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September 16, 2014

Greatest TV Doctors

by AOL TV Staff, posted Mar 30th 2009 6:00AM
ERWith our list of top 20 TV doctors ever, we've got good news and bad news.

On the upside, there are no premiums to pay, no forms to fill out, no surprise bills to ambush you -- and, best of all, your practitioners are almost uniformly gorgeous, talented and caring. On the downside, they're not real doctors (though they played them on TV). Sigh.

Browse the best and brightest in our preferred provider network of the 20 best TV doctors of all time.


Top 20 TV Doctors

    With our list of top 20 TV doctors ever, we've got good news and bad news.

    On the upside, there are no premiums to pay, no forms to fill out, no surprise bills to ambush you -- and, best of all, your practitioners are almost uniformly gorgeous, talented and caring. On the downside, they're not real doctors (though they played them on TV). Sigh.

    Browse the best and brightest in our preferred provider network of the 20 best TV doctors of all time. -- By Jefferson Reid

    Getty Images / CBS / Landov

    20. Dr. Perry Cox
    Show: 'Scrubs'
    Played by: John C. McGinley

    As Dr. Dorian's (Zach Braff) nemesis, mentor and verbally abusive father figure, Dr. Cox oh-so-maturely dubs Dorian a different girl's name every day. Dominated by his overbearing wife and (until the last season) his manipulative boss, Perry uses high octane banter as a defense mechanism and an offense mechanism, lashing out at all around him like 'M*A*S*H' doc Hawkeye Pierce on crack.



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    Marissa Roth for AOL

    19. Dr. Jennifer Melfi
    Show: 'The Sopranos'
    Played by: Lorraine Bracco

    Proving she'd never shrink from the toughest cases, Melfi put mobster Tony Soprano on the couch: Hippocratic oath, meet hypocritical oaf. Tony's tales of murder, infidelity and dismemberment spewed forth until Melfi heard more than she wanted, including that Tony wants to hook up. Amazingly, she shot him down AND lived to tell the tale.



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    HBO

    18. Dr. Cliff Huxtable
    Show: 'The Cosby Show'
    Played by: Bill Cosby

    Enjoying way more family time than most TV doctors, Dr. Heathcliff's sweater budget probably exceeded most docs' country club fees. Think of him as the super-caring Dr. Dad we probably all wish we'd had. Add in his hot lawyer wife Clair and brood of good kids and it's clear Cliff was living the dream.



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    NBC

    17. Dr. Richard Kimble
    Show: 'The Fugitive'
    Played by: David Janssen

    Wrongly convicted of killing his wife, Dr. K escaped custody after a train wreck on the way to death row. The righteous medico went underground working menial jobs (and occasionally saving lives) while trying to find his wife's real killer, the one-armed man. It was appointment TV, early-'60s style, right down to the finale, seen by a record 72 percent of TV households.



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    ABC / Retna

    16. Dr. Julius Hibbert
    Show: 'The Simpsons'
    Played by: Harry Shearer

    Surprisingly competent in the Simpsons' messed-up cartoon world, African-American Dr. Hibbert is one of the few non-yellow residents of Springfield. Wearing sweaters like 'The Cosby Show''s Dr. Cliff, he's best known for his nervous laugh: "Before I learned to chuckle mindlessly, I was headed to an early grave." Proving once again that laughter is the best medicine.



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    Fox

    15. Dr. James Kildare
    Show: 'Dr. Kildare'
    Played by: Richard Chamberlain

    Chamberlain would later become the master of TV miniseries like 'The Thorn Birds.' But he first made his mark as the early-'60s teen-idol doctor who cared (while soaking up the wisdom of old doc Gillespie) at Blair General. Earnest, handsome and caring, with super-nice hair: Hello McDreamy 1.0.



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    Hulton Archive / Getty Images

    14. Dr. Adam "Doc" Bricker
    Show: 'The Love Boat'
    Played by: Bernie Kopell

    The 'Love Boat''s, four-times divorced ship's doctor obviously took the show's theme song to heart. An unlikely ladies' man, Doc took to chasing deckside skirts with abandon (when not dispensing seasick pills and hangover remedies). Now that's some serious cruising.



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    Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

    13. Dr. Kathryn Austin
    Show: 'Chicago Hope'
    Played by: Christine Lahti

    She was a tough cookie who never crumbled. In the Pandora's Box of trouble that was Hope, Kate got sued for malpractice AND sexual harassment, meanwhile navigating personal challenges like hooking up with an electrician in the elevator and training to be an astronaut. One way or another, life was always a blast for this passionate heart surgeon.



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    CBS / Landov

    12. Dr. Robert Hartley
    Show: 'The Bob Newhart Show'
    Played by: Bob Newhart

    As he did in his classic standup routines, Newhart dead-panned for comedy gold as a crazy world swirled around him. Psychologist Hartley seemed equally as befuddled by patients like dour crank Mr. Carlin as he was by his kooky circle of friends and family. Meanwhile, doctor Bob himself remains insanely normal.



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    CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images

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Marilyn Water

If it weren't for Drs. Casey & Kildare, TV Doctors would be nowhere! They got it going and to this day every actor that's played a Doctor on a TV show should be eternally grateful to Vince Edwards and Richard Chamberlin. How you could even think of having a list of the 20 greatest TV Doctors and not even mention Dr. Ben Casey (Vince Edwards)is a shame. A forever fan......

May 31 2010 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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