TV The Best TV Actors of All Time  

Originally by
44k votes 3.2k voters 30k views 429 items Follow Embed

List Rules Any actor who has ever been a part of a TV show and not simply a guest star.

The greatest TV actors of all time. Some of these actors have been in movies, some of them are even more well known at this point for their work in films rather than on TV but all of these actors have really shown off some impressive chops on the small screen.

From Bryan Cranston to Hugh Laurie and beyond, these are the best TV actors ever. From Emmy winners to simply fan favorites. Don't see your favorite actor from a TV show on this list? Add them! And make sure to vote for all of your favorites. Vote up who you think deserves the top spot, and vote down anyone that you think is overrated.
list ordered by

1
+ - 869 792
Bryan Cranston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Bryan Cranston Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle

The Greatest TV Character Losses of All Time The Best Hotel Chains

2
+ - 350 414
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kevin Spacey House of Cards

3
+ - 486 482
James Gandolfini is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
James Gandolfini The Sopranos

4
+ - 488 562
Hugh Laurie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Hugh Laurie House, Blackadder, A Bit of Fry & Laurie

5
+ - 374 371
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Lucille Ball I Love Lucy

6
+ - 452 490
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Robin Williams Mork & Mindy, The Crazy Ones, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

7
+ - 390 501
Steve Buscemi is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Steve Buscemi Boardwalk Empire

8
+ - 386 457
Michael J. Fox is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Michael J. Fox Family Ties, Spin City, The Michael J. Fox Show

9
+ - 417 453
Peter Dinklage is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Peter Dinklage Game of Thrones

10
+ - 221 230
Tom Selleck is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Tom Selleck Blue Bloods, Magnum, P.I.

11
+ - 338 325
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Neil Patrick Harris How I Met Your Mother, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Doogie Howser

12
+ - 292 283
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Patrick Stewart Star Trek: The Next Generation

13
+ - 305 273
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Betty White The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hot in Cleveland

14
+ - 312 316
Steve Carell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Steve Carell The Office

15
+ - 264 350
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Robin Wright House of Cards, Santa Barbara, A TV Dante

8 TV Actors Who Turned Out Just Like Their Characters The Best Movies Based on TV Shows

16
+ - 206 254
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Matthew McConaughey True Detective

17
+ - 267 216
Andy Griffith is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Andy Griffith The Andy Griffith Show, Matlock

18
+ - 211 214
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Seinfeld, Veep, The New Adventures of Old Christine

19
+ - 165 193
Gary Sinise is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Gary Sinise CSI: NY

20
+ - 230 211
Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock, Parade's End, The Last Enemy

21
+ - 214 200
Leonard Nimoy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Leonard Nimoy Star Trek: The Original Series

22
+ - 178 163
Kelsey Grammer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kelsey Grammer Cheers, Frasier, Medium

23
+ - 316 364
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Sally Field Brothers & Sisters, From the Earth to the Moon, Gidget

24
+ - 239 236
Ed O'Neill is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Ed O'Neill Modern Family, Married... with Children

25
+ - 266 273
Michael C. Hall is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Michael C. Hall Dexter, Six Feet Under

26
+ - 165 101
Mary Tyler Moore is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Mary Tyler Moore The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Hot in Cleveland

27
+ - 418 279
Hugh Dancy is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Hugh Dancy Hannibal, The Big C, The New Adventures of Robin Hood

28
+ - 146 167
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Tina Fey 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

29
+ - 225 272
Jennifer Aniston is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time

TV Shows You Wish You Were a Character On 45 Signs You're Dating a Basic Bitch

30
+ - 352 400
Peter Falk is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Peter Falk Columbo

31
+ - 230 232
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Jerry Seinfeld Seinfeld, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

32
+ - 216 171
William Shatner is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
William Shatner Star Trek: The Original Series, Boston Legal, Bleep My Dad Says

33
+ - 136 99
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Jackie Gleason The Honeymooners

34
+ - 316 345
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Henry Winkler Happy Days, Arrested Development

35
+ - 203 220
Danny DeVito is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Danny DeVito It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Taxi

36
+ - 216 186
Dick Van Dyke is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Dick Van Dyke The Dick Van Dyke Show

37
+ - 108 94
Larry Hagman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Larry Hagman Dallas, I Dream of Jeannie

38
+ - 197 221
John Goodman is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
John Goodman Roseanne, Treme

39
+ - 180 151
Mark Harmon is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Mark Harmon NCIS, St. Elsewhere, Boston Public

40
+ - 98 36
Alan Alda is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Alan Alda M*A*S*H, The West Wing, The Big C

41
+ - 105 112
Katey Sagal is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Katey Sagal Futurama, Sons of Anarchy, Married... with Children

42
+ - 213 295
Patrick Dempsey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Patrick Dempsey Grey's Anatomy, Fast Times

43
+ - 120 180
Amy Poehler is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Amy Poehler Parks and Recreation, Saturday Night Live, Broad City

TV Actors Whose Addictions Affected Storylines The Best Robert De Niro Movies

44
+ - 108 139
Nathan Fillion is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Nathan Fillion Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Castle

45
+ - 186 219
James Spader is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
James Spader Boston Legal, The Practice, The Blacklist

46
+ - 145 168
Kiefer Sutherland is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time

47
+ - 168 202
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Will Smith The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

48
+ - 140 190
Andrew Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Andrew Lincoln The Walking Dead, Strike Back, Afterlife

49
+ - 148 155
Martin Sheen is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Martin Sheen The West Wing

50
+ - 149 203
George Clooney is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
George Clooney ER, The Facts of Life