated and glamorous leading ladies.

Shearer received critical acclaim for her performances in several films, including “The Divorcee” (1930) and “A Free Soul” (1931). Her role in earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress, marking the first time an actress won an Oscar for a talking picture.

Shearer’s collaboration with the renowned director George Cukor was particularly fruitful. They worked together on multiple films, including “Romeo and Juliet” (1936), “Marie Antoinette” (1938), and “The Women” (1939).

She demonstrated her range and versatility by successfully taking on complex and challenging roles.

One of Shearer’s most iconic performances came in the film “The Women,” where she portrayed a wealthy woman caught in a web of romantic and social intrigue. The film showcased her ability to handle witty and sophisticated dialogue with finesse.

Throughout her career, Shearer was known for her impeccable sense of fashion and style, setting trends and becoming a fashion icon of the era. Her sophisticated and elegant on-screen presence made her a favorite among audiences.

As the 1940s approached, Shearer decided to retire from acting. She had a successful career and had achieved nearly everything she had set out to accomplish in the film industry.

She focused on her personal life and family, being married to the MGM producer Irving Thalberg until his death in 1936.

Norma Shearer’s contributions to cinema have left a lasting impact. She was a trailblazer for women in the industry and demonstrated her versatility and talent across various genres and roles.

Her ability to embody strong, complex, and independent female characters made her a role model for many aspiring actresses.

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4. Marie Dressler

Marie Dressler, born Leila Marie Koerber on November 9, 1868, was a Canadian-American actress and comedian. She achieved great success in both silent and early sound films, becoming one of the most popular and highly paid actresses of her time.

Dressler began her career in vaudeville and theater before transitioning to film in the early 1910s. She gained recognition for her comedic talent and her ability to bring warmth and humanity to her characters.

Dressler’s larger-than-life personality, combined with her distinctive appearance and unique comedic timing, made her a beloved figure on the screen.

In 1930, at the age of 62, Dressler starred in the film “Min and Bill,” opposite Wallace Beery. Her portrayal of a tough-talking but kind-hearted waterfront innkeeper earned her critical acclaim and won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.

This made her the oldest actress to win an Oscar at that time.

Following her Oscar win, Dressler continued to make successful films, often playing maternal or comedic roles.

Some of her notable works include “Emma” (1932), “Tugboat Annie” (1933), and “Dinner at Eight” (1933). She had a natural ability to connect with audiences, effortlessly shifting between comedy and drama.

Dressler’s popularity extended beyond the screen, and she became a beloved public figure. Her warm and down-to-earth persona endeared her to fans, and she was celebrated for her charitable work and philanthropy.

Tragically, Dressler’s career was cut short when she passed away on July 28, 1934, at the age of 65. Her untimely death was a great loss to the entertainment industry and her fans worldwide.

Marie Dressler’s legacy as an actress and comedian remains influential.

Her ability to combine humor and humanity, her distinctive screen presence, and her dedication to her craft made her an iconic figure of the early film era. Her impact on the industry is still recognized and celebrated today.

Emma
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Marie Dressler, Richard Cromwell, Jean Hersholt (Actors)
  • Clarence Brown (Director) - Leonard Praskins (Writer) - Clarence Brown (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

5. Helen Hayes

Helen Hayes, born Helen Hayes Brown on October 10, 1900, was an American actress known as the “First Lady of American Theatre.” She had a remarkable career that spanned seven decades, during which she achieved success on stage, in film, and on television.

Hayes made her Broadway debut at the age of five and quickly gained recognition for her talent and versatility as an actress.

She became known for her ability to portray a wide range of characters, from dramatic roles to comedic ones. Her stage performances were marked by her natural grace, poise, and powerful stage presence.

Throughout her career, Hayes starred in numerous successful Broadway productions, including “Coquette” (1927), “Victoria Regina” (1935), and “The Glass Menagerie” (1945). She won the first-ever Tony Award for Best Actress for her performance in “Happy Birthday” (1947).

Hayes also made a significant impact on the film industry. She appeared in several notable films, including “The Sin of Madelon Claudet” (1931), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

She continued to work in film sporadically over the years, but her true love remained the stage.

In addition to her achievements in theater and film, Hayes made a successful transition to television. She starred in her own TV series, “The Helen Hayes Show,” and made numerous guest appearances on other shows.

Hayes was known for her professionalism, dedication, and unwavering commitment to her craft. She was respected and admired by her peers and audiences alike for her exceptional talent and her ability to bring depth and authenticity to every role she played.

In recognition of her contributions to the arts, Helen Hayes received numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Arts, and the Kennedy Center Honors.

She remained active in the theater community until her death on March 17, 1993, at the age of 92.

Helen Hayes’ legacy as a celebrated actress and her immense contributions to American theater continue to be remembered and celebrated.

Her talent, passion, and dedication to her craft left an indelible mark on the world of performing arts.

Victoria Regina
  • Housman, Laurence (Author)
  • 01/01/1935 (Publication Date) - Albatross (Publisher)

6. Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn, born on May 12, 1907, was an American actress who is considered one of the greatest screen legends in the history of cinema.

Known for her fierce independence, distinctive voice, and strong-willed characters, she had a career that spanned over six decades and made a significant impact on both film and theater.

Hepburn began her acting career on the stage and made her Broadway debut in the 1928 play “The Big Pond.” She was noticed by Hollywood talent scouts and signed a contract with RKO Pictures, which marked the start of her film career.

Her breakthrough role came in “Morning Glory” (1933), for which she won her first Academy Award for Best Actress.

Throughout her career, Hepburn showcased her versatility by taking on a wide range of roles. She excelled in both comedic and dramatic performances and became known for her intelligence, wit, and strong presence on screen.

Some of her most iconic films include “Bringing Up Baby” (1938), “The Philadelphia Story” (1940), “Woman of the Year” (1942), and “The African Queen” (1951).

Hepburn’s partnership with actor Spencer Tracy was legendary, and they appeared in nine films together. Their chemistry on screen was palpable, and they formed one of Hollywood’s most beloved on-screen couples.

Hepburn’s unconventional style and refusal to conform to societal norms made her a trailblazer in Hollywood. She often challenged gender roles and expectations, both on screen and in her personal life.

She became known for her preference for trousers, which was unusual for women at the time, and her no-nonsense attitude.

Over her career, Hepburn received numerous accolades, including a record-breaking four Academy Awards for Best Actress. She remains one of the most honored actors in the history of the Academy Awards.

In addition to her film work, she also returned to the stage throughout her career, earning critical acclaim for her performances in plays like “The Lion in Winter” and “A Matter of Gravity.”

Hepburn’s contributions to film and her unique persona have made her an enduring icon in popular culture.

Her talent, determination, and independent spirit continue to inspire generations of actors and audiences. She passed away on June 29, 2003, leaving behind a legacy of remarkable performances and a lasting impact on the entertainment industry.

Morning Glory (1933)
  • Adolphe Menjou, Katharine Hepburn, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (Actors)
  • Lowell Sherman (Director)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

7. Claudette Colbert

Claudette Colbert, born Émilie Claudette Chauchoin on September 13, 1903, was a French-American actress who achieved great success in both film and stage. Known for her beauty, wit, and versatility, she was one of the leading actresses of the 1930s and 1940s.

Colbert began her acting career on the stage and made her Broadway debut in the 1920s. She then transitioned to film in the early 1930s and quickly rose to stardom. She had a natural charm and a flair for comedy, often playing sophisticated and independent women.

One of Colbert’s most iconic roles came in the film “It Happened One Night” (1934), directed by Frank Capra. Her performance as a spoiled heiress opposite Clark Gable earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress, solidifying her status as a Hollywood star.

Colbert appeared in a wide range of films, showcasing her talent in both comedic and dramatic roles. Some of her notable films include “Cleopatra” (1934), “Midnight” (1939), and “The Palm Beach Story” (1942). She also displayed her versatility in historical dramas, war films, and romantic comedies.

Colbert’s on-screen presence was marked by her elegance, sophistication, and impeccable comedic timing. She had a natural ability to captivate audiences with her charm and versatility.

Her collaborations with renowned directors such as Ernst Lubitsch and Preston Sturges further showcased her talent.

In addition to her success in film, Colbert also had a successful stage career. She returned to Broadway periodically throughout her life and earned critical acclaim for her performances in plays like “The Marriage-Go-Round” and “A Talent for Murder.”

Colbert’s career began to slow down in the 1950s, and she transitioned to television and occasional film appearances.

She retired from acting in the early 1960s but made a memorable comeback in the television miniseries “The Two Mrs. Grenvilles” (1987), for which she received an Emmy Award.

Throughout her career, Claudette Colbert received numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She left an indelible mark on the film industry and continues to be remembered as a talented and influential actress.

Colbert passed away on July 30, 1996, at the age of 92, leaving behind a legacy of memorable performances and her contribution to the Golden Age of Hollywood.

8. Bette Davis

Bette Davis, born Ruth Elizabeth Davis on April 5, 1908, was an American actress who is considered one of the greatest actresses in the history of American cinema.

Known for her distinctive voice, intense performances, and strong-willed characters, she had a career that spanned over six decades and left an indelible mark on the film industry.

Davis began her acting career in the theater before transitioning to film in the early 1930s. She quickly gained recognition for her talent and unique screen presence.

Her breakthrough role came in “Of Human Bondage” (1934), where she delivered a powerful performance that showcased her ability to portray complex and emotionally charged characters.

Throughout her career, Davis portrayed a wide range of characters, from strong and ambitious women to vulnerable and tormented individuals.

Some of her most memorable performances include “Jezebel” (1938), for which she won her first Academy Award for Best Actress, “All About Eve” (1950), and “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” (1962).

Davis was known for her dedication to her craft and her commitment to delivering authentic and powerful performances. She had a commanding presence on screen and was praised for her ability to portray intense emotions with depth and complexity.

Davis received a total of ten Academy Award nominations for Best Actress, a record that stood for many years. She won the award twice and was the first person to receive ten nominations in the acting categories.

In addition to her acting talent, Davis was known for her strong personality and her willingness to take on challenging and unconventional roles.

She often clashed with studio executives and fought for creative control over her projects. Her determination and refusal to conform to traditional standards of beauty and femininity made her a trailblazer in Hollywood.

Later in her career, Davis continued to work in film, television, and stage. She received critical acclaim for her performance in the film “Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte” (1964) and made memorable appearances in TV movies and series.

Bette Davis’ contributions to the film industry have left a lasting impact. Her extraordinary talent, boldness, and fierce determination paved the way for future generations of actresses.

She passed away on October 6, 1989, but her legacy as one of the greatest actresses in cinema history continues to be celebrated.

Of Human Bondage
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • John Cromwell (Director) - Lester Cohen (Writer) - Pandro S. Berman (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

9. Luise Rainer

Luise Rainer, born on January 12, 1910, was a German-American actress who achieved great success in the 1930s and became the first person to win consecutive Academy Awards for acting.

Known for her delicate beauty, emotional range, and intense performances, Rainer had a relatively short but impactful career in Hollywood.

Rainer began her acting career in Germany and quickly gained attention for her talent. In 1935, she signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and made her American film debut in the movie “Escapade” (1935).

However, it was her second film, “The Great Ziegfeld” (1936), that brought her widespread acclaim and earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Rainer portrayed Anna Held, the first wife of Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., and her performance captivated audiences with its emotional depth and vulnerability.

The following year, Rainer won her second consecutive Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in “The Good Earth” (1937), based on the novel by Pearl S. Buck.

She portrayed O-Lan, a resilient Chinese peasant woman, and her portrayal earned critical acclaim for its sensitivity and authenticity.

Despite her early success and critical acclaim, Rainer’s career in Hollywood faced challenges. She clashed with MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer and felt frustrated with the roles she was offered.

After a series of disappointing films and personal struggles, she decided to leave Hollywood in the late 1930s and returned to Europe.

Rainer continued to work in Europe and appeared in several films and stage productions. However, she never regained the level of success she had achieved in her early years.

She took a break from acting in the 1940s and 1950s, focusing on her personal life and pursuing other interests.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Rainer experienced a resurgence of interest in her career. She received honorary awards and recognition for her groundbreaking achievements in film.

Rainer’s two consecutive Academy Awards and her impact on the industry as a trailblazer for actresses continue to be remembered and celebrated.

Luise Rainer passed away on December 30, 2014, at the age of 104. Her legacy as an accomplished actress and her unique place in Oscar history remain an important part of film history.

Escapade à New York
  • French, English (Subtitles)

10. Vivien Leigh

Vivien Leigh, born Vivian Mary Hartley on November 5, 1913, was a British actress who is widely regarded as one of the greatest actresses in the history of cinema.

Known for her beauty, elegance, and captivating performances, she became an international star and is best remembered for her iconic portrayal of Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind” (1939).

Leigh began her acting career on the stage in England, appearing in numerous productions before catching the attention of Hollywood.

Her breakthrough came when she was cast as Scarlett O’Hara in the film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind.” Leigh’s portrayal of the headstrong Southern belle won her critical acclaim and an Academy Award for Best Actress, establishing her as a major star.

Following the success of “Gone with the Wind,” Leigh continued to showcase her talent in a variety of roles. She displayed her versatility and range in films such as “Waterloo Bridge” (1940), “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951), and “Ship of Fools” (1965).

Her performance as Blanche DuBois in “A Streetcar Named Desire” earned her a second Academy Award for Best Actress.

Leigh’s on-screen presence was characterized by her intensity, elegance, and ability to embody complex characters. She had a natural charisma that captivated audiences, and her performances were often praised for their depth and authenticity.

Off-screen, Leigh faced personal challenges, including a battle with mental illness. However, she continued to work in film, theater, and television, delivering notable performances until her untimely death in 1967 at the age of 53.

Vivien Leigh’s legacy as an actress remains enduring. Her contributions to the arts, particularly her iconic portrayal of Scarlett O’Hara, have left an indelible mark on cinema.

She is remembered as a talented and captivating performer whose performances continue to inspire and captivate audiences.

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Gone with the Wind
  • Mitchell, Margaret (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1472 Pages - 05/20/2008 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

11. Ginger Rogers

Ginger Rogers, born Virginia Katherine McMath on July 16, 1911, was an American actress, singer, and dancer who is best known for her partnership with Fred Astaire.

She had a successful career in both film and stage and is recognized as one of the most talented and versatile performers of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Rogers began her career as a dancer and made her Broadway debut in the early 1920s. She then transitioned to films and signed a contract with RKO Pictures in the early 1930s. It was her partnership with Fred Astaire that catapulted her to stardom.

The duo appeared in a series of successful musical films together, including “The Gay Divorcee” (1934), “Top Hat” (1935), and “Swing Time” (1936).

Rogers’ effortless style, impeccable timing, and graceful dancing made her the perfect match for Astaire’s talent, and their on-screen chemistry was legendary.

Aside from her work with Astaire, Rogers also showcased her versatility as an actress in a wide range of films. She appeared in dramatic roles in films like “Kitty Foyle” (1940), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress, and “Stage Door” (1937).

She also demonstrated her comedic skills in movies such as “Bachelor Mother” (1939) and “The Major and the Minor” (1942).

Rogers was known for her professionalism, dedication to her craft, and willingness to take on challenging roles. She was not only a talented dancer and actress but also a gifted singer, often performing musical numbers in her films.

Her versatility and charm endeared her to audiences and solidified her status as one of the most beloved stars of her time.

In addition to her film career, Rogers also had success on stage and television. She returned to Broadway throughout her career, earning critical acclaim for her performances in shows like “Hello, Dolly!” and “Mame.” She also made numerous guest appearances on television programs.

Ginger Rogers received several accolades throughout her career, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors.

Her contributions to the entertainment industry and her enduring legacy as a talented actress and dancer continue to be celebrated. She passed away on April 25, 1995, at the age of 83, leaving behind a remarkable body of work that continues to inspire and entertain audiences to this day.

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Swing Time (DVD)
  • Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers (Actors)
  • English, Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

12. Joan Fontaine

Joan Fontaine, born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland on October 22, 1917, was a British-American actress who achieved great success in Hollywood during the 1940s.

Known for her delicate beauty, grace, and ability to convey complex emotions, she had a career that spanned over five decades and left a lasting impact on the film industry.

Fontaine began her acting career on the stage and made her film debut in the 1935 British film “No More Ladies.” She then moved to Hollywood and signed a contract with RKO Pictures.

It was her role in the Alfred Hitchcock-directed film “Rebecca” (1940) that brought her widespread acclaim.

Fontaine portrayed the unnamed second wife of Maxim de Winter, played by Laurence Olivier, and her performance earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

In 1941, Fontaine won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the film “Suspicion.” Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the film showcased her talent for playing vulnerable and complex characters.

Fontaine’s ability to convey fear and uncertainty made her a perfect fit for Hitchcock’s suspenseful storytelling.

Fontaine appeared in a variety of film genres throughout her career, including romantic dramas, thrillers, and historical films. Some of her notable films include “Jane Eyre” (1943), “Letter from an Unknown Woman” (1948), and “Ivanhoe” (1952).

She also worked with renowned directors such as Max Ophüls and Fritz Lang, further showcasing her talent and versatility.

Off-screen, Fontaine was known for her elegance and poise. She had a refined presence that translated well on screen and made her a sought-after leading lady.

Her performances were characterized by her ability to convey depth and nuance, and she often played characters who faced emotional turmoil and inner conflicts.

In addition to her film work, Fontaine also appeared on stage and television. She continued to act in films and television shows throughout the 1950s and 1960s, although her output decreased in later years.

Joan Fontaine received critical acclaim and recognition for her talent, earning several accolades throughout her career, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.

Her contributions to the film industry and her memorable performances continue to be celebrated. She passed away on December 15, 2013, at the age of 96, leaving behind a legacy of remarkable work and her impact on the Golden Age of Hollywood.

No More Ladies
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Joan Crawford, Robert Montgomery, Charles Ruggles (Actors)
  • Edward H. Griffith (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

13. Greer Garson

Greer Garson, born Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson on September 29, 1904, was a British-American actress who achieved great success in Hollywood during the 1940s.

Known for her elegance, poise, and dignified presence, she was one of the leading actresses of her time and received multiple Academy Award nominations for her performances.

Garson began her acting career on the stage in London before moving to Hollywood in the late 1930s.

Her breakthrough role came in the film “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” (1939), where she portrayed a supportive and loving wife opposite Robert Donat.

Her performance earned her critical acclaim and her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

She continued to deliver powerful performances in a series of successful films throughout the 1940s. One of her most notable roles came in the film “Mrs. Miniver” (1942), directed by William Wyler.

Garson portrayed the resilient and strong-willed wife and mother during World War II, and her performance resonated with audiences. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal, and the film itself became a critical and commercial success.

Garson’s other notable films include “Random Harvest” (1942), “Madame Curie” (1943), and “The Valley of Decision” (1945). She was known for her ability to bring depth and emotion to her characters, and her performances often showcased her range as an actress.

Off-screen, Garson was admired for her grace and intelligence. She had a regal presence that complemented her on-screen persona, and she was often cast in roles that demanded strength and resilience.

Her characters often represented strong and independent women, making her a role model for many.

In addition to her film work, Garson also appeared on stage and television. She had success in theater productions and made occasional television appearances in the 1950s and 1960s.

Greer Garson received a total of seven Academy Award nominations for Best Actress throughout her career, a record at the time.

Although she only won once, her nominations reflected her consistent quality and talent as an actress. She also received other honors, including a Golden Globe Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Garson’s career slowed down in the 1950s and 1960s, and she shifted her focus to philanthropy and charitable work. She made occasional film and television appearances but chose to prioritize her personal life and causes she cared about.

Greer Garson passed away on April 6, 1996, at the age of 91. Her contributions to the film industry and her memorable performances continue to be remembered and celebrated. She remains a respected and admired figure in Hollywood history.

Mrs. Miniver (1942)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright (Actors)
  • William Wyler (Director) - George Froeschel (Writer) - Sidney Franklin (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

14. Jennifer Jones

Jennifer Jones, born Phylis Lee Isley on March 2, 1919, was an American actress who achieved success in Hollywood during the 1940s and 1950s.

Known for her ethereal beauty, emotional depth, and versatility, she had a career that spanned over four decades and garnered critical acclaim and several awards.

Jones began her acting career on stage and made her film debut in 1943. She caught the attention of producer David O. Selznick, who signed her to a contract and changed her stage name to Jennifer Jones.

Her breakthrough role came in the film “The Song of Bernadette” (1943), in which she portrayed Bernadette Soubirous, a young girl who claimed to have witnessed Marian apparitions.

Her performance in the film earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress and established her as a rising star.

Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, Jones delivered notable performances in a variety of films.

She showcased her versatility in dramas, romances, and even comedies. Some of her notable films include “Duel in the Sun” (1946), “Portrait of Jennie” (1948), “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing” (1955), and “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” (1956).

VHer performances were often praised for their emotional depth and her ability to convey complex characters with nuance and authenticity.

Jones collaborated with renowned directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, William Wyler, and Vincente Minnelli, among others. She had a knack for bringing depth and vulnerability to her roles, which resonated with audiences and critics alike.

In addition to her acting talent, Jones had a personal life filled with intrigue. She was married to three notable men in the entertainment industry: Robert Walker, David O. Selznick, and Norton Simon.V

Her relationships and personal struggles added to her mystique and captured public interest.

In the later years of her career, Jones continued to work in film and television, although her output decreased. She made occasional appearances in films and TV shows, including the miniseries “The Thorn Birds” (1983), for which she received an Emmy Award nomination.

Jennifer Jones received several accolades throughout her career, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her talent, beauty, and captivating screen presence left a lasting impact on the film industry.

Jones passed away on December 17, 2009, at the age of 90. Her contributions to cinema and her memorable performances continue to be celebrated, and she is remembered as one of the talented actresses of Hollywood’s golden era.

Sale
The Song of Bernadette
  • Jennifer Jones, Charles Bickford, William Eythe (Actors)
  • Henry King (Director) - Franz Werfel (Writer)
  • English, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

15. Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman, born on August 29, 1915, in Stockholm, Sweden, was a Swedish actress who achieved international fame and acclaim for her work in both European and American cinema.

Known for her natural beauty, versatility, and captivating performances, she is regarded as one of the greatest actresses in the history of film.

Bergman began her acting career in Swedish films in the 1930s and quickly gained recognition for her talent and screen presence.

Her breakthrough came with the film “Intermezzo” (1936), directed by Gustaf Molander, where she played the lead role of a talented pianist. The success of the film caught the attention of Hollywood, and she was offered a contract with producer David O. Selznick.

In 1942, Bergman starred in the film “Casablanca,” directed by Michael Curtiz, which became one of the most iconic films in cinematic history.

Her portrayal of Ilsa Lund, opposite Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine, earned her critical acclaim and solidified her status as a leading actress. The film went on to win several Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Bergman continued to deliver remarkable performances throughout her career, working with acclaimed directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and Roberto Rossellini.

She showcased her versatility in films such as “Notorious” (1946), “Gaslight” (1944), and “Stromboli” (1950). Her ability to convey complex emotions and her willingness to take on challenging roles made her an admired and respected actress.

In 1956, Bergman’s personal life became a subject of controversy when she had an affair with Italian director Roberto Rossellini while still married to her first husband.

This caused a scandal in the United States and affected her career for a time. However, she eventually made a successful comeback and continued to deliver outstanding performances.

Bergman received numerous awards throughout her career, including three Academy Awards for Best Actress. She won her first Oscar for “Gaslight” (1944), her second for “Anastasia” (1956), and her third for “Murder on the Orient Express” (1974).

Her talent and contributions to film were recognized with honors such as the Kennedy Center Honors and the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Ingrid Bergman’s talent and beauty, combined with her ability to portray complex and multi-dimensional characters, have left an indelible mark on the history of cinema.

She passed away on August 29, 1982, at the age of 67, but her legacy as one of the greatest actresses of all time continues to inspire generations of actors and filmmakers.

Intermezzo - 1936 - (Blu-Ray) - Ingrid Bergman - (European format - PAL) all regions
  • Spanish (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

16. Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford, born Lucille Fay LeSueur on March 23, 1904, was an American actress and one of the leading stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Known for her versatility, intensity, and strong on-screen presence, she had a career that spanned several decades and left an indelible mark on the film industry.

Crawford began her acting career in the 1920s, initially gaining attention for her dancing skills and vibrant personality. She signed a contract with MGM in 1925 and went on to star in a series of silent films, where she showcased her talent for physical comedy and dramatic roles.

In the 1930s, she successfully transitioned to sound films and continued to rise in prominence.

One of Crawford’s most iconic roles came in the film “Mildred Pierce” (1945), directed by Michael Curtiz.

She portrayed the title character, a strong and determined woman who becomes a successful businesswoman to provide for her daughter. Her performance earned her critical acclaim and the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Throughout her career, Crawford appeared in a wide range of films across various genres, including dramas, comedies, film noirs, and melodramas.

She worked with renowned directors such as George Cukor, Vincente Minnelli, and Nicholas Ray, among others. Some of her notable films include “Grand Hotel” (1932), “The Women” (1939), “Possessed” (1947), and “Sudden Fear” (1952).

Off-screen, Crawford was known for her strong-willed personality and her meticulous approach to her craft. She was committed to her roles, often immersing herself in the characters she portrayed. She was also a fashion icon, known for her elegant style and glamorous image.

Crawford’s career saw its ups and downs, but she remained a popular and respected actress throughout the decades. She made a successful transition to television in the 1950s, starring in the anthology series “The Joan Crawford Show” and making guest appearances on other shows.

Joan Crawford received several accolades throughout her career, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Her contributions to film and her memorable performances continue to be celebrated. She passed away on May 10, 1977, at the age of 73, leaving behind a legacy as one of the iconic actresses of classic Hollywood.

Mildred Pierce [The Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [1945]
  • Eve Arden, Ann Blyth, Bruce Bennett (Actors)
  • Michael Curtiz (Director)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

17. Olivia de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland, born on July 1, 1916, in Tokyo, Japan, was a British-American actress who achieved great success in Hollywood during the Golden Age of Cinema.

Known for her beauty, talent, and versatility, she was one of the leading actresses of her time and left an indelible mark on the film industry.

De Havilland began her acting career in the 1930s and quickly gained recognition for her talent and screen presence.

She signed a contract with Warner Bros.and appeared in a series of films, often playing the ingénue or the romantic lead. However, she yearned for more challenging roles and found herself in conflict with the studio system.

In 1939, de Havilland had a breakthrough role in the film “Gone with the Wind,” directed by Victor Fleming. She portrayed Melanie Hamilton, the gentle and kind-hearted wife of Ashley Wilkes.

Her performance earned her critical acclaim and established her as a respected actress. The film itself went on to become a cinematic classic.

De Havilland’s talent and versatility were showcased in a variety of films throughout her career. She proved her acting range in dramas, romances, and even adventure films.

Some of her notable films include “The Snake Pit” (1948), for which she received an Academy Award nomination, “The Heiress” (1949), for which she won her first Academy Award for Best Actress, and “To Each His Own” (1946), for which she won her second Academy Award.

Off-screen, de Havilland was known for her intelligence and determination. She challenged the studio system by taking legal action to break her contract with Warner Bros., a move that helped pave the way for improved working conditions for actors.

Her successful legal battle, known as the “De Havilland Decision,” established the “seven-year rule,” which limited the length of a contract to seven years.

De Havilland continued to act in films and television throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, although her output decreased in later years. Her performances were consistently praised for their depth and nuance.

Olivia de Havilland received several accolades throughout her career, including two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Her contributions to the film industry and her memorable performances continue to be celebrated. She passed away on July 26, 2020, at the age of 104, leaving behind a legacy as one of the most respected and beloved actresses in Hollywood history.

The Heiress (1949) [The Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray]
  • Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk DOES NOT have English audio and...
  • Olivia De Havilland, Miriam Hopkins, Montgomery Clift (Actors)
  • William Wyler (Director)
  • English, Hindi (Subtitles)

18. Loretta Young

Loretta Young, born Gretchen Young on January 6, 1913, in Salt Lake City, Utah, was an American actress who achieved success in both film and television.

Known for her beauty, elegance, and versatility, she had a career that spanned over seven decades and left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.

Young began her acting career as a child performer, appearing in silent films in the 1920s.

She made a successful transition to sound films in the 1930s, and her talent and screen presence quickly garnered attention. She became known for her wholesome and sophisticated image, often portraying strong and virtuous women.

In 1947, Young won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film “The Farmer’s Daughter.”

She portrayed a Swedish-American woman who aspires to become a congresswoman, showcasing her range as an actress and her ability to bring depth to her characters.

Young’s filmography includes a wide range of genres, including dramas, comedies, and romances. Some of her notable films include “The Story of Alexander Graham Bell” (1939), “The Bishop’s Wife” (1947), and “Come to the Stable” (1949).

She worked with renowned directors such as Frank Capra and John Ford, among others.

In the 1950s, Young transitioned to television and became the host and star of her own anthology series, “The Loretta Young Show,” which aired from 1953 to 1961.

The show showcased her versatility as she played various roles in each episode, ranging from dramatic to comedic. Her work on the show earned her three Emmy Awards.

Off-screen, Young was known for her grace and elegance. She maintained a carefully cultivated image of sophistication and charm, both in her personal life and her public persona. She had a reputation for being professional and dedicated to her craft.

Loretta Young received numerous accolades throughout her career, including an Academy Award, three Emmy Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Her talent, beauty, and contributions to film and television continue to be celebrated. She passed away on August 12, 2000, at the age of 87, but her legacy as a respected and versatile actress lives on.

Sale
The Farmer's Daughter
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • Jim Harrison (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 11 Pages - 02/01/2010 (Publication Date) - Blackstone Audiobooks (Publisher)

19. Jane Wyman

Jane Wyman, born Sarah Jane Mayfield on January 5, 1917, was an American actress who achieved success in film, television, and on the stage. Known for her versatility and emotional depth, she had a career that spanned over six decades and earned her numerous accolades.

Wyman began her acting career in the 1930s and quickly gained recognition for her talent and screen presence. She signed a contract with Warner Bros. and appeared in a variety of films, showcasing her versatility in both dramatic and comedic roles.

Her breakthrough role came in the film “The Lost Weekend” (1945), directed by Billy Wilder, where she portrayed a supportive girlfriend. The film went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

In 1948, Wyman delivered one of her most memorable performances in the film “Johnny Belinda.”

She played the role of a deaf-mute woman named Belinda McDonald, earning critical acclaim and winning the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her sensitive portrayal of the character showcased her ability to bring depth and humanity to her roles.

Wyman’s talent and versatility were further demonstrated in films such as “Magnificent Obsession” (1954), “All That Heaven Allows” (1955), and “The Yearling” (1946).

She worked with renowned directors and actors, including Douglas Sirk, Rock Hudson, and Charlton Heston, among others.

In addition to her film career, Wyman made a successful transition to television. She starred in the popular television series “Falcon Crest” from 1981 to 1990, where she played the role of Angela Channing, a powerful vineyard owner.

Her work on the show earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Drama Series.

Off-screen, Wyman was known for her professionalism and dedication to her craft. She maintained a private personal life and was respected for her work ethic and talent.

Jane Wyman received several accolades throughout her career, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Her contributions to film and television continue to be celebrated. She passed away on September 10, 2007, at the age of 90, leaving behind a legacy as one of the respected actresses of her time.

All That Heaven Allows
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Agnes Moorehead (Actors)
  • Douglas Sirk (Director) - Peggy Thompson (Writer) - Ross Hunter (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

20. Judy Holliday

Judy Holliday, born Judith Tuvim on June 21, 1921, was an American actress, singer, and comedian who rose to prominence in the 1940s and 1950s. Known for her unique blend of comedic timing, intelligence, and charm, she became a beloved figure in both film and theater.

Holliday began her career as a singer and nightclub performer before transitioning to acting. Her breakthrough came in 1946 when she starred in the Broadway production of “Born Yesterday.”

She portrayed the role of Billie Dawn, a dim-witted but lovable showgirl, and her performance earned her critical acclaim and the Tony Award for Best Actress. She later reprised the role in the film adaptation of “Born Yesterday” in 1950, which brought her further recognition.

In films, Holliday was known for her comedic talents and ability to portray endearing characters. One of her most memorable roles came in the film “Adam’s Rib” (1949), directed by George Cukor, where she starred alongside Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

Her portrayal of a ditzy mistress who finds herself caught in a legal battle showcased her comedic brilliance and earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Holliday’s filmography includes other notable films such as “The Solid Gold Cadillac” (1956) and “Bells Are Ringing” (1960), in which she reprised her Broadway role. She often played roles that capitalized on her comedic skills and showcased her unique charm.

Off-screen, Holliday was known for her wit, intelligence, and political activism. She was a staunch supporter of liberal causes and was involved in various civil rights and anti-war movements.

Tragically, Judy Holliday’s life and career were cut short by her battle with cancer. She passed away on June 7, 1965, at the age of 43.

Despite her relatively short time in the spotlight, Holliday left a lasting impact with her unforgettable performances and her ability to bring laughter and joy to audiences. She remains cherished as one of the most talented and beloved comedic actresses of her era.

Born Yesterday (1950)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Judy Holliday, Broderick Crawford, William Holden (Actors)
  • George Cukor (Director) - Garson Kanin (Writer) - S. Sylvan Simon (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

21. Shirley Booth

Shirley Booth, born Thelma Marjorie Ford on August 30, 1898, was an American actress who achieved success on both stage and screen. Known for her naturalistic acting style, emotional depth, and comedic timing, she was highly regarded for her talent and versatility.

Booth began her acting career in the 1920s, primarily performing in theater productions. She gained critical acclaim for her work in Broadway plays, earning a reputation as a gifted and versatile actress.

In 1950, she delivered a breakthrough performance in the play “Come Back, Little Sheba,” where she portrayed the emotionally vulnerable Lola Delaney. Her powerful and nuanced performance earned her the Tony Award for Best Actress.

In 1952, Booth reprised her Tony-winning role in the film adaptation of “Come Back, Little Sheba,” marking her debut in Hollywood.

Her portrayal of Lola Delaney on the big screen garnered widespread acclaim and earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress. She successfully transitioned to film, showcasing her ability to bring complex characters to life.

Booth’s filmography includes other notable films such as “About Mrs. Leslie” (1954) and “The Matchmaker” (1958).

However, she is perhaps best remembered for her work on television. In the 1960s, she starred in the sitcom “Hazel,” playing the titular character, a live-in maid who often finds herself in humorous situations.

The show was a success, and Booth’s performance earned her two Primetime Emmy Awards.

Off-screen, Shirley Booth was known for her professionalism and dedication to her craft. She was admired for her ability to convey genuine emotion and capture the essence of her characters.

Despite her success, Booth remained modest and private, focusing on her work rather than seeking the limelight.

Shirley Booth received numerous accolades throughout her career, including a Tony Award, an Academy Award, and multiple Emmy Awards.

Her contributions to theater, film, and television continue to be celebrated. She passed away on October 16, 1992, at the age of 94, leaving behind a legacy as one of the most respected and talented actresses of her time.

Come Back, Little Sheba
  • Inge, William (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 94 Pages - 11/16/2010 (Publication Date) - Samuel French, Inc. (Publisher)

22. Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn, born Audrey Kathleen Ruston on May 4, 1929, was a British actress, fashion icon, and humanitarian. She is widely regarded as one of the most elegant and influential actresses of all time, known for her grace, beauty, and distinctive style.

Hepburn began her career as a dancer and model in the 1940s before transitioning to acting. Her breakthrough role came in 1953 when she starred in the film “Roman Holiday,” directed by William Wyler.

Her performance as a princess exploring Rome incognito earned her critical acclaim and the Academy Award for Best Actress. This marked the beginning of a highly successful film career.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Hepburn starred in a series of iconic films, including “Sabrina” (1954), “Funny Face” (1957), “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), and “My Fair Lady” (1964). She captivated audiences with her charm, vulnerability, and impeccable comedic timing.

Her collaboration with director Blake Edwards, particularly in films like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” showcased her ability to portray complex and memorable characters.

Hepburn’s unique style and elegance made her a fashion icon. She became synonymous with the little black dress, oversized sunglasses, and the chic, sophisticated look.

Her collaborations with designer Hubert de Givenchy created timeless and iconic looks that continue to influence fashion today.

Off-screen, Audrey Hepburn was known for her humanitarian work. She served as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and dedicated much of her later life to helping children in need around the world.

Her commitment to philanthropy earned her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her efforts.

Audrey Hepburn received numerous accolades throughout her career, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Tony Award. She is also one of the few people to have won an Emmy, Grammy, and Academy Award.

Her contributions to film, fashion, and humanitarian efforts continue to inspire and influence generations of artists and activists. She passed away on January 20, 1993, at the age of 63, but her legacy as an iconic actress and compassionate human being lives on.

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Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal (Actors)
  • Blake Edwards (Director) - George Axelrod (Writer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

23. Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly, born Grace Patricia Kelly on November 12, 1929, was an American actress who became a beloved figure in Hollywood during the 1950s.

Known for her beauty, elegance, and talent, she starred in a number of successful films before marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco and becoming Princess Grace.

Kelly began her acting career on the stage and eventually made her way to Hollywood. She gained recognition for her performances in films such as “High Noon” (1952) and “Mogambo” (1953), for which she received an Academy Award nomination.

Her breakout role came in 1954 when she starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Dial M for Murder,” followed by memorable performances in “Rear Window” (1954) and “To Catch a Thief” (1955).

In 1955, Grace Kelly won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the film “The Country Girl.” Her portrayal of a long-suffering wife earned her critical acclaim and solidified her status as a talented and respected actress.

However, Kelly’s acting career was relatively short-lived, as she retired from acting at the age of 26 upon marrying Prince Rainier and becoming the Princess of Monaco.

As Princess Grace, she dedicated herself to her role as a philanthropist and worked tirelessly to promote cultural and charitable causes.

She was involved in numerous charitable organizations and became known for her elegance, poise, and humanitarian efforts. Her contributions to the arts and her charitable work continue to be celebrated.

Tragically, Grace Kelly’s life was cut short when she died in a car accident on September 14, 1982, at the age of 52.

Her untimely death left a lasting impact on both the film industry and the principality of Monaco, where she is still remembered as one of the most iconic and beloved figures in its history.

Grace Kelly’s legacy as an actress and a princess continues to inspire and captivate audiences around the world.

Her films, including her collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, remain timeless classics, and her timeless beauty and elegance have made her an enduring symbol of grace and sophistication.

Rear Window
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey (Actors)
  • Alfred Hitchcock (Director) - John Michael Hayes (Writer) - Alfred Hitchcock (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

24. Anna Magnani

Anna Magnani, born on March 7, 1908, in Rome, Italy, was an Italian actress who is considered one of the greatest actresses in the history of Italian cinema.

Known for her powerful performances and emotional intensity, she became an icon of neorealism and is remembered for her raw and authentic portrayals of complex characters.

Magnani began her acting career on the stage in the 1920s, performing in various theatrical productions. She made her film debut in the early 1930s and gained recognition for her talent and captivating screen presence. However, it was in the post-World War II era that she truly established herself as a leading actress.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Magnani collaborated with renowned Italian directors, including Roberto Rossellini and Luchino Visconti.

Her breakthrough role came in Rossellini’s neorealist masterpiece, “Rome, Open City” (1945), where she portrayed a resilient woman involved in the Italian resistance during the Nazi occupation.

Her performance showcased her ability to convey raw emotion and garnered critical acclaim.

Magnani’s filmography includes notable works such as “The Rose Tattoo” (1955), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress, and “The Fugitive Kind” (1960), where she starred alongside Marlon Brando. 

Her performances were characterized by their intensity, passion, and ability to capture the essence of her characters.

Off-screen, Magnani was known for her fiery personality and strong convictions. She was deeply committed to her craft and had a reputation for immersing herself fully into her roles.

Her dedication to realism and her ability to convey a wide range of emotions made her an influential figure in the world of acting.

Anna Magnani received numerous accolades throughout her career, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA Award.

She was also the first Italian actress to win the prestigious Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival. Her contributions to Italian cinema and her enduring legacy as a powerful and authentic actress continue to be celebrated.

She passed away on September 26, 1973, at the age of 65, but her impact on the world of film endures.

Rome Open City (English Subtitled)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Marcello Pagliero, Aldo Fabrizi, Anna Magnani (Actors)
  • Roberto Rossellini (Director) - Sergio Amidei (Writer) - The Criterion Collection (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

25. Joanne Woodward

Joanne Woodward, born Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward on February 27, 1930, is an American actress and producer who has made significant contributions to the world of film and television.

Known for her versatility and ability to portray complex characters, she is regarded as one of the finest actresses of her generation.

Woodward began her acting career in theater and made her Broadway debut in 1953. She then transitioned to film, and in 1957, she delivered a breakthrough performance in the movie “The Three Faces of Eve.”

Her portrayal of a woman with multiple personalities earned her critical acclaim and the Academy Award for Best Actress, marking a significant milestone in her career.

Throughout her career, Woodward appeared in numerous films, showcasing her range as an actress.

She collaborated with her husband, actor Paul Newman, in several successful films, including “Rachel, Rachel” (1968), which she also produced, and “The Long, Hot Summer” (1958).

Woodward’s performances often exhibited emotional depth and vulnerability, and she was highly regarded for her ability to bring authenticity to her characters.

In addition to her film work, Woodward also had a successful career in television. She starred in the television film “Sybil” (1976), for which she received an Emmy Award nomination, and she appeared in various TV series and miniseries over the years.

Off-screen, Joanne Woodward is known for her philanthropic endeavors and activism. She and Paul Newman were dedicated to charitable causes, founding the Newman’s Own brand, which donates all of its profits to various charities.

Woodward continues to be involved in philanthropic work and is highly respected for her contributions to society.

Joanne Woodward has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including an Academy Award, three Emmy Awards, and a Golden Globe Award.

Her talent, dedication, and impact on the world of film and television have left an indelible mark. She remains an esteemed figure in the entertainment industry and continues to inspire generations of actors and actresses.

Rachel, Rachel (1968) (MOD)
  • Joanne Woodward, James Olson, Geraldine Fitzgerald (Actors)
  • Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

3 Characteristics of ACADEMY AWARDS – BEST ACTRESS Movies

Strong Female Lead: Academy Award-winning movies for Best Actress often feature a strong and compelling female lead character. These films showcase the depth and complexity of women’s experiences, highlighting their struggles, triumphs, and personal growth.

The Best Actress-winning movies often provide actresses with opportunities to display their range and talent, portraying characters with depth and authenticity.

Engaging and Emotional Storylines: The movies recognized with the Best Actress award at the Academy Awards often feature engaging and emotionally resonant storylines.

These films explore a variety of genres, including drama, romance, biopics, and even comedies, but they all share a common thread of compelling storytelling. The scripts often delve into complex themes and examine the human condition, evoking strong emotions from the audience.

Stellar Performances: One of the defining characteristics of Academy Award-winning movies for Best Actress is the presence of outstanding performances by the lead actresses.

These performances are marked by exceptional acting skills, bringing the characters to life with depth, authenticity, and vulnerability.

The actresses demonstrate their ability to convey a wide range of emotions, captivate audiences with their talent, and make a lasting impact through their performances.

These three characteristics, a strong female lead, engaging and emotional storylines, and stellar performances, contribute to the success and recognition of movies in the Best Actress category at the Academy Awards.

They highlight the immense talent of actresses and their ability to bring captivating stories and characters to the big screen.

3 Reasons To Watch ACADEMY AWARDS – BEST ACTRESS Movies

Outstanding Performances: The Academy Awards for Best Actress recognize the finest performances by actresses in the film industry.

Watching these movies allows you to witness the brilliance and talent of these actors as they bring characters to life with their emotional depth, nuanced portrayals, and captivating on-screen presence.

The winners of this prestigious award often deliver memorable and transformative performances that leave a lasting impact on audiences.

Diverse Stories and Perspectives: The movies nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards cover a wide range of genres, themes, and narratives. By watching these films, you can explore diverse stories and perspectives from different time periods and cultures.

The performances by the nominated actresses offer insights into the human experience, shedding light on various aspects of life, relationships, and societal issues.

It’s an opportunity to broaden your cinematic horizons and gain a deeper understanding of the world through the lens of talented actresses.

Celebrating Women in Film: The Best Actress category at the Academy Awards is an important platform for recognizing and celebrating the achievements of women in the film industry.

Watching these movies is a way to support and appreciate the contributions of female actors, directors, writers, and other creative professionals.

It highlights the power and impact of women’s voices and talent in cinema, providing inspiration and encouragement for future generations of filmmakers. By engaging with these films, you actively contribute to promoting inclusivity and representation in the film industry.

Overall, watching Academy Awards-winning movies in the Best Actress category offers an opportunity to witness exceptional performances, explore diverse stories, and celebrate the achievements of women in film.

It’s a chance to immerse yourself in the art of acting and gain a deeper appreciation for the talent and dedication of these remarkable actresses.

Best ACADEMY AWARDS – BEST ACTRESS  Movies – Wrap Up

Over the years, the Academy Awards for Best Actress have honored some truly outstanding performances in cinema.

While it is subjective to determine the “best” movies, here are a few notable films that have garnered attention and critical acclaim through their lead actresses’ performances:

“Gone with the Wind” (1939) – Vivien Leigh won the Best Actress award for her portrayal of Scarlett O’Hara in this epic historical drama.

The film, set during the American Civil War, follows Scarlett’s journey through love, loss, and survival.

“Casablanca” (1942) – Although Ingrid Bergman did not win the Best Actress award for her role as Ilsa Lund, her performance opposite Humphrey Bogart in this classic romantic drama remains iconic. The film tells the story of love and sacrifice in war-torn Casablanca.

“Roman Holiday” (1953) – Audrey Hepburn won her first Oscar for her captivating performance as Princess Ann, who escapes her royal duties for a day of adventure and romance in Rome. This romantic comedy showcases Hepburn’s charm and talent.

“Gone Girl” (2014) – Rosamund Pike received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Amy Dunne in this psychological thriller. Pike’s nuanced performance as a complex and manipulative character earned her a nomination for Best Actress.

“La La Land” (2016) – Emma Stone won the Best Actress award for her role as Mia Dolan, an aspiring actress, in this modern musical. Stone’s performance, combined with the film’s homage to classic Hollywood, captivated audiences and critics alike.

“Black Swan” (2010) – Natalie Portman’s intense and transformative portrayal of a ballet dancer, Nina Sayers, earned her the Best Actress award. This psychological thriller delves into the dark side of ambition and perfection.

“Monster’s Ball” (2001) – Halle Berry made history by becoming the first African-American woman to win the Best Actress award for her role as Leticia Musgrove. The film explores themes of grief, redemption, and racial tensions.

“Silver Linings Playbook” (2012) – Jennifer Lawrence won the Best Actress award for her performance as Tiffany Maxwell, a young widow struggling with mental health issues. This romantic comedy-drama portrays the complexities of human relationships.

These are just a few examples of exceptional movies that have been recognized by the Academy Awards for Best Actress. Each film offers a unique story and showcases the talent and range of the actresses involved.

Exploring these films can provide a deeper appreciation for the art of acting and the power of strong performances in cinema.