19 Recurring Characters Who Made The Good Wife Great

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Watching The Good Wife is like stepping into a parallel universe.

Not only are the main characters, including Alicia and Peter Florrick, Diane Lockhart, Cary Agos, Kalinda Sharma, and all the others we got to know throughout the years fully fleshed out, but the recurring characters have full lives, as well.

As we count down the days until we say goodbye on The Good Wife Season 7 Episode 22, we've chosen to honor some that made The Good Wife experience great. 

1. Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston)

Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston)
Legally, Elsbeth is absolutely brilliant. Personally, she's one of the most entertaining characters ever to grace a TV series. She has not only a knack for the law, but for pointing out inane things at inappropriate times. If there is a CBS shocker coming our way with a Good Wife spinoff featuring an all-female firm, we want her invited.

2. Colin Sweeney (Dylan Baker)

Colin Sweeney (Dylan Baker)
Just as important to the maintaince of any law firm as the attorneys are the clients they represent. Colin Sweeney couldn't keep a wife. They just kept dying. Or Sweeney kept killing them. We're pretty sure it's the latter, but no matter, Dylan Baker used that incredible talent of his to make any defense of his heinous crimes totally engaging.

3. Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox)

Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox)
Michael J. Fox threw every ounce of his being into the character of Louis Canning, making him at once both endearing and utterly frustrating as the opposing counsel who wasn't afraid to use his physical health (or anything else) as part of his winning strategy.

4. Marissa Gold (Sarah Steele)

Marissa Gold (Sarah Steele)
Eli Gold's sassy and intelligent daughter came through for her father and Alica on many ocassions. She developed a special bond with Alicia and looked to her for advice, and shared some of her own with the woman she came to see as a mentor.

5. Veronica Loy (Stockard Channing)

Veronica Loy (Stockard Channing)
Beware the alcoholic mother, because the apple really doesn't fall far the tree. Oh, hogwash. But for all the things Alicia thumbed her nose at about her mom, they were a lot more alike than she realized, and it wasn't a bad thing. Veronia was cool. Not as smart as her daughter, but not everyone can be!

6. Owen Cavanaugh (Dallas Roberts)

Owen Cavanaugh (Dallas Roberts)
Alicia's relationship with her brother humanized her more than almost anything else on The Good Wife. Meeting him for the first time was an eye-opening experience. He was so real and genuine, and their love for each other knew no bounds. Alicia didn't have to pretend to be anyone with Owen, she was just his sister. Their time together showed Alicia entirely different than she could be with anyone else, and Owen never let Alicia play it any other way.

7. Clarke Hayden (Nathan Lane)

Clarke Hayden (Nathan Lane)
With the snappy attitude not often found in a court appointed accountant assigned to help a firm manage a problem of excessive debt and compensation, Clarke Hayden managed to spin a short time assignment into a long-term position and even spun off with Florrick/Agos. But where he ended up? Hmmm.

8. Lemond Bishop (Mike Colter)

Lemond Bishop (Mike Colter)
Another huge client for both Lockhart/Gardner and then Florrick/Agos, Lemond Bishop really tested the patience of everyone involved. Played to perfection by Mike Colter, it was because of his business dealings Cary went to jail and Kalinda disappeared into the ether.

9. Judge Richard Cuesta (David Paymer)

Judge Richard Cuesta (David Paymer)
What's so great about Judge Cuesta? He was the very first judge to ever appear on the show, that's what. And when he was accused of prosecutorial misconduct in cased conducted 20 years prior, he chose Lockhart/Gardner as his counsel.

10. Judge Charles Abernathy (Denis O’Hare)

Judge Charles Abernathy (Denis O’Hare)
One of the most liberal judges ever to wear a robe, Judge Abernathy once told a stunned courtroom, "As a side note, I would like to ask for a moment of silence for the recent killings in Darfur." Hey, if you have the podium, you might as well use it.

11. Judge Patrice Lessner (Ana Gasteyer)

Judge Patrice Lessner (Ana Gasteyer)
In my opinion, Judge Patrice Lessner was one of the most interesting judges on The Good Wife, but only in my opinion. I was shocked to see the role taken by a former Saturday Night Live alum, but only in my opinion. In my opinion, there can never be enough focus on courtroom etiquette.

12. Nancy Crozier (Mamie Gummer)

Nancy Crozier (Mamie Gummer)
Wow, it was difficult to like Mamie Gummer's legal eagle Nancy Crozier. She loved to act incredibly naive and new to the process in an attempt to get judges to allow things to slide. The "Oh, really? I'm so sorry, I had no idea, Judge" kind of gal. Alicia explained a loss to Nancy as, "Cute, perky, 26 just happened."

13. Patti Nyholm (Martha Plimpton)

Patti Nyholm (Martha Plimpton)
Much like Nancy Crozier used fake innocence and naivete as her weapons in court, Patti Nyholm used pregnancy and motherhood. She toted around babies and took to breastfeeding in odd places. She always seemed disheveled and disorganized, but it was all planned. She knew exactly what she was doing. Anyone who mistook her as frazzled was soon sorry.

14. The NSA Guys: Jeff Dellinger (Zach Woods) and Stephen Dinovera (Michael Urie)

The NSA Guys: Jeff Dellinger (Zach Woods) and Stephen Dinovera (Michael Urie)
Everytime they showed up, you knew you were in for a convoluted storyline that was about to get even more crazy. From hot mics to webcams to burner phones, we learned more about how our communications might be compromised and how to work around it from a bunch of drone-like geniuses in a cubicle-farm watching goat videos than any of us should ever have to.

15. Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole)

Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole)
Kurt's appearance on the scene allowed for a level-headed right-wing viewpoint as well as some testosterone to turn Diane Lockhart's head. The two wound up with one of the most enviable relationships on television, somehow able to be polar opposites politically, but willing to listen and open themselves up to each other's views. Gary Cole and Christine Baranski have a beautiful chemistry.

16. Neil Gross (John Benjamin Hickey)

Neil Gross (John Benjamin Hickey)
The head of ChumHum, the most recognized fake Google in the world, Neil Gross always had some kind of legal issue with his company to keep the lawyers busy. It was ChumHum business that became the key client when Florrick/Agos broke away from Lockhart/Gardner. You never knew whether to trust Neil Gross or not, which is testament to the talents of John Benjamin Hickey.

17. Caitlin D'arcy (Anna Camp)

Caitlin D'arcy (Anna Camp)
Will Caitlin D'arcy be joining the all female partnership should CBS throw in with a Good Wife spinoff? It seems likely. When she first appeared on the scene, Alicia tried to hire anyone but her, but the decision was out of her hands. She was featured only a few episodes ago and had broken things off with her husband and returned to work. The niece of David Lee had left the workforce when she got pregnant and decided to raise a family.

18. Viola Walsh (Rita Wilson)

Viola Walsh (Rita Wilson)
Flamboyant, money hungry and most often a legal loser, Viola Walsh was remembered because of how well she was played by Rita Wilson. All that jewlery and all those furs! She was not the epitome of class, but she was always working an angle.

19. Andrew Wiley (Tim Guinee)

Andrew Wiley (Tim Guinee)
This investigator is like the male version of Patty Nyholm. With his kids his priorty, he always seems a bit out of it, since he's covered in cheerios and has a baby strapped to his person. But he's sharp. Maybe it's his sloppiness that allows him to slip around where others might stand out, or people just underestimate a stay-at-home dad.

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