Leading lady

Last updated
Ann Sheridan as James Cagney's leading lady in Angels with Dirty Faces Ann SHERIDAN-James CAGNEY-Angels Dirty Faces-PHOTO2.jpg
Ann Sheridan as James Cagney's leading lady in Angels with Dirty Faces

Leading lady is a term often applied to the leading actress in the performance if her character is the protagonist. It is also an informal term for the actress who plays a secondary lead, usually a love interest, to the leading actor in a film or play.

A leading lady can also be an actress of renown. For example, Lynn Fontanne and Helen Hayes were both referred to as the "leading lady of the theatre" in their time. Similarly, Mary Pickford was called the "leading lady" of the cinema.

The term has been applied to an actress who is often associated with one particular actor. For example, Olivia de Havilland was Errol Flynn's leading lady in several films, Katharine Hepburn had a similar association with Spencer Tracy, Lauren Bacall with Humphrey Bogart, and Maureen O'Hara with John Wayne. A leading lady is also an actress who is typecast in romantic supporting roles.

The term can also be used collectively; for example, the phrase "Hollywood's leading ladies" can be used to refer to a group of notable, famous, or popular actresses.

Modern day leading ladies include: Amy Adams, Jennifer Aniston, Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, Sandra Bullock, Glenn Close, Olivia Colman, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Jamie Lee Curtis, Judi Dench, Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, Amy Poehler, Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Sarah Paulson, Mary Steenburgen, Cameron Diaz, Jane Fonda, Jodie Foster, Gal Gadot, Anne Hathaway, Isabelle Huppert, Kate Hudson, Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Brie Larson, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Frances McDormand, Melissa McCarthy, Shirley MacLaine, Bette Midler, Helen Mirren, Julianne Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan, Natalie Portman, Candice Bergen, Jennifer Tilly, Annette Bening, Margot Robbie, Julia Roberts, Saoirse Ronan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Susan Sarandon, Emma Stone, Elle Fanning, Hailee Steinfeld, Anya Taylor-Joy, Meryl Streep, Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Alicia Vikander, Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon, and Renée Zellweger.[ citation needed ]

Minnie Mouse, an anthropomorphic animated character, has been the most notable and most successful cartoon leading lady for The Walt Disney Company over the generations, who mostly portrays the secondary lead roles to her respective boyfriend and the company's mascot Mickey Mouse. [1]

See also

Related Research Articles

The year 1997 in film involved many significant films, including Titanic, The Full Monty, Gattaca, Donnie Brasco, Good Will Hunting, L.A. Confidential, The Fifth Element, Nil by Mouth, The Spanish Prisoner, and the beginning of the film studio DreamWorks.

First lady Honorary title of the wife of a president or head of state

First lady is an unofficial title usually used for the wife, and occasionally used for the daughter or other female relative, of a non-monarchical head of state or chief executive. The term is also used to describe a woman seen to be at the top of her profession or art.

Minnie Driver British-American actress and singer-songwriter

Amelia Fiona Jessica "Minnie" Driver is a British-American actress, singer and songwriter. For her role as Skylar in Gus Van Sant's Good Will Hunting, she was nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Her other films include Grosse Pointe Blank; The Phantom of the Opera; and her breakout role in 1995, Circle of Friends.

<i>Twelfth Night</i> play by William Shakespeare

Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1601–1602 as a Twelfth Night's entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play centres on the twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. Viola falls in love with Duke Orsino, who in turn is in love with Countess Olivia. Upon meeting Viola, Countess Olivia falls in love with her thinking she is a man.

Leading man

A leading man is a complimentary term for the actor who is the primary male protagonist in a film, television show, or play, usually the main character who can be an action hero or any sort of man, often including a love interest to the leading lady. A leading man is sometimes an all-rounder; capable of being comical and/or heroic, singing, dancing, and acting at a professional level.

Olivia Colman English actress

Sarah Caroline Sinclair, known professionally as Olivia Colman, is an English actress. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, three British Academy Television Awards, a British Academy Film Award, three Golden Globe Awards, four British Independent Film Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the BFI Fellowship.

Jennifer Morrison American actress, model, producer

Jennifer Marie Morrison is an American actress, producer, director, and former child model. She is mainly known for her roles as Dr. Allison Cameron in the medical-drama series House (2004–2012) and Emma Swan in the ABC adventure-fantasy series Once Upon a Time. She has also portrayed Zoey Pierson, one of Ted Mosby's love interests on the comedy series How I Met Your Mother; Winona Kirk, mother of James T. Kirk in the 2009 science-fiction film Star Trek; and Tess Conlon in the 2011 sports drama film Warrior. She made her feature film directorial debut with Sun Dogs (2017).

Russi Taylor American voice actress (1944-2019)

Russi Taylor was an American voice actress. She is best remembered as the voice of Minnie Mouse for 33 years, and was married to voice actor Wayne Allwine until his death on May 18, 2009. She also voiced several characters in The Simpsons.

Minnie Maddern Fiske

Minnie Maddern Fiske, but often billed simply as Mrs. Fiske, was one of the leading American actresses of the late 19th and early 20th century. She also spearheaded the fight against the Theatrical Syndicate for the sake of artistic freedom. She was widely considered the most important actress on the American stage in the first quarter of the 20th century. Her performances in several Henrik Ibsen plays widely introduced American audiences to the Norwegian playwright.

Kate Josephine Bateman American actress

Kate Josephine Bateman Crowe was an American actress. She started out as a child actor and later developed a career in romantic leading parts.

Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Award

The Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture is an award given by the Screen Actors Guild to honor the finest acting achievements in film.

Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

The Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series is an award given by the Screen Actors Guild to honor the finest female acting achievement in a comedy series. Actresses are eligible for the award whether they appear in leading or supporting roles in their respective programs.

Patricia Elizabeth "Pat/Trish" Parris is an American actress who provided voice-overs for several animated television series for such studios as Hanna-Barbera, The Walt Disney Company and The Jim Henson Company. She has voice acted in television, film, radio, read-along story recordings, video games and theme park attractions.

Gamine A slim, elegant young woman who is, or is perceived to be, mischievous, teasing or sexually appealing

A gamine is a slim, elegant young woman who is, or is perceived to be, mischievous, teasing or sexually appealing.

Dragon Lady is usually a stereotype of certain East Asian and occasionally South Asian and or Southeast Asian women as strong, deceitful, domineering, mysterious, and often sexually alluring. Inspired by the characters played by actress Anna May Wong, the term comes from the female villain in the comic strip Terry and the Pirates. It has since been applied to powerful Asian women from certain regions of Asia, as well as a number of Asian and Asian American film actresses. The stereotype has generated a large quantity of sociological literature. "Dragon Lady" is sometimes applied to persons who lived before the term became part of American slang in the 1930s. It is also used to refer to any powerful but prickly woman, usually in a derogatory fashion.

The 67th Golden Globe Awards was telecasted live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on Sunday, January 17, 2010 by NBC, from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM (PST) and 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM (EST). The ceremonies were hosted by Ricky Gervais, and were broadcast live for the first time.

The Detroit Film Critics Society is a film critic organization based in Detroit, Michigan, United States. It was founded in 2007, and comprises a group of over twenty film critics. To become a member, the critic must have reviewed at least twelve films a year in an established publication, with no more than two per publication admitted. It presents annual awards at the end of the year, for the best films of the preceding year.

Terry family

The Terry family was a British theatrical dynasty of the late 19th century and beyond. The family includes not only those members with the surname Terry, but also Neilsons, Craigs and Gielguds, to whom the Terrys were linked by marriage or blood ties.

73rd Golden Globe Awards

The 73rd Golden Globe Awards honored the best in film and American television of 2015. It was broadcast live on January 10, 2016 from The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California beginning at 5:00 p.m. PST / 8:00 p.m. EST by NBC. The ceremony was produced by Dick Clark Productions in association with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The nominations were announced on December 10, 2015 at The Beverly Hilton by Angela Bassett, America Ferrera, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Dennis Quaid. Denzel Washington was announced as the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award honoree on November 16, 2015. Ricky Gervais hosted the show for the fourth time. The Martian, Mozart in the Jungle, Mr. Robot, The Revenant, and Steve Jobs were among the films and television shows that received multiple awards.

Close Up with The Hollywood Reporter is an American entertainment talk show television series co-produced by Penske Media and AMC Networks It premiered August 8, 2014 on SundanceTV.


  1. "Minnie Mouse receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame". 6ABC Philadelphia. January 22, 2018.