Blogathon Relay: TEN Most Iconic Female Movie Characters


Yet another blog relay! Well most of you should get the idea by now, it’s a relay race of a list of who bloggers think are ten most iconic… this time it’s focused on Female Movie Characters. Thanks to Dell from Dell on Movies for shining the spotlight on the fairer sex, and certainly he picked some great characters on the initial top 10 list!

What are the rules?

A list of 10 iconic female movie characters has been made. That list will be assigned to another blogger who can then change it by removing one character (describing why they think she should not be on the list) and replacing it with another one (also with motivation) and hand over the baton to another blogger. Once assigned, that blogger will have to put his/her post up within a week. If this is not the case the blogger who assigned it has to reassign it to another blogger. After you have posted your update leave the link in the comments below and I will make sure it gets added to the overview post.

Thanks to Jaina at Time Well Spent for passing the baton to me! These nine remain on the list as it stands right now, scroll down below which director I have to let go and his replacement:

Clockwise from top left:
Ellen Ripley | Princess Leia | DorothyMarge Gunderson* | Foxy Brown
Sarah Connor
| Holly Golighty | Scarlett O’Hara | Lisbeth Salander

*Marge Gunderson was the last one added by Jaina. 

I have to confess that there are a couple of characters here from films I haven’t seen before (Foxy Brown and Lisbeth Salander). As Jaina said,  the fact that I know who they are just shows how iconic those characters are. However, there’s one I absolutely have no idea who it is without googling about her, and I feel that she’s perhaps not iconic enough to be in the top 10. So…

Who’s Out?


Nurse Ratched

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is one of the many Oscar-winning films I haven’t seen yet, so I literally had to google who Nurse Ratched is. Now, as I’ve mentioned before, there are other characters on the list I’ve never seen before on screen, but yet I knew who they are and which movies they’re in. So I feel that even if Louise Fletcher’s performance as that character was indeed excellent and Oscar-worthy, she might not be iconic enough to be in the Top 10.

Who’s In?


Mrs. Robinson

When we’re talking about an iconic role, I think of someone who’s become a pop-culture phenomenon. The ultimate cougar, aka older women who like to seduced younger men, I’d think even people who haven’t seen The Graduate would know who Mrs. Robinson is or what she represents. She’s one of those rare female antiheroes, complex and incredibly flawed, but definitely indelible. I actually became familiar with the character before I saw the 1967 film, it was from the popular song dedicated to her by Simon & Garfunkel.

And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know.
God bless you, please Mrs. Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who pray,
Hey, hey, hey

Anne Bancroft‘s Oscar-nominated performance is a big part of what makes her character so iconic. Then there’s that famous shot that’s used in the poster of her nylon-covered leg, that becomes synonymous with illicit seduction. There’s even a stage version of The Graduate, with Linda Gray (whose leg is actually used in the famous poster), Kathleen Turner, Jerry Hall playing the titular role, among others. So I think Mrs. Robinson deserves a spot on this list.

I’m passing the torch to Eric, who runs the awesome blog The Warning Sign which has a nice mix of classic and contemporary films.

Previous relay contributors:
Dell on Movies

So folks, agree/disagree with my picks? Well, let’s hear it!

49 thoughts on “Blogathon Relay: TEN Most Iconic Female Movie Characters

      1. He..he.. well apparently Nostra removed it which I totally forgot about until after I picked mine. I do think Mrs Robinson deserves to be on the top 10!

  1. great idea, and yes, i agree, that Nurse Ratched should be replaced by Mrs Robinson. But where oh where is Beatrix Kiddo? Also, I could do without Sarah Connor and Scarlett O’Hara

    1. Hi Niall, glad you like my pick. Er, um, I actually don’t know who Beatrix Kiddo is, I presume she’s another classic character? I do think Scarlett O’Hara is one of the most iconic female movie characters, so I certainly won’t remove her from the list.

        1. Oooh I forgot that’s her name! I only remember her as The Bride, but yes she is iconic indeed. I’ve only seen the first Kill Bill tho, but I could see her being included as this relay goes around. Ahah well Scarlett is ruthless and selfish so yeah, not exactly likable but this list isn’t about who’s the most likable character 🙂

  2. Sad to see Nurse Ratched go, but if you didn’t know who she was it’s a logical choice. Glad to see Mrs. Robinson back, though. Thanks for keeping this going, Ruth.

    1. Hi Wendell! Sorry man but I really had no idea who Nurse Ratched was. For some reason I didn’t realize Mrs Robinson was in the original list, I do think she shouldn’t have been removed. Thanks for this fun blogathon!

  3. Love this blogathon. While I agree with most everything, I think Lizbeth Salander could go and insert Jodi Foster for ‘Silence of the Lambs’ or maybe Diane Keaton in ‘Annie Hall’ or Emma Watson in ‘Harry Potter’.

    1. I haven’t seen Girl with the Dragon Tattoo so I don’t mind seeing her go. I was thisclose to including Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling before I settled with Mrs Robinson!

        1. Yep that’s what I thought too. Mrs Robinson seems to still capture people’s attention even decades after the film’s released.

  4. I’m with Cindy. Lizbeth would go for me. She just doesn’t fit the bill of iconic at all IMO. But I definitely understand where you’re coming from. You kind of feel wrong removing someone you haven’t seen.

    The Mrs. Robinson one is a very interesting choice. She’s definitely not a likable lady but I think a good case could be made for her being iconic. This is a cool blogathon. So many great characters come to mind.

    1. Hi ya Keith! WOW we must be kindred spirits man. I just saw your avatar in a blog I visited and was just about to swing by!

      Well I actually haven’t seen Nurse Ratched either but I recognized Lizbeth right away even from before the film version as the books were quite popular. I’m not into that franchise tho, way too brutal for my taste.

      No, Mrs Robinson is not a likable person, I mean she is deeply flawed obviously. But that character’s become a pop-culture icon, not just a cinematic one.

  5. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    Ninvoid can sure pick ’em! Nurse Ratched over Anne Bancroft is inspired.

    Personal choice on the Hatchet List would be, pull Judy Garland out. And replace her with Linda Fiorentino’s superb Femme Fatale, Wendy Kroy in ‘The Last Seduction’.

    Very pleased to see Ms. Solander hanging in there!

    1. Heh so you’d rather see Nurse Ratched over Mrs Robinson??

      I think Fiorentino is a superb femme fatale but I don’t know if she’s really iconic. I wonder whatever happened to Fiorentino nowadays, she seems to have disappeared from show biz entirely.

  6. Ted S.

    Yeah I agree that Nurse Ratched doesn’t belong in the list, she’s a great villain but I don’t think many people knows much about her. If you’ve never seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest then you’ll have no idea who she is. I saw The Graduate when I was very young so I don’t remember much about it but I guess Mrs. Robinson deserves to be on the list since there was a song based on her and I still remember it.

    1. Yep that’s what I thought. Whilst w/ Mrs Robinson, one doesn’t need to see The Graduate to know what she represents and that poster w/ her leg is so iconic.

  7. Pingback: Looking for Suspense? Try a Sample Story! | Debbi Mack | Mystery Author and Screenwriter

  8. As I removed Mrs. Robinson previously you know that I do not agree with adding her back in. She never stood out to me as an iconic character and I wouldn’t actually be able to tell much about her. Can’t always agree 😉

    1. Ahah sorry I put her back in but since I totally forgot you have removed her then I totally stand by my decision that I think she is indeed iconic. I mean there’s a very popular song written about her & the term Mrs Robinson is a pop-culture reference to a cougar even today, if that doesn’t make her iconic then I really don’t know what would.

        1. Well I also didn’t grow up in the US and didn’t live here when the film came out, but I knew more about her than most of the characters here. I actually was thinking of including Maria Von Trapp from Sound of Music before I settled with Mrs Robinson, now that I think about it maybe she could be more iconic internationally.

  9. Argh! these elimination posts. so many worthy. I will stick my nose in and put in a punt for Charly Baltimore (Geena Davis) from The Long Kiss Goodnight. May not be iconic to or for all, but that was one bad chica!

    1. Hmmm I haven’t seen that one but I’d think her character in Thelma & Louise might be more iconic. But hey if there’s a list of most bad-ass female characters then yeah, she might fit right in 😉

  10. Excellent work, as always, Ruth. While I have to say Nurse Ratched is pretty iconic, I will agree Mrs. Robinson is more so. I haven’t seen the Graduate but I still knew,instantly, who she is.

    1. Hi Josh, glad to see you stop by!

      Yay, that’s exactly what I mean that even without seeing The Graduate ppl would likely know who Mrs Robinson is. As w/ Nurse Ratched, even tho I’ve seen photos of her before I don’t immediately recognize which movie she’s from or even the name of that actress.

      1. Honestly, I don’t know the name of the actor either. And I have seen the movie and probably read it earlier today, in your post. 🙂

        The character, though? Really unforgettable.

  11. Oh no, not Nurse Ratched! No way I could remove Mrs. Robinson though. If I were Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, I would have fallen for her, too. 🙂

    Thanks for the baton, Ruth, I’ll work on getting a post up ASAP.

    1. Ahah well, someone has to go and Ratched is the least iconic here to me. Glad you think Mrs Robinson deserves to be here 🙂

      Looking forward to your picks!

  12. I can’t disagree with your choice. Well played haha
    I’m surprised at how the list is very light on some of the good oldies, like Regan in the Exorcist, I mean, it doesn’t get much bigger in terms of cultural impact than that movie and that performance. There are many others I would choose, but 10 characters may be a little too short to leave everyone happy.

  13. Feminism Through Cinema and Literature

    Great post. I love Scarlett O’hara from Gone with the wind, she is so sassy!!! Also a great female character from the movies is Mathilda Lando from Leon. She, also like scarlett is manipulative

  14. Pingback: Blogathon: The Ten Most Iconic Female Movie Characters « Martin Teller's Movie Reviews

  15. Pingback: The Ten Most Iconic Female Movie Characters Blogathon | Tranquil Dreams

  16. Pingback: The Ten Most Iconic Female Movie Characters | Ten Stars or Less

Join the conversation by leaving a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s