TV The Best TV Actors of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by
53.7k votes 3.8k voters 37.7k views 476 items 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
1,054 866
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

2
461 435
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Lucille Ball I Love Lucy

3
540 554
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Robin Williams Mork & Mindy, The Crazy Ones, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

4
588 542
James Gandolfini is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
James Gandolfini The Sopranos

5
576 624
Hugh Laurie is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Hugh Laurie House, Blackadder, A Bit of Fry & Laurie

6
361 310
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Betty White The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hot in Cleveland

7
396 365
Steve Carell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Steve Carell The Office

8
366 326
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Patrick Stewart Star Trek: The Next Generation

9
431 508
Michael J. Fox is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Michael J. Fox Family Ties, Spin City, The Michael J. Fox Show

10
323 244
Andy Griffith is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Andy Griffith The Andy Griffith Show, Matlock

11
226 201
Kelsey Grammer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kelsey Grammer Cheers, Frasier, Medium

12
403 379
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
498 499
Peter Dinklage is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Peter Dinklage Game of Thrones

14
414 505
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kevin Spacey House of Cards

The Greatest TV Character Losses of All Time

15
424 547
Steve Buscemi is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Steve Buscemi Boardwalk Empire

16
266 271
Tom Selleck is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Tom Selleck Blue Bloods, Magnum, P.I.

17
290 272
Ed O'Neill is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Ed O'Neill Modern Family, Married... with Children

18
210 130
Mary Tyler Moore is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
253 239
Leonard Nimoy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Leonard Nimoy Star Trek: The Original Series

20
257 257
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Seinfeld, Veep, The New Adventures of Old Christine

21
292 257
Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock, Parade's End, The Last Enemy

The Best Official Republican Candidates for 2016

22
345 398
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
stefan-komisch added Sally Field Brothers & Sisters, From the Earth to the Moon, Gidget

23
245 297
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Matthew McConaughey True Detective

24
396 425
Peter Falk is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Peter Falk Columbo

25
261 201
William Shatner is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
William Shatner Star Trek: The Original Series, Boston Legal, Bleep My Dad Says

26
281 311
Jennifer Aniston is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time

27
280 389
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Robin Wright House of Cards, Santa Barbara, A TV Dante

28
211 231
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Will Smith The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

8 TV Actors Who Turned Out Just Like Their Characters

29
262 200
Dick Van Dyke is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Dick Van Dyke The Dick Van Dyke Show

30
191 226
Gary Sinise is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Gary Sinise CSI: NY

31
297 307
Michael C. Hall is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Michael C. Hall Dexter, Six Feet Under

32
355 374
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Henry Winkler Happy Days, Arrested Development

33
142 59
Alan Alda is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Alan Alda M*A*S*H, The West Wing, The Big C

34
172 205
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Tina Fey 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

35
133 119
Larry Hagman is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Larry Hagman Dallas, I Dream of Jeannie

The Best Movies Based on TV Shows

36
425 319
Hugh Dancy is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
RazzleDazzle(Crimsonny) added Hugh Dancy Hannibal, The Big C, The New Adventures of Robin Hood

37
161 130
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Jackie Gleason The Honeymooners

38
237 246
Danny DeVito is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Danny DeVito It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Taxi

39
253 270
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Jerry Seinfeld Seinfeld, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

40
118 100
Raymond Burr is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Raymond Burr Perry Mason

41
216 243
James Spader is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
James Spader Boston Legal, The Practice, The Blacklist

42
137 139
Katey Sagal is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Katey Sagal Futurama, Sons of Anarchy, Married... with Children

12 TV Actors Reveal Their All Time Favorite Episodes

43
138 205
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

44
232 237
John Goodman is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
John Goodman Roseanne, Treme

45
151 136
Bruce Willis is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Bruce Willis Moonlighting, The Twilight Zone, Bruno the Kid

46
171 209
Andrew Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Andrew Lincoln The Walking Dead, Strike Back, Afterlife

47
205 176
Mark Harmon is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Mark Harmon NCIS, St. Elsewhere, Boston Public

48
125 161
Nathan Fillion is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Nathan Fillion Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Castle

49
109 115
Kevin Bacon is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kevin Bacon The Following, Bored to Death, The Closer

50
170 197
Kiefer Sutherland is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time