|Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress|
|State award for contributions to Malayalam cinema|
Sheela, the first recipient of the award, has won the honour three times.
|Awarded for||Best performance by an actress in a Malayalam film|
|Sponsored by||Kerala State Chalachitra Academy|
|Most recent winner||Nimisha Sajayan|
|Most Awards||Urvashi (5)|
The Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress is an honour presented annually at the Kerala State Film Awards of India since 1969 to an actress for the best performance within the Malayalam film industry. Until 1997, the awards were managed directly by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala. Since 1998, the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, an autonomous non-profit organisation functioning under the Department of Cultural Affairs, has been exercising control over the awards. The awardees, decided by an independent jury formed by the academy, are declared by the Minister for Cultural Affairs and are presented by the Chief Minister.
The 1st Kerala State Film Awards ceremony was held in 1970 with Sheela receiving the Best Actress award for her role in Kallichellamma (1969). The following year, Sharada was recognised for her performances in two films—Thriveni and Thara. Since then, several actresses have been awarded for more than one film during a year.
Throughout the years, accounting for ties and repeat winners, the Government of Kerala has presented a total of 51 Best Actress awards to 34 different actresses. Urvashi has been the most frequent winner in this category, with five awards. She is followed by Sheela and Srividya with three awards each. As of 2018, nine actresses—Jayabharathi, Seema, Samyuktha Varma, Suhasini Maniratnam, Navya Nair, Meera Jasmine, Kavya Madhavan, Shweta Menon and Parvathy Thiruvothu have won the award two times in their careers. The 2005 ceremony was the only occasion when the category was tied; Kavya Madhavan and Geetu Mohandas shared the award for their performances in Perumazhakkalam, and Akale and Oridam respectively. The most recent recipient, Nimisha Sajayan, was awarded for her role in Oru Kuprasidha Payyan and Chola in 2018.
|Number of times||Recipient|
|2||Jayabharathi, Seema, Suhasini Maniratnam, Samyuktha Varma, Meera Jasmine, Navya Nair, Kavya Madhavan, Shweta Menon, Parvathy Thiruvothu|
|Indicates a joint award for that year|
|1971||Sheela||Oru Penninte Kadha
|1979||Srividya||Edavazhiyile Poocha Minda Poocha
Jeevitham Oru Gaanam
|1980||Poornima Jayaram||Manjil Virinja Pookkal|||
|1986||Shari||Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal|||
|1996||Manju Warrier||Ee Puzhayum Kadannu|||
|1997||Jomol||Ennu Swantham Janakikutty|||
|1999||Samyuktha Varma||Veendum Chila Veettukaryangal|||
Paadam Onnu: Oru Vilapam
|2007||Meera Jasmine||Ore Kadal|||
|2009||Swetha Menon||Paleri Manikyam|||
|2011||Swetha Menon||Salt N' Pepper|||
|2012||Rima Kallingal||22 Female Kottayam
|2014||Nazriya Nazim||Bangalore Days
Ohm Shanthi Oshaana
Ennu Ninte Moideen
|2016||Rajisha Vijayan||Anuraga Karikkin Vellam|||
|2017||Parvathy Thiruvothu||Take Off|||
|2018||Nimisha Sajayan||Oru Kuprasidha Payyan