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 Beyonce Knowles

Beyonce Knowles
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 4, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 2 Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 19, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

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.

 3 Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 11, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
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. 

 4 Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 5 Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 16, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

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.

 6 Halle Berry

Halle Berry
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 14, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

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.

 7 Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 24, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

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.

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 8 Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

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.

 9 Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

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.

 10 Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

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.

 11 Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson
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Famous As: Actress, Singer
Birthdate: September 12, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
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

 12 Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell
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Famous As: Model
Birthdate: May 22, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
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.

 13 Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

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.

 14 Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 15 Lauren London

Lauren London
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 5, 1984
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
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.

 16 Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American, Zimbabwean
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.

 17 Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

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.

 18 Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 9, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: February 11, 2012

Amongst the best-selling recording artists of all time and an inspiration to millions of budding artists, Whitney Houston achieved stardom with her eponymous debut album. The success of her later albums consolidated her position and earned her a spot in the Guinness World Records as the most awarded female artist of all time. She struggled with drug abuse and troubled marriage and died of drowning in her hotel's bathtub. 

 19 Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

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.

 20 Teyana Taylor

Teyana Taylor
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 10, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

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.

 21 Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah
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Famous As: Rapper
Birthdate: March 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

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.

 22 Diana Ross

Diana Ross
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Famous As: American singer
Birthdate: March 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

With several prestigious honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, under her belt, Diana Ross is one of the most popular and influential singers of all time. In 1976, Billboard named her the Female Entertainer of the Century. She has influenced popular artists like Madonna, Beyoncé, and Michael Jackson.

 23 Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Kenyan, Mexican

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.

 24 Yara Shahidi

Yara Shahidi
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 10, 2000
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
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.

 25 Robin Givens

Robin Givens
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Famous As: Model, Actress
Birthdate: November 27, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

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.

 26 Regina Hall

Regina Hall
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 12, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
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.

 27 Willow Smith

Willow Smith
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 31, 2000
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

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.

 28 Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 18, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
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.

 29 Aisha Tyler

Aisha Tyler
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Famous As: Actress, TV Host
Birthdate: September 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

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.

 30 Gabourey Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 6, 1983
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

Gabourey Sidibe is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Claireece Precious Jones in the 2009 drama film Precious, an adaptation of a novel titled Push, for which Sidibe received critical acclaim and nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress and Golden Globe Award. Since then, she has contributed to the success of several TV series.

 31 Wanda Sykes

Wanda Sykes
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 7, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

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.

 32 Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: September 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 33 Alfre Woodard

Alfre Woodard
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 8, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

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.

 34 Laura Harrier

Laura Harrier
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 28, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 35 Keke Palmer

Keke Palmer
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 26, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

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.

 36 Amandla Stenberg

Amandla Stenberg
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 23, 1998
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

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.

 37 Donna Summer

Donna Summer
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: December 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: May 17, 2012

 38 Sanaa Lathan

Sanaa Lathan
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 19, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
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.

 39 Vanessa Lynn Williams

Vanessa Lynn Williams
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: March 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

 40 Mel B

Mel B
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 29, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Mel B is an English television personality and singer-songwriter. She gained international recognition as part of the popular pop girl group Spice Girls, which has sold more than 85 million records. Over the years, Mel B has been an important TV personality, appearing in several reality series as a participant as well as a judge.

 41 Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 42 Meagan Good

Meagan Good
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 8, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

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.

 43 Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 44 Phylicia Rashad

Phylicia Rashad
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 19, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
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. 

 45 Vivica A. Fox

Vivica A. Fox
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

 46 Michaela Coel

Michaela Coel
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 1, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Ghanaian, British

 47 Skai Jackson

Skai Jackson
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Famous As: Child Actress
Birthdate: April 8, 2002
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

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.

 48 Kandi Burruss

Kandi Burruss
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 17, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 49 Uzo Aduba

Uzo Aduba
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 10, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

 50 Nicole Beharie

Nicole Beharie
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 3, 1985
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

Nicole Beharie is an American actress who has played important roles in films like American Violet, Shame, 42, and Monsters and Men. For her portrayal of Turquoise Jones in the 2020 critically acclaimed drama film Miss Juneteenth, Beharie won a Gotham Independent Film Award. Also known for her TV work, Beharie has played prominent roles in series like Sleepy Hollow.