Top 100 Australian & New Zealand Actressesby minalex | created - 20 Aug 2018 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
The best actresses from Australia (90) and New Zealand (10)
1. Lottie Lyell
Actress | The Sentimental Bloke
Lottie Lyell has been called Australia's first movie star - which makes it all the more tragic that little of her work survives. That which does provides ample proof of her prodigious and versatile talent. The actress called the `gladsome centaur' by one critic (for her formidable talent as a ...
2. Mae Busch
Actress | Sons of the Desert
Mae Busch can certainly claim career versatility, having successfully played Erich von Stroheim's mistress, Lon Chaney's girlfriend, Charley Chase's sister, James Finlayson's ex-wife and Oliver Hardy's wife! She was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1891; her parents were in the theater and when she...
Actress | The Wind
Dorothy Cumming was born on April 12, 1894 in Boorowa, New South Wales, Australia. She was an actress, known for The Wind (1928), Snow White (1916) and The Woman and the Puppet (1920). She was married to Allan McNab and Frank Elliott Dakin. She died on December 10, 1983 in New York City, New York, ...
4. May Robson
Actress | Bringing Up Baby
Born Mary Jeanette Robison. She was the youngest daughter of Henry Robison of Penrith, Cumberland, England and Julia Schelesinger of Liverpool, Lancashire, England. Her father died in 1860 and her mother remarried. In 1866/67 they were living in St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and moved ...
Actress | Rebecca
Dame Judith Anderson was born Frances Margaret Anderson on February 10, 1897 in Adelaide, South Australia. She began her acting career in Australia before moving to New York in 1918. There she established herself as one of the greatest theatrical actresses and was a major star on Broadway ...
Actress | The Wicker Man
She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Tom Jones (1963) and appeared in The Third Secret (1964) the following year but she allowed her film career to decline following her marriage to actor Sean Connery, the second of her three husbands, to whom ...
12. Vivean Gray
Actress | Picnic at Hanging Rock
She was born Jean Vivra Gray in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, England, the eldest of four children of Allan, a fish merchant, and his wife, Doris, and attended Thrunscoe girls' school. The family moved to Kingston upon Thames, in south-west London, in the 30s but was evacuated back to Cleethorpes in ...
13. Olivia Hamnett
Actress | The Last Wave
Olivia Hamnett began her acting career in repertory theatre throughout England before moving onto TV. After moving to Australia, Olivia established an elegant screen presence in the TV series "Rush" as well as playing screen wife to Richard Chamberlain in the film "The Last Wave" and screen mother ...
Soundtrack | Grease
Actress/singer Olivia Newton-John was born on September 26, 1948, in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. She lived there until she was five years old, and her family relocated to Australia when her father was offered a job as the dean of a college in Melbourne. When she was a teen she returned to ...
15. Nell Campbell
Actress | The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Nell Campbell (aka Little Nell) was born May 24, 1953 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She is the daughter of Ross, humorist and editor of the Daily Telegraph, and Ruth Campbell. She made her "debut" tap dancing for an exhibition for Martin Sharp in 1970. When she turned 18 her father moved ...
18. Wendy Hughes
Actress | Return to Eden
Wendy Hughes was an accomplished actress who had won over 13 major awards. She had been called "one of the world's great actresses" with "the beauty and talent to become an international star". Hughes was born in Melbourne and studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Art. She has two children,...
19. Patricia Kennedy
Actress | My Brilliant Career
Patricia Kennedy was born on March 17, 1916 in Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia as Patricia Carmel Stewart Kennedy. She is known for her work on My Brilliant Career (1979), Return to Eden (1983) and The Getting of Wisdom (1977). She died on December 10, 2012.
22. Rachel Ward
Actress | The Thorn Birds
Rachel Ward was born on September 12, 1957 in Cornwell Manor, Cornwell, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England as Rachel Claire Ward. She is an actress and director, known for The Thorn Birds (1983), Sharky's Machine (1981) and Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982). She has been married to Bryan Brown ...
24. Judy Davis
Actress | Husbands and Wives
Davis was educated at Loreto Convent and the Western Institute of Technology and graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 1977. She found international success with the role of Adela Quested in A Passage to India (1984). Her performance was nominated an Academy Award for Best...
30. Monica Maughan
Actress | Strange Bedfellows
Monica Maughan was born on September 15, 1933 in Nuku'alofa, Tongatapu, Tonga as Monica Cresswell Wood. She is known for her work on Strange Bedfellows (2004), A City's Child (1971) and The Damnation of Harvey McHugh (1994). She was married to Rowland Ball and William Essex. She died on January 8, ...
31. Lindy Davies
Actress | Malcolm
Lindy Davies took up the post of Dean of the School of Drama at the Victorian College of Arts in Melbourne in 1995. She left that position in February 2007, after a period of eleven years, during this time, she instigated an integrated Theatre Training Course for Actors, Directors and Writers.She ...
32. Claudia Karvan
Actress | Love My Way
Claudia Karvan is one of Australia's most recognized actresses, having achieved popular success and critical acclaim through her work in film and television.
Having begun work at 14, Karvan has an extensive filmography. She first appeared in Gillian Armstrong's High Tide (1987) with Judy Davis, then...
41. Greta Scacchi
Actress | The Player
Greta Scacchi was born in Milan, Italy, to Pamela Carsaniga, an English dancer and Luca Scacchi, an Italian art dealer and painter. She grew up in Milan and Sussex, England. In 1975, her mother and second husband moved to Australia, where, after she left school, Greta worked as an Italian ...
45. Anna Paquin
Actress | The Piano
Anna Paquin is the first millennial to have received an Academy Award nomination for acting, and the first to win.
She was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 1982, to Mary (Brophy), an English teacher from Wellington, New Zealand, and Brian Paquin, a Canadian phys-ed teacher. Anna moved to her ...
46. Gia Carides
Actress | My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Gia Carides has been working as an actress since age 12 in film and in theatre. She has been nominated twice for her work, in Strictly Ballroom (1992) (Best Actress in a Supporting Role AFI Awards) and Brilliant Lies (1996) (Best Actress in a Leading Role AFI Awards). She has appeared in as many ...
49. Pat Thomson
Actress | Strictly Ballroom
Pat Thomson was born on September 7, 1940 in London, England as Patricia Elizabeth Thomson. She was an actress and writer, known for Strictly Ballroom (1992), Malpractice (1989) and The Weekly's War (1983). She died on April 19, 1992 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
50. Melanie Lynskey
Actress | Togetherness
At 16 years of age, Melanie Lynskey captivated audiences with her astonishing debut in Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures (1994). Her portrayal of an outcast teen whose relationship with her best friend (Kate Winslet) spirals dangerously out of control was described as "perfect" by TIME magazine ...
51. Rena Owen
Actress | Siren
Rena is an international award-winning actor and is one of only 6 actors in the world to have worked with both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg during her illustrious career that spans 3 decades.
One of 9 children, she was born and bred in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand to a Maori/Welsh father and...
52. Sophie Lee
Actress | Muriel's Wedding
Sophie Lee was born on August 7, 1968 in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia as Sophie Elizabeth Lee. She is an actress, known for Muriel's Wedding (1994), The Castle (1997) and Bootmen (2000). She has been married to Anthony Freedman since March 1, 2002. They have three children.
56. Miriam Margolyes
Actress | The Age of Innocence
A veteran of stage and screen, award-winning actress Miriam Margolyes has achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic. Winner of the BAFTA Best Supporting Actress award in 1993 for The Age of Innocence (1993) she also received Best Supporting Actress at the 1989 LA Critics Circle Awards for her ...
57. Rachel Griffiths
Actress | Muriel's Wedding
Her mother, Anna Griffiths, is an art consultant. Her uncle is a Jesuit priest. Has two older brothers. One brother, Ben, is a ski instructor. Lived on the Gold Coast, Queensland until age five, then moved to Melbourne. Attended Star of the Sea Catholic Girls' College, did well at school and ...
59. Toni Collette
Actress | Little Miss Sunshine
Toni Collette is an Academy Award-nominated Australian actress, best known for her roles in The Sixth Sense (1999) and Little Miss Sunshine (2006).
Collette was born Toni Collett (she later added an "e") on November 1, 1972, in Blacktown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She is the first of three...
60. Lisa Harrow
Actress | The Final Conflict
Intelligent and luminous red-haired Lisa Harrow was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on August 25, 1943. A scholarship from the New Zealand Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council is what sent Lisa studying abroad. Accepted by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, she later was invited to become a ...
61. Sarah Wynter
Actress | The 6th Day
Sarah Wynter was born on February 15, 1973 in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. She is an actress and producer, known for The 6th Day (2000), 24 (2001) and Species II (1998). She has been married to Daniel R. Peres since August 20, 2005. They have three children.
Actress | Ocean Girl
Claudia was discovered at the tender age of 13 when she went along to her friend's "Bring a friend to Drama Class" day. Attending that class was Australian casting agent Jo Rippon who was looking for new talent for the second series of children's show "Ocean Girl".
From "Ocean Girl" Claudia went on ...
65. Kylie Minogue
Actress | Moulin Rouge!
Kylie Ann Minogue was born on 28 May, 1968. The eldest of three children, Kylie's acting career began early, but it was her role as "Charlene" in the Australian soap, Neighbours (1985), which established Kylie as an international star. Her singing career began, purely by accident, when a record ...
66. Frances O'Connor
Actress | Artificial Intelligence: AI
Frances O'Connor was born on June 12, 1967 in Wantage, Oxfordshire, England. She is an actress, known for A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Mansfield Park (1999) and Timeline (2003). She has been married to Gerald Lepkowski since 2011. They have one child.
Actress | Whale Rider
Keisha Castle-Hughes was born on March 24, 1990 in Donnybrook, Western Australia, Australia. She is an actress and producer, known for Whale Rider (2002), The Nativity Story (2006) and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005). She was previously married to Jonathan Morrison.
68. Everlyn Sampi
Actress | Rabbit-Proof Fence
Everlyn Leemarie Sampi was born Oct 6th, 1988 in Derby as the 4th child among three older brothers and one younger sister following.
She belongs to the indigenous Bardi tribe, but her maternal grandfather comes from Glasgow, Scotland (UK). Her mother works as a director in a bigger aboriginal ...
72. Nicole Kidman
Actress | Moulin Rouge!
Elegant blonde Nicole Kidman, known as one of Hollywood's top Australian imports, was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, while her Australian parents were there on educational visas.
Kidman is the daughter of Janelle Ann (Glenny), a nursing instructor, and Antony David Kidman, a biochemist and ...
73. Miranda Otto
Miranda Otto is an Australian actress. Otto is a daughter of actors Barry Otto and Lindsay Otto, and half-sister of actress Gracie Otto. She began her acting career at age 18 in 1986, and has appeared in a variety of independent and major studio films. Otto made her major film debut in Emma's War (...
74. Emily Browning
Actress | A Series of Unfortunate Events
Australian actress Emily Browning was born in 1988 in Melbourne, Australia, to Shelley and Andrew Browning. She has two younger brothers. Her start in acting came after a classmate's father, involved in the acting business, noticed her "acting all ditsy" in a school play. Emily found an agent and ...
75. Emilie de Ravin
Actress | Remember Me
Emilie was born on 27th December 1981, and grew up in Mount Eliza, Victoria, Australia. When she was 15, she was accepted at the highly selective Australian Ballet School in Melbourne. However, after only a year, she dropped out and undertook acting courses.
Her first starring role was on the ...
76. Cate Blanchett
Actress | Carol
Cate Blanchett was born on May 14, 1969 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to June (Gamble), an Australian teacher and property developer, and Robert DeWitt Blanchett, Jr., an American advertising executive, originally from Texas. She has an older brother and a younger sister. When she was ten ...
77. Abbie Cornish
Actress | Candy
Abbie Cornish grew up on her parents' 170 acre farm in the Hunter Valley town of Lochinvar with her 3 brothers and younger sister. Abbie started modeling at age 13. Her first acting job was at age 15 on the Australian Broadcasting Commission series Children's Hospital (1997) playing a quadriplegic.
79. Rose Byrne
Actress | Spy
Rose Byrne was born in Balmain, Sydney, Australia. She is the daughter of Jane, a primary school administrator, and Robin Byrne, a semi-retired statistician and market researcher.
She landed her first role in a movie, Dallas Doll (1994), when she was 15 years old.
Since then, Rose has appeared in a ...
80. Melissa George
Actress | Hunted
The second of four children, Australian actress Melissa George was born in Perth, Western Australia in 1976. The daughter of Pamela, a nurse, and Glenn George, a construction worker, Melissa initially expressed interest in various forms of dance rather than acting. During her childhood, George ...
81. Radha Mitchell
Actress | Silent Hill
Radha Mitchell (born 12 November 1973) is an Australian actress. She started her career acting in various Australian TV series and movies, and later became known for her appearance in Hollywood films. Mitchell, a native of Melbourne, began acting when she was still in high school and had her ...
82. Jacki Weaver
Actress | Silver Linings Playbook
Jacki Weaver was born on May 25, 1947 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as Jacqueline Ruth Weaver. She is an actress, known for Silver Linings Playbook (2012), Animal Kingdom (2010) and Stoker (2013). She has been married to Sean Taylor since 2003. She was previously married to Derryn Hinch, ...
84. Isla Fisher
Actress | Wedding Crashers
Isla Lang Fisher was born on February 3, 1976 in Muscat, Oman, to Scottish parents Elspeth Reid and Brian Fisher, who worked as a banker for the U.N. She spent her early childhood in Bathgate, Scotland, before moving to Perth, Australia with her family in the early 1980s. From a young age, Isla ...
87. Rebel Wilson
Actress | Pitch Perfect
Rebel Wilson was born in Sydney, Australia, to a family of dog handlers and showers. She trained at the Australian Theatre for Young People and at Second City in the US. After a successful stage and television career in Australia, this writer/actress/producer now focuses on feature film projects in...
88. Zoë Bell
Stunts | Grindhouse
As an established and extremely talented stunt double and actress, Zoe Bell has made a name for herself through her unparalleled dedication, skills, and focus.
Zoe Bell was born on Waiheke Island, New Zealand, to Tish, a nurse, and Andrew Bell, a doctor. She has a background in gymnastics and martial...
89. Margot Robbie
Actress | Suicide Squad
Margot Elise Robbie was born on July 2, 1990 in Dalby, Queensland, Australia to Scottish parents. Her mother, Sarie Kessler, is a physiotherapist, and her father, is Doug Robbie. She comes from a family of four children, having two brothers and one sister. She graduated from Somerset College in ...
91. Mia Wasikowska
Actress | Alice in Wonderland
Mia is an Australian actress, born and raised in the country's capital, Canberra. She is the daughter of photographers Marzena Wasikowska and John Reid. Her mother is Polish and her father is an Australian of British ancestry. She has an older sister, Jess, and a younger brother, Kai. At age eight,...
92. Essie Davis
Actress | The Babadook
Essie Davis was born in 1970 in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. She is an actress and producer, known for The Babadook (2014), Assassin's Creed (2016) and True History of the Kelly Gang (2019). She has been married to Justin Kurzel since 2002. They have two children.
94. Abbey Lee
Actress | Mad Max: Fury Road
Abbey Lee is known for her work as a fashion model and actress. She appeared in two Victoria's Secret Fashion shows (in 2008 and 2009). She has appeared on the cover or has been featured in many international fashion magazines, including Vogue, Numero, Muse, Dazed and Confused, V and W. She has ...
95. Courtney Eaton
Actress | Mad Max: Fury Road
Courtney Eaton is an Australian model and actress. She is known for her supporting roles as Cheedo the Fragile in the 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road, and as Zaya in the 2016 film Gods of Egypt. Eaton was born in Bunbury, Western Australia. She studied at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School. Her father, ...
97. Megan Gale
Actress | Mad Max: Fury Road
Megan Kate Gale is an Australian model, brand ambassador, fashion designer and actress. Born in Perth, Western Australia, Gale won a modeling competition at 18 in her home town. In 1999, she was cast in a series of advertisements for Italian telecommunications company Omnitel. This led to wide ...
98. Caren Pistorius
Actress | Slow West
Caren was born and raised in Rustenberg, South Africa with her three older siblings. Her family immigrated to New Zealand when she was 12 where she began acting in high school theatre productions. She went on to study Art and Design at University, majoring in animation and illustration. After ...
99. Teresa Palmer
Actress | Lights Out
Actress and model Teresa Palmer has gathered some impressive film credits. She was born in Adelaide, South Australia, to Kevin Palmer, an investor, and Paula Sanders, a former missionary and nurse. She completed high school at Mercedes College in 2003, where she was a popular student who was ...
100. Samara Weaving
Samara Weaving was born on February 23, 1992 in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, but spent the years after that moving around from Singapore, Fiji, Indonesia, and back to Australia with her family. During that time, she attended grade school in Jakarta, Indonesia, eventually going to Pittwater...