Actors The Best Downton Abbey Actors  

Ranker TV
135 votes 24 voters 21 items

List Rules Only main and supporting cast members - no guest stars. Vote based on their performances on Downton Abbey.

While you might assume that the Downton Abbey cast would be swimming in awards, surprisingly this hasn't always been the case. While some of the Downton Abbey actors have indeed won a slew of awards including Oscar nominations and most have received shared SAG Awards for Best Ensemble cast, not all of them have racked in many more. Some of the actors playing your favorite Downton Abbey characters have gotten random festival awards but not a lot else, despite being incredible actors. That's why you'll have a chance to vote on the best actors on Downton Abbey regardless of how many awards they may or may not have received. 

Just vote for your favorite Downton Abbey actor or actress on the list of cast members below in order to help discover the internet's picks for the best actors on the historical family drama series. Next, to each, you'll also find a list of the awards they've received so you can be appropriately appeased or outraged. 

 

list ordered by
1
12 0
Maggie Smith is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham

Golden Globes
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television (2012, 2013- Win)

Primetime Emmy Awards
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2012- Win, 2013, 2014, 2016- Win)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie​​​​​​​ (2011- Win)

Dame Margaret Natalie Smith, CH, DBE is an English actress. She made her stage debut in 1952 and has had an extensive, varied career in stage, film and television spanning over sixty years. ...more
2
8 0
Michelle Dockery is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Lady Mary Crawley

Golden Globes
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama (2013) 

Primetime Emmys
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (2012, 2013, 2014) 

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Michelle Suzanne Dockery is an English actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV drama series Downton Abbey, for which she has been nominated for three ...more
3
11 1
Jim Carter is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Charles Carson

Primetime Emmy Awards
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

Online Film & Television Association
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2015, 2016)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

 

Jim Carter is an English actor. Carter's film credits include Top Secret!, A Month in the Country, A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia, The Madness of King George, Richard III, Brassed Off, ...more
4
6 0
Penelope Wilton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Harriet Jones

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Penelope Alice Wilton, OBE is an English actress of stage, film, and TV. She starred opposite Richard Briers in the BBC situation comedy Ever Decreasing Circles. She has also appeared in Doctor ...more
5
9 1
Brendan Coyle is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
John Bates

Primetime Emmy Awards
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2012)

BAFTA TV Awards
Best Supporting Actor (2011) 

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Brendan Coyle is an English actor. He is well known to television audiences for playing Nicholas Higgins in the miniseries North & South, Robert Timmins in the first three series of Lark ...more
6
8 1
Joanne Froggatt is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Anna Bates

Golden Globes
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (2015- Win, 2016)

Primetime Emmy Awards​​​​​​​
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series​​​​​​​ (2012, 2014, 2015)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Joanne Froggatt is an English actress of stage, television, and film. Since 2010, she has appeared as lady's maid Anna Bates in the period drama Downton Abbey. For this role, she has received ...more
7
7 1
Laura Carmichael is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Lady Edith Crawley

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Laura Elizabeth Carmichael is an English actress, most widely known for her role as Lady Edith Crawley in the TV period drama series Downton Abbey.
8
7 1
Hugh Bonneville is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham

Golden Globes
Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television (2012)

Primetime Emmy Awards
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2012, 2013)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Hugh Richard Bonneville Williams, known professionally as Hugh Bonneville, is an English stage, film, television and radio actor, who is best known for playing Robert Crawley in the ITV period ...more
9
6 1
Allen Leech is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Tom Branson

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Allen Leech, and known in his early career by his birth name Alan Leech, is an Irish stage, television and film actor. A native of Killiney, Leech made his professional acting debut with a small ...more
10
6 1
Dan Stevens is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Matthew Crawley

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014)

Daniel Jonathan "Dan" Stevens is an English actor. He is best known internationally for his role as Matthew Crawley in the British period drama television series Downton Abbey.
11
6 1
Lesley Nicol is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Mrs. Patmore

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Lesley Nicol is an English actress who is best known for her starring role as Mrs. Patmore in the ITV drama series Downton Abbey, and for her roles as Mrs. Beaver in the 1988 BBC adaptation of ...more
12
5 1
Elizabeth McGovern is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham

Golden Globes
Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television (2012)

Primetime Emmys
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (2011)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Elizabeth Lee McGovern is an American film, television, and theater actress, and musician. McGovern received an Academy Award nomination for her role as Evelyn Nesbit in the 1981 film Ragtime. ...more
13
5 1
Rob James-Collier is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Thomas Barrow

TV Guide Awards
Favorite Feud Shared with: Siobhan Finneran (2013- Win)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Robert James-Collier is a British actor and model. He is known for his roles as Liam Connor in Coronation Street and as Thomas Barrow in Downton Abbey.
14
4 0
Kevin Doyle is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Joseph Molesley

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Kevin Doyle is an English actor, born in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire. He is known for many roles, including in the TV series The Lakes, Coronation Street, and The Crimson Field. Doyle played Joseph ...more
15
4 1
Sophie McShera is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Daisy Mason

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Sophie McShera is an English actress. She is known for playing 6th Form student Ros McCain in the fifth series of BBC drama Waterloo Road and for playing kitchen maid Daisy Mason in Golden Globe ...more
16
4 2
Phyllis Logan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Mrs. Hughes

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Phyllis Margaret Logan is a Scottish actress.
17
3 1
Siobhan Finneran is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Sarah O'Brien

TV Guide Awards
Favorite Feud- Shared with: Robert James-Collier (2013- Win)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014)

Siobhan Finneran is an English television and film actress. She is known for her regular roles in the BBC drama Clocking Off, ITV comedy Benidorm, ITV drama Downton Abbey and BBC drama Happy ...more
18
2 1
David Robb is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Dr. Clarkson

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

David Robb is a Scottish actor. Robb has starred in various British films and television shows, including films such as Swing Kids and Hellbound. He is well known for playing Germanicus in the ...more
19
1 1
Tom Cullen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Anthony Gillingham

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2016- Win)

Tom Cullen is an actor.
20
1 1
Lily James is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Lady Rose MacClare

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2015- Win, 2016- Win)

Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson, better known by her stage name Lily James, is an English actress. She is best known for her role as Lady Rose MacClare in the period drama Downton Abbey, and the ...more
21
1 2
Iain Glen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Sir Richard Carlisle

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win)

Iain Glen is a Scottish film, television, and stage actor. Glen is best known for his roles in the Resident Evil films and for portraying Ser Jorah Mormont on Game of Thrones.