TV’s Strong Female Characters

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Since we are both women, we have made a lot of women as our role models.  We have noticed that in a lot of the present television series that for the first time in broadcast history this is the case.  So we are proud to present some of our favorite strong women on television , now and then

Moore & White In 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show" One of my early idols was Mary Richards.  Truly a pioneer , she was the only woman in the WJM newsroom. Daily she had to battle a chauvinistic boss and an egotistical star.

Shirley PartridgeShirley Partridge lost her husband and had to deal with five kids.  What does this strong woman do? She packs up her five kids and their dog and sends them off to be pop stars .  Shirley not only dealt with the trials of show biz but the antics of her middle son, Danny

rhoda Rhoda Morgenstern was strong because she made her own style.  Her colorful bandannas gave her an artsy edge. As Mary’s “chubby” friend, she blossomed into a beautiful woman who found love.  When that didn’t work out, she carried on.  We marvel at actress’ Valerie Harper’s bravery in her battle with brain cancer.

mash-margaret-faceOne of the strongest females on television was Maj Margaret Houlighan of M*A*S*H*  . The Army is truly a man’s world and Margaret started out as a joke with her bullying and attraction to Frank. In time, Margaret would gain her fellow officers’ respect.

murphy brown Hard core journalist Murphy Brown didn’t take crap from anyone.  She won the war with alcoholism and tackled controversial issues for her show , FYI.  She battled Dan Quayle and other conservatives , but she was most known for being a single mother to her son, Avery.  She was one of the first female characters who chose to raise their child alone.  Future mothers like Miranda and Rachel would take their cues from her.

Maddie Hayes Maddie Hayes had beauty and brains, well until her accountant ran off with her money.  But she had a plan.  She would sell all of her tax shelters to live in her accustomed style.  She could have sold the Blue Moon Detective Agency, but didn’t. She ran it with her partner, David Addison.  She put up with all his juvenile , sexist comments and that does take a strong woman.  Oh I forgot, she ended up falling in  love with him.

Joan-Collins-as-alexis-via-theguardian Cold and calculating was Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter of Dynasty.  She didn’t get mad, she got even!!

dallas-styles-miss-ellies-pearls You can’t get a stronger woman than this one. As matriarch of the Ewing clan, her job was to keep the peace and protect her family.  This isn’t easy, especially when you have a son like JR.

Julia SugerbakerIf a woman could kill with words, Julia would have been arrested for murder. Lovingly called “The Terminator”  , she would get on her soap box and make her enemies look like fools.

Lucy SpillerJen’s heroine is Courteney Cox. She has played so many great characters. On “Family Ties”  , she battled a chauvinistic Alex Keaton.  On “Friends”  ,she overcame being a fat teen to bloom into a sexy woman who finally got everything she wanted.  Here is her strongest character, Lucy Spiller on “Dirt” Lucy would do anything to get the story.

carrie-bradshaw-1024From her teen years, Carrie Bradshaw knew she wanted to be a writer.  Little did she known then that her struggles as a single woman would be her fortune.  Carrie struggled to be fabulous  and struggled to find that perfect man.  She did that with the help of her “girls” , three fierce women themselves.

Kerry WeaverDr Kerry Weaver ran the ER with an iron  fist.  But she also spent her time wondering if she would ever find love.  She finally came to the realization that she loved women and that empowered her.  This also made her a little more vulnerable.

CaheungaAmanda of “Melrose Place” was the ultimate strong female of the early nineties. She used people, got her own way, and generally wielded enough power to run her successful advertising agency.

BuffyBuffy was the ultimate female. She not only kicked vampires asses but she maintained her gorgeous looks and friendships in high school.

Alicia_FlorrickAlicia is a “stand by your man” kind of woman.  With a husband who admitted to cheating on her,  she didn’t let that stop her.  She became one of the most powerful lawyers at her firm.  Now she stands by him again as he faces an unworthy opponent in his bid as Governor.

meredith and christina Meet the power ladies of Grey’s. Don’t be surprised by this scene because these are two bad ass surgeons who have been through hell.  Through it all, Meredith and Christina   have remained strong.

kate beckettShe’s a tough woman with a heart of gold. Detective Kate Beckett of “Castle” has hurt for years. She doesn’t t have to  anymore because of her writer, Rick

liz lemon Liz Lemon has the power and makes the funny. She better have a good job with all the idiots she has to deal with daily at 30 Rock

CJ West WingYou can’t get more powerful than working in the Oval Office , C J Cregg of “The West Wing”

jordan Jordan McDeere was the power behind the network on “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”

rayna and juliette nashville They may be pretty , but don’t mess with these country girls. It’s Rayna and Juliette of “Nashville.”

Chicago Fire - Season 1 It’s a man’s world for Shay and Dawson as paramedics on the NBC hit, “Chicago Fire.”

sue on glee Sue Sylvester is all about empowerment on “Glee” She considers herself a role model to her Cheerios.  Too bad she hates the Glee club

joan and peggyThese are two strong women from the sixties. Peggy has used her talent to rise in the advertising world and so has Joan of  “Mad Men”

nurse jackieEmmy award winning Edie Falco has made a career of playing strong women. First as Carmela Soprano and now on Showtime’s hit “Nurse Jackie” Jackie has overcome a divorce and her addiction and remained strong

Ho' ohuli Na' auKono keeps the peace on the island on “Hawaii Five O”

Jane BingumJane Binghum always fights for the underdog on “Drop Dead Diva”

sue ellen ewingThis is a true female role model. She was a weak woman whose husband cheated on her, had affairs, and drank.  Today , she is a competent and powerful woman. It’s one of my idols Sue Ellen Ewing , still beautiful then and now, Linda Gray

pamela rebecca This woman has come into her own and thrives on power.  She is Pamela Rebecca Barnes Ewing .

Major Crimes Sharon Raydor of “Major Crimes” runs an elite crime investigative team

olivia pope scandalFinally we come to the lady of power herself, Olivia Pope. She  left the White House to start her own legal task force.  Weekly, she fights between her head and her heart on “Scandal.”

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About chitownstarconnections

Melanie Christy is am actress/singer who came to Chicago to pursue her dreams of acting. Coming from a small town in Ohio she has been enjoying the things that city life has to offer like great cuisine from all parts of the globe, parties with great people including celebrities, gorgeous fashions and of course fun! Follow her, read her blog and learn about all the amazing adventures you can be a part of throughout Chicagoland! Jennifer Hedrick is the photographer and techie for our blogs. She was born and raised here in Chicago. Her love of photography started when she was a child. She has photographed many celebs, events, fashion shows and more. She also considers herself a bit of a foodie and loves food porn. Her other loves include her nieces and nephews, animals and the shows Castle, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Grey's Anatomy and Scandal.
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2 Responses to TV’s Strong Female Characters

  1. My question is, are there really that many strong MALE roles today in the cinema? Sure there are more leading roles for men, but are they just fulfilling the male hero stereotype as well? Are they two-dimensional characters like many of the female roles? Male actors in cinema today have the choice of man-bro comedy or hero or action hero or villain. Or they can be Ben Stiller in Greenberg – the arrested development male. I often wonder why they don’t do a female version of Greenberg. Oh yeah, because she would be a looser. Seems like television is where its at in terms of character development. This is the medium in which people can be complex, flawed and more human. That’s why I like pre-code Hollywood so much for stronger womens roles, although there’s still a fair amount of what I call “woman taming” in those films as well. You know, the strong, independent, unconventional woman that just really wants to meet a guy, fall in love and settle down. Some strong roles from the silent and pre-code era for me are Bette Davis in Ex-Lady, Greta Garbo in The Single Standard and Queen Christina, Marlene Dietrich in Blue Angel, Louise Brooks in Diary of a Lost Girl, Kay Francis in Man Wanted, Katherine Hepburn in A Woman Rebels, Barbara Stanwyck in Baby face. I love Straight Jacket!

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