Best performance of the year by a female in a leading role in a genre film
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films
Currently held by
Charlize Theron for Mad Max: Fury Road (2016)
The Saturn Award for Best Actress is one of the annual awards given by the American professional organization, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. The Saturn Awards are the oldest film-specialized awards to reward science fiction, fantasy, and horror achievements (the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, awarded by the World Science Fiction Society which rewards science fiction and fantasy in various media, is the oldest award for science fiction and fantasy films) and included the Best Actress category for the first time for the 1974 film year.
The Saturn Award for Best Actress is the oldest prize to reward actresses in science fiction, fantasy, and horror films: other awards such as the Academy and Golden Globe Awards, despite supposedly disregarding the genre, gave little recognition to acting quality at the time. In 1996 the Saturns began to reward both film and television acting, and created the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television. For the first two years it was awarded there were no nominees announced.
The actresses with the most nominations are Jodie Foster, Natalie Portman, Naomi Watts and Sigourney Weaver, who are all tied with five. Foster, Portman, Watts and Sandra Bullock are the only actresses to have won it twice. Portman is also the only actress to win both the Saturn Award and the Academy Award for Best Actress for the same film, while Weaver holds the most nominations for playing the same character (Ellen Ripley) with four.
Winners and nominees
"†" indicates an Academy Award-winning performance in the same category.
"‡" indicates an Academy Award-nominated performance in the same category.
"§" indicates an Academy Award-nominated performance for Best Supporting Actress