The 22 Most Famous Redheaded Actresses
Hollywood is full of ditzy blondes and dirty brunettes, but it’s the redheads who often get overlooked. There are many reasons why this is the case. The most obvious being that only 2% of the world is made up of redheads. Although it might not be the most dominant hair color there are plenty of redheads worth mentioning. Especially when it comes to redheaded actresses.
These lovely ladies stand out from the pack thanks to their firey hair color. The redheaded actresses featured in this article are not only beautiful but intelligent and super talented. While red hair helps them get noticed, it is their acting ability that makes them stars. So read on and find out more about the most famous and sexiest redhead actresses in Hollywood.
1. Amy Adams
Beginning her entertainment career as a dancer in a dinner theater, Amy Adams is a redhead who has come a long way. Small roles in Drop Dead Gorgeous and Catch Me If You Can first got her recognized. It wasn’t until 2005s Junebug that Adams became a familiar face with moviegoers. Over the past 17 years, she has slowly built an impressive filmography. Films such as The Fighter, The Master, and American Hustle have helped raise her profile.
Adams attributes her red hair to one of the reasons for her success. “The minute I went red, it was like, ‘quirky’ instead of flirtatious and dumb,” she told Allure in 2016. “It was really fascinating to see just one element of yourself change people’s perception and that became a very powerful tool for me, even in my acting.”
2. Julianne Moore
For over 40 years Julianne Moore has been a leading lady in Hollywood. The American actress has won countless awards during her career, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and two Emmy Awards. Not a bad collection of statues there for the actress with red hair. She was regular on the soap opera As the World Turns from 1985 to 1988 before getting small parts in a number of films. It didn’t take long for Hollywood to take notice and Moore was soon featured in blockbusters such as Boogie Nights, Hannibal, and The Hunger Games franchise.
Along with her acting, Julianne Moore has written a series of children’s books, with one, Freckleface Strawberry, even being adapted into a play.
3. Alicia Witt
Alicia Witt is more than just a pretty actress with red hair. After finding fame as child actor thanks to her role in Dune (the David Lynch version), Witt quickly began to score numerous movie roles, although she may be best known for her appearances in famous TV series such as The Walking Dead, Justified, and Nashville. Not only is she a successful actress, but Witt is a musical prodigy. She is an accomplished pianist, singer, and songwriter and released her debut album in 2021. She has also been a regular in the theater scene and starred in eight Hallmark Christmas movies. There isn’t much she can’t do.
4. Ellie Bamber
Born Eleanor Elizabeth Bamber, English actress and owner of red hair Ellie Bamber first got noticed after being cast in Tom Ford’s less than enjoyable Nocturnal Animals. While the movie is pretty meh, Bamber is the shining light. Since then she’s appeared in several movies and TV series–the most well known being the British adaptation of Les Misérables–along with some theater plays. While she might not be as a big name as some on this list, she is still worthy of mention, with her career on the rise.
5. Julia Roberts
While her hair is a natural blonde, Julia Roberts is best known for sporting red locks. Arguably her two biggest flicks, Pretty Woman and My Best Friend’s Wedding, feature her with red hair, so it’s only right she gets a spot on this list. Her filmography is littered with blockbusters, award winners, and indie fare, with Roberts’ films having made over $3,8 billion at the box office worldwide. She’s worth an estimated $250 million and was paid an incredible $25 million for her role in Mona Lisa Smile, the most by a woman at that time (2003). If you have seen the film you will most likely wonder why she was paid that much, but that is here nor there.
6. Lindsay Lohan
A natural redhead, Lindsay Lohan is the original wild child. Signed to Ford Models at the age of three, she went on to feature in the soap opera Another World before appearing in hit teen films The Parent Trap, Mean Girls, and Freaky Friday. She released a couple of albums and looked set to become the next big Hollywood actress until her off-camera antics got the best of her. Lohan got a reputation for being hard to work with. She also found herself dealing with numerous personal issues. Lohan was in and out of rehab facilities during the early 00s. She also often ended up on the cover of the tabloids for all the wrong reasons. Thankfully this attractive redhead managed to overcome her demons and is now sober and back acting and making music, having signed a multi-film deal with Netflix.
7. Jessica Chastain
Redheaded actress Jessica Chastain is the most recent recipient of the Academy Award for the Best Actress after winning for her portrayal in last year’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye. An accomplished actress with a hefty film catalog, Chastain studied acting at the Juilliard School in New York. She is very private and chooses roles and films that feature strong women characters. Some of her best films include The Tree of Life, Interstellar, The Martian, It Chapter II, and the TV mini-series Scenes From a Marriage. Jessica Chastain has also done a couple of plays and is known for her charity work and advocating for females in film to receive equal pay to men.
8. Isla Fisher
Aussie redhead Isla Fisher got her start on the famous Australian soap opera Home and Away. She spent three years on the show before heading to Hollywood. Unfortunately, fame didn’t come quickly, with Fisher spending five years in the acting wilderness before being cast in the live-action adaptation of Scooby-Doo in 2002. This put Fisher on the path to stardom, with the redhead having success with films such as Wedding Crashers, The Great Gatsby, and Tag. She also became a series regular on the final two seasons of Arrested Development.
Blessed with comedic timing that matches her gorgeous features, Fisher is also married to comedic genius tor Sacha Baron Cohen. While they spent the last 20 years living in the States, they now reside in Perth, Australia.
9. Bella Thorne
People forget Bella Thorne is an actress. The redheaded wonder was in the media for all the wrong reasons in 2020 when she started an OnlyFans account and became the first person to earn $1 million in the first 24 hours of joining the platform. She went on to make $2 million that first week, which is incredible. Things got awkward when she sold nude photos for $200, but they weren’t actually nudes. This caused a raft of changes to OnlyFans, with the site at one stage considering banning nudity and sexual content.
Controversy aside, Bella Thorne has been on our screens for almost two decades. She began as a child actor in shows such as the Disney Channel sitcom Shake It Up and the criminal drama Little Monk. She has crossed over into the world of cinema where she often stars in indie flicks. Directing also seems to be part of her career moving forward, with Throne directing the adult movie Her & Him for PornHub.
10. Emma Stone
This one is a bit of a cheat. Emma Stone is notable for her red hair, but she is in fact a natural blonde. Coming to the attention of movie fans with roles in comedy hits Superbad and Easy A, Stone was quickly associated with having red hair and stuck with it. Speaking to Refinery29, Stone’s longtime colorist Tracey Cunningham explained that the reason Stone wears red so well is that she “looks like a redhead.” Makes sense. She went on to say, “I think there’s something about those genetics that make the red shade look so gorgeous with her skin tone and her eyes.”
Well, it has certainly worked for Emma Stone, who is now considered one of the top stars in Tinsletown. She is one of the highest-paid actresses and has appeared in mega-blockbusters including La La Land, Zombieland, and Birdman.
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11. Christina Hendricks
Mad Men wouldn’t be the success it is without red headed actress Christina Hendricks. The American was a major part of the series for seven seasons and had a huge impact on the storyline. But before she became a Hollywood star, Hendricks was a model for over a decade, traveling the world and featuring on many different catwalks. When she finally decided she wanted to try acting she was lucky enough to jag the role of Joan Holloway in Mad Men.
The show, set in New York City during the 1960s, focuses on an advertising agency and the colorful cast of characters that work there. Since then she has never looked back, with her career going from strength to strength. Films such as Lost River, The Neon Demon, and Toy Story 4 have made sure she remains one of the top stars in Tinseltown.
12. Karen Gillan
British actress Karen Gillan has over 60 credits in her filmography, which is mighty impressive. Best known for playing the assistant of the Eleventh Doctor in the science fiction series Doctor Who, Gillan has also tread the boards performing several popular plays. The attractive redhead has had star turns in horror Oculus, comedies Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Jumanji: The Next Level, and science fiction thriller Dual.
While British fans associate her with Doctor Who, American audiences remember her for playing Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Her character has featured heavily in Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, and will next be seen in films Thor: Love and Thunder and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
13. Madelaine Petsch
Depending on your viewing habits, Madelaine Petsch might not be on your radar, but she should be. Possessed with fiery red hair, a gorgeous smile, and some series acting skills, Petsch is quickly becoming a force in the acting world. Her role in Riverdale as Cheryl Blossom turned her into a star, leading to major parts in Instant Mom and F the Prom. Along with her onscreen work, Petsch has her own YouTube channel where she allows fans a glimpse at her day-to-day life. With over 6.78 million subscribers, it’s safe to say Petsch has a loyal fan base. She also collaborated with Privé Revaux, releasing her own collection of sunglasses.
14. Bryce Dallas Howard
When your dad is Ron Howard, it’s no surprise filmmaking is in the blood. With flaming red hair like her father, Bryce Dallas Howard has forged her own path in the world of film over the past two decades. Like most in the film business who have famous parents, Howard’s first roles were as extras in her father’s films. Getting the acting bug early, Howard studied acting for several years, counting Natalie Portman as a colleague. Her first few years as a professional actress saw her performing in theater productions where her role in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It caught the eye of director M. Night Shyamalan. He cast her in the thriller The Village. She quickly made a name for herself and appeared in Spider-Man 3 as Gwen Stacy, The Help as Hilly Holbrook, and the new Jurassic World trilogy as Claire Dearing.
Not only is she an accomplished actress, but Howard is following in her father’s footsteps and taking up behind the camera. She has directed a number of episodes of Disney’s hit Star Wars shows The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.
15. Kate Mara
The older sister of Rooney Mara is just as talented and successful as her sibling. First appearing in NBC’s legendary legal drama Law & Order way back in 1997, Mara has gone on to have a celebrated career thus far. She spent a lot of the early 00s having bit parts in movies and recurring roles on a variety of TV shows, including Entourage, 24, and American Horror Story: Murder House. Things really picked up when she got cast in House of Cards. Although she was only in 14 episodes, it raised her profile and helped her get some juicy roles, including The Martian and My Days of Mercy.
16. Cynthia Nixon
Despite having a healthy screen career since the beginning of the 80s, Cynthia Nixon will forever be known for her role in Sex and the City. She played Miranda Hobbes, a friend of the main character Carrie Bradshaw. Nixon is a redheaded lawyer who is very cynical about relationships. She eventually finds love, albeit not forever, as by the time the sequel series And Just Like That... came around, Hobbes is divorced. She embarks on a lesbian affair as she tries to come to terms with who she really is. While she continues to act in a variety of movies and TV series, Nixon will forever be remembered as Miranda Hobbes.
17. Heather Graham
You could say Heather Graham has strawberry blonde hair, but we like to say she is a redhead. At least for this article. Still looking absolutely stunning at 52, Graham is often high on lists of the most beautiful women in the world published by popular men’s magazines. She got interested in acting while studying at the University of California, Los Angeles. While she hasn’t been in a hit movie since The Hangover in 2009, Graham continues to work steadily and has put in some good performances on the small screen. Best remembered for playing Rollergirl in Boogie Nights and Felicity Shagwell in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Graham also does a lot of charity work these days.
18. Debra Messing
Considering the success of Will & Grace, it is easy to forget Debra Messing first got noticed on the sitcom Ned and Stacey. This short-lived series starred Messing and Thomas Hayden Church as two strangers who marry and move in together for differing reasons. The series showcases the dislike both have for each other, although by the end of the second season it appears as if the two might have romantic feelings for each other.
Sadly the show was canned before anyone could find out, but Messing didn’t have to wait long to be back on the box. A year later she got cast in Will & Grace, a New York set comedy about the friendship between a gay lawyer and a straight interior designer. While she has had a successful movie career since the show first ended in 2006, it seems the allure of playing Grace was too great, as the show was rebooted for a further three seasons in 2017.
19. Rose Leslie
The only redhead in her family, Rose Leslie dyed her hair brown as a child to try and fit in. Now she proudly wears her red hair for everyone to see. The Scottish actress will forever be known for her portrayal of Ygritte on the HBO smash hit Game of Thrones. While she has gone on to do fantastic work in British shows Luthor and Vigil, along with American legal drama The Good Fight, the impact of GOT will also overshadow her later work. Outside of acting she is married to GOT co-star Kit Harington and is a known lover of the outdoors.
Interesting fact; Leslie isn’t the only GOT cast member with . also sports firey locks in the series, although she isn’t a .
20. Lucille Ball
Here’s another actress who benefited from making her hair color a fiery red. Lucille Ball had a more natural brunette tone to her hair before hairstylist Sydney Guilaroff transformed her into the redhead we all remember from I Love Lucy. Ball spent six seasons as the lead on the series that rocketed her to stardom. She would go on to feature in a slew of hit movies and TV shows right up until her death at the age of 77 in 1989.
While I Love Lucy made her, Ball’s long-lasting career is also notable for the Broadway play Wildcat, which Ball wrote and starred in, as well as her role as the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu Productions, responsible for hit shows including Mission: Impossible and Star Trek. She also beat out Rita Hayworth for a role in The Big Street.
21. Nicole Kidman
Another Aussie with red hair, Nicole Kidman has a celebrated career spanning almost 40 years. Her breakthrough came in the 1989 thriller Dead Calm alongside Sam Neill. She soon asserted herself as one of the biggest names in Hollywood, appearing in blockbuster after blockbuster during the 90s.
Films such as Days of Thunder, To Die For, Moulin Rouge, and Practical Magic were critically and commercially successful, while her high profile romance with now ex-husband Tom Cruise made sure she wasn’t far from the tabloids. While she continues to work regularly, her best roles have been on television, with Big Little Eyes and Nine Perfect Strangers opening her up to a new audience.
22. Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton was acting for 15 years in Britain before she finally made it over to Hollywood. During that time she amassed a large number of credits in some incredible movies that had her ready to tackle the mainstream. Roles in Vanilla Sky and Adaptation led to bigger parts in acclaimed indie hit Thumbsucker, comedy Burn After Reading, science fiction flick Snowpiercer, and thriller We Need To Talk About Kevin. Unlike many of her peers, Swinton hasn’t made the jump to TV. She seems happy to stick with feature films for the time being.
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