For 13 seasons, and with more to come, Blue Bloods has been following the Reagan family. They’re a multi-generational clan of police officers in the bustling backdrop of New York City. Each member of the family is deeply entrenched in the world of law enforcement, and the show deftly weaves together their personal and professional lives. One of the show’s charming traditions is the Sunday family dinner, where the Reagans gather to share their lives. Tom Selleck takes the lead as the family’s patriarch, Frank, and the ensemble cast includes Bridget Moynahan and Donnie Wahlberg.
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Blue Bloods, being a police procedural, introduces us to new criminals, victims, and sometimes even colleagues every week. This format has allowed the show to welcome a plethora of guest stars over the years, ranging from pivotal roles in single episodes to recurring characters across multi-episode story arcs. Much like other series set and filmed in the vibrant backdrop of New York, Blue Bloods has had the privilege of featuring a host of Broadway stars, including numerous Tony Award winners. Additionally, it boasts a roster of recognizable actors with extensive careers in film and television, many of whom have collaborated with the main cast before.
10. Bobby Cannavale
Erin’s boss, the ambitious Manhattan district attorney Charles Rosselini, was brought to life by the talented Bobby Cannavale. Cannavale, known for his Emmy-winning performances in Will & Grace and Boardwalk Empire, as well as his role on Third Watch, lent his skills to the character of Rosselini.
Cannavale graced Blue Bloods with his presence in its inaugural season, portraying Rosselini on three occasions. During this time, his character flirted with Erin, played by Bridget Moynahan, and their connection eventually led to a kiss. However, their budding romance was short-lived, primarily due to Rosselini’s mayoral campaign, which made them decide to put their relationship on hold. As the story unfolded, Rosselini lost the mayoral election, and since then, his character has yet to make a reappearance.
9. Tovah Feldshuh
Tovah Feldshuh, a seasoned Broadway performer, graced Season 5 of Blue Bloods as Sylvia Hayden, the new girlfriend of former commissioner Henry Reagan, portrayed by Len Cariou. Feldshuh’s impressive career includes recent roles in productions like Funny Girl, where she played Mrs. Brice, as well as notable TV appearances, such as her role as Alexandria’s leader, Deanna Monroe, in The Walking Dead and her portrayal of Rebecca’s challenging mother in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
In this season, Sylvia’s character took an unexpected turn when Erin’s research unveiled her as a fugitive on the run, known for her involvement with older men. Her storyline was both captivating and filled with intriguing revelations about her past, ultimately culminating in her arrest.
8. Michael Imperioli
Michael Imperioli made appearances in a total of three episodes on Blue Bloods. His first two-episode stint occurred in Season 7, followed by another appearance in Season 11, where he portrayed New York Attorney General Robert Lewis. Imperioli is widely recognized for his notable roles in The Sopranos and Goodfellas, where he has showcased his versatile acting skills.
Imperioli’s extensive career has seen him take on roles spanning both criminals and law enforcement officers. In Blue Bloods, despite Robert’s occupation within the realm of law enforcement, his character displayed a manipulative side, often leading to clashes with Frank, played by Tom Selleck.
7. Lou Diamond Phillips
Season 9 of Blue Bloods introduced us to the character Louis Delgado, portrayed by Lou Diamond Phillips. Delgado, a member of a cartel, made his first appearance in the season premiere and has made several returns, even after his apparent demise. Lou Diamond Phillips is widely recognized for his iconic role as musician Ritchie Valens in the biopic La Bamba, and he has also graced the screens of Longmire and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Delgado’s storyline in the series is a rollercoaster of surprises and intricacies, and Lou Diamond Phillips delivers outstanding performances that keep viewers engaged. One of the standout episodes involving Delgado had Danny, played by Donnie Wahlberg, and him discovering that both of their wives had been tragically killed by cartel member Jose Rojas, portrayed by yet another memorable Blue Bloods guest star—Danny Trejo.
6. Danny Trejo
Danny Trejo took on the role of cartel member Jose Rojas, ominously known as ‘The Clam,’ the man responsible for the tragic death of Delgado’s wife. As investigators began to suspect that her death was connected to the helicopter crash that claimed Danny’s wife’s life, they seized the opportunity to apprehend Rojas.
Trejo is often associated with tough, rugged villain roles, and his portrayal on Blue Bloods was no exception. Despite the brevity of his appearance in just one episode, Trejo’s performance left a lasting impact on the series, showcasing his ability to make a significant mark with even limited screen time.
5. Ed Asner
Season 10 featured the late Ed Asner in the episode ‘Vested Interests,’ where he portrayed Chuck Kennedy, a dear friend and mentor to Frank. Chuck was the owner of the local movie theater and fell victim to a harrowing home invasion. Asner, who passed away in August 2021, had an illustrious career in film and television, spanning from the iconic sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show to his heartwarming voice work as Carl in Pixar’s animated masterpiece Up, earning him a remarkable seven Emmy Awards.
In one of his final television appearances prior to his passing, Asner delivered a memorable performance as Chuck. He brought charm to the screen as he resisted Frank’s efforts to coax him out of the confines of his apartment.
4. Treat Williams
Treat Williams took on the recurring role of Lenny Ross, a retired New York detective who once partnered with Frank. Williams, best known for his portrayal of Berger in the musical Hair, as well as his roles in Everwood, White Collar, and Chicago Fire, added his own touch of charisma to the character. Tragically, Williams passed away suddenly in June 2023 at the age of 71, the result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.
Williams’ portrayal of the mischievous yet endearing Lenny left a lasting impression. He graced the screen in a total of six episodes of Blue Bloods, and in his final appearance in Season 13’s ‘Irish Exits,’ he revealed that he had developed mesothelioma due to his exposure during the 9/11 attacks. While the show’s plans for his character remain uncertain, this revelation could serve as a fitting and poignant conclusion to his storyline.
3. Dylan Walsh
Dylan Walsh made his debut on Blue Bloods in Season 10, stepping into the shoes of Peter Chase, the newly elected mayor. Walsh is widely recognized for his portrayal of plastic surgeon Dr. Sean McNamara in the long-running series Nip/Tuck, which aired on FX from 2003 to 2010.
Peter Chase’s role in the show has been ongoing since his election as mayor. In this capacity, he holds authority over Frank and, naturally, their differing perspectives on addressing the city’s most pressing issues have led to occasional clashes, all while navigating the complexities of public opinion.
2. Victor Garber
Renowned Canadian actor Victor Garber took on the role of Donald Stein, a highly respected Jewish community leader, in the episode titled ‘Under the Gun’ from Season 5. Garber boasts an impressive resume, with notable appearances in productions like Godspell, Titanic, the Emmy-winning series Alias, as well as a successful Broadway career and numerous TV guest roles. He has also graced recent shows such as The Flash and is currently part of Family Law.
In this particular episode, when a series of drive-by shootings initially appeared to be hate crimes targeting Jewish men, Garber’s character, Donald, expressed his dissatisfaction with the case’s handling to Frank. However, as the story unfolds, it’s revealed that the murders are linked to a malpractice case. Nevertheless, Garber’s scenes alongside Selleck added some truly memorable moments to the episode.
1. Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg, the accomplished EGOT-winning actress, took on the role of New York City Council Speaker Regina Thomas in three distinct episodes spanning a few years. Goldberg’s illustrious career includes iconic roles in films such as Sister Act and its sequel, The Color Purple, Star Trek, and her ongoing role as a co-host on the talk show The View.
Goldberg initially portrayed Regina in Season 6 when she held the position of the new speaker. Her character made subsequent appearances in Seasons 8 and 11, often engaging in heated exchanges with Frank. In the Season 11 premiere, Regina and Frank engaged in discussions about potential changes to the department’s policing approach.