The List: 10 best "Mad Men" characters

By Columbus Alive
From the March 22, 2012 edition

After a grueling hiatus “Mad Men” return with a two-hour premiere Sunday so we’re counting down the best characters from the series first four seasons.

10. Anna Draper

As Don’s first “wife,” Anna knew everything about him and loved him anyway. When Don was feeling depressed, Anna knew how to make it better.

9. Conrad Hilton

The founder of the Hilton hotels may have only appeared in a handful of episodes (and ultimately spurned Sterling Cooper), but holy crap were the scenes with Connie and Don captivating.

8. Miss Blankenship

“She was born in 1898 in a barn. She died on the 37th floor of a skyscraper. She’s an astronaut.”

7. Pete Campbell

Pete initially seemed like a whiney, back-stabbing prick, but as time progressed he’s looking more and more live a savvy accounts man.

6. Sally Draper

Sally doesn’t appear in every episode, but Kiernan Shipka makes Sally’s progression from innocent child to wounded young woman incredibly powerful stuff. Plus, she makes a damn fine French toast.

5. Salvatore Romano

Poor Sal. We miss you dearly, and being a closeted gay man in the ’60s was tough sledding. You did it with style and grace.

4. Joan Harris

The woman who keeps the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce agency running like a well-oiled machine (and looks damn good while doing it) is also an accomplished squeezebox player.

3. Peggy Olson

As Don’s protégé, Peggy has climbed the ranks from secretary to copywriter and broken through the glass ceiling. What makes her more fascinating is the way she deals with the sacrifices she’s made to achieve her goals.

2. Don Draper

The series’ lead is brooding, tough, complex and secretive. He’s like Batman, but drinks more and seduces every woman he meets.

1. Roger Sterling

Sorry, Don, but Roger is the best-dressed man on “Mad Men,” and he has the best one-liners — “When God closes a door, he opens a dress.”