Teresa Giudice
(Photo by: Scott Gries/Bravo via Getty Images)

Most Iconic Real Housewives Stars

Many Housewives have come and gone since the franchise premiered almost two decades ago. While every addition brings something new to the table, a few Housewives have managed to stand out among the pack. Keep reading to see our picks for the most iconic Real Housewives stars ever.

Lisa Rinna (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills)

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Love her or hate her, you can’t deny she makes good TV! Fans first met Lisa Rinna on Season 5 of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in 2014. The former soap opera star has never been afraid to stir the pot and is often at the center of drama. The Bravo star has had beef with just about everyone on RHOBH, including OGs Lisa Vanderpump and Kim Richards. In the most recent season, Rinna took on fan-favorite, Kathy Richards, telling her co-stars she heard Kathy say some not-so-nice things about her sister, Kyle Richards, during a night out.

While some fans love Rinna’s fiery personality, others think she takes it too far sometimes. The TV personality was booed at BravoCon in New York City in the fall of 2022. Rinna may not be the most likable star on this list but it’s hard to ignore her impact on the franchise. From her iconic hairdo to her love for gossip, what would RHOBH be without Lisa Rinna.

Vicki Gunvalson (Real Housewives of Orange County)

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The ultimate OG! Vicki Gunvalson helped kick off the Real Housewives franchise in 2006 alongside 4 other women on Real Housewives of Orange County. The early seasons of RHOC were a mixed bag. The franchise was finding its footing and not every episode was a winner. But one thing was clear, Vicki Gunvalson was made for reality TV.

She was by far the most entertaining cast member in those early seasons. From the family van drama, to her showing up to her son’s college unannounced and doing keg stands with his friends, she knew what audiences wanted to see, and she delivered.

NeNe Leakes (Real Housewives of Atlanta)

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Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes gave us some of the most iconic quotes in the franchise’s history. From “Close your legs to married men” to “Bye wig,” the Bravo star kept us laughing for 7 seasons of RHOA.

NeNe was often at the center of the best storylines of RHOA and gave us so many memorable moments, including when she shaded Sheree Whitfield‘s house at the Season 4 reunion.

Lisa Vanderpump (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills)

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I’m sure you were expecting to see Lisa Vanderpump on this list. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star is perhaps one of the most well-known stars from the franchise.

Vanderpump’s over-the-top life fit perfectly with a show meant to capture the opulent lifestyle of Beverly Hills. Her LA mansion, which she calls “Villa Rose,” left fans in awe as they marveled at the woman dripping in luxury.

The restauranteur also provided something RHOBH was in dire need of in those early seasons… a sense of humor. RHOBH has a tendency to go a little dark and Vanderpump knew how to bring the fun. Her cheeky sense of humor kept fans entertained and was a nice respite from some of the more serious storylines.

Teresa Giudice (Real Housewives of New Jersey)

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How could we not include Teresa Giudice? Fans first met Teresa in Season 1 of Real Housewives of New Jersey in 2009 and she’s been keeping audiences on the edge of their seats ever since. From her family drama to her dinner party meltdowns, the queen of New Jersey certainly has earned her place in the Real Housewives hall of fame.

Whether you’re “Team Gorga” or “Team Tre,” you can’t ignore Teresa’s impact on the franchise.

Bethenny Frankel (Real Housewives of New York)

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I mean, come on. When fans were first introduced to Bethenny Frankel on Season 1 of Real Housewives of New York, she was a no-name, but since then, the Bravo star has become a hugely successful businesswoman.

Many of the greatest moments in Real Housewives history can be traced back to Bethenny. From “Scary Island” to “Life is not a Cabaret,” the Skinny Girl founder knew how to be a good reality TV star.

She also seems to have a unique ability to present as the voice of reason even when she is the one instigating the drama.