The 10 Best Justified Supporting Characters

Our Justified Coverage
Ranking the Justified Seasons
Ranking the Justified Big Bads
Ranking the Appearances of Deadwood Actors On Justified
Top 11 Justified One-Off Appearances
The 10 Best Justified Supporting Characters

Rules: I am making some very strict restrictions for who could qualify for this very important. The character could not have ever been in the main cast. The character could never have been the big bad of a season. They also had to appear in more than one season. Do these rules seem arbitrary? Yes? But it’s my list.

10. James Le Gros – Wade Messer (Seasons 2-3, 5)

Le Gros only did a handful of episodes, and his appearances were very scattered throughout the show. But he always POPPED off the screen in the few times he did appear. He just had a delightful energy, as his total idiot goofball who always very quickly gets in over his head was a real breath of fresh air on the show. I am not sure if **more** should have been done with his character, but he certainly made you wish he was on more often every time he did drop by.

 

9. William Ragsdale as Gary Hawkins (Seasons 1-3)

Gary was Winona’s second husband and became this rather hilarious sad sack character that kept making things worse for himself and everyone around him. He will never be a beloved character, and he was definitely a “less is more” situation. Ragsdale really nailed the role though, and the way the show seemingly kept trying to find ways to bring him back despite all rhyme or reason would appear to be a testament to his great work.

 

8. Mary Steenburgen as Katherine Hale (Seasons 5-6)

Steenburgen was a real change of pace for the show. The way she tried to float above everything and exist on a different plane. On a show full of schemers, she aimed to be the best of them all. Her extremely chaotic relationship with Sam Elliott in season 6 needed more time to develop though and involved way too much history we needed to be told. Regardless, more crime shows should take advantage of her unique presence.

 

7. Kaitlyn Dever as Loretta McCready (Seasons 2-3, 5-6)

In some ways this feels like a cheat. The writing favored Loretta so strongly in that her ability to consistently get one-up on the adults in her life made Loretta into such an easy crowd pleaser. But it only worked because Dever really sold the hell out of it and made it seem possible that this punk teenager with a chip on her shoulder could bluff her way through so much of this shit.

 

6. Damon Herriman as Dewey Crowe (Seasons 1-3, 5-6)

Speaking of crowd-pleasers, Dewey Crowe was consistently one of the biggest sources of humor on the show, and Justified always knew what was the perfet amount of Dewey before he overstayed his welcome. Herriman is a tremendous talent, and he added so much to the show.

 

5. Mykelti Williamson as Ellstin Limehouse (Seasons 3-4, 6)

Limehouse was a significant curveball for the world of Justified. He was a deviation from the formula. Yes, there was something ominous about him, and he undoubtedly does things off the books and underneath the table. But, fundamentally, Limehouse does not want messiness or grand plans or anything like that. Limehouse recognizes that nothing about this land will offer him and his people anything. He just wants to be left alone and find a way to keep he and his people going. Williamson was always a welcome presence on the show, and probably could have stood to be involved even more.

 

4. Linda Gehringer – Helen Givens (Seasons 1-3)

Helen Givens was one of the more fascinating characters on the whole show. She is someone who was more honest with herself than the average character in this world. She understood the choices she was making, and the drawbacks that came with those decisions. To an extent though, she had made her peace with those decisions, and that is exactly how she got to go out. We should all be so lucky.  Gehringer played every facet of Helen so well, and she left you wanting more every time.

 

3. Jeremy Davies as Dickie Bennett (Seasons 2-3, 5-6)

The lone surviving Bennett from season 2 was **always** a welcome presence on the show. The best supporting villains on Justified were always a little bit smarter than they got credit for but nowhere near as smart as they thought they were. After being a significant supporting character in seasons 2 & 3, his cameos in season 5 & 6 where he would get instantly foiled by Raylan were major bright spots. On this website, we stan Jeremy Davies.

 

2. Raymond J. Barry as Arlo Givens (Seasons 1-4)

Arlo was one of the most entertaining characters on the show and added a great deal of depth to the world Justified. There are just so many people in this country who are being outright ignored and mistreated. They are people denied any tools to deal with the hands they have been dealt. And that is just a recipe for things going wrong for them, the people around them, and their communities. Arlo captured the tragedy of that beautifully and was also one of the more entertaining characters on top of that. He was crucial for both explaining who Raylan is and functioning as one of the few characters who could truly put him in check and call him out on his bullshit.

 

1. Jim Beaver as Sheriff Shelby/Drew Thompson (Seasons 2-4)

Jim Beaver is one of the great character actors going today, and Justified did a magnificent job of slowly developing his character here until his big role in season 4. The Drew Thompson story is one of the more rich and soulful parts of the show. Beaver managed to embody all the big ideas the show wanted to discuss throughout its run. The invisible line between cop and robber. The masks we wear can become permanent. And it is never too late to apologize or go down a different (and hopefully, better) path.

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