Sarah Paulson has had many strong roles on FX's American Horror Story since season 1, but which do you think is her absolute best?
Paulson is one of only three actors to appear in all six seasons of American Horror Story, a distinction she shares with Evan Peters and Lily Rabe. The actress has certainly made a name for herself playing all kinds of characters on the series, from conjoined twins to a television medium to an enterprising journalist.
With six seasons now under her belt, which Paulson character do you like the best? Let's take a trip down memory lane:
Billie Dean Howard (Murder House)
Paulson's American Horror Story debut was a relatively minor one, but it was enough to make an impression. Playing medium Billie Dean Howard, Paulson's character is key to discovering new information about the ghosts haunting the house and foreshadowing the arrival of the Antichrist. She later returns in Hotel to investigate spirits living in the Hotel Cortez but is ultimately chased off. Deathly serious and ambitious, Paulson's debut character certainly left a mark.
Lana Winters (Asylum)
Upgraded to a starring role for season 2, Paulson gave birth to one of the more complex characters in American Horror Story: journalist Lana Winters. Lana is a determined journalist as she enters Briarcliff Manor, an asylum overrun with corruption, looking to investigate serial killer Bloody Face. She gets admitted as a patient and must battle Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) and various evils to get to the truth. An unmistakable heroine with a bit of an edge, Lana has certainly stood the test of time; she would later return for the Roanoke finale.
Cordelia Foxx Goode (Coven)
Paulson returned for another starring role in Coven, playing Cordelia Foxx, the headmistress of Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, a school for witches. Cordelia's kind nature was an interesting contrast to her ambitious first two characters, though her dynamic with her diva Supreme witch mother, Fiona (Lange), provided much of the season's conflict. Unbelievably protective of her witches coven (including resorting to stabbing her eyes out), Cordelia is perhaps Paulson's most sympathetic character.
Bette and Dot Tattler (Freak Show)
Facing her greatest acting challenge yet, Paulson played conjoined twins Bette and Dot in Freak Show. While attached to the same body, the twins have remarkably different personalities, with Bette being more idealistic and trusting and Dot being guarded and blunt. The twins are recruited by freak show owner Elsa Mars (Lange) where they become valued members of the "freak" community but must battle outside forces looking to jail them. On sheer difficulty alone, it's hard to not give praise to Paulson's performance here.
Sally McKenna (Hotel)
After three seasons of starring roles, Paulson took a bit of a backseat playing ghostly Sally McKenna in Hotel. While not necessarily a leading performance, she did shine by playing completely against type, as a bold yet insecure drug addict. Much of her storyline involves her love of new guest John Lowe (Wes Bentley), but she still has a great time spooking the various other guests who enter the hotel.
Audrey Tindall (Roanoke)
Paulson was actress Audrey Tindall in Roanoke, who played Shelby Miller in the My Roanoke Nightmare reenactment show. It may be difficult to separate her Shelby portrayal and her performance as Audrey, but Paulson certainly created two distinct personalities much like in Freak Show. When Audrey is later introduced, she sports a British accent and a plucky attitude despite her insecurities about her age.