Best Performances in TV Series or Mini-Series (In No Particular Order)

by cjcsPT | created - 26 Dec 2010 | updated - 24 Apr 2012 | Public

1. Christopher Meloni

Actor | Man of Steel

Blessed with a piercing, blue-eyed glint, brawny looks, cocky "tough guy" stance and effortless charisma, TV's Christopher Meloni has grabbed audiences' attention, male and female alike, finding breakthrough small screen stardom playing both sides of the law. Audiences first were taken in by his ...

Oz

2. Meryl Streep

Actress | Out of Africa

Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 20 times, and has won it three times. Meryl was born Mary Louise Streep in 1949 in Summit, New Jersey, to Mary Wolf (Wilkinson), a commercial artist, and Harry William ...

In America

3. Lee Tergesen

Actor | Point Break

He was born on July 8, 1965 in Ivoryton, Connecticut and is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. His brother, Chris Tergesen, is a music supervisor and music editor. Lee has been married three times and has been married to Yuko Otomo, an art therapist, since 2011. They have a ...

Oz

4. Al Pacino

Actor | Serpico

One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of film's greatest decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies.

Alfredo James Pacino was born on April 25, 1940, in the Bronx, New York, to an ...

In America

5. Glenn Close

Actress | Fatal Attraction

Six time Academy Award-nominated actress Glenn Close was born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. She is the daughter of Bettine (Moore) and William Taliaferro Close (William Close), a prominent doctor. Both of her parents were from upper-class northeastern families.

Glenn was often seen on ...

Damages

6. Jeffrey Wright

Actor | Broken Flowers

Quite possibly the most underrated and underexposed actor of his caliber and generation, Jeffrey Wright's undeniable talent and ability to successfully bring to life any role he undertakes is on a par with the most praised and revered A-list actors in the business. Born and raised in Washington DC,...

In America

7. Dominic West

Actor | The Wire

Dominic West was born on October 15, 1969 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England as Dominic Gerard Fe West. He is an actor and producer, known for The Wire (2002), Chicago (2002) and Punisher: War Zone (2008). He has been married to Catherine Fitzgerald since June 26, 2010. They have four children.

The Wire

8. Michael C. Hall

Actor | Dexter

Michael C. Hall was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, to Janice (Styons), a guidance counselor, and William Carlyle Hall, who worked for IBM. Michael is a graduate of NYU's Master of Fine Arts program in acting. He is known for the titular character "Dexter" in Dexter (2006) and as mortician "David ...

Six Feet Under

9. Laura Linney

Actress | The Big C

Laura Leggett Linney was born in New York City on February 5, 1964, into a theatre family. Her father was prominent playwright Romulus Linney, whose own great-grandfather was a congressman from North Carolina. Her mother, Miriam Anderson (Leggett), is a nurse. Although she did not live in her ...

John Adams

10. J.K. Simmons

Actor | Whiplash

J.K. Simmons is an American actor.

He was born Jonathan Kimble Simmons in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, to Patricia (Kimble), an administrator, and Donald William Simmons, a music teacher. He attended the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; University of Montana, Missoula, MT (BA in Music).

He had ...

Oz

11. Patrick Wilson

Actor | The Phantom of the Opera

Patrick Joseph Wilson was born in Norfolk, Virginia and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, the son of Mary Kathryn (Burton), a voice teacher and professional singer, and John Franklin Wilson, a news anchor.

Wilson has a B.F.A. in Drama from Carnegie-Mellon University. His theater work has produced ...

In America

12. Damian Lewis

Actor | Band of Brothers

Damian Lewis was born on February 11, 1971, in St. John's Wood, London, England, to Charlotte Mary (Bowater), from an upper-class background, and J. Watcyn Lewis, a city broker whose own parents were Welsh. He was raised on Abbey Road in London until the age of 8 with his siblings Gareth, William, ...

Band Of Brothers

13. Michael Chiklis

Actor | The Shield

Educated at Boston University's School for the Arts, majoring in acting, before moving to New York City. Michael has numerous theater credits including the roles of Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire and Touchstone in Shakespeare's As You Like It.

The Shield

14. Lauren Ambrose

Actress | Six Feet Under

Lauren Ambrose was born on February 20, 1978 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA as Lauren Anne D'Ambruoso. She is an actress and producer, known for Six Feet Under (2001), Psycho Beach Party (2000) and Where the Wild Things Are (2009). She has been married to Sam Handel since September 2001. They have ...

Six Feet Under

15. Anna Paquin

Actress | The Piano

Anna Paquin is the first millennial to have received an Academy Award nomination for acting, and the first to win.

She was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 1982, to Mary (Brophy), an English teacher from Wellington, New Zealand, and Brian Paquin, a Canadian phys-ed teacher. Anna moved to her ...

True Blood

16. Hugh Laurie

Actor | House M.D.

Hugh was born in Oxford, England on June 11, 1959, to Patricia (Laidlaw) and William George Ranald Mundell "Ran" Laurie, a doctor, both of Scottish descent. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge. Son of an Olympic gold medalist in the sport, he rowed for the England youth team (1977) and for ...

House M.D.

17. Paul Giamatti

Actor | Sideways

Paul Giamatti is an American actor who has worked steadily and prominently for over twenty years, and is best known for leading roles in the films American Splendor (2003), Sideways (2004), and Barney's Version (2010) (for which he won a Golden Globe), and supporting roles in the films Cinderella ...

John Adams

18. Paul Newman

Actor | The Hustler

Screen legend, superstar, and the man with the most famous blue eyes in movie history, Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio, the second son of Theresa (Fetsko) and Arthur Sigmund Newman. Paul's father was Jewish, the son of emigrants from Poland and Hungary; he owned...

Empire Falls

19. Michael C. Hall

Actor | Dexter

Michael C. Hall was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, to Janice (Styons), a guidance counselor, and William Carlyle Hall, who worked for IBM. Michael is a graduate of NYU's Master of Fine Arts program in acting. He is known for the titular character "Dexter" in Dexter (2006) and as mortician "David ...

Dexter

20. Frances Conroy

Actress | Six Feet Under

Veteran stage actress Frances Conroy was introduced and encouraged by her parents to explore the elements of theater. Born in 1953 in Monroe, Georgia, she attended high school in Long Island and experienced classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse as a teenager. The pale, blue-eyed redhead also ...

Six Feet Under

21. James Gandolfini

Actor | The Sopranos

James Gandolfini was born in Westwood, New Jersey, to Santa (Penna), a high school lunchlady, and James Joseph Gandolfini, Sr., a bricklayer and head school janitor. His parents were both of Italian origin. Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater. His Broadway debut was in the 1992 revival ...

The Sopranos

22. Jensen Ackles

Actor | Supernatural

Jensen Ross Ackles, better known as simply Jensen Ackles, was born on March 1, 1978, in Dallas, Texas, to Donna Joan (Shaffer) and actor Alan Ackles. He has English, German, and Scottish ancestry. Jensen grew up in Richardson, Texas, together with his older brother, Joshua, and a younger sister, ...

Supernatural

23. Ed Harris

Actor | The Truman Show

By transforming into his characters and pulling the audience in, Ed Harris has earned a reputation as one of the most talented actors of our time.

Ed Harris was born in Tenafly, New Jersey, to Margaret (Sholl), a travel agent, and Robert Lee Harris, a bookstore worker who also sang professionally. ...

Empire Falls

24. Lee Tergesen

Actor | Point Break

He was born on July 8, 1965 in Ivoryton, Connecticut and is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. His brother, Chris Tergesen, is a music supervisor and music editor. Lee has been married three times and has been married to Yuko Otomo, an art therapist, since 2011. They have a ...

Generation Kill

25. Peter Krause

Actor | Six Feet Under

Peter William Krause was born on August 12, 1965 in Alexandria, Minnesota. Both his parents were teachers, and he has a sister and brother. He was raised in Roseville, Minnesota. He graduated in 1987 from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, with a degree in English literature. In ...

Six Feet Under

26. Stephen Moyer

Actor | True Blood

Stephen Moyer's passion for acting began in local theatre in Brentwood & Chelmsford, Essex where he also made a name for himself with his own theatre company "The Reject Society". He then trained at LAMDA and began his professional acting career on stage, including 2 years with the RSC ("Romeo & ...

True Blood

27. Andy Whitfield

Actor | Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Andy Whitfield was born on October 17, 1971 in Amlwch, Anglesey, Wales. He was an actor, known for Spartacus: War of the Damned (2010), Gabriel (2007) and The Clinic (2010). He was married to Vashti Whitfield. He died on September 11, 2011 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Spartacus: Blood And Sand

28. Rose Byrne

Actress | Spy

Rose Byrne was born in Balmain, Sydney, Australia. She is the daughter of Jane, a primary school administrator, and Robin Byrne, a semi-retired statistician and market researcher.

She landed her first role in a movie, Dallas Doll (1994), when she was 15 years old.

Since then, Rose has appeared in a ...

Damages

29. Nelsan Ellis

Actor | The Butler

Nelsan Ellis was an award-winning American film and television actor and playwright, perhaps best known as Lafayette Reynolds on HBO's True Blood (2008).

Ellis was born on November 30, 1977, in Harvey, Illinois. Following his parents' divorce, Ellis and his mother moved to Alabama. He moved back to ...

True Blood

30. Lisa Kudrow

Actress | Friends

Hardly the dumb blonde of Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997), Lisa was born in Encino, California on July 30, 1963. Her mother, Nedra S. (Stern), worked as a travel agent, and her father, Lee N. Kudrow, is a physician. Her parents are both from Jewish families (from Belarus, Russia, and ...

Friends

31. Edie Falco

Actress | The Sopranos

Edith Falco, called Edie, was born on July 5, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York, to Judith Anderson, an actress, and Frank Falco, a jazz drummer. She is of Italian (father) and Swedish, English, and Cornish (mother) descent. Edie grew up on Long Island and attended SUNY Purchase, where she was trained in ...

The Sopranos

32. Jon Hamm

Actor | Mad Men

Jon Hamm was born on March 10, 1971 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Jonathan Daniel Hamm. He is an actor and producer, known for Mad Men (2007), The Town (2010) and Million Dollar Arm (2014).

Mad Men

33. Thomas Gibson

Actor | Dharma & Greg

Thomas Gibson began his acting career at the age of ten when he took part in children's theater. Gibson performed and studied with the Footlight Players at the Dock Street Theater and starred in his first play in 1973. Six years later, Gibson attended the College of Charleston and interned at the ...

Criminal Minds

34. Thomas Jane

Actor | The Mist

Thomas Jane was born on February 22, 1969 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA as Thomas Elliott. He is an actor and producer, known for The Mist (2007), Deep Blue Sea (1999) and The Thin Red Line (1998). He was previously married to Patricia Arquette and Ayesha Hauer.

Hung

35. Colin Ferguson

Actor | Eureka

Colin Ferguson was born on July 22, 1972 in Montreal, Québec, Canada. He is an actor and producer, known for Eureka (2006), Because I Said So (2007) and Haven (2010).

Eureka

36. Paget Brewster

Actress | Another Period

Paget Brewster was born on March 10, 1969 in Concord, Massachusetts, USA as Paget Valerie Brewster. She is an actress, known for Another Period (2013), Criminal Minds (2005) and Community (2009). She has been married to Steve Damstra II since November 28, 2014.

Criminal Minds

37. Joseph Mazzello

Actor | Jurassic Park

Born in Rhinebeck, New York, he got into acting when he was 5 years old, after his sister had appeared in 30-odd commercials. Since then he has acted opposite some of the best actors in Hollywood as a bright, expressive actor with complexity, sensitivity, and emotion. He attended film school at USC...

The Pacific

38. Evangeline Lilly

Actress | The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Evangeline Lilly, born in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta in 1979, was discovered on the streets of Kelowna, British Columbia by the famous Ford modeling agency. Although she initially decided to pass on a modeling career, she went ahead and signed with Ford anyway, to help pay for her University of ...

Lost

39. Sean Bean

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Sean Bean's career since the eighties spans theater, radio, television and movies. Bean was born in Handsworth, Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, to Rita (Tuckwood) and Brian Bean. He worked for his father's welding firm before he decided to become an actor. He attended RADA in London and ...

Game Of Thrones

40. Alyson Hannigan

Actress | Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Alyson Hannigan was born in Washington, D.C., to Emilie (Posner), a real estate agent, and Al Hannigan, a truck driver. She began her acting career in Atlanta at the young age of 4 in commercials sponsoring such companies as McDonald's, Six Flags, and Oreos. She is a seasoned television actress ...

How I Met Your Mother