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Best Actress at the Oscars - The top 10 winners over the years

From Katharine Hepburn to Meryl Streep and Emma Stone, here's the list of the top 10 winners of the Best Actress award at the Oscars.

Best Actress at the Oscars - The top 10 winners over the years

Emma Stone, Katherine Hepburn, Meryl Streep

Last Updated: 11.45 PM, May 30, 2024


Throughout history, Academy Awards for Best Actress have celebrated incredible female characters. From Jodie Foster who played a rape victim in The Accused to Emma Stone who essayed the role of an aspiring actress in La La Land, actresses have brought to life powerful characters on screen. While some acting styles have inevitably reflected the era in which they performed, others continue to resonate with the audience, even decades later. Katharine Hepburn, Meryl Streep, and Emma Stone are some of the actresses who have achieved Oscar glory. On that note, we bring you the list of the top 10 winners of the Best Actress award at the Oscars.

Oscars - Best Actress awards over the years:


Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn died in 2003 at the age of 96. But this American actress still holds the most Oscar wins in the Best Actress category at the Academy Awards, till date. Hepburn had won four times for - Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968) and On Golden Pond (1981). Her career spanned six decades, and she was widely known for her independent, and outspoken personality.


Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep has three Oscar wins. She won two Best Actress Oscars for Sophie’s Choice (1983) and The Iron Lady (2011), and the Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1979 movie Kramer vs. Kramer. Not only this, but Meryl Streep also has another record of being the actor with the most number of Academy Awards nominations in history with 21 nominations. She is mostly known for her versatility and acting prowess. Streep was last seen in Extrapolations and Only Murders in the Building, both released in 2023.


Jane Fonda

This American actress established herself as one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation by winning the Academy Award for Best Actress twice for Klute (1971) and Coming Home (1978). Other than being an actress, she's a reputed activist. In a career spanning over six decades, Fonda has not only worked in films, but also in television shows.


Jodie Foster

This American actress has won the Oscars for Best Actress twice for playing a rape victim in The Accused (1988) and Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Foster is not only an amazing actress, but also an outstanding filmmaker. She made her directorial debut with Little Man Tate (1991) and has since directed Home for the Holidays (1995), The Beaver (2011) and Money Monster (2016).


Elizabeth Taylor

This English actress also won two Oscars for Best Actress for Butterfield 8 (1961) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1967). She began her career as a child actress in the early 1940s and was one of the most popular stars of classical Hollywood cinema in the 1950s. She then became the world's highest-paid movie star in the 1960s. She died in 2011 at the age of 79.


Emma Stone

Emma Stone first won an Oscar for Best Actress for La La Land (2016) in which she essayed the role of an aspiring actress. She next won the Oscars for the 2023 movie Poor Things. She was once the world's highest-paid actress and was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Stone’s other remarkable films are Zombieland (2009), Crazy Stupid Love (2011), The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), Cruella (2021), and more.


Glenda Jackson

This English actress won two Oscars for Best Actress for Woman in Love (1970) and A Touch of Class (1973). Other than being an actress, she was also a politician and former member of Parliament of the United Kingdom.  Glenda died in 2023 at the age of 87.


Cate Blanchett

This Australian actress won the Best Actress Oscar for Blue Jasmine (2013). Her other notable works are The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Aviator (2004), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Don't Look Up (2021), and more.


Jessica Lange

This American actress won the Oscar for Best Actress for Blue Sky (1994). Jessica is one of the few performers to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting, a term used to describe actors who have won the Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Tony Award in the acting categories, the highest awards in American film, television, and theatre, respectively.


Maggie Smith

This English actress won the Oscar for Best Actress for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969). Smith is widely known for her role as Professor McGonagall, aka Minerva McGonagall, the right hand of Professor Albus Dumbledore, in the famous Harry Potter film series. The 89-year-old actress is also one of the few to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting.

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