Famous Black Actresses

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 Halle Berry

Halle Berry.
14
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 14, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Halle Berry is one of the most popular actresses of the current generation. During the 2000s, she was one of the highest-paid Hollywood actresses. Halle is also known for her activism for which she was honored with the 2006 Woman of The Year award by the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. She also gets featured in several Sexiest Women lists.

 2 Beyonce Knowles

Beyonce Knowles.
8
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: September 4, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Beyonce Knowles is a singer, songwriter, and actress. She developed an interest in music as a child. As a teenager, she became the lead singer of Destiny's Child, one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. As of today, she is one of the world's best-selling recording artists. 

 3 Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana.
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 19, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Passaic, New Jersey, United States

American actress, Zoe Saldana, is best known for starring in fantasy-adventure films like Star TrekAvatarGuardians of the GalaxyAvengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, which were massive worldwide hits. She faced flak in 2016 when she used skin-darkening makeup to play jazz musician Nina Simone in the biopic Nina, which led to debates about colour bias in society.

 4 Viola Davis

Viola Davis.
10
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 11, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Matthews, South Carolina, United States
A popular television, film, and stage actress, Viola Davis became the first African-American actress to be honored with Triple Crown of Acting. She is also known for supporting equal rights for women. In 2012 and 2017, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world.

 5 Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah.
6
Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, USA

Queen Latifah is an American musician and actress whose song U.N.I.T.Y. played a major role in raising awareness about women's rights worldwide. Dubbed Queen of Jazz-Rap, Latifah has influenced several soul, R&B, and hip-hop artists like Remy Ma, Lil' Kim, Ivy Queen, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, and Eve among other artists. As an actress, Latifah has won several prestigious awards.

 6 Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker.
5
Famous As: Entertainer, Actress, Singer
Birthdate: June 3, 1906
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: April 12, 1975
Nicknamed Black Pearl and Creole Goddess, Josephine Baker was the first Black woman to appear in a motion picture. She was a revue dancer, famous for her signature banana costume. A civil rights activist, she helped the French military during World War II. She adopted 12 children of different ethnicities.

 7 Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union.
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska

A popular American actress, Gabrielle Union has been vocal about violence against women and issues pertaining to women's health. Also a writer, she has released a memoir and a children's book. In 2020, she was named in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world list. Gabrielle Union has been an inspiration for women like Oprah Winfrey.

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 8 Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett.
10
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 16, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York, United States

Best known for playing real-life black women in biopics, Angela Bassett does not mind being typecast as someone who often plays biographical roles. She has portrayed prominent personalities like Tina Turner, Betty Shabazz, Katherine Jackson, and Coretta Scott King. Also a director, producer, and activist, Angela Bassett works toward bettering the lives of African-Americans.

 9 Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson.
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 11, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Taraji P. Henson is an American actress who became the first black woman to receive the Critics' Choice Television Award under the Best Actress in a Drama Series category for her portrayal of Cookie Lyon in the TV series Empire. Taraji P. Henson was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2016. 

 10 Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

Lupita Nyong'o is one of the most popular black actresses of all time. The first Kenyan-Mexican actress to receive the prestigious Academy Award, Lupita Nyong'o has often been named in lists, such as the world's most beautiful woman. In 2020, she was named by Forbes magazine as one of Africa's 50 Most Powerful Women.

 11 Lena Horne

Lena Horne.
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 30, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bedford-Stuyvesant
Died: May 9, 2010

Lena Horne was an American singer, actress, dancer, and civil rights activist. Horne's 70-year acting career was embellished with several prestigious awards, such as Grammy Awards. Her life and career were depicted in many stage shows, where she was portrayed by actresses like Leslie Uggams, Nikki Crawford, and Ryan Jillian.

 12 Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

An actress, screenwriter, producer, and businesswoman, Jada Pinkett Smith is a woman who dons many hats. Entering the entertainment world in the 1990s as an actress, she quickly cemented her place in Hollywood and soon branched out into production as well. An ambitious lady, she also runs her own music company and fashion label.

 13 Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg.
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Birthdate: November 13, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manhattan

Accomplished American comedian, actress, singer and Broadway star, Whoopi Goldberg is amongst the select few who have won all the four awards—Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Moreover, she is also a political activist, author and talk show host. Her notable work include films Ghost, Sister Act and The Color Purple; Broadway show Thoroughly Modern Millie and talk show The View.

 14 Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama, United States

 15 Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Died: September 8, 1965

Actress, singer, and dancer Dorothy Dandridge was one of the earliest African-American women stars to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Incredibly successful in her career, she was recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As a singer, she used to perform in night clubs. Unfortunately, she died under mysterious circumstances at 42.

 16 Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel.
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.

 17 Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson.
4
Famous As: Actress, Singer
Birthdate: September 12, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Jennifer Hudson shot to fame after reaching the finals of the third season of American Idol. She is known for her Academy Award-winning role of Effie White in Dreamgirls. She also won the Grammy twice, one for her self-titled debut album and the other for the musical The Color Purple

 18 Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington.
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, 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.

 19 Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell.
9
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: May 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Streatham
Naomi Campbell is one of the “Big Six” supermodels of the 1980s and the 1990s, who has graced both the ramp and print. She has also released a music album, been part of a fashion reality show, started a web series, and founded charitable organizations such as Fashion for Relief.

 20 Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton.
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England, United Kingdom

A critically acclaimed and award-winning actress, Thandie Newton is also an activist—she led a flash mob in 2013 for gender equality and justice. An actress with an affinity for Buddhism, Thandie was named Sexiest Vegan of 2014 by PETA. During the 2019 New Year Honours, she was appointed OBE for services to charity and film.

 21 Willow Smith

Willow Smith.
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 31, 2000
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

The daughter of popular American actors, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, Willow Smith has established herself as a singer-songwriter and rapper. Mentored by rapper Jay-Z, Smith became the youngest artist to be signed to the former's label Roc Nation in 2010. In 2019, she came out as bisexual and expressed her desire to be in a polyamorous relationship.

 22 Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross.
9
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Tracee Ellis Ross is an actress and TV host best known for her performance in TV series like Girlfriends and Black-ish. One of the few actresses to sport a distinguishable curly hairstyle, Tracee owns a hair-care line called Pattern Beauty, which is exclusively meant for curly hair.

 23 Aisha Tyler

Aisha Tyler.
4
Famous As: Actress, TV Host
Birthdate: September 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Francisco

Aisha Tyler is credited with co-founding an all-female a cappella group called Dartmouth Rockapellas, which aimed at spreading social awareness through music. She later became a prominent actress, playing important roles in popular TV series like Criminal Minds and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Aisha Tyler is also an ardent advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBTQ rights.

 24 Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu.
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas

Widely regarded as the queen of neo-soul, Erykah Badu is an American singer-songwriter whose debut studio album Baduizm helped popularize neo-soul in the late-1990s. Thanks to her popularity, Erykah Badu serves as a subject for street art in several places, including Greater London, England. Also an actress, Badu has appeared in popular films, such as The Cider House Rules.

 25 Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grinnell, Iowa
Danai Gurira is best known as Michonne from The Walking Dead and as Okoye from the Marvel films Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. She earned a Tony nomination for writing the Broadway play Eclipsed. She has been a UN Goodwill Ambassador and promotes arts and women empowerment.

 26 Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson.
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 18, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York, United States
Died: January 28, 2021
Cicely Tyson is best known for her Academy Award-nominated role of Rebecca Morgan in Sounder and her Emmy-winning performance in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. She is also a Tony- and Drama Desk-winning theater actor. Fans also loved her as Ophelia Harkness in How to Get Away with Murder.

 27 Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States

 28 Lauren London

Lauren London.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 5, 1984
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Lauren London is best known for her portrayals of Kiera in The Game, Shelley in Single Ladies, and Sheree in Baggage Claim. Fans also loved her as Erin "New New" Garnett in the film ATL. She has been seen in a few music videos and promotes the Sean John collection.

 29 Sade Adu

Sade Adu
7
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: January 16, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ibadan, Nigeria

Nigerian-British singer Helen Folasade Adu, or Sade Adu, often blends Afro-Cuban tunes with soul and smooth jazz in her music. The Grammy Award winner had initially studied fashion designing and been a model. The founder of the band Sade, she has released iconic tracks such as No Ordinary Love.

 30 Teyana Taylor

Teyana Taylor.
6
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 10, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harlem, New York

R&B and hip-hop singer Teyana Taylor gained fame with MTV's My Super Sweet 16. She signed with Kanye West’s label and also appeared on the reality show Teyana and Iman, with her husband, NBA player Iman Shumpert. In December 2020, she announced her retirement from music through Instagram.

 31 Keke Palmer

Keke Palmer.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 26, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Harvey, Illinois, United States

Keke Palmer is an American actress, television personality, and singer. In 2019, she was recognized by Time magazine as one of the 100 celebrities who are shaping the future of health, entertainment, business, politics, and more. Palmer, who has been open about her struggle with depression and anxiety, supports movements, such as Black Lives Matter.

 32 Amandla Stenberg

Amandla Stenberg.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 23, 1998
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Amandla Stenberg is an American singer and actress. An openly gay actress who identifies as non-binary, Stenberg is popular for voicing her opinion on cultural appropriation among other sensitive topics. A self-proclaimed intersectional feminist, Amandla Stenberg was named in Time magazine's Most Influential Teens list in 2015 and 2016. She was also named in Oprah Winfrey's SuperSoul 100 list.

 33 Yara Shahidi

Yara Shahidi.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 10, 2000
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Yara Shahidi is best known as Zoey Johnson from Black-ish and Grown-ish. She started off as a model for brands such as McDonald's and GapKids, at age 6. One of Time’s “30 Most Influential Teens of 2016," she was also appreciated in the film The Sun Is Also a Star.

 34 Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks.
9
Famous As: Television Personality
Birthdate: December 4, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Inglewood, California, United States

Tyra Banks became the first black woman to grace the covers of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and GQ. She became so successful as a model that she used her popularity to try her hand at acting, singing, writing, and producing. She is only one of seven women to appear consistently on Time magazine's world's most influential people list.

 35 Robin Givens

Robin Givens.
5
Famous As: Model, Actress
Birthdate: November 27, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City

Robin Givens is an American model and actress whose professional life during the late-1980s was overshadowed by her violent marriage to Mike Tyson. Subsequently, their acrimonious divorce drew considerable media attention as Givens claimed physical abuse, with Tyson admitting to punching her in the face.

 36 Donna Summer

Donna Summer
4
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: December 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 17, 2012

 37 Regina Hall

Regina Hall.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 12, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Regina Hall is best known as Brenda Meeks from the Scary Movie franchise and as Corretta Lipp from Ally McBeal. She appeared in the movies The Best Man and Think Like a Man and their respective sequels. She supports the Scleroderma Research Foundation and endorses Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds.

 38 Letitia Wright

Letitia Wright
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 31, 1993
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Georgetown, Guyana

 39 Meagan Good

Meagan Good.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 8, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Panorama City, Los Angeles, California, United States

Meagan Good is an American model and actress. After starting her career as a child artist, Meagan Good went on to establish herself as an actress in the entertainment industry. Over the years, she has contributed to the success of TV series, such as Deception and Minority Report. In 2014, she also contributed to the bestselling book Gentlewoman.

 40 Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick
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Famous As: Singer & Actress
Birthdate: December 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: City of Orange, New Jersey, United States

Dionne Warwick is an American singer, TV host, actress, and former FAO Goodwill Ambassador. Warwick was one of the most successful singers between 1955 and 1999, ranking among the 40 biggest hitmakers according to the Billboard Hot 100. 80 of her singles have been featured on Billboard's music charts, making Warwick one of the most-charted female singers in history. 

 41 Sanaa Lathan

Sanaa Lathan.
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 19, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Sanaa Lathan voiced Donna Tubbs in The Cleveland Show and Family Guy. She has also starred in movies such as Contagion and The Best Man. She delivered a Tony-nominated performance in A Raisin in the Sun and was part of the all-Black cast of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

 42 Vanessa Lynn Williams

Vanessa Lynn Williams.
5
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States

 43 Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 44 Vivica A. Fox

Vivica A. Fox
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: South Bend, Indiana, United States

 45 Tia Mowry

Tia Mowry.
9
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 6, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gelnhausen, Germany

Tia Mowry is one-half of the famous Mowry twin sisters who formed a singing group called Voices in the early 1990s. She has also played important roles in several popular films. A basketball enthusiast, Tia serves as the head coach for the Atlanta team that participates in the Entertainment Basketball League.

 46 Alfre Woodard

Alfre Woodard.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 8, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Alfre Woodard is an American actress. Considered one of the most accomplished and versatile actresses of her generation, Woodard was named in The New York Times' The 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century list in 2020. Also a political activist, Woodard is credited with founding Artists for a New South Africa, which aims at advancing equality in South Africa.

 47 Wanda Sykes

Wanda Sykes.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 7, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States

Wanda Sykes is an American actress, writer, and comedian. In 2004, Sykes was named in Entertainment Weekly magazine's list of 25 funniest people in America. Also known for her role as an activist, Sykes has been emceeing fundraisers and hosting events to tackle issues concerning same-sex marriages. She is also an ardent supporter of the Ruth Ellis Center.

 48 Skai Jackson

Skai Jackson.
10
Famous As: Child Actress
Birthdate: April 8, 2002
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City

From starting acting at age 5 to being one of TIME's Most Influential Teens, Skai Jackson has come a long way. She amazed audiences with her roles in Jessie and BUNK’D and later thrilled her fans on Dancing with the Stars. An anti-bullying activist, Skai has also written her memoir.

 49 Phylicia Rashad

Phylicia Rashad.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 19, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Houston, Texas
Phylicia Rashad, the Mother of The Black Community, became the first Black lady to win the Tony Award for Best Actress, for her performance in A Raisin in the Sun. Known for her Emmy-nominated portrayal of Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show, she also appeared in Colored Girls and Creed. 

 50 Tatyana Ali

Tatyana Ali.
9
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 24, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: North Bellmore, New York, U.S.

Tatyana Ali is an American singer and actress who gained recognition as a child actress, portraying Ashley Banks on the sitcom TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Ali's singing abilities, showcased throughout the series, helped her release her debut studio album Kiss the Sky. Unlike many successful child artists, Ali was able to establish herself as an adult actress.