Some are strong-headed, others are overbearing, and a few try their hardest to be “cool,” however these TV moms have filled our homes with laughter and tears throughout the years. With a mix of the classic and the modern, come count down Access’ Top 20 TV Moms Of All Time!
20. Carolyn Jones — Morticia Addams on ‘The Addams Family’
Morticia Addams was of course creepy and spooky, mysterious and kooky…but she wanted nothing but the best for her children. She wore nothing but black, spoke French to drive her husband crazy with desire and kept the audience entertained with her unusual tactics.
19. Julie Bowen — Claire Dunphy on ‘Modern Family’
Claire Dunphy is determined to not allow her kids have the same wild and rebellious lifestyle she had as a teen; and in order to implement these rules she becomes a bit overbearing. Her sarcastic remarks and dry humor have landed her a spot in our hearts — and on our list.
18. Lauren Graham — Lorelai Gilmore on ‘Gilmore Girls’
Lorelai Gilmore is a devoted mother. She is daughter Rory’s best friend and comrade. However, Lorelai is her own mother’s worst nightmare, getting pregnant at a young age and stealing off to raise her daughter on her own. Lorelai would do anything for Rory, even visit her parents for “Friday night dinners,” so Rory could attend a prestigious private school.
17. Jane Kaczmarek — Lois on ‘Malcolm in the Middle’
Hot headed, stubborn and a little offbeat, Lois is the mother to Francis, Reese, Malcolm, and Dewey. Her sons see her as a somewhat tyrannical figure, and a crazed control freak, but that personality has given audiences plenty of laughs. Her reasoning for acting that way? She wants to see them succeed.
16. Edie Falco — Carmela Soprano on ‘The Sopranos’
Carmela Soprano is a bit complicated. She loves her children on one hand. But on the other, she sacrificed their security for the sake of the luxuries her husband Tony’s career offers. As a strong female character, she also separated from her husband and continued to provide for her children.
15. Debra Jo Rupp — Kitty Forman on ‘That 70s Show’
Her laugh being her most memorable trait, Kitty Forman loves to bake, cook, do the laundry, clean…but most of all, she loves looking after her children, Eric and Lorie. She even loves having Eric’s friends over, often times smothering them with unconditional love as well.
14. Estelle Getty — Sophia Petrillo on ‘The Golden Girls’
One of the funniest characters of all time, Sophia Petrillo is best known for her wisecracks and put-downs. However, despite her sharp criticism of her daughter, Dorothy, and roommates, Rose and Blanche, she loves and cares for them all deeply.
13. Alex Borstein — Lois Griffin on ‘Family Guy’
The mother of Meg, Chris and Stewie, Lois Griffin is loving, caring and affectionate. She does everything in her power to care for her children, even teaching piano in her free time to make extra money. Her easy-going personality and happy-go-lucky nature have earned her a spot on the list.
12. Marion Ross — Marion Cunningham on ‘Happy Days’
Marion Cunningham and her husband Howard are the definition of the classic 1950’s couple. She gave up her secretarial job in order to become a stay-at-home mother and take her of her children, Richie and Joanie. She also acted like a pseudo mom to “Arthur.”
11. Felicity Huffman — Lynette Scavo on ‘Desperate Housewives’
It’s not that Lynette doesn’t love her children, she just can’t stand being in the house with them all day. She is tough on her older twins, Preston and Porter, who often misbehave, but is far from unreasonable in nature. She has received a spot on our list due to her determination and for her willingness to do anything for her family.
10. Katey Sagal — Peggy Bundy on ‘Married With Children’
You can hear the clunking of her heels just by saying her name. Peggy Bundy is not much of a doting mother. In fact, she would much rather sit in front of the television and watch daytime talk shows, go shopping - for herself of course, as opposed to cook, clean or work. But somehow Peggy has stolen our hearts and given us constant humor.
9. Mary Louise Parker — Nancy Botwin on ‘Weeds’
A widowed mother who will go to all lengths in order to ensure a comfortable lifestyle for her children; and does so by selling marijuana. Nancy Botwin has experienced a lot of ups and downs, but at the end of the day, she pulls herself together and takes care of her three sons.
8. Sally Field — Nora Walker on ‘Brothers and Sisters’
The epitome of overbearing, Nora Walker cannot help but meddle into her children’s life, but at least it is all out of love. She cannot stand the thought of leaving her children to fend for themselves - even though they are all adults, and mostly married. She cares, probably a little too much, for all those who enter her life.
7. Julie Kavner — Marge Simpson on ‘The Simpsons’
The most well-known animated mother of all time, with her scratchy voice and big hair, Marge Simpson is loving, thoughtful, and most of all, patient with all members of the Simpson family. She instills morals, and provides a grounding voice in the midst of her family’s antics; landing her a spot on our Top TV Moms list.
6. Meredith Baxter — Elyse Keaton on ‘Family Ties’
Elyse Keaton is the definition of a “cool” Mom. With her new agey, former hippie lifestyle, she always tried her best to bond with her kids. Elyse had the capability of showing how to love your children even under the most challenging circumstances.
5. Estelle Harris — Estelle Costanza on ‘Seinfeld’
Estelle Costanza brought upon endless amounts of laughter with her snide remarks and constant negative bantering. Her persistence in always putting her son, George, down and complaining about everything he did has earned her a top spot on our list.
4. Barbara Billingsley — June Cleaver on ‘Leave it to Beaver’
A typical trophy wife, June Cleaver enjoys needlepoint, cake decorating and arranging tea roses. While her youngest son, “Beaver” has a hard time staying out of trouble, June is still nurturing, and tries her best to support her son through all of his ordeals.
3. Doris Roberts — Marie Barone on ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’
Sarcastic, passive-aggressive and judgmental, Marie Barone has one difficult personality to put up with. Her tell-it-like it is comments and “not done raising her son” attitude makes it unbearable for others to be around her, even her son Ray cannot stand it. Her criticism brought laughter into American homes throughout the years.
2. Phylicia Rashad — Clair Huxtable on ‘The Cosby Show’
Loving, warm, strong and witty, Clair Huxtable is often the caring disciplinarian for her children. Her role as a pioneering, family-balancing professional was a positive one in a sea of dysfunctional TV families. She was a strong working mother, yet fair and loving with her children.
1. Florence Henderson — Carol Brady on ‘The Brady Bunch’
And finally, Carol Brady, our number one TV mom; the typical story of two parents with children from different marriages, get together and form one big, happy family. Though she chose to be a stay-at-home mother, she did much more - she was a freelance writer, a sculptor, she organized school events and worked with the PTA; she was a warm and caring mother who loved all of her six children.