10 Most Famous Female Movie Characters

Sunday, December 5 by Tom Gordon

With more than a century's worth of films to choose from, picking out the 10 most famous female movie characters isn't easy. But this list should have at least a few favorites of yours and other film fans. We've got heroines, villains, girls-next-door and femme fatales among this list of the most famous female movie characters of all time.

  1. Scarlett O'Hara. Vivien Leigh won an Oscar playing this Southern belle, who defined the phrase "high maintenance" in "Gone with the Wind." Scarlett, one of the screen's most famous heroines, was beautiful, tough, vulnerable and unlucky in love all the way to the end of the movie.
  2. Princess Leia. You loved her in her innocent white dress in 1977's "Star Wars: A New Hope," but it was that slave-girl bikini number from "Return of the Jedi" that made this rebel princess one of the great sex symbol icons in movie history.
  3. Rose DeWitt. Kate Winslet became a superstar, serious actress and sex symbol all at once as the girl who would find romance and tragedy (and a really big diamond) aboard the "Titanic."
  4. Vivian Ward. The hooker with a heart of gold in "Pretty Woman" made Julia Roberts an overnight superstar in 1990. Her shopping spree on Rode Drive, set to the music of Roy Orbison's title track, has become one of the most famous and often-imitated scenes in movie history. We probably wouldn't have had the Jim Carrey scene with all the tuxedoes in "Dumb and Dumber" without Vivian and her john (Richard Gere) showing the way.
  5. Cruella DeVille. Sure, Cinderella and Ariel might have sold more merchandise, but in the pantheon of classic Disney characters, Cruella and her obsession with dalmation fur has got to be near the top."
  6. Jessica Rabbit. Voiced by then-hot Kathleen Turner, the femme fatale and wife of the title character in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" also had one of the great lines in movie history: "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way."
  7. Mrs. Robinson. The original cougar, Mrs. Robinson seduces Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) in 1967's "The Graduate" and teaches him a few things about life and love, only to find that he's fallen for her daughter Elaine (Katherine Ross).
  8. Annie Hall. Diane Keaton won a Best Actress Oscar for her role as the confused, sweetheart wannabe singer in Woody Allen's best movie, "Annie Hall." She even launched a fashion trend as women donned men's styles just as Annie did with her baggy trousers and necktie.
  9. Ilsa Lund. Ingrid Bergman was so gorgeous, vulnerable, brave and passionate as Ilsa in "Casablanca" it makes you understand how damaged Rick (Humphrey Bogart) was after losing her in Paris and how ridiculously righteous and tormented he was to give her up again for the cause. Ilsa is easily one of the most beloved and most famous female movie characters ever.
  10. Ellen Ripley. Sigourney Weaver played this reluctant alien-fighting heroine first in 1979's "Alien" and then its three sequels. Ripley was without a doubt one of the first and one of the best female action heroes in the history of cinema.
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