TV The Best TV Actors of All Time  

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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
916 811
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 Irish Authors

2
372 431
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kevin Spacey House of Cards

3
506 498
James Gandolfini is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
James Gandolfini The Sopranos

4
507 578
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
472 500
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Robin Williams Mork & Mindy, The Crazy Ones, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

6
393 385
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Lucille Ball I Love Lucy

7
400 513
Steve Buscemi is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Steve Buscemi Boardwalk Empire

8
396 471
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
314 290
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Patrick Stewart Star Trek: The Next Generation

10
436 469
Peter Dinklage is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Peter Dinklage Game of Thrones

11
359 342
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
232 241
Tom Selleck is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Tom Selleck Blue Bloods, Magnum, P.I.

13
338 325
Steve Carell is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Steve Carell The Office

14
317 278
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Betty White The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hot in Cleveland

15
251 218
Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock, Parade's End, The Last Enemy

8 TV Actors Who Turned Out Just Like Their Characters The Best Re-Casting of Famous TV Roles

16
283 223
Andy Griffith is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Andy Griffith The Andy Griffith Show, Matlock

17
217 266
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Matthew McConaughey True Detective

18
268 358
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Robin Wright House of Cards, Santa Barbara, A TV Dante

19
221 224
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Seinfeld, Veep, The New Adventures of Old Christine

20
193 171
Kelsey Grammer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kelsey Grammer Cheers, Frasier, Medium

21
227 209
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
170 207
Gary Sinise is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Gary Sinise CSI: NY

23
324 371
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
stefan-komisch added Sally Field Brothers & Sisters, From the Earth to the Moon, Gidget

24
251 244
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
177 109
Mary Tyler Moore is listed (or ranked) 25 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

26
272 286
Michael C. Hall is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Michael C. Hall Dexter, Six Feet Under

27
154 176
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Tina Fey 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

28
240 282
Jennifer Aniston is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time

29
422 289
Hugh Dancy is listed (or ranked) 29 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

Television Actors Who Overact Way Too Hard Soft Skills That Are Important for Success

30
364 406
Peter Falk is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Peter Falk Columbo

31
231 176
William Shatner is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
William Shatner Star Trek: The Original Series, Boston Legal, Bleep My Dad Says

32
240 243
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Jerry Seinfeld Seinfeld, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

33
328 353
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Henry Winkler Happy Days, Arrested Development

34
207 224
John Goodman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
John Goodman Roseanne, Treme

35
226 189
Dick Van Dyke is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Dick Van Dyke The Dick Van Dyke Show

36
210 229
Danny DeVito is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Danny DeVito It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Taxi

37
116 119
Katey Sagal is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Katey Sagal Futurama, Sons of Anarchy, Married... with Children

38
159 172
Kiefer Sutherland is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time

39
115 101
Larry Hagman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Larry Hagman Dallas, I Dream of Jeannie

40
140 110
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Jackie Gleason The Honeymooners

41
111 45
Alan Alda is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Alan Alda M*A*S*H, The West Wing, The Big C

42
127 188
Amy Poehler is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Amy Poehler Parks and Recreation, Saturday Night Live, Broad City

43
194 227
James Spader is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
James Spader Boston Legal, The Practice, The Blacklist

12 TV Actors Reveal Their All Time Favorite Episodes The Best Legal Drama TV Shows Ever

44
218 303
Patrick Dempsey is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Patrick Dempsey Grey's Anatomy, Fast Times

45
180 209
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Will Smith The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

46
185 161
Mark Harmon is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Mark Harmon NCIS, St. Elsewhere, Boston Public

47
93 100
Kevin Bacon is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kevin Bacon The Following, Bored to Death, The Closer

48
149 195
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
112 147
Nathan Fillion is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Nathan Fillion Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Castle

50
153 159
Martin Sheen is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Martin Sheen The West Wing