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 
Emily Blunt
(Actress)

Emily Blunt
32
Birthdate: February 23, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
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.

 2 

Keira Knightley
28
Birthdate: March 26, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Teddington, England

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.

 3 
Emma Thompson
(Only Person to Win Academy Awards for Both Acting & Writing)

Emma Thompson
33
Birthdate: April 15, 1959
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paddington, London, England

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.

 4 
Rosamund Pike
(Actress)

Rosamund Pike
28
Birthdate: January 27, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England

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.

 5 
Tilda Swinton
(Known for Her Roles in Independent Films and Blockbusters)

Tilda Swinton
21
Birthdate: November 5, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England

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.

 6 
Judi Dench
(Actress)

Judi Dench
18
Birthdate: December 9, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Heworth, York, United Kingdom

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.

 7 
Emma Watson
(Actress, Activist)

Emma Watson
70
Birthdate: April 15, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France

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.

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 8 

Audrey Hepburn
39
Birthdate: May 4, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ixelles, Belgium
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.

 9 

Carey Mulligan
16
Birthdate: May 28, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Westminster, England

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.

 10 
Kate Winslet
(Actress)

Kate Winslet
39
Birthdate: October 5, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Reading, England

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

 11 

Helena Bonham Carter
43
Birthdate: May 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Islington, London, England

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.

 12 
Hayley Atwell
(Actress)

Hayley Atwell
19
Birthdate: April 5, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England, UK

 13 
Rachel Weisz
(Actress)

Rachel Weisz
29
Birthdate: March 7, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England

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.

 14 
Emilia Clarke
(Actress)

Emilia Clarke
53
Birthdate: October 23, 1986
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England

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. 

 15 

Millie Bobby Brown
60
Birthdate: February 19, 2004
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Marbella, Spain

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.

 16 
Jenna Coleman
(Actress.)

Jenna Coleman
11
Birthdate: April 27, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Blackpool, Lancashire, England

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.

 17 
Elizabeth Taylor
(Legend of Classic Hollywood Cinema)

Elizabeth Taylor
19
Birthdate: February 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England
Died: March 23, 2011

Considered an incandescent beauty, Elizabeth Taylor was a very popular and successful actor and her legacy is an everlasting one. She shone in movies like A Place in the Sun, Giant, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cleopatra, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Butterfield 8 in the 1950s and 60s. Recipient of two Oscars, she married eight times.

 18 
Julie Andrews
(Actress)

Julie Andrews
29
Birthdate: October 1, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Walton-on-Thames, England

A distinguished films, television and Broadway actress, Julie Andrews is best known for her performances in films like Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Victor/Victoria. She has also done voiceovers for animation movie like Despicable Me and Enchanted. The legendary actress has also released multiple albums and authored numerous children’s books as well as her autobiography.

 19 

Sienna Rose Miller
11
Birthdate: December 28, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Sienna Rose Miller is a British-American actress. From being a photography model, who posed topless for Pirelli calendar, to becoming a prominent actress in the American film and TV industry, Miller's journey has been quite inspirational so far. Also known for her charity work, Miller touched the lives of many when she traveled to Haiti after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

 20 

Kate Beckinsale
23
Birthdate: July 26, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England

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.

 21 

Thandie Newton
12
Birthdate: November 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England

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.

 22 
Rebecca Hall
(Actress)

Rebecca Hall
9
Birthdate: May 3, 1982
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England, UK

 23 
Lily James
(Portrayed Title Role in Movie 'Cinderella')

Lily James
21
Birthdate: April 5, 1989
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Esher

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. 

 24 
Maggie Smith
(One of Britain's Most Recognizable & Prolific Actresses)

Maggie Smith
21
Birthdate: December 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ilford, Essex, England

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.

 25 
Helen Mirren
(Actress)

Helen Mirren
24
Birthdate: July 26, 1945
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chiswick, London, England

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.

 26 
Daisy Ridley
(Best Known for Portraying 'Rey' in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy)

Daisy Ridley
20
Birthdate: April 10, 1992
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England

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.

 27 
Sophie Turner
(Actress)

Sophie Turner
26
Birthdate: February 1, 1996
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Northampton, England

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.

 28 
Lily Collins
(Actress)

Lily Collins
37
Birthdate: March 8, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Guildford, England

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.

 29 
Minnie Driver
(Actress)

Minnie Driver
11
Birthdate: January 31, 1970
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Minnie Driver is best known for her Academy Award-nominated role of Skylar in Good Will Hunting. She is also known for her supporting roles in the films Circle of Friends and Take and the series Speechless, About a Boy, and Will & Grace. She is a jazz musician, too. 

 30 
Angela Lansbury
(Actress Whose Career Spanned Over 80 Years)

Angela Lansbury
23
Birthdate: October 16, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England

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.

 31 
Florence Pugh
(Actress)

Florence Pugh
17
Birthdate: January 3, 1996
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oxford, Oxfordshire, England

 32 
Naomi Scott
(Actress)

Naomi Scott
13
Birthdate: January 3, 1996, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hounslow, London, England

Best known for playing Princess Jasmine in the 2019 fantasy film Aladdin, Naomi Scott is one of the most popular actresses of English and Indian descent. She is also a noted singer and has released several singles and music videos. She is the UK ambassador to Compassion International, a Christian charity organization that sponsors children living in poverty.

 33 
Maisie Williams
(Portrayed Arya Stark on the HBO Series 'Game of Thrones')

Maisie Williams
21
Birthdate: April 5, 1997
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bristol, England

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.

 34 
Anya Taylor-Joy
(Portrayed Beth Harmon in the Netflix Miniseries 'The Queen's Gambit')

Anya Taylor-Joy
22
Birthdate: April 26, 1996
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States

Argentine-British actress, Anya Taylor-Joy, first gained international fame with her role in the period horror film, The Witch. She is trained in ballet dancing and began her career as a model when she was just 16. Her modelling career paved the way for acting and soon she was playing significant roles in TV series and films.

 35 
Lena Headey
(Portrayed Cersei Lannister in HBO Series 'Game of Thrones' )

Lena Headey
21
Birthdate: October 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hamilton, Bermuda

 36 
Jodie Comer
(Best Known for Her Role in TV Series 'Killing Eve')

Jodie Comer
14
Birthdate: March 11, 1993
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Liverpool, Merseyside, England, UK

 37 
Naomi Watts
(Actress)

Naomi Watts
28
Birthdate: September 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shoreham, England

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.

 38 

Felicity Jones
18
Birthdate: October 17, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Birmingham

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.

 39 
Diana Rigg
(Actress)

Diana Rigg
13
Birthdate: July 20, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, UK

 40 
Talulah Riley
(Actress)

Talulah Riley
15
Birthdate: September 26, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hertfordshire, England, UK

English actress, Talulah Riley, has acted in films like Pride and Prejudice, The Boat That Rocked, The Summer House, White Frog and Inception. She’s also starred in television series like Westworld, Poirot, Marple and Nearly Famous. She’s acted on stage too and has written the novel, Acts of Love. She was married to billionaire entrepreneu,r Elon Musk, and is now divorced.

 41 
Gemma Chan
(Actress)

Gemma Chan
17
Birthdate: November 29, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England

 42 
Vivien Leigh
(Actress)

Vivien Leigh
10
Birthdate: November 5, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Darjeeling, India
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.

 43 
Naomie Harris
(Actress)

Naomie Harris
10
Birthdate: September 6, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

Naomie Harris went on to establish herself as a prominent actress after starting her career as a child star. In the 2017 New Year Honours, she was appointed an OBE for services to drama by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2019, she was named in Powerlist's 100 most influential Black Britons list.

 44 
Joan Collins
(Actress)

Joan Collins
12
Birthdate: May 23, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paddington, London, United Kingdom
Joan Collins, sister of renowned author Jackie Collins, is best known for her Golden Globe-winning role of Alexis Carrington in Dynasty, an iconic soap of the 1980s. She has also written several books, including beauty books, memoirs, and novels. A seasoned theater actor, she also received the DBE and OBE.

 45 

Kaya Scodelario
10
Birthdate: March 13, 1992
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Holloway, London, England
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.

 46 

Natalie Dormer
12
Birthdate: February 11, 1982
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Reading, Berkshire, England

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.

 47 

Olivia de Havilland
17
Birthdate: July 1, 1916
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
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.

 48 

Christina Hendricks
12
Birthdate: May 3, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Christina Hendricks is an actress and producer. She began her career as a model and enjoyed international success for several years before transitioning into acting. As an actress, she was able to replicate her success and appeared in films like Drive and Lost River. She is the recipient of several awards, including two Screen Actors Guild Awards. 

 49 
Vanessa Redgrave
(Actress who won an Oscar Award for her role in the 1977 film Julia)

Vanessa Redgrave
11
Birthdate: January 30, 1937
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Blackheath, London, England, United Kingdom

 50 

Natasha Richardson
13
Birthdate: May 11, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England
Died: March 18, 2009

Natasha Richardson, the daughter of actress Vanessa Redgrave, came to prominence after her Broadway debut in the 1993 revival of Anna Christie. Some of the films that she acted in are Asylum, The Handmaid's Tale, The Parent Trap, Maid in Manhattan and The White Countess. She also worked in many television projects. She died after a skiing accident in Quebec.