As a couple of weeks ago I posted my Top Ten Favorite Actors Voices, I feel that it’s only fair to have a female equivalent to that.
Well, to be consistent with the male voices post, I’m going to single out one classic actor’s voice that I consider the best of the rest. That honor would definitely go to the exquisite beauty Ava Gardner, who happens to be Gregory Peck’s close personal friend and co-star in no less than three films: The Great Sinner, The Snows of Kilimanjaro and On The Beach.
On top of being ridiculously beautiful, Ava has this sexy, breathy voice that sounds so flirtatious and beguiling. It doesn’t seem to change as she gets older, in fact, her voice in The Great Sinner in 1949 and On The Beach ten years later she still sounds so sultry.
Here’s a clip from her first collaboration with Gregory Peck (Ava shows up at 1:15):
So anyway, here’s a shortlist of actresses whose rich, silky voice are as lovely as their looks. Here they are random order:
1. Cate Blanchett
Seems like people with great voices are involved in the Lord of the Rings adaptation somehow, as you might’ve noticed in the male version of this list. Well, I couldn’t possibly not include Blanchett as her narration in the Fellowship of the Rings intro is just superb. Her voice is so soothing with a great deal of poise. I’ve seen a number of her movies and her voice is one of my favorite part about miss Blanchett
2. Kate Winslet
Here’s another Kate whom I adore dearly. Both are beautiful, freakishly talented, and have a distinct honeyed voice I could listen all day long. The first time I heard Winslet’s voice was in Sense & Sensibility, which remains one of my favorite films of all time. I especially love this scene of the heartbroken Marianne reciting Love is not love as she watches her beloved Willoughby’s house from a distance. It never fails to move me to tears. Winslet also has a gorgeous singing voice, as you can see in this Alan Rickman post.
3. Emily Blunt
Did you know that Emily had a stammer as a kid? But at the age of 12, her teacher asked her to play a character with a different voice which ended up helping her overcome it. I enjoyed listening to Emily talk, in all her films I always notice it, such as this one in The Young Victoria. She apparently can sing, too, when she was dating Michael Bublé, she sang briefly at the end of the song Me and Mrs. Jones in his Call Me Irresponsible album.
4. Thandie Newton
The Zimbabwean-British actress’ got what I’d call an alluring voice. I’m not an expert in the various English accents but whatever it is she has it’s just so lovely to listen to. I sometimes would watch her interviews just to hear her speak, even though I’m not particularly fascinated by Thandie’s personality. Here she is with my favorite Scot who happens to sound as sexy as he looks, Gerry Butler, in Rocknrolla.
5. Michelle Pfeiffer
Speaking of sexy voices, there’s not one more sensuous than Pfeiffer’s voice. Interestingly enough, her trademark on her IMDb page is listed as ‘husky voice’ and ‘cat-like eyes,’ hence she is the perfect Catwoman. I’m sure people who’ve seen The Fabulous Baker Boys would also recall her memorably sultry rendition of Makin’ Whoopee in that red dress on top of the piano. But since we’re talking about speaking voices on this list, here’s the scene of her in Batman Returns with Michael Keaton:
6. Carey Mulligan
When I saw Carey the first time in An Education, I noticed a couple of things right away. One is her strong acting ability, and the other is how euphonious her voice is. Then I saw Never Let Me Go months later and her narrating voice is just beautiful, there’s such melancholy and vulnerability in the way she speaks that sticks out in my mind. I think I’ve become a fan of hers partly because of her voice.
7. Helen Mirren
Yes I’m a card-carrying member of Dame Mirren as I mention her a lot in this blog. The 66-year-old Brit actually came from a Russian Aristocratic family who ended up moving London. I love her posh yet sympathetic tone in her voice, it’s distinctly memorable and easy on the ear. Well, the Oscar winner is apparently set to guest star on Glee as the “inner voice” of a character whose identity is still being kept a secret (per AceShowbiz). Interesting, I might have to watch that clip on YouTube. Now here’s a clip of her with Bruce Willis in RED:
8. Vera Farmiga
I’ve become a big fan of Farmiga ever since Up in the Air. But it’s her role in Source Code that makes me notice her voice as there’s a lot of dialogue between her and Jake Gyllenhaal’s character. Her voice is intelligent but yet infused with warmth and sincerity. She can also be playful and seductive like in Up in the Air and Henry’s Crime, in the latter she brought in her theatrical training where she got her start on Broadway.
9. Catherine Zeta-Jones
The beautiful Welsh actress is a trained singer and dancer, so perhaps she realizes the power of one’s voice as an actress. She won an Oscar for her supporting performance in Chicago, and most people probably remember her in that role, but for me, one of my favorite roles of hers is in The Mask of Zorro. I noticed right away what a pleasing voice she has, it’s sensuous with a hint of mystique about it.
10. Judi Dench
Whether in a period drama or an action thriller, Dame Judi’s voice commands attention. She’s a tiny woman (only 5’1″) with a booming, authoritative voice that one can’t ignore. But apart from that, I actually like listening to her voice, there’s a certain world-weariness combined with a no-nonsense attitude. I think it’s genius to cast her as M in Goldeneye, her scenes with Bond always brings a smile to my face as even 007 is just no match for her spunk and wit.
Rachel Weisz, Eva Green, Marion Cotillard, Famke Janssen, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Connelly, Jessica Chastain.
Well, what are your thoughts on my picks? As always, please do share your own favorite actress(es) with the most pleasing voice.