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10 Of The Greatest Female Movie Characters Of All Time

Jul 21, 2014

There are countless female leading roles through film history. One reason I love films with strong female characters is because they depict woman empowerment. It’s important for woman to realize they are important in God’s eyes and seeing strong, respectable roles on the big screen leaves more than just a memory of going to the theatre. Here are 10 of the greatest female movie characters of all time. Please note that many of these are from more recent films, but I would love to hear who your favorite female leads are.

10. Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) in Roman Holiday

Audrey Hepburn played many roles in classic films, but her role as Princess Ann in Roman Holiday was unforgettable. Princess Ann has the life that people dream of, but she just wants to run away. During a tour of European capitals, she takes the opportunity to slip away.

9. Margo (Bette Davis) from All About Eve

Margo Channing, played by Bette Davis, is a Broadway star who meets Eve Harrington, forthcoming actress. Eve throws herself into Margo’s life, which threatens the well-established actress in many areas, including her personal relationships.

8. Kate McKay (Meg Ryan) from Kate and Leopold

In a chance meeting that has never happened before, Kate McKay meets Leopold from the 1870’s. Kate is a busy city woman who surprisingly becomes captivated by Leopold and has to decide which is more important: staying in time or becoming part of time.

7. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) from Letters to Juliet

Amanda Seyfriend had already established herself as a charming American actress, but her role as Sophie in Letters to Juliet was so believable. Sophie went on a pre-wedding honeymoon with her fiancé, which ended up as a vacation separate from each other. She found herself on a journey to help an elderly woman find her true love from years ago. Sophie ends up writing the historic love story and changing the course of her own life.

6. Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) from Lost in Translation

Early in Scarlett Johansson’s career she played Charlotte in Lost in Translation. Charlotte is a young wife living in Tokyo when she meet Bob Harris, an American film actor. The two connect out of familiarity of being American in a strange culture where they don’t speak the same language.

5. Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) from Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind is still a favorite classic and Vivien Leigh’s role as Scarlett O’Hara was charming. As the daughter of plantation owner Gerald O’Hara during the Civil War, Scarlett knew how to lie and cheat to get her way, which lead to a very dishonorable life that many swooned over.

4. Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts) from My Best Friend’s Wedding

Julia Roberts, played by Julie Roberts, learns that her best male friend is getting married. After being honest to herself about her feelings, she rushes to swoop in and steel him off his feet by getting between him and his wedding.

3. Julia Child (Meryl Streep) from Julie & Julia

Julie Powell is a young woman who loves to cook and aspires to be a writer. She starts a blog chronicling her attempts at making all of the recipes of Julia Child. Meryl Streep plays Julia as she was just learning how to cook and embarking on creating a cookbook with her friends. Although the two women have a huge age difference, their resilience for never giving up connects them.

2. Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) from The Blind Side

Sandra Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, a strong and stubborn woman who lives in Memphis. She takes Michael Oher under her wing, who she adopts as a second son and helps him finish his education, learn football and receive a scholarship to play football in college. This film is based on the true story of NFL player Michael Oher and captured the hearts of many.

1. Maria (Julie Andrews) in The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies and Julie Andrews played Maria exceptionally well, especially portraying a strong woman from the 1930’s. Maria was a nun trying to figure out God’s will for her life and not afraid to step on the toes of others, including Captain Georg von Trapp. She took control of the children and household in a loving, but firm way and taught the Captain a few lessons.


Other great female movie actresses include Scarlett Johansson, Cate Blanchett, Katharine Hepburn, Jennifer Aniston, Judy Garland, Natalie Portman, Ingrid Bergman and Kate Winslet. Female roles became popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s and many actresses were able to sustain successful careers. I’m also excited about the gaps the Christian film industry has been able to bridge and many female leads who are creating legacies.


Article by Elise Cleary

I am a Christian writer and editor that lives in northern Michigan and thoroughly enjoy music, movies, TV shows, books and other entertainment with a Christian focus. My favorite song is "Oceans" by Hillsong United because it reminds me that has big plans for me and everyone else who puts their trust in Him. There are many movies that have impacted my life, but a few include God's Not Dead, The Shunning and Letters to God. I also write for and love connecting with readers, so please don't hesitate to contact me! When I'm not writing I enjoy watching movies and laughing with my busy toddler and husband. 



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