Dame Helen Mirren has condemned film-makers for aiming movies at young men, saying Hollywood "continues to worship at the altar of the 18- to 25-year-old male and his penis".
The remarks came as she received an award for women in entertainment.
Dame Helen, 65, said she resented "the survival of some very mediocre male actors and the professional demise of some very brilliant female ones".
The actress was speaking at a breakfast ceremony in Beverly Hills, California.
The event coincided with the Hollywood Reporter's publication of its list of the 100 most powerful women in entertainment.
Paying "all due respect to you many brilliant and successful women in this room", Dame Helen said that "not too much has changed in Hollywood film-making" as she collected the Sherry Lansing Leadership award from fellow Oscar-winner Halle Berry.
The Queen star said journalists always asked her "to complain about the opportunities for older woman on screen, and I certainly could complain about that.
"I've seen too many of my brilliant colleagues who worked non-stop through their 20s, their 30s and their 40s, only to find a complete desert in their 50s."
In an interview given ahead of the ceremony, though, she said she thought that changes were afoot.
"I think the attitude to women is changing massively," said the British star, whose latest film - an adaptation of Shakepeare's The Tempest - opens in the US on Friday.
"The great advantage of being as old as I am... is by perceiving how the world has changed."
The Hollywood Reporter's list was topped by Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney/ABC Television Group.
Chat show host Oprah Winfrey came fourth in the list, while US actresses Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock were ranked 26th and 29th respectively.