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:
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.