ⓘ BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role


ⓘ BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role

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 1985 to present, the award has been known by its current name of Best Actress in a Leading Role.
  • From 1968 onwards, the two awards merged into one award, which from 1968 to 1984 was known as Best Actress.

1. Winners and nominees


Note: Between 1964–1973, several actresses were nominated for multiple performances in a single year, these each count as one nomination. Scarlett Johanssons 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 actresses were nominated for French-language performances in this category: Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone and Emmanuelle Riva for Amour ; the latter won.


2. Superlatives

Note: Meryl Streep and Judi Dench tie for the record of a total of 15 BAFTA Film nominations, with Streep having 12 Best Actress nominations and 3 Best Supporting Actress nominations. Dench has 5 Best Actress nominations and 9 Best Supporting Actress nominations. Denchs 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 TV awards from 12 nominations. In total, she has received 27 BAFTA Film & TV nominations with 10 wins. In 2001, Dench also received an honorary BAFTA: The BAFTA Fellowship.

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 TV nominations. This gives her a total of 18 BAFTA Film and TV nominations. In addition, Smith has received two honorary awards: The BAFTA Special Award 1993 and BAFTA Fellowship 1996.