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 Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates.
5
Famous As: Actress and film director
Birthdate: June 28, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Memphis
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. 

 2 Regina King

Regina King.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 15, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA, USA
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 3 Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr.
5
Famous As: Comedian, Actor, TV Producer
Birthdate: November 3, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Roseanne Barr was initially a stand-up comedian in Colorado clubs. She shot to fame with her Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning sitcom Roseanne and The Roseanne Show. Roseanne was canceled in 2018, due to a racist tweet posted by her. She was earlier criticized for singing the national anthem disrespectfully.

 4 Anjelica Huston

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

 5 Penny Marshall

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

 6 Brie Larson

Brie Larson.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 1, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sacramento, California

Brie Larson is a name that has become synonymous with powerful, independent female warriors, both on and off screen. From an Oscar-winning performance of a kidnapped victim to playing the lead in the first female-led superhero movie, Captain Marvel, Larson has been breaking gender norms and shattering stereotypes. She has been working fiercely towards inclusivity and diversity in Hollywood.

 7 Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman.
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Famous As: Actress, Producer, Director
Birthdate: June 9, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel

Debuting at the age of thirteen, Israeli American actress Natalie Portman is today one of the most successful actresses in Hollywood. Her movie list is impressive with successful projects like Black SwanJackie, Star Wars, Closer and Thor. While pursuing her passion for acting, the Academy award winning actress also ensured to complete her studies and graduated from Harvard University.

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 8 Sofia Coppola

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

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.

 9 Lea Thompson

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

 10 Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert.
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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 Courteney Cox

Courteney Cox.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 15, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States

Actress, producer, and director, Courteney Cox first gained international popularity in the mid-1990s owing to her appearance in the NBC sitcom Friends. She soon ventured into films, where also she found success. Besides acting, she owns the film and television company, Coquette Productions. She has won the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Women's Image Network.

 12 Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kew Gardens, New York, United States

Fran Drescher is an American actress and comedian. Characterized by her thick New York accent and nasal voice, Fran Drescher serves as an inspiration to many cancer patients as she successfully fought off the disease after suffering from uterine cancer. She is also an outspoken LGBT rights activist and healthcare advocate.

 13 Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy.
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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.

 14 Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster.
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Famous As: Actress & Director
Birthdate: November 19, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles

Jodie Foster is considered to be one of the best actors of her time. She attained fame as a child actor in the acclaimed film Taxi Driver. Some of her memorable roles as an adult are The Accused, The Silence of the Lambs and Sommersby. She’s a director too. Foster has been in the news for her sexual orientation.

 15 Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 10, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pittsfield, Massachusetts, United States

Elizabeth Banks is famous for The Hunger Games film series and Pitch Perfect film series. The 2019 action comedy film Charlie's Angels was directed, written and produced by her, in which she acted too. The Spider-Man trilogy, Seabiscuit, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, The Next Three Days and Power Rangers are some of her other notable films. 

 16 Teri Hatcher

Teri Hatcher.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 8, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Palo Alto, California
Teri Hatcher is best known for her Golden Globe- and SAG Award-winning performance as Susan Mayer in Desperate Housewives. She also voiced Dottie in the Planes movies and was seen as Lois Lane in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and as Paris Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies.

 17 Laura Dern

Laura Dern.
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Famous As: Actress, Director
Birthdate: February 10, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

American actress, Laura Dern, gained international recognition with the 1993 film Jurassic Park. A Perfect World, Citizen Ruth, Little Fockers, Wild and Star Wars: The Last Jedi are some of her notable films. She has also starred in acclaimed television series like Enlightened and Big Little Lies. She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2020 for the film Marriage Story.

 18 Lake Bell

Lake Bell.
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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 Sondra Locke

Sondra Locke.
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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.

 20 Asa Akira

Asa Akira
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 3, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 21 Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 19, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States

The Queen of American romantic comedy movies in 1990s, Meg Ryan is best recognised for her role in When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, all of which earned her prestigious award nominations. After proving her mettle in romantic comedies Meg Ryan showed her versatility as actress by acting in other genre movies. She made her directorial debut with Ithaca.

 22 Kendra Lust

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

 23 Kayden Kross

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

 24 Diane Ladd

Diane Ladd.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 29, 1932
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Meridian

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

 25 Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, United States

American actress, Lucy Liu, shot to fame with television series Ally McBeal and later proved her acting skills with films like Charlie's Angels, Kill Bill, Volume 1, Shanghai Noon and television series Elementary and Southland. Intelligent and multitalented, she has voiced animated films, turned producer/director, made her Broadway debut and last but not the least, is also a visual artist.

 26 Whitney Cummings

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

 27 Lisa Ann

Lisa Ann
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 9, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Easton, Pennsylvania, USA

 28 Alexandra Hedison

Alexandra Hedison.
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Famous As: Photographer, Actress, Director
Birthdate: July 10, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
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.

 29 Lisa Niemi

Lisa Niemi.
2
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.

 30 Pamela Adlon

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

 31 Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 13, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, U.S.

 32 Nina Hartley

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

 33 Constance Wu

Constance Wu
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 22, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, USA

 34 Cara Buono

Cara Buono.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 1, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States
Cara Buono is best known for her Emmy-nominated role of Faye Miller in Mad Men and as Karen Wheeler from Netflix’s Stranger Things. Fans also loved her as Kelli Moltisanti in The Sopranos. She has also appeared in Broadway and off-Broadway productions and in movies such as Let Me In.

 35 Rhea Seehorn

Rhea Seehorn.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 12, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, United States
First seen in independent comedy films, Rhea Seehorn gained prominence with her performance in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Her works also include a number of supporting roles and short-lived comedy series. 

 36 Kathryn Bigelow

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

 37 Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron.
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Famous As: Screenwriter, Producer, Director
Birthdate: May 19, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
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.

 38 Anikka Albrite

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

 39 Odeya Rush

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

 40 Ava DuVernay

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

 41 Tracey Ullman

Tracey Ullman
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 30, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Slough, Berkshire, England, UK

 42 Amy Jo Johnson

Amy Jo Johnson
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 6, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dennis, Massachusetts, United States

 43 Sosie Bacon

Sosie Bacon.
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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. 

 44 Clea DuVall

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

 45 Debbie Allen

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

 46 Elizabeth Peña

Elizabeth Peña.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 23, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Jersey
Died: October 14, 2014
Elizabeth Peña is best known for her roles in films such as Rush Hour and The Incredibles. She also co-founded the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors. She has also been part of series such as Shannon's Deal and I Married Dora. She died of liver cirrhosis at age 55.

 47 Danielle Harris

Danielle Harris.
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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.

 48 Jessica Drake

Jessica Drake
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 14, 1974
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, USA

 49 Mary Stuart Masterson

Mary Stuart Masterson.
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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.

 50 Joey Lauren Adams

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