Erica Kane, J.R. Ewing and Barnabas Collins Among TV Guide’s 60 Nastiest TV Villains

Who are the 60 Greatest TV Villains of All-Time? TV Guide Magazine's Bruce Fretts and Matt Roush listed their picks for the dubious distinctions in the March 25-April 7 issue of the magazine.

It should come as no surprise that many suds evil-doers made the cut, including Dallas' late, great J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) at No.1; Dynasty devil Alexis Colby (Joan Collins) at No. 7 and Dark Shadows' Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) at No. 8.

After the Top 10, the remaining TV nasty pants were listed in alphabetical order. Soap characters among the ranking were: Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) from Revenge; Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) from All My Children; O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran) from Downton Abbey; Alan Spaulding (Ron Raines et al.) from Guiding Light and Amanda Woodward (Heather Locklear) from Melrose Place

No Angela Channing (the late Jane Wyman) from Falcon Crest? Between this and PBS leaving FC off their primetime soap special, my favorite Tuscany Valley wine peddlers can't seem to get any retro love these days!

19 Responses

  1. Profile photo of mfarris70

    I never really thought of Erica Kane as a villain. She’s delusional, for sure. But I don’t think she ever set out to hurt anyone just for the sake of it. If people got in her way, they may have been hurt, but that was just a small price to pay for her happiness with whatever man she had her sights on. ; )

  2. Profile photo of SoapArmageddon

    Erica was selfish but never villainous, which is why even when we were exasperated by the things she did, we usually understood her motivation and sometimes we even empathized.

  3. Profile photo of harlee490

    OH my gawd, I know Jamey, no Falcon Crest was missing from PBS special in a big way. It was on for 9 years…I FLOVED “Angela Channing” she was a she devil only by the great late Jane Wyman! :love:

    Alan does deserve to be on the list but I think Roger Thrope should be in the top 20 ;)

  4. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    Where is my Annie Dutton? Or my Helena Cassadine?? Or my Sheila Carter??

    I agree, Erica Kane was a vixen, but not a villainess. At least, not in the later years. Always materialistic and a total egomaniac, of course!!!

    TV Guide clearly just picked those with high mainstream recognizability. Otherwise, they would have delved deeper.

  5. Profile photo of jaedahbee

    Here’s how I would write for Days:

    John/Marlena/Roman: John continues to push Marlena away and she finds solice in the arms of ex-hubby Roman (Wayne Northrop). Marlena goes to speak with John and he tears into her and tells her they’re done. Doc runs crying to Roman. John moves out of the apartment. Marlena soon realizes someone is stalking her and she tells John who thinks it’s a ploy just to get him to move back in. She then tells Roman who decides to move in to protect her like back when they first met. Will this bring Roman and Doc back together?

    Kristen/Brady: They’re wedding day approaches and Kristen is not too sure if she can still hurt Brady as she has fallen in love with him. Brady seems very ecstatic to make Kristen his wife but little does Kristen knows Brady also has a trick or two up his sleeve. Will Brady turn the tables on Kristen?

    Stefano/Kate/Rafe: Stefano finds out who his Katherine is bedding and becomes very upset and says they both will pay. Kate is called away on business but she doesn’t leave without making love to Rafe. Once Kate leaves, Lucas receives a call that his mom’s plane has disappeared from the radar system. While everyone mourns the presumed death of Kate and blame Stefano, she wakes up in a cell. As she yells and screams for help a mysterious man walks in revealed to be Kate’s presumed dead ex husband Curtis Reed!

    Hope: She gets a call that Bo fell off his boat during a storm and drowned. Since Hope is mourning Bo’s “death” and Rafe is mourning Kate’s “death”. Will sparks fly between these two? Also, Hope reopens the Franco Kelly murder case when she spots a man looking exactly like her old flame. Hope also receives news that Patrick Lockhart was killed in prison. With all these things going on Hope starts experiencing chest pains and Rafe becomes her life saver.

    Ej/Sami: Ej and Sami are happily in love……. For now. Ej’s ex fiancee during his time away from Salem comes to town and decides she wants Ej back. When she and Sami come face to face Sami realizes it’s her former best friend Jamie from high school! Does Jamie decide to back down? Not so fast! She schemes with an unknown man to tear Ej and Sami apart. The man has a past with Sami and it’s not Lucas? Could it be Sami’s rapist Alan?

    Jennifer/Daniel/Chloe/Ann/Nancy: This story comes to a climax as Chloe starts to lose her grip on reality and tries to murder Jennifer by setting the Horton cabin on fire. Daniel who was on his way to Jen runs in to rescue her and brings her outside. Chloe comes up and pulls out a gun and expresses her undying love to Daniel but says if she cant have him Jen won’t either. As she’s about to shoot Abby runs up and distracts her and Daniel tries grabbing the gun and he and Chloe tumble over the cliff. Jen comes to and Abby says Daniel and Chloe went over the cliff. Ann and Nancy come to the scene and are arrested for being accomplices in Chloe’s scheme. Nancy promises she’ll make Jen pay for her daughter’s death. Jennifer mourns Daniel and starts to wonder why she keeps losing men.

    Nicole/Eric/Greta: Nicole feels she has a little competition in Princess Greta Von Amberg where Eric is concerned. Greta is back because she found prood that John Black is her father.

    Will/Sonny/Nick/Gabi: Nick is horrified when he sees his prison tormentor is in Salem and wants him. Nick is now afraid for his life and goes to talk to Hope. Will puts a gun in his bookbag, Sami puts one in her purse, Lucas puts one in his coat, Sonny is seen with a gun, Ej grabs a gun and Nick’s prison buddy has one. Gabi finds out what Nick has over will and goes looking for him to confront him. As she walks through the park she sees Nick’s lifeless body lying in the grass. Who killed Nick?

    Victor/Maggie: Victor and Maggie go on a trip to Greece when Victor gets a mysterious call. As the mysterious man hangs up he utters the words “He’s on his way” to a woman with her back turned. As the woman turns around she shares a striking resemblance to Isabella Toscano. Is Isabella alive? Is this a twin? Or a evil look-a-like?

    Stefano: As Stefano is arrested for Kate’s presumed death, he gets a shocking visitor: PETER BLAKE! Is Peter back for his father? Kristen? Or Jen? Stay tuned!

    Abe/Kayla: Abe and Kayla’s bond grows stronger just as Patch comes back to town.

    Abby: She finds out what Gabi did to Melanie and she goes to confront Gabi at the hospital and Gabi who is mourning Nick’s death says they’ll discuss it another time. As Gabi walks away Abby grabs her arms and Gabi snatches away and tumbles down the stairs at Sonny’s feet. Will Sonny say what he saw?

  6. Profile photo of DanielAvery

    Iris Carrington Wheeler of Another World was much more of a villainess than Erica Kane ever dreamed of being. And it’s not just Angela Channing getting dissed–my girl Abby Fairgate from Knots Landing is certainly worthy of a nod. That gal from Revenge wouldn’t even rate a 5 on the “Abby Scale”.

  7. Profile photo of stoney07

    Sheila Carter beats out most of those listed…The woman was badass…she could make u think she was totally reformed, totally sane, and then just snap. LOVEDDDDDDDDDD her.

    But I guess they had to go with more recognizable names for those who don’t watch daytime. Because Erica Kane is about as villainess as my grandmother after hip replacement surgery.

  8. Profile photo of pdow

    My favorite of all time villain was Annie w/Guiding Light. Cynthia Watros is one good actress. Wish she would come back to daytime as a villainess; or anything.

  9. Profile photo of SoapArmageddon

    Reginald Love on Another World. He was only on there for 2 or 3 years but the terrible things he did had repercussions for the next twelve years, until the end of the show.

  10. Profile photo of ANGELWENDY15

    Barnabas Collins!! Wow, does that bring back memories of my childhood watching Dark Shadows. So glad he made the list. I loved how Jonathan Frid played the “sympathetic” vampire. And JR Larry Hagman, definetly #1.

  11. Profile photo of LizzieVee

    Never thought of Erica Kane as a villain, she just caused trouble. The one person, a true villain that should be noted is Stefano DeMera. He is a villain with a capital V.

  12. Profile photo of Richard

    Abby Fairgate Cunningham Ewing Sumner is my ultimate favorite! Although even Donna Mills has said she didn’t consider Abby a villainous. She was just a good business woman who did bad things for good reasons. lol

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