The Biggest Stars on TV #10: Regina King

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Check back with TV Insider daily as we countdown the 10 Biggest Stars on TV, including picks from shows like NCIS and Blue Bloods, daytime television, streaming hits, HGTV, and more. Stay tuned, and sound off on our choices in the comments below!

Regina King? On this list? Didn’t she just win an Academy Award for, you know, a movie?

Yes, the actress is currently taking a (well-deserved) victory lap for her heartbreaking work in If Beale Street Could Talk, but TV is where she got her start — and where she continues to capture our attention year after year.

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The actor has cemented himself in the fabric of pop culture history.

At just 14 years old, King held her own opposite comic veterans Marla Gibbs and Jackée Harry as good girl Brenda Jenkins on the 1980s sitcom 227. And three decades later, she’s still getting laughs as the straight woman: Her recurring appearances on The Big Bang Theory as humorless Caltech administrator Janine Davis have been among the series’ best guest spots.

Still, it’s drama that wins her acclaim (and awards). Be it as a weary L.A. detective on TNT’s Southland or in two Emmy-winning performances as a devoutly religious Muslim and a fiercely protective mother on back-to-back seasons of ABC’s anthology American Crime, King effortlessly draws viewers in so we believe and feel everything she’s going through.


(ABC/Eric McCandless)

Next up: She’s back with a badge as a cop on HBO’s upcoming comic book–inspired Watchmen series.

Sure, more film roles may whisk her away temporarily, but we’ll always have the DVR ready to record whatever series she’s in when she returns to the small screen.

This is an abbreviated version of TV Guide Magazine’s latest cover story. For more, pick up the issue, on newsstands now.