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.

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 1 Mae West

Mae West.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 17, 1893
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bushwick
Died: November 22, 1980
Mae West began her career as a child actor in vaudeville. She later appeared in films such as You Done Me Wrong and Go West, Young Man. She became famous for her signature double entendres and sexual liberty she projected on screen. She also wrote books and plays later.

 2 Hattie McDaniel

Mae West.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 10, 1895
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wichita
Died: October 26, 1952

Hattie McDaniel was an American actress, comedian, and singer-songwriter. She became the first African-American to be honored with an Academy Award when her portrayal of Mammy earned her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Also a radio performer, Hattie McDaniel was the first African American woman to express her skills as a singer on the radio in the US.

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 3 Mary Pickford

Mae West.
3
Famous As: Actress, Producer, Screenwriter
Birthdate: April 8, 1892
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toronto
Died: May 29, 1979

Academy Award-winning Canadian-American actor Gladys Marie Smith, better known by her pseudonym, Mary Pickford, was also one of the co-founders of Pickford–Fairbanks Studios and United Artists. She and 35 others co-founded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She was also known as "America's Sweetheart" of silent films.

 4 Gloria Swanson

Mae West.
3
Birthdate: March 27, 1899
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died: April 4, 1983

Actress and producer, Gloria Swanson, appeared in dozens of silent films in the 1920s and became a prominent Hollywood figure. As a teenager, she ventured into acting by chance and became a popular face soon after. After establishing herself as an actress, she became a filmmaker as well and is considered one of the film industry's pioneering women filmmakers.

 5 Ethel Barrymore

Mae West.
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 15, 1879
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: June 18, 1959

 6 Billie Burke

Mae West
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 7, 1884
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Died: May 14, 1970

 7 Josephine Earp

Mae West
3
Famous As: actor
Birthdate: 1861 AD
Birthplace: Brooklyn
Died: December 19, 1944
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 8 Irene Dunne

Mae West.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 20, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Died: December 4, 1990

Irene Dunne was a prominent actor of the Golden Age of Hollywood. She is best known for her comedy roles and was nominated for the Academy Award five times. Some of her best-known films were Theodora Goes Wild and I Remember Mama. A devout Catholic, she received the papal knighthood.

 9 Sarah Bernhardt

Mae West.
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.

 10 Shirley Booth

Mae West.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 30, 1898
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Died: October 16, 1992

Shirley Booth is best remembered for her Academy Award-winning role in Come Back, Little Sheba and was one of only 24 people to earn the Triple Crown of Acting, namely the Academy, the Primetime Emmy, and the Tony awards. She also appeared in a TV production of The Glass Menagerie.

 11 Kathrine Narducci

Mae West.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 22, 1965
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: East Harlem, New York City, New York, USA

 12 Ethel Waters

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

 13 Adele Astaire

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

 14 Lola Montez

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

 15 Gracie Fields

Mae West
2
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Singer
Birthdate: January 9, 1898
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rochdale
Died: September 27, 1979

 16 Judith Anderson

Mae West
2
Famous As: stage actor, film actor
Birthdate: February 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Adelaide
Died: January 3, 1992

 17 Marie Dressler

Mae West.
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 9, 1868
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cobourg, Ontario, 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.

 18 Dorothea Jordan

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

 19 Margaret Dumont

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

 20 Loie Fuller

Mae West
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

 21 Bessie Love

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

 22 Anna Held

Mae West.
2
Famous As: Actress, Singer
Birthdate: March 8, 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.

 23 Ruth Chatterton

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

 24 Nellie Clifden

Mae West
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Unknown

 25 Dorothy Gibson

Mae West
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 17, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hoboken, New Jersey, United States
Died: February 17, 1946

 26 Adele Spitzeder

Mae West
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 9, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: October 28, 1895

 27 Adah Isaacs Menken

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

 28 Grace Moore

Mae West.
1
Famous As: Opera Singer & Actress
Birthdate: December 5, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Del Rio, Tennessee, United States
Died: January 26, 1947

 29 Martita Hunt

Mae West
1
Famous As: Actor, Stage actor
Birthdate: January 30, 1899
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Buenos Aires
Died: June 13, 1969

 30 Jeanne Eagels

Mae West.
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 26, 1890
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri
Died: October 3, 1929

 31 Elinor Glyn

Mae West
1
Famous As: Actor, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter
Birthdate: October 17, 1864
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint Helier
Died: September 23, 1943

 32 Pearl White

Mae West.
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 4, 1889
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Green Ridge
Died: August 4, 1938

 33 Georgiana Barrymore

Mae West
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 11, 1856
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died: July 2, 1893

 34 Elsie de Wolfe

Mae West
1
Famous As: Actor, Architect, Socialite
Birthdate: December 20, 1865
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: July 12, 1950

One of the first female interior designers of her time, Elsie de Wolfe was largely known for her anti-Victorian elements in her designs. She was also a professional stage actor and had also launched her own theater company. Her works include the Colony Club, New York’s first women’s club.

 35 Lynn Fontanne

Mae West.
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 6, 1887
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Woodford, London, England, UK
Died: July 30, 1983

 36 Polaire

Mae West
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 14, 1874
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Algiers, Algiers, Algeria
Died: October 11, 1939

 37 Fanny Kemble

Mae West
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 27, 1809
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 15, 1893

 38 Corinne Griffith

Mae West.
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 21, 1894
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Texarkana, Texas, U.S.
Died: July 13, 1979

 39 Jeanne Duval

Mae West
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: 1820 AD
Birthplace: Jacmel, Haiti
Died: 1862 AD

 40 Helena Modjeska

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

 41 Betty Compson

Mae West.
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 19, 1897
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Beaver, Utah
Died: April 18, 1974

 42 Elisabeth Bergner

Mae West.
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 22, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Drohobych, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Drohobych, Ukraine)
Died: May 12, 1986

 43 Juliette Drouet

Mae West
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 10, 1806
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Fougères, Brittany, France
Died: May 11, 1883

 44 Harriet Smithson

Mae West
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 18, 1800
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ennis, County Clare, Ireland
Died: March 3, 1854

 45 Laura Keene

Mae West
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 20, 1826
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: November 4, 1873

 46 Louisa Lane Drew

Mae West
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 10, 1820
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 31, 1897

 47 Madge Kendal

Mae West
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 15, 1848
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Grimsby, England
Died: September 14, 1935

 48 Mary Garden

Mae West
1
Famous As: Singer, Opera singer, Actor
Birthdate: February 20, 1874
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Aberdeen
Died: January 3, 1967

 49 Charlotte Cushman

Mae West
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 23, 1816
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 18, 1876

 50 Marie Dorval

Mae West
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 6, 1798
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lorient, France
Died: May 20, 1849