7 important TV characters we all know, but never actually saw

These characters played important roles by staying behind the camera.

They played an important part in certain TV shows, but they were never truly there. You know what we're talking about, those elusive characters who add a mysterious vibe to the show by staying off camera.

Sometimes they are a disembodied voice giving certain characters instructions, other times they're simply a running gag. Whatever the case, looks don't matter when it comes to these seven characters.

Sure, we know and love them, but we never got to see the face behind the voice.

1. Charlie Townsend - 'Charlie's Angels'


Every week, Charlie had the important role of informing his Angels of their next mission. Despite the importance, we never see Charlie in the flesh. The millionaire, voiced by John Forsythe, only spoke to the Angels via speakerphone. 

Image: Sony Pictures Television

2. Orson - 'Mork & Mindy'


Orson is kind of like the alien version of Charlie. He constantly commands his subject, Mork, to observe human behavior, but mainly stays in the shadows while barking orders. 

Image: CBS Television Distribution

3. Vera Peterson - 'Cheers'


Norm Peterson says the only reason he goes to Cheers is to get away from his wife, so it's fitting we never see her throughout the series. We do get to catch a glimpse of her body and hear her voice, only to have her face hidden by a smashed pie. The woman in that scene, Bernadette Birkett, is George Wendt's wife in real life.

4. Lars Lindstrom - 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'


Never before did an unseen character have such a big impact on a television show. During season four, we find out Lars has been cheating on his wife, Phyllis, with Mary Richards' co-worker Sue Ann Nivens. The affair introduced Betty White's character and also paved the way for Cloris Leachman to land her own spinoff. 

5. Angela Valentine - 'Leave It to Beaver'


Beaver's strange and elusive classmate certainly causes quite a stir at school, but the audience is never able to get in on the action. We do get to see her once when the teacher acknowledges her during class, although we only get a glimpse of the back of her head.

Image: NBCUniversal

6. Juanita Beasley - 'The Andy Griffith Show'


Juanita is a waitress at the Bluebird Diner, in addition to being the object of Barney Fife's affection. Despite their romance, we never see the two of them together. 

7. Mrs. Columbo - 'Columbo'


Although Detective Columbo talked about his wife a lot, we never get to see the Mrs. Columbo throughout the series' run. That is, until the network ruined the illusion by giving Mrs. Columbo her own failed spinoff in 1979. From then on, Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager, Orange Is the New Black) would be associated with the unseen character.

Image: NBC Universal

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FloridaTopCat 11 months ago
Voice Only, Never on Screen:
Mrs. Wolowitz - CarolAnn Susi Voice - The Big Bang Theory
Grorge Steinbrenner, Back of Head Only, Larry David Voice, Seinfeld
Wilson Wilson, Farhead at Fence, Earl Hindeman Voice, Home Improvement
Peggy's Mom Mrs Wanker, Voice Only - Married With Children

Never Seen, Never Heard:
Maris, Niles Wife - Frasier
Louis, Margaret's Husband - Becker
Vera, Norm's Wife - Cheers
Lars Lindstrom, Phyllis's Husband - Mary Tyler Moore Show
Mrs Columbo - Columbo's Wife, Columbo (Appeard in Spinoff Mrs. Columbo)
Gladys, Pete's Wife - December Bride (appeared - show became "Pete & Gladys)
Tresix 27 months ago
Forgot about Moose Bellioti, the son of Miss Bellioti (Charlotte Rae) on the short-lived “Hot L Baltimore”.
VBartilucci 27 months ago
I think Happy Days had the largest number of unseen characters, even if a couple of them were eventually revealed.

Arnold was unseen until a season or two into the series, and once Al took over the restaurant, his fry cook Clarence was the new unseen character.

Joanie's friend Jenny Piccollo remained unseen till nearly the end of the series till Cathy Silvers played her.
EricFuller 34 months ago
Don't forget Trish "The Dish" from "One Day At A Time."
Allen5Brain 35 months ago
I encountered Lorenzo Music as Garfield the cat long before I ever saw reruns of Rhoda, so I always imagined Carlton as Garfield.
DerekBird 35 months ago
Captain Tuttle on the M*A*S*H episode - Tuttle. Although the character was a a creation of Hawkeye and Trapper (with help from Radar in the creation of Tuttle's personnel file). In the end poor Captain Tuttle is killed when he jumps out of a helicopter (acting as a medic)... without a parachute. This is revealed at the end of the episode as he is about to receive a Medal for his good deeds by General Clayton.

During the end credits Captain Tuttle was credited as having been played by... Himself in the Episode.

DerekBird 35 months ago
We never saw Maris Crane (Niles' first wife (He ended up getting married 3 Times)) on Frasier either.
RedSamRackham 40 months ago
* We never saw Marge the receptionist or Mel Cooley's wife on Dick Van Dyke Show. BTW unseen Lars died when Phyllis got her spinoff show! ☺
JuneMiller 50 months ago
Actually, we saw "Mrs. Columbo", quite a lot if you count Peter Falk's wife ;)
JimHursey 57 months ago
We never do get to see or hear Sara from Andy Griffith,
Tresix 64 months ago
Maris Crane; "Frasier"
Carlton the Doorman; "Rhoda"
Bob Sakamano(?); "Seinfeld"
Miss Bellum; "The Powerpuff Girls"
Killer, Geraldine Jones' boyfriend; "The Flip Wilson Show"
Sgarza1116 64 months ago
Don’t forget about Maris on Frasier
Sgarza1116 64 months ago
Don’t forget about Maris on Frasier
KristenQuaedvlieg 64 months ago
Hello! This is Carlton, your doorman on Rhoda.
HerbF KristenQuaedvlieg 50 months ago
Well, we did sorta see him in the animated spin-off pilot....
RedSamRackham HerbF 40 months ago
* Though unseen I always imagined Carlton the doorman looked like a wino elevator operator in an officebuilding where I once worked. Yet when Lorenzo Music (voice of Carlton) had his own talk show he looked nothing like I pictured Carlton. ☺
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