Second roles are not always insignificant demeaning roles and some actors/actresses have made so good second role performances that they have left deep impressions on the audience. And this is the case for both movies and TV series.
Here are my favorite 3 second role actresses from TV series. It is interesting to note that none of them have received the Globen Globe for best supporting actress. I would probably have been a terrible TV series reviewer.
3. Mrs Wolowitz from "The Big Bang Theory"
Mrs Wolowitz is the mother of Howard. She is overprotective and has still not realized that her son is a grown up man (mentioning his "homework", preparing his breakfast, ...).
Mrs Wolowitz never appears on screen which reminds a bit of Columbo's wife and other famous unseen characters.
What makes Mrs Wolowitz so... "particular" is the way she speaks, or should I say SHOUT ALL THE TIME. She is also quite cynical and full of prejudice.
Who Is the Voice Behind Mrs Wolowitz?
It is the American actress Carol Ann Susi. Actually, this actress is present in many TV series among which Grey's Anatomy, Seinfeld and Ugly Betty. Talk about a successful actress!
2. Berta from "Two and a Half Men"
Berta is the housekeeper at Charlie's and what makes her so different is her personality. She won't take orders from her boss, she quits when Alan dared to criticize her work and well, she openly enjoys the problems of the Harper family (likes to watch when difficult revelations are to be made).
Another thing that makes her "enjoyable" is the fact that she has a quite big family and some of her family members (daughters, granddaughters, ...) appear every now and then in the show. The best example being her granddaughter Prudence played by Megan Fox.
The actress playing Berta is Conchata Ferrell who has a quite long filmography including many TV series (22 apparitions in the series E/R, 17 in L.A. Law, 1 in Friends, ...) as well as movies (Erin Brockovitch for example).
1. Estelle Leonard from "Friends"
Estelle Leonard is Joey Tribbiani's agent. Actually she is only the agent for Joey and one other person (a man who eats paper).
There are many things that make this character special: the fact that she is smoking all the time (her cigarettes holders are quite particular), that she has many mimics (when she shows her ecstatic face, for example) and of course, the way she pronunces her name in "this is Estelle". Unforgettable.
The actress behind Estelle Leonard is June Gable. She has also played in many TV series and movies but was mostly active before the year 2000. Many apparitions from 1976 to 1979 and then in 1989 and 1990. She appeared 7 times in the TV series Dream On.
I think these three actresses proved that supporting roles can be as enjoyable as main roles and that you don't need to be the most sexy person to be good at acting and to be successful in your play.
Sorry if you do not agree with this top 3, this list was highly subjective but don't hesitate to tell me about your favorite second role actresses from TV series in the comment section below.