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BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role

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United Kingdom

Official website

BAFTA Home Page
BAFTA is the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. We are an independent British charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image.


Awarded for
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Currently held by
Emma Stone for La La Land (2016)

Presented by
British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Category of
British Academy Film Awards

People also search for
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Winners & Nominees
Emma StoneLa La Land, Emma Stone, Winner, Meryl StreepFlorence Foster Jenkins, Meryl Streep, Nominee, Emily BluntThe Girl on the Train, Emily Blunt, Nominee, Natalie PortmanJackie, Natalie Portman, Nominee, Amy AdamsArrival, Amy Adams, Nominee, Brie LarsonRoom, Brie Larson, Winner, Alicia VikanderThe Danish Girl, Alicia Vikander, Nominee, Cate BlanchettCarol, Cate Blanchett, Nominee, Saoirse RonanBrooklyn, Saoirse Ronan, Nominee, Maggie SmithThe Lady in the Van, Maggie Smith, Nominee, Julianne MooreStill Alice, Julianne Moore, Winner, Felicity JonesThe Theory of Everything, Felicity Jones, Nominee, Reese WitherspoonWild, Reese Witherspoon, Nominee, Rosamund PikeGone Girl, Rosamund Pike, Nominee, Amy AdamsBig Eyes, Amy Adams, Nominee, Cate BlanchettBlue Jasmine, Cate Blanchett, Winner, Emma ThompsonSaving Mr Banks, Emma Thompson, Nominee, Sandra BullockGravity, Sandra Bullock, Nominee, Judi DenchPhilomena, Judi Dench, Nominee, Amy AdamsAmerican Hustle, Amy Adams, Nominee, Emmanuelle RivaLove, Emmanuelle Riva, Winner, Jessica ChastainZero Dark Thirty, Jessica Chastain, Nominee, Marion CotillardRust and Bone, Marion Cotillard, Nominee, Helen MirrenHitchcock, Helen Mirren, Nominee, Jennifer LawrenceSilver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence, Nominee

Best Actress in a Leading Role is a British Academy Film Award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding leading performance in a film.

  • From 1952 to 1967, there were two Best Actress awards presented, Best British Actress and Best Foreign Actress.
  • From 1968 onwards, the two awards merged into one award, which from 1968 to 1984 was known as Best Actress.
  • From 1985 to present, the award has been known by its current name of Best Actress in a Leading Role.
  • Winners and nominees

    † – indicates the performance also won the Academy Award
    ‡ – indicates the performance was also nominated for the Academy Award


    Note: Between 1964–1973, several actresses were nominated for multiple performances in a single year, these each count as one nomination. Scarlett Johansson's two mentions in 2003 count as two separate nominations. The two mentions received by Kate Winslet in both 2004 and 2008, count as two separate nominations each time.

    Note: The 2013 ceremony was the first time in the history of BAFTA that two French actress were nominated for French-language performances in the Best Leading Actress category. Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone and Emmanuelle Riva for Amour.


    Note: Meryl Streep and Judi Dench both tie for the record of a total of 15 BAFTA film nominations, with Streep having 12 Best Actress nominations and 3 Best Supporting Actress nkminations. Dench has 9 Best Actress nominations and 4 Best Supporting Actress nominations. Dench's 15th nomination is for Best Newcomer in 1966 (which she won). This gives her 6 BAFTA film wins. In addition, she has won 4 BAFTA television awards (from 12 nominations). In total she has received 27 BAFTA film & TV nominations with 10 wins. Dench also received an honorary BAFTA, the BAFTA Fellowship, in 2001.

    Note: Maggie Smith has a total of 13 BAFTA film nominations, for Best Actress (8), Best Supporting Actress (4) and Best Newcomer (1), winning 5. She also has 5 BAFTA television nominations. This gives her a total of 18 BAFTA film & TV nominations. In addition, Smith has received two honorary awards, the BAFTA special award (1993) and the BAFTA Fellowship (1996).

    Multiple nominations

    12 nominations
  • Meryl Streep
  • 8 nominations
  • Maggie Smith
  • 7 nominations
    6 nominations
    5 nominations
    4 nominations
    3 nominations
    2 nominations

    Multiple awards

    4 wins
  • Maggie Smith
  • 3 wins
  • Anne Bancroft
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Simone Signoret
  • 2 wins


    BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Wikipedia