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Actress is a term used to describe a female actor. In more recent years, the phrase "actor" has taken on a more gender-neutral definition and actresses are often referred to as actors as well. The phrase actress is still widely used in award ceremonies and most award shows have categories for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.

It is not uncommon for actresses to actually play actresses on TV. On the NBC comedy series 30 Rock, actress Jane Krakowski played a character named Jenna Maroney, who was the star of a comedy sketch program called The Girly Show. The VP of production, Jack Donaghy, sought to target a fresh demographic for the series, so he cast controversial film actor Tracy Jordan as the lead on the series and changed the title of the show to TGS with Tracy Jordan. Jenna was not particularly receptive to this change in format.

On the 1964-1967 comedy series Gilligan's Island, Tina Louise played a character named Ginger Grant, who was one of the shipwrecked castaways. She was a Hollywood actress and sex symbol who patterned her behavior in the style of classic movie starlets like Marilyn Monroe.

On the 2007-2008 drama series Dirt, several Hollywood starlets caught the attention of tabloid magazine editor-in-chief Lucy Spiller. One actress, Kira Klay, committed accidental suicide after Spiller's magazine, Drrt, printed a scandalous article about the actress' surprise pregnancy. Another film actress who received a lot of attention during season one of the show was Julia Mallory, played by Laura Allen.

The character of Martha Rodgers from the ABC television series Castle is a former stage actress, who still occasionally gets involved with local theater projects. She often tries to bring her years of experience to the table and apply it to modern situations, particularly problems that involve her famous son, author Richard Castle.

Fictional actresses Edit

Character Series
Ginger Grant Gilligan's Island
Jenna Maroney 30 Rock
Julia Mallory Dirt
Kira Klay Dirt
Martha Rodgers Castle
Ramona Royale American Horror Story
Penny Big Bang Theory