Best movie and T.V. Detectives and Private I.

by stressmaster5000 | created - 27 Jun 2011 | updated - 28 May 2015 | Public

Just a list of some great actors who played great parts usually as a Detective or P.I. - not really in any order

1. Peter Falk

Actor | Columbo

Peter Michael Falk was born on September 16, 1927, in New York City, New York. At the age of 3, his right eye was surgically removed due to cancer. He graduated from Ossining High School, where he was president of his class. His early career choices involved becoming a certified public accountant, ...

Colombo

2. James Garner

Actor | The Notebook

Amiable and handsome James Garner had obtained success in both films and television, often playing variations of the charming anti-hero/con-man persona he first developed in Maverick, the offbeat western TV series that shot him to stardom in the late 1950s.

James Garner was born James Scott ...

Jim Rockford in the Rockford Files

3. Buddy Ebsen

Actor | The Beverly Hillbillies

Buddy Ebsen began his career as a dancer in the late 1920s in a Broadway chorus. He later formed a vaudeville act with his sister Vilma Ebsen, which also appeared on Broadway. In 1935 he and his sister went to Hollywood, where they were signed for the first of MGM's Eleanor Powell movies, Broadway ...

Barnaby Jones

4. William Conrad

Actor | Cannon

William Conrad became a television star relatively late in his career. In fact, the former Army Air Corps World War II fighter pilot began his screen career playing heavies. He was Max, one of The Killers (1946) hired to finish off Burt Lancaster in his dingy lodgings. He was the corrupt state ...

Cannon and Jake and the Fat Man

5. William Hopper

Actor | Perry Mason

William Hopper was born on January 26, 1915 in New York City, New York, USA as William DeWolf Hopper Jr. He was an actor, known for Perry Mason (1957), 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957) and Rebel Without a Cause (1955). He was married to Janette Jinty Mansfield and Jane Gilbert. He died on March 6, ...

From "Perry Mason" as Paul Drake

6. Vincent D'Onofrio

Actor | Men in Black

Vincent Phillip D'Onofrio was born on June 30, 1959 in Brooklyn, New York, to Phyllis, a restaurant manager and server, and Gene D'Onofrio, a theater production assistant and interior designer. He is of Italian descent and has two older sisters. He studied at the Actors Studio and the American ...

Detective Bobby Goren from Law and Order : Criminal Intent

7. Tom Selleck

Actor | Blue Bloods

Thomas William Selleck is an American actor and film producer, known for his starring role as Hawaii-based private investigator "Thomas Magnum" on the 1980s television series, Magnum, P.I. (1980).

Selleck was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Martha S. (Jagger), a homemaker, and Robert Dean Selleck, a ...

Magnum P.I.

8. 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 and The Commish

9. CCH Pounder

Actress | The Shield

CCH Pounder (the CCH standing for Carol Christine Hilaria, her birth name). As can be said of other similarly styled actresses such as Alfre Woodard and Cicely Tyson, most of Pounder's characters are enriched with these same positive attributes and it is a testament to this actress' abilities that ...

The Shield and Law and Order: SVU

10. Mariska Hargitay

Actress | Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

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...

Law and Order: SVU

11. 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 ...

Law and Order: SVU

12. Richard Belzer

Actor | Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

A social misfit, was kicked out of every school he ever attended, due to his uncontrollable wit. His mother (Frances) died of breast cancer when Richard was 18. His father (Charles) committed suicide when he was 22. A dedication is written to him in Richard Belzer's "UFO's, JFK, and Elvis: ...

Law and Order: SVU

13. Ice-T

Actor | New Jack City

The legendary gangsta hip-hop emcee Ice-T was born Tracy Marrow on February 16, 1958, in Newark, New Jersey. He moved to Los Angeles, California, to live with his paternal aunt after the death of his father while he was in the sixth grade; his mother had died earlier when he was in the third grade....

Law and Order: SVU

14. Dann Florek

Actor | Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Raised in Flat Rock, Michigan, character actor Dann Florek majored in math and physics at Eastern Michigan University until a drama scholarship changed the course of his career direction. Trained at Juilliard, he appeared frequently on stage ranging from the classics ("Love's Labour's Lost," "A ...

Law and Order: SVU

15. Mandy Patinkin

Actor | Homeland

Mandy Patinkin was born Mandel Bruce Patinkin in Chicago, Illinois, to Doris "Doralee" (Sinton), a homemaker and cookbook writer, and Lester Patinkin, who operated two scrap metal plants. He is of Russian Jewish and Latvian Jewish descent. Growing up, he began singing in synagogue choirs at the age...

Criminal Minds

16. Shemar Moore

Actor | Criminal Minds

Shemar Franklin Moore (born April 20, 1970) is an American actor and former fashion model. His notable roles are that of Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless from 1994 to 2005, Derek Morgan on CBS's Criminal Minds from 2005 to 2016, and as the third permanent host of Soul Train from 1999 ...

Criminal Minds

17. Matthew Gray Gubler

Actor | (500) Days of Summer

Matthew Gray Gubler is an Emmy award winning actor, director, producer, painter, and voice over actor from Las Vegas Nevada. While studying film directing at NYU he interned for Wes Anderson who gave him his first feature film role as Bill Murray's loyal intern "Nico" in The Life Aquatic with Steve...

Criminal Minds

18. 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

19. A.J. Cook

Actress | Final Destination 2

Born in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, to Michael and Sandra Cook, Andrea Joy Cook began acting at the age of 17. She has appeared in nearly a dozen films and several TV shows before the age of 25. Before taking up acting, she was a dancer, having started dancing competitively at age 4 in the styles of ...

Criminal Minds

20. 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

21. Joe Mantegna

Actor | The Godfather: Part III

Joe Mantegna is an American actor who has made over 200 film and TV appearances. He is also a producer, writer, and director, and is probably best known for his role as Joey Zasa in the Francis Ford Coppola epic The Godfather: Part III (1990), in which he stars alongside Al Pacino and Andy Garcia.

...

Criminal Minds

22. Tony Shalhoub

Actor | Monk

Anthony Marcus Shalhoub was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin. His father, Joseph Shalhoub, who owned a grocery chain, emigrated from Lebanon to the United States as an orphan at age ten, later marrying Shalhoub's mother, Helen (Seroogy), who herself was born in Wisconsin, to Lebanese parents...

Monk

23. Ted Levine

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Born in Bellaire, Ohio, in May, 1957, he was among the last graduating class of the Windsor Mountain School in Lennox, Massachusetts. Attended Marlboro College in Vermont. Performed in summer stock and regional theatres in Vermont, Michigan and West Virginia before settling in Chicago and joining ...

Monk

24. William Petersen

Producer | CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

William Petersen was born on February 21, 1953 in Evanston, Illinois, USA as William Louis Petersen. He is a producer and actor, known for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000), Manhunter (1986) and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012). He has been married to Gina Cirone since June 14, ...

CSI

25. George Eads

Actor | CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

A charismatic performer who spent years on television looking for his big break, actor George Eads finally became a television star portraying forensic investigator Nick Stokes on the hit procedural "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000- ). Prior to that role, Eads eked out a living with ...

CSI

26. Paul Guilfoyle

Actor | L.A. Confidential

Paul Guilfoyle, the actor best known for playing Capt. Jim Brass on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000), was born on April 28, 1949 in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating from Boston College High School in 1968, he attended Lehigh University.

He studied acting as a member of the Actor's Studio...

CSI

27. Gary Dourdan

Actor | CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Gary Dourdan was born on December 11, 1966 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Gary Robert Durdin. He is an actor, known for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000), Alien: Resurrection (1997) and Thursday (1998). He was previously married to Roshumba Williams.

CSI

28. Jorja Fox

Actress | CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Jorja Fox has become a familiar face by playing major roles in three of the most successful television dramas in history: ER (1994), The West Wing (1999) and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000).

As a teenager, Fox had a career as a fashion model. She then turned to formal study of the acting craft...

CSI

29. Marg Helgenberger

Actress | CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

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 ...

CSI

30. Eric Szmanda

Actor | CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Eric Szmanda is an American actor best known for his role of forensic investigator "Greg Sanders" on "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation". Eric was born and raised in Wisconsin where he was active in school plays and community theatre. He moved to LA at the age of 19 to study acting at the American ...

CSI

31. Laurence Fishburne

Actor | The Matrix

One of Hollywood's most talented and versatile performers and the recipient of a truckload of NAACP Image awards, Laurence John Fishburne III was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961, to Hattie Bell (Crawford), a teacher, and Laurence John Fishburne, Jr., a juvenile corrections officer.

His ...

CSI

32. Jerry Orbach

Actor | Beauty and the Beast

Jerry was born in the Bronx. His father, Leon, was a former vaudevillian actor, and his mother, Emily, was a radio singer. His family moved frequently and eventually settled in Waukegan, Illinois where he went to high school. The constant moving made him the new kid on the block and forced him to ...

Law and Order

33. Chris Noth

Actor | Sex and the City

Two-time Golden Globe nominee and SAG Award nominated actor Chris Noth stars on Season 3 FX's critically acclaimed drama Tyrant (2014) and has two independent films coming out this year.

On Tyrant (2014), Noth enters the show in its third season premiering in July, starring as Gen. William Cogswell,...

Law and Order

34. Dennis Farina

Actor | Get Shorty

Dennis Farina was one of Hollywood's busiest actors and a familiar face to moviegoers and television viewers alike. Recently, he appeared in the feature films, "The Grand," a comedy about a Vegas poker tournament with Woody Harrelson, Cheryl Hines and Ray Romano; "Bottle Shock," also starring Alan ...

Law and Order and Crime Story

35. David Caruso

Actor | First Blood

His low-keyed intensity, deep-voiced somberness, pale skin, puffy-eyed baby face and crop of carrot-red hair are all obvious and intriguing trademarks of TV star David Caruso. A hugely popular item in the 1990s as a result of a smash crime series, he got way too caught up in all the hoopla ...

CSI: Miami

36. Rex Linn

Actor | Cliffhanger

Rex Linn was born on November 13, 1956 in Spearman, Texas, USA as Rex Maynard Linn. He is an actor and producer, known for Cliffhanger (1993), Rush Hour (1998) and Wyatt Earp (1994).

CSI: Miami