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Added by Joseph Grey on 19 Aug 2012 04:06
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Iconic and Memorable Roles: TV, part I

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Your Name, The Show

Sometimes a show will be named after the principal character. Although the show will have many cast members, the focus of the show is the title character.
People who added this item 2525 Average listal rating (2009 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.9
Jerry Seinfeld as Jerry


Julia-Louis Dreyfus as Elaine Baines


Michael Richards as Kramer


Jason Alexander as George Costanza


People seem to either love or hate 'Seinfeld.' Either way, the show is memorable, and the characters iconic.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 589 Average listal rating (413 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 8.4
I Love Lucy (1951)
Lucille Ball as Lucy


Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo


I Love Lucy featured a very experienced Lucille Ball as a offbeat housewife. In the late 30's and early 40's, Lucille Ball was an accomplished movie actress, acting alongside some great movie actors.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 1086 Average listal rating (821 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.7
MacGyver (1985)
Richard Dean Anderson as MacGuyver
What a fun show! Every week he'd thwart the evil plans of criminals and crooked businessmen using common household items. This guy was my hero.

Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 3509 Average listal rating (2362 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.6
Dexter (2006)
Micheal C. Hall as Dexter Morgan

This guy must really be likable. It's one of the only times you see fans rooting for a serial killer.
People who added this item 4585 Average listal rating (3421 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.7
Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House

Hugh Laurie plays a character that is anything but likable. Yet somehow, his surliness has its own appeal.
People who added this item 84 Average listal rating (67 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Quincy M.E. (1976)
Jack Klugman as Dr. R. Quincy, M.E.


Robert Ito as Sam Fujiyama


Dr. Quincy would have to piece together the circumstances of death as a medical examiner. Jack Klugman played a very passionate Dr. Quincy as a man who cared very much for life, and tried to help surviving family members along the way.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 1490 Average listal rating (1205 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 8.2
Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Fasier Crane

Kelsey Grammer reprised his role from Cheers as Frasier Crane. He played a radio psychologist in 'Fraiser,' often being faced with his own personal and emotional limitations.
Joseph Grey's rating:
Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes


David Burke as Dr. Watson


I absolutely love this series. Jeremy Brett is a perfect Sherlock Holmes, the best that I have seen.
Joseph Grey's rating:
Hal Linden as Barney Miller


Abe Vigoda as Det. Phil Fish


Jack Soo as Nick Yemana


Ron Glass as Ron Harris


Steve Landesberg as Arthur Dietrich


Max Gail as Stan Wojciehowicz


Barney Miller was a great show with an ensemble cast. I hope all of you have watched it before. If not, give it a try.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 167 Average listal rating (117 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 8.3
Dick Van Dyke as Bob Petrie


Mary Tyler Moore as Laura Petrie


Who can forget the opening of the show where Dick Van Dyke falls over the foot rest? I used to watch re-runs as a kid.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 88 Average listal rating (65 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8.2
Perry Mason (1957)
Raymond Burr as Perry Mason


Perry Mason is one of the few lawyers we're allowed to like. A really well organized and enjoyable show. The show returned in the eighties, and continued until Raymond Burr's death in 1993.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 2206 Average listal rating (1733 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 8.5
Mr. Bean (1990)
Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean

A show that seems to have no middle ground when it comes to opinions. With very little dialogue, Mr. Bean highlights the trivialities of life we take for granted, as he struggles through the simplest of everyday tasks.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 46 Average listal rating (24 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7
Flash Gordon (1936)
Larry 'Buster' Crabbe as Flash Gordon


This guy made even brave dudes look like wimps. His heroism was so over the top he seemed suicidal at times, as he continually risked his life to save Dale Arden and the planet Earth from the evil Ming The Merciless.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 2926 Average listal rating (2305 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.9
Will Smith as Will, The Fresh Prince

Before Will Smith was getting accolades for being a serious actor, he did a great job playing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. A fun show, with a good ensemble cast.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 56 Average listal rating (44 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4
Martin (1992)
Martin Lawrence as Martin Payne

Martin Lawrence had his own show in the 90's. It was more grown up than the above listed "Fresh Prince," and between the two of them, I liked this one better.

And, his girlfriend Gina was very pretty.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 120 Average listal rating (90 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 8.1
James Garner as Jim Rockford

James Garner sprinkled his usual charm all over the PI character Jim Rockford.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 168 Average listal rating (127 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
Peter Falk as Detective Columbo

Peter Falk is the perfect choice for Columbo. Unassuming, but very effective, Columbo always stops himself as he's about to stop harassing a suspect, saying "There's just one thing that bothers me..."

That's when you know he's gonna nail the killer to the wall.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 230 Average listal rating (177 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 8.3
Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor


Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 221 Average listal rating (169 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 7
Matlock (1986)
Andy Griffith as Ben Matlock


Sadly, Andy Griffith died just a short time ago. I watched this show pretty often, and have seen many of the episodes. It was a good courtroom drama, and added a lighthearted element that wasn't seen in the Perry Mason courtroom dramas.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 211 Average listal rating (147 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 8
Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman


I loved this show. It stretched the imagination with its total insanity.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 364 Average listal rating (284 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7.4
Magnum, P.I. (1980)
Tom Selleck as Magnum

Likable Tom Selleck was responsible for keeping mustaches prevalent through the 80's.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 72 Average listal rating (53 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.5

A dog gets top billing in a show. I wonder how the human actors felt about that.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 78 Average listal rating (60 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 7
Mister Ed (1961)
Mister Ed as Himself


Would playing second fiddle to a horse be worse than being a dog's sidekick?
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 676 Average listal rating (489 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.4
Barbara Eden as Jeannie

This show basically never changed. There's a Jeannie, the man she torments, and an arrangement of neighbors and associates that can't handle her eccentricities. And yet, the show was still fun. Also, Barbara Eden was beautiful.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 485 Average listal rating (280 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.4
Doctor Who (1963)
William Hartnell as The Doctor(1)


John Pertwee as The Doctor(3)


Tom Baker as The Doctor(4)


Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor(9)


David Tennant as The Doctor(10)


People have their favorites among the 11 or so Doctors that have played the role. I watched many of the episodes with Tom Baker, on re-runs.

There have been many Doctors, and I won't list them all. However, I can link you to a list where you'll find all of them.
www.listal.com/list/dcotor-who-actors
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 818 Average listal rating (605 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.7
Fawlty Towers (1975)
John Cleese as Basil Fawlty

Basil Fawlty is trying to run a Hotel. Surrounded by incompetence, he has long since lost his mind.
Joseph Grey's rating:
Kevin Sorbo as Hercules

Many movie versions of Hercules were a bit two dimensional. Kevin Sorbo helped to make the character Hercules accessible and likable as a person.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 82 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.1
John Thaw as Chief Inspector Morse


Kevin Whately as Seargant Lewis


A very good murder mystery show starring veteran actor John Thaw.
Joseph Grey's rating:
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Join the Team

Some shows followed a group or team of characters as they worked together to accomplish common goals. Be they explorers, soldiers, cops, or lawyers, they had to pool their efforts to succeed, or survive.
People who added this item 228 Average listal rating (168 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.9
Peter Graves as Mr. Phelps


Greg Morris as Barney Collier


Barbara Bain as Cinnamon Carter


Martin Landau as Rollin Hand


Peter Lupus as Willy Armitage


Leonard Nimoy as Paris


This show had a great opening, and every episode featured a con or heist. The cast changed over the years, so I didn't include every single cast member across the seasons.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 783 Average listal rating (605 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.5
The A-Team (1983)
George Peppard as John 'Hannibal' Smith


Dirk Benedict as Templeton 'Faceman' Peck


Dwight Schultz as 'Howling Mad' Murdock


Mr. T as B.A. Baracus


80's fun starring George Peppard as leader/babysitter to a bunch of gung-ho mercenaries. I watched this show in the 80's but I only remember the action and not the plot.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 1174 Average listal rating (894 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.3
Star Trek (1966)
William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk


Leonard Nimoy as Chief Science Officer Mr. Spock


Deforest Kelley as Dr. 'Bones' McCoy


Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura


James Doohan as Chief Engineer Scott


George Takei as Sulu


Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov


What can I say about Star Trek that hasn't already been said? A great cast, and a great show.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 24 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 8.9 IMDB Rating 8.4
Combat! (1962)
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders


Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley


Pierre Jalbert as Pvt. Caje


Jack Hogan as Pvt. Kirby


Dick Peabody and Tom Lowell as Pvt. Little John and Pvt. Billy Nelson


Conlan Carter as Doc


An iconic and gritty show. I loved this show as a kid, and still do.

Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 144 Average listal rating (108 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
Hawaii Five-O (1968)
Jack Lord as Det. Steve McGarrett


James MacArthur as Danny Williams


Zulu as Kono


Kam Fong as Chin Ho
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 210 Average listal rating (161 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.5
NYPD Blue (1993)
Dennis Franz as Det. Andy Sipowicz


Gordon Clapp as Det. Greg Medavoy


Jimmy Smits as Det. Bobby Simone


Kim Delaney as Det. Diane Russel


Nicholas Turturro as Det. James Martinez


James McDaniel as Lt. Arthur Fancy


David Caruso as Det. John Kelly


This was a good show overall, and I liked many of the characters. Like many shows that last for more than 8 seasons, there are too many characters to try include them all.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 660 Average listal rating (479 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.8
Sam Waterston as Jack McCoy


S. Epatha Merkerson as Lt. Anita Van Buren


Jerry Orbach as Det. Lennie Briscoe


Steven Hill as D.A. Adam Schiff


Jill Hennessey as A.D.A Claire Kincaid


Chris Noth as Det. Mike Logan


Another long running show with a revolving door cast. I could only pick some of the many memorable players on the show, otherwise I'd have to make a whole list just out of this show.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 557 Average listal rating (403 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.4
Red Dwarf (1988)
Chris Barrie as Arnold J. Rimmer


Craig Charles as Dave Lister


Danny John-Jules as Cat


Robert Llewellyn as Kryten


One of my all time favorite comedy shows. I love these characters.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 1626 Average listal rating (1091 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.7
Jamie Bamber and Edward James Olmos as
Capt. Lee Adama and Admiral William Adama


Michael Hogan as Colonel Saul Tigh


Katee Sackhoff as Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace


Tricia Helfer as Cylon Model Six


Mary McDonnell as Laura Roslin


Grace Park as Lt. Sharon Valerii


James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar


An excellent new vision of a 70's sci-fi show that may be better than the original.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 1064 Average listal rating (765 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8.4
Richard Dean Anderson as Colonel Jack O'Neill


Michael Shanks as Dr. Daniel Jackson


Amanda Tapping as Major Samantha Carter


Christopher Judge as Teal'c


A long running show with more than one incarnation of the SG-1 team. I chose to show this group because it was the season 1 team.
Joseph Grey's rating:
People who added this item 2643 Average listal rating (2060 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6
William Peterson as Gil Grissom


Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows


Paul Guilfoyle as Captain Jim Brass


Gary Dourdan as Warrick Brown


George Eads as Nick Stokes
Joseph Grey's rating:

This is the first in a series of lists that highlight some of the more memorable character roles in television. This is not a list of favorites, as some of these shows I have not personally watched.

I broke the shows up into different categories. This is my first attempt at making different sections within a list. I'll add couple more in this list before moving on to different kinds of television shows. Overall, there will be around four lists, and around 120 shows in total.

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