Hold onto your popcorn, because we’re about to celebrate the crème de la crème of black actresses who have left an indelible mark on the entertainment world. Brace yourself, because this list is stacked with talent, fierceness, and a whole lot of girl power. Now, keep in mind that ranking greatness is subjective, but these phenomenal women have undoubtedly shaken the industry to its core:
Dorothy Dandridge – Picture this: Dorothy Dandridge, the trailblazer who shattered glass ceilings with her unforgettable performance. Halle Berry took the reins, breathing life into her captivating story in the enchanting masterpiece ‘Introducing Dorothy Dandridge’ (1999). Brace yourself for heartbreak and allure, because this is one story that demands your attention.
Cicely Tyson – A true legend in every sense, Cicely Tyson’s powerful presence on stage and screen earned her critical acclaim and an honorary Oscar. At 96, she departed this earthly stage, leaving behind a legacy that will forever inspire. We all held our breath as she graced the screen in ‘How to Get Away With Murder,’ giving Kerry Washington a run for her money.
Halle Berry – Who could forget the electrifying moment when Halle Berry claimed her throne as the first African-American woman to nab the Best Actress Oscar for “Monster’s Ball”? This formidable actress, mother, and activist continues to stun audiences both big and small.
Viola Davis – Bow down to the EGOT winner, Viola Davis! Known for her awe-inspiring talent, unapologetic voice for racial and gender equality, and a repertoire that spans decades, Davis is a force to be reckoned with. The New York Times even crowned her one of the greatest actors of the 21st century. Need we say more?
Angela Bassett – Seriously, what’s love got to do with Angela Bassett? Everything! This powerhouse commands the screen with her fierce performances. She embodies iconic figures like Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do with It” and Rosa Parks in “The Rosa Parks Story.” Oh, and did we mention she recently received her second Academy Award nomination in “Wakanda Forever” (2023)?
Whoopi Goldberg – Prepare to be dazzled by the unparalleled talent of Whoopi Goldberg. This comedic genius turned actress, television host, and all-around badass has claimed the ultimate entertainment trophies: an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Emmy. Is there anything she can’t do?
Alfre Woodard – Brace yourself for a tour de force performance from one of the greatest actresses of our time. Alfre Woodard has wowed audiences with her incredible range, earning her an Oscar nomination, a whopping 17 Emmy nominations, four Emmy Awards, three SAG Awards, and a Golden Globe win. Take a bow, queen!
Lupita Nyong’o – Lupita Nyong’o burst onto the scene with her mesmerizing performance in “12 Years a Slave,” snatching the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Since then, she continues to captivate us with her unmatched talent and versatile roles. We can’t wait to see what she conquers next.
Regina King – From child star to award-winning actress and director, Regina King has become a true powerhouse in the industry. She clinched an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in “If Beale Street Could Talk,” solidifying her place among the elite.
Octavia Spencer – Get ready to be blown away by the incomparable Octavia Spencer. Her outstanding performances in “The Help” and “Hidden Figures” earned her Oscar nominations and a well-deserved win for Best Supporting Actress. She’s a force to be reckoned with.
These remarkable women are just a glimpse into the vast talent pool of black actresses who have rocked the entertainment industry. There are countless more incredible women who deserve recognition for their exceptional work. Here at iN, we’re beyond thrilled to continue celebrating their extraordinary contributions.
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