Who is the Meryl Streep of television? [Poll]

Senior editor Marcus Dixon asked our forum posters: “As Meryl Streep is considered by most to be our greatest living film actress, who’s our greatest living TV actress?” 


This question generated a flurry of answers, a sample of which is below. Weigh in with your thoughts here and be sure to vote in the poll at the bottom of this post as well. 

Atypical: The first names that come to mind are Cloris Leachman, Alfre Woodard, Mary Tyler Moore and Betty White. That’s in terms of career longevity and past Emmy recognition.

APerson: In terms of regard within the industry Julia Louis-Dreyfus comes to mind, especially if she wins for “Veep.” Edie Falco has to be in the conversation.  Being the only woman to win the Lead Actress awards for Drama and Comedy is an extremely impressive feat, say what you will about “Nurse Jackie.”

outsider: In terms of body of work, legacy and reputation, Mary Tyler Moore, Cloris Leachman and Tyne Daly could qualify.

JayDeFelice: Cloris Leachman and Alfre Woodard are top choices. Judy Davis comes to mind as does Stockard Channing … though Channing can certainly be considered more stage, if we were to separate the mediums.

Madson Melo: I said Woodard not only because she won four Emmys and has 16 nominations (17 if you count her Daytime nomination, the same amount as Streep lol) for 15 different characters but also because both have almost the same age, and both started to work (or became famous) in the 80’s. 

6 thoughts on “Who is the Meryl Streep of television? [Poll]

  1. Streep is really a character actress so it’s hard to compare her to actors such as MTM or Betty White, for example, regardless of their award recongnition and/or longevity.

  2. I think people have different definitions of “character actor” because it just used to mean one who usually gets the supporting roles, but now it seems people use it to mean, what, over the top characters?

  3. A character actor is someone is isn’t a persona, or rather, doesn’t always play the same part. Bette Davis was a character actress (but not a supporting player) for example. Character actors can be supporting or lead. Daniel Day Lewis is a character ac

  4. … so are Glenn Close, Ellen Burstyn & Sean Penn – they change from role to role be it over the top or understated

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