Skip To Content

    26 Female Actors Who Absolutely Nailed Their TV Roles, No Questions Asked

    Sandra Oh is Cristina Yang.

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which female actors were perfectly cast in their TV roles. Here are the legendary results:


    1. Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer in Veep

    Selina laughing nervously while cursing at her team

    "Julia Louis-Dreyfus carried every part of that character in her expressions and line delivery and never broke for even a second. Selina Meyer was funny as hell."


    2. Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang in Grey's Anatomy

    Owen complimenting Cristina's beauty at the hospital when she wants him to compliment her brain instead
    ABC / Via

    "Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang in Grey's Anatomy was truly one of the best TV performances of all time. Her badass, take-no-sh*t-from-anyone personality was amazing. Her character in the series was a true masterpiece."


    3. Gina Rodriguez as Jane Gloriana Villanueva in Jane the Virgin

    Jane looking at the cover of her book, "Snow Falling," and reminiscing about Michael
    The CW / Via

    Gina Rodriguez as Jane Gloriana Villanueva is the definition of perfect casting. She was incredible in this role — she could act like nobody's business, especially when she had to be vulnerable. No one could cry like Gina!


    4. Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore in Gilmore Girls

    Lorelai sitting in her parents' living room, driving a glass of champagne
    Warner Bros. / Via

    "Lauren Graham didn't even have to act like she was Lorelai Gilmore — she simply was her!"


    5. Stephanie Beatriz as Rosa Diaz in Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    Rosa questioning her co-workers what kind of woman doesn't own an axe?
    NBC / Via

    "I couldn’t imagine someone else playing such a different role in contrast to their personality. Stephanie Beatriz is a badass, and you have to give her props for pulling off that monotone voice!"


    6. Viola Davis as Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder

    Annalise taking off her wig and makeup in front of the mirror
    ABC / Via

    "Viola Davis gave such a wonderful performance as Annalise, especially in the first season of HTGAWM. I don’t think anybody else could’ve done that."


    7. Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones

    Daenerys wearing braids and standing near the icy water
    HBO / Via

    "Emilia Clarke put her blood, sweat, and tears into this character and it showed. She carried that awful final season, even when she didn’t speak, and I felt everything she was feeling. I would’ve stopped watching long before if she hadn’t given it her all, despite the terrible material she had to work with. Daenerys Targaryen is one of the best TV characters of all time and it’s all because of Emilia."


    8. Alex Borstein as Susie Myerson in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

    A butler asking for Susie's identification and her flipping him off
    Amazon Prime / Via

    "Alex Borstein's ability to play someone so sarcastic yet so loyal and multifaceted is amazing. There is no other actor who makes me laugh hysterically the entire time they're on the show!"


    9. Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate in Parks and Recreation

    April reading an old Pawnee book, telling the camera that any woman who was caught laughing was a witch
    NBC / Via

    Aubrey Plaza was PERFECT as April Ludgate on Parks and Recreation. I feel like she didn't have to do that much acting, tbh. She's the only actor in the biz who could've pulled off playing this heartwarming witch.


    10. Catherine O'Hara as Moira Rose in Schitt's Creek

    Moira drunk while filming a wine commercial
    CBC / Via

    "Catherine O’Hara was hysterical and her vocabulary was *chef’s kiss.* Where is her Emmy?!"


    11. Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey in Grey's Anatomy

    Dr. Bailey telling Meredith how she hates knowing things about her personal life
    ABC / Via

    "I can't imagine anyone else playing Dr. Bailey but Chandra Wilson. Dr. Bailey has grown soooo much over the years, and it's all because of Chandra's ability to tackle such a complicated and layered character."


    12. Zendaya as Rue Bennett in Euphoria

    Rue telling Lexi in the middle of the street that she feels like a burden
    HBO / Via

    "Zendaya is doing an amazing job as Rue in Euphoria. She's vulnerable and funny, and I can't think of anyone else who could play her role that well."


    13. Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Fleabag in Fleabag

    Fleabag telling her sister at the park that she's in love with a priest
    BBC / Via

    "Phoebe Waller-Bridge translated the one-woman show she originally did so well to TV. She made you love her as a flawed person, which not many actors could successfully do."


    14. Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers/Supergirl in Supergirl

    Supergirl on the news telling everyone to have hope
    The CW / Via

    "She plays Kara/Supergirl so well and is so educated on the character that it feels so natural. Even though the character has changed throughout the years, Melissa Benoist has always adapted and changes with ease."


    15. Zoë Kravitz as Rob in High Fidelity

    Rob complaining to the camera about New Yorkers going to brunch and doing yoga on Sundays
    Hulu / Via

    "I'll be forever upset that High Fidelity was canceled. Zoë Kravitz did a beautiful job as Rob!"


    16. Jodie Comer as Villanelle in Killing Eve

    Villanelle telling Inga she smells like cabbage
    BBC America / Via

    "It’s impossible to not become absolutely obsessed with Jodie Comer in Killing Eve. She kills people for a living, but the way she portrays every persona and disguise makes you want to be her best friend!"


    17. Danai Gurira as Michonne in The Walking Dead

    Michonne giving a young girl a walkie talkie, telling her she can talk to her anytime
    AMC / Via

    "I read the comics before watching Season 3 of the show, and Danai Gurira is perfection. She emulates the comic character wonderfully while also adding her own kickass spin. She's incredible and no one else could play Michonne."


    18. Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson in Law & Order: SVU

    Olivia insulting a perp in custody in one of the earlier season of "Law & Order: SVU"
    NBC / Via

    Mariska Hargitay *is* Law & Order: SVU. This show would be nothing without her as Olivia Benson — she made this character one of the most legendary ones in TV history, no questions asked.


    19. Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester in Glee

    Sue insulting Will n the middle of the hallway
    Fox / Via

    "Jane Lynch played Sue perfectly. Even when the show went downhill, her character was consistent in her zaniness and hilarity in a dark way. She also managed to pull off her softer side, too, and switched between them with ease and grace. No one else could've done the role of Sue justice. No one."


    20. Hannah Simone as Cece Parekh in New Girl

    Cece angrily telling Nick he's the human equivalent of the crack between two couch cushions
    Fox / Via

    "Hannah Simone was perfectly cast as Cece in New Girl. She had great chemistry with Zooey Deschanel, and you really believed they had been best friends since childhood."


    21. Erika Alexander as Maxine "Max" Shaw in Living Single

    Max telling Kyle marrying men is for fools in her apartment
    Fox / Via

    "Every actor was perfectly cast on Living Single, but no one compared to Erika Alexander as Max. She made the show 100x funnier with her witty one-liners — especially when she insulted Kyle — and I couldn't imagine this classic sitcom without her. Long live The Maverick!"


    22. Jessica Lange as Sister Jude Martin in American Horror Story: Asylum

    Sister Jude standing up to Dr. Arden in his office
    FX / Via

    "Sister Jude was such a complex character, and I can't think of another actor who could’ve played that role more convincingly. Jessica Lange is a legend."


    23. America Ferrera as Amy Sosa in Superstore

    Amy walking through double doors and high-fiving an employee
    NBC / Via

    "America Ferrera in Superstore is PERFECTION. If anybody else was cast as Amy, it'd just feel so wrong."


    24. Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-Files

    Scully telling Mulder the truth is out there, as well as lies, in one of the earlier seasons of "The X-Files"
    Fox / Via

    "Gillian Anderson was perfect as Dana Scully — no ifs, ands, or buts."


    25. Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow "Bow" Johnson in Black-ish

    Bow giving her dish back to the waitress because it was gross
    ABC / Via

    "Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow Johnson is just the absolute best. I can't imagine anyone else playing Rainbow — it's literally impossible for anyone else to!"


    26. And Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Buffy standing with everyone near the school bus, the last shot in the series finale of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
    The WB / Via

    "Kristy Swanson's portrayal of Buffy Summers was amazing, but Sarah Michelle Gellar will always be Buffy to me! Even after all of the incredible movies and TV shows she's been in, this might be her best role ever."


    Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.

    Which female actor do *you* think was perfectly cast in a TV show? Tell us in the comments below! 📺

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form