TV The Best TV Actors of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
75.5k votes 5.1k voters 51.6k 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
1,388 1,066
Bryan Cranston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle

2
662 586
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
I Love Lucy

3
766 691
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Mork & Mindy, The Crazy Ones, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

4
786 787
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
567 411
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
621 494
Steve Carell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Office

7
594 612
Michael J. Fox is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Family Ties, Spin City, The Michael J. Fox Show

8
530 438
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Star Trek: The Next Generation

9
786 665
James Gandolfini is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Sopranos

10
717 595
Peter Dinklage is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Game of Thrones

11
482 372
Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Sherlock, Parade's End, The Last Enemy

12
402 351
Tom Selleck is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Blue Bloods, Magnum, P.I.

13
408 336
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Seinfeld, Veep, The New Adventures of Old Christine

14
586 490
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
How I Met Your Mother, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Doogie Howser

15
470 313
Andy Griffith is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Andy Griffith Show, Matlock

16
431 346
Ed O'Neill is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Modern Family, Married... with Children

17
532 638
Steve Buscemi is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Boardwalk Empire

18
336 277
Kelsey Grammer is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Cheers, Frasier, Medium

19
380 394
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
True Detective

20
365 311
Leonard Nimoy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Star Trek: The Original Series

21
330 187
Mary Tyler Moore is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Hot in Cleveland

22
440 459
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
stefan-komisch added Brothers & Sisters, From the Earth to the Moon, Gidget

23
407 245
Dick Van Dyke is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Dick Van Dyke Show

24
521 655
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
House of Cards

25
449 426
Jennifer Aniston is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time

26
351 330
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

27
492 484
Peter Falk is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Columbo

28
286 293
Gary Sinise is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
CSI: NY

29
285 103
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
465 433
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Happy Days, Arrested Development

31
271 286
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

32
360 265
William Shatner is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Star Trek: The Original Series, Boston Legal, Bleep My Dad Says

33
342 480
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
House of Cards, Santa Barbara, A TV Dante

34
347 297
Danny DeVito is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Taxi

35
376 381
Michael C. Hall is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Dexter, Six Feet Under

36
253 206
Woody Harrelson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Cheers, True Detective, Game Change

37
208 177
Larry Hagman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Dallas, I Dream of Jeannie

38
314 304
James Spader is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Boston Legal, The Practice, The Blacklist

39
356 350
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Seinfeld, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

40
252 309
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Game of Thrones, Legends

41
232 180
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Honeymooners

42
317 286
John Goodman is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Roseanne, Treme

43
205 192
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
200 285
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
179 163
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
227 187
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
292 230
Mark Harmon is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
NCIS, St. Elsewhere, Boston Public

48
239 216
Martin Sheen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The West Wing

49
230 274
Andrew Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Walking Dead, Strike Back, Afterlife

50
198 175
John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Producers' Showcase, Running Hollywood, Casablanca (1955)