The cinematic industry is relentless, and with the scathing regional and ethnic diversity, completion just seems to toughen up every second. In a world dominated by the American art form, it has been quite a challenge for other countries to successfully break through the regional and national restrains implemented by artists, government and audience.
With the challenges of national entity and identity comes the challenge of gender identity. The domineering force of the “star actor” has always been the voice of concern and inspection.
However, with their luminous talent, these 10 British Actresses have cemented themselves as one of the greats. While their names could’ve been easily encased under the dominant force of Hollywood and their actresses, these 10 names have managed to surpass all hurdles. These 10 actresses have not only broken the chains of national identity but also have elevated themselves as equals to the masculine gender. Honourable mentions – Helena Bonham Carter, Maureen O’Hara, Joan Fontaine and Tilda Swinton – these actresses are some of the greats, but the names on this list have been a force to reckon with on-screen and stage. Their performances not only garnered contemporary critical acclaim but also have pervaded as one of the most memorable and iconic ones too. So, without further ado, here is the list of top British Actresses of All Time.
10. Vivien Leigh
A force of the classic era of Hollywood, Vivian Leigh donned on two of the most memorable and influential characters, along with several other great performances to find a name on this list. With a career spanning over thirty years, Leigh often felt stagnated, given her exquisite beauty and charm. Often given roles based on her physical attribute and beauty, the actress had always been on the verge of being an eye candy for the audiences. However, with her triumphant talent as a dramatic performer, Vivien Leigh managed to overcome all odds to become one of the greatest British actresses.
Unlike others on this list, the actress’ stagnation as a dramatic performer on screen led to her exploits on theatre, where she pulled off some exceptional performances in Noël Coward and George Bernard Shaw comedies and donned classic Shakespearean characters such as Ophelia, Cleopatra, Juliet, and Lady Macbeth with brilliance. Most wouldn’t count her as one of the greats, given her untimely death, periods of inactivity and stagnating screen career, but Leigh’s incandescent talent which led to her Academy Award-winning performances as Scarlett O’Hara in Victor Fleming’s epic historical romance ‘Gone with the Wind’ (1939) and Elia Kazan’s drama ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ (1951) have cemented her as one of the greats.