My Favorite TV Performer

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2.
Jim Parsons
Having grown up in Houston, and its northern suburb of Spring, he made his first stage appearance in a school play at the age of 6. Parsons then went on to study theater at the University of Houston. From there he won a place on a two-year Masters course in classical theater at the University of San Diego/The Old Globe Theater, graduating in 2001...
 
3.
Megan Mullally
Actress, Will & Grace
Megan is an only child born in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Martha, was a model, and her father, Carter Mullally Jr., was a contract player for Paramount. Megan first entered Northwestern University intending to study acting, but switched to English literature. However, she still ended up starring in several campus musicals...
 
4.
Jared Padalecki
Jared Padalecki was born in San Antonio, Texas, to Sherri (Kammer), a teacher of English, and Gerald Padalecki, a tax accountant. He is of Polish (father) and German, English, Scottish, and French (mother) descent. Jared started to take acting lessons when he was 12. Then, he won the "Claim to Fame" Contest in 1999 and got to appear on the Teen Choice awards...
 
5.
John Noble
Artistic Director of Stage Company of South Australia 1977 - 87. Head of Drama, Brent St. School of Arts (Sydney) 1997-00. Directed over 80 plays, including 'Sons of Cain' on London's West End (1986). Freelance actor. Semi-regular in TV series 'All Saints'. Voice and acting teacher.
 
6.
Roseanne Barr
Producer, Roseanne
Roseanne Barr's story is one of the most controversial of any actresses. She dropped out of high school when she was 17 years old. After a car accident, she was admitted to a mental institution, claiming she was having nightmares and memory loss. She left the institute less than a year later. Soon after...
 
7.
John Goodman
John Stephen Goodman is a U.S. film, television, and stage actor. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Virginia Roos (Loosmore), a waitress and saleswoman, and Leslie Francis Goodman, a postal worker who died when John was a small child. He is of English, Welsh, and German ancestry. John is best known for his role as Dan Conner on the television series Roseanne...
 
8.
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...
 
9.
Jensen Ackles
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...
 
10.
David Duchovny
David William Duchovny was born on August 7, 1960, in New York City, New York, USA. His father, Amram Ducovny, was a writer and publicist who was from a family of Jewish immigrants (from Ukraine and Poland), and worked for the American Jewish Committee. His mother, Margaret (Miller), was a Scottish-born school teacher...
 
11.
Kat Dennings
Actress, 2 Broke Girls
Kat Dennings was born Katherine Victoria Litwack in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, to Ellen (Schatz), a speech therapist and poet, and Gerald Litwack, a molecular pharmacologist. She is the youngest of five children. Her family is of Russian Jewish descent. Kat was predominantly home-schooled...
 
12.
Anna Torv
Actress, Fringe
Anna Torv (born 7 June 1979) is an Australian actress known for her role as FBI agent Olivia Dunham on the Fox television series Fringe (2008-2013). Torv was born in Melbourne, Victoria, the daughter of Susan (née Carmichael) and Hans Torv, also grew up in Gold Coast, Queensland. Her father is of Estonian descent, but was born in Stirling, Scotland.[4] Her mother is of Scottish descent.
 
13.
Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen was born Carlos Irwin Estévez on September 3, 1965, in New York City. His father, actor Martin Sheen (born Ramon Antonio Gerard Estevez), was at the time just breaking into the business, with performances on Broadway. His mother, Janet Sheen (née Templeton), was a former New York art student who had met Charlie's father right after he had moved to Manhattan...
 
14.
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...
 
15.
Cory Monteith
Actor, Glee
Cory Monteith was born on May 11, 1982 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada as Cory Allan Michael Monteith. He was an actor, known for playing the singing jock Finn on the American TV show Glee and films such as Monte Carlo, and Final Destination 3. He died on July 13, 2013 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
 
16.
Lea Michele
Actress, Glee
Lea Michele Sarfati was born in the Bronx, New York to parents Edith Thomasina (Porcelli), a nurse, and Mark David Sarfati, a delicatessen owner-turned-real estate agent. Her mother is of Italian descent (from Rome and Naples), and her father is of Sephardi Jewish ancestry (from Turkey and Greece). Lea was raised Catholic...
 
17.
Blair Brown
Actress, Fringe
 
18.
Jane Lynch
Actress, Glee
 
20.
Dianna Agron
Actress, Glee
Dianna Elise Agron was born in Savannah, Georgia, to parents Ronald and Mary Agron. She grew up in a middle class family, in Savannah, before moving to Texas, and later, San Francisco, California, due to her father's career as a general manager for Hyatt. Dianna and her brother, Jason, were raised Jewish, and she graduated from Burlingame High School with honors...
 
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Amber Riley
Actress, Glee
 
23.
Naya Rivera
Actress, Glee
 
24.
Laurie Metcalf
Actress, Roseanne
Laurie Metcalf was born June 16, 1955 in Carbondale, Illinois, the oldest of three children of Libby (Mars), a librarian, and James Metcalf, a budget director. She was raised in Edwardsville, Illinois. Laurie attended Illinois State University, where she obtained her bachelor of arts in theater in 1977...
 
25.
Bill Cosby
Music Department, Bill Cosby: Himself
Bill Cosby is one of the world's most well-known entertainers and comedians. William Henry Cosby, Jr. was born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Anna Pearl (Hite), a maid, and William Henry Cosby, Sr., a U.S. Navy sailor. After tenth grade, Cosby joined the Navy and completed high school through a correspondence course...
 
26.
Jorge Garcia
Actor, Lost
Jorge Garcia (born April 28, 1973) is an American actor and comedian. He first came to public attention with his performance as Hector Lopez on the television show Becker, but probably more known later for his portrayal of Hugo "Hurley" Reyes in the television series Lost from 2004 to 2010. Garcia also performs as a stand-up comedian...
 
27.
Jim Beaver
Actor, Deadwood
Jim Beaver is an American character actor, best known for his leading roles on the TV series Deadwood and Supernatural. Born in Laramie, Wyoming a minister's son, he was raised in and around Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. Following high school and a year of college, he joined the Marines and served as a radioman with the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam...
 
28.
Estelle Parsons
The charming, witty, and immeasurably gifted Estelle Parsons was born November 20, 1927 in Lynn, Massachusetts, to Elinor and Eben Parsons. She attended the Oak Grove School for Girls in Maine, and later graduated from Connecticut College in 1949. She worked as a singer with a band before she became the first Women's Editor on Today...
 
29.
Johnny Galecki
John Mark Galecki was born in Bree, Belgium, to American parents; his father was stationed there while serving in the U.S. Air Force. When he was three years old, his family moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he grew up with his parents, Mary Lou and Richard Galecki, and siblings, sister Allison (1980) and brother Nick (1982)...
 
30.
Phylicia Rashad
Phylicia Rashad was born in Houston, Texas, to African-American parents, Vivian Elizabeth (Ayers), a poet and art director, and Andrew Arthur Allen, an orthodontist. As a child, Phylicia, her older brother Andrew (called Tex), and younger sister, dancer and actress Debbie Allen, lived in Mexico. She has another brother...
 
31.
Sara Gilbert
Producer, The Talk
Sara Gilbert was born on January 29, 1975, as Sara Rebecca Abeles at St. John's Hospital and Health Center in Santa Monica, California, to Harold and Barbara Abeles. Barbara was previously married to the late Paul Gilbert. At the age of six, when Sara saw her sister Melissa Gilbert get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame...
 
33.
Holland Taylor
Holland Taylor was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the third-born (and last) daughter of her mother, Virginia (Davis), a painter, and the only child of her father, C. Tracy Taylor, an attorney. She spent her teen years in nearby Allentown, PA, where Holland got the nickname, "Penny Taylor" because of her coppery hair color...
 
34.
Conchata Ferrell
It took 30 years since it was first predicted, but Conchata Ferrell finally achieved television stardom, albeit of the supporting variety, as the housekeeper "Berta" in the situation-comedy Two and a Half Men. Ferrell originally had been tipped for stardom with her turn as the prostitute "April" in the Norman Lear-produced series Hot L Baltimore...
 
35.
Sean Hayes
Sean Patrick Hayes was born and raised in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn, Illinois. His father, Ronald, a lithographer, left the family when Sean was a young child, leaving his mother to raise Sean and his four siblings as a single mother. His mother, Mary, works at a food bank. Sean supported himself as a classical pianist and as a member of a pop band for five years...
 
36.
Eric McCormack
Eric was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. He attended Stephen Leacock Collegiate Institute (the same school Mike Meyers attended) and also attended Sir John A. MacDonald Collegiate, named after Canada's first Prime Minister. With the support of his parents (his father was also an aspiring actor)...
 
37.
Shelley Morrison
Despite remaining on the periphery of character stardom all these years, New York-born character actress Shelley Morrison has had a long and varied career since the early 60s. She started out on TV in such popular shows as The Farmer's Daughter and Laredo, making a career out of an assortment of ethnic roles...
 
38.
Angela Lansbury
British character actress, long in the United States. The daughter of an actress and the granddaughter of a high-ranking politician, Lansbury studied acting from her youth, departing for the United States as the Second World War began. She was contracted by MGM while still a teenager and nominated for an Academy Award for her first film...
 
39.
Estelle Getty
She was truly one mother of a mom...on stage, on film and on TV. A favorite firecracker on 80s and 90s television, tiny character player Estelle Getty became best known for her carping, meddlesome moms -- complete with bemused, cynical looks, irreverent digs and dead-pan Henny Youngman-like one-liners...
 
40.
Bea Arthur
Actress-comedienne Bea Arthur was born on May 13, 1922 in New York City to a Jewish family. She grew up in Maryland, where her parents ran a dress shop. At 12 years old, she was the tallest girl in her school at 5'9". She earned the title "wittiest" girl in her school, and Bea's dream was to be in show business...
 
41.
Rue McClanahan
A New York stage actress in the 1950s, McClanahan was plucked from the stage by Norman Lear for roles on All in the Family and later Maude. For two years (1982 - 1984), she played "Aunt Fran" on Mama's Family until her character was killed off and she joined the cast of Golden Girls. She hit her comedic stride as a sharp tongued oversexed Southern belle on The Golden Girls.
 
42.
Melissa McCarthy
Actress, Gilmore Girls
Melissa McCarthy was born in Plainfield, Illinois, to Sandra and Michael McCarthy, a farmer. McCarthy began her performing career as a stand-up comedian in New York where she appeared at the famous clubs, Stand Up New York and The Improv. She worked on her acting skills at The Actors Studio and appeared in many stage productions in the city before moving to Los Angeles in the late-1990s...
 
43.
Beth Behrs
Actress, 2 Broke Girls
Beth Behrs was born on December 26, 1985 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA as Elizabeth Ann Behrs. Beth spent her early years on the East Coast, first in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, then in Lynchburg, Virginia, before moving with her family at the age of 15 to Marin County, just outside San Francisco. She studied drama both at high school and at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco...
 
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Evangeline Lilly
Actress, Lost
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 British Columbia tuition and expenses.
 
46.
Matthew Fox
Actor, Lost
Matthew Chandler Fox was born in Abington, Pennsylvania. His mother, Loretta B. (Eagono), was a schoolteacher, and his father, Francis G. Fox, was a consultant for an oil company, who raised longhorn cattle and horses and grew barley for Coors beer. He has Italian (from his maternal grandfather), English...
 
47.
Joshua Jackson
Actor, The Affair
Joshua Carter Jackson was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. His Irish mother, Fiona Jackson, is a casting director originally from Dublin. His American father, John Carter Jackson, is from Texas. Josh spent the first eight years of his life in California before returning to Canada. At the age of 11...