We mapped out 50 unforgettable TV characters for all 50 states

See which fictional character comes from your home state.

Read to Me

Everybody comes from somewhere, even fictional people. Television has given us thousands of memorable characters, living in hundreds of places. Which got us thinking — who is the first character who comes to mind when you think of a state?

For some American states, it is a no-brainer. Mayberry's Sheriff Andy Taylor is North Carolina. It's hard to think of Minnesota without picturing Mary Richards tossing her tam into the air.

For other states, like Montana and the Dakotas, there were not many options, which is why we had stretch to include one real person (Lawrence Welk). We even included some cartoon characters. But when it comes to California and New York, where do you even start?

Well, you can see the results below. Which characters do you most associate with your state?


ALABAMA Dr. Hibbert, The Simpsons

ALASKA Chilly Willy

ARIZONA Alice Hyatt, Alice

ARKANSAS Jed Clampett, The Beverly Hillbillies

CALIFORNIA The Bradys, The Brady Bunch

COLORADO Mork, Mork & Mindy

CONNECTICUT Samantha Stephens, Bewitched

DELAWARE Jarod “The Pretender,” The Pretender

FLORIDA Dorothy Zbornak, The Golden Girls

GEORGIA Ben Matlock, Matlock

HAWAII Gilligan, Gilligan’s Island

IDAHO Dave Barrett, The Manhunter

ILLINOIS Bob Hartley, The Bob Newhart Show

INDIANA Woody Boyd, Cheers

IOWA James T. Kirk, Star Trek

KANSAS Marshal Matt Dillon, Gunsmoke

KENTUCKY Daniel Boone, Daniel Boone

LOUISIANA Benjamin Sisko, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

MAINE Hawkeye Pierce, M*A*S*H

MARYLAND Dana Scully, The X-Files

MASSACHUSETTS Sam Malone, Cheers

MICHIGAN Martin Payne, Martin

MINNESOTA Mary Richards, The Mary Tyler Moore Show

MISSISSIPPI Kermit the Frog, The Muppet Show

MISSOURI Fred Sanford, Sanford and Son

MONTANA Zefram Cochrane, Star Trek

NEBRASKA Penny, The Big Bang Theory

NEVADA Ben Cartwright, Bonanza

NEW HAMPSHIRE Constance MacKenzie, Peyton Place

NEW JERSEY Tony Soprano, The Sopranos

NEW MEXICO Lucas McCain, The Rifleman

NEW YORK Lucy Ricardo, I Love Lucy

NORTH CAROLINA Andy Taylor, The Andy Griffith Show

NORTH DAKOTA Lawrence Welk, The Lawrence Welk Show

OHIO Johnny Fever, WKRP in Cincinnati

OKLAHOMA Marshal Jim Crown, Cimarron Strip

OREGON Ramona Quimby, Ramona

PENNSYLVANIA Will Smith, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

RHODE ISLAND Thurston Howell III, Gilligan’s Island

SOUTH CAROLINA Ensign Harry Kim, Star Trek: Voyager

SOUTH DAKOTA Al Swearengen, Deadwood

TENNESSEE Davy Crockett, Davy Crockett

TEXAS Bret Maverick, Maverick

UTAH Wile E. Coyote, Looney Tunes

VERMONT Dick Loudon, Newhart

VIRGINIA Thomas Magnum, Magnum P.I.

WASHINGTON Laura Palmer, Twin Peaks

WEST VIRGINIA Jennifer Marlowe, WKRP in Cincinnati

WISCONSIN The Fonz, Happy Days

WYOMING Yogi Bear, The Yogi Bear Show

Download the full-size map.

 
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42 Comments

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Lillyrose 31 months ago
Great list! But I thought that Klinger would be the character for Ohio. He was so crazy about his hometown Toledo, Ohio, and was always bragging about it. I feel the same way about my hometown of Neenah, Wisconsin!
JDnHuntsvilleAL 31 months ago
This doesn't make sense: "MISSOURI Fred Sanford, Sanford and Son"

What in the WORLD makes MeTV that Sanford and Son took place in MISSOURI???? It's based in LA.
JDnHuntsvilleAL 31 months ago
This doesn't make sense: "MISSOURI Fred Sanford, Sanford and Son"

What in the WORLD makes MeTV that Sanford and Son took place in MISSOURI???? It's based in LA.
It is set in LA, but like Redd Foxx, Fred was born in St. Louis!
bayman50cal 31 months ago
Linda Hamilton is from Maryland.
WILD bayman50cal 21 months ago
The Beauty from Beauty and the Beast.
Bret 31 months ago
For Illinois, I think of Al Bundy (Married with Children). This was based in Chicago.
Terence 31 months ago
Well, to be honest, I always thought the Clampetts came from Missouri! They were from the Ozarks and I go the feeling Bug Tussle was near Silver Dollar City (near Branson)! As to California, I tend to think of Perry Mason instead of the Bradys!
Nitrocellulose1 31 months ago
Dwayne "King" Pride of N.C.I.S. New Orleans is the first person I think of for Louisiana.
BuckeyeBeth7 31 months ago
Pfft...First thing I think of when I think of Ohio tv characters is and will always be Alex P. Keaton (and of course the rest of the Keaton family) in Family Ties. Character wise 2nd place would probably be Hot In Cleveland's Elka followed closely by WKRP's Silver Sow Award winner Les Nessman. For some reason I always thought of Johnny Fever as a transplant stuck in Cincinnati after he said that unspeakable word on the radio, got fired and found himself drifting to the only radio station that would hire him. ;)
thedude1500 31 months ago
Hawaii should be Steve McGarrett or Thomas Magnum
CLos75 31 months ago
Dorothy Zbornak was from NY, not FL. She only lived in FL.
cperrynaples 31 months ago
You put Chilly Willy in Alaska, but every Bugs Bunny fan knows penguins come from the South Pole. "SOUTH POLE? Ooooh. I'm dyin'!"
Yes, you may be right. Every Bugs bunny fan may know where the penguin comes from, but you don't. Chilly Willy is not a Looney Tunes character. He's from the Woody Woodpecker Show. The penguin from "8 BALL BUNNY," was simply known as THE SKATING PENGUIN.
Yes, but the fact remains that penguins live in Antarctica, NOT in Alaska! It doesn't matter that Chilly is an Universal character, you can't argue with science!!
cperrynaples cperrynaples 30 months ago
Since they won't let you edit posts anymore, I have to write another to add that yes, I do know that as a performer, Skating Penguin lived in Hoboken! "HOBOKEN? Ooooh, I'm dyin' again!"
cperrynaples cperrynaples 30 months ago
And I have to add, "Can you help a guy who's down on his luck?" Give me a mulligan and a Bogie...LOL!
Dale 31 months ago
We here in Oklahoma also claim Lucas and Mark McCain as his character is originally from Oklahoma City.
stephaniestavropoulos Dale 31 months ago
You do know the show was set in New Mexico, don't you? It appears not to be the case, that you do know.
nerakr 31 months ago
When I think of Hawaii, I think of McGarrett.
Barry22 31 months ago
.........and lest we forget, Sonny Crockett from Miami Vice. Florida Rocks!
Barry22 31 months ago
Here in Florida, we are pretty proud of Flipper. And a show about a dolphin is better than a show about four wrinkled old sea turtles.
Dale 31 months ago
We here in Oklahoma also claim Lucas and Mark McCain as his character is originally from Oklahoma City.
Lantern 31 months ago
I know Ramona Quimby (and all the Beverly Cleary characters) are from Oregon, but what has that got to do with ME TV?
DSPECORARO1 31 months ago
New Hampshire's most memorable character has to be Former President & NH Governor Jed Bartlet
Amalthea DSPECORARO1 31 months ago
Yeah, except he couldn't pronounce his State Capitol correctly. Every good NH-ite knows it's pronounced "KAHN-kerd", not "kon-KORD". (Concord)
I had uncle who was from there. {KAHN-kerd} I loved hearing him talk. The NH accent is more pleasing to the eardrum. then the accent that is "known" for saying: "PAAK Your CAAH, at HAAVARD Yard"
JulieAckles 31 months ago
Great article except Ben Cartwright was from Massachusetts. So was Adam. Hoss was from Nebraska and after season 1 Little Joe was said to be born on the Ponderosa in Nevada. I figure since Bonanza is still popular that's a big mistake.
pony JulieAckles 31 months ago
Excellent observation, JulieAckles! ... My canon notes indicate Hoss was born in Texas but who really knows. Only Joe Cartwright is a native of Nevada, which of course was still only a territory when he was born on the Ponderosa.
MaryMitch JulieAckles 31 months ago
I'm not sure we know it was Massachusetts. Did they ever say anything more than "New England"?

But I just re-read the question, and it says "who is the first character who comes to mind when you think of a state?". For Nevada, I would say one of the Cartwrights; probably Ben or Joe.
Dale JulieAckles 31 months ago
But the theme was..." who is the first character who comes to mind when you think of a state?" NOT where was that character originally from.
What I remember, is Adam was born in MASS. Eric was born "on the road" and Little Joe was born in New Orleans. Well, his mother was from there. He could have been born in NV.
EllisClevenger 31 months ago
Will Smith? Philadelphia, only. The rest of Pennsylvania, and America, remembers Mr. Rogers, and his neighborhood.
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