Television has the benefit (or the curse, depending on how you look at it) of having its audience grow with its cast over long periods of time. While sometimes we get to see movie sequels recast members at different stages in their lives, long running TV shows allow the audience to literally see the cast grow and age on their TV screens, week to week and year to year. There have been many characters, particularly females, who have lured viewers in each week with their beauty. There have been many shows, even, where the entire premise centered around the beauty of a few characters. This list will focus on those females who played the beautiful daughters, especially popular in the family sitcom genre. The attractive daughter has long been a familiar, even overused, trope of TV, but we most certainly are not complaining.
Like in the movies, all females are the daughters of someone really. But the women who made this list are not only daughters, but being a daughter is central to their character, whether that means they are/were the daughters of the more primary characters or they faced daughter-issues throughout. Most importantly, for the purposes of this list, these daughters are the really gorgeous ones. The Marsha Brady of their respective family. Ouch! I just realized that Marsha is good enough for a metaphor of the list but not for the list itself. Consider that payback for my girl Jan. Alright, where was I? Right, the list.
12. Ashley Banks – Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
When Ashley Banks, the youngest daughter on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air grew up into a young woman on set, it became painfully obvious that she was not the real life daughter of Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv. Even though the show ended too soon for her to realize her full potential as the show’s mega-hotty, her brief music career and somewhat scattered acting roles afterward told us the story. I read somewhere that Will Smith and the other cast members didn’t get along, but I wonder how Will stayed mad at Tatyana, I really do.
11. Mary Camden – 7th Heaven
I’ll be honest, I really never could stand this show. In fact, I think it might have been the worst show ever. I remember that in each episode everyone had the same or similar problems to fit into a convenient theme, but sometimes the problems were super weird to have in common, like the episode where Lucy got pregnant and her older brother did too. What are the chances! Although that may or may not have happened, whenever I clicked onto 7th Heaven and Mary (Jessica Biel) was on screen, I would stay tuned in until she wasn’t. Then she took some risqué photos and the whole family broke up. Or something. I’m really not even sure what that show was even about.
10. Rory – Gilmore Girls
This is another show that I quite honestly never watched. I am still, however, an authority on whether Alexis Bledel is good looking, and it turns out she is. Even if her and the entire cast of Dawson’s Creek spoke like no teenagers I’ve ever met, she was captivating on camera. She seems like a really nice person, so I don’t really have any jokes. I like her eyes. I think she’s smart, at least in the show I think she was. Maybe I’ll watch a few episodes, wait there… Nah, never mind. That show is actually too awful to research.
9. Cheyenne – Reba
Cheyenne (Joanna Garcia), the oldest daughter of Reba on Reba, was the best thing about the show BY FAR. Cheyenne was so good looking that when she got knocked up her high school boyfriend, it made it all seem like he had just hit the lottery. When the show was ending, about 10 years ago, Joanna Garcia was insanely attractive, and it turns out that today, at about 37, she still is. Good for you Cheyenne, good for you.
8. Kim Bauer – 24
As a Canadian, I would be remiss to leave the wildly attractive Kim Bauer (Elisha Cuthbert) off this list, plus beautiful Canadians like me and Elisha have to stick together. As Jack Bauer’s only daughter, Kim had the difficult task of being super good looking while her dad saved the world every day. But, say what you will about how difficult her job was, she was really great at it. She, like Liam Neeson’s daughter in Taken, was taken hostage so many times she became comfortable; she knew the drill after a while and just went with it. But, to be honest, she’s so good looking that I completely understand why people kept taking her.
7. Samantha – Who’s the Boss
Samantha (Alyssa Milano) was on everyone’s wall in the 80s. Oh right, you see back then, teenagers used to take paper pictures of people and hang them on their walls. Well, Alyssa Milano is still hanging on my wall. Her picture. Alyssa Milano’s picture is still hanging on my wall. Alright forget about pictures for now. As a teen and as a 20-year-old, Milano was mind-bogglingly hot on Who’s the Boss. Now, as a 44-year-old, it’s actually a little weird how she is still so attractive. And where’s Tony? I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a shriveled up little old man now, his lively soul sucked out of him by an ever-youthful witch.
6. Veronica Mars – Veronica Mars
Alright, before you start yelling “foul,” just look at her. Look at that face for God’s sake. No, Veronica Mars being a daughter isn’t really central to the plot. No, she’s not a secondary character. But she is a daughter and by all that is good and sweet in the world, she is attractive. Kristen Bell looks like the kind of girl you take home to your mom, if you weren’t embarrassed about where you live and what the furniture looks like. She looks like what happens when two people make good choices and nature says to them, “today’s going to be a good day, and your daughter will grow up to be a masterpiece.”
5. Alex Russo – Wizards of Waverly Place
While I may not be the biggest Selena Gomez fan, she is gorgeous and people love her, so that’s enough for me. As the Wizards of Waverly Place cast grew up, the once cutesy Gomez turned into a head turner and probably generated a much larger male audience in the process. Sure, she may not be the hottest wizard with ol’ Hermione Granger looking more fly than a Nimbus 2000 (boom Harry Potter joke!), but second place is still good enough for me.
4. Tiffany Malloy – Unhappily Ever After
Nikki Cox may not have aged particularly well; let’s just get that out of the way now. But I’m sure, if she could move her lips after all those implants, she would say “remember me how I was,” so we will Nikki, we will. Unhappily Ever After is the equivalent of Married with Children without the funny jokes. While I may not remember any particular episodes, scenes or really anything about the show in general, I can picture several Tiffany Malloy (Nikki Cox) outfits vividly. For that, I thank the wardrobe people wholeheartedly. She certainly was the star of the show, no matter how resistant the writers were to admit it.
3. Haley Dunphy – Modern Family
This gorgeous 25-year-old plays Haley, the oldest daughter of Claire and Phil Dunphy. Her looks have been a central plot point since the beginning of the show, as her love life works it way in and out of each season. Despite the laughs and the silliness being the primary element of the show, many Modern Family viewers tune in each week to see what Sarah Hyland is doing and what she might wear.
2. Bridget Hennessy – 8 Simple Rules
The Hennessey family, with the late great John Ritter as the patriarch, introduced the world to the amazing Bridget (Kaley Cuoco). Nowadays, most know her as the beautiful girl next door who befriends and then falls in love with her nerdy neighbors in, apparently, the most far-fetched fantasy TV show ever, The Big Bang Theory. The 30-year-old Cuoco’s stunning looks have kept her in front of a camera for over a decade now. We will have to wait and see what the next decade brings her. I, for one, won’t be betting against her.
1. Kelly Bundy – Married with Children
I always hated the studio audience reactions when a cast member first entered the set, except for two characters, Kramer from Seinfeld and Kelly Bundy (Christina Applegate) from Married with Children. Whenever Kelly opened the front door, the audience’s “WOOs” sung the song of my heart. The stereotypically dumb blonde Kelly was the crush of many a young man, teaching many what true love felt like. They say you never forget your first love, and I can say with certainty that I haven’t.