ByMatthew Clancy, writer at
twitter: matthewdclancy
Matthew Clancy

If you are anything like me you have been watching the new series Scream Queens and loving every second of it. Who doesn't love a damsel in distress? Or in this case, a house full of bitchy sorority damsels in distress. While watching I couldn't help but wonder, what actually defines a scream queen? Is there a requirement that one must fill other than being female and being in a horror movie? Well, there actually is a definition! According to Wikipedia a Scream Queen is "an actress who has become associated with horror films, either through an appearance in a notable entry in the genre as a frequent victim or through constant appearances as the female protagonist." As awesome as Emma Roberts is in her part in Scream Queens, I couldn't help but think of who our most memorable queens are...

Here are the top 10 most unforgettable Scream Queens:

10. Courtney Cox

If I'm right about this, I could save a man's life. Do you know what that would do for my book sales?
If I'm right about this, I could save a man's life. Do you know what that would do for my book sales?

I hereby crown Courtney Cox as "Under Rated Scream Queen." She is definitely overshadowed by the star of the Scream franchise, Neve Campbell, but that does not take away from her Queen status. Gale Weathers is easily one of the most fun and memorable characters in the Scream franchise.

Check out Courtney's Scream Queen resume below:

  • Scream
  • Scream 2
  • Scream 3
  • Scream 4

    9. Daria Nicolodi

We must get rid of that bitch of an American girl. Vanish!
We must get rid of that bitch of an American girl. Vanish!

I hereby crown Daria Nicolodi "Italian Scream Queen." If you aren't a fan of Italian horror movies you may not have heard of Daria, but she is one very qualified Scream Queen. Daria is the star of many movies by the Italian horror master Dario Argento. If you haven't seen her in action, you absolutely must check out her movies. Not only are Argento's horror movies amazing, but her performances are fantastic. Note: If you haven't already, you really should check out Suspiria which she wrote with Dario Argento.

Check out Daria's Scream Queen resume below:

  • Opera
  • Delirium
  • Phenomena
  • Tenebre
  • Inferno
  • Suspiria
  • The Mother of Tears
  • Deep Red

    8. Linnea Quigley

Do you ever wonder about all the different ways of dying? You know, violently?
Do you ever wonder about all the different ways of dying? You know, violently?

I hereby crown Linnea Quigley "Wild Child Scream Queen." Now, if we are going just on numbers Linnea Quigley would easily take the cake. Between 1978 and 2009 she has appeared in 60 (yes, 60!) horror movies. Not all of these movies have made it to the big screen, however that number is impressive nonetheless. Since her list is so extensive, I'll put a few in bold that you can't miss.

Check out Linnea's Scream Queen resume below:

  • 1. Fairy Tales (1978)
  • 2. Auditions (1978)
  • 3. Don't Go Near the Park (1979)
  • 4. Graduation Day (1981)
  • 5. The Black Room (1983)
  • 6. Young Warriors (1983)
  • 7. Savage Streets (1984)
  • 8. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
  • 9. The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
  • 10. Creepozoids (1987)
  • 11. Treasure of the Moon Goddess (1987)
  • 12. Nightmare Sisters (1987)
  • 13. Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988)
  • 14. Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988)
  • 15. Night of the Demons (1988)
  • 16. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
  • 17. Vice Academy (1988)
  • 18. Assault of the Party Nerds (1989)
  • 19. Dr. Alien (1989)
  • 20. Deadly Embrace (1989)
  • 21. Witchtrap (1989)
  • 22. Murder Weapon (1989)
  • 23. Sexbomb (1989)
  • 24. Robot Ninja (1989)
  • 25. Blood Nasty (1989)
  • 26. The Girl I Want (1990)
  • 27. Vice Academy 2 (1990)
  • 28. Linnea Quigley's Horror Workout (1990)
  • 29. Virgin High (1991)
  • 30. The Guyver (1991)
  • 31. Innocent Blood (1992)
  • 32. Beach Babes from Beyond (1993)
  • 33. Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings (1994)
  • 34. Assault of the Party Nerds 2: The Heavy Petting Detective (1995)
  • 35. Jack-O (1995)
  • 36. Fatal Frames (1996)
  • 37. Mari-Cookie and the Killer Tarantula (1998)
  • 38. Boogie Boy (1998)
  • 39. Death Mask (1998)
  • 40. Kolobos (1999)
  • 41. Play It to the Bone (1999)
  • 42. Blind Target (2000)
  • 43. Zombiegeddon (2003)
  • 44. Corpses Are Forever (2003)
  • 45. The Rockville Slayer (2004)
  • 46. Super Hero Central (2004)
  • 47. Hoodoo for Voodoo (2006)
  • 48. Each Time I Kill (2007)
  • 49. Spring Break Massacre (2008)
  • 50. Vampitheatre (2009)
  • 51. Strangers Online (2009)
  • 52. It Came from Trafalgar (2009)
  • 53. Night of the Demons (2009)
  • 54. Stripperland (2011)
  • 55. 1313: Cougar Cult (2012)
  • 56. Girls Gone Dead (2012)
  • 57. Disciples (2014)
  • 58. 3 Scream Queens (2014)
  • 59. Terror Toons 3 (2015)
  • 60. A Blood Story (2015)

Caution: This one is NSFW!

7. Sarah Michelle Gellar

You are guilty. Gonna have to pay the price.
You are guilty. Gonna have to pay the price.

I hereby crown Sarah Michelle Gellar "Teenage Dream Scream Queen." Sarah Michelle rocked the small screen as the totally awesome Buffy the Vampire Slayer for nearly eight years. That is reason enough to be dubbed a Scream Queen, but that isn't the only piece of horror on her resume! She may look innocent, but she is pretty bad ass! Check out Sarah Michelle Gellar's resume below:

  • 1. Possession
  • 2. The Return
  • 3. The Grudge 2
  • 4. The Grudge
  • 5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • 6. Scream 2
  • 7. I Know What You Did Last Summer

    6. Heather Langenkamp

Whatever you do... don't fall asleep.
Whatever you do... don't fall asleep.

I hereby crown Heather Langenkamp as "Dreamy Scream Queen." We know her famously from the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, and not only is Heather ultra dreamy, she is one of the few people that is able to literally fist fight with Freddy Krueger. I mean, c'mon, not many people can say that.

Check out Heather's Scream Queen resume below:

  • New Nightmare
  • Shocker
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street

    5. Neve Campbell

You sick fucks. You've seen one too many movies!
You sick fucks. You've seen one too many movies!

I hereby crown Neve Campbell "Girl Next Door Scream Queen." If you were a teen in the '90s then you are already well aware that Neve Campbell was the ultimate girl next door. Who doesn't love to see our damsel in distress as she tries to figure out who is trying to kill her again and again. Neve has earned a permanent spot on the "best of" lists when it comes to Scream Queens, and it is well deserved.

Check out Neve's Scream Queen resume below:

  • Scream 4
  • Scream 3
  • Scream 2
  • Scream
  • The Craft

    4. Milla Jovovich

I'm missing you already.
I'm missing you already.

I hereby crown Milla Jovovich "Bad Ass Scream Queen." Milla has racked up quite the number of horror movies over the past 15 years, and quite the body count. It seems like just when you are tired of the newest Resident Evil we get another one coming our way. Although, Milla doesn't really play the damsel in distress very well. She's more like the pissed off damsel that's going to kill everything in her way.

Check out Milla's Scream Queen resume below:

  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
  • Resident Evil: Retribution
  • Faces in the Crowd
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife
  • The Fourth Kind
  • A Perfect Getaway
  • Resident Evil: Extinction
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse
  • Resident Evil

    3. Sigourney Weaver

we'll blow it the fuck out into space! Is that acceptable to you?
we'll blow it the fuck out into space! Is that acceptable to you?

I hereby crown Sigourney Weaver "Outer Space Scream Queen." Sigourney Weaver broke her way into the horror scene with not only one of the most famous horror/science fiction movies, but also in a a role that was gender redefining. Starting out as a damsel in distress, but ended up our franchise heroine.

Check out Sigourney's Scream Queen resume below:

  • The Cabin in the Woods
  • Alien: Resurrection
  • Copycat
  • Ali3n
  • Ghostbusters II
  • Aliens
  • Ghostbusters
  • Alien

    2. Jamie Lee Curtis

There's nothing to be scared of.
There's nothing to be scared of.

I hereby crown Jamie Lee Curtis as "Ultimate Scream Queen." For obvious reasons Jamie Lee Curtis is normally mentioned when talking about Scream Queens. She helped define the horror genre in multiple classics, then kept a genre alive 20 years later. Not to mention being a star in the new show Scream Queens.

Check out Jamie's Scream Queen resume below:

  • Scream Queens
  • Halloween: Resurrection
  • Virus
  • Halloween H2O
  • Halloween II
  • Terror Train
  • Prom Night
  • The Fog
  • Halloween

    1. Janet Leigh

Do you have any vacancies?
Do you have any vacancies?

I hereby crown Janet Leigh "The Mother of all Scream Queens." Janet Leigh stars in the groundbreaking horror film Psycho and goes down in history with one of the most famous death scenes ever shot. Honestly, who doesn't peek out of the shower curtain just to make sure no one is standing there? I know I do! Not to mention she is the mother of Jamie Lee Curtis.

Check out Janet Leigh's Scream Queen resume below:

  • Halloween H2O
  • The Twilight Zone
  • The Fog
  • Psycho

    Honorable Mentions:

  • Fay Wray - King Kong
  • Adrienne King - Friday the 13th
  • Danielle Harris - Halloween 4, Hallween 5 & both remakes
  • Shelley Duvall - The Shining
  • Emma Roberts - Scream Queens, American Horror Story


Who is your favorite scream queen?


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