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Your Three Favorite Actresses of All Time


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Name your three favorite actresses of all time. Here are mine:


1. Bette Davis

2. Katharine Hepburn

3. Jean Arthur


Mine are Bette Davis,  Olivia de Havilland and Barbara Stanwyck with Jean Arthur #4 and Kate Hepburn #6. 


Now 10 years ago Jean was #10 so she keeps moving up and up.    Maybe by next year I'll swap Babs for Jean. 

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I know I started this topic, but I do agree with Sepiatone's comment "Why does there have to be a limit in these categories" Bette Davis is my favorite actress so she's always at the top of my list, but I too found it difficult when trimming it down to only three favorites.


If I hadn't limited it to 3, I would have also added Rosalind Russell, Myrna Loy, Olivia De Havilland, Barbara Stanwyck, Diane Keaton, Ginger Rogers, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Cate Blanchett, Ann Sothern, Jean Simmons , Ann Sheridan, Judy Garland and Judy Holliday, just to name a few.

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It's hard for me to rank performers, there are so many that I love.  I try to seek out each and every one of their films that I haven't seen when they air on TCM.  I also will record old favorites I've seen many times but do not own copies. 


Here are my top 3:


1. Lucille Ball

2. Bette Davis

3. Audrey Hepburn


If I were to expand my list...


Judy Garland

Marilyn Monroe

Myrna Loy

Barbara Stanwyck

Jean Arthur

Claudette Colbert

Rita Hayworth

Katharine Hepburn

Gene Tierney

Betty Grable

Lauren Bacall

Olivia de Havilland

Alexis Smith

Joan Fontaine

Ingrid Bergman

Ava Gardner

Natalie Wood

Angela Lansbury

Rosalind Russell

Agnes Moorehead

Kim Novak

Eleanor Parker

Judy Holliday

Debbie Reynolds

Sandra Dee

Doris Day

Mary Astor

Anne Baxter

Grace Kelly

Ann Sheridan

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Three really narrows it down. For now, I'll pick these, subject to future revision:


Bette Davis

Helen Mirren

Barbara Stanwyck


I can't let the number three keep me from listing the brainy and beautiful Diana Rigg, so I'll make her the first alternate. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
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1. STANWYCK, by a mile. No other actress is even close.



2. Davis


3. Harlow


Of course I HAVE to expand it to include


4. Crawford

5. Lupino


And then these, in no particular order between 6 & 10:


Judy Davis



Jeanne Moreau



And very close:








I didn't include character actresses, since they're in a different category.  But I can't not mention Glenda and Joan, the Queens of the Gumsnapper Set.





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1. Bette Davis


2. Bette Davis


3. Bette Davis


Well Bette Davis is my #1 so I clearly understand your choices here.


(Stanwyck and DeHavilland are my #2 and #3 BTW).


Looking over everyone choices it appears Davis and Stanwyck are the top 2 with various actresses battling it out for the #3 slot.

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1. Gloria Grahame

2. Joan Bennett

3. Grace Kelly

4. Ingrid Bergman

5. Gene Tierney

6. Linda Darnell

7. Barbara Stanwyck

8. Carole Lombard

9. Ava Gardner

10. Myrna Loy

11. Rita Hayworth

12. Jean Arthur

13. Kim Novak

14. Deborah Kerr

15. Maureen O'Hara

16. Marlene Dietrich

17. Vivien Leigh

18. Madeleine Carroll

19. Marilyn Monroe

20. Claire Trevor

21. Jean Harlow

22. Thelma Ritter

23. Vera Miles

24. Gail Russell

25. Veronica Lake

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  • 2 months later...

1. Natalie Wood

2. Vivien Leigh

3. Judy Garland

4. Lucille Ball

5. Angela Lansbury

6. Ali MacGraw (saw her in Love Letters w/ Ryan O'Neal!!!)

7. Grace Kelly

8. Marilyn Monroe

9. Audrey Hepburn

10. Julie Andrews

11. Raquel Welch

12. Lauren Bacall

13. Donna Reed

14. Elizabeth Taylor

15. Ingrid Bergman

16. Katharine Hepburn

17. Janet Leigh


Favorite dancers/singers/actresses: (not included above)

1. Cyd Charisse

2. Rosemary Clooney

3. Vera Ellen


*I also have a list for newer actresses, which I'm not going to do right now. On it are Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Olivia Hussey.

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1. Ingrid Bergman - the greatest, most natural actress ever, and probably the most beautiful too. She was always phenomenal in every movie she did but her performances in Gaslight and Notorious still are my favorite acting by anyone. And her scene in Casablanca looking down and into the past as Sam sings 'As Time Goes By' is probably my favorite movie scene pretty much ever.

2. Audrey Hepburn - pure beauty, pure grace, pure hearted, pure talent, pure greatness in everything she did on screen and off. I love her singing too, to the point that I have a hard time wanting to rewatch My Fair Lady because she was overdubbed. C'mon. When I listen to her sing 'Moon River' in Breakfast at Tiffany's, I just melt. That song belongs to her, no one, not even Sinatra, can surpass her version.

3. Cate Blanchett - my favorite actress alive. Even in lesser movies she command my attention, love, respect and awe. She should be swimming in Best Actress Oscars, but her performance in Blue Jasmine is so outstanding, I knew there was no way she'd lose. 


also, Grace Kelly, Judy Garland, Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet, Barbara Stanwyck. There's still so much I need to see, so that might change things a bit.


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