Femmes fatales

Tough heroines take no prisoners

What do these ladies — some dowrnight evil, some just hard-nosed — have in common: an ability to whip the bad guys in a fair fight. Let’s get ready to rumble!

Alexis Carrington

(Joan Collins)


Still the ultimate villainess after all these years, Alexis Carrington began wreaking havoc on everyone’s lives from day one. With her dramatically arched eyebrows, red lips and designer clothes, she never let go by a chance to blackmail or backstab. She even managed to make rival Krystle lose her baby.

Livia Soprano

(Nancy Marchand)

“The Sopranos”

If Tony Soprano had to make the Bad Guys list, his mother had to make this one, with her wry, cutting and guilt-causing comments. While acting like a poor, defenseless old woman, Livia even tried to get Junior to kill her son for putting her in a nursing home.

Amanda Woodward

(Heather Locklear)

“Melrose Place”

The female equivalent of “thirtysomething’s” Miles Drentell, Amanda inspired fear and loathing in everyone who worked with her. When she wasn’t verbally abusing or backstabbing someone, she was busy bedding the guys of Melrose Place one by one.

Sydney Bristow

(Jennifer Garner)


Don’t let the attractive, athletic college coed looks fool you, Sydney Bristow can kick ass even in skintight dresses. With a KGB assassin mother and a fellow CIA agent father, it’s no wonder this tough gal has no qualms about facing mortal danger each week.

Susan Hawk


Yeah, it was a reality show but talk about drama! This tough-talking truck driver proved just how gritty and ruthless a survivor she could be, with an abrasive, in-your-face style. Hawk’s caustic last words for competitor Kelly Wiglesworth gave viewers the chills.


(Sarah Michelle Gellar)

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

She’s been slaying vampires, witches and demons for more than five years now, so Buffy’s gotta be one tough gal. Anyone who’s survived one-on-one fights with supernatural beings and stays so chipper and hip is not one to be crossed.

Diane Russell

(Kim Delaney)

“NYPD Blue”

On the right side of the law, she was a tough, troubled cop who maintained her strength, for the most part, through her fair share of hard times. Detective Russell dealt with an abusive father, alcoholism, a killer mother, a spouse’s death. . . no wonder she had to take a leave of absence.

Brenda Walsh

(Shannen Doherty)

“Beverly Hills 90210”

If looks could kill, Brenda Walsh would’ve knocked off her “90210” cast mates one by one. With a sharp tongue and short temper to boot, just about everyone was afraid of getting in her way. . . on the show and in real life.

Ling Woo

(Lucy Liu)

“Ally McBeal”

As if her withering stare, biting comments and growl weren’t enough for her co-workers at Fish, Cage & Associates, Ling Woo used sex as a weapon, too. The sue-happy ice-queen lawyer even owned a mud-wrestling joint.