25 of the most memorable TV teachers

4 of 26

Dr. Richard Webber – Grey’s Anatomy

When it comes to a father figure, you can’t do better than Richard Webber. He serves this role for Meredith when her mother’s withholding and yielding (and her father is just clueless). He also serves as Maggie’s actual biological father, and they are both the better for it.

Those fatherly instincts translate perfectly into his teaching skills. Herding the interns has, historically, been a tough job for anyone, but Webber handles it with grace, understanding, and gentility. This doesn’t mean he’s a pushover, because he can give a good scolding like nobody else. He has such an imposing presence that nobody wants to disappoint him or cross him, for that matter.

Some of the best teachers or instructors are those that have faced struggles in their own education, and Richard Webber has seen some stuff. As a recovering alcoholic, he understands perseverance, and as Ellis Grey’s former partner and lover, he knows adversity. He’s had to grapple with mistakes with patients, colleagues and superiors, and that gives him the wisdom of experience.

It’s not just because he’s the oldest character on the show, it’s because his knowledge feels far beyond his years. Even though he’s not chief anymore, folks still think of him that way, and this goes a long way to speak to his leadership skills. He always has the future in his sights, and he’s not afraid to take risks or make daring decisions. Plus, he’s just an all around nice guy. He’s affable, humble, and has incredible taste in women — paging Dr. Katherine Avery (Debbie Allen).

You can watch seasons 1-13 on Netflix, and season 14 is airing now on ABC.