Famous British Actresses

Imagine your cinematic viewing experience sans the very talented Audrey Hepburn or super brilliant Elizabeth Hurley or Bond girl Jane Seymour or legendary Elizabeth Taylor! Hard to take in, isn’t it? Well, that is what British actresses over the years are all about. Outstandingly talented, super sexy and strikingly gorgeous, British actresses have been one of the most sought-after super stars of the world. And why not, for they come loaded with power-packed performances, hotness quotient and looks to die for. Who can forget Kate Winslet’s charm in ‘Titanic’ or Naomie Harris role in ‘Skyfall’ or Rachel Weizz award-winning acting in ‘The Constant Gardener’ or Catherine-Zeta Jones’s breakthrough performance in ‘Traffic’? Over time and tide, British actresses have made it loud and clear to the world that they are the best in their job and second to none. It is due to their inherent talent and hard work that they have made a storied career for themselves. What’s more, they have pushed the limits of sexuality on films, thus well defining the role of women in cinema. Check out this section to find detailed information on the life and works of famous British 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 Emilia Clarke

Emilia Clarke
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 23, 1986
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British, American

Emilia Clarke rose to fame with the television series Game of Thrones, which garnered her international recognition and won her several awards. She has also starred in many films like Solo: A Star Wars Story and was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019. Emilia also supports several charitable organisations. 

 2 Emma Watson

Emma Watson
11
Famous As: British actress
Birthdate: April 15, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

English actress, model, and activist, Emma Watson first gained prominence as a child artiste in the Harry Potter film series. The daughter of lawyers, she was determined to go to college despite her busy acting career and graduated from Brown University. A staunch feminist, she is actively involved with organizations that work for the betterment of women.

 3 Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 5, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

Actress Kate Winslet’s most enduring character remains that of the protagonist in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic, which made her an international star. She’s also known for doing period roles in films like Sense and Sensibility, Jude and Hamlet. Some of her other notable films are Iris, Little Children, Steve Jobs and The Reader. She won an Oscar for her performance in The Reader

 4 Millie Bobby Brown

Millie Bobby Brown
22
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 19, 2004
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Spanish, British

Millie Bobby Brown, the English actress and model, rose to prominence after acting in the TV series Stranger Things and then in the film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, in 2019. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in April 2018, making her the youngest person ever to be so.

 5 Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn
5
Famous As: Film actress
Birthdate: May 4, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: January 20, 1993

British actress Audrey Hepburn is counted among the greatest female screen legends in Golden Age Hollywood. Rising to prominence in the 1950s, she became one of the few people to win Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards. She devoted much of her time in her later life to UNICEF and was actively involved in humanitarian work.

 6 Lily James

Lily James
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 5, 1989
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

English actress, Lily James, was born into a family of prominent actors and developed an early interest in performing. She studied acting and made her debut as a TV actress in the early 2010s. Since then, she has become a popular face in Hollywood as well, having appeared in many hit films. She is the recipient of many awards. 

 7 Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter
16
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Helena Bonham Carter is an English actress who is known for her performances in independent films and huge blockbusters. Some of her notable films are The Wings of the Dove, The King's Speech, Hamlet, Howards End, Fight Club, Les Misérables . She was also part of the Harry Potter series. She was bestowed with the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2012.

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 8 Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 26, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

Kate Beckinsale is an English actress and model and has worked in films such as Pearl Harbor, Serendipity, The Aviator, Contraband and Total Recall and received critical acclaim for her performance in the film Love and Friendship. She has also worked in various stage and radio productions. The British Heart Foundation is one of the charities that she promotes.

 9 Rachel Weisz

Rachel Weisz
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 7, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

One of the most popular and decorated British-American actresses, Rachel Weisz is the recipient of many awards, such as the Academy Award. One of the most beautiful actresses, she has been featured on several magazine covers. In 2010, Rachel Weisz was named the global ambassador for L'Oréal. She has also served as fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez's muse.

 10 Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 26, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

British actress Keira Knightley’s career took a huge turn, when she appeared in Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace and Bend It Like Beckham, while she was still in her teens. Since then, she has displayed her talent in numerous period and big budget movie including Pirates of the Caribbean film series, Pride and Prejudice and Imitation Game.

 11 Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 23, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British, American
Often featured among the ‘Sexiest’ and ‘Most Desirable’ women in the world, this British-born actress is a Hollywood A-lister and sex-symbol who first captured everyone’s attention with her scene-stealing appearance in the Meryl Streep starrer The Devil Wears Prada. Emily Blunt has since tasted both commercial and critical success, and is married with kids to The Office actor, John Krasinski.

 12 Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 26, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

Helen Mirren is one of the most respected and decorated actresses from England. She has won several prestigious awards, including the Triple Crown of Acting. Before achieving greatness, Mirren fought drug addiction during her 20s. She has also said that she is a naturist at heart and was named by British Naturism as Naturist of the Year in 2004.

 13 Karen Gillan

Karen Gillan
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 28, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

Karen Gillan is one of the most popular and successful actresses from Scotland. She is best known for playing Nebula and Ruby Roundhouse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films and Jumanji film series respectively. Also a filmmaker, she wrote and directed The Party's Just Beginning, apart from acting in the film. She is also a philanthropist.

 14 Lena Headey

Lena Headey
0
Famous As: Actor, Voice actor
Birthdate: October 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Bermudian, British

 15 Anya Chalotra

Anya Chalotra
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: 1996 AD
Nationality: British
Anya Chalotra is best known for her roles as Yennefer of Vengerberg in Netflix’s The Witcher and Robin Loxley in Sherwood. She was also seen in Wanderlust and The ABC Murders. She appeared as Dr. Anuja in a 2020 TV short named No Masks, about COVID-19 frontline workers in London.

 16 Daisy Ridley

Daisy Ridley
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 10, 1992
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

Known as Rey from the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Daisy Ridley began her career with Lifesaver, a BAFTA-nominated short film. She has also played significant roles in Ophelia and Murder on the Orient Express. She has shared her struggle with endometriosis and her support for anti-gun campaigns, on social media.

 17 Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

One of the most beautiful actresses of her generation, Naomi Watts has been featured in the world's most beautiful women lists by magazines like Maxim and People. Also a well-known philanthropist, Watts is associated with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) as its goodwill ambassador. She uses her fame to help people suffering from AIDS.

 18 Angela Lansbury

Angela Lansbury
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 16, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Irish, British, American

Angela Lansbury played a key role in shaping the Golden Age of Hollywood. Recognized as one of the few stars still alive from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema, Angela Lansbury has received accolades, such as an Honorary Oscar. In 2014, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

 19 Maisie Williams

Maisie Williams
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 15, 1997
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

English actress Maisie Williams shot to international fame with her debut role as Arya Stark in HBO’s medieval fantasy epic series Game of Thrones. She continued to entertain audience in the successive seasons of the series. Simultaneously, she has appeared in other projects like the movies, The Falling, The New Mutants , and the TV series, Doctor Who.

 20 Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 15, 1959
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

One of the most celebrated British actresses, Emma Thompson has received plaudits for her work in films, television and stage. Her film credits include Howards End, The Remains of the Day as well as Sense and Sensibility which she also wrote. Her television appearances include miniseries Angels in America. The award winning actress is also an author, activist and comedian.

 21 Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 30, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

 22 Olivia de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 1, 1916
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: French, British, American
Died: July 26, 2020

The veteran actress of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Olivia de Havilland shot to fame with Gone With the Wind and later established her cinematic career with movies like To Each His Own and The Heiress. Her rivalry with her sister and the court battle against a powerful studio also made headlines.

 23 Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

Veteran English actress, Maggie Smith, has an extensive career spanning almost seven decades. One of Britain's most recognizable actresses, she has appeared in more than 60 films and over 70 plays. Making her debut as a stage actress in the 1950s, she quickly moved on to TV and cinema. She has been honored with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Legacy Award.

 24 Judi Dench

Judi Dench
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 9, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

Judi Dench is one of the most respected and decorated English actresses of all time. Counted among the most influential people in the United Kingdom, Dame Judi Dench is a patron of more than 180 charities, such as York Against Cancer. Since 1985, she has been serving as the president of Questors Theatre.

 25 Rosamund Pike

Rosamund Pike
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 27, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

Popular English actress, Rosamund Pike, is best known for her performances in the movies Gone Girl, Hostiles, An Education and A Private War. A talented stage actress, she shot to international fame with her debut film Die Another Day. Since then, she has appeared in diverse roles and has achieved both critical and commercial success as well as prestigious award nominations.

 26 Felicity Jones

Felicity Jones
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 17, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

English actress Felicity Jones started her career as a child and went on to take up more mature roles as a teenager. One of her uncles is an actor, and he influenced her to take up the profession herself. She appeared in many TV shows in the initial years of her career before venturing into films as well.

 27 Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 5, 1960
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British

One of the most popular Scottish actresses of her generation, Tilda Swinton is known for portraying negative roles in both blockbusters and independent arthouse films. An Academy Award-winning actress, Tilda is also known for her impressive fashion sense; she was named by The Guardian as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50 in 2013.

 28 Gemma Chan

Gemma Chan
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 29, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

 29 Kaya Scodelario

Kaya Scodelario
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 13, 1992
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Kaya Scodelario was adored as Effy Stonem in Skins. She was also seen in Clash of the Titans, the Maze Runner movies, and Ted Bundy’s biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile. One of FHM's World's Sexiest Women, Kaya has dyslexia and was a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement.

 30 Christina Hendricks

Christina Hendricks
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 3, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British, American

 31 Natalie Dormer

Natalie Dormer
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 11, 1982
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

Natalie Dormer is a popular English actress who received international recognition after playing Margaery Tyrell in one of the most popular TV series of all time, Game of Thrones. Also known for her charity work and advocacy, Natalie traveled to Tanzania in 2017 along with a humanitarian organization called Plan International to ban child marriage in the East African country.

 32 Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton
0
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.

 33 Sophie Turner

Sophie Turner
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 21, 1996
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

Sophie Turner is best known for playing Sansa Stark in the popular TV series Game of Thrones. Also known for her humanitarian efforts, Sophie is a patron of Women for Women International, which supports female war survivors. Sophie is open about her struggles with depression, similar to her character in the web TV series Survive.

 34 Hayley Atwell

Hayley Atwell
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 5, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British, American

 35 Vanessa Kirby

Vanessa Kirby
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 18, 1988
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

English actress, Vanessa Kirby, catapulted to fame as Princess Margaret in the Netflix historical drama series The Crown. The success brought her big films like Mission: Impossible –Fallout. However, Venessa has been a known stage and screen actress for quite some time. Her profile include A Streetcar Named Desire (play), The Frankenstein Chronicles (television series) and Great Expectations (BBC miniseries).

 36 Emma Mackey

Emma Mackey
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 4, 1996
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: French, British

French-British actor Emma Mackey is best known for her portrayal of Maeve Wiley in the Netflix series Sex Education. Some of her upcoming projects include Emily Brontë’s biopic and the thriller Death on the Nile. She has also appeared in the TV projects Badger Lane and Summit Fever.

 37 Florence Pugh

Florence Pugh
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 3, 1996
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

 38 Jenna Coleman

Jenna Coleman
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 27, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

Jenna Coleman is an English actress who played Queen Victoria in the historical TV drama series Victoria. Also known for her charity work, Jenna Coleman serves as an ambassador for a charity organization called Place2Be, which provides therapeutic and emotional services in schools. She also serves as an ambassador for One To One Children's Fund, which raises awareness of HIV.

 39 Vivien Leigh

Vivien Leigh
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 5, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Died: July 8, 1967

British actress Vivien Leigh gained popularity with her award winning performance in films Gone with the Wind and A Street Car named Desire and her Musical Broadway Tovarich. The beautiful actress, who went on to feature in films like That Hamilton Woman and Ship of Fools, had a troubled personal life and suffered from physical and mental health issues.

 40 Amy Jackson

Amy Jackson
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 31, 1991
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Manx, British
British model and actor Amy Jackson is a former Miss Teen World who made her acting debut with the Tamil film Madrasapattinam. She also appeared in the Hindi films Ekk Deewana Tha and Singh Is Bliing. She is also associated with charities such as PETA and the Being Human Foundation.

 41 Lily Collins

Lily Collins
22
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 18, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

Born to a famous musician Phil Collins, Lily Collins first faced the camera at the age of two. As an adult, she gained recognition with Mirror Mirror and then followed it up with The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Rules Don't Apply. The British-American actress, who has become extremely successful, is also a model and a published author.

 42 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.

 43 Vanessa Redgrave

Vanessa Redgrave
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 30, 1937
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

 44 Diana Rigg

Diana Rigg
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 20, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 45 Gemma Arterton

Gemma Arterton
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 2, 1986
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
"Bond Girl" Strawberry Fields from Quantum of Solace, Gemma Arterton began her career on stage and later appeared in Prince of Persia and Clash of the Titans. Her production company creates female-centric content. The Harper's Bazaar Woman of the Year-winner has supported campaigns such as ERA 50:50, MeToo, and Time’sUp

 46 Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour
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Birthdate: February 15, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

Jane Seymour is a British-American actress who was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for service to drama. Over the years, Seymour has also played a major role as a celebrity ambassador for a national non-profit organization called Childhelp, which works towards helping victims of child abuse and neglect.

 47 Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
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Famous As: Model, Actress
Birthdate: April 18, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is a popular English model and actress known for being the face of world-renowned brands, such as Victoria's Secret, Burberry, and Marks & Spencer. Known for her stunning looks, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has been featured on covers of magazines, such as Vogue. She has also been named in lists like FHM's World's Sexiest Woman and Maxim magazine's Hot 100.

 48 Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Phoebe Waller-Bridge
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 14, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is credited with creating and writing one of the greatest TV series of the 21st century, Fleabag. She is also famous for contributing as the executive producer and head writer of another highly-acclaimed TV series, Killing Eve. In 2020, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world.

 49 Geri Halliwell

Geri Halliwell
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

Geri Halliwell is a British singer-songwriter who achieved international fame as part of the popular girl group, The Spice Girls, which has sold more than 85 million records worldwide. Also a well-known philanthropist, Geri Halliwell has worked closely with the United Nations Population Fund, becoming its goodwill ambassador in 1998. She is widely regarded as a girl power icon.

 50 Carey Mulligan

Carey Mulligan
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 28, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

Carey Mulligan is an English actress. Apart from having an impact as an actress, Mulligan has also established herself as a philanthropist. She has worked towards raising awareness about issues like sex trafficking and Alzheimer's. In 2012, she was chosen as the ambassador for Alzheimer's Society. In 2014, she was appointed as the ambassador for War Child, a non-governmental organization.