Famous 19th Century Actresses

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Actresses, including Mae West, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, Sarah Bernhardt and Hattie McDaniel.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century Actresses

 1 Esme Creed-Miles

Esme Creed-Miles
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 5, 2000
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London Borough of Barnet Barnet, England

 2 Ethel Barrymore

Ethel Barrymore
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 15, 1879
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 18, 1959

 3 Billie Burke

Billie Burke
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 7, 1884
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Died: May 14, 1970
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 4 Sarah Bernhardt

Sarah Bernhardt
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 22, 1844
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 26, 1923

Sarah Bernhardt was a French actress known for playing important roles in popular French plays of the early-20th century.  Her decision to play Hamlet inspired Theresa Rebeck's play Bernhardt/Hamlet, in which Janet McTeer portrayed Sarah Bernhardt. In 1960, Bernhardt became the earliest born person to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 5 Kathrine Narducci

Kathrine Narducci
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 22, 1965
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

 6 Lillie Langtry

Lillie Langtry
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 13, 1853
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Jersey
Died: February 12, 1929

 7 Virginia Dare

Virginia Dare
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 6, 1882
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 8, 1962
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 8 Theda Bara

Theda Bara
2
Famous As: Former actress of the silent era and one of cinema's early sex symbols
Birthdate: July 29, 1885
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: April 7, 1955

 9 Adele Astaire

Adele Astaire
2
Famous As: Actor, Dancer, Stage actor
Birthdate: September 10, 1896
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Omaha
Died: January 25, 1981

 10 Ethel Waters

Ethel Waters
2
Famous As: Actor, Singer, Jazz musician, Stage actor
Birthdate: October 31, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chester County
Died: September 1, 1977

 11 Marion Lorne

Marion Lorne
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 12, 1883
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Pittston, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 9, 1968

 12 Spring Byington

Spring Byington
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 17, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Died: September 7, 1971

 13 Dame Gladys Cooper

Dame Gladys Cooper
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 18, 1888
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hither Green, London, United Kingdom
Died: November 17, 1971

 14 Judith Anderson

Judith Anderson
3
Famous As: stage actor, film actor
Birthdate: February 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Adelaide
Died: January 3, 1992

 15 Lola Montez

Lola Montez
2
Famous As: Stage dancer
Birthdate: February 17, 1821
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grange, Ireland
Died: January 17, 1861

 16 Mabel Normand

Mabel Normand
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New Brighton, Staten Island,
Died: February 23, 1930

 17 Virginia Rappe

Virginia Rappe
2
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: July 7, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 9, 1921

 18 Marie Dressler

Marie Dressler
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 9, 1868
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cobourg, Canada
Died: July 28, 1934

Marie Dressler was a Canadian comedian and actress. A major film star during the Depression-era, Dressler received the 1931 Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Min Divot in the 1930 American comedy-drama film, Min and Bill. Her life and career inspired a play titled Queen Marie, which was written by Shirley Barrie.

 19 Gracie Fields

Gracie Fields
2
Famous As: Actress, Singer who was highest paid film star in the world in 1937
Birthdate: January 9, 1898
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rochdale, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Died: September 27, 1979

 20 Edna Purviance

Edna Purviance
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 21, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paradise Valley, Nevada, United States
Died: January 11, 1958

 21 Alla Nazimova

Alla Nazimova
17
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 3, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Yalta, Crimea, Russian Empire
Died: July 13, 1945

Alla Nazimova was a Russian-American actress who had an extensive career on Broadway. She acted in the classic plays of playwrights like Ibsen, Chekhov, and Turgenev. She eventually moved on to films and had an equally successful stint in cinema as well. She was openly bisexual and had sexual relationships with women while being married to a man.

 22 Maud Gonne

Maud Gonne
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 21, 1866
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tongham, United Kingdom
Died: April 27, 1953

Maud Gonne not just co-founded the Sinn Féin party but also participated in the theater movement of W.B Yeats, who made her his muse and proposed to her many times, only to be rejected. An Irish nationalist, she also formed the Daughters of Ireland and acted in Yeats’s first play Cathleen ni Houlihan.

 23 Peggy Wood

Peggy Wood
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: March 18, 1978

 24 Dorothy Gish

Dorothy Gish
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 11, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: June 4, 1968

 25 Maude Adams

Maude Adams
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 11, 1872
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Died: July 17, 1953

 26 Margaret Dumont

Margaret Dumont
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 20, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Died: March 6, 1965

 27 Loie Fuller

Loie Fuller
2
Famous As: Actor, Lighting designer, Choreographer, Artist, Dancer, Stage actor, Model
Birthdate: January 15, 1862
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Illinois
Died: January 1, 1928

 28 Dorothea Jordan

Dorothea Jordan
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 22, 1761
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Waterford, Ireland
Died: July 5, 1816

 29 Moyna Macgill

Moyna Macgill
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 10, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Belfast, Ireland
Died: November 25, 1975

 30 Ellen Terry

Ellen Terry
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 27, 1847
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Coventry, United Kingdom
Died: July 21, 1928

 31 Bessie Love

Bessie Love
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 10, 1898
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Midland, Texas, United States
Died: April 26, 1986

 32 Colleen Moore

Colleen Moore
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 19, 1899
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Port Huron, Michigan, U.S.
Died: January 25, 1988

 33 Ruth Chatterton

Ruth Chatterton
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 24, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: November 24, 1961

 34 Helena Modjeska

Helena Modjeska
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 12, 1840
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Free City of Cracow
Died: April 8, 1909

 35 Una O Connor

Una O Connor
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 23, 1880
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Belfast, Ireland
Died: February 4, 1959

 36 Gertrude Lawrence

Gertrude Lawrence
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 4, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Newington, London, United Kingdom
Died: September 6, 1952

Gertrude Lawrence was an English actress, singer, and dancer. She also performed musical comedy in the West End of London and on Broadway in New York. She was introduced to the entertainment world as a child and grew up to become a famous multi-faceted performer. She won several awards. In her later years, she taught acting. 

 37 Texas Guinan

Texas Guinan
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 12, 1884
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Waco, Texas, U.S.
Died: November 5, 1933

 38 Anna Held

Anna Held
2
Famous As: Actress, Singer
Birthdate: March 19, 1872
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: August 12, 1918

Anna Held was a Polish singer and stage performer. Although her personal life and relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld overshadowed her professional career, Anna Held's uninhibited style inspired the popular theatrical revue productions on Broadway, The Ziegfeld Follies. Her relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld also inspired films like The Great Ziegfeld and Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women.

 39 Alice Brady

Alice Brady
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 2, 1892
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: October 28, 1939

 40 Adah Isaacs Menken

Adah Isaacs Menken
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 15, 1835
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: August 10, 1868

 41 Marilyn Miller

Marilyn Miller
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 1, 1898
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Evansville, Indiana, United States
Died: April 7, 1936

 42 Sophie Tucker

Sophie Tucker
35
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 13, 1886
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tul'chyn, Ukraine
Died: February 9, 1966

 43 Nellie Clifden

Nellie Clifden
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Unknown

 44 Lily Pons

Lily Pons
2
Famous As: American-French operatic soprano
Birthdate: April 12, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Draguignan, France
Died: February 13, 1976

 45 Beatrice Lillie

Beatrice Lillie
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 29, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Died: January 20, 1989

 46 Molly Picon

Molly Picon
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 28, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: April 5, 1992

 47 Tina Modotti

Tina Modotti
2
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: August 17, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Udine, Italy
Died: January 5, 1942

Italian-American photographer Tina Modotti was the daughter of migrant laborers in Austria. She later worked in a textile factory in Italy, before moving to the U.S., where she acted in Italian theater. Initially excelling in still lifes and portraits, she later gained fame for her signature close-ups of Mexican workers.

 48 Lillian Russell

Lillian Russell
1
Famous As: Former Actress, Singer known for her beauty and style, as well as for her voice and stage presence
Birthdate: December 4, 1860
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Clinton, Iowa, United States
Died: June 6, 1922

 49 Celia Lovsky

Celia Lovsky
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 21, 1897
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 12, 1979

 50 Valérie Quennessen

Valérie Quennessen
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 3, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Died: March 19, 1989