Ask an Alexa device, “Who is the greatest living actress?” and the answer you’ll get is Meryl Streep. That’s how widely revered the three-time Academy Award winner is, although a handful of film critics and movie fans may disagree. In particular, she is heralded for her versatility — moving easily from drama to comedy — and her mastery of accents. She can also belt out a song when the production is a musical.
With an astonishing 21 Oscar nominations, Streep far outpaces the next two actors on the list, Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson, who have 12 nominations each. Hepburn won four times, Nicholson three.
Streep is even more of a favorite with the Golden Globe Awards, racking up 32 nominations for film and television roles. She’s taken home the trophy eight times and was presented the Cecil B. de Mille Award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment” in 2017.
When she didn’t receive a nomination in 2020 for either “The Prom” or “Let Them All Talk,” some entertainment journalists deemed it an unexpected “snub.” Check out the 20 most decorated Golden Globe winners of all time.)
The ranking is based on an index of IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes movie ratings. IMDb is an online movie database owned by Amazon. Rotten Tomatoes is an online movie and TV review aggregator. Only the roughly 5,000 feature films with 25,000 reviews or more on IMDb were considered for this analysis. Each movie’s movie theater ticket (domestic box office) was obtained from The Numbers, an online movie database owned by consulting firm Nash Information Services.