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Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Greatest TV and Movies, Ranked: The Most Charming Bad Guy’s 13 Greatest

For more than 30 years, the sexy, versatile star has been making us laugh, cry, and quake in our boots!

It’s a special kind of talent who can make an audience laugh with casually tossed off one-liners … while also making those viewers cover their eyes and gasp at the traumatic sight of that character just as casually wielding a barbed wire-covered baseball bat he lovingly calls Lucille. That’s all in The Walking Dead performance of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and it’s just one of the movies and TV shows where the star has smoothly played everything from a fiercely protective papa fighting off supernatural monsters to protect his children, a lovestruck crooner trying to make a widow smile again, and a real-life sports legend who won the heart of a Hollywood superstar millions of people the world over fantasized about.

How Jeffrey Dean Morgan got his start

Born and raised in Seattle, Morgan was planning a career as a professional basketball player, until a knee injury in college dashed that dream. While helping a friend move to Los Angeles, Morgan decided to stick around and give acting a try. He quickly landed a role in the short-lived sci-fi drama The Burning Zone, and through years of committed efforts in a variety of genres, he’s become a fan favorite.

Who is Jeffrey Dean Morgan married to?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton
Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton (2010) Alberto E. Rodriguez / Staff / Getty

In 2009, Jensen Ackles, who played Morgan’s son on Supernatural, set his co-star up on a blind date with actress Hilarie Burton, a friend of Ackles’ wife Danneel. A year later, Burton gave birth to son Augustus (Gus) Morgan, with daughter George coming in 2018, and Jeffrey and Hilarie tying the knot in 2019.

The Morgan family lives on a farm in upstate New York, and co-own Samuel’s Sweet Shop, a local candy store, with Paul Rudd. Actress, podcaster, and former MTV VJ Hilarie guest starred as Lucille, the wife of Jeffrey’s Negan, on The Walking Dead in 2021.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan movies and tv shows, ranked

From brutal baddies to gallant good guys, Morgan specializes in complicated, and always charming, performances. Here are 14 of our favorite Jeffrey Dean Morgan movies and tv shows:

13. Days of Wrath (2008)

In this crime drama film, JDM, as his fans refer to him, is Bryan Gordon, the manager of a local news team, who’s out for vengeance when his ex-girlfriend becomes the victim of a gang carjacking gone terribly wrong.

12. Fall (2022)

Morgan is James Conner, whose grieving daughter climbs a 2,000-foot broadcast tower to spread her late husband’s ashes, and gets stuck. Can dad come to the rescue?

11. The Salvation (2014)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan in ‘The Salvation’
Jeffrey Dean Morgan in ‘The Salvation’ (2014) Entertainments

In this 19th century-set Danish Western, JDM plays Henry Delarue, once a decent man who becomes a vicious gang leader and land baron after traumatic experiences as a Danish war officer.

10. Magic City (2012-13)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan in ‘Magic City’ ; Jeffrey Dean Morgan movies and tv shows
Jeffrey Dean Morgan in ‘Magic City’ (2013) Talent Group

This stylish, short-lived Starz drama stars JDM as Ike Evans, family man and the owner of the Miramar Playa, the swankiest hotel in 1959 Miami. His glamorous world becomes much more complicated when he is forced to make a deal with a local mobster.

9. The Losers (2010)

Comic book adaptations staple Morgan (a real-life comic book fan) plays Clay, the leader of the titular black-ops U.S. special forces team, who save a group of children during a mission, and then find out they’ve been set up for death … by their own country. Also stars Idris Elba, Chris Evans, and Zoe Saldana.

8. P.S. I Love You (2007)

JDM is William, a swoony Irish singer who catches the eye of heartbroken Holly (Hilary Swank) when she takes a trip to Ireland after the death of her husband Gerry (Gerard Butler). Turns out, William has a surprising connection to Gerry.  Lisa Kudrow, Kathy Bates, and Harry Connick Jr. also star.

7. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe (2015)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kelli Garner in ‘The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe’
Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kelli Garner in ‘The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe’ (2015) Entertainment

This Lifetime miniseries features Kelli Garner as the tragic, legendary actress Marilyn Monroe, and Morgan as her second husband, the equally legendary New York Yankees Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio. Their tumultuous marriage lasted less than a year, but they were in each other’s lives until Monroe’s death.

6. Leopard Skin (2022-current)

A deliciously unconventional, twist-filled, half-hour Peacock drama revolves around Morgan’s LaSalle, a corrupt judge who hires a team to steal jewels for him. But when their heist goes askew, the team hides out at a secluded Mexican beach mansion, and takes the occupants hostage, setting the scene for an action-packed unfolding of murder, secrets, and an unexpected romance. Also stars Carla Gugino (who wears the most stunning green jumpsuit ever stitched together).

5. The Good Wife (2009-16)

‘The Good Wife’
Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Julianna Margulies in ‘The Good Wife’ (2016) Television Studios

JDM came in during the last season of this Emmy-winning CBS legal drama, playing attorney-turned-investigator Jason Crouse. Jason is mysterious; he had been disbarred years earlier, and was deemed a sociopath by a judge he had punched. But attorney Alicia (Julianna Margulies) respects his work, and is definitely delighted by him, leading to a will-they-won’t-they (as in end up together) as the series winds down to its finale.

MUST-READ: See ‘The Good Wife’ Cast Then and Now

4. Supernatural (2005-2020)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Jared Padalecki in ‘Supernatural’
Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Jared Padalecki in ‘Supernatural’ (2005) Bros. Television

Morgan stars as John Winchester, a mechanic-turned-hunter of supernatural baddies and the avenger of his wife’s death at the hands of the demon Azazel. John goes missing himself, sending sons Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) off to find him and officially turning the destruction of otherworldly monsters into the family business in the CW’s longest-running drama series.

RELATED: ‘Supernatural’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

3. Grey’s Anatomy (2005-present)

‘Grey’s Anatomy’
Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Katherine Heigl in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (2006) Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Katherine Heigl in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

While working on Supernatural, Morgan was also filming his role as heart patient Denny Duquette, who falls in love with Dr. Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) while waiting for a heart transplant.

The sweet Denny (read: Morgan at his most handsome and devastatingly charismatic) dies of a stroke, crushing Izzie and viewers alike. But their story doesn’t end there; in the long-running ABC medical drama’s most infamous storyline ever, Morgan returns as Denny’s ghost … and engages in “ghost sex” with Izzie.

2. Watchmen (2009)

Cast by director Zack Snyder because he was “grumpy and cool and grizzled” during his audition, Morgan perfectly nails his complicated superhero character, Edward Blake, a.k.a. The Comedian. Blake’s early demise helps kick off the story, and JDM’s strong, sympathetic performance allows him to steal scenes throughout this graphic novel adaptation. It also insured he would land his signature role years later.

1. The Walking Dead (2010-2022) and The Walking Dead: Dead City (2023-current)

And then there’s Negan. A classic comic book villain, Negan is vicious even by the standards of a world where the living are eaten by the deceased. Fans of The Walking Dead series waited six seasons for the character’s fateful arrival, and Morgan brings him to life as a persuasive, witty, heartless murderer, who sincerely continues to try to redeem himself (including to a woman whose husband is among those he beat to death in front of her) in the series’ spin-off, Dead City. It’s tough to imagine any other actor even attempting such an impossible task; JDM’s Negan is making headway, even if it does come an inch at a time.

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