Female Characters The Greatest Female TV Role Models  

Ranker TV
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40.2k votes 1.7k voters 20.1k views 134 items

List Rules Strong and admirable woman and girl characters in television

List of the greatest female TV role models. Here are the rankings for the best female characters for your daughter to look up to. The TV shows with great female role models span the decades, from black-and-white to digital film. They also span the style, from live action multi-camera sitcoms to cartoons. Who are some of the best female role models on TV?

You could make a pretty good case for Leslie Knope's passion, Liz Lemon's wit, and Rachel Green's attitude. Or, if people really want to talk about strong independent women, we have listed ladies like Susie Greene from "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and Xena (the Warrior Princess). Some seem to think even Nancy Botwin from "Weeds" is a good female role model on television -- perhaps for her business sense. TV can make a difference in the culture, as shows can set standards and aspirations for young women, or men, with the remote control.

1
440 221
Olivia Benson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added Olivia Benson Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

2
330 270
Mary Richards is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Mary Richards The Mary Tyler Moore Show

3
516 425
Buffy Summers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer

4
221 317
Liz Lemon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Liz Lemon 30 Rock

5
233 237
Victoria Barkley is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
mclewis added Victoria Barkley The Big Valley

6
236 334
Lisa Simpson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added Lisa Simpson The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show

7
223 225
Mary Beth Lacey is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added Mary Beth Lacey Cagney & Lacey

8
283 213
Sophia Petrillo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Sophia Petrillo The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls

9
223 204
Carla Espinosa is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Carla Espinosa Scrubs

10
256 208
Maggie O'Connell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added Maggie O'Connell Northern Exposure

11
205 207
Emma Peel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added Emma Peel The Avengers

12
140 311
Diane Chambers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models

13
205 208
Julia Sugarbaker is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Julia Sugarbaker Designing Women

14
351 242
Leslie Knope is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Leslie Knope Parks and Recreation

15
334 162
Kathryn Janeway is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Kathryn Janeway Star Trek: Voyager

16
203 173
Anita Van Buren is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Anita Van Buren Law & Order

17
252 178
Dorothy Zbornak is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Dorothy Zbornak The Golden Girls

18
154 271
Murphy Brown is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Murphy Brown Murphy Brown

19
444 201
Dana Scully is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Dana Scully The X-Files

20
179 185
C. J. Cregg is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added C. J. Cregg The West Wing

21
170 178
Rhoda Morgenstern is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Rhoda Morgenstern The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda

22
122 243
Claire Beauchamp Randall Frase... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
mclewis added Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser Outlander

23
173 182
Lady Mary Crawley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Lady Mary Crawley Downton Abbey

24
184 174
Violet Crawley, Dowager Counte... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham Downton Abbey

25
273 77
Rebecca Katsopolis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Rebecca Katsopolis Full House

26
270 68
Abby Sciuto is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
LaChance added Abby Sciuto NCIS

27
245 146
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Uhura Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series

28
286 272
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Wonder Woman Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman, Justice League Unlimited

29
196 171
Brenda Leigh Johnson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models

30
279 63
Topanga Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
JVall14 added Topanga Lawrence Girl Meets World, Boy Meets World

31
82 190
Kate Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Kate Lawrence Family

32
193 247
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Veronica Mars Veronica Mars

33
221 68
Laura Ingalls is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
MeganAnderson added Laura Ingalls Little House on the Prairie

34
100 170
Grace Van Owen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Grace Van Owen L.A. Law

35
191 64
Penelope Garcia is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
LaChance added Penelope Garcia Criminal Minds

36
205 68
Caroline Ingalls is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
MeganAnderson added Caroline Ingalls

37
228 292
Daenerys Targaryen is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Daenerys Targaryen Game of Thrones

38
245 140
Jessica Fletcher is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Jessica Fletcher Murder, She Wrote

39
209 111
Jaime Sommers is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Jaime Sommers Bionic Woman

40
175 87
Molly Flynn is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
LaChance added Molly Flynn Mike & Molly

41
99 206
Ann Kelsey is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Ann Kelsey L.A. Law

42
179 150
Jennifer
LanaYoshii added Jennifer "JJ" Jareau Criminal Minds

43
218 132
Cristina Yang is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Cristina Yang Grey's Anatomy

44
274 283
Lorelai Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Lorelai Gilmore Gilmore Girls

45
179 155
Selina Meyer is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models

46
30 15
Olivia Walton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Olivia Walton The Waltons

47
141 182
Arya Stark is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
intcat-eternal added Arya Stark Game of Thrones

48
260 289
Willow Rosenberg is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Willow Rosenberg Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy the Animated Series

49
210 114
Carol Brady is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Carol Brady The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch Hour, The Brady Brides

50
153 102
Margaret Houlihan is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Margaret Houlihan M*A*S*H