American Female Directors

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 American Female Directors

 1 Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 10, 1984
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Popular actress and filmmaker, Olivia Wilde shot to fame with the award winning medical drama, House. Since then, she has appeared in numerous movies and television productions like TRON: Legacy, Richard Jewell and Bickford Shmeckler’s Cool Ideas; made her Broadway debut with 1984 and directorial debut with Booksmart. She is also a board member of Artists for Peace and Justice.

 2 Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 25, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

An actress, director, writer, and producer, Rashida Jones is a multi-talented woman who first gained prominence as a TV actress. A Harvard University graduate, the bright young woman entered the entertainment industry in the mid-1990s and has since made a name for herself. She is the recipient of several awards including a Grammy.

 3 Sally Field

Sally Field
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 6, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pasadena, California, United States

An acclaimed American actress, Sally Field has won prestigious awards, such as Academy Awards and Emmy Awards. Apart from being a popular actress, Sally Field has also played an important role as an activist, advocating for gay rights and women's rights. She has been part of the board of directors of an international women's NGO called Vital Voices Global Partnership.

Recommended Lists:

 4 Krysten Ritter

Krysten Ritter
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 16, 1981
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, United States

Krysten Ritter is an actress and model. She uses her popularity to promote animal rights; she has posed for advertisement campaigns organized by PETA. Also a singer and guitarist, Ritter formed an indie rock duo named Ex Vivian along with her friend William Thomas Burnett. Krysten Ritter is also a writer; her debut novel Bonfire was released in 2017.

 5 Regina King

Regina King
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 15, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Regina King was first noticed when she appeared in the series 227 and then gained fame with her role in Jerry Maguire. Her performance as Sharon Rivers in If Beale Street Could Talk won her both the Academy and the Golden Globe awards for Best Supporting Actress.

 6 Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

American actress, Kerry Washington, attained fame when she starred in the television series, Scandal, which ran from 2012 to 2018. She was also commended for her role in the television film, Confirmation, and for the miniseries, Little Fires Everywhere. She has also acted in films like The Last King of Scotland, Django Unchained, Our Song, The Dead Girl and American Son.

 7 Troian Bellisario

Troian Bellisario
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 28, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Troian Bellisario is best known for her Teen Choice Award-winning performance as Spencer Hastings in Pretty Little Liars. She was also appreciated for her role as Amanda in the film Consent, which earned her a Vision Fest Award, and for her performance in the WIGS web series Lauren.
You May Like

 8 Anjelica Huston

Anjelica Huston
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 8, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

Born to actor-director John Huston and ballerina Enrica Soma, Anjelica Huston was no stranger to the world of entertainment as a child. Initially a model, she later became full-time actor and won an Academy Award for her role in Prizzi's Honor. She later became a regular in Wes Anderson’s films.

 9 Kyra Sedgwick

Kyra Sedgwick
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Kyra Sedgwick is a popular American filmmaker and actress. Such is her popularity as a TV actress that Kyra Sedgwick started earning around US$300,000 per episode in 2007. Among many other prestigious awards, such as an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award, she has also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

 10 Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 8, 1964
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Melissa Gilbert is an actress and politician. She played an important and influential role in the American film and TV industry while serving as the president of the Screen Actors Guild between 2001 and 2005. Also a writer, Melissa Gilbert has published an autobiography, cookbook, and short story for children.

 11 Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy
4
Famous As: Actress & Singer
Birthdate: June 26, 1992
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States

An American actress, singer, songwriter, filmmaker, writer, and YouTuber, Jennette McCurdy is truly an inspiration to several young girls and women; despite suffering from conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia, and bulimia, McCurdy has managed to establish herself as a successful entertainer. As a writer, she has contributed immensely to publications like The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Seventeen.

 12 Penny Marshall

Penny Marshall
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 15, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States
Died: December 17, 2018

 13 Sofia Coppola

Sofia Coppola
4
Famous As: Director
Birthdate: May 14, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

The daughter of the popular filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola followed in her father's footsteps to become a screenwriter and filmmaker. Sofia became only the second woman to win the Best Director award in the history of Cannes Film Festival when she won the award at the 2017 Festival.

 14 Lea Thompson

Lea Thompson
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 31, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Initially a ballerina, Lea Thompson later deviated to acting, after being told she didn’t have the perfect body to pursue ballet. She then modeled for Burger King and eventually bagged a role in Jaws 3-D. She later gained fame with Caroline in the City and the Back to the Future trilogy.

 15 Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow
4
Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: November 27, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Carlos, California, United States

 16 Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 4, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States
Known as an “it girl,” Greta Gerwig has been a major part of mumblecore films and has been seen in many of Joe Swanberg’s and Noah Baumbach’s films. Named to TIME 100, she has also earned Academy Award nominations for her directorial work in Lady Bird and Little Women

 17 Sasha Alexander

Sasha Alexander
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 17, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Active in Hollywood for over two decades, actress Sasha Alexander began her career in theater. Soon, she moved on to TV and appeared in a few shows before gaining popularity. She has also acted in many short films and feature films and is the winner of one People's Choice Award. One interesting fact about her is that she is multilingual.

 18 Lake Bell

Lake Bell
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 24, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Lake Bell is an American actress, screenwriter, and director. Also known for her good looks and fashion sense, Bell has been featured on lists like Femme Fatales' 50 Sexiest Women, Maxim's Hot 100, and British Vogue's 10 Best Dressed Women. Apart from being an actress and model, Bell also contributes as an automotive writer and editor to The Hollywood Reporter.

 19 Kendra Lust

Kendra Lust
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 18, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Madison Heights, Michigan, USA

 20 Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates
9
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 28, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Best known as Molly Brown from Titanic, Annie Wilkes from Misery, and Ethel Darling from American Horror Story, two-time Emmy-winner Kathy Bates also has an Academy Award in her kitty. She has survived ovarian cancer and breast cancer and is now a prominent advocate for lymphatic disease awareness. 

 21 Whitney Cummings

Whitney Cummings
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: September 4, 1982
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Georgetown, Washington, District of Columbia, USA

 22 Mädchen Amick

Mädchen Amick
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 12, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sparks, Nevada, United States

Mädchen Amick is an American actress known for playing important roles in popular TV series like Twin Peaks and Witches of East End. Amick's portrayal of Shelly Johnson in Twin Peaks contributed immensely to the success of the series, which eventually attained a cult status; in 2018, a musician named Tobias paid homage to the series in her music video.

 23 Asa Akira

Asa Akira
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 3, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Japanese-American adult film star Asa Akira created history by becoming the third Asian-origin performer to win the AVN Female Performer of the Year. Known for her countless tattoos, she initially also worked on the radio show Bubba the Love Sponge. She considers herself a feminist and a sex-positive person.

 24 Alexandra Hedison

Alexandra Hedison
4
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: July 10, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Alexandra Hedison is a renowned photographer and has exhibited her creations at numerous galleries, throughout the U.S. and Europe. She has also appeared in the series The L Word and Nash Bridges. Openly lesbian, she has dated Ellen DeGeneres in the past and is now married to Jodie Foster.

 25 Lisa Niemi

Lisa Niemi
6
Famous As: Actress, Director
Birthdate: May 26, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Houston, Texas
Lisa Niemi is known for her appearance in Steel Dawn and One Last Dance, with her former husband Patrick Swayze. She also released memoirs, both New York Times bestsellers and one of them co-written by Swayze. Swayze’s death due to pancreatic cancer led her to spread awareness about the ailment.

 26 Pamela Adlon

Pamela Adlon
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 9, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 27 Emily Mortimer

Emily Mortimer
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 6, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England

Emily Mortimer is an English-American screenwriter and actress. Mortimer, who started her acting career in stage productions, went on to establish herself as a bankable actress in the British film and TV industry. In 2010, she became an American citizen and has since been playing important roles in American films.

 28 Daniela Ruah

Daniela Ruah
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 2, 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Portuguese-American actress, Daniela Rua,h is best known for her role in the TV series, NCIS: Los Angeles. She began acting as a teenager and went on to study performing arts at the London Metropolitan University. She then trained at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute before commencing her professional career. She works in both Portuguese and American films.

 29 Soleil Moon Frye

Soleil Moon Frye
4
Famous As: Actress, Director
Birthdate: August 6, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Glendora, California, United States
Soleil Moon Frye started as a child actor, with the series Punky Brewster. She also gained fame as Sabrina Spellman’s friend Roxie in the series Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She later voiced characters for series such as The Proud Family. She has also authored books and owns a children’s boutique.

 30 Nina Hartley

Nina Hartley
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 11, 1959
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, USA

 31 Sosie Bacon

Sosie Bacon
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 15, 1992
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: United States
Sosie Bacon is best known as Skye Miller from Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and as Charlie Johnson from The Closer. She is the daughter of actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. She played 10-year-old Emily Stoll in her debut film, Loverboy. Sosie was declared Miss Golden Globe in 2014. 

 32 Sondra Locke

Sondra Locke
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Shelbyville, Tennessee
Died: November 3, 2018
Sondra Locke is best remembered for her Academy Award-nominated role in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. She was one of the first female filmmakers of Hollywood. Sondra had a platonic marriage to gay sculptor Gordon Leigh Anderson and later dated her co-star of many films, Clint Eastwood.

 33 Camilla Belle

Camilla Belle
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 2, 1986
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Camilla Belle is best known for her roles in The Lost World, The Patriot, When a Stranger Calls, and 10,000 BC. She has earned multiple Young Artist Award nominations, including those for the film Practical Magic and the series Walker, Texas Ranger. She is known to have dated Joe Jonas.

 34 Amy Jo Johnson

Amy Jo Johnson
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 6, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dennis, Massachusetts, United States

Amy Jo Johnson is an American-Canadian filmmaker, actress, singer, and songwriter. Over the years, Johnson has been honored at several important film festivals including Long Island Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. A multi-talented personality, Amy Jo Johnson has also directed a couple of films like Tammy's Always Dying and The Space Between.

 35 Diane Ladd

Diane Ladd
9
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 29, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Meridian, Mississippi, United States

Diane Ladd is an American actress, author, and filmmaker. Over the years, Diane Ladd has contributed immensely to the success of several films and TV series. Perhaps, her greatest contribution to Hollywood is guiding and mentoring her daughter and Academy Award-winning actress Laura Dern. Both Ladd and Dern received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress for the film Rambling Rose

 36 Clea DuVall

Clea DuVall
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 25, 1977
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 37 Chloe Zhao

Chloe Zhao
4
Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: March 31, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Chinese filmmaker Chloé Zhao is best known for directing films such as Songs My Brothers Taught Me and The Rider, both of which earned Independent Spirit Award nominations. Her film Nomadland won her the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. She is also directing the Marvel film Eternals.

 38 Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay
4
Famous As: Filmmaker
Birthdate: August 24, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States

 39 Kayden Kross

Kayden Kross
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, USA

 40 Debbie Allen

Debbie Allen
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Debbie Allen is an actress, dancer, choreographer, and singer-songwriter.  She appeared in the musical-drama TV series Fame and also worked as the series’ principal choreographer. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including three Emmy Awards. She runs the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles and is a former member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. 

 41 Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron
4
Famous As: Screenwriter, Producer, Director
Birthdate: May 19, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: June 26, 2012

Nora Ephron was an American writer, filmmaker, and journalist. She is known for writing films like Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally... The Nora Ephron Prize was created by the Tribeca Film Festival in her memory. Her life and work inspired the 2016 documentary film Everything Is Copy, which was directed by her son Jacob Bernstein.

 42 Odeya Rush

Odeya Rush
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 12, 1997
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Haifa, Israel

Odeya Rush is an Israeli model and actress best known for playing lead roles in American films like The Giver, The Bachelors, and Let It Snow. In 2016, Rush was honored at the Young Artist Awards with the Best Performance in a Feature Film award. In 2017, she received the Awards Circuit Community Award for her performance in Lady Bird.

 43 Dyan Cannon

Dyan Cannon
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 4, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tacoma, Washington, United States
Dyan Cannon is best known for her Academy Award-nominated roles in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and Heaven Can Wait. She has also written, directed, and produced the Academy Award-nominated film Number One. She has appeared in series such as Ally McBeal and Three Sisters, too.

 44 Anikka Albrite

Anikka Albrite
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 7, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, USA

 45 Elisabeth Moss

Elisabeth Moss
4
Famous As: Actress, Producer
Birthdate: July 24, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

American actress Elisabeth Moss has gained immense popularity with her roles in television series The West Wing, Mad Men and The Handmaid’s Tale; miniseries Top of the Lake and movie The Invisible Man. Elisabeth, who made her debut at the age of eight, is also recognised for her work in Broadway productions like The Heidi Chronicles.

 46 Chandra Wilson

Chandra Wilson
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, U.S.

Chandra Wilson is an American actress best known for playing Dr. Miranda Bailey in the popular medical drama TV series Grey's Anatomy, for which she has received four Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Apart from being an actress and director, Chandra Wilson is also an activist; she works towards raising awareness about cyclic vomiting syndrome.

 47 Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling
4
Famous As: Actor, Screenwriter, Comedian
Birthdate: June 24, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Actress, comedian, and writer Mindy Kaling first gained international fame with her work in the NBC sitcom, The Office, for which she was nominated for several Primetime Emmy Awards. She earned a bachelor's degree in playwriting before beginning her career. As the child of immigrants from India, she is one of the few Indian-American women active in the industry.

 48 Mary Stuart Masterson

Mary Stuart Masterson
4
Famous As: Actress, Director
Birthdate: June 28, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, U.S.

Mary Stuart Masterson is an American actress who received the National Board of Review Award for her portrayal of Lucy in the 1989 drama film, Immediate Family. Also known for her work on stage, Masterson received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the 2003 Broadway revival of the popular musical, Nine.

 49 Danielle Harris

Danielle Harris
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 1, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Plainview, New York

Danielle Harris started off as a child actor and grew up to be a "scream queen,” appearing in cult horror films. She is best known for her roles in the Halloween franchise and the Hatchet movie series. She has also voiced Debbie Thornberry in the animated series The Wild Thornberrys.

 50 Joey Lauren Adams

Joey Lauren Adams
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 9, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: North Little Rock, Arkansas, United States