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
942 816
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 Nail Polish Brands

2
484 506
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Robin Williams Mork & Mindy, The Crazy Ones, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

3
402 390
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Lucille Ball I Love Lucy

4
324 294
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Patrick Stewart Star Trek: The Next Generation

5
384 449
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kevin Spacey House of Cards

6
522 505
James Gandolfini is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
James Gandolfini The Sopranos

7
516 587
Hugh Laurie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Hugh Laurie House, Blackadder, A Bit of Fry & Laurie

8
399 478
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
322 282
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Betty White The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hot in Cleveland

10
289 225
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
403 521
Steve Buscemi is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Steve Buscemi Boardwalk Empire

12
451 474
Peter Dinklage is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Peter Dinklage Game of Thrones

13
233 250
Tom Selleck is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Tom Selleck Blue Bloods, Magnum, P.I.

14
350 331
Steve Carell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Steve Carell The Office

15
197 173
Kelsey Grammer is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kelsey Grammer Cheers, Frasier, Medium

8 TV Actors Who Turned Out Just Like Their Characters The Funniest Female TV Characters

16
365 349
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
231 212
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
257 247
Ed O'Neill is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Ed O'Neill Modern Family, Married... with Children

19
256 223
Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock, Parade's End, The Last Enemy

20
324 375
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
stefan-komisch added Sally Field Brothers & Sisters, From the Earth to the Moon, Gidget

21
223 269
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Matthew McConaughey True Detective

22
228 227
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Seinfeld, Veep, The New Adventures of Old Christine

23
179 113
Mary Tyler Moore is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
269 362
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Robin Wright House of Cards, Santa Barbara, A TV Dante

25
367 408
Peter Falk is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Peter Falk Columbo

26
170 210
Gary Sinise is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Gary Sinise CSI: NY

27
233 179
William Shatner is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
William Shatner Star Trek: The Original Series, Boston Legal, Bleep My Dad Says

28
280 287
Michael C. Hall is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Michael C. Hall Dexter, Six Feet Under

29
425 292
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 The Best Qualities in a Friend with Benefits

30
242 246
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Jerry Seinfeld Seinfeld, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

31
247 286
Jennifer Aniston is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time

32
157 181
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
329 356
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Henry Winkler Happy Days, Arrested Development

34
228 191
Dick Van Dyke is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Dick Van Dyke The Dick Van Dyke Show

35
115 47
Alan Alda is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Alan Alda M*A*S*H, The West Wing, The Big C

36
140 113
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Jackie Gleason The Honeymooners

37
186 211
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Will Smith The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

38
115 105
Larry Hagman is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Larry Hagman Dallas, I Dream of Jeannie

39
213 227
John Goodman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
John Goodman Roseanne, Treme

40
214 231
Danny DeVito is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Danny DeVito It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Taxi

41
134 119
Bruce Willis is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Bruce Willis Moonlighting, The Twilight Zone, Bruno the Kid

42
119 122
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

43
161 176
Kiefer Sutherland is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time

Which Current TV Character Would Be the Best Choice for President? The Best Romance Novelists of All Time

44
101 89
Raymond Burr is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Raymond Burr Perry Mason

45
187 163
Mark Harmon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Mark Harmon NCIS, St. Elsewhere, Boston Public

46
196 229
James Spader is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
James Spader Boston Legal, The Practice, The Blacklist

47
128 189
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
220 304
Patrick Dempsey is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Patrick Dempsey Grey's Anatomy, Fast Times

49
94 101
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
151 196
Andrew Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Andrew Lincoln The Walking Dead, Strike Back, Afterlife