No. 1---Archie Bunker
There hasn't been a character before or since and there never will be again. Everyone knows someone like him. He touches a nerve of reality in the world that few people wanted to deal with. It's amazing that this character was even allowed on television.
No. 2---Edith Bunker
Without Edith there would be no Archie, and vice versa. The complete opposite of Mary Richards, Edith has to endure all that Archie puts upon her, but always remains loyal. Just content to be a housewife, this character was never seen before either, but everyone has someone in their family like this.
No. 3---Rhoda Morgenstern
The best thing about the Mary Tyler Moore show. She was so great that they spun her off into her own show, and the MTM show went into decline after she left. Always making fun of herself, low confidence, and very New York, another opposite of Mary Richards. This was another type of character that wasn't seen in such intensity. There might have always been the less attractive sidekick, but Rhoda was more real, less cartoonish, more identifiable. Mary was confident, good looking and very midwestern. However Rhoda gained more confidence and looks as the series went on.
No. 4---Florence Jean Castleberry
"Kiss my grits!"
That is the phrase that is immediately identifiable with Florence Jean Castleberry or Flo. A constant irriation to Mel Sharples the owner of Mel's Diner, Flo' s animated Texas personality gives a spark to the diner that was irresplacable.
No. 5---James Evans
James Sr. (JJ was James Jr.) was the patriarch of the Evans family. He often worked more than one job to pay the rent, which the family also often just met in the nick of time. The character of a hard working black man had not been seen up until this time. It was thought that this character would scare people off, but it was played with such success that this wasn't an issue.
No. 6---Laverne DeFazio
Laverne is a pop culture icon. Shirley is a great character too, but she's a straight man to Laverne. A character that everyone can identify with. The scenes where she drinks milk and pepsi are classic.
No. 7- Ann Romano
The audience can't help but feel for Ann. Raising two daughters on her own, we get to see all the trials that she must face. She tries to be strong, but deep down she is just as scared as everyone else.
No. 8-The Fonz
Nobody's cooler than the Fonz. Beyond all his cool exterior, he's really a good guy that has a sensitive side. Some people might wonder why he hangs around Richie and his friends, but it seems that it's because after all the Fonz really needs friends.
No. 9-Fred Sanford
"This is the big one!"
Fred Sanford is another pop culture icon. Based on a British character, but made into his very own as the show progressed. Fred schemes to get Lamont to stay with him are legendary as are his phony heart attacks (something the British version didn't have). A hilarious character.
No. 10-Ted Baxter
Ted was a new type of character for the times. Goofy and egotistical on the outside, but on the inside someone who needs acceptance, he just tries too hard. The character was different in the first series of MTM, a little one dimensional so at Ted's urgence they beefed him up. The MTM show wouldn't be the same without him
No. 11-George Jefferson
George brusque manner wins him few friends but it's funny to see the way he goes through his life, truly loving only Weezie and constantly battling with his neighbours and maid Florence. Important because he was the first rich black man on Tv.