TV moms are not that different from real moms. They’re nurturing, loving, beautiful and get paid millions of dollars to be a mom…well maybe they are a bit different than real moms. TV moms can have many different roles on a television series. In some cases, they’re the smart and level headed, sometimes they’re a lovable goofball, or they’re at the center of all the drama. In some series, the mother is the protagonist or can even be the antagonist. Other times, they play a supporting role where they can be the voice of reason or bringer of chaos. Several of the actresses on this list have received critical acclaim for their roles and in some cases, even won awards for their work. Here is a look at some of the most memorable and unforgettable mothers from television.
11) Susan Mayer, Lynette Scavo, Gabrielle Solis, Bree Van De Kemp – Desperate Housewives
Possibly one of the most dangerous places to be a mother in television is Wistera Lane. Susan Mayer is a single mother who is clumsy, vulnerable and a hopeless romantic. Her daughter is Julie who is a bit more mature. Teri Hatcher received praise for her performance and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 2005. Gabrielle Solis is married to Carlos who she cheats on with the young gardener. Later, she and Carlos have two kids. She is materialistic and is very into fashion. Eva Longoria received a Golden Globe nomination in 2006. Bree Van De Kemp is a perfectionist and the mother of Andrew and Danielle. Marcia Cross has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 2005. Lynette Scavo is the hard working, but very overwhelmed mother who gave up a career in advertising to raise her kids. Felicity Huffman received widespread acclaim for her role including winning the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting actress in a Comedy in 2005, beating cast members Terri Hatcher and Marcia Cross.
10) Peg Bundy – Married…with Children
Peg Bundy was the sarcastic redheaded mother of the dysfunctional Bundy Family on the Fox Network’s Married…With Children. She was the wife of Al Bundy, a shoe salesmen, and the mother of stereotypical blonde girl Kelly. She was portrayed as lazy and constantly nagging Al over money and putting him down for various reasons, such as his job. Her favourite thing to do is sit in front of the TV all day and then spend all of Al’s money on clothes. Katey Sagal was praised for her comedic role.
9) Tami Taylor – Friday Night Lights
Tami Taylor is the mother of Julie and Gracie Bell, and the wife of high school football coach, Eric. Tami is a caring and supportive mother and wife who’s always trying to do what’s best for her family. She works as a counsellor at Dillon High, where her husband coaches. Later she becomes the principal, but in the end of the series she receives a huge job offer to be the Dean of Admissions at Braemore College in Philadelphia, which she accepts. Tami was played by Connie Britton, who was praised for her performance and was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama at the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2010 and 2011.
8) Marie Barone – Everybody Loves Raymond
Marie Barone is married to Frank and is the mother of Ray and Robert. She always seems to favor Ray over Robert, but loves them both. She constantly argues with her husband and he is one of the few people who stands up to her. She is shown as being overbearing, manipulative and very arrogant. She in an incredible housewife as her home is spotless. This she throws in her daughter-in laws face, Debra who is Ray’s wife. She does have a loving and tender side as she is always there for her family. Marie was played by Doris Roberts who was nominated at the Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting actress in a Comedy Series seven times and won in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004.
7) Cersei Lannister – Game of Thrones
Cersei Lannister is the Queen at King’s Landing. She is the mother of Joffery, Myrcella and Tommen Baratheon and was married to King Robert until his death. She had an incestuous relationship with her brother, Jamie Lannister and in fact, he is the father of her children. She is shown to be cruel, manipulative, greedy and power hungry. She hates her dwarf brother Tyrion, who she blames for her mother’s death during his birth. Cersei is portrayed by Lean Headey who has been praised for her role as the ruthless queen.
6) Edith Bunker – All in the Family
Edith Bunker was the wife of one of the most controversial television characters of all time, Archie Bunker. Archie was a bigot, sexist and racist, but his wife was a complete contrast to him. Edith was the voice of reason and understanding, and was considered one of the sweetest characters on television. Unlike Archie, Edith didn’t judge people based on race and was close friends with their African Americans neighbors, The Jeffersons. Although her views and opinions were generally different from Archie’s, she was a loyal wife that would always be on his side and defend him. They had one daughter, Gloria Stivic who was married to Mike. In a very sad moment, in the spin-off, Archie Bunkers Place the character of Edith died in her sleep of a stroke. The episode ends on a sad note, with Archie sitting in the bedroom clutching a slipper of Edith’s the he found. Jean Stapleton has received widespread and critical acclaim for her role, including winning the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1970, 1971 and 1977.
5) Claire Dunphy and Gloria Pritchett – Modern Family
Claire Dunphy is a good hearted mother, who wants the best for her family, but will sometimes lose her temper and freak out. She’s a bit of a perfectionist according to her husband Phil, who’s sometimes more like a fourth child. She has two daughters, Alex and Haley and a son Luke. Julie Bowen has received praise for her role, including winning the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, in 2011 and 2012. Gloria Pritchett is the opposite of Claire and everyone knows it. She’s a hot tempered fiery Columbian and Jay’s second wife. There’s a considerable age difference as Gloria is closer in age with his daughter Claire. Gloria has two kids. Manny and Joe. Gloria is portrayed by Sofia Vergara, who has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress four times.
4) Clair Huxtable – The Cosby Show
Claire Huxtable is the loving wife of Cliff and mother to Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa and Rudy. She is very good to her kids and supports them to achieve success in life. She is a lawyer and never loses an argument, even with Cliff. She is shown to be cool, calm, smart and tough, yet very sweet, silly and funny. Phylicia Rashad was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series twice in 1985 and 1986.
3) Carmela Soprano – The Sopranos
Carmela Soprano is the wife of New Jersey Mob Boss, Tony and mother of Meadow and AJ. She is a typical housewife, although she did attend college for a brief time when she was younger before dropping out. Carmela is a caring and devoted wife to Tony, but his constant cheating causes problems between them that eventually leads to their separation. Although she is a very loving mother who wants the absolute best for her kids, she lacks in other ways. For example, when it comes to Meadow, Carmela pushes her to gain a great education and independence, however, later she seems resentful of her daughter for those very reasons. She is also a bit materialistic, as Tony is able to make things better when he does something wrong by simply buying her an extravagant gift. Edie Falco received universal praise and she was nominated six times for Outstanding leading actress in a Drama series and won three times in 1999, 2001 and 2003.
2) Nancy Botwin – Weeds
Nancy Botwin had a ‘regular mom responsibilities’ with her two sons, Silas and Shane. She would attend PTA meetings and drive them to their soccer games. That all changed when her husband suddenly died and she was forced to start selling marijuana in an attempt to take care of her family. Nancy found herself going deeper and deeper into the drug trade, as she goes from selling to people in her neighborhood, to smuggling heroin and child prostitutes across the Mexico-US border which she struggles with morally. She is a very loving and caring mother who is doing whatever it takes for her family, but ultimately Nancy is her own worst enemy. Mary Louise Parker has been praised for her role by being nominated for a Primetime Emmy three times.
1) Marge Simpson – The Simpsons
One of the most popular TV moms is Marge Simpson from the animated sitcom, The Simpsons. Marge is married to Homer, She puts up with a lot of his crazy schemes and adventures that will probably turn her blue hair to become grey, soon. They have three kids; Bart, Lisa and Maggie. She’s very supportive of Lisa and has a special bond with Maggie. Bart is her only son who gets in trouble so often, the entire town of Springfield considers him a “bad seed”. Despite his rebellious attitude, Marge feels that Bart is misunderstood and she constantly defends him and believes in him, even when he’s lying. On the other hand, her loving attitude can bring guilt to Bart like no other character. Marge is a typical homemaker, but she has had several jobs including a real estate agent, an erotic baker and a police officer. Marge is voiced by Julie Kavner who has received critical acclaim including winning the 1992 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance.