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?



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’

Related Stories

09/25/22: Cynopsis Jobs

man balloons

MANAGER, DISTRIBUTION PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT A+E NETWORKS NYC/Remote Acts as key liaison with MVPDs to drive the value associated with A+E Networks’ VOD, TVE and other digital media products in the pay TV market. Coordinates delivery of content to clients, optimizes internal workflows, and monitors performance of content on clients’ sites/apps. Experience in project/product management within […]

09/23/22: “Reservation Dogs” renewed for third season.

Reservation Dogs

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM KATZ DIGITAL VIDEO KATZ LIVE KATZ LIVE KATZ LIVE From esports tournaments to all major sporting events, We Deliver Engaged Viewers, LIVE in the Moment! We put your message where YOUR consumers are, across FAST + AVOD environments. KATZ LIVE – EXCLUSIVE STREAMING MARKETPLACE Powered by Transmit.Live – Ranked #4 on […]

09/22/22: VCT formalized its 30 partnered teams

VALORANT's Global 30

  Thursday September 22, 2022 Good morning! It’s Thursday and this is your early morning Esports brief. With three new VALORANT International Leagues on deck that will each feature 10 partnered teams, Riot Games identified the 30 teams who will occupy those slots next year. The publisher noted that final selections were based on three […]

09/22/22: Charter names successor to Tom Rutledge

Charter names successor to Tom Rutedge

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM HEARST HEARST ANYSCREEN A Higher Standard in OTT Reach your audience, anytime, anywhere, on any screen. Hearst Anyscreen offers a targeted OTT platform that provides a single, centralized access point to the streaming TV marketplace. With a unique focus on quality, Hearst Anyscreen delivers premium “living room experience” […]

09/21/22: Cynopsis Jobs

Thumbs up

JR. ANALYST, AUDIENCE RESEARCH FETV NYC Daily email sent to Executives outlining top program performances w/Households & Key Demos, with context. Daily update of excel based network programming grid. Develop a Weekly Schedule Analysis Report with insight into FETV schedule performance, with recommendations of possible changes. A strong understanding of Nielsen concepts & terminology req. […]