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Top 10 Female Action Stars

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Action films have traditionally starred men. However, several leading ladies have stepped in to become genuine film heroes and action stars. Not just forces to be reckoned with, these female action stars have become some of the most iconic figures in the genre. Examples range from Sigourney Weaver taking on aliens as Ripley, to Kate Beckinsale as a werewolf killing vampire and Uma Thurman showing no kindness to her enemies as the Bride. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Female Action Stars.

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Top 10: Female Action Stars

These ladies have no trouble keeping up with their male counterparts. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Female Action Stars.

Number 10: Lucy Lawless

Kicking off our list is television’s warrior princess herself. Sure, she makes crazy tongue noises and throws a shiny hubcap, but Lawless’s Xena is an action star like no other. She takes on monsters, soldiers and countless dangers on the small screen, all while leaving a big impression due to her sharp wit and equally sharp blade.

Number 9: Michelle Rodriguez

This tough chick has created her own breed of action hero, the “bad-bitch-with-attitude.” You’ve seen her in such projects as Lost, Machete, Avatar, Resident Evil and The Fast and the Furious. No matter what film she’s in, she’s as gentle as sandpaper, and as dainty as a bazooka.

Number 8: Carrie-Anne Moss

What better way to leave your mark on the action genre than to star as a computer hacker turned superhuman in the Matrix trilogy. She rides motorcycles, performs death-defying stunts, and unloads countless rounds at guys in suits, all without breaking a sweat….Or does she? We’d hate to be the ones peeling ourselves out of that vinyl outfit after a day of slo-mo fight choreography.

Number 7: Kate Beckinsale

The star of the Underworld films, Beckinsale earns her honors for playing Selene, cinema’s meanest werewolf killing vamp. This pale skinned killer is content to slice apart anyone who happens to get in her way, and all too happy to make an overly dramatic exit when the need arises. Seriously though, how does she flip around and kick that much ass in a suit made of leather and latex?

Number 6: Milla Jovovich

She may never win an Oscar, but this former Supermodel has certainly come into her own as an action star. Despite her not so humble beginnings on the catwalk, Milla has certainly found quite a niche for herself by kicking people in the face.

Number 5: Linda Hamilton

Somehow, this actress found a way to transform from helpless waitress to groundbreaking action icon in the first two Terminator films. Unlike the other women listed, Hamilton’s Sarah Connor manages a distinctly masculine physique, all while doing whatever must be done to save her son, and the future of mankind from the machines.

Number 4: Angelina Jolie

It’s not everyday that a Hollywood starlet is asked to match the likes of James Bond and Indiana Jones, while representing one of gaming’s toughest leading ladies. Angelina Jolie gave a pitch perfect job as Lara Croft Tomb Raider, taking on countless goons as the gun happy adventurer. She similarly curved bullets, and took on her hubby in direct combat as a cold-hearted assassin, not too shabby!

Number 3: Michelle Yeoh

Perhaps the most graceful fighter and skilled martial artist on this list, American audiences best know Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In that film, she sliced her swords through the air with the grace of a bird to become an action legend. She similarly impressed us as highly skilled secret agent opposite James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies. Did we mention that she does most of her own stunts?

Number 2: Uma Thurman

Here comes the bride. This actress has never backed down from a role, and earns her spot on the list for her positively genocidal stint in Tarentino’s Kill Bill. From her Bruce-Lee inspired jumpsuit to her devastating use of a katana, her action packed performance still leaves us gasping for air. Here’s a woman who will cut off your arm, then claim it for her own. Truly, “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

Number 1: Sigourney Weaver

Taking top honors on our list is the woman who had the balls to not only take on acid spewing aliens in deep space, but totally diss their queen. Packing a flamethrower, Weaver’s role as Ellen Ripley is the definitive example of a woman that takes charge and saves the day. She’s tough as nails, and compassionate, making her the benchmark for all female action stars we see today.


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