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15 Legendary Female TV Characters
Who run the world? Women!
The majority of action shows on TV would have you believe that only a male hero could save the day, but these 15 women prove that a heroine is more than up for the job. These strong roles not only made excellent TV, they made history—and we're still being inspired by their ability to kick serious butt today. Here are 15 characters who bring new meaning to the term "girl power."
Diana Prince, Wonder Woman
The world was waiting for a true female-led superhero show on television, and it came in the form of Wonder Woman in the 1970s. Lynda Carter made the pages of DC Comics come to life as she saved the American people from everything from Nazi threats to master thieves using her magical lasso and golden belt.
Meet the original TV female superhero, Yvonne Craig, who brought Batgirl to the small screen in the late 1960s. Her role alongside Batman in the series helped pave the way for every other woman here—and proved that girl power can translate to power ratings.
Sabrina, Jill, and Kelly, Charlie's Angels
OK, ignoring their sexy getups for a second (which we know is hard), these ladies were "leaning in" decades before it was even a thing. They ditched their mediocre police assignments to become Charlie's private investigators and were experts at solving dangerous crimes undercover.
Xena, Xena: Warrior Princess
We owe Xena our forever gratitude for showing us that not all princesses wear tiaras—and that they can take on Greek gods and villains just as well as the boys.
Sgt. Pepper Anderson, Police Woman
Angie Dickinson made television history in multiple ways: Her role as Sgt. Anderson was the first female lead on a TV cop show. It was also the first successful drama in prime time—ever—to have a woman in its starring role. And Dickinson's portrayal of Sgt. Anderson inspired a flood of women to become police officers themselves.
Kathryn Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager
Kate Mulgrew isn't just fierce inside the Litchfield prison walls — she's proved her badass-ery in galaxies more than 70,000 light-years away. As Captain Janeway, Mulgrew led the *Voyager *on its 75-year mission home, mitigating dangerous Borgs and unknown space hazards along the way.
Kimberly Hart and Trini Kwan, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Don't laugh, but the Pink Ranger and Yellow Ranger did much more than just provide us with a killer elementary-school Halloween costume. They taught us that they could hang right along with the boys in the battles against the Putty Patrol—and all before the school bus arrived, no less.
Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
We basically wanted to be Buffy: Sarah Michelle Gellar's character saves the world from vampires, demons, werewolves, zombies, and generally awful human beings while also surviving high school! But since being a Slayer is not a viable career option, we'll have to settle for standing up against evil in our own lives—and catching Buffy reruns whenever we can.
Max Guevara, Dark Angel
Dark Angel may have lasted only two seasons, but Jessica Alba's portrayal of the genetically enhanced, trained assassin, super soldier Max has been burned in our memories for years since it went off the air—primarily thanks to her serious ability to kick major butt.
Sydney Bristow, Alias
Let us never forget Jennifer Garner's pre-rom-com days as Sydney Bristow, the CIA double agent who you'd definitely want on your side in any sort of precarious situation. We'd also go as far to say that Garner's character is as close to a female James Bond as we've ever gotten (certainly not a bad distinction to have).
Olivia Benson, Law and Order: SVU
Sexual predators don't stand a chance against Liv and her stellar police work. Benson's gotten shot, assaulted, kidnapped, and nearly killed in the course of the series' 17 seasons—and managed to rise to the ranks of Lieutenant.
Sarah Manning, Orphan Black
For all you *Orphan* virgins, Sarah is a clone (one of seven to be exact, all played by the brilliant Tatiana Maslany) in a world where clones are all being actively hunted by various assassins. Her constant fight to survive is certainly thrilling, but that's not what we love most about her (all seven versions): She doesn't kick butt "like the boys." She kicks butt like a girl—and we obviously mean that as a compliment.
Michonne, The Walking Dead
Any woman who not only survives a zombie attack but also manages to tame and chain two zombie walkers by her side is pretty badass in our book. It's no wonder Michonne quickly became a fan favorite character from the zombie apocalypse series.
Peggy Carter, Agent Carter
Agent Carter doesn't need a superpower to be a hero—her power comes from how often she's underestimated in the male-dominated, post-World War II era. Don't let her old-Hollywood glamour fool you: Hayley Atwell's Marvel character is not a spy to mess with.
Kara Danvers, Supergirl
It's not a bird, it's not a plane—and, guess what people, it's not a man. Enter Supergirl a.k.a Kara Danvers, who is just trying to make it as a 24-year-old assistant (haven't we all been there) and save the world from catastrophic disasters (like planes about to crash into bridges).
Happy Women's Day
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