TV The Best TV Actors of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
75.5k votes 5.1k voters 51.7k 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
1,394 1,067
Bryan Cranston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle

2
664 589
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
I Love Lucy

3
768 693
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
787 790
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
569 412
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
626 494
Steve Carell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Office

7
595 614
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
530 439
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Star Trek: The Next Generation

9
788 666
James Gandolfini is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Sopranos

10
719 595
Peter Dinklage is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Game of Thrones

11
482 373
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
402 352
Tom Selleck is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Blue Bloods, Magnum, P.I.

13
409 336
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
586 491
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
432 346
Ed O'Neill is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Modern Family, Married... with Children

16
470 314
Andy Griffith is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Andy Griffith Show, Matlock

17
533 639
Steve Buscemi is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Boardwalk Empire

18
336 278
Kelsey Grammer is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Cheers, Frasier, Medium

19
381 395
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
True Detective

20
365 312
Leonard Nimoy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Star Trek: The Original Series

21
331 187
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
440 460
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
408 245
Dick Van Dyke is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Dick Van Dyke Show

24
522 657
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
House of Cards

25
451 426
Jennifer Aniston is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time

26
351 331
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

27
492 485
Peter Falk is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Columbo

28
286 294
Gary Sinise is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
CSI: NY

29
286 103
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
466 433
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Happy Days, Arrested Development

31
271 287
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
360 266
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
342 481
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
348 297
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
376 382
Michael C. Hall is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Dexter, Six Feet Under

36
253 207
Woody Harrelson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Cheers, True Detective, Game Change

37
315 305
James Spader is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Boston Legal, The Practice, The Blacklist

38
208 178
Larry Hagman is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Dallas, I Dream of Jeannie

39
252 309
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Game of Thrones, Legends

40
356 351
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
Seinfeld, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

41
233 180
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Actors of All Time
The Honeymooners

42
318 286
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
293 230
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)