50 Greatest Female Movie Characters of All Time ...

Nicole

50 Greatest Female Movie Characters of All Time ...
50 Greatest Female Movie Characters of All Time ...

Supermoms and warriors, vamps and tramps, bitches and witches, we can’t but help love it more when there’s a female character we just can’t get enough of, instead of the spotlight being on the man/men of the piece. I’ve made my list of the greatest movie characters (in no particular order). I know you’ll have your own ideas so when you get to the end, please tell me who you think deserves to be included.

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1

Baby

Movie – Dirty Dancing (1987) Actress – Jennifer Grey

Daddy’s little princess grows up.

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

***

The iconic character of Baby, played by Jennifer Grey in the 1987 classic Dirty Dancing, is one of the greatest female movie characters of all time. Baby is the daughter of a wealthy family who is visiting Kellerman's resort in the Catskills. Her father forbids her from entering the staff quarters, but Baby finds herself drawn to the music and dancing of the staff.

She meets Johnny Castle, a dance instructor, and the two quickly develop a connection. Baby is determined to learn to dance and Johnny teaches her the steps, leading to a romantic and passionate relationship. Baby's determination and fearlessness in the face of her father's disapproval, as well as her willingness to risk it all for love, make her an inspiring and powerful character.

The famous line "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" has become a catchphrase for people who refuse to be pushed around or held back by others. It's a reminder to stand up for what you believe in and never settle for less. Baby's story is an example of how love can break down barriers and bring people together. She is an inspiring figure and a great example of a strong female character.

2

Holly Golightly

Movie – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) Actress – Audrey Hepburn

She plays hard and parties harder.

“I'll never get used to anything. Anybody that does, they might as well be dead.”

***

Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, is one of the most iconic female movie characters of all time. She is a free-spirited socialite who lives life on her own terms, and her memorable quotes such as "I'll never get used to anything. Anybody that does, they might as well be dead" have made her an enduring symbol of independence and resilience. Despite her carefree attitude, Holly is also a kind and loyal friend who is willing to do whatever it takes to help her friends. Her style and fashion have also been influential, with her iconic little black dress becoming an iconic fashion statement.

Frequently asked questions

Filmmakers can improve the representation of women in movies by creating more well-rounded, complex female characters, giving them equal screen time, and ensuring their stories are not solely defined by their relationships with men. In addition, filmmakers should strive for diverse representation in terms of ethnicity, age, body type, and other aspects to provide a more accurate reflection of the real world and offer a wider range of role models for audiences.

Strong female characters can have a significant impact on audiences by providing representation, inspiring empowerment, and challenging gender stereotypes. These characters offer diverse perspectives and role models, showing women and girls that they can take on various roles and succeed in different areas of life. They also help to promote inclusivity and equality in storytelling.

Female movie characters have evolved over time to become more complex, empowered, and diverse. Early representations often portrayed women as passive or one-dimensional, but today's female characters are more likely to have their own agency, unique personalities, and stories that don't solely revolve around male counterparts. This evolution reflects societal changes and growing awareness of the importance of representation in media.

A female movie character becomes one of the greatest of all time when she has a strong, memorable presence, exhibits emotional depth, and is relatable or inspiring to the audience. These characters often break stereotypes, display resilience and determination, and have a significant impact on the story, leaving a lasting impression on viewers.

3

Hermione Granger

Movie – The Harry Potter Series Actress – Emma Watson

An intelligent geek-girl who can do wonders with a wand.

“I hope you’re pleased with yourselves. We could all have been killed – or worse, expelled.”

***

Hermione Granger is one of the most iconic female movie characters of all time and is beloved by fans all over the world. She is a main character in the Harry Potter series, portrayed by actress Emma Watson.

Hermione is an intelligent and resourceful young witch who is a loyal friend to Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. She often acts as the voice of reason in the group and is always willing to help her friends in times of need. Hermione is also a powerful witch, capable of performing powerful spells, and she is often the one to save the day.

Hermione is a strong and independent female character who provides an inspiring role model for young girls. She is brave, determined, and unafraid to stand up for what she believes in. Hermione is also a loyal friend who is willing to put her own life on the line for her friends.

Hermione is an important part of the Harry Potter series and her character has been praised by both fans and critics. She is a great example of a strong female character who is capable of standing up for what is right and is an inspiring role model for young girls everywhere.

4

Ellen Ripley

Movie – The Alien Series Actress – Sigourney Weaver

Woman, Mother, Saint. Warrior. Survivor .

“How do we kill it, Ash? There's gotta be a way of killing it. How? How do we do it?”

***

Ellen Ripley, portrayed by Sigourney Weaver in the Alien series, encapsulates the very essence of resilience against the most dire of circumstances. A beacon of determination, Ripley's character evolves from a warrant officer on the Nostromo to a relentless heroine across the franchise. Her iconic line, “Get away from her, you bitch!” during a climactic battle with the Alien Queen, exemplifies her fierce protective instincts and unmatched bravery. Weaver's portrayal has left an indelible mark on cinema, shaping the role of women in science fiction and action genres forever. Ripley isn't just a survivor; she's a trailblazer.

5

Marge Gunderson

Movie – Fargo (1996) Actress – Frances McDormand

A persistent and very pregnant policewoman.

“I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper.”

***

Marge Gunderson is the personification of Midwestern politeness meets dogged detective work. Frances McDormand delivers an iconic performance that seamlessly blends warmth, wit, and unassuming intelligence. She navigates the icy backdrop of a Minnesota winter not only chasing down criminals but also dealing with the complexities of everyday life. Her character, while heavily pregnant, never misses a beat, displaying a mix of resilience and empathy that's rare in crime drama heroines. Marge's approach to the dark comedy of a botched kidnapping and series of murders is what makes her stand out in the landscape of female movie characters.

6

Scarlett O’Hara

Movie – Gone with the Wind (1939) Actress – Vivien Leigh

A dynamic force who doesn’t let war get in the way of getting on with life.

“If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again.”

7

Jean Brodie

Movie – The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) Actress – Maggie Smith

A liberated teacher who values love, politics and art over math and geography.

“Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life.”

8

Clarice Starling

Movie – The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Hannibal Actress – Jodie Foster

A hot shot FBI agent haunted by the screaming of the lambs and an object of affection for a human cannibal.

“You're very frank, Clarice. I think it would be quite something to know you in private life.”

***

Clarice Starling is a fictional character played by Jodie Foster in the 1991 psychological horror film, The Silence of the Lambs. Clarice is a hotshot FBI agent, tasked with catching the serial killer Buffalo Bill. Throughout the movie she is haunted by the screams of the lambs, and is the object of Hannibal Lecter's affection. Clarice is a strong and determined character, unafraid to challenge the opinions of her male counterparts. She is also a great example of a female character who is not defined by her gender, but by her intelligence and determination to complete her mission. Clarice Starling is one of the most iconic female characters in movie history and a symbol of female empowerment.

9

Mary Poppins

Movie – Mary Poppins (1964) Actress – Julie Andrews

Practically perfect in every way.

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

***

Mary Poppins, played by the talented Julie Andrews, is a beloved character from the 1964 movie of the same name. She is a magical nanny who comes to the rescue of a troubled family and brings joy and wonder into their lives. Her iconic songs, such as "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," have become timeless classics. The character of Mary Poppins has become a symbol of kindness, imagination, and empowerment for women and girls everywhere. She has been praised for her strong and confident personality, as well as her ability to handle any situation with grace and charm. Julie Andrews' portrayal of Mary Poppins has solidified her as one of the greatest female movie characters of all time.

10

Princess Leia

Movie – Star Wars episodes IV, V, VI Actress – Carrie Fisher

Royalty turned revolutionary with a soft spot for scoundrels and more than a spot of Jedi blood.

“Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder.”

***

Princess Leia, played by Carrie Fisher, is a beloved character from the Star Wars franchise. She is a member of the royal family of Alderaan and is a leader of the Rebel Alliance. She has a strong sense of justice and is willing to fight for what she believes in. She is a skilled fighter and a powerful Jedi, using her skills to help the Rebel Alliance in their fight against the Empire. She is also a strong-willed and independent woman, unafraid to stand up for herself and her beliefs. She is a beloved character by many and has gained a loyal fanbase over the years. Her iconic hairstyle and her memorable lines have made her an icon of the Star Wars franchise.

11

Sugar Kane Kowalczyk

Movie – Some Like it Hot (1959) Actress – Marilyn Monroe

A girl so sweet you can’t but help love her.

“Story of my life. I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop.”

***

Marilyn Monroe's iconic portrayal of the alluring yet vulnerable jazz singer in Some Like it Hot, set the standard for complex female characters onscreen. Sugar, with her breathy voice and glamorous looks, captivates from the moment she struts on screen, ukulele in hand, yet it is her innocence and open-heartedness that truly endear her to audiences. Beneath the glitz of her stage persona lies the relatable desire for genuine love—a timeless aspiration that crosses through the decades, making Sugar not just a memorable character, but a reflection of the universal quest for connection. Monroe’s nuanced performance solidifies Sugar’s spot as an enduring cinematic icon.

12

Vivian Ward

Movie – Pretty Woman (1990) Actress – Julia Roberts

Prostitute gets a Pygmalion-style makeover into a modern-day princess.

“Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.”

***

Vivian Ward is a beloved character from the iconic 1990 film Pretty Woman, played by the talented Julia Roberts. The movie tells the story of a prostitute who is hired by a wealthy businessman to accompany him to social events. As their relationship develops, Vivian undergoes a transformation from a rough-around-the-edges working girl to a sophisticated and confident woman. Her famous line, "Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now," perfectly captures her newfound self-assurance and serves as a memorable moment in the film. Vivian is considered one of the greatest female movie characters of all time for her charm, wit, and transformation.

13

Annie Porter

Movie – Speed (1994) Actress – Sandra Bullock

Just a normal gal on her way to work on the bus.

“I should probably tell you that I'm taking the bus because I had my driver's license revoked. [Jack: What for?] Speeding.”

***

In Speed, Bullock's portrayal of Annie Porter puts a twist on the classic damsel in distress trope. She's thrust into a high-stakes crisis when a bomb is discovered on her bus, which will explode if it drops below 50 miles per hour. With an everywoman charm and surprising resilience, Annie becomes the unsung hero, navigating the speeding bus through the crowded streets of LA. This role didn't just endear Bullock to audiences worldwide, it cemented her status as a versatile actress capable of carrying both comedic and action-packed moments. Her performance as Annie is both relatable and inspiring, proving that heroes can emerge from the most ordinary circumstances.

14

Barbarella

Movie – Barbarella (1968) Actress – Jane Fonda

Futuristic space cadet from an era when people thought sex could solve all of the world's problems (i.e.the '60s).

“Listen, you kids, untie me or I'll call your parents!”

15

Marquise De Merteuil

Movie – Dangerous Liaisons (1988) Actress – Glenn Close

A lady who is in the business of ruining lives for her own sexual pleasure.

“When one woman strikes at the heart of another she seldom misses, and the wound is invariably fatal.”

***

Glenn Close portrays the Marquise De Merteuil with a chilling elegance and a devious cunning that is both sophisticated and terrifying. A master manipulator, her games of love and betrayal are a dark reflection of the intricate power struggles of French aristocracy. Through her machinations, she reveals the fragility of reputation and the cutthroat underbelly of courtly romance, making her one of cinema's most memorable and formidable femme fatales. Dangerous Liaisons weaves a tale of seduction and deceit with Marquise De Merteuil at its icy heart.

16

Sarah Connor

Movie – The Terminator Series Actress – Linda Blair

The badass legend of Earth's post-apocalyptic future.

“Oh, come on. Do I look like the mother of the future? I mean am I tough, organized? I can't even balance my checkbook!”

***

Sarah Connor, portrayed by Linda Hamilton, stands as an emblem of resilience and transformation. Initially depicted as a fragile waitress, Sarah evolves into the archetypal warrior mother, destined to train her son in the war against machines. Her raw human emotion, coupled with a fierce determination to change fate, delivers a performance blending vulnerability with steel-edged survival instinct, maneuvering through relentless obstacles and challenging the very notion of destiny. Sarah Connor isn't just a character; she's an enduring symbol of maternal strength and the undying spirit to protect the future at all costs.

17

Mrs. Robinson

Movie – The Graduate (1967) Actress – Anne Bancroft

You have an affair with a graduate, but he dumps you for your daughter.

“Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me.”

***

Mrs. Robinson, played by the iconic Anne Bancroft, is a character from the 1967 movie The Graduate. She is a bored housewife who embarks on an affair with Benjamin Braddock, the titular graduate who is played by Dustin Hoffman. Mrs. Robinson's relationship with Benjamin eventually leads to her daughter Elaine, who is played by Katharine Ross, being caught in the middle. Mrs. Robinson is a classic example of a femme fatale, a character type that is often seen in film noir and crime dramas. She is a powerful and seductive character who uses her charm to manipulate those around her. Mrs. Robinson is one of the most iconic female characters in film history and is a powerful reminder of the influence that women can have in cinema.

18

Catherine Tramell

Movie – Basic Instinct (1992) Actress – Sharon Stone

A beautiful and seductive woman capable of murder.

“You know I don't like to wear any underwear, don't you, Nick?”

19

Mia Wallace

Movie – Pulp Fiction (1994) Actress – Uma Thurman

An eye for fashion, an ear for a tune, and a nose for cocaine.

“I do believe Marsellus Wallace, my husband, your boss, told you to take ME out and do WHATEVER I WANTED. Now I wanna dance, I wanna win. I want that trophy, so dance good.”

***

Mia Wallace, played by Uma Thurman, is a standout character in the iconic film Pulp Fiction. She is known for her sharp fashion sense, love for music, and her drug use. She is married to Marsellus Wallace, a powerful crime boss, and is not afraid to speak her mind. Mia is a complex character, with a confident and alluring demeanor, yet also vulnerable and impulsive. Her dance scene with John Travolta's character, Vincent Vega, is one of the most memorable moments in the film. Mia's character has become a pop culture icon, with her signature bob haircut and white button-down shirt outfit being replicated in countless Halloween costumes and fashion editorials.

20

Mrs. Danvers

Movie – Rebecca (1940) Actress – Judith Anderson

Deranged housekeeper who mentally torments the second Mrs de Winter for not living up to the standard set by her predecessor, the eponymous Rebecca.

“Look down there. It's easy, isn't it? Why don't you? Why don't you? Go on. Go on. Don't be afraid...”

***

Judith Anderson's portrayal of Mrs. Danvers is haunting, as she infuses the character with an icy malevolence that chills viewers to the bone. Her devotion to the late Rebecca is unsettlingly obsessive, manipulating every situation to undermine and unhinge her new mistress. With a spectral presence, she hovers through Manderley's corridors, embodying the shadow of the past that refuses to die. Indeed, Mrs. Danvers is the embodiment of gothic terror personified, a chilling reminder of Hitchcockian suspense and psychological manipulation.

21

Sally Albright

Movie – When Harry Met Sally (1989) Actress – Meg Ryan

Can men and women really be friends?

“I’ll have what she’s having!”

***

Meg Ryan brought an unforgettable charm to the role of Sally, who navigates the complexities of friendships and romantic relationships with humor and honesty. Sally's quirky habits, like her very particular way of ordering food, resonate with audiences for their relatability. The iconic scene at Katz's Delicatessen, where she fakes an orgasm to prove a point to Harry, remains one of the most memorable moments in film history. Her character’s emotional depth and sharp wit have made Sally Albright a touchstone for discussions on love and the dynamics between men and women, ensuring her spot among cinema's most enduring characters.

22

Dorothy Gale

Movie – The Wizard of Oz (1939) Actress – Judy Garland

There’s no place like home

“I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto.”

***

Dorothy Gale, played by the iconic Judy Garland, is one of the most beloved female movie characters of all time. She is the main protagonist of the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, which is based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Throughout the movie, Dorothy embarks on a journey to find her way back home to Kansas, accompanied by her loyal dog, Toto. Along the way, she meets a variety of characters, including the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. Dorothy's catchphrase, "There's no place like home," has become a timeless classic. Dorothy is a classic example of courage and determination and is a role model for young girls everywhere.

23

Annie Wilkes

Movie – Misery (1980) Actress – Kathy Bates

Crazed fangirl who takes drastic action when her favorite character is killed off.

“I'm your number one fan. There's nothing to worry about. You're going to be just fine. I will take good care of you. I'm your number one fan.”

***

Kathy Bates skillfully brings to life the unsettling juxtaposition of nurturing caretaker and obsessive tormentor in her Oscar-winning role as Annie Wilkes, a former nurse who rescues her idolized novelist, Paul Sheldon, from a car crash. Misery dazzles as Bates' character transitions from Sheldon's self-proclaimed number one fan to his captor and torturer. Her chilling portrayal of a woman scorned by fictional narrative turns provides a psychological horror that burrows under viewers' skins, blurring the lines between admiration and manic possession. Bates masterfully delivers a performance that is both terrifying and pitiably human, crafting an unforgettable iconic antagonist.

24

Susan Vance

Movie – Bring Up Baby (1938) Actress – Kathryn Hepburn

When she sets her sights on something she gets it in her own way – even when it’s a paleontologist … and a leopard.

"'He's three years old, gentle as a kitten, and likes dogs.' I wonder whether Mark means that he eats dogs or is fond of them?"

***

Kathryn Hepburn's portrayal of Susan Vance in Bring Up Baby is a testament to her timeless charm and comedic talent. With a unique blend of aristocratic allure and zany antics, Susan turns the scientific world of paleontologist David Huxley on its head. Her relentless determination is matched only by her endearing quirks, ensuring that chaos follows wherever she and her pet leopard, Baby, roam. Havoc and hilarity ensue, with Susan at the center of it all, proving that her character's legacy is as indomitable as Hepburn's own place in Hollywood history.

25

Jessica Rabbit

Movie – Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) Actress – voiced by Kathleen Turner

More curves and sex appeal than is decent for a rabbit.

“You don't know how hard it is being a woman looking the way I do.”

***

Jessica Rabbit is a fictional character from the 1988 live-action/animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. She is the tritagonist of the film and is depicted as a sultry, but moral character. She is voiced by Kathleen Turner in the film.

Jessica is an anthropomorphic female rabbit who wears a red gown and opera gloves. Her hair is styled in a distinctive Veronica Lake peek-a-boo wave. She is considered one of the most iconic female characters in film history.

Jessica is portrayed as a femme fatale, having a strong moral center but still possessing a powerful allure. She is an example of a strong female character who is not defined by her sexuality, but rather by her intelligence and wit. She is fiercely loyal to her husband, Roger Rabbit, and is willing to do anything to protect him.

Despite her voluptuous figure, Jessica is portrayed as a strong, independent woman who is capable of taking care of herself. She is intelligent and resourceful, outwitting the villainous Judge Doom on multiple occasions. Jessica is also a skilled singer, performing the song "Why Don't You Do Right?" in the film.

26

Mildred Pierce

Movie – Mildred Pierce (1945) Actress – Joan Crawford

A formidable woman who raises herself up to become a restaurant owner to provide for her daughter who loathes her.

“Friendship's much more lasting than love.”

***

Joan Crawford delivers a tour de force performance as the title character in Mildred Pierce, a role that garnered her the Academy Award for Best Actress. The film’s narrative charts a determined mother’s ascent in the male-dominated business world of the 1940s, all while dealing with the emotional turmoil inflicted by her ungrateful daughter, Veda. The complexity of Mildred’s character—a blend of vulnerability, tenacity, and maternal sacrifice—solidifies her status as an iconic figure in cinematic history, illustrating the profound strength of womanhood under duress.

27

Sally Bowles

Movie – Cabaret (1972) Actress – Liza Minelli

She hides her vulnerability, distracting herself with parties, men, and a cabaret as the Nazis come to power.

“My God! It's enough to drive a girl into a convent! Do they have Jewish nuns?”

***

Sally Bowles, memorably portrayed by Liza Minnelli, is the quintessential example of a woman channeling performance into survival. In her world, the spotlight is her refuge, an escape from the encroaching political darkness of 1930s Berlin. With her trademark bowler hat and bold makeup, Sally becomes emblematic of the struggle to maintain identity amidst chaos. Her flashing wit and defiant spirit—captivating audiences in numbers like "Maybe This Time"—reveal a character as enigmatic as she is unforgettable. Despite the frivolity, Sally's heartbreak beneath the sequins is palpable, etching her firmly in cinema history.

28

Lisbeth Salander

Movie – The Millenium Trilogy Actress – Rooney Mara

A pierced punk avenger who busts heads in the name of justice.

“If you touch me I'll more than alarm you.”

29

The Bride

Movie – Kill Bill I and II Actress – Uma Thurman

A kick ass gal in a yellow tracksuit.

“When do you want to die? Tomorrow? The day after tomorrow?”

***

Uma Thurman's portrayal of The Bride in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill volumes I and II showcases a woman of fierce determination and unparalleled skill. Donning her iconic yellow tracksuit, reminiscent of Bruce Lee, she embarks on a relentless quest for vengeance against the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, proving herself as a sword-wielding force to be reckoned with. Her character excellently toes the line between vulnerability and invincibility, making her a standout symbol of female empowerment and resilience in cinema history.

30

Lara

Movie – Doctor Zhivago (1965) Actress – Julie Christie

Sometimes victim, sometimes active agent, Lara teeters between suffering at the hands of the men around her, and trying to utilize them for her own benefit.

“We'd have got married, had a house and children. If we'd had children, Yuri, would you like a boy or girl?”

31

Ilsa Lund

Movie – Casablanca (1942) Actress – Ingrid Bergman

A woman torn between her husband and a former lover.

"Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By.'"

32

Clementine Kruczynski

Movie – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) Actress – Kate Winslet

A rainbow haired kook who thrives in an existential hell.

“Sometimes I don't think people realize how lonely it is to be a kid. Like... you don't matter.”

***

Clementine, brilliantly portrayed by Kate Winslet, embodies the free spirit plagued by her own depth of emotion. In the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, she forges an intense, if unconventional, connection with the introverted Joel, played by Jim Carrey. Her impulsive nature and technicolor tresses signal her rejection of societal norms and desire for authentic living. She is flawed, impetuous, and unfettered—a complex personification of the struggles we face when reconciling who we are with who we wish to be. Her journey through memory erasure poignantly questions the very essence of love and identity.

33

Marnie Edgar

Movie – Marnie (1964) Actress – Tippi Hedren

A frigid kleptomaniac haunted by a terrible childhood memory, blackmailed into marriage.

“You don't love me. I'm just something you've caught! You think I'm some sort of animal you've trapped!”

***

The character of Marnie Edgar, brilliantly brought to life by Tippi Hedren in Alfred Hitchcock's psychological thriller Marnie, is one that defies easy categorization. Hedren's portrayal of a woman battling her inner demons while projecting an enigmatic facade, is nothing short of masterful. This complex role takes the audience on a dark, unsettling journey into the mind of a character who is both vulnerable and cunning. Hedren's performance is a testament to her character’s resilience, and Marnie remains an iconic figure in the pantheon of great female movie characters.

34

Nic

Movie – The Kids Are All Right (2010) Actress – Annette Benning

Alcohol-dependent Nic struggles to balance her job as a busy doctor, her spouse, and her children.

“Yeah? Well, I need your observations like I need a dick in my ass!”

35

Carrie White

Movie – Carrie (1976) Actress – Sissy Spacek

Browbeaten by her religious mother and shunned by classmates, she turns her gift of telekinesis against her tormenters.

“I'm goin', Mama. You can't stop me. And I don't wanna talk about it anymore.”

***

The chilling tale unfolds as Carrie White grapples with the perils of high school cruelty and an oppressive home life. Her latent abilities emerge under the strain of social ostracization and extreme humiliation at her senior prom. Directed by Brian De Palma, the film is a masterful adaptation of Stephen King's novel, capturing the harrowing journey of a misunderstood girl and her catastrophic retaliation. Sissy Spacek's performance earned her an Academy Award nomination, marking Carrie White as an unforgettable and iconic character in cinematic history.

36

Regina George

Movie – Mean Girls (2004) Actress – Rachel McAdams

A high school villain and a mean girl who fits all the stereotypes.

“Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by Regina George?”

***

Rachel McAdams delivers an iconic performance as the quintessential queen bee of North Shore High. Regina's sharp tongue and cunning schemes cement her reputation as one of the most unforgettable high school antagonists in cinematic history. From her manipulative tactics to her ruthless control over the Plastics, Regina George exemplifies the very essence of a teenage antagonist who we love to hate. Mean Girls brilliantly showcases the dynamics of female social hierarchies, making Regina a character whose notorious legacy endures beyond the film's release.

37

Margo Channing

Movie – All About Eve (1950) Actress – Bette Davis

Making a mistake about a she-wolf in lamb's clothing for a fan causes her to lose her husband and career.

“Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!”

38

Katniss Everdeen

Movie – The Hunger Games Trilogy Actress – Jennifer Lawrence

A teenager prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice of her life for another but becomes the spearhead of a revolution.

“I volunteer! I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!”

39

Kathryn Merteuil

Movie – Cruel Intentions Actress – Sarah Michelle Gellar

Over-sexed and deliciously evil, she seems more like a male fantasy sometimes than a real person.

“My advice is to sleep with as many people as possible.”

40

Minny Jackson

Movie – The Help (2011) Actress – Olivia Spencer

Unwilling to take crap in her work life and struggling against an abusive marriage, Minny is bright, resistant, and braver and kinder than she thinks.

“Fried chicken just tend to make you feel better about life.”

41

Nurse Ratched

Movie – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) Actress – Louise Fletcher

Strict, self-important, and sneaky. Don’t defy her; you'll be sorry you did.

“The best thing we can do is go on with our daily routine.”

42

Olive Pendergast

Movie – Easy A (2010) Actress – Emma Stone

Why women shouldn’t feel pressure to be sexually active just for the sake of others, and why staying true to yourself is a virtue.

“The rumors of my promiscuity have been greatly exaggerated.”

43

‘Baby’ Jane Hudson

Movie – Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) Actress – Bette Davis

Payback’s a bitch and that bitch is in the form of Baby Jane

“I didn't bring your breakfast because you didn't eat your din-din!”

44

Bridget Jones

Movie – Bridget Jones’s Diary and others Actress – Renée Zellweger

She manages to be a hero and anti-hero. Bridget is the modern day girl, living (read struggling) with modern day life and modern day men.

“Thank you, Daniel, that is very good to know. But if staying here means working within 10 yards of you, frankly, I'd rather have a job wiping Saddam Hussein's arse.”

45

Cher Horowitz

Movie – Clueless (1995) Actress – Alicia Silverstone

A complex young woman who appears empty headed and shallow but is actually bettering herself by helping others.

“Do you prefer 'fashion victim' or 'ensembly challenged'?”

46

Lara Croft

Movie – The Lara Croft Series Actress – Angelina Jolie

The woman who proved beauty was no barrier to being an action hero.

“I woke up this morning and I just hated everything.”

***

Lara Croft, played by Angelina Jolie, is one of the most iconic female action heroes of all time. She first appeared in the 2001 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and has since become a pop culture phenomenon. The character is known for her athleticism, intelligence, and determination. She is a strong and independent woman who is not afraid to take risks and push herself to the limit. Lara Croft is a classic example of a female movie character who is not only beautiful but also brave and capable. Her story is an inspiration for women everywhere and her legacy continues to live on.

47

Joan Crawford

Movie – Mommie Dearest (1981) Actress – Faye Dunaway

The epitome of a control freak.

“No... wire... hangers. What's wire hangers doing in this closet when I told you: no wire hangers EVER?”

48

Carmen Jones

Movie – Carmen Jones (1954) Actress – Dorothy Dandridge

Shaped by circumstance, she lives every moment like her last and destroys the men drawn to her.

“'Scuse my dust, gentlemen. The air's gettin' mighty unconditioned 'round here.”

***

Dorothy Dandridge's portrayal of the title character in Carmen Jones is a fiery interpretation of the classic femme fatale. With her seductive charm and fiercely independent nature, Carmen is a hurricane in human form, captivating with every deliberate step she takes. Carmen Jones remains a significant film not only for its all-black cast during an era of racial inequality but also for Dandridge's powerful performance that earned her an Oscar nomination, making history as the first African American actress nominated for a leading role. Her Carmen is both a symbol of strength and a tragic figure, weaving a story as timeless as it is heartbreaking.

49

Muriel Heslop

Movie – Muriel’s Wedding (1994) Actress – Toni Collette

She has plenty of insecurities but outgrows them all.

“You’re terrible, Muriel.”

50

Miranda Priestley

Movie – The Devil Wears Prada (2006) Actress – Meryl Streep

A complicated and intriguing villainous boss bitch.

“Oh, don't be silly – EVERYONE wants this. Everyone wants to be us.”

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

I don't know, a lot of these women are cold-hearted and ruthless or manipulative. Some of them are perfect though!

I would've thought Cady Heron not Regina George, but still fab

What about Alice and Claire from resident evil....... Also Selene from underworld

No black women,aren't they talented enough ??

one woman of color? Nice

Libby Parsons - Ashley Judd, Double Jeopardy. She should be in the list too!

No divergent?

Sandy in grease

Great list and an interesting read. Just would to add Katherine Ann Watson (Julia Roberts) from Mona Lisa Smile

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