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A Highly Subjective Ranking Of TV Personages Born On The Fourth Of July

TV-western haunted history, early soap stars, and the utterly American tackitude of The Situation.

    Showtime

    Showtime

  1. Tracy Letts

    Pulitzer Prize-winner Mr. Carrie Coons isn't just a great playwright; he's a world-class "bitch: PLEASE" face-puller who could not with Carrie Mathison, the president, or anyone else.

  2. Mary Stuart

    I had never heard of Stuart before -- we didn't in much for the CBS soaps in my family -- but she played Joanne Gardner Barron Tate Vincente Tourneur on Search For Tomorrow, and prior to that she'd had a role on pioneer soap The First Hundred Years. Not only did her SFT acting garner her a primetime Emmy nom; she beat Keri Russell to the scandalous-major-haircut punch by about forty years, when Stuart chopped off her waist-length locks after finalizing her divorce from the verbally abusive Time/Life bigwig Richard Krolik. "Sounds like she should have her life turned into a TV movie." Seriously -- and guess what? She also wrote a short story that became a CBS movie of the week! I've never really heard of anyone who starred in 1983's When Angels Fly but I highly recommend the IMDb's plot keywords as food for thought: "uncovering truth | thoughts of revenge | doctor patient relationship." Hee! Anyway, RIP Mary Stuart; you seemed rad.

  3. Alison Stewart

    The famous original host of the Real World reunions, before people with actual reporting experience like herself began to balk at babysitting these drunk weirdos. (I'm...assuming.) Stewart had anchored segments for local NYC stations and PBS before coming on at MTV as a producer, but if her name rings a bell now, it's for her radio work (I appeared on her short-lived "The Bryant Park Project" with Luke Burbank and it was a really fun show). She's bounced around as a reporter and newsreader at various networks for years now.

  4. Trigger the horse

    Hey, buddy.

  5. Eric Fleming

    ...Man, actor bios today are so boring compared to early-20th-century thespians. It's like, do some high-school productions, do some modeling, get discovered in a commercial, have your pores filled in with epoxy resin, land a comics franchise. Not back in the day; back in the day, some shit went down. Exhibit A: Eric Fleming, the lead guy in Rawhide who wasn't Clint Eastwood. Fleming's father was a hitty POS, so Fleming -- who tried to shoot the guy as an eight-year-old; the gun jammed -- ran away to Chicago at 11 to do odd jobs for gangsters. Wounded in a gangland gunfight, he went home to live with his mother, who'd finally left the bastard dad; later Fleming ended up in the Navy, but had to have extensive facial reconstructive surgery after a wager saw a 200-pound weight land on his face. He drowned accidentally while filming an adventure movie in Peru. Rumors about his remains being eaten by piranhas apparently persisted for years. Now that is a bio, people! Nothing wrong with Yale Drama, mind you...but maybe try to work a shoot-out and some cannibal fish in there.

  6. Becki Newton

    Ugly Betty's Amanda Tanen (her brother, now an acting coach, also appeared on the show).

  7. Gina Glocksen

    One of about three dozen people whom I can immediately identify as belonging to the American Idol clump of grey matter but can't summon any further information (she was on Season 6, the Jordin Sparks/Sanjaya season).

  8. FXX

    FXX

  9. Stephen Rannazzisi

    My least favorite regular on The League. It's not because he lied about the effect the 9/11 attacks had on him as an artist; I feel bad for him about that, and he did try to make up for it. He just had the misfortune to share a cast with Nick Kroll et al., and he's simply not as funny.

  10. David Joyner

    The voice of Barney. Sorry, dude.

  11. Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino

    Professional reality star -- Jersey Shore, Dancing With The Stars, Celebrity Big Brother, Marriage Boot Camp -- and now a tax cheat, Sorrentino is, in his way, the most American figure on here. (He was also on the celebrity roast of Donald Trump.)

  12. NBC

    NBC

  13. Geraldo Rivera

    Well, look, he did great work on Willowbrook, and then he turned into a parody of himself with that nonsense with Al Capone's vault, and then Fox News, and then he's topless on Celebrity Apprentice and making Ian Ziering want to murder him.

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