Cry Me a River: Best Criers on TV

It’s always great when we see actors and actresses illustrating true emotion and vulnerability on TV. As an audience, we feel for them, and most of the time they can moves us to tears with their tears. Let’s admit, there are some actors who just cry so much better than others, and that’s where this list comes in handy. Here are 11 of the best criers and weepers on TV that really hit us hard in the heart.

1. Jensen Ackles
Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester on Supernatural
Jensen Ackles is one guy that can really get “Supernatural” fans to shed a few tears. On more than one occasion, Ackles as Dean Winchester has shown his softer side by letting those tears stream. My favorite moment, shown above, is when he tells his brother, Sam (Jared Padalecki), that he remembers everything from his time in Hell. Dean confesses he did some horrible things, like torturing people’s souls, and he wished he could no longer feel anything inside. Talk about heartbreak.

2. Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer Love Hewitt as Melinda Gordon on Ghost Whisperer
Some might call her an ugly crier, but she does it so well! While starring as Melinda Gordon on “Ghost Whisperer,” Jennifer Love Hewitt wasn’t ashamed to sob. Do you remember that time when her husband Jim (David Conrad) died? Now, I could have sworn those were real tears. Combine those tears with shock and anger, and Hewitt gave one hell of a performance.

3. Nick Wechsler
Nick Wechsler as Jack Porter on Revenge
Not only do I adore Nick Wechsler as Jack Porter on ABC’s “Revenge,” but I adore him for his crying scenes. He’s right up there with Jensen Ackles. Let’s recall those tears when his dog, Sammy, died. They weren’t just tears, but snot-filled sobs. I know it sounds gross, but it was devastating for Jack and the audience. Most recently, he pulled out those tears again when his wife Amanda (Margarita Levieva) died. Just look at the above photo and tell me your heart doesn’t break for him.

4. Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow on Alias
If you don’t already love Jennifer Garner, then you must love her after she pulls off an amazing scene filled with crying as Sydney Bristow in “Alias.” Check out the above photo. Yes, that was one moment where “Alias” fans became filled with agony. After her father, Jack (Victor Garber), gets shot, Sydney must leave him to die and finish her mission. She reluctantly leaves, but not before we get to see those famous Garner tears.

5. Miles Heizer
Miles Heizer as Drew Holt on Parenthood
Miles Heizer plays Drew Holt in NBC’s “Parenthood.” This past season, he showed viewers his killer acting skills when Drew and his girlfriend get pregnant. Not only does he have to deal with the idea of being a father, but also abortion. Drew’s girlfriend ends up getting the abortion, and he is devastated. His heartache really shows when he tells his mom (Lauren Graham) what happened. Drew shows the audience a side they’ve never seen before, as he’s a blubbering mess and makes everyone’s heart break.

6.Troian Bellisario
Troian Bellisario as Spencer Hastings on Pretty Little Liars
On this season of ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars,” Troian Bellisario hasn’t shied away from her cray cray side. Well, of course not as herself, but as Spencer Hastings. Spencer continues in a downward spiral, thanks to her ex-boyfriend Toby (Keegan Allen) revealing he’s on the A-team. Spencer immediately hit a brick wall, and hasn’t been able to pick herself up off the ground. Troian has truly shined, especially during those crying scenes, like the one where she’s sitting outside Toby’s loft balling.

7. Zach Roerig
Zach Roerig as Matt Davis on The Vampire Diaries
Zach Roerig plays Matt Davis on “The Vampire Diaries,” and he doesn’t have that much of a part. He appears every so often, and I love when he does. I don’t think he’s been given a chance to shine, but that changed this season when Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) was killed. Who knew Roerig could cry so well? First, we see tears while he’s hugging Elena (Nina Dobrev). Finally, we see him have a meltdown in his truck. If that doesn’t prove Roerig can act, I don’t what does.

8. Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl as Izzie Stevens on Grey's Anatomy
As Dr. Izzie Stevens on “Grey’s Anatomy,” Katherine Heigl had some of the saddest scenes, which all involved her talented crying skills. From Denny’s (Joseph Dean Morgan) death to George (T.R. Knight) being killed to finding out she had cancer, Heigl definitely filmed some of the toughest moments of the series.

9. John Krasinski
John Krasinski as Jim Halpert on The Office
OK, so he might not be a sobbing mess like the others on this list, but John Krasinski has been given some sappy moments as Jim Halpert on “The Office.” My favorite scene is the Season 2 finale where he tells Pam (Jenna Fischer) he loves her. Each time, I wait for that one tear to slide down his face. So good! I also love when he finds out Pam’s pregnant and he rejoices with tears. Oh, and how about when he says goodbye to Michael (Steve Carell)? Krasinski is the best.

10. Monica Potter
Monica Potter as Kristina Braverman on Parenthood
One more reason to admire Monica Potter is for her kickass performance as Kristina Braverman on “Parenthood.” This woman rocked the past season, and was the reason I watched. Kristina’s battle with breast cancer was completely heartbreaking, but Potter rocked it. Throughout the season, Kristina cried a lot, and rightfully so. It was hard to watch her tell the entire Braverman family that she is sick, especially when the tears started to flow. Ugh. Heartwrenching.

11. Josh Henderson
Josh Henderson as John Ross on Dallas
This past Monday, TNT aired J.R. Ewing’s (Larry Hagman) funeral on “Dallas.” It was sad to see such a legendary character leave the TV world. As his son, John Ross, on the show, Josh Henderson’s performance was off the charts. He was pissed, hurt, sad and basically every emotion rolled into one. When John Ross tried to hold back the tears and sadness, I’m pretty sure the entire viewing audience felt a lump in their throat, as they were trying not to cry too. I’m glad we’re getting a chance to see all of Henderson’s potential on “Dallas.”

Which TV actor and/or actress moves you to tears with their tears?


Level 1 (67%)
Points: 1.2
Since: 02/Jan/09
Message Posted On Mar 30th, 2013, 7:10 am

I'll have to kick Clare Danes in the shin really hard the next time I see her.  The best cryer I've ever seen on TV is Judith Light.  She was on a soap in the 70's.  Played a doctor's wife, with a hooker past who gets blackmailed by her former pimp.  She was crying -- beautifully -- five days a week, for years.  Must've been the practice.

Few men cry realistically.  They usually over-do-it, and come off as melodramatic and fake.  Jensen Ackles is a great and rare example of a good, or, realistic cryer.  Not too forced, believeable, and handsome while he's crying.  With a name like "Jensen Ackles", my guess is he's had plenty of practice, too. 

Now that I think of it, male cryers never make a sound.  Well, Rome wasn't built in a day.

There's one man, still on TV, who's an even better cryer than J. A.  His name is George Eads, on the original CSI.  I've seen him cry twice on that show, and he was as natural as can be.  Brings a tear to my eye just picturing him.


Level 3 (80%)
Points: 534.5
Since: 17/Jan/09
Message Posted On Mar 20th, 2013, 1:24 am

Claire Danes is the best! Her face turns red and her chin stars to quiver.


Message Posted On Mar 14th, 2013, 1:46 am
jack bauer??

Message Posted On Mar 13th, 2013, 9:08 pm
Nah Claire Danes is the greatest crier ever.