Norman Reedus speaks onstage at AMC and AMC+ Present The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon at Jacob Javits Center on October 12, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Mendez/Getty Images for AMC)

Television has been around a long time, and there have been a ton of great actors that have graced the small screen. But some have left a legacy that goes beyond just being in a tv show. These are the ones that took their roles to places never even imagined by the writers of the series. The people in these roles became the character, and took the show to new heights. These are the best of the best. And in this elite top 10, there’s a Florida native. Someone born just 100 miles outside of our very own Southwest Florida.

Ranker collected the data on this one. With a simple poll titled “The Greatest TV Characters Of All Time.” Nearly 89,000 voters cast 1.6 million votes to determine which tv character was the best to ever be on tv. And this was open to every tv character. Tom and Jerry, who are cartoons, finished just out of the top 10 at number 11. Yoda was a puppet and came in at number 12. Scooby Doo and Bugs Bunny also made the top 20.

Not all of the characters on the list are recent, either. Mr. Rodgers is number 21. Morticia Addams (the original) at number 30. Lucy Ricardo made the list, even Fonzie, and Mr. Spock. Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Isle is at number 100. Those characters are probably older than most of the people who voted. That’s what I call a legacy.

One Florida Native made the top 10.

So let’s break down the favorites. With 1.6 million votes cast, these are the top 10. It’s crazy how many characters from Breaking Bad are in here. That just reinforces that it was one of the greatest tv series of all time. Let’s start it off at number one. The greatest tv character of all time.


  • 1. Walter White

    Bryan Cranston as Walter White may be one of the single most brilliant casting moves ever made. Can you imagine anyone else in that role? When he became Heisenberg, Bryan dominated as that character, and he made everyone around him better, too. Walter White takes the top spot.

  • 2. Saul Goodman

    Another Breaking Bad entry, and his spin off “Better Call Saul.” It’s nuts to think that Bob Odenkirk is actually a comedian, playing this role. But he was absolutely amazing.

  • 3. Michael Scott

    Steve Carell as Michael Scott is some of the best tv ever made. The Office is still one of the most streamed tv shows. We just watch it over and over again. It’s a brand of comedy that you can’t do anymore. And it worked. Here’s 10 minutes of the best of Michael Scott. It should be longer (that’s what she said). 


  • 4. Mike Ehrmantraut

    Jonathan Banks makes this character amazing. Again, hats off to casting on Breaking Bad. Ya’ll the true heroes of that show. Just tremendous.


  • 5. Tyrion Lannister

    He drinks, and he knows things. Peter Dinklage in Game Of Thrones is just genius. Hands down, the most memorable character in the show. His character starts off as a family joke and then he develops into one of the most important people in that world. 


  • 6. Jesse Pinkman

    The role of Jesse was meant to be just a small part of Breaking Bad. But Aaron Paul was so good that they developed the show around him. Working with Bryan Cranston helped, of course, and now we’ll never forget this character.

  • 7. Tony Soprano

    A truly masterful role done by James Gandolfini. Tony Soprano is incredibly complex and conflicted and it took an amazing actor to portray that. 

  • 8. Dwight Schrute

    Another one of those. “Can you imagine anyone but Rainn Wilson playing Dwight Schrute?” Dwight was absolutely bizarre. But sweet. You wouldn’t normally think that possible, but it worked.

  • 9. Chandler Bing

    Maybe Chandler got a bump recently, but Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing in Friends was easily the most memorable. He had the best lines, and the best reactions to the situations they found themselves in.

  • 10. Daryl Dixon

    There’s our Florida native. Norman Reedus was born January 6, 1969 in  Hollywood, Florida. Although his wasn’t the main character in Walking Dead, he was easily the most memorable. The original plan may have even been to have him killed off in season one. Then he got his own show. Happy Birthday Norman Reedus! 



Sign me up for the ESPN Southwest Florida email newsletter!

You love listening to ESPN Southwest Florida, now make sure you’re getting all the extra perks. Sign up today to be an ESPN Southwest Florida Insider!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.