10 Kens Famous for Their TV Appearances


Streaming video online may be the wave of the future, but it hasn’t quite replaced the television just yet. Chances are, you still spend quite a bit of time relaxing in front of the TV, even if you’re a fan of online video and Internet entertainment. When it comes to TV talent, there seems to be a surfeit of gifted stars named Ken. These are 10 Kens who share not only an exceptional first name, but also the experience of making it a household name after appearing on television.

  • Ken James – An Australian actor whose career began in the 1960s, Ken James has done turns as the star of children’s shows, sitcoms and televised dramas. He also reinvented himself as a television chef, a stint that lasted more than a decade, regularly appeared on Good Morning Australia, and was actively involved in the marketing of a kitchen implement. In 2009, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but he’ll always be more famous for his television work than his battle with cancer.
  • Ken Wahl – Most popular for his role on the now-defunct CBS crime drama Wiseguy, Ken Wahl is something of an enigma himself. His true birth date remains something of a mystery to this day, as does his back story before reaching the big leagues of television fame. These days, he’s an outspoken animal activist and vocal supporter of disabled American military veterans.
  • Ken Lawson – While he’s worked as a rapper, Kenyatta “Ken” Lawson is most well-known for his work on sitcoms like In The House and The Parkers. He took a step back from acting in 2004 to pursue his musical career, but he definitely made his mark on the world of pop culture through his early days in television.
  • Ken Jeong – Ken Jeong began his career as a physician and professor at North Carolina A&T State University, graduating from high school at the prodigious age of 16. Working in medicine didn’t earn this famous Ken his notoriety, though. He made his television debut on The Big Easy as a doctor, and has since appeared on shows like Two and a Half Men, Boston Legal, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Office. These days, you’ll see him staring as Senor Chang on the wildly popular sitcom Community.
  • Ken Jennings – It’s safe to say that Ken Jennings made his mark on television history when he set the records for both the longest winning streak on Jeopardy! and the most prize-money earnings in American history. A graduate of Brigham Young University and a computer scientist by trade, Ken Jennings has racked up millions of dollars by putting his super-powered knowledge of trivia to work on television game shows.
  • Ken Dodd – As a chart-topping singer/songwriter and comedian, Ken Dodd is famous for many things. His unique hairstyle, buck teeth and affection for feather dusters have all attributed to his fame, but his run of successful British television shows has put him on the global map of fame.
  • Ken Maynard – A beloved stuntman and actor whose movies still run on television decades after his death, Ken Maynard had the role of “cowboy” down to a science. He appeared in more than 90 films over the span of his career, but his struggles with addiction brought his run to an early end. A mysterious benefactor, widely believed to be Gene Autry, supported him through a quarter-century without work before he passed away of stomach cancer in 1973.
  • Ken Kercheval – There was a time when it seemed like the sudsy prime time hit Dallas was the only show on television, and this man was at the center of the action from day one. Ken Kercheval and his Dallas costar Larry Hagman were the only two original cast members to stay throughout the entire run of the show, reprising his role in reunion specials and the 2012 reboot of the show.
  • Ken Seeley – Climbing from the depths of addiction to reclaim sobriety is no mean feat. Doing so only to find yourself at the top of the entertainment world as a leading interventionist on the Emmy-winning A&E hit show Intervention is an even higher level of achievement. Seeley even received a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in 2011, and continues his work in television as an addiction specialist.
  • Kenny Wormald – A dancer and choreographer who has worked with superstars like Justin Timberlake, this Ken is no stranger to the small-screen limelight. Starring in reality programming before making the jump to made-for-television movies with the film Center Stage: Turn it Up, Kenny Wormald was also the male lead in the 2011 reboot of the 1980s dance classic Footloose.
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