My Best TV Actresses Ever!

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1.
Mariska Hargitay
Mariska (Ma-rish-ka) Magdolna Hargitay was born on January 23, 1964, in Santa Monica, California. Her parents are Mickey Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield. She is the youngest of their three children. In June 1967, Mariska and her brothers Zoltan and Mickey Jr. were in the back seat of a car when it was involved in the fatal accident which killed her mother...
 
2.
Kyra Sedgwick
Actress, The Closer
Kyra Minturn Sedgwick was born on August 19, 1965 in New York City, to Patricia (Rosenwald), a family and speech therapist, and Henry Dwight Sedgwick V, a venture capitalist. Her mother was from an upper-class German Jewish family, and her father was from a wealthy Massachusetts clan of English descent...
 
3.
Olivia Wilde
Actress, Rush
Actress and activist Olivia Wilde is a modern-day renaissance woman. Starring in films and popular television shows, Wilde shares the screen with renowned actors while simultaneously giving back to the community. Olivia Wilde was born Olivia Jane Cockburn in New York City, to journalists Leslie Cockburn (née Leslie Corkill Redlich) and Andrew Cockburn...
 
4.
Melina Kanakaredes
Actress, CSI: NY
Melina Eleni Kanakaredes was born in Akron, Ohio, to Connie (Temo), who owned a candy company, and Harry Kanakaredes, an insurance salesman. She is of Greek descent. Her love of musical theater, especially the work of Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera, inspired her as a child. She began performing...
 
5.
Amanda Tapping
Actress, Stargate SG-1
Born In England, raised in Canada. BFA Acting University of Windsor. Amanda spent 12 seasons on Stargate SG-1 and its spin-offs, Stargate: Atlantis and SGU Stargate Universe, as "Samantha Carter". She then took on the lead role of "Dr. Helen Magnus" on the television series Sanctuary, a project she had been nurturing from its inception on the internet...
 
6.
Emily Deschanel
Actress, Bones
Emily Erin Deschanel (born October 11, 1976) is an American actress and producer. She is best known for starring in the Fox crime procedural comedy-drama series Bones as Dr. Temperance Brennan since 2005. Deschanel was born in Los Angeles, California, to cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel and actress Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir)...
 
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10.
Gabrielle Anwar
Actress, Burn Notice
Her father is Tariq Anwar and her mother is Shireen Anwar. Anwar attended Laleham Church of England Primary and Middle School from 1975 to 1982. Trinian's sketch in the school concert of 1982 gave an early indication of her theatrical leanings. She studied at the London drama and dance school...
 
11.
Patricia Arquette
Actress, Medium
With her expressive blue eyes, soft, Southern-tinged voice and an acting range that can carry her from hysterically funny to terrifying in seconds, Patricia Arquette is one of the most underrated and talented actresses of her generation. Though she has been working for years, she's always stayed just under the radar of true stardom, despite a 1995 marriage to Nicolas Cage...
 
12.
Calista Flockhart
Actress, Ally McBeal
Calista Kay Flockhart was born 11 November, 1964 in Freeport, Illinois. Her mother, Kay (Honohan), was a school teacher, and her father, Ronald Flockhart, worked for Kraft Foods Inc. She has Irish, Scottish, German, and English ancestry. Calista was named after two of her great-grandmothers, who both had the middle name "Calista"...
 
13.
Cobie Smulders
Amazingly, newcomer Cobie Smulders never gave much thought to acting. She was born on April 3, 1982, in Vancouver, British Columbia, to a Dutch father and an English mother. As a girl, Cobie had set her sights on becoming a doctor or a marine biologist. In fact, it wasn't until high school that Cobie started to explore acting after appearing in several school productions...
 
14.
Lauren Graham
Actress, Gilmore Girls
Lauren Graham was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Donna Grant and Lawrence Graham, a candy industry lobbyist. Her father was from New York and her mother was from the American South, and Lauren has Irish, English, and Scottish ancestry. She grew up in Northern Virginia, USA (Fairfax, Arlington, and Great Falls...
 
15.
Catherine Bell
Actress, JAG
Catherine was born in London, but moved to California with her Iranian mother at age 2. Her mother still acts as her personal assistant. As a child, she acted in various TV adverts. She went to UCLA to study biology, but dropped out to become a model in Japan. She moved back into acting with a Mexican...
 
16.
Allison Janney
Actress, The West Wing
Allison Janney is an award-winning actress who has earned a solid reputation in stage productions and in many supporting roles on screen, and who more recently has become prominent by portraying one of the major characters in the popular TV series The West Wing. Entertainment Weekly magazine describes Janney's screen presence as "uncommonly beautiful and infinitely expressive"...
 
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18.
Rachel Griffiths
Actress, Blow
Her mother, Anna Griffiths, is an art consultant. Her uncle is a Jesuit priest. Has two older brothers. One brother, Ben, is a ski instructor. Lived on the Gold Coast, Queensland until age five, then moved to Melbourne. Attended Star of the Sea Catholic Girls' College, did well at school and learned ballet...
 
19.
Emily Procter
Actress, CSI: Miami
Emily Procter is a native of Raleigh, N.C. who attended East Carolina University. "I tried to get in the theatre department", she says, "but it was full." After graduation, however, she moved to Los Angeles and landed a number of small roles in films such as Jerry Maguire. "Then I got the chance to audition for The West Wing and I got the part", she says.
 
20.
Marg Helgenberger
Marg Helgenberger is an established dramatic actress whose prominence has been steadily increasing. Her work has been noted on stage, film and TV. Most of her career has been spent in dramatic roles on television, but she has also had a noteworthy presence in feature films. Helgenberger earned a degree in drama at Northwestern University...
 
21.
Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Kathleen Pompeo was born in Everett, Massachusetts, to Kathleen B. (O'Keefe) and Joseph E. Pompeo, a salesman. She is of Italian (from her paternal grandfather), Irish, and some English, ancestry. Pompeo made her major studio screen debut in Brad Silberling's Moonlight Mile, starring alongside Susan Sarandon...
 
22.
Julianna Margulies
Actress, The Good Wife
Julianne Margulies was born on June 8, 1966 in Spring Valley (near New York City), as the youngest of three daughters of Francesca (Goldberg), a teacher and dancer in American Ballet, and Paul Margulies, an advertising writer and philosopher. She is of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage (from Romania, Austria...
 
23.
Sheree J. Wilson
Sheree J. Wilson has gained worldwide recognition starring in two enormously popular long running television series. Appearing in the hit series Dallas for five seasons playing opposite Patrick Duffy, and then for the entire eight year run of Walker, Texas Ranger opposite Chuck Norris. Currently, Ms...
 
24.
Traylor Howard
Actress, Monk
Traylor Howard was born and raised in Orlando. She attended Lake Highland Preparatory School, and while there, appeared in a Juicy Fruit gum commercial. Howard graduated from Lake Highland Preparatory School in 1984. Howard then went on to graduate from Florida State University with a degree in communications and advertising and a minor in English.
 
25.
Tiffani Thiessen
Tiffani-Amber Thiessen was born on January 23, 1974, in Long Beach, California, USA, to Frank Thiessen, a park designer, and Robyn Ernest, a homemaker. She grew up in Long Beach with her parents and her brothers, professional cyclist Todd (born August 1, 1968) and Schuyler (born May 10, 1977). When Tiffani was 8...
 
26.
Alexis Bledel
Actress, Gilmore Girls
Kimberly Alexis Bledel was born in Houston, Texas, to Nanette (Dozier) and Martin Bledel. Her parents are both Spanish-speakers (her mother was born in Arizona and raised in Mexico, and her father was born in Argentina), and Alexis's ancestry includes Danish, German, English, Scottish, Irish, and French...
 
27.
Robin Tunney
Actress, The Mentalist
Robin Tunney studied acting at the Chicago Academy for the Arts, spending her summer performing in such plays as "Bus Stop" and "Agnes of God". She moved to Los Angeles at the age of eighteen and shortly landed roles in such television shows as Life Goes On, Class of '96 (recurring), Law & Order...
 
28.
Vanessa Marcil
Vanessa Marcil was born on October 15, 1968, in Indio, California, to Peter Ortiz, a contractor, and Patricia Marcil Ortiz, an herbalist. She grew up in Palm Desert with her parents and her two older sisters Tina (born October 20, 1959) and Sherry (born September 7, 1962) and her older brother Sam (born November 16...
 
29.
Navi Rawat
Actress, Numb3rs
 
30.
Kelli Williams
Actress, The Practice
Kelli Williams was born in California on June 8, 1970. Though she had appeared in commercials since she was a baby, she was discovered by her agent at her high school play ("Romeo and Juliet"), in which she starred as Juliet opposite General Hospital's Steve Burton. In the early 1990s, she appeared with Tony Danza and George C. Scott in the stage production "Wrong Turn at Lungfish"...
 
31.
Candice Bergen
Actress, Murphy Brown
One cool, eternally classy lady, Candice Bergen was elegantly poised for trendy "ice princess" stardom when she first arrived on the 60s screen, but she gradually reshaped that débutante image in the 70s both on- and off-camera. A staunch, outspoken feminist with a decisive edge, she went on to take a sizable portion of these contradicting qualities to film and...
 
32.
Diane Farr
Actress, Numb3rs
 
33.
Anne Dudek
Actress, White Chicks
Anne was raised in Newton, Massachusetts. She got the role of Iphigenia in "The Iphigenia Cycle" in Chicago while still in theater school at Northwestern University. She was a resident artist at The Court Theatre in Chicago. The production moved off-Broadway to New York City, where she won the Joseph E...
 
34.
Jeri Ryan
Jeri Ryan was born Jeri Lynn Zimmerman on February 22, 1968 in Munich, West Germany, to Gerhard Florian Zimmerman, a Master Sergeant in the United States Army, and his wife Sharon, a social worker. She and her older brother Mark grew up on several military bases, including Kansas, Maryland, Hawaii, Georgia and Texas...
 
35.
Debra Messing
Messing was born in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, the daughter of Jewish American parents, Sandra (née Simons), who has worked as a professional singer, banker, travel and real estate agent, and Brian Messing, a sales executive for a jewelry manufacturer. When Messing was three, she moved with her parents and her older brother...
 
36.
Lisa Kudrow
Hardly the dumb blonde of Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Lisa was born in Encino, California on July 30, 1963. Her mother, Nedra S. (Stern), was a travel agent, and her father, Lee N. Kudrow, was a physician. Her parents are both from Jewish immigrant families (from Belarus, Russia, and Hungary). Lisa was raised in Tarzana and played varsity-level tennis in high school and college...
 
37.
Jennifer Aniston
Actress, Friends
Jennifer Aniston was born in Sherman Oaks, California, to actors John Aniston and Nancy Dow. Her father is Greek, and her mother was of English, Irish, Scottish, and Italian descent. Jennifer spent a year of her childhood living in Greece with her family. Her family then relocated to New York City where her parents divorced when she was nine...
 
38.
Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Garner, who catapulted into stardom with her lead role on the television series Alias, has come a long way from her birthplace of Houston, Texas. Raised in Charleston, West Virginia by her mother, Patricia Ann (née English), a retired teacher of English, and her father, William John Garner...
 
39.
Marcia Cross
Marcia Anne Cross was born on March 25, 1962 in Marlborough, Massachusetts. As a child, Marcia always wanted to be an actress, so she set out to have a career in acting. Cross graduated from the Julliard School in New York, a naturally gifted girl. Her career began in 1984, when she joined the cast of the daytime soap opera The Edge of Night...
 
40.
Teri Hatcher
Teri Lynn Hatcher was born in Palo Alto, California, the only child of Esther (Beshur), a computer programmer, and Owen Walker Hatcher, Jr., a nuclear physicist and electrical engineer. She has Syrian (from her immigrant maternal grandfather), Irish, English, and Czech ancestry. Teri grew up in Sunnyvale...
 
41.
Felicity Huffman
Felicity toiled away for 20 years in ill fated television shows, Broadway plays and independent films in the shadow of her successful husband, actor William H Macy, then she got the part of Lynette Scalo in the television series Desperate Housewives and the film Transamerica resulting in a Golden Globe nomination for both.
 
42.
Tina Fey
Elizabeth Stamatina Fey was born in 1970 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia, to Xenobia "Jeanne" (Xenakes), a brokerage employee, and Donald Henry Fey, who wrote grant proposals for universities. Her mother is Greek, born in Piraeus, while her father had German, Northern Irish, and English ancestry...
 
43.
Lorraine Bracco
Actress, Goodfellas
Lorraine was voted the "ugliest girl in the 6th grade" at her Long Island grade school. She moved to France in 1974 where she became a fashion superstar for Jean-Paul Gaultier. Her sister is Elizabeth Bracco. Has two daughters, Stella Keitel by ex-boyfriend Harvey Keitel and Margaux Guerard by ex-husband Daniel Guerard.
 
44.
Camryn Manheim
Actress, The Practice
Camryn grew up in Peoria, Illinois. Her mother, Sylvia, was a schoolteacher and her father, Jerry, was a math professor. She developed an interest in acting after working at a Renaissance Fair at age 16. She earned a Master's Degree in Fine Arts from New York University in 1987. She studied acting at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School in Chelsea...
 
45.
Gillian Anderson
Actress, The X-Files
Gillian Anderson was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Rosemary Alyce (Lane), a computer analyst, and Homer Edward Anderson III, who owned a film post-production company. She has English, German, and Irish ancestry. Gillian started her career as a member of an amateur actor group while at high school. In 1987...
 
47.
Mary McDonnell
Actress, Donnie Darko
Mary McDonnell is a two-time Oscar®-nominated actress, who is known for her character portrayals in both period and present-day screen roles. Mary Eileen McDonnell was born on April 28, 1952 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to Eileen (Mundy) and John McDonnell, a computer consultant, both of Irish descent...
 
48.
Marlee Matlin
Marlee Beth Matlin was in Morton Grove, Illinois, to Libby (Hammer) and Donald Matlin, an automobile dealer. She has two older brothers. Her family is of Russian Jewish and Polish Jewish descent. Marlee lost much of her hearing at the age of eighteen months. That did not stop her from acting in a children's...
 
50.
Cote de Pablo
Actress, NCIS
Cote de Pablo was born in Santiago, Chile, but was raised in Miami, Florida. She attended Arvida Middle School in Miami and then Carnegie Mellon University. She graduated in 2000 after studying music theater. Whilst at Carnegie Mellon she appeared in several theater productions, including "Indiscretions"...
 
51.
Alex Kingston
Actress, ER
 
52.
Sharon Lawrence
Actress, NYPD Blue
You may know her from multiple nominated and SAG Award winning portrayal of ADA Sylvia Costas Sipowitz in NYPD Blue, as a stay-at-home prostitute in Desperate Housewives and a murderous realtor on Monk, as a serial killer on Law and Order:SVU, coming to terms with her long lost daughter on Rizzoli & Isles...
 
53.
Sherry Stringfield
Actress, ER
Sherry Stringfield was born in Colorado Springs as the oldest of three children, but mainly raised in Spring, Texas. In high school, she did both athletics and acting. Later, she attended the Acting Conservatory of the State New York at Purchase, from which she graduated in 1989 with a B.F.A. While attending the State University of New York at Purchase...
 
54.
Alyson Hannigan
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 veteran...
 
55.
Sarah Chalke
Actress, Scrubs
Sarah Chalke was born on 27 August 1976 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Her parents are Angie Chalke and Doug Chalke. She is the middle child, having one older sister, Natasha Chalke, and one younger, Piper Chalke. Sarah made her acting debut in a made-for-TV movie, City Boy. In 1993, after her first film...
 
56.
Cynthia Nixon
Cynthia Nixon was born in New York City on April 9, 1966, to Anne Elizabeth Knoll, an actress, and Walter E. Nixon, Jr., a radio journalist. She has German and English ancestry. Nixon made a memorable film debut in Little Darlings. Her Broadway credits include "The Last Night of Ballyhoo," "Indiscretions,"...
 
57.
Doris Roberts
Doris Roberts was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Ann (Meltzer) and Larry Green. She was raised in New York, and took her stepfather's surname. Roberts was a 20-year veteran of the Broadway stage before she began appearing steadily in character roles in film and on television during the 1970s. A versatile player with an inescapably "mom-like" presence...
 
58.
Melinda Clarke
Actress, The O.C.
Born in Dana Point, California, Mindy Clarke was raised by her ballet dancer mother Patricia and actor father John. At the age of 18 she moved to L.A. and launched her career in acting and modeling.
 
59.
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 acting at the prestigious Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film...
 
60.
Mary-Louise Parker
Actress, Weeds
Southern-bred Mary-Louise Parker, from Fort Jackson, South Carolina, was born on August 2, 1964, the youngest of four born to Judge John Morgan Parker and the former Caroline Louise Morell. She comes from Swedish, English, Scottish, Scotch-Irish, German, and Dutch ancestry. Her father's occupation took the family both around the country and abroad while growing up...
 
61.
Patricia Heaton
While studying acting in New York with drama teacher William Esper, Heaton made her Broadway debut in the gospel musical "Don't Get God Started". She and her fellow students then formed Stage Three, an acting company that produced plays Off-Broadway. They took one production, "The Johnstown Vindicator"...