The Most Awesome Female Horror Performances Ever

by manisimmati | created - 15 Jun 2013 | updated - 5 months ago | Public

Most of the times, only a woman can make a horror movie truly memorable. Whether they are badass, frightened, frightening or flat-out cheesy; these are some of the most awesome female horror performances. Please note that this list is not exhaustive. I haven't watched every horror movie out there … YET! In all seriousness, suggestions are very welcome.

1. Kathy Bates

Actress | Misery

Multi-talented Kathleen Doyle Bates was born on June 28, 1948, and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the youngest of three girls born to Bertye Kathleen (Talbot), a homemaker, and Langdon Doyle Bates, a mechanical engineer. Her grandfather was author Finis L. Bates. Kathy has English, as well as...

Annie Wilkes, "Misery"

2. Catherine Deneuve

Actress | 8 femmes

Catherine Fabienne Deneuve was born October 22, 1943 in Paris, France. Her parents were actors. She made her movie debut in 1957, when she was barely a teenager and continued with small parts in minor films, until Roger Vadim gave her a meatier role in Vice and Virtue (1963). But her breakthrough ...

Carole Ledoux, "Repulsion"

3. Kathleen Byron

Actress | Saving Private Ryan

Kathleen Byron trained for the stage at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, beginning her work in the movies soon after she finished her training. Her early work with Michael Powell made her name in the UK. She went to Hollywood in the 1940s and 50s but found it difficult to break into the US ...

Sister Ruth, "Black Narcissus"

4. Judith O'Dea

Actress | Night of the Living Dead

Judith O'Dea is an American actress. She is best known for the 1968 George A. Romero film Night of the Living Dead.

In the 80's she put her acting career aside to founded her coaching company O'Dea Communications and raising her family.

She reappeared again as an actress on 2003 in the horror film ...

Barbara, "Night of the Living Dead"

5. Shelley Duvall

Actress | The Shining

Shelley Alexis Duvall was born in Houston, Texas, to Bobbie Ruth (Massengale) and Robert Richardson Duvall, a lawyer. During her childhood, Shelley's mother humorously gave Shelley the nickname "Manic Mouse", because she would often run around her house and tip over furniture. Shelley however was ...

Wendy Torrance, "The Shining"

6. Simone Simon

Actress | Cat People

Diminutive, fiery-tempered Simone Simon was born in France, but spent much of her early childhood in Madagascar, where her father managed a graphite mine. Her schooling was somewhat unsettled, her family moving from city to city (Berlin, Budapest, Turin) before finally establishing themselves in ...

Irena Dubrovna Reed, "Cat People"

7. Maila Nurmi

Actress | Vampira

The original glamour ghoul herself, "Vampira", of late night 1950s television, was actually born Maila Syrjäniemi (later changed to the easier surname Nurmi) on December 11, 1922 in Petsamo, Finland. Her uncle was the multiple Olympic medal runner Paavo Nurmi. Maila arrived in the United States ...

Vampire Girl, "Plan 9 From Outer Space"

8. Candace Hilligoss

Actress | Carnival of Souls

Candace Hilligoss was involved in acting from the early days of elementary school plays. After three years at the University of Iowa, she came to New York to study acting at the American Theatre Wing, and made her professional debut doing summer stock in Pennsylvania. She acted at the Cape Cod ...

Mary Henry, "Carnival of Souls"

9. Janet Leigh

Actress | Psycho

Janet Leigh was the only child of a couple who often moved from town to town. Living in apartments, Janet was a bright child who skipped several grades and finished high school when she was 15. A lonely child, she would spend much of her time at movie theaters. She was a student, studying music and...

Marion Crane, "Psycho"

10. Eihi Shiina

Actress | Ôdishon

Eihi Shiina was born on February 3, 1976 in Fukuoka, Japan. She is an actress, known for Audition (1999), Tokyo Gore Police (2008) and The Outrage (2010).

Asami Yamazaki, "Audition"

11. Julie Harris

Actress | The Haunting

One of the finest classical and contemporary leading ladies ever to grace the 20th century American stage, five-time Tony Award winner Julie Harris was rather remote and reserved on camera, finding her true glow in front of the theatre lights. The freckled, red-haired actress not only was nominated...

Eleanor Lance, "The Haunting"

12. Mia Farrow

Actress | Rosemary's Baby

Mia Farrow is the daughter of the director John Farrow and the actress and Tarzan-girl Maureen O'Sullivan. She debuted at the movies in 1959 in very small roles. She was noticed for the first time in the film Rosemary's Baby (1968) by Roman Polanski. She showed her talent also on TV and at the ...

Rosemary Woodhouse, "Rosemary's Baby"

13. Mercedes McCambridge

Actress | Giant

Mercedes McCambridge is a highly-talented radio performer who won a best supporting Actress Oscar for her film debut.

Mercedes McCambridge was born in Joliet, Illinois, to Marie (Mahaffry) and John Patrick McCambridge, a farmer. She was of mostly Irish (with a small amount of English and German) ...

The Demon's Voice, "The Exorcist"

14. Christina Lindberg

Actress | Thriller - en grym film

Gorgeous and voluptuous brunette beauty Britt Christina Marinette Lindberg was born on December 6, 1950, in Gothenburg, Sweden, to a working-class family, with one sister and two brothers. She studied Latin at school and initially planned on being an archaeologist. Doing some modeling while still ...

Frigga, "Thriller - en grym film"

15. Jamie Lee Curtis

Actress | True Lies

Jamie Lee Curtis was born on November 22, 1958 in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of legendary actors Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. She got her big break at acting in 1978 when she won the role of Laurie Strode in Halloween (1978). After that, she became famous for roles in movies like Trading...

Laurie Strode, "Halloween"

16. Sigourney Weaver

Actress | Avatar

Sigourney Weaver was born Susan Alexandra Weaver in Leroy Hospital in Manhattan, New York City. Her father, TV producer Sylvester L. Weaver Jr., originally wanted to name her Flavia, because of his passion for Roman history (he had already named her elder brother Trajan). Her mother, Elizabeth ...

Ripley, "Alien"

17. Betsy Palmer

Actress | Friday the 13th

Betsy Palmer was probably best known for playing Jason Voorhees' mother in the horror film Friday the 13th (1980), but her career as an actress began many years before.

Palmer was born Patricia Betsy Hrunek in East Chicago, Indiana, to Marie (née Love), who launched the Chicago Business College, and...

Pamela Voorhees, "Friday the 13th"

18. Jennifer Connelly

Actress | A Beautiful Mind

Jennifer Connelly was born in the Catskill Mountains, New York, to Ilene (Schuman), a dealer of antiques, and Gerard Connelly, a clothing manufacturer. Her father had Irish and Norwegian ancestry, and her mother was from a Jewish immigrant family. Jennifer grew up in Brooklyn Heights, just across ...

Jennifer Corvino, "Phenomena"

19. Emmanuelle Seigner

Actress | Bitter Moon

Emmanuelle Seigner is the daughter of a well known photographer and her mother is a journalist. She was born in Paris, France on June 22, 1966. Her grandfather was Louis Seigner, chairman of the Comédie Française and who also appeared in several movies. Emmanuelle was raised at a convent school . ...

The Girl, "The Ninth Gate"

20. 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 ...

Grace Stewart, "The Others"

21. Lina Leandersson

Actress | Låt den rätte komma in

Lina Leandersson was born in Falun, Sweden She took an interest in performing from an early age, acting in amateur theatre performances, attending drama courses, and performing street- and jazz dance. One of her first roles was in amateur theatre performance, playing the mother of a spoiled girl ...

Eli, "Let The Right One In"

22. Mylène Jampanoï

Actress | Martyrs

Mylène Jampanoï (born 12 July 1980) is a French actress and model.

Mylène Jampanoï was born on 12 July 1980 in Aix-en-Provence, France to a Chinese father and a French Breton mother. She married Indian supermodel and actor Milind Soman in Goa in 2006. They met during the shooting of their film ...

Lucie, "Martyrs"

23. Charlotte Gainsbourg

Actress | Antichrist

Charlotte Gainsbourg was born in London, England in 1971. She is an Anglo-French actress and singer. The daughter of English actress Jane Birkin and French singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, she was raised in Paris. Gainsbourg made her motion picture debut in 1984. In 1986, Gainsbourg won a ...

She, "Antichrist"

24. Elsa Lanchester

Actress | Witness for the Prosecution

Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was born into an unconventional a family at the turn of the 20th century. Her parents, James "Shamus" Sullivan and Edith "Biddy" Lanchester, were socialists - very active members of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) in a rather broad sense and did not believe in the ...

The Monster's Bride, "Bride of Frankenstein"

25. 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,...

India Stoker, "Stoker"

26. Milly Shapiro

Actress | Hereditary

Milly was born in Tampa, Florida to business owners Michelle and Eric Shapiro. She was educated at the Community Montessori School from 18 mos. until 10 years old, when she moved to New York to pursue her career as an actress-singer. Inspired by her sister, Abigail, she began vocal training at the ...

Charlie, "Hereditary"



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