Best Actress

Angela Bassett

This Harlem-born actress was the poster girl of the Black cinema movement of the 1990s, and shows no signs of slowing down. She recently starred in Jumping the Broom and got her superhero on in Green Lantern. She also earned rave reviews in the stage play The Mountaintop.

Viola Davis

This accomplished stage and screen actress owned the awards season this year, both on the red carpet and at the podium. Her leading role in the breakthrough hit The Help earned a second Oscar nod, as well as a Golden Globe nomination.

Taraji P. Henson

Taraji has been a star since 2001's Baby Boy, but the world really took notice in 2008 after her Academy Award nominated role in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Taraji's biggest hit to date is this year's ensemble comedy Think Like a Man, where she stars opposite Michael Ealy.

Regina King

She's come a long way from the stoop on 227. This former child actress made a smooth transition into adult roles, romancing everyone from Will Smith to Cuba Gooding, Jr. on the big screen. But Regina became a household name in 2009, when she joined the cast of TNT's detective drama Southland.

Zoe Saldana

After years of small parts in small films, this Dominican beauty shot straight to the top of the A-list with roles in Star Trek and Avatar. In 2011, she was a femme fatale in Colombiana. She's still finding time to go back to her human roots in films like The Words, due out this fall.

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