Famous Scottish Women

You will undoubtedly find a big list of inspiring men who made their mark in the Scottish history. But the more you delve into their history; you’d find that there are incredible stories of Scottish women who deserve the same spotlight for their bravery. Women like Elise Inglis, a pioneering Scottish doctor who helped raise thousands to set hospitals that cater to women’s health, are what make up most of their history books! The Scottish women are known for their willingness to use whatever small talents that they possess for the greater good of somehow putting their country on the map. Their burning desire to succeed and their commitment to do whatever it takes to shape their lives and the life of their future generations’ is what makes the Scottish women stand out!

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 Scottish Women

 1 Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots.
17
Famous As: Queen of Scotland
Birthdate: December 8, 1542
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Linlithgow Palace, Linlithgow, Scotland
Died: February 8, 1587

Mary, Queen of Scots was the ruler of Scotland till 24 July 1567. After an uprising against her, Mary sought protection from her first cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England. However, the Queen perceived her as a threat and kept Mary in confinement for eighteen and a half years. Ultimately Mary was beheaded for plotting to assassinate the Queen.

 2 Anya Taylor-Joy

Anya Taylor-Joy.
66
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 16, 1996
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Miami, Florida

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.

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 3 Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox.
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 25, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Known for her androgynous look, four-time Grammy-winning artist Annie Lennox became an international sensation with Eurythmics, a duo she formed with Dave Stewart, delivering hits such as Sweet Dreams. Her song Into the West from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King received an Academy Award.

 4 Rose Leslie

Rose Leslie.
10
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aberdeen

Rose Leslie is a popular Scottish actress who gained international fame after portraying Ygritte in one of the most popular TV series of all time, Game of Thrones. Thanks to her popularity, she serves as an icon and inspiration to several aspiring Scottish actresses and models.

 5 Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle.
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Blackburn
Susan Boyle shot to fame with her rendition of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables in an audition for Britain's Got Talent. Her first album, I Dreamed a Dream, was the best-selling debut album in U.K. history. She has also performed at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

 6 Kelly Macdonald

Kelly Macdonald.
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 23, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Aberdeen, Scotland

Kelly Macdonald is a Scottish actress known for playing Diane Coulston in the 1996 black comedy-drama film, Trainspotting. Kelly Macdonald received critical appreciation for portraying Gina in the made-for-television drama film, The Girl in the Café, for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award. Eastwood High School, where she studied, has a theatre and drama studio named in her honor.

 7 Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon.
3
Famous As: First Minister of Scotland
Birthdate: July 19, 1970
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon is a Scottish politician. Since 2014, Sturgeon has been serving as the leader of the Scottish National Party and first minister of Scotland. Being the first woman to serve in these positions, Nicola Sturgeon is seen as a major inspiration to women across Scotland.

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 8 Sheena Easton

Sheena Easton.
1
Famous As: Singer, Actress
Birthdate: April 27, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bellshill
Two-time Grammy-winning artist Sheena Easton first gained attention on The Big Time. With the singles Modern Girl and 9 to 5, she became the second female to feature twice on the same Top Ten chart. Easton is the only artist with a top 5 hit on all Billboard singles charts.

 9 Laura Fraser

Laura Fraser
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 24, 1975
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

 10 Michelle Gomez

Michelle Gomez
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 23, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

 11 Nikki Cross

Nikki Cross
1
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: April 21, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

 12 Effie Gray

Effie Gray.
2
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: May 7, 1828
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Perth, United Kingdom
Died: December 23, 1897

Effie Gray was a Scottish painter. She was married to draughtsman and watercolorist, John Ruskin, before leaving him to marry John Everett Millais. This popular love triangle has been depicted in several plays and films, including the 1912 silent movie, The Love of John Ruskin. After marrying Millais, Effie Gray had a major influence on his works.

 13 Lauren Mayberry

Lauren Mayberry
1
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: October 7, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

 14 Pollyanna McIntosh

Pollyanna McIntosh
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 15, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Scotland, UK

 15 Elizabeth de Burgh

Elizabeth de Burgh
0
Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: 1284 AD
Birthplace: County Down, England
Died: October 27, 1327

 16 Elizabeth Fraser

Elizabeth Fraser
0
Famous As: singer
Birthdate: August 29, 1959
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Grangemouth

 17 Morven Christie

Morven Christie
0
Famous As: stage actor, film actor
Birthdate: 1979 AD
Birthplace: Helensburgh

 18 Ruth Connell

Ruth Connell
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 20, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Falkirk, Scotland, UK

 19 Georgia King

Georgia King.
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 18, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Daughter of actor Jonathan Hyde and operatic soprano Isobel Buchanan, Georgia King initially worked at a cheese shop. She almost lost out on her debut role in Jane Eyre due to an appendix operation. Fans loved her in the series The New Normal and Vice Principals.

 20 Phyllida Law

Phyllida Law
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 8, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
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 21 Lorraine Kelly

Lorraine Kelly
0
Famous As: Television presenter
Birthdate: November 30, 1959
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Lorraine Kelly is a Scottish journalist and TV presenter. She is also known for her charity work and has been a long-time supporter of the LGBT community. In the 2012 New Year Honours, Lorraine Kelly was appointed OBE for services to charity. In the 2020 Birthday Honours, she was promoted to CBE for services to journalism, broadcasting, and charity.

 22 Lena Zavaroni

Lena Zavaroni.
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 4, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland, UK
Died: October 1, 1999

Scottish singer Lena Zavaroni is an example of how harmful unregulated childhood stardom can be. At 10, she became the youngest singer with a Top 10 album on the UK Albums Chart. However, after a lifelong battle with anorexia nervosa and depression, she died at 34, following a psychosurgical operation.

 23 Joanne Calderwood

Joanne Calderwood.
0
Famous As: Mixed Martial Artist
Birthdate: December 23, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

Scottish MMA fighter and Muay Thai champion Joanne Calderwood now competes for the UFC Women's Flyweight division. She was placed sixth on the UFC women's flyweight rankings in January 2021 and second on the World Professional Muaythai Federation rankings. She has also fought in India's Super Fight League.

 24 Andrea McLean

Andrea McLean
0
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: October 5, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland, UK

 25 Saint Margaret of Scotland

Saint Margaret of Scotland
0
Famous As: English princess
Birthdate: 1045 AD
Birthplace: Hungary
Died: November 16, 1093

 26 Caitlin Blackwood

Caitlin Blackwood
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 23, 2000
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Northern Ireland

 27 Marianna Palka

Marianna Palka.
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 7, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

Scottish-born Marianna Palka is best known for her towering frame and her award-winning direction in the film Good Dick, which she also wrote and starred in. She has also gained fame with her critically acclaimed films TriBeCa Neds and Bitch. She inspired the Academy Award-shortlisted documentary The Lion's Mouth Opens.

 28 Judy Murray

Judy Murray
0
Famous As: tennis coach, tennis player
Birthdate: September 8, 1959
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bridge of Allan

 29 Gillian McKeith

Gillian McKeith
0
Famous As: Nutritionist, Television presenter
Birthdate: September 28, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Perth

 30 Margaret Tudor

Margaret Tudor.
1
Famous As: Queen Consort of Scotland
Birthdate: November 28, 1489
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Westminster Palace, London, Middlesex, Kingdom of England
Died: October 18, 1541
Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII of England, served as the Queen consort of Scotland, as wife of James IV, from 1503 to 1513. Following her husband’s death, she served as the regent till 1515. She was the great-grandmother of Scottish king James VI, or James I of England.

 31 Kay Lee Ray

Kay Lee Ray
0
Famous As: Professional Wrestler
Birthdate: August 11, 1992
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paisley, Scotland

 32 Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange

Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
0
Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: November 4, 1631
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 24, 1660

 33 Shauna Macdonald

Shauna Macdonald
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 21, 1981
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Malaysia

 34 Katherine Grainger

Katherine Grainger
1
Famous As: Rower
Birthdate: November 12, 1975
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

 35 Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville
0
Famous As: Mathematician, Linguist, Translator, Astronomer, Scientist
Birthdate: December 26, 1780
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Jedburgh
Died: November 28, 1872

One of the two pioneering female honorary members of the Royal Astronomical Society, Mary Somerville was a 19th-century polymath and science writer. Though she specialized in math and astronomy, she was also well-versed in botany and geology. The Connection of the Physical Sciences remains her most notable work.

 36 Ashley Jensen

Ashley Jensen
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 11, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Annan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland

 37 Adrienne Corri

Adrienne Corri
0
Famous As: stage actor, film actor
Birthdate: November 13, 1930
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Glasgow
Died: March 13, 2016

 38 Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark
1
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 1, 1918
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: April 13, 2006

 39 Lindsay Duncan

Lindsay Duncan.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 7, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland

Scottish actor Lindsay Duncan is known for her Tony- and Olivier Award-winning role in Private Lives. She came to be known as the star of many plays by playwright Harold Pinter. On TV, she has also played Barbara Douglas in G.B.H. and Servilia of the Junii in Rome.

 40 Eddi Reader

Eddi Reader
1
Famous As: musician, singer, songwriter
Birthdate: August 28, 1959
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glasgow

 41 Eilish McColgan

Eilish McColgan.
0
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: November 25, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dundee

Eilish McColgan is a British middle-distance athlete. She competes in the 3000 meters steeplechase and 5000 meters. She represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2016 Olympic Games. She won the Great South Run in Portsmouth in 2018. She has a degree in mathematics and accountancy from the University of Dundee. 

 42 Ali Smith

Ali Smith
0
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 24, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Inverness, Scotland

 43 Julie Wilson Nimmo

Julie Wilson Nimmo
0
Famous As: actor
Birthdate: 1972 AD
Birthplace: East Kilbride

 44 Carrie Gracie

Carrie Gracie
0
Famous As: Journalist, Television producer, Presenter
Birthdate: 1962 AD
Birthplace: Bahrain

 45 Liz McColgan

Liz McColgan.
0
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: May 24, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dundee

Olympic silver medalist Liz McColgan had apparently started training at age 12. The former British track and field athlete secured her first major win representing the University of Alabama at the NCAA Indoor Mile Championship. She is also two-time Commonwealth winner, apart from being a one-time world champion.

 46 Piper Niven

Piper Niven
0
Famous As: Professional wrestler
Birthdate: May 13, 1991
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ayrshire, Scotland

 47 Williamina Fleming

Williamina Fleming
0
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: May 15, 1857
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dundee, Scotland
Died: May 21, 1911

Born in Scotland, Williamina Fleming moved to the U.S. with her husband, where she began working as a housekeeper for Harvard Observatory director Edward C. Pickering. Pickering secured her a job at the observatory, and Fleming went on to establish a classification and cataloguing system for stars.

 48 Sophie Kennedy Clark

Sophie Kennedy Clark
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: 1990 AD
Birthplace: Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

 49 Flora MacDonald

Flora MacDonald
0
Famous As: Heroine
Birthdate: 1722 AD
Birthplace: South Uist
Died: March 4, 1790

 50 Kate Dickie

Kate Dickie.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 4, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: East Kilbride, United Kingdom

Kate Dickie is a Scottish actress known for playing important roles in television series like Tinsel Town and Game of Thrones. For her portrayal of Jackie in the 2006 thriller film Red Road, Dickie won a British Academy Scotland Award and a British Independent Film Award. She is also known for her association with the popular theatre company, Solar Bear.

Famous Scottish women like Flora MacDonald, who played a minor role in the American Revolution, Katharine Marjory who was a self-proclaimed fighter against International cruelty, to Gay Grossart, the painter, Scottish women have proved that they are second to none. Read on to learn more about such incredible Scottish women.