10 Best Television Actors

Friday, July 22 by Andrew Jett

Although lacking the fanfare of their cinematic counterparts, the 10 best television actors are no slouches when it comes to talent. Starring on television series that boasted millions of viewers each week, these actors are familiar faces inside the home.

  1. Kelsey Grammer. Having one hit series is hard enough, but this television actor has had two. Grammer played Dr. Frasier Crane on “Cheers” from 1984 to 1993, and also on “Frasier” from 1993 to 2004. As if that weren’t enough, this actor also voices Sideshow Bob on “The Simpsons.”
  2. Lucille Ball. As the queen of classic comedy, this television actor brought joy and laughter to millions of people with her signature sitcom “I Love Lucy.” Playing a plucky housewife with a penchant for comedic mischief, Ball’s character found herself in hilarious situations each week from 1951 to 1957.
  3. William Shatner. With a cavalier attitude and a vocal diction all his own, this television actor turned James T. Kirk into a household name. From 1966 to 1969, Shatner played the iconic “Star Trek” captain, then again found improbable television success in 1982 with the cop series “T.J. Hooker.”
  4. Michael J. Fox. As one of the most recognizable of the ten best television actors, Fox found success in both television and movies. His character Alex P. Keaton on the 1980’s series “Family Ties” brought his initial fame. After a successful movie career, this television actor returned to the small screen in 1996 for the hit series “Spin City.”
  5. Dick Van Dyke. Even during his humble beginnings in Danville, Illinois, this television actor was showing signs of greatness. Van Dyke first hit it big with “The Dick Van Dyke Show” from 1961 to 1966. After nearly three decades of successful film and TV appearances, he once again found a home on the series “Diagnosis: Murder” in 1993.
  6. Bill Cosby. This television actor’s résumé reads like a greatest hits list. Cosby has been involved in everything from cartoons (“Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids”) to action series (“I Spy”) to educational fare (“The Electric Company”). That being said, he’s best known for his sitcom “The Cosby Show,” which was a ratings juggernaut from 1984 to 1992.
  7. Don Knotts. As the member of the ten best television actors that we’d most like to party with, Knotts could turn any situation into a laugh riot. Most famous for playing bumbling deputy Barney Fife on “The Andy Griffith Show” from 1960 to 1968, this television actor brought life and charm to every scene he played.
  8. Ted Danson. The hit sitcom “Cheers” would have been nothing without this television actor, proving beyond a doubt that he was the coolest guy on TV from 1982 to 1993. Playing a suave, womanizing ex-baseball pro, Danson brought innocence and believability to his signature television role.
  9. Alan Alda. It takes a skilled talent to find comedy within humanity’s darkest moments. This television actor did just that from 1972 to 1983 on the hit series “M*A*S*H.” Playing an Army surgeon during the Korean War, Alda consistently produced quality performances in one of the best TV shows of all time.
  10. Carroll O’Connor. Poking fun at social stigmas and stereotypes made for edgy TV in the 1970s, but this television actor was up to the challenge. In his most famous TV role on “All in the Family,” O’Connor played bigoted curmudgeon Archie Bunker, humanizing touchy subjects of race and class relations from 1971 to 1979.