My Top 5 Favorite Actresses

Last week, after I posted My Top 5 Favorite American Actors, a reader said she couldn’t wait to see what actresses I might pick. I’ve been thinking about that ever since. I don’t have many favorite actresses, so this list has been difficult! Please note that I definitely do not have enough favorites to make two separate lists; one for British actresses and one for American actresses. This is a list that includes both.


5. Sandra Bullock – I first saw Sandra in the movie Speed, which I enjoy watching time and time again. She always lends a touch of ‘real’ to her roles. She gives the impression of the “girl next door” with her down to Earth performances. I enjoyed the Miss Congeniality movies, which proved she could be funny. While You Were Sleeping, Practical Magic, Premonition, and The Lake House are among my favorites. I never saw Bird Box – and I’ve heard mixed reviews, and I’ve not been in a rush to watch it because it’s a horror film.

Photo Credit: – Collection Cinéma

4. Reese Witherspoon – The first thing I ever saw Reese in was a movie called Freeway. If you haven’t seen it, you should! She was very young in this movie and she was a spitfire! She did an amazing job! She’s a fine actress and seems to have the determination to move mountains! I liked her in movies such as Wild, Fear, Walk The Line, Sweet Home Alabama, and a limited series you may have seen on Hulu, called Little Fires Everywhere.

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3. Emma Thompson – Emma is a British actress, who was once married to my favorite British actor, Kenneth Branagh. She appeared in several movies with him and one of my favorites is Dead Again. It’s a must-see if you haven’t already. Emma’s strong performances include Nanny McPhee, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V, and The Remains of the Day, just to name a few.

Photo Credit: Amazon

2. Elisabeth Moss – Elisabeth is an amazing actress! I never paid much attention to Elisabeth when my dad watched the series Mad Men. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. It wasn’t until her role in The Handmaid’s Tale that I took notice. She did (and continues doing) an excellent job. It’s a hard series to watch and I’m sure it hasn’t been easy filming it either. She seems to take on the strongest emotional roles offered to her. I have seen her in Top of The Lake, a series with 2 seasons, and I just watched The Invisible Man last night! It was phenomenal – actually SHE was phenomenal! I have added a few of her other movies to my Netflix queue.

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1. Bette Davis – My all-time favorite actress would have to be the legendary Bette Davis. She refused to conform; portraying strong, willful women and unafraid to take on any man, or woman for that matter! You may have seen her in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane, The Virgin Queen, Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Of Human Bondage, and The Bride Came C.O.D. The latter, is one of my favorites in which she starred with James Cagney, one of my favorite American actors. I realized, while going through a list of her movies, that I haven’t seen nearly enough of them! (And there are so many!)

Photo: Public Doman

Honorable Mention – Helen Hunt – Helen was a riot in Mad About You, and I loved her in Twister, Pay It Forward (which I refuse to ever watch again because it broke my heart), As Good As It Gets, and a recent flick called I See You. I wasn’t particularly fond of I See You and she was almost unrecognizable had I not seen her name in the line up. There seems to be something up with her face and it’s not just her getting older…at least I don’t think that’s it. Aside from that little bit of weirdness, I think she’s a great actress. She projects the image on a hard-working American woman. In my book, she certainly is!

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It was really difficult putting these women in order, let alone deciding which ones should be on my list in the first place! There are so many talented actors and actresses! I hope you’ve enjoyed these posts of my favorites. I may keep doing them…perhaps favorite comedians or favorite action movie heroes. Suggestions? I’ll take them into consideration!

My Top 5 Favorite American Actors

Last week, I posted about my Top 5 Favorite British Actors, which was inspired by The Huntress. This week, I decided to try to pick my favorite 5 American actors.

I will start by saying there are so many great actors, this might not be an easy post! I mean, I know who #1 is but will it be difficult to put the rest in order? Oy. I’m going to try.


#5. Vincent Price – I grew up in the 60’s and I always looked forward to the weekends when horror movies aired on the television! My sisters and I called them “monster movies” and while some were actually “monster” movies, some were just downright spooky and had the most awesome villains. My most favorite villain is Vincent Price. He was a master of his art. He was the ultimate villain, and there will never be another like him. I loved watching him in films such as, House of Wax, The Raven, The Fly, House of Usher, The Haunted Palace, and so many more.

Photo: Public Domain

#4. James Cagney – I was never much into Humphrey Bogart movies, like everyone else, except for African Queen. I was a Cagney fan, completely! He was not only a great actor, but he could also sing and dance! He was a Vaudeville singer and dancer. He was born in 1899 and was 86 when he passed away. He had an amazing career! One of my favorite movies is Angels With Dirty Faces. Other favorites include Yankee Doodle Dandy, Public Enemy, and White Heat.

Photo: Public Domain

#3. Robert De Niro – One of the greatest actors of all time, in my opinion, with many awards to prove it! De Niro has always been one of my favorites! Films such as The Godfather Part II, Bang The Drum Slowly, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, Casino, Heat, Goodfellas, are just a few of his most excellent works! De Niro has also made comedies, which I didn’t think he could pull off but he sure as hell did! Check out Meet The Parents with the two sequels, Analyze That and the sequel Analyze This, just to name a few. The man is fantastic!

 Photo Credit: Jeff Vespa – ©

#2. Al Pacino – My daughter always teased me that I liked old men. I had to remind her that Al Pacino wasn’t always old. He was once young and gorgeous, and still not too bad for being close to my dad’s age! He’s an amazing actor and he still gets amazing roles, and a very recent role that he totally rocked was Amazon’s Original series, Hunters. Pacino caught my eye back in the day with Dog Day Afternoon and of course, The Godfather films. Some other fantastic films are ScarFace, Scent of A Woman, and one of my personal favorites, And Justice For All.

Photo Credit: Thomas Schulz 

#1. Johnny Depp – This placement was easy, like I said when I started this post. I absolutely love and adore Johnny, since his days on 21 Jump Street. I love his innate ability to capture the uniqueness of the most eccentric characters! Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of The Caribbean series, The Mad Hatter in Alice In Wonderland, Tonto in The Lone Ranger, and so many more. I have many favorites but I’m pretty sure Benny & Joon comes in at the top, with What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Edward Scissorhands, Blow, Chocolat, The Man Who Cried…and…and…and I could never put them in any order! If you really want to laugh your ass off, check out Cry-Baby. It’s an oldie-but-goody!

Photo Credit: Angela George

Honorable Mention: Samuel L. Jackson – I always say, “There’s nothing better than the perfectly placed swear word.” And that’s why Samuel L. Jackson gets an honorable mention! Ha! Well, that and he IS a great actor! Shaft, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Deep Blue Sea, Jurassic Park, Kiss of Death, to name just a few are worth watching in my opinion. Oh, and don’t forget about Snakes On A Plane!! I can’t help but laugh because it was ridiculous, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Photo Credit: Georges Biard


In a nutshell, these are just a few of my favorite American actors. You may be wondering if I have any favorite female actors… Um…I don’t know! I never really thought about it before! That will be a good post for next week, after I’ve had some time to think about it!

My Top 10 Favorite Movies

When I started this list I thought, “Oh, that should be easy!” Nope. Not easy at all. So, here’s my Top 15 Favorite Movies…..

NOPE. That’s not going to work either.

Top 20?

NOPE. Final offer. Top 25 Favorite Movies – and these are NOT in any particular order. These are just great movies that I have watched over and over again. I couldn’t possibly put them in numerical order!

Please note, these are MY favorite movies. They do not have to be movies YOU like, because…well, they are MY favorite movies, not yours. Just wanted to clear that up since there are so many folks who don’t like when others think for themselves.

  • The Godfather1972 Starring Al Pacino, Marlon Brando. A great mob saga!
  • Braveheart1995 Starring Mel Gibson. The story of William Wallace, the 13th-century Scottish patriot. Well done considering so much had to fit in a mere 3-hour movie!
  • Dances With Wolves1990 Starring Kevin Costner. A Civil War soldier befriends the Lakota Indians and leaves his old life behind.
  • To Kill A Mockingbird1962 Starring Gregory Peck. Growing up in 1930’s south, depression-era, amongst great prejudice.
  • The Goonies1985 Starring Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman. A group of misfit kids run into criminals, find a pirate’s treasure and save a family’s home.
  • The Breakfast Club1985 Starring Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez. A group of high school students spend Saturday detention together and find out how much they really have in common.
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind1977 Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr. A man experiences strange occurrences and is drawn to follow the clues to find out what it all means.
  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial1982 Starring Drew Barrymore, Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas. Kids help a friendly alien escape humans and return to his home planet.
  • Angels With Dirty Faces1938 Starring James Cagney, Pat O’Brien. A priest tries to persuade a gangster to not lead a group of misfits down the same path.
  • The African Queen1951 Starring Humphrey Bogart, Katherine Hepburn. During WWI a riverboat captain and a prim & proper missionary collide.
  • Planes, Trains, & Automobiles1987 Starring John Candy, Steve Martin. A man is forced to travel with an annoying and obnoxious slob.
  • The Birds1963 Starring Rod Taylor, Tipi Hedren. A Hitchcock thriller, a story of birds that attack.
  • Benny & Joon1993 Starring Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Aiden Quinn. A story of mental illness, eccentricity, and love.
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?1993 Starring Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio. Growing up with the challenges of mental illness, and the responsibilities of taking care of the family.
  • Stand By Me1986 Starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman. A writer tells the story of how he and his buddies found a dead body when they were kids.
  • The Color Purple1985 Starring Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey. A black southern woman overcomes abuse and finds herself.
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest1975 Starring Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher. An overbearing nurse and rebellion in a mental institution.
  • Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?1962 Starring Bette Davis, Joan Crawford. A sinister and former child star torments her crippled, more famous sister.
  • Frankenstein: The True Story1973 Starring James Mason, Michael Sarrazin, Leonard Whiting. Although you know the story of Frankenstein, this story will tug at your heartstrings.
  • The Wizard of Oz1939 Starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Margaret Hamilton. A tornado carries a young girl and her dog off to the land of Oz.
  • The Sound of Music1965 Starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer. A young woman leaves a convent to care for a widowed man’s children, who are hard to handle but so very talented!
  • Psycho1960 Starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh. A remote motel is run by a young man under the rule of his mother.
  • Alien1979 Starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. A space vessel hears a distress signal from another vessel and they investigate, only to find out an alien being is also aboard the craft.
  • The Lost Boys1987 Starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman. Brothers find out that the town they have just moved to is inhabited by vampires.
  • Legends of The Fall1994 Starring Brad Pitt, Anthony Perkins, Aiden Quinn. The story of 3 brothers and their father in Montana through love, war, and betrayal.


I’m sensing a theme with this list! I seem to be drawn to movies about misfits, criminals, and mental illness! Yikes! I also notice the years of these movies fall between 1938 and 1995. Are there other great movies before, during, and after those years? Of course! I know I have left out some great ones, but I was lucky enough to decide which ones go on this list!

What are your favorite movies? Do we have any faves in common?