35 Talented and Acclaimed British Actresses From Across the Ages

The British film and television industry has produced many world-renowned actresses over the decades. Let’s appreciate the success of 35 brilliant British stars:

35 Talented and Acclaimed British Actresses From Across the Ages
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1. Helen Mirren

Dame Helen Mirren is silver screen royalty, possessing elegance and gravitas in productions like The Queen and Elizabeth I.

2. Judi Dench

Oscar winner Judi Dench excels in everything from James Bond to Shakespeare, stunning with her dramatic capabilities.

3. Emma Thompson

Smart and funny, Emma Thompson shines in period dramas as well as comedies like Love Actually and Nanny McPhee.

4. Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley captivates in corset dramas like Pride and Prejudice while also taking on edgier fare like The Imitation Game.

5. Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet proves her versatility in everything from period romance to gritty drama, winning acclaim and an Oscar for The Reader.

6. Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan is a star on the rise, earning four Oscar nominations already for acclaimed films like Lady Bird and Little Women.

7. Carey Mulligan

Talented ingénue Carey Mulligan impressed right away in period films like An Education while continuing to shine in Promising Young Woman and elsewhere.

8. Rosamund Pike

After a long career playing second fiddle, Rosamund Pike is finally getting lead roles—most memorably as Amy Dunne in Gone Girl.

9. Lily James

Lily James lights up the screen playing effervescent characters in Downton Abbey, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, and Cinderella.

10. Rachel Weisz

Rachel Weisz brings elegance and talent to edgy roles like The Constant Gardener, earning an Oscar and huge acclaim.

11. Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton steals scenes with sexy, smart charisma in Mission: Impossible II, Westworld, and Crash.

12. Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt is a consummate actress, believably playing everything from a magical nanny in Mary Poppins Returns to a brutal warrior in Edge of Tomorrow.

13. Naomie Harris

Naomie Harris brings grit and gravitas to roles like Calypso in the Pirates films and Winnie Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

14. Olivia Colman

After years of supporting status, Olivia Colman is finally getting lead roles—most notably as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown.

15. Claire Foy

Claire Foy also wowed audiences as the young Queen Elizabeth in the first seasons of Netflix royal family saga The Crown.

16. Sophie Turner

Sophie Turner transitioned from playing Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones to leading lady status in the X-Men film series.

17. Maisie Williams

Also from Game of Thrones, Maisie Williams stood out as the sword-wielding Arya Stark. She’ll be starring in Marvel’s New Mutants soon.

18. Felicity Jones

Sultry beauty Felicity Jones has earned praise in A-list films like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and The Theory of Everything.

19. Hayley Atwell

Hayley Atwell made Agent Peggy Carter fierce yet endearing in the Captain America and Agent Carter franchises.

20. Emilia Clarke

Emilia Clarke cemented her celebrity playing dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen for eight seasons on Game of Thrones.

21. Michelle Dockery

Michelle Dockery portrayed Lady Mary Crawley across six seasons of acclaimed period drama Downton Abbey.

22. Elizabeth Hurley

Elizabeth Hurley became a sensation after wearing that safety pin dress in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

23. Emily Mortimer

Emily Mortimer charms in comedies like Mary Poppins Returns and dramas like HBO’s The Newsroom.

24. Tilda Swinton

Known for edgy, unusual roles, Tilda Swinton sucks audiences into films like We Need to Talk About Kevin and Doctor Strange.

25. Emma Watson

Emma Watson will forever be beloved for growing up on screen in the Harry Potter franchise as the brilliant Hermione.

26. Julie Andrews

Legendary talent Dame Julie Andrews forever holds a place in hearts as the practically perfect Mary Poppins.

27. Vanessa Redgrave

Vanessa Redgrave became Hollywood royalty with her acclaimed performances across stage and screen.

28. Helen McCrory

Helen McCrory stood out as the Malfoy matriarch in Harry Potter before her stunning work on Peaky Blinders.

29. Anna Friel

Anna Friel lights up the screen in period pieces as well as contemporary shows like Pushing Daisies and Marcella.

30. Holliday Grainger

Holliday Grainger impressed audiences as Lucrezia Borgia on The Borgias before charming in films like Cinderella.

31. Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Gugu Mbatha-Raw brings grace and talent to every project, including Belle, Doctor Who, and The Morning Show.

32. Jodie Comer

Jodie Comer initially stood out on Doctor Foster before her star-making turn as an assassin on Killing Eve.

33. Sophie Cookson

Sophie Cookson is still early in her career but showed her talents on the Kingsman spy films and BBC’s The Trial of Christine Keeler.

34. Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Phoebe Waller-Bridge created and starred in smash hit comedies Fleabag and Killing Eve, showing immense wit.

35. Daisy Ridley

The world met Daisy Ridley as heroine Rey in the recent Star Wars sequel trilogy, where she shone as the central character.

British Talents Conquering Hollywood

With seasoned veterans and rising ingenues alike, these accomplished British actresses continue demonstrating their top-notch skills on screens worldwide.

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