Great TV Sitcom (& Britcom) Actors

All-Time Personal Favorites From American And British Television
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1.
Lucille Ball
Actress, I Love Lucy
The woman who will always be remembered as the crazy, accident-prone, lovable Lucy Ricardo was born Lucille Desiree Ball on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. Her father died before she was four, and her mother worked several jobs, so she and her younger brother were raised by their grandparents...
 
2.
Jackie Gleason
Comedian, actor, composer and conductor, educated in New York public schools. He was a master of ceremonies in amateur shows, a carnival barker, daredevil driver and a disc jockey., and later a comedian in night clubs. By the mid-1950s he had turned to writing original music and recording a series of popular and best-selling albums with his orchestra for Capitol Records...
 
4.
Audrey Meadows
Audrey Meadows was born, the youngest of four children, as Audrey Cotter, New York City. After she was born, her family returned to Wu'chang, China were they worked as missionaries. Her family returned to the US and settled in New England when Audrey was age 6, and sister Jayne Meadows and Audrey attended an all-girls boarding school...
 
5.
Don Knotts
Don Knotts, the legendary television character actor, was born Jesse Donald Knotts on July 21, 1924 in Morgantown, West Virginia, to William Jesse Knotts and the former Elsie L. Moore. He was the youngest of four sons in a family that had been in America since the 17th century. His first stint as an entertainer was as a ventriloquist...
 
6.
Dick Van Dyke
Dick Van Dyke was born Richard Wayne Van Dyke in West Plains, Missouri, to Hazel Victoria (McCord), a stenographer, and Loren Wayne Van Dyke, a salesman. His younger brother is entertainer Jerry Van Dyke. His ancestry includes English, Scottish, German, Swiss-German, and Dutch. Although he'd had small roles beforehand...
 
7.
Mary Tyler Moore
Mary Tyler Moore was born on December 29, 1936 in Flatbush, Brooklyn, to Marjorie (Hackett) and George Tyler Moore, a clerk. Her maternal grandparents were English immigrants, and her father was of English, Irish, and German descent. Moore's family relocated to California when she was eight. Her childhood was troubled...
 
8.
Richard Deacon
Richard Deacon was the bald, bespectacled character actor most famous for playing television producer Mel Cooley on The Dick Van Dyke Show from 1961 to 1966. In the first season of that show he also continued to appear on the series he was already appearing on, Leave It to Beaver, playing Lumpy Rutherford's father Fred...
 
9.
Morey Amsterdam
Born in Chicago, Morey Amsterdam started in vaudeville at the age of 14, as a straight man for his piano-playing brother. His father, a concert violinist who worked with the Chicago Opera and the San Francisco Symphony, wanted Morey to pursue a career in classical music but Morey had other plans. By the time he was 16...
 
10.
Rose Marie
Rose Marie is a legend of show business with a career stretching over 80 years since her debut as her self in a Vitaphone musical short that appeared on the bill with The Jazz Singer at its premiere in 1927. According to Rose Marie, when she approached Al Jolson at The Wintergarden Theater in New York on the night of the premiere that made movie history and told him...
 
11.
Max Baer Jr.
The son of former heavyweight boxing champion Max Baer, Max Baer Jr. is a classic (except probably to him) example of Hollywood typecasting. Known around the world as "Jethro Bodine" in the smash TV series The Beverly Hillbillies, Baer did not find work as an actor in Hollywood for three years after the Hillbillies went off the air...
 
12.
Nancy Kulp
Nancy Kulp wore many hats: Publicity person, actress, linguist, would-be politician and teacher. Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Kulp attended college in Florida, then headed for Hollywood to work in publicity for the movies, not star in them. Soon after arriving in Hollywood, Kulp was convinced...
 
14.
Mollie Sugden
Best remembered as 'Mrs. Slocombe' on the British comedy "Are You Being Served?" Mollie Sugden was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire. She attended Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Her first television role came in 1962 with the series "Hugh and I," which ran for four seasons. In 1972, she won the role of the head of the ladies department at Grace Brothers Department Store...
 
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16.
John Ritter
Jonathan Southworth Ritter was born in Burbank, California, on September 17, 1948. He was the son of legendary country singer/actor Tex Ritter and his wife, actress Dorothy Fay. The couple married in 1941 and had their first child, Tom Ritter, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. John was destined to follow in his parents footsteps...
 
17.
John Cleese
John Cleese was born on October 27, 1939, in Weston-Super-Mare, England, to Muriel Evelyn (Cross) and Reginald Francis Cleese. He was born into a family of modest means, his father being an insurance salesman; but he was nonetheless sent off to private schools to obtain a good education. Here he was often tormented for his height...
 
18.
Rowan Atkinson
Rowan Sebastian Atkinson was born on 6 January, 1955, in Consett, Co. Durham, UK, to Ella May (Bainbridge) and Eric Atkinson. His father owned a farm, where Rowan grew up with his two older brothers, Rupert and Rodney. He attended Newcastle University and Oxford University where he earned degrees in electrical engineering...
 
19.
Stephen Fry
Self, QI
Writer, actor, comedian, doer of good works, excellent good friend to the famous and not, Fry lives in his London SW1 flat and his Norfolk house when not traveling. Famous for his public declaration of celibacy in the "Tatler" back in the 1980s, Emma Thompson has characterised her friend as "90 percent gay...
 
20.
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 Cambridge (1980)...
 
21.
Jerry Seinfeld
Writer, Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Betty (Hesney) and Kalman Seinfeld. His father was of Hungarian Jewish descent, while Jerry's maternal grandparents, Salha and Selim Hosni, were Syrian Jewish immigrants (from Aleppo). He moved with his family, including sister Carolyn, to suburban Massepequa...
 
22.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Actress, Seinfeld
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was born on January 13, 1961, in the New York City borough of Manhattan, to Judith (LeFever), a special needs tutor and author, and Gérard Louis-Dreyfus, a billionaire businessman. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she spent her childhood in Washington, D.C., and New York. She met her husband, Brad Hall, while in college...
 
23.
Jason Alexander
Actor, Seinfeld
Jason Greenspan adopted the stage name Jason Alexander while still in high school in New Jersey. He was soon appearing in Broadway plays and movies, then in the hit TV series, Seinfeld, from 1990 to 1998. Alexander also directs and produces films.
 
24.
Michael Richards
Actor, Seinfeld
Immortalized as Cosmo Kramer on the classic American sitcom Seinfeld, L.A. comedy star Michael Richards was born and raised in South Los Angeles, California, to Phyllis (Nardozza) Richards, a medical records librarian. He is of Italian descent. Michael displayed an early talent for performance as a top Forensic League competitor during grade school...
 
25.
Patricia Routledge
Daughter of Catherine and Isaac Routledge. Her father was a haberdasher, and, during WWII, the family lived weeks at a time in the basement of her father's shop. She attended Birkenhead High School, where she sang in the choir and ran the Sunday School. She studied English at Liverpool University, and...
 
26.
Steve Carell
Actor, The Office
Steve Carell, one of America's most versatile comics, was born Steven John Carell on August 16, 1962, in Concord, Massachusetts. He is the son of Harriet T. (Koch), a psychiatric nurse, and Edwin A. Carell, an electrical engineer. His mother is of Polish descent and his father is of Italian and German ancestry (Steve's grandfather had changed the surname from "Caroselli" to "Carrell")...
 
27.
Rainn Wilson
Actor, The Office
Rainn Wilson lives in Los Angeles with his wife, fiction writer Holiday Reinhorn (Big Cats), and his son, Walter McKenzie Wilson who was born in 2004. He grew up in Seattle, Washington but graduated from New Trier H.S. in Winnetka, Illinois. After attending both Tufts University and the University of Washington...
 
28.
Chris O'Dowd
Actor, Calvary
Christopher "Chris" O'Dowd born 9 October 1979 is an Irish actor and comedian best known for his role as Roy Trenneman in the Channel 4 comedy The IT Crowd. O'Dowd created and is starring in the Sky 1 television series Moone Boy. He had a recurring role on the drama series Girls and starred in the television series Family Tree...
 
29.
Richard Ayoade
Writer, Submarine
Richard Ellef Ayoade was born in Hammersmith, and grew up in Suffolk, in England, the son of a Norwegian mother, Dagny Amalie (Baassuik), and a Nigerian father, Layide Ade Laditi Ayoade. He studied Law at Cambridge university, and followed in the footsteps of British Comedy legends like Monty Python's Eric Idle...
 
31.
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...
 
32.
Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Christine Cuoco was born in Camarillo, California, to Layne Ann (Wingate) and Gary Carmine Cuoco, a realtor. She is of Italian (father) and German and English (mother) descent. A model and commercial actress from the age of 6, Cuoco's first major role was in the TV movie Quicksand: No Escape with Donald Sutherland and Tim Matheson...
 
33.
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)...
 
34.
Simon Helberg
Simon Helberg was born and raised in Los Angeles but despite this, and the fact that his father is the actor Sandy Helberg and his mother the casting director Harriet B. Helberg, his main interest as a young boy was karate. In his teens, though, he discovered acting and went on to study at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where he trained at the Atlantic Theater Company...
 
35.
Kunal Nayyar
Kunal Nayyar is an Indian actor. He moved from India to the US in 1999. He first moved to Portland, Oregon, to study business. He started acting in plays as a way of making new friends. He took acting classes, but he went on to graduate from the University of Portland with a degree in business, as something to fall back on...
 
36.
Mayim Bialik
Mayim Bialik grew up in San Diego and got her first acting job (Pumpkinhead) when she was just 12 years old. A number of TV roles followed until in 1990 she was cast in Blossom, the role which made her famous. By 1993, while Blossom was still airing, she had already won a deferred place at Harvard and was also accepted by Yale but chose in the end to attend UCLA...
 
37.
Melissa Rauch
Melissa Ivy Rauch was born in Marlboro, New Jersey, to Susan and David Rauch. She has a brother, Ben, and was raised in a Jewish household. Rauch attended Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, where she received a BFA degree. While going to school, Melissa performed stand-up comedy around Manhattan...