Favorite (or noteworthy) supporting TV characters

This may take some poking around at IMDb and similar sites, but after the main characters have been accounted for in the cast list or credits of your regular TV shows, who are the ones you count on for consistent quality?

A few examples of my choices ought to make it easier to decide the category I’m talking about.


-- Kim Coates            ...   Alex 'Tig' Trager (82 episodes, 2008-2013)  
-- Tim Kang              ...   Kimball Cho (129 episodes, 2008-2014)  
-- Archie Panjabi        ...   Kalinda Sharma (102 episodes, 2009-2014)  
-- Jacob Pitts           ...   Deputy U.S. Marshal Tim Gutterson (60 episodes, 2010-2014)     
-- T.J. Thyne            ...   Dr. Jack Hodgins (179 episodes, 2005-2014)  
-- Michael K. Williams   ...   Chalky White (48 episodes, 2010-2013)  
-- Olivia Munn           ...   Sloan Sabbith (19 episodes, 2012-2013)  

Put a different way, when you start watching a favorite show, other than the lead players, who is it you’re hoping will show up in the episode because you really like their work or just the character itself?

And, yes, I have asked similar questions in earlier threads but I figured I’d start a new one instead of poking a zombie. :wink:

Raffi on The League. He is one of the funniest guys on TV.

Might be helpful to include the name of the series as well, as I don’t recognize anyone in the OP’s list…

I enjoyed Tommy Chong in That 70s Show, and whoever played Sidney Friedman on MAS*H…

Good point! Sorry 'bout that!

Top to bottom from the OP:

Alex ‘Tig’ Trager – Sons of Anarchy
Kimball Cho – The Mentalist
Kalinda Sharma – The Good Wife
Deputy U.S. Marshal Tim Gutterson – Justified
Dr. Jack Hodgins – Bones
Chalky White – Boardwalk Empire
Sloan Sabbith – The Newsroom

Dan Fielding-Night Court
Honorable mention-The Wheeler family-Night Court
All the weirdos who wandered through both Night Court and Barney Miller

For character actors in general:
Terry Thomas
Betty Garrett
John McGiver
Roscoe Lee Browne

I will submit the entire supporting cast of Seinfeld, who had some of the best part time characters of all time.

Some of my favorites included:

David Puddy
J. Peterman
Frank and Estelle Costanza
Uncle Leo

Chloe O’Brien on 24 - the part just grew and grew, so she was a co-star by the end, a perfectly rendered version of Jack Bauer as an IT person. :slight_smile:

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers, the wise-cracking ME on Law and Order for most of its run. “Is that it? I’ve got a guy on my table with a javelin in his head.” “Rodgers, why do you do this job?” “Free javelins!”

Loretta McReady, the pot-slinging orphan on Justified. “It was my understanding you didn’t pursue sellers of herbal relief, Marshal.”

Flynn and Provenza of The Closer. The season highlight for me was the annual ep with them as the focus. Runner up: Asst. Chief Pope.

Definitely Kimball Cho

Sergeant Wu (Reggie Lee) on Grimm
Mycroft Holmes (Mark Gatiss and Rhys Ifans) in both Sherlock and Elementary

Artemis (Artemis Pebdani) on It’s Always Sunny.
Rosalie Aprile (Sharon Angela) on The Sopranos [the episode when she and Carmela go to Paris is perfect].
Drusilla (Juliet Landau) on Buffy.
Lumpy Space Princess (Pendleton Ward) on Adventure Time.
Beverly (Estelle Parsons) on Roseanne.

Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) on Grimm.

Artemis is fantastic. Every second she is on the screen, she is hilarious.

Bob "Better Call Saul!"Odenkirk and Jonathan “Mike” Banks from Breaking Bad. Although in S4, Jonathan Banks is more a regular than a supporting cast member.

Jere Burns (Wynn Duffy) and Damon Herriman (Dewey Crowe) both turn in consistently entertaining performances on Justified.

And speaking of both Breaking Bad and Justified, Jim Beaver turns in memorable performances and holds his own quite handily alongside main-cast members.


I’d also like to nominate the McPoyles, specifically Liam and Ryan (Jimmi Simpson and Nate Mooney, respectively)

Lloyd -Rex Lee - on Entourage

Randy, J-Roc, Cory and Trevor - Pat Roach, Jonathan Torrens, Cory Bowles and Michael Jackson - on Trailer Park Boys

The guy who plays Palmer on NCIS. Too lazy to look it up, but that is a very attractive man, IMHO.

Wouldn’t Jacob Pitts as Tim Gunderson count as a lead character? He certainly doesn’t get included in as many episodes as he should, but he’s credited during the opening along with the other regulars.

Brian Dietzen. I love how he slowly worked his way from bit part background player to series regular (he’s even in the opening titles now).

Anyway, my choice is Woody on Psych. Played by brilliant character actor, Kurt Fuller.

As you prefer. I treat Raylan and Boyd, and perhaps Art as the main stars. The rest are support cast. But that’s just me.

Ross Martin as Artemus Gordon on Wild, Wild West. As far as I was concerned, he was always more than just Jim West’s sidekick.

James Doohan as Scotty on ST: TOS. He deserved a lot more (and better) attention than he got over the course of the series.

All of James Garner’s guest buddies on The Rockford Files—Louis Gossett, Jr; Tom Selleck; Isaac Hayes; Dennis Dugan; et al.

Both Nick Colasanto and Woody Harrelson as Coach and Woody on Cheers! The show wouldn’t have been nearly as funny without them.