It’s become more common than not for TV shows to keep characters quiet and hidden. One wouldn’t think such characters would become the talk of the town, but even roles that remain unseen and unheard contribute to television series greatly. Here are some of the most popular characters that never need to memorize lines and/or get dolled up in the makeup trailer before filming.
1. Maris Crane
Niles Crane (David Hyde Pierce) might have been married three times, but one of his most dysfunctional relationships was with first wife, Maris. Even though the audience never saw or heard her, the show did a fabulous job of depicting her character through the mouths of Niles, Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and Martin (John Mahoney). Maris was a difficult woman who never ate, liked to spend money and even snuck out of the country after committing murder, in self-defense.
2. Mrs. Wolowitz
“The Big Bang Theory” just wouldn’t be the same without Howard Wolowitz’s (Simon Helberg) relationship with his mother. In the past, Howard has been extremely dependent on his mother, but now that he’s married to Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) he’s somewhat steered away from his mother’s overbearing nature. Since the beginning, Mrs. Wolowitz has never been on camera. She’s been described as a heavy woman, and it’s no lie she has a loud voice, which speaks volumes. In one of the recent episodes, the audience did see the back of Mrs. Wolowitz, but has yet to see her face.
3. Wilson Wilson, Jr.
Hidey ho, neighbor! Wilson (Earl Hindman) was definitely a staple of the comedy “Home Improvement.” Neighbor to the Taylors, Wilson constantly provided advice through his fence, while his face remained hidden. In addition to the fence, Wilson always strategically placed random items in front of his face. Reportedly, Wilson’s face remained hidden thanks to Tim Allen, because when he was a young boy he couldn’t see one of his neighbors over the fence. That fence sort of became another character on the show, and never stopped Wilson from helping out his neighbors.
In the ‘80s, “Muppet Babies” was a popular cartoon among children. In addition to viewing everybody’s favorite Muppets - Miss Piggy, Kermit, Gonzo, Animal, Rowlf, Scooter and Skeeter - as babies, kids also sat in awe wondering why Nanny’s face was never shown. As the woman who takes care of the nursery, Nanny was shown from the perspective of the babies, so the audience never saw her face. One thing that did stand out were Nanny’s famous white and green striped stockings. FYI - Did you know “Leave It to Beaver’s” Barbara Billingsley did Nanny’s voice?
Weekly, “Charlie Angels” fans would tune in to hear the Angels say, “Good morning, Charlie.” Voiced by “Dynasty’s” John Forsythe, Charlie was a retired detective with many enemies and allowed one of his employees aka Bosley (David Doyle) to know his true identity. Luckily, Charlie had his Angels, Kelly (Jaclyn Smith), Sabrina (Kate Jackson), Kris (Cheryl Ladd) and Jill (Farrah Fawcett) to help him hunt down the bad guys through his private detective company, the Charles Townsend Agency.
6. Vera Peterson
The mysterious Vera Peterson stood by her husband - Norm! (George Wendt) - but “Cheers” fans were never lucky enough to see what she truly looked like. As the above image depicts, the one time she was almost shown Diane (Shelley Long) threw a pie in her face. The other few times she popped up only her legs or hands were visible. Here’s some fun trivia: Vera was actually played by Wendt’s wife, Bernadette Birkett.
7. Stan Walker
If “Will & Grace” fans know anything, it’s that Karen (Megan Mullally) loved to drink, pop pills, kiss Jack (Sean Hayes) and cause all sorts of shenanigans. She was also known for her marriage to Stan, though he always remained unseen. He was described as loving fast food, resulting in his obesity. In Season 5, Stan died, and then later on it is revealed he faked his death. Eventually, Karen and Stan divorced.
8. Juanita Beasley
She might have been one of the lesser known characters on “The Andy Griffith Show,” but she still counts as an invisible character. In Mayberry, Juanita Beasley was a waitress at the Bluebird Diner. When she wasn’t serving food to local residents, Juanita was busy making dates with Deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts), but only over the phone. Of course, the audience never heard her voice, and only saw Barney talking to the mysterious Juanita through a handheld receiver.
9. Ugly Naked Guy
“Friends” was made up of six New Yorkers who were best friends, and one character that became sort of a regular topic of conversation was Ugly Naked Guy. Just look at the above photo.The "Friends" gang became concerned Ugly Naked Guy died, so they formed a "giant poking device" out of chopsticks. He also became popular for walking around butt naked and doing random activities like purchasing moon boots. In Season 5, fans finally saw Ugly Naked Guy, but only from behind and from the side. When he decides to move out of his apartment Ross (David Schwimmer) wants to move in, so he bonds with Ugly Naked Guy by getting naked too and eating mini muffins.
10. Doctor Claw
Doctor Claw was Inspector Gadget’s archenemy, and one scary dude whose face was never revealed. When he wasn’t busy planning how to destroy Gadget’s well-being, he was pretty much always spotted sitting in a chair accompanied by his pet cat. Dr. Claw was only ever shown from behind, along with shots of his right hand sporting a metal glove. Despite Gadget’s clumsy and dim-witted persona, he always managed to defeat Dr. Claw with help from his niece, Penny.
11. George Steinbrenner
“Seinfeld” fans, remember that time George Costanza (Jason Alexander) worked for the Yankees and often conversed with the team’s owner, George Steinbrenner? The back of Steinbrenner’s head only ever appeared on TV, and his voice was provided by “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David. He often referred to himself as the “Big Stein” and was known for talking non-stop. During Season 7, the real Steinbrenner shot footage for his very own cameo, but unfortunately his scenes were cut. Reportedly, his cameo never made it to air, as Steinbrenner disapproved of the show killing off George’s finance and wanted nothing to do with the episode.