50 Best 'Mad Men' Characters

From one-off cameos to Sterling-Cooper's core players, we're ranking the show's most memorable characters

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Bert Cooper

7. Bert Cooper

Showcase Episode: "Seven Twenty Three"
The WASP Vito Corleone. Sterling Cooper's patriarch might seem genial and absent-minded, doddering around in his socks, lecturing the secretaries on the evils of chewing gum, socializing with his fellow power brokers. ("I just spent the night in a smoke-filled room at the Waldorf with every Republican luminary save MacArthur and Jesus.") But as soon as he wants something, he has no trouble dropping the mask to reveal the Scary Bert side. He knows everyone's secrets, but never reveals his own. (We never did find out whether "the late Mrs. Cooper" meant his wife or mother.) Played by Broadway veteran Robert Morse, he got an unforgettable farewell, dancing away to "The Best Things in Life Are Free."

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