Sarah Siddons (1755-1831) was a famous Welsh-English actress, best known for her
roles in tragedies and particularly Shakespearean plays. She was referred to by
a contemporary critic as “tragedy personified”.
She started her career in 1774, and played
numerous roles until her retirement in 1812. Her most famous and lauded
performance was as Lady Macbeth. An acting award in her name has been in
existence since 1952.
Above: Sarah Siddons as Lady Macbeth, Robert
Portman (b. 1981) is an actress and director,
famous for a variety of roles in major Hollywood productions. She has won
numerous awards, including an Oscar and two Golden Globes.
She studied for a Bachelors degree in
psychology at Harvard while continuing her acting career and starring in the Star
Wars franchise. In 2008, she became the youngest ever member of the jury at
Cannes Film Festival. She is an advocate for animal rights and environmental protection,
as well as an important donor for feminist and human rights causes.
Craig (1937-2015) was a dancer and actress, best
known for portraying Batgirl in the 1960s TV show Batman. She has been called ‘a pioneer of female superheroes’.
Her acting career began in 1957 and lasted
for more than three decades. She starred as Batgirl in 1967-68, and reprised
her role a few years later for a PSA demanding equal pay for women.
Pearl Bailey (1918-1990) was an award-winning actress and
singer. Among her most important awards are a Tony Award for starring in the
all-black production of Hello, Dolly! in
1968 and a Daytime Emmy Award.
performed in numerous films, TV shows and Broadway plays for almost four decades.
She received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 1976.
Zelda Rubinstein (1933-2010) was an actress starring in numerous films and TV shows, most famously in the Poltergeist series. She was also an activist for little people and HIV/AIDS awareness.
She studied bacteriology and worked as a medical lab technician before pursuing an acting career. Throughout her three decades of activity she talked about the challenges of being born with dwarfism, and starred in advertising campaigns promoting safe sex and AIDS prevention.
Sul-Te-Wan (1873-1959), or Nellie Crawford by her birth name, was a stage, film, and
TV actress. She was the first African-American to sign a film contract and
become a featured performer.
The daughter of freed slaves, she began her acting
career early on, at first in uncredited roles. Even though she was limited to
playing stereotypical roles such as convicts or servants, she played in
numerous films throughout the silent and talking eras, paving the way for more
Maggie Smith (b. 1934) is an award-winning English actress.
Best known for her roles in the Harry Potter
films and Downton Abbey, she has
had a career in film, stage and television spanning almost seven decades.
Among her many awards are two Oscars, three
Golden Globes and five BAFTAs. She is a patron of the International Glaucoma
Association, and has donated millions of dollars to different causes.
Amy Poehler (b. 1971) is an actress, writer, and comedian,
perhaps best known for her involvement with Saturday Night Live and for her
role as Leslie Knope in Parks and
Recreation. She won a Golden Globe and a Critic’s Choice Award for this
She is the
co-author of the digital series Smart
Girls at the Party, which promotes girls with unique talents and
activities. It later evolved into an online community with a following of more
than half a million.
Isabella Rossellini (b. 1952) is an
Italian actress, model, and filmmaker. She is known for her work in films such
as Blue Velvet and Death Becomes Her.
In addition to her
film work, she is a philanthropist, and a National Ambassador for the U.S. Fund
for UNICEF. She is also the president and director of the Howard Gilman
Foundation, dedicated to the preservation of wildlife, as well as the arts.
Streisand (b. 1942) is a celebrated actress and singer,
the best-selling female artist of all times. She has won numerous awards, including
two Oscars, ten Grammys, five Emmys and nine Golden Globes.
She holds the record for the most number one albums and most albums in
the Billboard Top 10 of any female artist. She is also a devoted
philanthropist, donating hundreds of millions of dollars to several causes. In
1986, she established the Streisand Foundation, working to protect civil and women’s