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Added by cal331 on 21 May 2011 03:41
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I'm not an American, but I play one on TV

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People who added this item 4475 Average listal rating (2853 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.8
House M.D. (2004)
Englishman Hugh Laurie is the poster boy for this category.
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People who added this item 1263 Average listal rating (794 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 8.2
Chuck (2007)
Aussie Yvonne Strahovski plays American spy Sarah Walker. Fun fact: her native language is Polish!
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People who added this item 1679 Average listal rating (1061 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.4
Gossip Girl (2007)
British Ed Westwick plays Manhattan's teenage tycoon Chuck Bass.
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People who added this item 2229 Average listal rating (1589 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.1
New Zealander Melanie Lynskey plays wacky Malibu neighbor Rose on 2.5 Men. Catch her using (I presume) her native accent in "Heavenly Creatures."
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People who added this item 297 Average listal rating (178 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4
Hawaii Five-0 (2010)
Aussie Alex O'Laughlin is Hawaiian cop Steve McGarrett in the remake.


Not his first American role, by the by...
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People who added this item 2631 Average listal rating (1731 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.7
Doctor Owen. Kevin McKidd, also of 'Journeyman' is a Scot.
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People who added this item 1006 Average listal rating (637 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.1
The Mentalist (2008)
I don't watch this "Psych" ripoff :) but the other fake psychic detective Patrick Jane is played by Australian Simon Baker.

Welsh Owain Yeoman plays Wayne on the show, too.
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People who added this item 1447 Average listal rating (812 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.4
Fringe (2008)
Both Anna Torv (Olivia) and John Noble (Walter) play Americans but are from Down Under.

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People who added this item 2189 Average listal rating (1311 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.9
True Blood (2008)
Stephen Moyer (UK) puts on a Southern accent, as does Anna Paquin (who is Canadian AND a New Zealander, apparently) as Bill and Sookie.


Swede Alexander Skarsgård plays a former Viking, now in America.
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People who added this item 373 Average listal rating (194 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.2
The Killing (2011)
Swedish sex symbol Joel Kinnaman does his best Kurt Cobain impersonation in this top-notch drama.
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People who added this item 2553 Average listal rating (1468 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.5
Delicious Brit Andrew Lincoln plays Sheriff Rick.

Also starring Lennie James, who hails from the UK.
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People who added this item 302 Average listal rating (187 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
Aussie Toni Collette plays several American-accented personalities in the Showtime dramedy.
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People who added this item 328 Average listal rating (206 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.3
Matthew Rhys (Welsh) plays American Kevin Walker on this show,

As does Rachel Griffiths,(Sarah Walker) who also appeared on...
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People who added this item 1746 Average listal rating (1040 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.7
...as Brenda Chenowith.
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People who added this item 1063 Average listal rating (518 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 9.3
The Wire (2002)
Det. McNulty played by Dominic West (England)

Stringer Bell played by Idris Elba (England)

Tommy Carcetti played by Aidan Gillen (Ireland)
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People who added this item 657 Average listal rating (377 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.8
Torchwood (2006)
Captain Jack's John Barrowman was born in Scotland, and supposedly uses a Scottish accent at home. He uses the one he picked up living in America on the show, though.
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People who added this item 491 Average listal rating (319 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8
Burn Notice (2007)
Gabrielle Anwar (Fiona) started the series with an Irish accent, which I guess was pretty bad even though she is British. Now they have her sport an American one all the time.
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People who added this item 1577 Average listal rating (961 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.7
Brit Jamie Bamber puts on an American accent as Lee Adama.
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People who added this item 562 Average listal rating (356 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.9
Eureka (2006)
James Callis is English; he plays time-traveling Dr. Grant on this show.
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People who added this item 230 Average listal rating (133 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.8
British Paul Blackthorne was American Harry Dresden. Interestingly, American Terrence Mann played a Brit in this show.
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People who added this item 319 Average listal rating (213 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.3
Life (2007)
One of my favorite characters of all time is Det. Charlie Crews of California, played with a terrific American accent by dreamy Damian Lewis.
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People who added this item 108 Average listal rating (62 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5
Damages (2006)
Aussie Rose Byrne is American Ellen Parsons.
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People who added this item 3023 Average listal rating (1877 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Prison Break (2005)
British-born Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller played Chicago bros Linc and Michael on this show. Both guys were raised outside Britain, however.

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The iconic role of Sarah Connor was played by British-by-way-of-Bermuda Lena Headey.
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People who added this item 227 Average listal rating (140 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.7
Bionic Woman (2007)
Brit Michelle Ryan played the titular American bionic unit in this pointless remake.

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People who added this item 624 Average listal rating (443 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.7
Law & Order (1990)
Englishman Linus Roache gamely tried on an American accent in the latter years of this program.
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People who added this item 1446 Average listal rating (1122 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 8
Frasier (1993)
John Mahoney, who played Martin Crane, is actually British, though it's his TV sons who have the affected accents on this show.
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People who added this item 1393 Average listal rating (923 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.7
Nip/Tuck (2003)
Starred British Joely Richardson and Aussie Julian McMahon as Americans.

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People who added this item 165 Average listal rating (94 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7.9
The Riches (2007)
My favorite transvestite, Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver both hail from the UK, and they played American grifters in this show.

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People who added this item 121 Average listal rating (71 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.7
Eli Stone (2008)
Title lawman Eli Stone is played by Scottish Jonny Lee Miller.
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People who added this item 1260 Average listal rating (777 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.4
All-American pie waitress Chuck is played by British Anna Friel.

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People who added this item 1346 Average listal rating (916 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.6
Ugly Betty (2006)
Alan Dale, who played an Englishman on LOST, is actually a Kiwi. He played the American patriarch of the Meade family on UB.

Dale also played an American VP on "24".
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People who added this item 164 Average listal rating (105 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 8.2
Portia de Rossi is from Australia; she plays Veronica on BoT. She was also an American on "Arrested Development" and "Ally McBeal", but I like this show better. She rocked on 'Ted.'
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People who added this item 100 Average listal rating (57 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5
Life on Mars (2008)
Dublin-born Jason O'Mara played NYPD Det. Sam Tyler in this unnecessary remake of the far superior original program.

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People who added this item 877 Average listal rating (675 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 7
Roseanne (1988)
Irish Glenn Quinn did such a good job at a midwest accent on Roseanne that people thought his actual accent, used on "Angel" was fake.
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People who added this item 776 Average listal rating (398 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.7
Deadwood (2004)
Al Swearingen's Old West accent was a little shaky - put it down to the character played by Ian McShane was a more recent immigrant from Old Blighty.
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People who added this item 1548 Average listal rating (934 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 9.5
Packed with Brit actors playing American, including Damian Lewis and Jamie Bamber, but also:
Shane Taylor (Doc Roe)

also:Peter Youngblood Hills (Shifty Powers)
Nicholas Aaron (Popeye Winn)
Dexter Fletcher (Sgt. Martin)
Robin Laing (Babe Heffron)
Rick Warden (Harry Welsh)
Matthew Leitch (Tab Talbert)
Marc Warren (Blythe)
Peter O'Meara (Lt. Dike) - Irish
Stephen Graham (Mike Ranney)
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People who added this item 534 Average listal rating (382 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.9
Fully 2/3 of the team were not born on the American Mainland. Those sporting the US accents were Brit Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Viv...

Aussies Poppy Montgomery as Sam and Anthony LaPaglia as Jack.

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People who added this item 634 Average listal rating (399 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 8
Jericho (2006)
Here's Lennie James (UK) again, playing Hawkins, another American.
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People who added this item 410 Average listal rating (250 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.7
Moonlight (2007)
The aforementioned Alex O'Laughlin and Sophia Myles (British) play Americans in this show.
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People who added this item 110 Average listal rating (80 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.6
"Full Monty"-er Mark Addy played the All-American slob on this show.

(He's now back to being British on "Game of Thrones," as is...
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People who added this item 64 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.5
New Amsterdam (2008)
...Dane Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played an American-accented immortal on this show.
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People who added this item 60 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
Eleventh Hour (2008)
Rufus Sewell is British, though his character wasn't.
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People who added this item 886 Average listal rating (580 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.5
Roswell (1999)
Aussie Emilie de Ravin got to speak in her native accent for LOST, but as Tess she had to speak American.
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People who added this item 266 Average listal rating (186 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6.7
Jewelry purveyor and British person Jane Seymour portrayed the old-west Doc.
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People who added this item 1462 Average listal rating (1025 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.7
Lucy Lawless dropped her Kiwi accent to play action-heroine Xena.
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People who added this item 531 Average listal rating (377 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.4
Red Dwarf (1988)
Danny John-Jules played the Cat with an American Accent. Sadly, I have never seen this show.
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People who added this item 437 Average listal rating (218 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4
Bad witch Faye is played by Aussie Phoebe Tonkin.
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People who added this item 374 Average listal rating (213 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.8
Terra Nova (2011)
Here's Jason O'Mara again, this time as the father figure in the time-traveling family drama "Terra Nova."

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People who added this item 98 Average listal rating (56 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.9
The River (2012)
Joe Anderson, who hails from the UK, stars as American Lincoln Cole in this show.
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Load more items (7 more in this list)

In the past couple years, there seemed to be a rash of Brits and Australians and others copping an American accent (unnecessarily, in some cases) to play characters on American TV. According to a documentary, in 2008 one-third of all piloted American TV series had British people in a starring or main supporting role. Most of the shows on this list were on the air at the same time!

Here are some of them.

(Not rated in order of accent's effectiveness.)

Suggestions welcome; I'm still working on it. Note: I'm really looking at main characters, not guest spots, and trying to put in one picture per actor, even though some play more than one American role.

Added to

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Published 5 years, 2 months ago 1 comment



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Comments

Posted: 6 years, 5 months ago at May 22 12:59
Rachel Griffiths played an American on Six Feet Under, if you want to add her. :)
Posted: 6 years, 5 months ago at May 22 15:48
I will, thanks!
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at May 29 9:02
Thanks for including Anna Torv in this as Olivia Dunham on Fringe as well as John Noble,she is my favorite actress and Fringe is my fave show, I also love Noble to as Walter Bishop he is great, I love Brits and Aussies I just wish they got to keep there real accents some times,Like House why cant he be a Brit, sense the blond guy which I forgot's name gets to keep his Aussie accent, its not fair,lol
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at May 30 17:03
I know! If Hugh Laurie got to keep his real accent, I might still be watching.
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at May 31 12:27
Wentworth Miller was born in England but he is US citizen.
Dominic Purcell was born in England but he's Australian.
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 5 13:37
Eh, this list is kind of a loose collection of people not necessarily born or raised American, playing one on TV.

I corrected the note under Prison Break with your info.
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 6 2:49
Love it. It took me forever to realize that Hugh Laurie wasn't American. But spot on Band of Brothers, the first time I watched it I was like "He's not American, neither is he, he's not..." Haha.
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 6 2:52
Oh, you know who else is good? Toni Collette plays American in 'United States of Tara' but she's an Aussie. She's another one I never knew was not American because she always has an American accent.
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 9 1:21
Thanks, I will add her!
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 9 18:23
Xena is american ?!?
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 9 21:49
Wow, none of the three main characters from Fringe are from America.
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 10 1:21
The Mentalist: his name is Patrick Jane, not Thomas Jane.
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 10 1:54
Glenn Quinn's Irish... I'll be damned. That has me cracking up so hard! I loved him on Roseanne! ^_^
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 10 6:12
Alexander Skarsgard's character Eric Northman is not an American. He was originally a Swedish Viking.
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 13 14:33
Fixed names and stuff. Thanks for finding all the little mistakes.
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 16 11:22
Oooh, you could add Mischa Barton in The O.C. :)
Posted: 6 years, 4 months ago at Jun 17 21:18
Mischa's not American?!?!
Posted: 6 years, 2 months ago at Aug 7 14:31
Thanks for reminding me of the plethora of Australian talent working in USA :)
Posted: 6 years, 1 month ago at Aug 29 16:05
anthony stwert head played rupert giles in buffy the vampire slayer, i believe he is from britain and character was from america. :)
Posted: 6 years ago at Sep 25 20:34
No, Anthony Stewart Head did not play an American on Buffy.
Posted: 5 years, 9 months ago at Jan 6 18:49
I, too, heart Eddie Izzard!!
Posted: 5 years, 9 months ago at Jan 16 6:39
wow! cool list! :D
Posted: 5 years, 9 months ago at Jan 16 23:20
Thanks..I need to update it for the new TV season. I was recently surprised to hear 'Faye' from The Secret Circle speak with an Aussie accent, so I added her, but there are probably more.

UPDATE: more shows added - these are the new shows I have started watching. If there any more, let me know!
Edit: 5 years, 9 months ago
Posted: 5 years, 7 months ago at Mar 24 18:19
I love Portia de Rossi, Emilie de Ravin, and Matthey Rhys. :) Cool list!
Posted: 5 years, 4 months ago at Jun 16 14:51
As a point of interest, many of Battlestar Galactica's main characters were Candadian actors and actresses.
Posted: 5 years, 3 months ago at Jun 26 18:18
That's a good one, Opalgem. I was reading about new season shows and I have to add many more.
Posted: 5 years, 2 months ago at Aug 16 13:26
Fantastic list!
Posted: 5 years, 2 months ago at Aug 16 17:50
Community - John Oliver as Professor Ian Duncan
Posted: 5 years, 2 months ago at Aug 16 21:40
I don't watch TV. But I watched a couple of "Mentalist" episodes while recovering from a heart operation at my mother's house in Louisiana. I found them very clever in its formulaic way. It's not about psychic criminology at all, is it? It's more like logical criminology. Sherlock Holmes stuff. Seen the Downey-Law Holmes movies?
Posted: 5 years, 2 months ago at Aug 17 17:14
i was curious about something. when you said that michele ryan of the bionic woman played the "titular" american bionic unit, was there anything about her body that convinced you to use that particular adjective? just wondering..
Posted: 5 years, 2 months ago at Aug 17 18:05
Lorenzo, no, I haven't, but I've been meaning to. I do enjoy the BBC Sherlock episodes with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Those are very, very good.
Posted: 5 years, 2 months ago at Aug 17 18:06
Quisma, John Oliver uses his natural accent on Community. Not that he's even on anymore. :-(

JPHOLT - thank you!
Posted: 4 years, 10 months ago at Nov 30 21:29
Yvonne Strahovski ♥
Posted: 4 years, 7 months ago at Mar 3 19:06
Mia Kirshner on The L word
Avatar
Posted: 4 years, 7 months ago at Mar 7 19:51
also Eric McCormack played an american in the sitcom Will&Grace as Will but he's Canadian
Posted: 4 years, 1 month ago at Sep 21 22:11
my classmate's sister makes $63/hr on the internet. She has been fired for ten months but last month her income was $12829 just working on the internet for a few hours. browse this site.....WWW.Rush64.COM
Posted: 4 years ago at Sep 23 0:56
Nice list. Nellie James got me fooled!
Posted: 3 years, 7 months ago at Mar 19 14:29
Jonny Lee Miller played the guest role of Jordan Chase on Dexter.

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