2011's Most Memorable TV Moms

We'll be tuning in to catch these sassy, strong TV mothers.

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Madeline Westen, Burn Notice (Sharon Gless)

So what if her son got tossed out of the CIA—it brought him close to her Miami safe house. A chain-smoking hypochondriac with overbleached hair, retiree Madeline’s there to hinder Jeffrey every criminal-catching step of the way.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Virginia Chance, Raising Hope (Martha Plimpton)

What could be worse for baby Hope than a serial killer mother who was executed when the child was only six months old? A grandmother who gave birth at age 15. Waitress Virginia is a raucous case study in maternal don’ts.

Greg Gayne/ FOX

Betty Draper, Mad Men (January Jones)

Was it her husband’s infidelity that turned her so mean? She creepily warmed up to the kid next door, but dealing with troubled daughter Sally, Betty’s got ice in her veins.

Michael Yarish/ AMC

Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, Modern Family (Sofia Vergara)

“You are so han-sommm,” the bombshell second wife declares, forever buoying the confidence of her pudgy genius of a son, Manny—and making sure nobody forgets their Colombian heritage.


Colleen Donaghy, 30 Rock (Elaine Stritch)

Brutal, brittle, brazen—this domineering grande dame is the mother Jack deserves. Besides, who else is gonna tell him to ditch both the steamy Latina and the “white geisha”?

NBC Universal, Inc

Doris Sylvester, Glee (Carol Burnett)

Five minutes with her, and you even feel sorry for Sue Sylvester. Doris skipped out of “stifling” Ohio, abandoning her kids to hunt Nazis (in, remarkably, places like Niagara Falls).

Mike Yarish/ FOX

Evelyn Harper, Two and a Half Men (Holland Taylor)

A bad mother to both her boys when they were growing up, the multimarried Evelyn is still something of a sleep-around slut—and proud of it. Forget grandmotherly golf and knitting: Her hobbies are shopping, sex and booze.

Greg Gayne/ Warner Bros.

Nancy Botwin, Weeds (Mary-Louise Parker)

A widow who’s definitely walking on the wild side, Nancy (aka Lacey, aka Nathalie) not only makes dope dealing the family business, but she also stands up (none too wisely) to rival drug cartels.

Cliff Lipson/Showtime

Arlene Cuddy, House (Candace Bergen)

It takes a tough mama to go up against medicine’s formidable curmudgeon. For the sake of her daughter, she wants him to convert (as she did) to Judaism. And Arlene’s sure not above pointing out that neither Dr. House nor Dr. Cuddy is getting any younger.

Adam Taylor/FOX

First Published Mon, 2011-03-21 16:00

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