TV The Best TV Actors of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
78.2k votes 5.2k voters 53k views 489 items

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
1,425 1,094
Bryan Cranston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle

2
792 707
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Mork & Mindy, The Crazy Ones, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

3
679 606
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
I Love Lucy

4
807 809
Hugh Laurie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
House, Blackadder, A Bit of Fry & Laurie

5
585 425
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hot in Cleveland

6
646 513
Steve Carell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Office

7
810 676
James Gandolfini is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Sopranos

8
609 629
Michael J. Fox is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Family Ties, Spin City, The Michael J. Fox Show

9
544 450
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Star Trek: The Next Generation

10
496 389
Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Sherlock, Parade's End, The Last Enemy

11
738 608
Peter Dinklage is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Game of Thrones

12
598 504
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
How I Met Your Mother, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Doogie Howser

13
415 363
Tom Selleck is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Blue Bloods, Magnum, P.I.

14
422 349
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Seinfeld, Veep, The New Adventures of Old Christine

15
443 355
Ed O'Neill is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Modern Family, Married... with Children

16
542 650
Steve Buscemi is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Boardwalk Empire

17
479 322
Andy Griffith is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Andy Griffith Show, Matlock

18
346 286
Kelsey Grammer is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Cheers, Frasier, Medium

19
468 439
Jennifer Aniston is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time

20
531 670
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
House of Cards

21
389 403
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
True Detective

22
374 322
Leonard Nimoy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Star Trek: The Original Series

23
342 193
Mary Tyler Moore is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Hot in Cleveland

24
445 469
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
stefan-komisch added Brothers & Sisters, From the Earth to the Moon, Gidget

25
417 252
Dick Van Dyke is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Dick Van Dyke Show

26
362 344
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

27
501 492
Peter Falk is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Columbo

28
294 301
Gary Sinise is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
CSI: NY

29
298 110
Alan Alda is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
M*A*S*H, The West Wing, The Big C

30
474 442
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Happy Days, Arrested Development

31
262 216
Woody Harrelson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Cheers, True Detective, Game Change

32
278 298
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

33
372 276
William Shatner is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Star Trek: The Original Series, Boston Legal, Bleep My Dad Says

34
346 491
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
House of Cards, Santa Barbara, A TV Dante

35
355 306
Danny DeVito is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Taxi

36
382 391
Michael C. Hall is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Dexter, Six Feet Under

37
328 309
James Spader is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Boston Legal, The Practice, The Blacklist

38
214 185
Larry Hagman is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Dallas, I Dream of Jeannie

39
260 317
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Game of Thrones, Legends

40
363 362
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Seinfeld, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

41
329 290
John Goodman is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Roseanne, Treme

42
240 188
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Honeymooners

43
215 197
Katey Sagal is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Futurama, Sons of Anarchy, Married... with Children

44
206 292
Amy Poehler is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Parks and Recreation, Saturday Night Live, Broad City

45
186 169
Kevin Bacon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Following, Bored to Death, The Closer

46
232 194
Bruce Willis is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Moonlighting, The Twilight Zone, Bruno the Kid

47
301 237
Mark Harmon is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
NCIS, St. Elsewhere, Boston Public

48
247 223
Martin Sheen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The West Wing

49
179 155
Raymond Burr is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Perry Mason

50
237 284
Andrew Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Walking Dead, Strike Back, Afterlife