If we recently chose our ten favorite actors in history, now it is the turn of doing the same with the actresses, for whom everything explained with their male companions is worth, this is a totally personal and open list, in which we show our respect for these ten wonderful actresses, even though we know that they could be accompanied by many more companions …
Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992)
The German represents like no one else the age of the great Hollywood stars, she began shooting when cinema was silent and became a world star thanks to her compatriot Josef Von Sternburg with whom she traveled to Hollywood in the early 30s. After the success of ‘The Blue Angel’, he rivaled in popularity with Greta Garbo but knew (or wanted) to stay for much longer, filming masterpieces with directors such as Orson Welles, ‘Sed de Mal’, or Billy Wilder, ‘Witness of position’. I could stay with many scenes but I will do it with his farewell to Hank Quinlan: “He was a bad cop but he was a very special man. What does it matter what others say?”
Selected filmography: Winners or losers? (The Nuremberg trial) (1961), Thirst for evil (1958), Witness for the prosecution (1957), Around the world in 80 days (1956), Cover-up (1952), West Berlin (1948), Angel (1937) , Imperial Caprice (1934), The Shanghai Express (1932), The Blue Angel (1930), Morocco (1930)
Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003)
The awards do not seem particularly significant to me (it goes without saying that Hitchcock did not win a single Oscar for best director…) but it is also not bad that the actor or actress with the most golden statuettes to his credit is Katharine Hepburn, with four. And this actress is one of the best that have ever existed, always giving the perfect replica to her two favorite partners, Cary Grant and Spencer Tracy. Her best roles, those of the late 1930s and early 1940s, were the epitome of the modern woman of the pre-McCarthysm years. Her prime came as Tracy Lord choosing between Cary Grant and James Stewart …
Selected filmography: Guess Who’s Coming Tonight (1967), Suddenly Last Summer (1959), The African Queen (1951), Adam’s Rib (1949), Woman of the Year (1942), Philadelphia Stories (1940), The beast of my girl (1938), Live to enjoy (1938), Ladies of the theater (1937), The four little sisters (1933)
Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982)
An absolute legend who began her career in her native Sweden until Hollywood laid eyes on her. It didn’t take long for her to become one of the biggest stars and one of the most sought-after actresses, she fell in love with half the planet as Ilsa from ‘Casablanca’ and became Hitchcock’s favorite female star for whom she shot three films. When she was the most important star on the planet, she fell in love with the Italian director Roberto Rossellini and left everything to go live with him, she was banished from Hollywood for a few years due to the scandal, in which she starred in several films for Rossellini, such as the exceptional ‘Te I will always want ‘, but in the end it ended up coming back. His last big role was for his compatriot Ingmar Bergman (with whom he was not related) in ‘Autumn Sonata’. My favorite moment is skipping censorship with Cary Grant, giving each other the longest and most sensual kiss in movie history.
Selected filmography: Autumn Sonata (1978), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), I’ll Love You Always (1954), Europe ’51 (1952), Stromboli, Land of God (1950), Chained (1946), Remember (1945), Light Dying (1944), Casablanca (1942), The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll (1941)
Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993)
Audrey Hepburn’s first big role was in ‘Roman Holiday’ and her performance was so magnetic that her male lead, Gregory Peck, struggled to have her name appear alongside him, at his same size and before the opening credits because That girl was going to be a big star and if she just showed up he was going to look like an idiot. He was absolutely right, few times the camera has adored a face like Audrey Hepburn’s, the actress did accompany that innate magnetism with many doses of talent, only this is how her brilliant performance in films such as ‘Breakfast at Diamonds’ is explained. or ‘The slander’. Of course, I stay with her in sunglasses, evening dress and necklace, having breakfast in front of Tiffany’s window while ‘Moon River’ plays.
Selected filmography: Robin and Marian (1976), Two for the Road (1967), Alone in the Dark (1967), My Fair Lady (1964), Charada (1963), Breakfast at Diamonds (1961), The Slander (1961), One Face with angel (1957), Ariane (1957), Sabrina (1954), Roman Holiday (1953)
Shirley MacLaine (1934- )
Warren Beatty’s older sister made her debut under Alfred Hitchcock and reached perfection alongside Billy Wilder, and Jack Lemmon as a couple, in ‘The Apartment’ and ‘Sweet Irma’, but has had a remarkable career for more six decades. Of course, it is clear that his most unforgettable moment occurred giving life to Fran Kubelik, whether it was looking in a broken mirror or saying to an astonished Bud Baxter, “shut up and share.”
Selected filmography: Bernie (2011), The strength of affection (1983), Welcome, Mr. Chance (1979), Two mules and a woman (1970), She and her husbands (1964), Irma the sweet (1963), The calumny (1961 ), The apartment (1960), Like a torrent (1958), Around the world in 80 days (1956), But … who killed Harry? (1955)
Diane Keaton (1946- )
If Katharine Hepburn represented the modern woman of the 30s and 40s, Diane Keaton did the same in the 70s, not only for her brilliant performances, but also for her way of dressing, speaking and moving. Keaton could not have a better gateway to stardom than Kay Adams from ‘The Godfather’, a role that she resumed three times with brilliant results, being in the despised third part (I love it) when she delivers one of the best interpretations of his career. Of course, beyond Coppola and ‘The Godfather’, his best roles came with Woody Allen, in unforgettable films such as ‘The last night of Boris Grushenko’, ‘Annie Hall’, ‘Manhattan’ or ‘Mysterious murder in Manhattan’. My favorite moment comes with his awkward fooling around with Woody Allen at the beginning of ‘Annie Hall’, “la-di-da“.
Selected filmography: The Young Pope (TV Series) (2016), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), The Godfather. Part III (1990), Radio Days (1987), Reds (1981), Manhattan (1979), Interiors (1978), Annie Hall (1977), The Last Night of Boris Grushenko (1975), The Godfather. Part II (1974), The Sleeper (1973), The Godfather (1972), Dreams of a Seducer (1972)
Meryl Streep (1949- )
It is impossible to escape from her, she is the favorite actress of all her companions and she is nominated by decree no matter what movie she makes. Of course, Streep deserves it, being a case comparable to that of Robert De Niro in the case of men, she is the mirror in which the rest of actresses look since their appearance in the late 70s, precisely sharing a role with De Niro in ‘The Hunter’. His prime comes watching from a car as Clint Eastwood soaks himself to the bone.
Selected filmography: Little Women (2019), The Pentagon Archives (2017), Adaptation. The Orchid Thief (2002), The Hours (2002), The Bridges of Madison (1995), Out of Africa (1985), Sophie’s Choice (1982), Manhattan (1979), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), The hunter (1978)
Juliette Binoche (1964-)
Binoche fulfills here the role of Tony Leung in the list of actors, a memory for all those great interpreters who have made a career outside of Hollywood and with a language other than English, names such as Giuletta Massina, Liv Ullman, Anna Karina, Jeanne Moureau or Carmen Maura. Let the great Juliette Binoche serve as representative of all of them, with a wonderful beginnings under Leos Carax, her confirmation by Krzysztof Kieślowski and her mature roles for the great Michael Haneke. Among all his scenes I prefer his fight with shaving foam with Denis Lavant in ‘Bad blood’.
Selected filmography: The truth (2019), Certified copy (2010), The flight of the red balloon (2007), Caché (Hidden) (2005), Unknown code (2000), The English patient (1996), Three colors: Blue (1993), Wound (1992), Lovers of the Pont-Neuf (1991), Bad Blood (1986)
Cate Blanchett (1969- )
Cate Blanchett is able to shine in intimate dramas like ‘Carol’ or in big blockbusters like ‘The Lord of the Rings’, she is able to perfectly recreate the great Katharine Hepburn in ‘The Aviator’ or become one of the many Bob Dylan possible in ‘I’m Not There’, to integrate perfectly into the universe of Woody Allen and that of Wes Anderson, a true all-rounder who has also shone on the small screen with the remarkable ‘Mrs. America’. My favorite moment of her career comes as Galadriel accepting her fate and rejecting the One Ring that Frodo offers her.
Selected filmography: Mrs. America (TV Miniseries) (2020), Carol (2015), Blue Jasmine (2013), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), Hanna (2011), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), I ‘ m Not There (2007), Babel (2006), The Aviator (2004), Life Aquatic (2004), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) , The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Elizabeth (1998)
Kate Winslet (1975- )
Kate Winslet still has a long career ahead of her, as shown by the rave reviews she’s receiving for ‘Mare Of Eastown’ but her career to date is so spectacular that I’ve decided to include her. In ‘Sense and Sensibility’ she already stood out in a cast with people like Emma Thompson or Alan Rickman, ‘Titanic’ made her a star and ‘Forget about me!’ He should have gotten all the awards he had and for having. On the other hand, her performance in ‘Mildred Pierce’ was at least on a par with Joan Crawford in the film version but, anyway, my favorite moment is opposite Jim Carrey, laughing and crying like Clementine Kruczynski, ready to commit the same mistakes, and successes, of the past.
Selected filmography: Steve Jobs (2015), A Wild God (2011), Contagion (2011), Mildred Pierce (TV Miniseries) (2011), The Reader (2008), Revolutionary Road (2008), Forget about me! (2004), Quills (2000), Titanic (1997), Hamlet (1996), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Celestial Creatures (1994)