Everyone who has done this meme, Tom the Dog and SamauraiFrog and the person who tagged him and the person who tagged that person has explained what they mean by "favorite" actress differently, or not at all. So I'll define it for me. These are actresses that I've seen large numbers of their movies; not necessarily the best actresses, but ones who, for whatever reason, I end up seeing, and for the most part, enjoying.
Since I don't know how to do that clever little box of photos, instead I'll be listing the first, most recent, and favorite movie I saw them in. I'm only considering theatrical movies, not TV.
Joan Allen - Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Upside of Anger (2005), Nixon (1995)
Cate Blanchett - Oscar and Lucinda (1997), Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), Elizabeth (1998). She's been in so many movies I've seen, I thought she'd been around even longer.
Ellen Burstyn (pictured) - The Last Picture Show (1971), Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002), Requiem for a Dream (2000). She should have won the Oscar for Requiem, which she lost to Julia Roberts.
Hope Davis - Flatliners (1990), Synecdoche, New York (2008), American Splendor (2003). I don't remember her in Flatliners, TTTT, but I've seen the first and last movie listed for her in IMDB.
Judi Dench - Mrs. Brown (1997), Notes on a Scandal (2006), Iris (2001). I would have thought I had seen her in films earlier.
Jane Fonda (pictured) - Barefoot in the Park (1967), Stanley & Iris (1990), They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969). An actress who I saw a lot in the day, but not much recently. But then she hasn't done much recently.
Jodie Foster - Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), Contact (1997), The Accused (1988). Also haven't seen her much lately, but saw her quite often in the day.
Katharine Hepburn - Bringing Up Baby (1938), Love Affair (1994), The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Barbara Hershey - Last Summer (1969), Lantana (2001), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
Holly Hunter - Raising Arizona (1987) The Incredibles (2004), Broadcast News (1987)
Diane Keaton - The Godfather (1972), Something's Gotta Give (2003), Annie Hall (1977). At least 5 Woody Allen movies on the list.
Laura Linney - Dave (1993) The Savages (2007), You Can Count on Me (2000). When I decided to do the list, one of the two automatic choices.
Shirley MacLaine - Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), Mrs. Winterbourne (1996), Being There (1979)
Julianne Moore - Benny & Joon (1993), The Hours (2002), Boogie Nights (1997)
Helen Mirren - O Lucky Man! (1973), The Queen (2006), Gosford Park (2001)
Susan Sarandon - The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Enchanted (2007), Dead Man Walking (1995)
Mary Steenburgen - Time After Time (1979), Sunshine State (2002), Philadelphia (1993). Early in her career, it seemed as though every other movie I saw, she was in. Remember when Jude Law seemed to be in every other film a couple years ago? Well, it was like that.
Meryl Streep - Julia (1977) The Devil Wears Prada (2006) Sophie's Choice (1982). The other automatic choice.
Emma Thompson - Dead Again (1991), Stranger Than Fiction (2006), Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Sigourney Weaver - Annie Hall (1977), Holes (2003), Working Girl (1988)
As everyone mentioned, this was tougher than it seemed. I tried Minnie Driver, Glenn Close, Anne Hathaway, Keira Knightley, Sissy Spacek, and Kate Winslet, but they didn't quite meet the criteria I set, though I suspect if I get back into movie-watching mode Hathaway and Knightley might make the list.
Yes, I DID have a happy birthday, thank you
11 hours ago