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April 23, 2014

Top TV Women: 75-51

by Kim Potts, posted Mar 2nd 2011 12:00PM
Mrs Garrett Facts of Life75. Edna Garrett
'Facts of Life' (1979-88) | Played By: Charlotte Rae
A former housekeeper to the Drummonds of 'Diff'rent Strokes,' Mrs. G became the den mother (and then dietician) at the Eastland Academy for girls. There, she became more like a second mom to Natalie, Tootie, Blair and Jo, and remained such an influential presence in their lives that she would also become their housemate and employer outside school.

Snoop The Wire74. Felicia "Snoop" Pearson
'The Wire' (2002-08) | Played By: Felicia Pearson
Pearson, a real-life former drug dealer and convicted felon, played Snoop, a murderous drug dealer in the Stanfield crime empire. Engaging in her pursuits with a fatalistic attitude, Snoop was rarely thrown, even in her final moments, when Michael guessed she was about to kill him and put a gun to her head instead.

Marion Cunningham73. Marion Cunningham
'Happy Days' (1974-84) | Played By: Marion Ross
Mrs. C, as The Fonz affectionately dubbed her, was a loving mama who saw the best in everyone, and cared not just about the well-being of her husband and children, but also of their friends and pseudo son, and upstairs tenant, Fonzie.

Laura Ingalls, Little House on the Prairie72. Laura Ingalls
'Little House on the Prairie' (1974-83) | Played By: Melissa Gilbert
The spirited daughter of Charles and Caroline, Laura remained the symbol for her family's commitment to hard work, integrity and self sufficiency and her small town's dedication to forging and remaining a close-knit community.

Claudette, The Shield71. Claudette Wyms
'The Shield' (2002-08) | Played By: CCH Pounder
The moral touchstone in the wildly corrupt "Barn," Claudette, one of the few black female cops when she began her career, felt repercussions in her career several times after standing up against her shady fellow cops. Ultimately, despite her worsening lupus, she was named Captain of the Barn, and satisfyingly got to be the one to lead the final charge that brought about Vic Mackey's downfall.

Patty Duke70. Cathy/Patty Lane
'The Patty Duke Show' (1963-66) | Played By: Patty Duke
They were cousins, identical cousins, where "Cathy adores a minuet, the Ballet Russes and crepes Suzette"' and "Patty loves to rock 'n' roll, and hot dogs make her lose control." Cleverly, the girls' different cultural backgrounds proved to be largely irrelevant in how they actually dealt with the usual challenges of being a teen.

Ally McBeal69. Ally McBeal
'Ally McBeal' (1997-2002) | Played By: Calista Flockhart
A talented lawyer, Ally was nonetheless also given to less rational experiences, like the dancing baby and other hallucinations she experienced while trying to mesh her career with her quest to find her soul mate. Ally made plenty of mistakes along the way, and engaged in some selfish activity where men were concerned, but ultimately her conscience always lead her to do what she felt was right.

Daria68. Daria Morgendorffer
'Beavis and Butt-Head' and 'Daria' (1993-97 and 1997-2001) | Voiced By: Tracy Grandstaff
Created as a foil to slackers Beavis and Butt-head, razor sharp Daria was too great a character to stay in the background, and was spun off into her own 'toon. Her droll musings and cynical teen angst were challenged by her popular sister Quinn, career-woman mom and ditzy dad, as well as her equally sarcastic artist pal Jane and a crush on Jane's slacker rocker brother, Trent.

Karen Walker, Will and Grace67. Karen Walker
'Will & Grace' (1998-2006) | Played By: Megan Mullally
A "spoiled, shrill, gold-digging socialite who would sooner chew off her own foot than do an honest day's work," is how her friend and boss Grace described her, which, while accurate, doesn't describe how fun and irreverent Karen is. It also hides how, though she'd hate to admit it, loyal a pal she is to Will, Grace, hubby Stanley and especially partner-in-shallow-crime Jack, who, with Karen, usually stole the show from the titular two.

Gemma Teller, sons of anarchy66. Gemma Teller
'Sons of Anarchy' (2008-present) | Played By: Katey Sagal
Sagal left Peggy Bundy far behind to play Gemma, the ultimate in fierce mamas, who, as the queen of a California motorcycle club led by her husband and son, is as tough as any of the men who surround her. In fact, Gemma is often the brains behind SAMCRO's plots, as she'll do anything, and endure anything, to ensure the club, her son and her family's survival.

Whitley, A Different World65. Whitley Gilbert Wayne
'A Different World' (1987-93) | Played By: Jasmine Guy
A spoiled, snobby Southern belle when the series began, Whitley was forced to get real and shed (some of) her superficial ways when she fell in love with regular guy Dwayne Wayne. And though the two clashed continuously, a last-minute declaration of love (during Whitley's wedding ceremony to another guy) led to a Dwayne-Whitley marriage, and her continuing evolution as a kinder, less selfish woman.

Deanna Troi, Star Trek: The Next Generation064. Deanna Troi
'Star Trek: The Next Generation' (1987-94) | Played By: Marina Sirtis
Despite her skin-tight suit (and the fact that the character was originally written to have four breasts), the half-human, half-Betazoid Enterprise counselor's skills were so respected by her peers that she eventually was promoted to the rank of commander.

Angela Chase My So Called Life63. Angela Chase
'My So-Called Life' (1994-95) | Played By: Claire Danes
One of the angsty-est teens in TV history was also one real-world teens could most identify with. And as 15-year-old Angela tried to figure out life by shedding everything that used to be familiar to her and adopting some diverse new friends, she remained true to her beliefs and values.

Maddie Hayes, Moonlighting62. Maddie Hayes
'Moonlighting' (1985-89) | Played By: Cybill Shepherd
Not content to be summed up by her looks, former model Maddie decided to operate the Blue Moon Detective Agency, a business she had long ago purchased as a tax write-off. And though her tangled personal relationship with fellow detective David would eventually drive the series, Maddie stubbornly remained firmly in charge ... of both the agency and, to David's chagrin, their affair.

Alexis Colby, Dynasty61. Alexis Colby
'Dynasty' (1981-89) | Played By: Joan Collins
The opposite of sweet and selfless rival Krystle, Alexis was, of course, the far more interesting 'Dynasty' diva. Her methods, which included trying to destroy ex-husband Blake and his new wife Krystle, were often misguided, but her passion and motivation while fighting for her beloved children were right on the money.

Jeannie, I Dream of Jeannie60. Jeannie
'I Dream of Jeannie' (1965-70) | Played By: Barbara Eden
She was a woman devoted to her job -- pleasing "master" Tony and helping him in any way she could -- even when her boss didn't want her help, and by forging ahead, Jeannie was actually quite in control of her destiny (and eventually married her master).

Hot Lips, MASH59. Margaret Houlihan
'M*A*S*H' (1972-83) | Played By: Loretta Swit
They called her "Hot Lips," but Margaret wasn't just the camp's resident hot babe; she was also a smart, caring, talented nurse who could hold her own with wiseguys Hawkeye, Trapper, B.J. and Winchester.

Florence Johnston58. Florence Johnston
'The Jeffersons' (1975-85) | Played By: Marla Gibbs
The Jeffersons' sassy, wise-crackin' maid didn't take gruff from anyone, particularly boss George, who hated her cooking and laziness. Florence had become a de facto member of the family, however, and felt comfortable continuing her laziness and zinging Mr. J back whenever he dropped an insult. She even earned a short-lived spin-off, 'Checking In,' that lasted four episodes in 1981 before she headed back to work (or not to work) in that dee-luxe apartment in the sky.

Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls57. Lorelai Gilmore
'Gilmore Girls' (2000-07) | Played By: Lauren Graham
She didn't focus on the challenges of being a single teen mom, and instead made sure daughter Rory's life was filled with love, laughter, a deep appreciation and knowledge of pop culture, and the assurance that Lorelai would always be there as her mom and her fast-talkin' BFF.

Carol Brady56. Carol Brady
'The Brady Bunch' (1969-74) | Played By: Florence Henderson
Carol broke the ugly stereotype of the wicked stepmother, as she loved the Brady boys as much as her own daughters. In one memorable episode, she even offered to run away with Bobby when he felt he was unwanted in the famous ranch house.

Colleen McMurphy, China Beach55. Colleen McMurphy
'China Beach' (1988-91) | Played By: Dana Delany
She represented the sacrifices made by and horrific experiences encountered by nurses in the Vietnam War, who may not have personally engaged in combat, but certainly saw and treated the heartbreaking results of it.

Jennifer Marlowe, WKRP in Cincinnati54. Jennifer Marlowe
'WKRP in Cincinnati' (1978-82) | Played By: Loni Anderson
The antithesis of the dumb blonde stereotype, shrewd, confident WKRP receptionist Jennifer was one of the station's most calming forces, whether she was answering phones (she refused to type, take dictation or get coffee), helping the bickering staff make up, deflecting the creepy advances of salesman Herb or protecting nervous boss Mr. Carlson from dealing with people and issues that freaked him out.

Gidget53. Gidget Lawrence
'Gidget' (1965-66) | Played By: Sally Field
Days at the beach and boyfriend Moondoggie took up much of Gidget's time, but her so-called life was really about a 15-year-old girl trying to maneuver the tricky teen years while being raised by a single dad.

Endora, Bewitched52. Endora
'Bewitched' (1964-72) | Played By: Agnes Moorehead
Opposed to daughter Sam's marriage to the mortal Darrin -- whom Endora refers to as "Durwood" -- Endora became the ultimate meddling mother-in-law. Opposed to all mortals, in fact, Endora was especially horrified at having one in her family, which led her to cast many a spell on Durwood, not in hopes of killing him, but in hopes of killing his marriage to Samantha.

Abby, ER51. Abby Lockhart
'ER' (1994-2009) | Played By: Maura Tierney
An E.R. nurse who temporarily sacrificed her own dreams of becoming a doctor to pay for her then-husband's med school stay, Abby didn't let her alcoholism, her painful childhood with her bipolar-disorder-suffering mother and absentee dad or rocky romantic relationships derail her, as she became a doctor, wife and mother by series' end.


Most Memorable TV Women No. 10076 | No. 7551 | No. 5026 | No. 251

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brittany

the best lady actor is Lorelai Gilmore she is really good at that show with her teenager daught

April 15 2011 at 12:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
paul

Katie Sagal made list twice "Married with children" & "Sons of Anarchy" Anyone else make list twice, I would think she deserves an honorable mention for that. Covers couple different eras.

March 13 2011 at 6:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lddsman

Donna Mills (Abby Cunningham) from Knots Landing, Linda Lavin (Alice), MaryAnn or Ginger from Giliigan's Island

March 12 2011 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Charlie

Mrs. Brady should have been way higher.

March 11 2011 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MissW

I'm actually shocked that Ellen DeGeneres didn't make the list. I mean, she "came out" in prime time. I'm not gay, and I didn't even watch her show, yet I still remember THAT!

March 10 2011 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
A Byr

Im surprised that Candice Bergen's character of Shirley Schmidt didnt make the list from Boston Legal

March 10 2011 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
azaspe

WTF!!! Lois from Malcolm in the Middle should be 1st on that list!!! HShes hilarious!!! Best show ever!!! :)

March 09 2011 at 8:33 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
rapn1rabbi

You pathetic fools. The best woman ever seen on tv was Deputy chief-inspector Jane Tennyson as played by Helen Mirren on PBS' "Prime Suspect'. PBS is a tv network, is it not?

March 07 2011 at 10:44 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Nigel Tufnel

Where's Edith Bunker?

March 07 2011 at 5:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Nigel Tufnel's comment
Charlie

At #10

March 11 2011 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mgesch

Didn't see Carol Burnet

March 07 2011 at 3:20 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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