TV The Best TV Actors of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
72.3k votes 4.9k voters 50.3k views 488 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.

1
1,342 1,043
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
644 562
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Lucille Ball I Love Lucy

3
748 665
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
756 766
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
541 396
Betty White is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Betty White The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hot in Cleveland

6
593 479
Steve Carell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Steve Carell The Office

7
576 598
Michael J. Fox is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Michael J. Fox Family Ties, Spin City, The Michael J. Fox Show

8
504 427
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
756 649
James Gandolfini is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
James Gandolfini The Sopranos

10
687 577
Peter Dinklage is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Peter Dinklage Game of Thrones

11
462 352
Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock, Parade's End, The Last Enemy

12
382 337
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
454 301
Andy Griffith is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Andy Griffith The Andy Griffith Show, Matlock

14
385 323
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Seinfeld, Veep, The New Adventures of Old Christine

15
562 478
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
408 334
Ed O'Neill is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Ed O'Neill Modern Family, Married... with Children

17
514 627
Steve Buscemi is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Steve Buscemi Boardwalk Empire

18
321 266
Kelsey Grammer is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kelsey Grammer Cheers, Frasier, Medium

19
349 299
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
366 380
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Matthew McConaughey True Detective

21
316 178
Mary Tyler Moore is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
428 450
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
389 240
Dick Van Dyke is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Dick Van Dyke The Dick Van Dyke Show

24
431 408
Jennifer Aniston is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time

25
505 638
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kevin Spacey House of Cards

26
337 319
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
479 473
Peter Falk is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Peter Falk Columbo

28
275 281
Gary Sinise is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Gary Sinise CSI: NY

29
266 95
Alan Alda is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Alan Alda M*A*S*H, The West Wing, The Big C

30
451 423
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Henry Winkler Happy Days, Arrested Development

31
259 273
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Tina Fey 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

32
345 253
William Shatner is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
William Shatner Star Trek: The Original Series, Boston Legal, Bleep My Dad Says

33
331 466
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Robin Wright House of Cards, Santa Barbara, A TV Dante

34
367 366
Michael C. Hall is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Michael C. Hall Dexter, Six Feet Under

35
329 287
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

36
235 200
Woody Harrelson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Woody Harrelson Cheers, True Detective, Game Change

37
196 167
Larry Hagman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Larry Hagman Dallas, I Dream of Jeannie

38
348 335
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
300 295
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
223 171
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Jackie Gleason The Honeymooners

41
242 300
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Sean Bean Game of Thrones, Legends

42
197 183
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
304 277
John Goodman is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
John Goodman Roseanne, Treme

44
218 178
Bruce Willis is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Bruce Willis Moonlighting, The Twilight Zone, Bruno the Kid

45
169 156
Kevin Bacon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Kevin Bacon The Following, Bored to Death, The Closer

46
189 273
Amy Poehler is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Amy Poehler Parks and Recreation, Saturday Night Live, Broad City

47
283 220
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
227 262
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
228 209
Martin Sheen is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Martin Sheen The West Wing

50
186 167
John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
John Wayne Producers' Showcase, Running Hollywood, Casablanca (1955)