Mad Men: The 15 Best Recurring Characters

Bob Benson Mad MenLast Sunday’s return – and departure? – of Mad Men‘s Bob Benson got us thinking about the AMC series’ supporting players: Though regulars like Don and Peggy get all the adoration and/or ire, these lesser-used characters are the ones that lend perspective (and often comic relief) to the period drama.

We’ve narrowed the field to our 15 absolute favorites, ranking them in order of least-to-most awesome – and we want to hear your thoughts on the selections.

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Please note: We’ve omitted Don’s many conquests over the years (sorry, Rachel Menken; that’s a whole other list altogether), as well as the ad firm’s current partners/staff in heavy rotation (i.e. Ken and Stan).

So click through our gallery, then hit the comments with your best Draper-honed pitches for anyone we missed!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Lynn says:

    This list is perfect….completely agree!

  2. emmster says:

    Ms. Blankenship was Don’s secretary, am I right? And then it was Cooper she used to have a thing with?

    • Celeste says:

      Yes, she was Don’s secretary. They never outright said she was involved with Cooper. I think he called her a hell cat referencing her time as his secretary and the audience was left to draw our own conclusions. She did have a fling with Roger though. He mentioned it in the tapes he was recording for his memoir. Don and Peggy heard that in “The Suitcase”.

  3. magpepper says:

    I could be wrong, but I swear Megan’s mother is French-Canadian,

    • moose says:

      Megan and I think her father are French Canadian, but I think they said that Marie was originally from France.

  4. Paula says:

    I love Trudy, she was so supportive and too good for Pete and I like Pete.
    I would love to know what happened to Sal, he just vanish.

  5. Tim says:

    i’d add Roger’s second wife, and a bunch of Don’s early love affairs

  6. Rdub says:

    Carla the Drapers nanny! I always hoped she’d slap Betty’s face off!

  7. Smigglesby says:

    Jim Cutler!

  8. Juju says:

    Definite yes to Bob Benson, Ida, Dawn, Caroline, Anna, Mona and Freddy, but I need some Carla (the children’s real mother the first few years of the show), too. I would also probably add Ginsberg, since we know now he is gone, and maybe young Miss Marigold, who got a lot more interesting after she went hippy dippy. I don’t care how many other women Don has had since then, Rachel Menken deserves a spot. And what about Sal Romano?

  9. cyrax86 says:

    In the text it says 13 of your favs, not 15.

  10. CurzonDax says:

    Lois Sadler should have been on this list!

  11. Roni says:

    I always wanted to see more of Joyce, Peggy’s cool lesbian friend, played by Zosia Mamet.

  12. lastone65 says:

    Since this list is someone’s opinion, it’s impossible to say it is all wrong. But, I disagree with it. You actually put Trudy ahead of Father Gill and Freddy? Are you high? Dawn belongs at about #5 – I love her character but she’s not in the show much now that she isn’t Don’s secretary. Anna needs to be #2 after Freddy. Even though she is deceased, her influence lingers not just with Don, but with true Mad Men fans. 1) Freddy. 2) Anna. 3) Bob Benson. 4) Ida B. 5) Dawn.

  13. Leave us not forget that in “real Life” (remember that?) “Mona Sterling” /Talia Balsam was the first Mrs. George Clooney!

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  15. DRush76 says:

    You don’t have Bobbie Barrett on this list? For shame! And the lack of Jimmie Barrett is equally criminal.