TV The Best TV Actors of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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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
1,196 970
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
559 508
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Lucille Ball I Love Lucy

3
636 616
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
665 707
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
438 381
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Patrick Stewart Star Trek: The Next Generation

6
443 355
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
671 602
James Gandolfini is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
James Gandolfini The Sopranos

8
506 563
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
473 432
Steve Carell is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Steve Carell The Office

10
381 314
Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock, Parade's End, The Last Enemy

11
587 543
Peter Dinklage is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Peter Dinklage Game of Thrones

12
383 277
Andy Griffith is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Andy Griffith The Andy Griffith Show, Matlock

13
485 436
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
468 594
Steve Buscemi is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Steve Buscemi Boardwalk Empire

The Greatest TV Character Losses of All Time

15
352 309
Ed O'Neill is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Ed O'Neill Modern Family, Married... with Children

16
322 313
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
305 271
Leonard Nimoy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Leonard Nimoy Star Trek: The Original Series

18
317 293
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
270 242
Kelsey Grammer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kelsey Grammer Cheers, Frasier, Medium

20
308 342
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Matthew McConaughey True Detective

21
459 582
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kevin Spacey House of Cards

The Best Current TV Shows the Whole Family Can Enjoy

22
259 160
Mary Tyler Moore is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
389 431
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
359 365
Jennifer Aniston is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time

25
436 456
Peter Falk is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Peter Falk Columbo

26
276 283
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Will Smith The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

27
233 257
Gary Sinise is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Gary Sinise CSI: NY

28
319 226
Dick Van Dyke is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Dick Van Dyke The Dick Van Dyke Show

8 TV Actors Who Turned Out Just Like Their Characters

29
403 401
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Henry Winkler Happy Days, Arrested Development

30
303 231
William Shatner is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
William Shatner Star Trek: The Original Series, Boston Legal, Bleep My Dad Says

31
203 84
Alan Alda is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Alan Alda M*A*S*H, The West Wing, The Big C

32
219 245
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Tina Fey 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

33
332 341
Michael C. Hall is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Michael C. Hall Dexter, Six Feet Under

34
299 437
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Robin Wright House of Cards, Santa Barbara, A TV Dante

35
285 271
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

The Best Re-Casting of Famous TV Roles

36
165 150
Larry Hagman is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Larry Hagman Dallas, I Dream of Jeannie

37
197 156
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Jackie Gleason The Honeymooners

38
300 310
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Jerry Seinfeld Seinfeld, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

39
260 276
James Spader is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
James Spader Boston Legal, The Practice, The Blacklist

40
192 185
Woody Harrelson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Woody Harrelson Cheers, True Detective, Game Change

41
213 281
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Sean Bean Game of Thrones, Legends

42
170 169
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

TV Shows You Wish You Were a Character On

43
272 262
John Goodman is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
John Goodman Roseanne, Treme

44
250 200
Mark Harmon is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Mark Harmon NCIS, St. Elsewhere, Boston Public

45
202 242
Andrew Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Andrew Lincoln The Walking Dead, Strike Back, Afterlife

46
140 139
Kevin Bacon is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kevin Bacon The Following, Bored to Death, The Closer

47
163 249
Amy Poehler is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Amy Poehler Parks and Recreation, Saturday Night Live, Broad City

48
183 162
Bruce Willis is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Bruce Willis Moonlighting, The Twilight Zone, Bruno the Kid

49
434 356
Hugh Dancy is listed (or ranked) 49 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

50
134 120
Michael Douglas is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Michael Douglas The Streets of San Francisco