The Best Actresses Ever - 1930s

by dziwnytenswiat | created - 27 Aug 2018 | updated - 1 week ago | Public

Points from my "The Best Films Ever Made"-Lists. Only Actresses in films from 1930s. Vol. 1 = 100%, Vol. 2 = 50%, Vol. 3 = 33%, Vol. 4 = 25%, Vol. 5 = 20 %, Vol. 6 = 17%

1. Jean Arthur

Actress | Shane

This marvelous screen comedienne's best asset was only muffled during her seven years' stint in silent films. That asset? It was, of course, her squeaky, frog-like voice, which silent-era cinema audiences had simply no way of perceiving, much less appreciating. Jean Arthur, born Gladys Georgianna ...

4543 points

2. Bette Davis

Actress | All About Eve

Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts, to Ruth Augusta (Favor) and Harlow Morrell Davis, a patent attorney. Her parents divorced when she was 10. She and her sister were raised by their mother. Her early interest was dance. To Bette, dancers led a glamorous life, but...

4524 points

3. Beulah Bondi

Actress | It's a Wonderful Life

Character actress Beulah Bondi was a favorite of directors and audiences and is one of the reasons so many films from the 1930s and 1940s remain so enjoyable, as she was an integral part of many of the ensemble casts (a hallmark of the studio system) of major and/or great films, including The Trail...

3261 points

4. Spring Byington

Actress | You Can't Take It with You

The possessor of one of Hollywood's gentlest faces and warmest voices, and about as sweet as Tupelo honey both on-and-off camera, character actress Spring Byington was seldom called upon to play callous or unsympathetic (she did once play a half-crazed housekeeper in Dragonwyck (1946)). Although ...

3229 points

5. Isabel Jewell

Actress | Gone with the Wind

Isabel Jewell, like other actresses in Hollywood in the 1930s, suffered from chronic typecasting. The diminutive, platinum-haired daughter of a doctor and medical researcher seemed to be forever playing hard-boiled, tough-talking broads: gangster's molls, dumb blondes, prostitutes and, of course, ...

3018 points

6. Miriam Hopkins

Actress | The Heiress

Born into wealth in Savannah,Georgia on October 18, 1902, Ellen Miriam Hopkins was able to attend the finest educational institutions including Goddard Seminary in Plainfield, Vermont and Syracuse University in New York State. Studying dance in New York , she received her first taste of show ...

2882 points

7. Ruth Donnelly

Actress | Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Feisty, ebullient character comedienne who, for three decades, enlivened Hollywood films with her drollery and quick-fire repartee. The daughter of a newspaper editor and music critic, Ruth made her stage debut in the chorus of the touring production 'The Quaker Girl' in 1913. Four years later, she...

2818 points

8. Myrna Loy

Actress | The Best Years of Our Lives

Myrna Loy was born Myrna Adele Williams on August 2, 1905 in Helena, Montana, to Adelle Mae (Johnson) and David Franklin Williams. Her paternal grandparents were Welsh, and her mother was of Scottish and Swedish descent. Myrna was raised in Helena and nearby Radersburg. Her father, a rancher, was ...

2626 points

9. Una Merkel

Actress | Private Lives

Una Merkel began her movie career as stand-in for Lillian Gish in the movie The Wind (1928). After that, she performed on Broadway before she returned to movies for the D.W. Griffith film Abraham Lincoln (1930). In her early years, before gaining a few pounds, she looked like Lillian Gish, but ...

2567 points

10. Sylvia Sidney

Actress | Beetlejuice

Sylvia Sidney was born in New York City, in the Bronx borough, on August 8, 1910 with the birth name of Sophia Kosow. Her father was Russian born and her mother was born in Romania. They divorced not long after her birth. Her mother subsequently remarried and Sylvia was adopted by her stepfather, ...

2548 points

11. Marlene Dietrich

Soundtrack | Witness for the Prosecution

Her father was a police lieutenant and imbued in her a military attitude to life. Marlene was known in school for her "bedroom eyes" and her first affairs were at this stage in her life - a professor at the school was terminated. She entered the cabaret scene in 1920s Germany, first as a spectator ...

2365 points

12. May Robson

Actress | Bringing Up Baby

Born Mary Jeanette Robison. She was the youngest daughter of Henry Robison of Penrith, Cumberland, England and Julia Schelesinger of Liverpool, Lancashire, England. Her father died in 1860 and her mother remarried. In 1866/67 they were living in St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and moved ...

2365 points

13. Greta Garbo

Actress | Ninotchka

Greta Garbo was born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson on September 18, 1905, in Stockholm, Sweden, to Anna Lovisa (Johansdotter), who worked at a jam factory, and Karl Alfred Gustafsson, a laborer. She was fourteen when her father died, which left the family destitute. Greta was forced to leave school and ...

2310 points

14. Kay Francis

Actress | Trouble in Paradise

Kay Francis is possibly the biggest of the 'forgotten stars' from Hollywood's Golden Era, yet, for a while in the 1930s, she ranked as one of the most popular actresses, tagged the 'Queen of Warner Brothers', by 1935 earning a yearly salary of $115,000 (compared to Bette Davis with $18,000). The ...

2288 points

15. Carole Lombard

Actress | My Man Godfrey

Carole Lombard was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on October 6, 1908. Her parents divorced in 1916 and her mother took the family on a trip out West. While there they decided to settle down in the Los Angeles area. After being spotted playing baseball in the street with the ...

2128 points

16. Una O'Connor

Actress | Bride of Frankenstein

Delightful character actress who held her own against such acting heavyweights as Charles Laughton, Boris Karloff, Tyrone Power, Barbara Stanwyck, and Sydney Greenstreet. Often cast by studio heads as comic relief thanks to her thick Irish accent and rubber-faced expressions, most notably in ...

2108 points

17. Ginger Rogers

Actress | The Major and the Minor

Ginger Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri on July 16, 1911. Her mother, known as Lelee, went to Independence to have Ginger away from her husband. She had a baby earlier in their marriage and he allowed the doctor to use forceps and the baby died. She was kidnapped ...

2095 points

18. Mary Astor

Actress | The Maltese Falcon

Mary Astor was born, Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, on May 3, 1906 in Quincy, Illinois to a German immigrant father, Otto Ludwig Langhanke, and an American mother from Illinois, Helen Marie Vasconcellos, of Portuguese and Irish ancestry. Her parents were very ambitious for her as they recognized ...

1944 points

19. Mitsuko Yoshikawa

Actress | Nagaya shinshiroku

Mitsuko Yoshikawa was born on June 21, 1901 in Tokyo, Japan. She is an actress, known for Record of a Tenement Gentleman (1947), Apart from You (1933) and Aizen katsura (1938).

1930 points

20. Aline MacMahon

Actress | Kind Lady

Aline MacMahon was born of Irish/Russian ancestry on May 3 1899, the daughter of William Marcus MacMahon and Jennie Simon MacMahon. Her father went on to become editor-in-chief of Munsey's Magazine, while her mother pursued a theatrical acting career from middle-age and lived to the ripe old age of...

1868 points

21. Jane Darwell

Actress | The Grapes of Wrath

Missouri-born Jane Darwell was born Patti Woodard, the daughter of William Robert Woodard, president of the Louisville Southern Railroad, and Ellen (Booth) Woodard, in Palmyra, Missouri, where she grew up on a ranch . She nursed ambitions to be an opera singer, but put it off because of her ...

1827 points

22. Jeanette MacDonald

Soundtrack | Cairo

She was the third daughter of Daniel and Anne MacDonald, younger sister to Blossom (MGM's character actress Marie Blake), whom she followed to New York and a chorus job in 1920. She was busy in a string of musical productions. In 1928 Paramount tested and rejected her, but a year later Ernst ...

1813 points

23. Elisabeth Risdon

Actress | Abe Lincoln in Illinois

Elisabeth Risdon was born on April 26, 1887 in London, England as Daisy Cartwright Risdon. She was an actress, known for Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940), High Sierra (1941) and Make Way for Tomorrow (1937). She was married to Brandon Evans and George Loane Tucker. She died on December 20, 1958 in ...

1799 points

24. Jean Harlow

Actress | Bombshell

Harlean Carpenter, who later became Jean Harlow, was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 3, 1911. She was the daughter of a successful dentist and his wife. In 1927, at the age of 16, she ran away from home to marry a young businessman named Charles McGrew, who was 23. The couple pulled up ...

1797 points

25. Jane Bryan

Actress | Each Dawn I Die

Warner was grooming Bryan for stardom in the late 1930s when she met and married the love of her life, Justin Dart, head of the Rexall Drug empire. An ardent Republican, he became one of Ronald Reagan's most trusted advisors.

1763 points

26. Joan Blondell

Actress | Grease

With blonde hair, big blue eyes and a big smile, Joan was usually cast as the wisecracking working girl who was the lead's best friend. Born into vaudeville to a comic named Eddie, Joan was on the stage when she was three years old. For years, she toured the circuit with her parents and joined a ...

1746 points

27. Billie Burke

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

Billie Burke was born Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke on August 7, 1885 in Washington, D.C. Her father was a circus clown, and as a child she toured the United States and Europe with the circus (before motion pictures and after the stage, circuses were the biggest form of entertainment in the...

1678 points

28. Margaret Hamilton

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

Margaret Hamilton was born December 9, 1902 in Cleveland, Ohio to Jennie and Walter Hamilton. She later attended Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and practiced acting doing children's theater while a Junior League of Cleveland member. Margaret had already built her resume with several...

1630 points

29. Yoshiko Tsubouchi

Actress | Ukikusa monogatari

Yoshiko Tsubouchi was born in 1915 as Tomiko Yamazaki. She was an actress, known for A Story of Floating Weeds (1934), Late Spring (1949) and Otoko no okite (1968). She died in 1985.

1615 points

30. Olivia de Havilland

Actress | The Heiress

Olivia Mary de Havilland was born July 1, 1916, in Tokyo, Japan, to British parents Lilian Augusta (Ruse), a former actress, and Walter Augustus de Havilland, an English professor and patent attorney. Her sister, Joan, later to become famous as Joan Fontaine, was born the following year. Her ...

1609 points

31. Maureen O'Sullivan

Actress | Hannah and Her Sisters

Maureen Paula O'Sullivan was born on May 17, 1911 in County Roscommon, Ireland, to Evangeline "Mary Eva" Lovatt (Frazer) and Charles Joseph O'Sullivan, an officer in the Connaught Rangers. She was of Irish, English, and Scottish descent. The future mother of Mia Farrow was educated in private ...

1588 points

32. Zasu Pitts

Actress | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Classic comedienne Zasu Pitts, of the timid, forlorn blue eyes and trademark woebegone vocal pattern and fidgety hands, was born to Rulandus and Nellie (Shay) Pitts, the third of four children on January 3, 1894. Her aged New York-native father, who lost a leg back in the Civil War era, had settled...

1579 points

33. Loretta Young

Actress | The Farmer's Daughter

Sweet, sweeter, sweetest. No combination of terms better describes the screen persona of lovely Loretta Young. A&E's Biography (1987) has stated that Young "remains a symbol of beauty, serenity, and grace. But behind the glamour and stardom is a woman of substance whose true beauty lies in her ...

1546 points

34. Elizabeth Allan

Actress | The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger

British stage and film actress Elizabeth Allan was born in Skegness, Lincolnshire. She made her stage debut at the age of 17; her movie debut came about four years later with an appearance in the Hercule Poirot mystery Alibi (1931).

At the beginning of her career, Allan mainly appeared in films for ...

1501 points

35. Katharine Hepburn

Actress | The Lion in Winter

Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was ...

1475 points

36. Claudette Colbert

Actress | It Happened One Night

One of the brightest film stars to grace the screen was born Emilie Claudette Chauchoin on September 13, 1903, in Saint Mandé, France where her father owned a bakery at 57, rue de la République (now Avenue Général de Gaulle). The family moved to the United States when she was three. As Claudette ...

1455 points

37. Louise Carter

Actress | Broken Lullaby

Louise Carter was born on March 17, 1875 in Denison, Iowa, USA. She was an actress, known for Broken Lullaby (1932), Madame Butterfly (1932) and Unmarried (1939). She died on November 10, 1957 in Hollywood, California, USA.

1451 point

38. Barbara Stanwyck

Actress | Double Indemnity

Today Barbara Stanwyck is remembered primarily as the matriarch of the family known as the Barkleys on the TV western The Big Valley (1965), wherein she played Victoria, and from the hit drama The Colbys (1985). But she was known to millions of other fans for her movie career, which spanned the ...

1349 points

39. Hattie McDaniel

Actress | Gone with the Wind

After working as early as the 1910s as a band vocalist, Hattie McDaniel debuted as a maid in The Golden West (1932). Her maid-mammy characters became steadily more assertive, showing up first in Judge Priest (1934) and becoming pronounced in Alice Adams (1935). In this one, directed by George ...

1310 points

40. Margaret Dumont

Actress | Duck Soup

Margaret Dumont would probably consider it a tragedy that she is best-known for her performances as the ultimate straight woman in seven of the Marx Brothers' films (including most of their best). By all accounts she never understood their jokes (offscreen and on), which is of course a major reason...

1308 points

41. Merle Oberon

Actress | Wuthering Heights

Estelle Merle O'Brien Thompson was born in India on February 19, 1911. She was educated in that country until the age of 17, when she left for London. Merle began her career in British films with mostly forgettable roles or bit parts. She appeared in an uncredited role in Alf's Button (1930), a ...

1305 points

42. Glenda Farrell

Actress | Mystery of the Wax Museum

Glenda Farrell began as the archetypal wisecracking blonde in 1930s gangland films like Little Caesar (1931) and I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932). Diminutive, grey-eyed and undeniably sassy, she was a seasoned performer long before Warner Brothers snapped her up as a contract player in 1929...

1304 points

43. Fay Bainter

Actress | Jezebel

Fay Bainter's career began as a child performer in 1898. For some time, she was a member of the traveling cast of the Morosco Stock Company in Los Angeles. In 1912, she made her Broadway debut in 'The Rose of Panama', but this and her subsequent play 'The Bridal Path' (1913), were conspicuous ...

1291 points

44. Irene Dunne

Actress | The Awful Truth

Irene Marie Dunne was born on December 20, 1898, in Louisville, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Joseph Dunne, who inspected steamships, and Adelaide Henry, a musician who prompted Irene in the arts. Her first production was in Louisville when she appeared in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the age...

1285 points

45. Norma Shearer

Actress | The Divorcee

She won a beauty contest at age fourteen. In 1920 her mother, Edith Shearer, took Norma and her sister Athole Shearer (Mrs. Howard Hawks) to New York. Ziegfeld rejected her for his "Follies," but she got work as an extra in several movies. She spent much money on eye doctor's services trying to ...

1246 points

46. Margaret Lindsay

Actress | Scarlet Street

Picture-pretty brunette Margaret Lindsay was one of a number of pleasant, sweet-natured ingénues who could do no wrong in a score of 1930s stylish Hollywood pictures. Such altruistic love interests were often overlooked in pictures that were carried by the flashy histrionics of a jaunty James Cagney...

1218 points

47. Margaret Sullavan

Actress | The Shop Around the Corner

Born in Norfolk, Virginia to wealthy stockbroker Cornelius Hancock Sullavan and heiress Garland Council Sullavan, Margaret Brooke overcame a muscle weakness in her childhood to go on to become a rebellious teenager at posh private schools. She went on to perform with the University Players at ...

1198 points

48. Arletty

Actress | Les enfants du paradis

Before Arlette-Leonie Bathiat went to the movies she was a secretary and had posed several times as a model for different painters and photographers. In 1920 she debuted on stage at a theatre. She only began to work in movies after 1930. After World War II she was condemned to prison for having ...

1197 points

49. Ethel Griffies

Actress | The Birds

The daughter of actor-manager Samuel Rupert Woods and actress Lillie Roberts, Ethel Griffies began her own stage career at the age of 3. She was 21 when she finally made her London debut in 1899, and 46 when she made her first Broadway appearance in "Havoc" (1924). Discounting a tentative stab at ...

1191 points

50. Edna May Oliver

Actress | The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger

She was born Edna May Nutter, a child of solid New England stock, on 9th November 1883 in Malden, Massachusetts. The daughter of Ida May and Charles Edward Nutter, Edna was a descendant of the 2nd American president John Adams and his son, the 6th American president John Quincy Adams. In addition, ...

1174 points

51. Astrid Allwyn

Actress | Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Lovely Connecticut-born blonde Astrid Allwyn, with her foreign-sounding name and icy countenance, spruced up a number of 1930s and early 1940s films. Of Swedish descent, she studied dancing and dramatics in New York and later gathered experience joining a stock company. Allwyn made her Broadway ...

1172 points

52. Bonita Granville

Actress | Now, Voyager

Daughter of Bernard Granville, Bonita Granville was born into an acting family. It's not surprising that she herself became a child actor, first on the stage and, at the age of 9, debuting in movies in Westward Passage (1932). She was regularly cast as a naughty little girl, as in These Three (1936)...

1148 points

53. Paulette Goddard

Actress | Modern Times

Paulette Goddard was a child model who debuted in "The Ziegfeld Follies" at the age of 13. She gained fame with the show as the girl on the crescent moon, and was married to a wealthy man by the time she was 16. After her divorce she went to Hollywood in 1931, where she appeared in small roles in ...

1134 points

54. Elsa Lanchester

Actress | Witness for the Prosecution

Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was born into an unconventional a family at the turn of the 20th century. Her parents, James "Shamus" Sullivan and Edith "Biddy" Lanchester, were socialists - very active members of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) in a rather broad sense and did not believe in the ...

1134 points

55. Katharine Alexander

Actress | The Painted Veil

Katherine (also called Katharine) Alexander, an excellent character actress, had been born in 1897 to a mother who was part Cherokee and to a father who farmed land on Indian territory. And yet she was never given the part of a native American in the course of her thirty-five-year acting career. ...

1131 points

56. Leila Bennett

Actress | Taxi

Leila Bennett was born on November 17, 1892 in Newark, New Jersey, USA. She was an actress, known for Taxi (1932), Doctor X (1932) and Wagon Wheels (1934). She was married to Francis M. (Frank) Keough. She died on January 5, 1965 in New York, New York, USA.

1105 points

57. Maria Ouspenskaya

Actress | The Wolf Man

The daughter of a lawyer, Ouspenskaya studied singing at the Warsaw Conservatory and acting at Adasheff's School of the Drama in Moscow. She received her practical training as an actress touring in the Russian provinces. She later joined the Moscow Art Theatre. It was here that she first worked ...

1065 points

58. Isuzu Yamada

Actress | Kumonosu-jô

Isuzu Yamada was born on February 5, 1917 in Osaka, Japan as Mitsu Yamada. She was an actress, known for Throne of Blood (1957), Yojimbo (1961) and Flowing (1956). She was married to Tsutomu Shimomoto, Yoshi Katô, Takita, Kazuo, Ichirô Tsukida and Teinosuke Kinugasa. She died on July 9, 2012 in ...

1059 points

59. Ona Munson

Actress | Gone with the Wind

Ona Munson was born Owena Elizabeth Wolcott on June 16, 1903 in Portland, Oregon. She took singing and dancing lessons when she was a child. At the age of fourteen, Ona moved to New York City with her mother. She began her career performing in vaudeville. In 1919 she made her Broadway debut in ...

1056 points

60. Barbara O'Neil

Actress | Gone with the Wind

Barbara O'Neil was born on July 17, 1910 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. She was an actress, known for Gone with the Wind (1939), All This, and Heaven Too (1940) and Stella Dallas (1937). She was married to Joshua Logan. She died on September 3, 1980 in Cos Cob, Connecticut, USA.

1054 points

61. Vivien Leigh

Actress | A Streetcar Named Desire

If a film were made of the life of Vivien Leigh, it would open in India just before World War I, where a successful British businessman could live like a prince. In the mountains above Calcutta, a little princess is born. Because of the outbreak of World War I, she is six years old the first time ...

1015 points

62. Ruby Keeler

Soundtrack | Sweetheart of the Campus

Ruby Keeler started as a dancer on Broadway. After her marriage to Al Jolson she moved to Hollywood and become a star in Warners musicals opposite Dick Powell. After her divorce from Jolson she retired for almost 30 years, until she appeared in "No No Nanette" on Broadway in 1971 under the ...

986 points

63. Ruth Chatterton

Actress | Dodsworth

Beginning as a chorus girl at age 14, Ruth Chatterton became a Broadway star with "Daddy Long Legs" in 1914. She appeared in such shows as "Mary Rose" and "Come Out of the Kitchen" before moving to Hollywood in 1925. As her film career faded in the late 1930s, she returned to the stage in revivals,...

922 points

64. Leila Hyams

Actress | Freaks

Leila Hyams was one of the top leading ladies of the early talkie pre-code years. She was a likable, pleasing actress with a charming presence. She had much spark, personality and charisma, and a touch of down-to-earthiness and naturalness that won over movie fans; they could relate to her. A ...

905 points

65. Virginia Cherrill

Actress | City Lights

Actress in US and UK films of the early 1930s. Born on a farm, Cherrill was discovered by Charles Chaplin while sitting beside him at a boxing match in Los Angeles; he introduced himself at intermission and hired her for her debut in City Lights (1931). She met husband Cary Grant at the premiere of ...

889 points

66. Marjorie Main

Actress | The Egg and I

Her father was a minister, and when she joined a local stock company as a youngster she changed her name to avoid embarrassing her family. She worked in vaudeville and debuted on Broadway in 1916. Her film debut was in A House Divided (1931). She repeated her stage role in Dead End (1937) as Baby ...

877 points

67. Evelyn Keyes

Actress | The Seven Year Itch

No shrinking violet this one, but despite her talent, vivacity and sheer drive, lovely and alluring blonde Evelyn Keyes would remain for the most part typed as a "B" girl on the silver screen. In spite of her ripe contributions to such superior pictures as Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), The Jolson ...

870 points

68. Ann Rutherford

Actress | Gone with the Wind

Ann Rutherford was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The daughter of a former Metropolitan Opera singer, John Rutherford, and her actress mother, Lillian Mansfield, was destined for show business. Not long after her birth, her family moved to California, where she made her stage debut in...

870 points

69. Butterfly McQueen

Actress | Gone with the Wind

Thelma McQueen attended public school in Augusta, Georgia and graduated from high school in Long Island, New York. She studied dance with Katherine Dunham, Geoffrey Holder, and Janet Collins. She danced with the Venezuela Jones Negro Youth Group. The "Butterfly" stage name, which does describe her ...

870 points

70. Mary Anderson

Actress | Lifeboat

Mary Anderson was born on April 3, 1918 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. She was an actress, known for Lifeboat (1944), Gone with the Wind (1939) and Henry and Dizzy (1942). She was married to Leon Shamroy and Leonard Marion Behrens. She died on April 6, 2014 in Burbank, California, USA.

870 points

71. Ann Miller

Actress | Mulholland Dr.

Ann Miller was born Johnnie Lucille Ann Collier on April 12, 1923 in Chireno, Texas. She lived there until she was nine, when her mother left her philandering father and moved with Ann to Los Angeles, California. Even at that young age, she had to support her mother, who was hearing-impaired and ...

853 points

72. Judy Garland

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland was a much-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals.

She was born Frances Ethel Gumm on 10 June 1922 in ...

839 points

73. Dita Parlo

Actress | La grande illusion

Dita Parlo was born on September 4, 1908 in Stettin, Pomerania, Germany as Grethe Gerda Kornstädt. She was an actress, known for La Grande Illusion (1937), Melody of the Heart (1929) and Tropennächte (1931). She was married to Frank Guetal. She died on December 12, 1971 in Paris, France.

835 points

74. Ann Dvorak

Actress | Scarface

Ann Dvorak was the daughter of silent film star Anna Lehr and silents director Edwin McKim. She entered films at the start of sound, as a dance instructor for the lavish MGM musicals. She came to international prominence in Scarface (1932) with Paul Muni, but often complained about the lack of ...

833 points

75. Jean Dixon

Actress | Holiday

Connecticut-born Jean Dixon had an auspicious theatre debut: on a Parisian stage with Sarah Bernhardt while still a student at a French university. Upon her return to the U.S. in 1921, she made her Broadway debut, and thereafter appeared in many stage productions, on Broadway and across the country...

830 points

76. Nancy Carroll

Actress | There Goes My Heart

Nancy Carroll made her film debut in 1927 after several years on the musical stage and later and Broadway. She became very popular upon the advent of sound because of her musical background. This red-haired, cupid-bow-mouthed star entertained movie audiences during the 1930s mouthed star gained a ...

822 points

77. Karen Morley

Actress | Scarface

Born Mildred Linton in Ottumwa, Iowa on December 12, 1909, Karen Morley was adopted by a well-to-do family who moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1920s. She enrolled at Hollywood High School and studied for a career in medicine at UCLA, but a class in theater changed her career ambitions.

After ...

818 points

78. Wendy Hiller

Actress | Murder on the Orient Express

Wendy Hiller, daughter of Frank and Marie Hiller, was born on 15th August 1912 in Bramhall, near Stockport, Cheshire, England. She was educated at Winceby House School, Bexhill then moved on to Manchester Repertory Theatre. She appeared on stage in Sir John Barry's tour of Evensong, then as Sally ...

812 points

79. Rochelle Hudson

Actress | Imitation of Life

Rochelle Hudson was born on March 6, 1916 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. She was an actress, known for Imitation of Life (1934), Harold Teen (1934) and Born Reckless (1937). She was married to Robert L. Mindell, Dick Irving Hyland, Harold E. Thompson and Charles Brust. She died on January 17, ...

810 points

80. Elizabeth Young

Actress | Queen Christina

Elizabeth Young was born on September 3, 1913 in New York City, New York, USA. She was an actress, known for Queen Christina (1933), There's Always Tomorrow (1934) and Big Executive (1933). She was married to Joseph L. Mankiewicz. She died on March 2, 2007 in Sarasota, Florida, USA.

809 points

81. Valerie Hobson

Actress | Bride of Frankenstein

Elegant, quintessentially English (although born in Northern Ireland) Valerie Hobson was the daughter of a British army officer. She studied dancing at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) and appeared on the stage for the first time at age 16, but she contracted a case of scarlet fever and ...

807 points

82. Janie Marèse

Actress | La chienne

Janie Marèse was born on May 23, 1908 in Chartres, Eure-et-Loir, France. She was an actress, known for La Chienne (1931), Mam'zelle Nitouche (1931) and Amours viennoises (1931). She died on August 14, 1931 in Sainte-Maxime, Var, France.

802 points

83. Jacqueline Laurent

Actress | L'abito nero da sposa

Jacqueline Laurent was born on August 6, 1918 in Brienne-le-Château, Aube, France as Jacqueline Suzanne Janin. She was an actress, known for L'abito nero da sposa (1945), Le Jour Se Leve (1939) and Addio, amore! (1943). She died on December 18, 2009 in Grasse, Alpes-Maritimes, France.

802 points

84. Margaret Lockwood

Actress | The Lady Vanishes

Karachi-born Margaret Lockwood, daughter of a British colonial railway clerk, was educated in London and studied to be an actress at the Italia Conti Drama School. Her first moment on stage came at the age of 12, when she played a fairy in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in 1928. She had a bit part in ...

801 points

85. May Whitty

Actress | Night Must Fall

Born Mary Whitty on June 19, 1865 to a Liverpool newspaper editor and his wife, she became known as May Whitty to the world.

She first stepped on the London stage in 1882. She worked as an understudy at the St. James Theatre, and then, began playing leading roles when she joined a traveling stock ...

801 points

86. Paulette Dubost

Actress | La règle du jeu

Paulette Dubost was born on October 8, 1910 in Paris, France as Paulette Marie Emma Deplanque. She was an actress, known for The Rules of the Game (1939), Les mystères de Paris (1962) and Clairette's 28 Days (1933). She was married to André Ostertag. She died on September 21, 2011 in ...

786 points

87. Madeleine Carroll

Actress | The 39 Steps

The original ash-blonde "iceberg maiden", Madeleine Carroll was a knowing beauty with a confident air, the epitome of poise and "breeding". Not only did she have looks and allure in abundance, but she had intellectual heft to go with them, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Birmingham ...

782 points

88. Thelma Todd

Actress | Horse Feathers

Thelma Todd was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, an industrial city near the New Hampshire state line. She was a lovely child with good academic tendencies, so much so that she decided early on to become a schoolteacher. After high school she went on to college but at her mother's insistence ...

781 points

89. Joan Crawford

Actress | What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Joan Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur on March 23, 1905, in San Antonio, Texas, to Anna Belle (Johnson) and Thomas E. LeSueur, a laundry laborer. By the time she was born, her parents had separated, and by the time she was a teenager, she'd had three stepfathers. It wasn't an easy life; ...

773 points

90. Mae Clarke

Actress | Frankenstein

Vivacious, blonde Mae Clarke was exposed to cinema from an early age, her father being an organist in a motion picture theatre. Growing up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, she learned how to dance and, at the tender age of 13, was already performing in nightclubs and amateur theatricals. In 1924 she ...

769 points

91. Orane Demazis

Actress | Angèle

Orane Demazis was born on September 4, 1894 in Oran, Oran, France as Henriette Marie-Louise Burgart. She was an actress, known for Angele (1934), Marius (1931) and César (1936). She died on December 25, 1991 in Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, Île-de-France, France.

768 points

92. Gail Patrick

Actress | My Man Godfrey

Cold, calculating and hard-as-nails is probably the best definition of Gail Patrick's femmes on the 30s and 40s silver screen, and the actress herself was no softie in real life. The tall, slender, patrician beauty was born with the equally stately-sounding name Margaret LaVelle Fitzpatrick in ...

758 points

93. Marion Davies

Actress | Going Hollywood

Marion Cecelia Douras was born in the borough of Brooklyn, New York on January 3, 1897. She had been bitten by the show biz bug early as she watched her sisters perform in local stage productions. She wanted to do the same. As Marion got older, she tried out for various school plays and did fairly ...

740 points

94. Heather Thatcher

Actress | Beau Geste

Heather Thatcher was born on September 3, 1896 in London, England as Heather Mary Thatcher. She is known for her work on Beau Geste (1939), -But the Flesh Is Weak (1932) and Gaslight (1944). She died in January 1987 in Hillingdon, Hillingdon, London.

721 points

95. Wendy Barrie

Actress | The Gay Falcon

Wendy Barrie was born in Hong Kong of an English-Irish father and a Russian Jewish mother, the daughter of King's Counsel F.C. Jenkins. She received her education at a convent school in England and a finishing school in Switzerland. After working in a beauty parlors, she made her first foray into ...

700 points

96. Alice Brady

Actress | My Man Godfrey

Alice Brady was born in New York City on November 2, 1892. She was interested in the stage from childhood, as her father was famed Broadway producer William A. Brady. After a few stage productions, Alice was discovered by movie producers in New York, since this was the film capital at the time. Her...

693 points

97. Mary Boland

Actress | The Women

Lively, buxom character actress Mary Boland made a name for herself playing vacuous or pixillated motherly types during the 1930's. One of her most memorable performances was as the addle-brained Mrs. Rimplegar of Three Cornered Moon (1933), who gives away her family fortune to a swindler because ...

688 points

98. Doris Lloyd

Actress | The Time Machine

Doris Lloyd was born on July 3, 1896 in Walton, Liverpool, England as Hessy Doris Lloyd. She was an actress, known for The Time Machine (1960), Alice in Wonderland (1951) and The Sound of Music (1965). She died on May 21, 1968 in Santa Barbara, California, USA.

675 points

99. Noel Francis

Actress | Blonde Crazy

Pretty Noel Francis came to Hollywood after attracting the attention of Fox talent scouts and was signed to a contract in 1929. Born in Temple, Texas, she grew up in Dallas and had studied at Southern Methodist University and Columbia. Like so many other hopefuls who had little theatrical ...

651 points

100. Geraldine Fitzgerald

Actress | Wuthering Heights

Geraldine Fitzgerald was the only actress to appear as both Laurence Olivier's wife and Rodney Dangerfield's mother-in-law, which surely qualifies her as running the gamut (if not the gauntlet, in the latter case) of A to Z for co-starring with cinema immortals. The Irish lass appeared in many ...

650 points



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