TV's Greatest Grandmas

In honor of Mother's Day (it's this Sunday, people!), we've put together an appreciative list of our favorite television grandmothers. 'Cause where would the characters on our favorite shows be without their moms and their mom's moms? (Psst... don't forget to CALL YOUR MOTHER this weekend!)

20. Martha Rodgers (Susan Sullivan) on Castle

Martha is pretty fabulous woman. Not only is she a Broadway star, but she’s a sassy grandmother who's hip to the ways of internet dating.



19. Adele Stackhouse a.k.a. Gran (Louis Smith) on True Blood

The only clip of Gran that I could find of was kind of a bummer, and truth be told, this one isn't much better. At least it's a testament to the devotion she inspired in her granddaughter?



18. Sophie Cohen (Linda Lavin) on The O.C.

The Nana is a feisty one, fiercely devoted to social work and the demise of Orange County Conservatives.



17. Maxine Gray (Tyne Daly) on Judging Amy

Maxine is always ready to lay down the law, even with her family.



16. Estelle Winslow-Thomas (Rosetta LeNoire) on Family Matters

In many ways, mother Winslow is the prototypical grandma, with her little cardigans, big glasses, perfected updo, and the ability to fix anything with an simple heart-to-heart. Cue the cheesy music:



15. Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) on Gilmore Girls

Rory's grandmother won't hesitate to deliver a good old-fashioned tongue-lashing if someone wrongs her family.



14. Evelyn Harper (Holland Taylor) on Two and a Half Men

Called the devil by some, she is still the mother of Charlie and Alan and the grandmother of Jake. And call me crazy, but in this clip she just might have the right to be pissed over her grandson spitting sushi all over her fancy carpet.



13. Betty Johnson (Susie Garrett) on Punky Brewster

To my knowledge, Betty is the only (and hopefully last) TV grandma to ever rescue her granddaughter from a refrigerator.



12. Lorraine Saracen (Louanne Stephens) on Friday Night Lights

While she has her moments of off-her-rocker craziness, all she wants is for Matt to be happy.



11. Beverly Harris (Estelle Parsons) on Roseanne

Grandma Bev, while quick to judge others, knows that women can still do great things later in life.



NEXT: The Top 10 TV Grandmas >>

10. Mary Brady (Anne Meara) on Sex and the City

Miranda describes her Grandma Brady best: "She's like Steve in a wig, drunk."



9. Marie Barone (Doris Roberts) on Everybody Loves Raymond

Queen Marie, despite her obsessive cleaning disorder, has her sons' best interest at heart. Or at least she has the power to guilt them into thinking that she does.



8. Endora (Agnes Moorehead) on Bewitched

Tabitha's grandmother, albeit unruly, was quite possibly the coolest grandmother ever. Because hello, she's a magical witch!



7. Anna Huxtable (Clarice Taylor) on The Cosby Show

First of all, she gave birth to the Cos. So, major points there. Plus, she helped raise some pretty outstanding and talented grandkids:



6. Mona Robinson (Katherine Helmond) on Who's the Boss

Mona can date whoever she wants. Cause she's Mona.



5. Livia (Nancy Marchand) on The Sopranos

The only thing worse than a cold-blooded killer is the woman who raised him. But at least she's honest. Most of the time.



4. Bernice (Marion Ross) and Bea (Betty White) on That 70's Show

Red and Kitty's respective mothers are each amazing in their own special, unbearable, way.




3. Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) on Golden Girls

Sophie famously told her tales of the good ol' days to anyone who would listen.



2. Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter) on Arrested Development

The grandmother who takes her grandson to the Motherboy dance is a special woman, indeed.



1. Thelma Harper (Vicki Lawrence) on Mama's Family

Neither Bubba nor Vinton nor Aurora nor Naomi could escape Mama's loving wrath.



Honorable Mentions:

Hattie Banks (Virginia Capers) on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Jacqueline Bouvier (Julie Kavner) on The Simpsons

Lois Henrickson (Grace Zabriskie) on Big Love

Evelyn Ryan ( Mary Beth Peil) on Dawson's Creek

Grandma Ellington (Ja'Net DuBois) on The Wayan Brothers

Cecilia Rhodes (Caroline Lagerfelt) on Gossip Girl

Ruth Fisher (Frances Conroy) on Six Feet Under

Who's your favorite TV Grandma?

Comments (39)
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I'm glad Thelma Harper ranked #1 and Sophia Petrillo #2. But Betty Johnson on Punky Brewster didn't actually save her granddaughter's life, Punky and her friend did with CPR. Anna Huxtable is cool, so is Mama Winslow and especially Mona Robinson, she's a unique Grandma!
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You forgot one of the greatest. Penelope "Grams" Halliwell(Jennifer Rhodes) from Charmed. How can you forget bout that?
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Martha Rodgers (Susan Sullivan) on Castle is my favorite.. She is a marvelous woman..
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I guess you forgot Reba Hart. Reba
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bs'd
I was going to say Yetta from the Nanny, but someone beat me to it.
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Yes, Emily Gilmore tottaly deserves to be in the top3!!!!!!!
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Interesting.
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Another vote here for Supergran - she has a theme tune sung by Billy Connolly!
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I can't believe they forgot "SuperGran"... She's "super", it's right there in the name!
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Unofficial grandmother---"Lovie Howell"
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no benny from george lopez :(
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The grandma from the Addams Family?
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Counting the Honorables I have only seen or heard of 8.
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How about Karen and Deb from One Tree Hill? How about Grandma Walton from The Waltons? And from The Jeffersons, Gandma Jefferson and Louise Jefferson?
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Sophie Cohen is by far the awesomest :D
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I think Grandma Ida from Malcolm in the Middle should have been on the list.
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pfffff the grandma of roseanne was so much more fun XD
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Where's Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies? She deffinatley should have got a mention. Irene Ryan was a classic on that show deffinately the best TV Granny.
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And Yeta from "The Nanny" should have been included! lol
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If you ask me, Emily Gilmore (from Gilmore Girls) and Beverly (from Rosanne) should have been higher. Otherwise, good list
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Evelyn Ryan ( Mary Beth Peil) on Dawson's Creek on Dawson's Creek should have been top 3.
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How the heck did Dawson Creek's Grams end up outside the top 20?? And where's The Nanny's grandma Yetta? Also, Livia Soprano deserves a higher spot.
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also jennifer rhodes as grams in charmed!!
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Ruth Fisher, Livia Soprano and Lucille Bluth.
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Evelyn "Grams" Ryan (Dawson's Creek) should be in TOP 5, not just a "honorable mention"... With all these years she spent with Jen Lindley, she was like one of the main keys of the show...
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The One From Dawson's Creek should be in the top 10, just like Emily Gilmore from GG
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yeta in "the nanny"
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Marie Barron should be #1 Evelyn Harper should be #2
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Lucille Bluth should be number 1 and Betty White is ranked too high
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Gotta love Emily Gilmore and Marie Barone. They both should be one and 2.
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Susan Sullivan is Number 1 for me! "Mona Robinson" was a bit of a kicker too ;o}...
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Marie Barone should be number 1. She reminds me so much to my grandma. Always annoying the hell out of me, but taking care of me, feeding everyone, talking about people on their backs and so on.



Yay for Emily Gilmore :D
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I don't even care for the Top 10. Nana Cohen rules!
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Evelyn Harper for sure. The squab clip is my favorite episode from Two and a Half Men. I also like Cece Rhodes from GG. I also really think Tabitha Wilson from 90210 was one of the best characters on the show.
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I loved Nana Mary from Roseanne.
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aha i love emily gilmore! such a great character and actress.
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Good list. Im happy that mama from mama's family is number one. and yay for Emily Gilmore being recognized.
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I totally agree with Martha Rodgers from Castle and Evelyn Harper from Two and a Half Men.
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Of the modern era I would pick Emily Gilmore and from TV's past Grannie from the Beverly Hillbillies the TV series not the movie that smelled lol
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