Sometimes I really loathe talking about anyone or anything that is the “best” at anything so I am going to talk about my “favorite” actresses of all time. Those that impacted me, inspired me, and still just impress me. It’s boring. Every list is the same with minimal diversions and often not a lot of personal explanation. Growing up some of these actresses were heroes for me and some of them have become inspirations over the years. But all of these actresses have impacted me with their talent and the films they’ve made.
It’s not really going to shock anyone who’s familiar with me that Sigourney is my favorite actress of all time. The first movie I ever saw her in was “Aliens” and Ellen Ripley became my hero throughout my childhood and adult life. Sigourney has had a brilliant career featuring Oscar nominated performances and a lot of great entertaining films and she hasn’t stopped. Whatever she makes I’m going to watch.
As a young girl I was convinced she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen in my life. She had the Robert DeNiro power of being able to act with her eyes. “Splendor in the Grass”, “This Property is Condemned” and “Gypsy” are my all time favorites. There wasn’t and still isn’t anyone like her. Her untimely and mysterious death happened one month after I was born.
From the time I was a little girl Elizabeth Taylor was important in my life. When visiting my grandma I’d watch “National Velvet” on repeat and then many of her other children’s movies. When I realized she was also famous for her films as an adult I watched Cleopatra over and over and was just enamored with how statuesque she was. “Giant” was next and then “A Place In The Sun”. While her real claim to fame may have been Virginia Wolf, my all time favorite Liz Taylor role was Maggie the Cat in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. I have always been partial to Tennessee Williams and adored Paul Newman, but she stole the show.
With a relatively short career due to her mental state the woman known to most as the one and only “Scarlett O’Hara” is and will forever be THE one and only Blanche DuBois to me. “A Streetcar Named Desire” may be my favorite Tennessee Williams play and the adaptation with her, Marlon Brando, and Kim Hunter is the only one worth watching. The rest of her filmography is worth visiting because she is just DAMN good.
The first movie I saw her in was “Major League” and then “Mr. Destiny”, but then she showed up in one of my favorite franchises of all time in “Lethal Weapon 3” and played a total badass. She was the “It” girl of the 90’s for me in movies like personal favorites “Get Shorty”, “Tin Cup”, and “The Thomas Crown Affair”. She’s beautiful, charming, and a tough lady. I’ll watch absolutely anything she does.
I didn’t know who Lena Headey was until well into her career when she showed up in “The Brother’s Grimm”. I liked her immediately, but only a few years later when she played Gerard Butler’s powerful Queen Gorga in “300” did I fall madly in love. Since then I’ve been stalking her and frankly she’s my first choice for almost any role now because she’s so good she can play anything. The world knows her as Cersei Lannister on “Game of Thrones”, but she’s amazing at whatever she does. She was incredible in “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and a wicked villain in “Dredd”. I do NOT exaggerate when I say she can do it all.
She was another actress I didn’t hop on the groupie train for until later in her career. “The Beach” was the first film I took note of her in, and in my obsession with it I became obessesed with her talent, but also her androgynous beauty. Shortly after she played Gabriel in “Constantine” and I was sold. I’m not a fan of the film adaptation of Narnia, but she is the perfect White Witch. Her roles in films like “Burn After Reading”, “Benjamin Button”, and “Snowpiercer” just elevated each film, but my favorite role of hers is “We Need To Talk About Kevin.” Aside from a great movie she is phenomenal.
Obviously I have a thing for British actresses, but they are so good. The first time I saw her was in “Much Ada About Nothing” in 1993 and I loved her, but it was in “Brokedown Palace” where I realized she could really act. Even so after, I had a love/hate relationship with Beckinsale for a bit because she started to do movies I hated (Pearl Harbor and Serendipity). But after she became this tough action star in the “Underworld” franchise and in “Van Helsing”. I still struggle with her entire filmography, but she’s very talented, beautiful, and I like her.
I was out of my mind with excitement when Natalie was cast on “Game of Thrones”. I discovered her as Anny Boylnn on “The Tudors” and her brief hiatus on the series was easily the best part of it. She was a beautiful seductress, but she also had that old Hollywood look about her, and her acting skills reflected that. She’s still very young and has a bright future ahead with “The Dark Crystal” series this year along with “Penny Dreadful”. She’s an up and comer on my favorite actresses list.