Tuesday, April 25, 2017

My Ten Favorite Actresses

Like I promised in my post about my ten favorite actors, here is the list of my ten favorite actresses!  This was, in some ways, a much easier list to compile, because I simply don't get as fanatical about actresses the way I do about actors, and so I don't have as many favorites.  However, here are ten ladies who can all make me want to see movies solely because they are in them, and they have played a lot of characters I admire, would like to be friends with, or want to be more like.  Definitely my favorites!


Once again, this is a bit different from my other "ten favorite" posts because I can't provide a synopsis of people the way I can for films. So I've listed the first movie I saw them in, my favorite movie of theirs, and my favorite role they played.  And again, I've linked their names to the post labels for them, so if you click on one of their names, it will take you to all the posts I've written that involve that particular actress.  Finally, I've linked movie titles to my reviews of them where applicable.


1.  Maureen O'Hara.  I think the first movie I saw her in was The Rare Breed (1966), as a preteen.  My favorite movie of hers is Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962), and my favorite role of hers is probably Maggie McKendrick in The Parent Trap (1961).


2.  Emma Thompson.  I first saw her in Sense and Sensibility (1995) when I was a teen -- in fact, I believe that was my introduction to Jane Austen as well.  My favorite movie of hers is Much Ado About Nothing (1993), and her role as Beatrice in that is also my favorite of hers.


3.  Barbara Stanwyck.  The first thing I saw her in was The Big Valley (1965-69), which remains my favorite thing she's in, and her role as Victoria Barkley on it is also my favorite -- I wrote this post a few years back about why I want to be just like Victoria when I grow up.


4.  Judi Dench.  I first saw her in GoldenEye (1995), and it's funny, but I didn't like her much at first.  I was extremely fond of Pierce Brosnan, and she yelled at him a lot, and that made me mad at her character, M.  But I grew increasingly fond of her over the years, both M and Judi Dench.  My favorite movie of hers is Chocolat (2000), and my favorite character of hers is actually M, especially in Skyfall (2012).



5.  Lauren Bacall.  I think the first thing I saw her in was To Have and Have Not (1944), though it might have been The Big Sleep (1946).  My favorite film of hers is To Have and Have Not, but my favorite role is probably Marilla Hagen in Designing Woman (1957), though it's been a long time since I watched that.


6.  Keira Knightley.  I first saw her in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999), but my favorite movie of hers is Pirates of the Caribbean:  Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), and my favorite role of hers is either Gwyn in Princess of Thieves (2001) or Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (2005).



7.  Myrna Loy.  I'm pretty sure The Thin Man (1934) was the first thing I ever saw her in, and Nora Charles in that and the subsequent Thin Man films is definitely my favorite role of hers.  But my favorite movie of hers is The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), which I watched for the first time solely because she was in it.





8.  Alicia Vikander.  The first movie of hers I saw was The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015), which is still my favorite movie of hers, and her role of Gaby Teller in it is also my favorite of her roles.



9.  Doris Day.  I think the first movie of hers I saw was On Moonlight Bay (1951).  But my favorite movie of hers is Young at Heart (1954), and my favorite role of hers is probably Kate Mackay in Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960).


10.  Nicole Kidman.  I first saw her on the little-known Disney channel western series Five Mile Creek (1985), and I absolutely loved her tomboyish character Annie -- she wore pants and didn't like dressing up, and she could beat up boys!  Major role model for me as a girl.  My favorite movie of hers is Australia (2008), and her character in it, Lady Sarah Ashley (aka Mrs. Boss) is also my favorite role of hers.

Who are your favorite actresses?  Do we have any in common?

34 comments:

  1. I do love Emma Thompson! I enjoyed this post and your ten favorite actors post, as well:)

    (Mind if I steal this post and do mine???)

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    1. Thanks, Elanor! Glad you enjoyed these. And absolutely! Do your own lists, that would be fun :-)

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  2. Ooh, we definitely share some favorites - even more than on your actors' list! I'm glad to see you like the 2005 Pride and Prejudice - I'm rather fond of it, and since a lot of the Jane Austen fandom doesn't care for it, it's nice to find another fan. :-)

    I love that you have Alicia Vikander and Nicole Kidman on here, too. I loved The Man from U.N.C.L.E., although my favorite movies of Alicia's are Testament of Youth and The Light Between Oceans - I think "weepy period dramas" are my favorite genre, which also explains my favorite Nicole Kidman movie (Moulin Rouge!). :-)

    Seriously, this is such a good list. I'm going to stop here before I start rambling on about Doris Day!

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    1. Claire, very nice! Yes, I really like P&P05 very much. It's always good to find another fan of it!

      I have only seen three of Alicia Vikander's movies so far, UNCLE and Ex Machina and Jason Bourne. And she still made my top ten! I am eager to watch more of hers, especially the two you mention. But, like you said, those two are sad, and I have to be in the right frame of mind for weepy movies.

      Doris Day deserves rambling!!!

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  3. This time, I only recognized four without looking: Maureen O'Hara, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Alicia Vikander.

    Yay for P&P 2005! :-) Great movie.

    I think Audrey Hepburn will probably be on my favorite-actresses list one day . . . once I have one, that is. I don't yet. But so far, she's really the only actor/actress that can convince me to watch a movie I wouldn't otherwise plan on watching. I definitely don't love everything she's in, though.

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    1. Jessica, four is good! Nice mix you have there.

      Always yay for P&P05!

      Audrey Hepburn was a runner-up for me. I really do love her, but not quite enough to make the top 10.

      I don't love everything my favorite actors and actresses have made. Certainly not! I don't necessarily condone or approve of their behavior in real life, either.

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  4. Maureen O'Hara, check. Emma Thompson, check. Myrna Loy, check. :D

    My favorite roll for Nicole Kidman is probably The Golden Compass. And my favorite roll for Kiera Knightley is probably Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. :)

    Such I fun list! I must try these other actresses!

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    1. MC, very good! I have not seen The Golden Compass, mostly because I read the book and did not like it. Can't go wrong with the first POTC movie!

      I hope you find some new movies you enjoy via this. That's part of while I listed off quite a few movies in these lists -- that way, if someone wanted to sample an actor or actresses films, they'd at least have some idea of where to start.

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    2. I definetly did not like the book. I couldn't get through the others.

      Yeah! I definetly will try these movies! The hard thing is always finding them. :)

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    3. MC, I didn't even attempt the sequels to Golden Compass.

      Do you have Hulu or Amazon Prime or Netflix? A lot of older movies pop up on those for "free" as part of your subscription. And you can always search YouTube for them, of course. Happy hunting!

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  5. This list is full of great people too. That is so cool that you watched BYoOL for Myrna Loy! And she's so marvelous in that. We share 5 of the same favorite actresses! Emma Thompson, Barbara Stanwyck, Judi Dench, Keira Knightley, and Alicia Vikander.

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    1. DKoren, we have Myrna Loy to thank for our love of Dana Andrews. One hundred percent. I saw her name on the cover of that movie at the library and got it just for her, reviewed it on my blog, you read the review and rewatched it yourself, and the rest is history.

      How interesting that we share so many favorite actresses! But I don't think that's surprising, as we're both strong-willed women with little interest in sitting around looking pretty and letting men do all the exciting things. Which, I realized, is very much what draws me to the characters these actresses play. They go do stuff.

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  6. Nice choices!

    Also nice to meet someone else who doesn't hate Keira Knightley; she's one of my favorites. Alicia Vikander keeps showing up in my costume dramas -- she's terrific. Very talented.

    My introduction to Barbara Stanwyck was toward the end of her career -- as a horrible (?) figure in "The Thorn Birds." Ah well. I thought she gave a stirring performance. And I hope *I* look that good at that age. ;)

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    1. Thanks, Charity! And yes -- what is up with all the people who hate on Keira Knightley? I don't get it.

      I have not seen The Thorn Birds, but I keep running into bloggers who only know Stanwyck from it, and I'm like, "Look, she was such a great actress, she could play extremely nasty characters AND really sterling, upstanding, nice ones! Don't think of her as always awful!" She had such an amazing career, going from pre-codes in the '20s on through the '80s. She could do fizzy comedies, dark noir, and everything in between. And yes, I would love to age that well!

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    2. Jealousy?

      Keira is, after all, talented, gorgeous, and gets to play in a LOT of costume dramas, including a HUGE blockbuster trilogy.

      I've seen Stanwyck in other things (mostly dark noir, since my friends know I like that stuff), but her Mary Carson seared into my brain -- and not in a bad way, either. :)

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    3. Charity, jealousy could be part of it. Certainly there are people who have an urge to belittle those who get to do or have what they don't. I think her tendency to play strong women might also frighten or intimidate some people. They're a big part of why I like her.

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  7. Myrna Loy, Barbara Stanwyck, and Maureen O'Hara are all among some of those I enjoy very much.

    Do you have any favorite western films of Barbara Stanwyck? I first saw her in The Moonlighter (Fred MacMurry), but I think I started appreciating her as an actress in Banjo On My Knee (Joel McCrea).

    Of course she is enjoyable as Victoria Barkley! Especially in that first episode!

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    1. Annie, my favorite western film of Stanwyck's is The Violent Men. I need to see more of them! I've wanted to see Banjo on My Knee for a while now -- the premise is so intriguing!

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    2. You should watch "Banjo On My Knee"! It's a very fun and much neglected musical/comedy! There are so many great lines...but I won't spoil it for you.

      It's a lighthearted way to round out an evening!

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  8. Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Nicole Kidman, such great actresses. They play so well.

    I don't know the other actresses, except I do know Judi Dench. She plays good, but not my favorite actress.

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    1. Rachel, glad we share some favorites!

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  9. Yay! I love lists. :D And I know (and love) so many!
    Emma Thompson (check!), Judi Dench (check!), Keira Knightley (check!), Alicia Vikander (check!), Doris Day (check!) and Nicole Kidman (check!).
    My favourite roll of Emma Thompson's is Pamela off Saving Mr. Banks (though she was a good Elinor, and Mrs. Potts! :D). I've seen in quite a few, actually.
    I can't remember which movies I've seen Judi Dench in, but it's been quite a few. I liked her as M, but I'll always remember has the voice for Kanga and narrator in our Winnie the Pooh cassette series. Those were the BEST.
    I do like Keira, although sooometimes she annoys me. I don't know, she's just such a strong personality. I liked her as Elizabeth Bennet and Elizabeth Swann the best, I think. :) (I've seen her in a lot... I thought she was good in the Imitation Game too.)
    Alicia Vikander is awesome!! I think I've only seen her in... 3 movies? At least "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." (!!!), "Jason Bourne" and "Testament of Youth". My favourite of hers was probably when she played Gaby, but she rocks any roll she plays. ;D
    Doris Day - I've heard her singing and seen videos of her on Youtube, but the only movie I've seen is Calamity Jane, I think. Gosh, but I love that movie. :D
    Nicole Kidman! (And HEY! I KNOW 5 MILE CREEK! I've not actually seen it, but Mum and Dad have talked about it. ;)) Let's see... I think my favourite role or hers has to be Shannon from "Far and Away", haha. XD

    I honestly don't know about actresses! Maybe Emma Stone, Megan Follows, and I can't think who else. :P (My brain is mush right now.)

    ~Miss Meg

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    1. Miss Meg, I really like Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks too. And in so many other things! Stranger than Fiction, Love Actually, and on and on.

      Oh my goodness! I bet Judi Dench is an amazing narrator. She has such a wonderfully expressive voice.

      Keira's playing of strong, sometimes forceful characters are a big part of why I like her, but I can see how she could seem overwhelming in some of them.

      Calamity Jane is a lot of fun. I should start reviewing more of Doris Day's movies around here.

      AND I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU KNOW OF FIVE MILE CREEK!!!!!! This is very exciting to me!!! Almost nobody outside my family has ever heard of it. So cool.

      I haven't seen Emma Stone in a lot of things. Or Megan Follows -- nothing but Anne, but she was so perfect in those.

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  10. Emma Thompson!! She is wonderful in Much Ado About Nothing.

    And I don't love Keira Knightley, but I think she's better than some people give her credit for.

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    1. Meredith, oh, how I love that version of Much Ado. Such a sun-drenched, beautiful movie!

      Thank you for not being a Keira basher :-)

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  11. I like your list!!! I have seen movies with all of these actresses. If I were to make my own list, I think I would add Katharine Hepburn. Out of curiosity, what do you you think of her?

    That's interesting how you first saw Barbara Stanwyck first in Big Valley because that is also the first time I ever saw her! :-) I feel like Big Valley and the show's characters are very underrated.

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    1. Ekaterina, so cool that you've seen all these ladies in something! You must have a nicely varied movie diet.

      Katherine Hepburn does not charm me, I'm afraid. She tends to play very abrasive characters that I don't like very well, which is a big part of it.

      The Big Valley deserves a larger following, for sure. I was so happy when they finally released the last couple seasons on DVD!!!

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    2. I try to have a varied diet in a lot of things, which also includes books and music. I think that whatever we read, watch, and listen to becomes part of us, so I try to experience a variety of genres, not just one genre. I do try to stay away from vulgar things, or R movies, but sometimes I (or my Mom) will just skip over an overally violent or intimate scene in a movie. Then we enjoy the rest of the movie. For example, I love the 2015 movie of "Far From the Madding Crowd", but we just had to skip a couple of scenes.

      Hm. I never thought of Katharine Hepburn as playing abrasive characters, but I can see why you think that. I absolutely don't like her personal life, but I feel like she is an excellent actress. The only movies of hers that I won't watch are "On Golden Pond" because of the language, and "The Lion in Winter" because of adult subjects.

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    3. Ekaterina, I'm similar -- I have a wide taste for movies, books, music, food, and art.

      I also avoid some R-rated movies, but not others. That fast-forward button comes in very handy!

      I haven't seen either of those Hepburn films either. They both sound very melancholy, which is not always my jam.

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  12. What a fun post! I think I know all of these actresses, although I'm still waiting to see a few of them in actress. REALLY want to watch "To Have and Have Not" sometime soon!!

    Haha, I always forget that Keira Knightley was in "The Phantom Menace." :-P

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    1. Thanks, Olivia! I think you will really enjoy THAHN -- it's got this really uniqute vibe to it, part laid-back and part gung-ho.

      You can barely recognize Keira in Phantom Menace, and a lot of people don't even know it's her.

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  13. Maureen O'Hara--if you watch interviews like she did not long before her death on Ireland's weekly "Tonight Show," you can see what a gigantic ego she had! Amazingly, she could carry it off without all of the bad qualities that usually seem to go along with a big ego!

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    1. John Smith -- so true! She wasn't afraid to talk herself up, but at the same time, she wasn't puffed up, if that makes sense.

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Agree or disagree? That is the question...

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)