Women Who Made History in Hollywood

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We're all about history and the people who made a difference in different fields, but we're much more interested in herstory...at least this week.

With International Women's Day quickly approaching—it's on Friday, March 8—we've been taking a look back at some of the most iconic and influential women in Hollywood and there are a lot. We've managed to narrow it down to just under 50 fierce females who made history in the entertainment industry and they are so impressive.

Some risked their jobs to change the way the Hollywood studio system ran while others were trailblazers in front of the screen and were the first to win awards that men had been earning for years prior.

A few of these women set crazy award show records—we're looking at you Meryl Streep and Julia Louis-Dreyfus—while other stars took a step forward not only for women but for people of color through their groundbreaking wins like Hattie McDaniel who was the first black woman to win an Oscar for any acting category in 1940. 

Even more women have changed the music scene than you might've known about with their Grammy wins, hosting gigs and dominating male-run categories. What's equally as exciting is all of the women who made changes and strides behind the scenes.

The first women in film were basically unsung heroes and it's about time they step into the spotlight.

Whether they were directing during a time where only men were in that role or they became the first woman to head a major studio, women have been breaking down barriers for decades and we are in awe of all they've accomplished in the entertainment world throughout history.

In honor of International Women's Day this week we are sharing some of the major accomplishments and ceiling-shattering moments that women have been a part of since movies and TV began.

These ladies are fearless icons that we hope continue to inspire generations of women to come, because they definitely give us power to fight for change on the daily.

In the spirit of this year's International Women's Day campaign, #BalanceForBetter, here are 47 women who have managed to even the playing field in some way throughout their career and make a step towards a more gender-balanced world in Hollywood.

You go girls!

Alice Guy-Blache, Women Who Made History in Hollywood

Donaldson Collection/Getty Images

Judy Garland

Moviestore Collection/Shutterstock

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Women Who Made History in Hollywood

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Hattie McDaniel, Women Who Made History in Hollywood

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 Sherry Lansing, Women Who Made History in Hollywood

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Mary Pickford, Women Who Made History in Hollywood, International Womens Day

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Katharine Hepburn, Women Who Made History in Hollywood

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Dorothy Arzner, Women Who Made History in Hollywood, International Womens Day

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Edith Head, Women Who Made History in Hollywood, International Womens Day

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Lucielle Ball, Women Who Made History in Hollywood

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Ella Fitzgerald, Women Who Made History in Hollywood, International Womens Day

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Janet Gaynor, Women Who Made History in Hollywood, International Womens Day

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Julie Taymor, Women Who Made History in Hollywood

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Julia Phillips, Women Who Made History in Hollywood, International Womens Day

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Carole King, Tony Awards 2016

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Arlene Francis, Women Who Made History in Hollywood

CBS Photo Archive/Hulton Archive

Viola Davis, Emmy Awards 2015, African American Firsts

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Olivia de Havilland, Women Who Made History in Hollywood

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Patty Jenkins

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Halle Berry, Oscars, African American Firsts

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Angela Lansbury, Women Who Made History in Hollywood

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Astrud GILBERTO , Women Who Made History in Hollywood, International Womens Day

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Miyoshi Umeki, Women Who Made History in Hollywood, International Womens Day

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Whoopi Goldberg, 2018 Oscars, Red Carpet Fashions

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Bobbie Gentry, Women Who Made History in Hollywood, International Womens Day

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Meryl Streep, 2018 Oscars, Red Carpet Fashions

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Jennifer Yuh, Women Who Made History in Hollywood, International Womens Day

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Aretha Franklin

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Karen Arthur, Women Who Made History in Hollywood, International Womens Day

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Shirley Dinsdale Layburn, Women Who Made History in Hollywood, International Women?s Day

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Cardi B, 2019 Grammys, Grammy Awards, Candid Moments

Timothy Kuratek /CBS

Ava DuVernay, A Wrinkle in Time Premiere

Alex J. Berliner/ABImages

Sandra Oh, 2019 Golden Globes, Golden Globe Awards, Winners

Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal

Lady Gaga, 2019 Oscars, 2019 Academy Awards, Winners

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Marlee Matlin, Women Who Made History in Hollywood, International Womens Day

Ron Galella/WireImage

Rita Moreno, 2018 Oscars, Red Carpet Fashions

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Ellen DeGeneres, The Ellen DeGeneres Show

NBC

Barbara Walters

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Greta Gerwig, Vanity Fair Oscar Party 2018

Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

Globos de Oro, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler

Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Taylor Swift, 2019 Golden Globe Awards, After Party

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for InStyle

Kathryn Bigelow

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Barbara Streisand, 2018 Golden Globes

Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Candice Bergen, Murphy Brown

Cliff Lipson/CBS

Penny Marshall

20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

Cyndi Lauper, 2018 Grammy Awards, Candids

ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey, A Wrinkle in Time Premiere

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

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