10 TV Characters With No Names

By Paula Hendrickson

Most nameless TV characters are inconsequential, but some are lead characters — like those on Fleabag and Remington Steele. Despite being named on the first episode of Gilligan’s Island,  Jonas Grumby was better known as The Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.). And while some nameless characters’ names are revealed at or near the end of a series’ run, we never learn the names of others. But when a character is as strongly drawn as the ones below, do they even really need a name?

 

Fleabag

While we never hear the given name of Fleabag’s lead character (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), she’s not alone. Her Dad (Bill Patterson), godmother (Olivia Coleman) and favorite Priest (Andrew Scott) don’t have names, either. – Fleabag, Amazon Prime, 2016-19

Even when secret agent Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) married his partner Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon), the audience never heard her name. – Get Smart, NBC 1965-69; CBS, 1969-70

The Doctor’s (currently played by Jodie Whittaker) name is such a tightly-guarded secret that the Time Lord has only utters it—in a whisper audible only to the being or device he’s sharing it with—when absolutely necessary, and even then The Doctor may be giving a false name. — Doctor Who, BBC, 1963-89; BBC/BBC America, 2005-present – Doctor Who

The former conman posing as private investigator Remington Steele (Pierce Brosnan) claims that even he doesn’t know his real name, yet that never stops him from owning his new identity as Mr. Steele. – Remington Steele, NBC, 1982-1987

Mr. Big

After six seasons of being referred to as “Mr. Big” (Chris Noth), Big’s real name is finally revealed to viewers in the series finale—on Carrie’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) Caller ID: John James Preston  – Sex and the City, HBO 1998-2004

Smoking Man (William B. Davis) manipulated Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) in ways they didn’t even realize until the final season. He was Mulder’s bio-dad, too. — The X-Files, Fox, 1993-2018

Throughout Scrubs’ entire run, the Janitor (Neil Flynn) told tall tales about himself and tormented J.D. (Zach Braff), albeit as a guest star in the final season because Flynn was also starring on The Middle. Scrubs, NBC 2001-08; ABC 2009-10

Despite being a British import, The Prisoner quickly became a worldwide cult favorite. After former British intelligence agent (Patrick McGoohan) resigns, he wakes up in a seemingly idyllic prison where he’s called Number Six. — The Prisoner, ITV 1967-68; CBS in 1968

The Man in Black

When the shape-shifting Smoke Monster on Lost took human form near the end of season 5, it was as The Man in Black (Titus Welliver), the ancient twin of Jacob (Mark Pellegrino). Together they represented Light and Dark and embodied the mystery of the island. – Lost, ABC 2004-2010

Despite only appearing on 11 episodes of The Fugitive, The One-Armed Man (Bill Raisch) was a pivotal character who was pursued by the title character, Dr. Richard Kimble (David Jansen), as the chief suspect in his wife’

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