Top 10 Female TV Detectives And Why We Love Them

Gay men and strong female characters go together like vodka and triple sec. Like many gays, these no-nonsense ladies have had to eschew society’s expectations and develop thick skins to handle harsh realities.

So it’s natural we have a special place in our hearts for the crime-fighting female. From classic whodunnits like Murder, She Wrote to the current hits such as Rizzoli & Isles, not only do these ladies operate in traditionally male-dominated universes, they also use their powers for good. Their strength and determination become weapons for affecting change — an idea we could all learn a little something from.

Here are our top 10 kick-ass female detectives.

Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher, Murder, She Wrote


Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless as Cagney and Lacey, Cagney and Lacey


Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson, Law & Order: SVU


Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison, Prime Suspect, UK

prime suspect with helen mirren

Angie Harmon as Jane Rizzoli, Rizzoli & Isles


Sonja Sohn as Kima Greggs, The Wire


Peggy Lipton as Julie Barnes, Mod Squad


Heather Locklear as Stacey Sheridan, T.J. Hooker


Glenn Close as Captain Monica Rawling, The Shield


Poppy Montgomery as Samantha Spade, Without a Trace


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  • Richard

    I love Olivia on SVU. I just wish she would come out.

  • elbertdijkgraaf

    I’m missing Saga Norén from Broen

  • deeke01

    How could Kyra Sedgewick’s Brenda Lee Johnson, from “The Closer” not be on this list? She finally got her well deserved Emmy for the final season

  • stranded

    That would be awesome.

  • bbg372

    Meg Foster as Christine Cagney is not on the list so it is an automatic fail.

  • derek mcgillicuddy

    Why not Angie “Police Woman” Dickinson?

  • IvanPH

    How about the private detective VERONICA MARS? How about those who are not even detectives but have great sleuthing and deduction skills like MISS MARPLE?

  • Bromancer7

    Would have liked to see Kyra Sedgwick/Brenda Leigh Johnson on the list. But I guess she’s not officially a “detective”. Ditto with Stana Katic/Kate Beckett.

  • Ruddigore

    @ IvanPH: Any of the Miss Marples (Joan Hickson, Geraldine McEwan or Julia McKenzie) should be on the list if Jessica Fletcher, a mystery writer and not a detective, is on it. And I thought the reason for this list was to tie in to the Veronica Mars movie that JUST OPENED, but I guess Dan hasn’t even heard of it.

    And what about “Charlie’s Angels”? The women that worked at the Townsend DETECTIVE Agency? Or Loni Anderson and Lynda Carter as Carole and Sydney from “Partners in Crime”. No Jennifer Hart (Stephanie Powers) of “Hart to Hart”? No Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist) of “Remington Steele”? How about Maddie Hayes (Cybil Sheppard) of “Moonlighting”?

  • macmantoo

    @Ruddigore: I think most of those were before the writer’s time. They are all “Honorable Mentioned” as far as I’m concerned.

  • Bromancer7

    @Ruddigore: You forgot Nora Charles (Phyllis Kirk) from the Thin Man. How about Nancy Drew (Pamela Sue Martin)? What, no Honey West (Anne Francis)? No Christie Love (Teresa Graves)?

    I mean, com’n, if you’re going to make an obnoxious list at least try to be more complete.

Comments are closed.