56. Nina West
Best-known episode: "The Letter"
Without Nina, a painter Jerry dates in Season Three, we'd never have gotten the now-famous portrait of Kramer: a vision of "an innocent orphan in the postmodern world," according to the wealthy couple that buys it for $5,000. But Nina (played by Catherine Keener) is one of Jerry's most unlikeable sweethearts — jealous of his friendship with Elaine and annoyed when he "[has] fun with anyone but her." After Jerry tries to end things, she plagiarizes a scene from Neil Simon's Chapter Two for a letter chastising Jerry: "You want me, then fight for me. Because I'm sure as hell fighting for you." JENNY ELISCU