Monday, December 08, 2008

Where My Heart Lies. And Yours?

Nathaniel's 20 all time favorite actresses (in no particular order and if you ask me on another day...)

Audrey, Kate, Vivien, Ingrid, Natalie, Jane, Bette, Meryl,
Kathleen, Julie, Diane, La Liz, Norma, Carole, Michelle,
Judy, Julianne, Catherine, Julie and Joan

Because sometimes you need to be reminded.

P.S. 1 my apologies to Marilyn Monroe who I did forget (and whom I prefer to, say, Audrey Hepburn) and about 20 others I love nearly as much as these 20 including the much maligned Ms. Kidman and everyone's favorite Georgia Peach --no, not Julia, HOLLY! ...

P.S. 2 Let's have a meme of all time actress love. Post them just like so --no explanation and no ranking necessary

P.S. 3 I've linked up as they came in but I really must stop updating this post now.

P.S. 4 if you need something more accurate about my love please see the earlier post Top 100 of All Time OR the Top 100 of the Aughts which is about 3 years old now and which I will revise in late 2009 to reflect the last 4 years of cinema.

JA's list. Sissy, Samantha, Sigourney oh my.
J.D.'s list. Annie, Knightley, Linney, Ziyi...
El Gringo's list is specifically meant to provoke me. He steals away an adolescent crush (Elisabeth Shue) and my current imaginary gf (Marisa Tomei). He must be stopped!
Nick's list (and I didn't even tag him. Show off) Tilda up top
Peter's list. Lovely photos and my Natalie is there
Glenn's list down under. Toni. Nicole. Michelle. Lily...
Flickhead's list. Deneuve. Kidman. Wood. Weld. yummy
Jeremy's list. Though he cheated and left out the "all time" part ;) It's post 70s only
Ivan's list is fascinating: Holm, Remick, Trevor, Grahame
Celinejulie's list. Very different than the rest
Ed's list. Dalle, Seberg, Schygulla, Thurman...
Sheila's list. Adjani, Kahn, O'Hara, Monroe...
Rick's list. Cheung, Colbert, Pfeiffer, Dunaway. Mmmm
Dave's list: Marlene. Mia. Miranda.
Tony's list has Fonda (Bridget!???), Abril (si!) and more
Bob's list: Masina, Moreau, Testud, Gyllenhaal
Cinebeat's list cheats with 23 ~Three of them have to go!!! But which?
Jonathan opts for only character actresses. StinkyLulu would be proud
Dame Jame's has Marie Dressler & Thelma Ritter. I love this
Darren goes all mysterious with only pics. Can you name all 20?
J.C. goes classic Hollywood. My Norma is there!
Kotto honors performances rather than actresses
StinkyLulu narrows the 20 down even further turning it into a history of his smackdowns
Laura's list: Loretta, Ginger, Irene
Jason cheats too. It's just top 20 of rightnow
Tim's list reflects on all of these lists
Wendymoon commits heresy. Says she likes actors better!

-- the meme has totally evolved! Soon it will walk on two hind legs and learn how to make fire

And... if you would like to read more on any of the actresses above chase their labels below.


Fox said...

Whoa whoa whoa, Nathaniel. Has Kate Winslet really earned the mono-name "Kate"?!? What about Hepburn? I think she owns that if anyone does.

Just giving you a hard time. ;)

p.s. In all honesty, my "Kate" is Kate Middleton. She's adorable. But not an actess, true.

Guy Lodge said...

My twenty, in first-name alphabetical order -- together with their most essential (for me) film. Sorry, I had to embellish:

Ana Torrent (The Spirit of the Beehive)
Audrey Hepburn (Breakfast at Tiffany's)
Cate Blanchett (Heaven)
Charlotte Rampling (Under the Sand)
Elizabeth Taylor (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof)
Ellen Burstyn (The Last Picture Show)
Gong Li (Raise the Red Lantern)
Ingrid Bergman (Autumn Sonata)
Jana Cillers (South African genius and beauty... look her up) (A Private Life)
Jennifer Aniston (oh what the hell, let's annoy people) (The Good Girl)
Judy Davis (Husbands and Wives)
Juliette Binoche (Three Colours: Blue)
Liv Ullmann (Face to Face)
Mia Farrow (The Purple Rose of Cairo)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Love Field)
Simone Signoret (Madame Rosa)
Sissy Spacek (3 Women)
Susan Sarandon (Atlantic City)
Vanessa Redgrave (Blow-Up)
Vivien Leigh (Gone With the Wind)

Please don't hurt me.

Anonymous said...

1. Audrey Hepburn
2. Barbra Streisand
3. Bette Davis
4. Carole Lombard
5. Cate Blanchett
6. Emma Thompson
7. Grace Kelly
8. Ingrid Bergman
9. Judi Dench
10. Judy Garland
11. Julianne Moore
12. Juliette Binoche
13. Kate Winslet
14. Katherine Hepburn
15. Kristin Scott Thomas
16. Meryl Streep
17. Michelle Pfeiffer
18. Nicole Kidman
19. Susan Sarandon
20. Vivien Leigh

Anonymous said...

My favourite + their best work in alphabetic order.

Audrey Hepburn (Roman Holiday
Bette Midler (Isn't She Great)
Emma Thompson (Sense & Sensibility)
Grace Kelly (Rear Window)
Greer Garson (Pride & Prejudice)

Greta Garbo (Queen Christina)
Helena Bonham Carter (Henry VIII on TV)
Helen Mirren (The Queen)
Ingrid Bergman (Murder on the Orient Express)
Jane Fonda (Monster-In-Law)

Jodie Foster (The Silence of the Lambs)
Judi Dench (Mrs Henderson Presents)
Kate Winslet (Titanic)
Keira Knightley (The Duchess)
Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient)

Lauren Bacall (To Have or not To Have)
Meryl Streep (Out of Africa)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns)
Naomi Watts (The Painted Veil)
Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!)

James Colon said...

Laura Linney
Julianne Moore
Meryl Streep
Lauren Bacall
Grace Kelly
Faye Dunaway
Frances McDormand
Audrey Hepburn
Uma Thurman
Mia Farrow
Kim Novak
Diane Keaton
Shirley McLaine
Kate Winslet
Myrna Loy
Jean Arthur
Jessica Lange

Pretty random mish-mash, I know.


there's a poll, too


james --mishmashes are what favorites are all about ;)

David Giancarlo said...

I like the idea of having a favourite performance listed as well.

1) Meryl Streep - Sophie's Choice
2) Bette Davis - All About Eve
3) Vivien Leigh - Gone with the Wind
4) Julianne Moore - Far from Heaven
5) Sophia Loren - The Black Orchid
6) Cloris Leachman - The Last Picture Show
7) Ellen Burstyn - The Last Picture Show
8) Judy Garland - A Star is Born
9) Audrey Hepburn - Roman Holiday
10) Nicole Kidman - Birth
11) Barbra Stanwyck -The Lady Eve
12) Mia Farrow - Rosemary's Baby
13) Tilda Swinton - Female Perversions
14) Liv Ullman - The Passion of Anna
15) Anna Magnani - Wild is the Wind
16) Angela Lansbury - The Manchurian Candidate
17) Tallulah Bankhead - Lifeboat
18) Joan Fontaine - Rebecca
19) Naomi Watts - Mulholland Drive
20) Grace Kelly - Rear Window

David Giancarlo said...

And I perversely left off Catherine Deneuve.

Anonymous said...

Bette Davis
Diane Keaton
Faye Dunaway
Meryl Streep
Jane Fonda
Anne Bancroft
Katharine Hepburn
Isabelle Huppert
Liv Ullmann

Sigourney Weaver
Julia Roberts
Julianne Moore
Uma Thurman
Holly Hunter
Joan Allen
Toni Collette
Nicole Kidman
Susan Sarandon
Ellen Burstyn

Cameron Diaz
Helena Bonham Carter
Naomi Watts
Reese Witherspoon
Charlize Theron
Michelle Williams
Anne Hathaway
Kirsten Dunst

Catherine said...

Lemme see now...

01. Bette Davis (All About Eve)
02. Gena Rowlands (A Woman Under the Influence)
03. Sissy Spacek (Badlands)
04. Laura Linney (You Can Count On Me)
05. Barbara Stanwyck (The Lady Eve)
06. Katharine Hepburn (Bringing Up Baby)
07. Joan Cusack (Working Girl)
08. Mia Farrow (Hannah and Her Sisters)
09. Holly Hunter (The Piano)
10. Julianne Moore (Far From Heaven)
11. Cate Blanchett (The Fellowship of the Ring)
12. Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich)
13. Meryl Streep (Silkwood)
14. Joan Fontaine (Letter From An Unknown Woman)
15. Michelle Pfeiffer (The Fabulous Baker Boys)
16. Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker)
17. Pam Grier (Jackie Brown)
18. Nicole Kidman (Birth)
19. Laura Dern (Inland Empire)
20. Faye Dunaway (Network)

My order is fairly arbitrary, save for maybe the first two spots. Those two are eternal.

Just looking at that list, and at others', gives me a shiver of anticpiation for all the good work I've yet to discover, and for all the much-loved work I can revisit. I voted for Bette in the poll, but really I'd be thrilled with a major retrospective of any of them!

Cengiz said...

Gloria Swanson
Rosalind Russell
Audra McDonald
Bernadette Peters
Angela Lansbury
Judi Dench
Cate Blanchett
Kate Winslett
Laura Linney
Meryl Streep
Toni Collette
Michelle Pfeiffer
Keira Knightly
Renee Zellweger
Katherine Hepburn
Annette Bening
Audrey Tautou
Sophie Okonedo
Jennifer Garner
Helen Mirren


well i didn't mean "best performance" buy those 20... some of them wouldn't make the "top 20 all time performance list ;) and some would have more than one entry.

but those are just my fav 20 with of course another 30 women or so close behind

Catherine said...

My chosen performances aren't necessarily the best of all time (nor are they the individual's best work in some cases), they're just ones that hold special meaning for me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nat,
Surprisingly, my list is almost like yours except for Jane Fonda,Michelle Pfieffer, and Juliette Moore...

I would put in their place:Susan Hayward,Bette Midler and Deborah Kerr.

Jason Adams said...

I felt like I was carving off my limbs, whittling this down to 20. I am limbless! But I posted a list.

Guy Lodge said...

"My chosen performances aren't necessarily the best of all time (nor are they the individual's best work in some cases), they're just ones that hold special meaning for me."

Yeah, same for mine -- it's still an actress list, not a performance list.

Deborah said...

Not personally being an actressexual, I haven't pre-thought out my list, but it would surely include (off the top of my head) Kate Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Cate Blanchett, Judy Garland, Janet Leigh, Myrna Loy, Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman, Liv Tyler, Lili Taylor, and Ida Lupino.

Deborah said...

Oops, left off Ingrid Bergman. That was just pure oversight, she's near the top.

And Cyd Charisse. Or, Cyd Charisse's legs, at any rate.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about "all-time favourites", but actresses I really like and will see in almost anything (off the top of my head):

Angelina Jolie
Cate Blanchett
Catherine Deneuve
Joan Cusack
Judy Garland
Julia Roberts
Julie Andrews
Kate Winslet
Katharine Hepburn
Lauren Bacall
Maribel Verdu
Meryl Streep
Nicole Kidman
Paz Vega
Reese Witherspoon
Victoria Abril

and completing from the small screen (to make it to 20):

Amanda Tapping (Carter)
Allyson Hannigan (Willow)
Katee Sackhof (Starbuck)
Nana Visitor (Kyra Nerys)

Question: what's a "meme"?

Sally Belle said...

Best most underrated....Natalie Wood.

other personal faves
Ingrid Bergman
Katherine Hepburn
Rosiland Russell
Carol Lombard

Love Emma Thompson, Vanessa redgrave
Hate the "new breed" Scarlett Johansson *yawn*
Kirsten Dunst - good but somehow annoying
Anna Faris not really funny, just obvious

Where are our twenty somethings stepping up?

Anonymous said...


spacek,streep,close,weaver,fonda,roberts,winslet,thompson,knightley & davis

Anonymous said...

another 10


Anonymous said...

my 1st top 10 missed winslet,moore & sarandon.

J.D. said...

Okay, mine's finally done. That was WORK. LOL. Fun, though.

Anonymous said...

here it's mine(so hard considering that I am also an actressexual)Top 10

Nicole Kidman
Juliane Moore
Meryl Streep
Cate Blanchett
Maggie Cheung
Ingrid Bergman
Liv Ullmann
Vivien Leigh
Audrey Hepburn
Bette Davis

so many other ladies come close but those inspire my devotion...

Anonymous said...

More Maggie cheung please!

She is in Inglourious Basterds!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Cate Blanchett, Halle Berry, Meryl Streep, Julie Andrews, Audrey Hepburn, Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon, Whoopi Goldberg, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Maggie Smith, Glenn Close, Renee Zelwegger, Sandra Bullock, Amy Adams, Winona Ryder, Michelle Pfeiffer, Natalie Portman

Anonymous said...

Sigourney Weaver for me. She's so great that I'm not even gonna bother naming the rest 19 actresses.

Anonymous said...

nate - our lists are very similar. i would probably take off hillary swank and put on myrna loy though.

Anonymous said...

i always felt like rosiland russell was yelling. kind of like the old show "The Jeffersons"....all of those characters were always yelling at each other. rosiland russell would have been a great "guest star" on "The Jeffersons" mixes up Weezies gown and rosiland's gown at the dry cleaners. Rosiland is in town for a big awards show. roz has to come up to the apartment at the last minute to get her gown. florence, of course, does not believe it's rosiland russell and smart talks her.


hilary swank? WHAT?!?

Anonymous said...

I'll do the list but I can't duplicate the format. Sorry, but my tech skills are sort of limited.

Dame James said...

Can we please get a Norma Shearer retrospective no matter the outcome of that poll? I'm afraid I'm the only one who voted for her and the Queen of MGM deserves more respect than that, don't you think? She was the most wildly inconsistent actress I've ever encountered and I can't get enough; even when she goes off the deep end, she's ever watchable. And when she was on, she was totally on.

elgringo said...

Here's my link! Thanks for the tag!

Anonymous said...

no Kidman ?

She's the only one who's been in more than 5 movies that you liked since 2000's

and yet you snub her ?

Come on, she's been nominated for your awards multiple times in 7 years

moulin rouge
the others
the hours
margot at the wedding

oh what a traitor you are


angry kidman fan i l-o-v-e Kidman. But this is "all time" and i have to make room for 80+ years of cinema. Kidman is bubbling under along with Brooks, Hunter, Thompson, Farrow, Garson and Stanwyck so it's good company to be in ;)

my entire top 100 (all time) is here. Kidman was in the top 40 when last I made the all-time list and she's #1 for this particular decade last time I listed that (October 2005).

Anonymous said...

In no particular order, the 20 that speak the most to me and my favorite performance (not necessarily the "greatest") of each...

Susan Sarandon (Safe Passage)
Kate Winslet (Eternal Sunshine)
Alfre Woodard (Crooklyn)
Toni Collette (Muriel's Wedding)
Katharine Hepburn (Desk Set)
Madeleine Kahn (Clue)
Cate Blanchett (Bandits)
Shirley MacLaine (Steel Magnolias)
Bette Davis (Now, Voyager)
Julianne Moore (Far From Heaven)
Anne Bancroft (Home for the Holidays)
Stockard Channing (Six Degrees)
Ann Sothern (A Letter to 3 Wives)
Sally Field (Soapdish)
Sigourney Weaver (Copycat)
Lily Tomlin (Nashville)
Angela Bassett (What's Love Got To Do With It?)
Meryl Streep (The Hours)
Maggie Smith (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie)
Myrna Loy (The Best Years of our Lives)

Anonymous said...

I thought Marilyn Monroe would have been in your top 20 favourite actresses.


adam h oops. you're right. She was supposed to be.

the list needs rejiggering anyway. Maybe in 2009 I shall do something more extensive.

or maybe i'll try to do actors since i've never given them their due

Anonymous said...

i was kidding about the hillary swank thingy....just wanted to make sure you were checking. tee hee.

larainesroses said...

Please do not forget about Maureen O'Hara .. a beautiful woman, great actress AND still alive.

Sheila O'Malley said...

This was so fun and surprisingly difficult. I've had a blast looking at everyone else's choices. Here is my list!

Sheila O'Malley said...

Oops, no HTML: Here is my list!

Tony Dayoub said...

I was tagged by Jeremy, and here is my list: My Favorite Twenty Actresses

Unknown said...



Dave said...

Voila! (J.D. tagged me.)

This might be a good time to add something I've been meaning to say for a while: I am very grateful for all the linkage you give me. (Long may it continue! Hee.)

Bob Turnbull said...

I haven't been tagged, but I did one as well (as promised from a previous comment).

I'm starting to think about actors now...

Anonymous said...

I just posted my own list too.

Oddly enough Bob and I used the same pic of Catherine Deneuve. Obviously Bob has fabulous taste!

Greg said...

Nathaniel - Rick tagged me for this and I put my list up today. Character actresses only, no leads. Go here for Dames in Frames.

Bob Turnbull said...

It is funny that Kimberly and I chose the same Deneuve picture - especially when there's thousands of great ones of her. I thought about choosing a more recent classy shot, but it was too hard to pass up that one.

Bill and I chose the same Dianne Wiest picture too.

Dame James said...

Here's my list , if it's not too late.

Darren said...

Here's mine. I could have tweaked and tweaked that thing for another week or two.

Paul Kell said...

i couldn't resist crashing your party by inviting myself to the festivities:

hope my list makes the cut.

Anonymous said...

My top 20- Meryl Streep, Michelle Pfeiffer, Marilyn Monroe, Julianne Moore, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Kate Winslet, Rosalind Russell, Barbara Stanwyck, Susan Sarandon, Sissy Spacek, Isabelle Huppert, Judy Garland, Catherine deneuve, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Liv Ullman, Mia Farrow, Holly Hunter and Ellen Burstyn.

J.C. Loophole said...

I was tagged by the Self Styled Siren- so I am adding my list:

StinkyLulu said...

My riff on the meme is finally up.

Jason Bellamy said...

Another cheater to your collection. These have been great fun. Thanks for starting.

Anonymous said...

I saw this and wanted to post a link to an article I just wrote on Small Screen Scream Queens. There's a few more than 25, but it's as close as I could get!!!

Tim Lucas said...

Just posted my own list at Video WatchBlog:

Thanks for the inspiration!

Wendymoon said...

Wow, that was hard! I've finished my list, and have issued a challenge!

Laura said...

I was tagged by J.C. at the's my list:

20 Favorite Actresses

Love all these lists! What a fun idea. :)

Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

Kate Winslet (divine)
Catherine Deneuve (so gorgeous)
Nicole Kidman
Joan Crawford (eyes!)
Julianne Moore

Natalie Portman
Meryl Streep
Emma Thompson (now theres a real actress!)
Liv Tyler
Kirstin Dunst

Audrey Tautou
Julia Roberts (old school!)
Angelina Jolie (in the old days)
Toni Collette
Drew Barrymore

Scarlett Johansson (although I wouldnt say it too loud)
Vanessa Redgrave (of course I have to...)
Mia Farrow
Marylin Monroe
Juliette Binoche


wow thanks to everyone who played (and still is playing though i'm not updating this post anymore!)

D Cairns said...

My entry. 20 actresses I love, but not in "that way".

Anonymous said...

You want afrench point of view, i put my list in line here :
Hope i'll be followed by others.
Nice idea to work with.

celinejulie said...

I tagged Filmsick, and here is his list:

il Gatto said...

Hi !
Another french (and italian) point of view here

Joel Bocko said...

Great meme you started here. I just did my list, and included great film clips from all of the actresses'.

You can see it here:

Joel Bocko said...

(Also, Guy, good on Ana Torrent. I thought about including her but felt it might be weird to include a little kid amongst all the beautiful women! Obviously a "favorite" for different reasons than, say, Marilyn Monroe.)

Anonymous said...

And yet one more take, for anyone interested:

20 Favorite Actresses . . . this week . . .


Joachim said...

Hi !
I made my list too !

Anonymous said...

20. Joan Crawford
19. Norma Shearer
18. Sarah Polley
17. Sissy Spacek
16. Shirley MacLaine
15. Emma Thompson
14. Olivia de Havilland
13. Juliette Binoche
12. Myrna Loy
11. Glenn Close
10. Emily Watson
9. Jodie Foster
8. Meryl Streep
7. Barbara Stanwyck
6. Kate Winslet
5. Natalie Wood
4. Gong Li
3. Audrey Hepburn
2. Katherine Hepburn
1. Bette Davis

Anonymous said...

Me too! Nice idea!

karigee said...

I'm very late with this, but it didn't seem too deadline oriented ... Still, my apologies. I'm just now coming around to 2009.

Ned Merrill said...

A month later...

Anonymous said...

My list has some similarities (everyone loves Binoche) but also has some choices no one else seems to have included.

J.L said...

I've been updating my list
1. Bette Davis
2. Meryl Streep
3. Katharine Hepburn
4. Vivien Leigh
5. Greta Garbo
6. Audrey Hepburn
7. Ingrid Bergman
8. Michelle Pfeiffer
9. Nicole Kidman
10. Elizabeth Taylor
11. Kate Winslet
12. Olivia de Havilland
13. Greer Garson
14. Jane Fonda
15. Cate Blanchett
16. Deborah Kerr
17. Claudette Colbert
18. Barbara Stanwyck
19. Emma Thompson
20. Lilian Gish

vg21 said...

My favourite 20 actresses (just a list, not a rank):

1.Meryl Streep (except for her - best among the best:))
2.Emma Thompson
3.Catherine Deneuve
4.Helen Mirren,
5.Judi Dench
6.Maggie Smith
7.Kristin Scott Thomas
8.Susan Sarandon
9.Vanessa Redgrave
10.Kate Winslet
11.Cate Blanchett
12.Julianne Moore
13.Annette Bening
14.Isabelle Huppert
15.Nathalie Baye
16.Isabella Rossellini
17.Laura Linney
18.Frances McDormand
19.Michelle Pfeiffer
20.Diane Keaton