The most influential black actresses include acting legends from Hattie McDaniel to relative newcomers like Lupita Nyong'o. Check our list to see which actresses have left their mark on Hollywood and are considered some of the most influential black actresses of all time!
Most Influential Black Actresses
The gorgeous and talented actress, Dorothy Dandridge, was another influential figure in black Hollywood. After starring in 1954's Carmen Jones, Dandridge would become the first black actress nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, which she would then top by becoming the first black woman to appear on the cover of Life magazine!
With a career spanning over seven decades, American actress and model Cicely Tyson also became an important figure in Hollywood. The acting great is best-remembered for her roles in films like Sounder (1972), The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974), and The Help (2011).
Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong'o may be a relative newcomer to Hollywood but that hasn't stopped her from making a giant splash! Talented, gorgeous, and intelligent, after graduating with a master's degree from Yale, Nyong'o would star in what has now become her most talked-about film, 12 Years a Slave (2013).
Lupita Nyong'o would go on to make history, becoming the first Kenyan and Mexican actress to win an Academy Award. Make sure to scroll through our gallery to see what other influential black actresses made the list!